Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday's Rumford Recipes from 1931

A good laugh overcomes more difficulties and dissipates more dark clouds than any other one thing. ~Laura Ingalls Wilder

Today's recipes are from The Rumford Complete Cookbook by Lily Haxworth Wallace, published by the Rumford Company in 1931. My copy was also signed because it was a gift to the owner in that same year. These recipes are perfect for treats with tea or coffee.

Baked Orange Pudding

1/3 cup sugar
3 level tablespoons bread crumbs
grated rind and strained juice of 1 orange
1 cup milk
1 egg

Beat the egg thoroughly and add the orange and sugar; scald the milk and pour it over the crumbs;add the first mixture and, when well mixed, pour into a cold baking dish. Bake till set like a custard,and serve cold.

Oatmeal Sticks

3 cups flour
1/2 level tsp. salt
1 level tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup shortening
1 1/4 cups scalded milk
1/2 cup oatmeal or rolled oats
4 level tsp. Rumford Baking Powder

Sift together the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder; cut in the shortening, scald the milk and pour it over the oatmeal; cool, mix with the other ingredients and work with the hands till smooth; then roll into sticks about the length and thickness of a lead pencil. Bake about ten minutes in a rather hot oven. (400 degrees F.)

Fairy Cones

6 egg yolks
3 level tbsp. sugar
2 level tbsp. flour
1 cup chopped English walnut meats
whipped cream, sweetened and flavored

Beat the yolks of the eggs with the sugar; add the flour, then the nuts and spread as thinly as possible on greased, flat baking tins. Bake about 7 minutes and while still warm cut into squares and roll each in the form of a cone. When wanted for use fill with the sweetened and flavored whipped cream.

Cinnamon Crisps

1/3 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 level tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups flour
2 level tsp. Rumford Baking Powder
1/4 cup milk

Beat the butter and sugar, and when light and creamy add the cinnamon, flour and baking powder sifted together. Use just enough milk to make a dough that can easily be rolled out. Roll very thin on a well-floured board and cut into squares or rounds. Bake on greased pans,in a moderate oven, about ten minutes.

Oatmeal Macaroons

2 level tbsp. butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 level tsp. Rumford Baking Powder
1 tsp. almond extract
1/4 level tsp. salt

Soften the butter slightly, add the sugar, then the beaten eggs and extract, next the oats, baking powder and salt mixed together. Drop by spoonfuls on greased pans, and bake about twelve minutes in a hot oven.

On OFL we have Irish tea traditions and recipes to try:

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Old Fashioned Games for Kids

Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don't know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!--Anne Frank

I have several books and magazines from the 1950's and I put together some great activities for kids that don't involve television or video games. Kids sometimes resist at first,but then once they get going they have a great time!

But small one inch square dolls out of plain paper. You'll need a plain comb, the kind guys usually keep in their pocket. Comb your hair as quickly as you can 3-4 times. Then very quickly place the comb right over the dolls, just touching them. They should "jump" on the comb and you can make them dance by moving the comb around. Try this on a dry day, then try it again on a rainy day. Hmmm...what happens?

Lay flat on the floor on your back. Balance a penny on the tip of your nose. Twitch your nose and move your lips but NOTHING else. Don't wiggle your head or move your body (no cheating!). Can you make the penny fall?

You'll need a piece of thread about 12 inches or so long, salt, a paper plate and an ice cube. Run a little water over the ice cube and place it on the plate. Now wet your piece of thread,then lay one end of it on top of the ice cube, shaping it into a
little loop. (it will lay flat on the cube). Sprinkle a little salt over the looped thread on the ice cube. Count to 5 and you should be able to lift the ice cube by the thread even though it's not tied to it or attached!

You'll need an egg, a needle, and two water glasses. First you'll need to empty the egg shell. Prick a hole in each end of the egg with the needle very carefully. Blow on one end so the egg will come out the other end. Keep blowing until it feels empty. Carefully set the empty egg down on a towel so it doesn't break. (Put the egg yolk and white in the refrigerator to use later if you wish.)

Fill the two glasses with water and place them side by side so they are touching. Place the egg in one of the glasses. The trick is to blow on the egg so it jumps into the other glass! It's difficult, but it is possible. You must figure out how to
blow so the air goes down and under the egg shell. Where should you blow to make this happen?

Place two plastic cups (glass is too loud and may break) on a tables exactly 6 inches apart. Put 10 marbles into one glass. Take 2 unsharpened pencils and hold them in your hand like chop sticks. Try to lift the marbles out of one glass and place them into the other by using just the pencil chop sticks! See how many you can move before dropping one.

Crumble up a piece of aluminum foil into a ball. Tie one end of a 30 inch long piece of string around the ball. Tie the other end of the string to a cup handle. You can use any cup that has a handle---don't use a nice one in case it breaks! A plastic cup
with a handle works best. Hold the cup by the handle and swing it so that the ball goes into the air. Try to catch the ball in the cup. This isn't as easy as it may seem!

Make your own Pick-Up-Sticks and play with the kids!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hodge Podge Day

Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You will find that they haven't half the strength you think they have. ~Norman Vincent Peale

More great questions from readers today!

My husband was given a chest type freezer, that had bait in it that went bad. The freezer now has a bad odor. I've bleached it , put baking soda in it for 2 days, and now I have put vinegar in it . Is there something I can get this odor out with . It would be a shame not to be able to get it out, considering it works well. ~Nancy

Fill the freezer with crumbled newspapers and close the top. They absorb the odor. Check after a few days. If this doesn't work try using activated charcoal that absorbs odors. Watkins sells a little can with it in that you place where the odor is, and there are other brands also. I've had good luck with using the

How can you eliminate the urine smell out of bathrooms. I have a little boy. It is not a constant problem, but one I could use some advise on. I am trying not to use bleach (even diluted)because my son has very sensitive eyes when it comes to odors. My son shares this restroom with his two sisters and it is also the guest bathroom. ~fifi

I use a spray made with essential oils and use this to clean around the toilet and on the lid etc. I vary it a lot but the basics are to use 5 drops of lemon, 5 tea tree, 5 drops lavender and 5 of peppermint. You can also use a good organic cleaner (I use Watkins) and then add a few drops of essential oil to that too. I clean with this in the bathroom and kitchen. It works great! What I would do is make a spray bottle just for that bathroom and keep it under the sink with some paper towel or rags and once a day quickly wipe it down.

Back in the 1980s I had a recipe for Red Velvet Cake that had raspberry juice as an ingredient...It was wonderful and very moist. I've hunted on the internet and can find tons of RVC recipes, but none calling for raspberry juice. Can you help? ~Amanda

All I could find was one that uses raspberry jam. Does anyone have one that uses juice? I'm wondering if you could replace 1/2 cup of the buttermilk with raspberry juice from frozen raspberries.

Red Raspberry Velvet Cake

3 cups sifted cake flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 large egg whites
2 cups buttermilk
1 bottle (1-ounce size) red food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
7 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat two (9-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray. Line the bottoms of pans with parchment paper. Combine the cake flour, cocoa, baking soda, powder and salt. Set aside. Beat the granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl with a mixer at medium speed for 4 minutes or until well blended. Beat in the egg whites for 5 minutes or until fluffy. Combine the buttermilk, food coloring, and vanilla in a small bowl with a whisk. Add the flour mixture to the creamed sugar and butter, alternating with the buttermilk mixture until all is mixed together. Don't overmix.

Pour batter into prepared cake pans. Tap each pan once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350 for 28 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans. Finish cooling on wire racks. To prepare frosting, combine cream cheese and vanilla in a medium bowl; beat on high speed for 3-4 minutes or until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, and beat at low speed just until blended.

To assemble cake, place 1 cake layer on a plate. Spread with jam and top with second cake layer. Spread frosting over top and sides of cake. Store cake loosely covered in refrigerator.

On OFL we have tips on making your own citrus vinegar to use as a cleaner:

Monday, February 16, 2009

Home & Hearth: All Purpose Tips

Don't let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity. It's your place in the world; it's your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.--Mae Jemison

My entire family on both sides knows I love vintage magazines, clippings, books etc. My dad especially is always giving me fun things he finds at auctions among box lots. These are some tips from the 1930's and 1940's that I thought were useful as I browsed through some pamphlets and clippings.

Use the special crevice nozzle on the vacuum cleaner for removing dust from books. Or, wipe the books carefully with soft clean cloth. Remove all dust from the shelves before replacing books. If a book becomes wet do not place it near a heat source but instead place clean white blotting paper on each side of the wet page and press with a warm flat iron. The leaves will not warp or wrinkle.

To clean leather books never use mineral oil. Use lanolin or caster oil and rub along the back of the binding with your hand, then rub dry.

Hem white cheesecloth in thirty inch length, fold in a small square. Place the dry clean cloths in a fruit jar with a mixture of one pint hot water stirred with one-fourth cup lemon oil. With a stick, press the liquid into the cloth. Squeeze dry and hang in the air. Wash after using. Dusters must be kept clean.

Removing Glass Stoppers: Place the stopper under running hot water. The heat causes the neck of the bottle to expand and the stopper can be easily removed. Or, tap the stopper lightly on a table or add a little glycerin to the neck of the stopper.

Cleaning Paint Brushes: Soften brushes in hot vinegar, then wash in hot soap suds. Rinse thoroughly and then dry at room temperature--never dry over direct heat.

To sharpen scissors cut through fine sandpaper.

If your windows are rattling and you need a fast fix, wedge in a split wooden clothespin or a golf tee.

When painting stairs that are regularly used, paint every other step, allow that to dry completely and then paint the other steps. This way they can be used if necessary!

To remove postage stamps from letters moisten the envelope on the INSIDE, behind the stamp, with water.

On OFL we have tips for cleaning stainless steel:

Garden Tips for February

When I go into my garden with a spade, and dig a bed, I feel such an exhilaration and health that I discover that I have been defrauding myself all this time in letting others do for me what I should have done with my own hands. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

During February on a sunny, beautiful day it's tempting to get outside and start working on your landscape. But,there are things you can do, and things that need to be saved for a later date.

Don't remove mulch yet. Leave it where it is to protect your plants. If you are in a colder zone you may even want to throw some snow on any bare areas with plants to protect them until spring. So, what can you do?

Many shade and fruit trees can be prune this time of year. You may remove any dead or damaged branches. If there are any offshoots starting near the trunk of the tree you can also remove those. Trees that have a lot of sap, such as elms, birch trees or maples should be pruned in early summer.

Forcing branches is a neat thing to do when you are dying to do some winter gardening. Branches of forsythia, pussy willow, quince, crab apples, spirea, and dogwood can be forced. Use a very sharp knife and make long, slanted cuts. Place stems in a vase of water. Keep the vase in a cool area where it won't be exposed to direct sun, and change the water every 3-4 days. Pussy willow should bloom in two weeks or less, forsythia in one to three weeks, and crab apples in a
few weeks.

We have tips for growing the dainty wishbone flower on OFL: