Thursday, October 14, 2010

Handy Household Tips from 1915

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. ~George Eliot

Today I have some neat tips from the October 1915 edition of the Modern Priscilla magazine. I've had this copy for many years, and love to get it out each fall.

A Crocheting Help: When crocheting I always have a safety pin handy. When work is left unfinished, put the pin in the loop, close the pin, and many dropped or unraveled stitches are saved.

Making Over Worn Nightgowns: When a nightgown becomes worn at the neck and sleeves, cut the top off under the arms, sew on a band of beading, buy one yard of muslin, cut out neck and sleeves in one piece, sew under arm seams and join to the beading. The neck may be cut round or square and the result is a nightgown which will wear some time.

Pockets for Kitchen Aprons: A good point to remember when making new kitchen aprons is to place the pocket on the left side. It will not catch on the gas range, the food-chopper handle, or the chicken house door. Again, the housewife almost invariably stands with her right side nearest her work and for his reason the pocket is nearly always the first torn spot on the apron.

Old Glove Fingers: Cut the forefingers and thumbs from old gloves. Keep them in a box by the kitchen sink. When you have vegetables to pare, slip them on these two fingers of the right hand. They protect them from the black stains so apt to disfigure the hands after this task.


To Prevent Flour Lumping: A spoonful of flour added to a fruit filling for pie, or any other wet mixture, will not become lumpy if mixed with the same amount of sugar before adding. The same is true of cornstarch in making desserts or gravies.

Quick Way to Prepare Coconut: To prepare fresh coconut for any use, in place of using the grater in the old way, just put the coconut through the meat chopper. It comes out light and fluffy and can be done in a few seconds ; and best of all, you have no bruised and bleeding fingers from using the grater.

On OFL I wrote an article on preventing bugs from wintering indoors this winter. Read it here.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Old Fashioned Cookie Recipes

I love baking cookies, but hate having to buy special ingredients. I only keep basic ingredients on hand, and like to keep things simple. Yes, I'm a spur of the moment baker, except at the holidays. These recipes were in a booklet my dad gave me this summer. It was printed by the Detroit Free Press in the 1950's and titled The Detroit Free Press Women's Department Service Bureau. The cookie recipes are basic and simple, which I love. I did change some of the text because the publication has typos and awkward wording.

Rolled Oatmeal Cookies

1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup thin cream
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup oatmeal (rolled fine)
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

Beat egg until light. Add sugar, cream and milk to egg. Add oatmeal and flour, baking powder and salt mixed and sifted together. Chill, roll out on a lightly floured board, cut with a floured cookie cutter and bake on a greased cookie sheet in a moderate oven at 350 degrees F.

Butterscotch Refrigerator Cookies

1 1/2 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs

Cream butter, add sugar and well beaten eggs. Mix well. Add flour and baking powder sifted together. Mix to a dough. Shape in rolls, wrap in waxed paper and store in the refrigerator until ready to bake or for at least 12 hours. Slice thin and bake on a greased and floured cookie sheet in a 375 degrees F. oven.

Delicious Drop Cookies

2/3 cup shortening
1/2 white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour milk
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Cream the shortening with the sugars. Add the eggs, unbeaten, and then the sour milk. Sift the flour with the soda and spices in another bowl. Add to the first mixture. It may be necessary to add a bit more flour to make the batter the correct consistency. Drop on a greased baking sheet and bake in a hot oven (400 degrees F.) for 8-10 minutes.

Butter Cream Cookies

1 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, separated
2 1/4 cup cake or pastry flour
1 tsp. baking powder

Cream butter and add the sugar gradually. Add egg yolks and mix. Add the flour and baking powder sifted together. Mix thoroughly. Shape with a cookie press or mold into slightly flattened balls and dip tops in unbeaten egg white, then in granulated sugar. Bake in a 350 degree F. oven for 15 minutes. Makes 4 dozen.

Notes: With simple recipes like these it's easy to make changes in the spices, and change the flavor of the cookies.

On OFL I have an article with spicy cookie recipes for Fall treats.