Monday, November 30, 2009

Household Tidbits From 1902

He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree. ~Roy L. Smith

I have a book from The Grand Union Tea Company in my collection that was published in 1902. The poor thing is falling apart and has lost the cover, but I still enjoy looking through the tips and recipes. Today I'm sharing some things that I find helpful, or just plain fascinating.

What to Do With Wet Shoes

When shoes are soaked, get some oats and stuff the shoes with them until the shape of the foot is preserved. The shoes should be filled above the instep. Then they may be put near the stove or even into a cool oven and will not dry hard or out of shape. The oats may be used two or three times.

Washing Silk Embroideries

Avoid scalding water, cheap washing powders and hard wringing. Do not fold or roll up the article while wet.

A Mammoth Pudding

A plum pudding three feet long, two feet wide and a foot deep, and embracing fifty pounds of raisins and ten cans of milk in its composition, was a feature at a Thanksgiving dinner, at Roger Williams Hall, in Providence, for the news-boys and bootblacks. Jack Horner's pie was nothing to that.

Note: a bootblack was a man or boy who shined shoes. Usually the word is written boot-black or sometimes shoe-black. They were also known as shoeshiners, which is more widely used.

I thought this recipe was interesting:

Beef Olives

Cut a round steak, which should be about half an inch thick, into pieces about four inches square. Cover each piece with a forcement of bread crumbs, a pinch of finely shredded suet, some minced onion or shalot (shallot), pepper and salt. Roll each slice and put it on a skewer. Then put them into a stewpan, cover with brown gravy or stock, and stew until tender.

Notes: I looked up the word forcement and couldn't find it as a cooking term. I'm guessing it means to combine the ingredients and spread them onto the steak. A large, deep pan should work for the cooking. I also would not use a thick gravy, as it might thicken even more and burn.


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