Sunday, January 8, 2012

Housekeeping Tips from 1940

Today I thought I'd share some very old time and money saving tips from the Watkins Almanac and Home Book of Useful Information, printed in 1940. As we all know, that was a very hard time in history with everyone trying to save pennies wherever and whenever they could, which is one reason why I love tips from this period.

-Place a square of oilcloth under the sewing machine when sewing. This will save picking up pins, threads, etc. from the rug.

Note: Oilcloth was a heavy cotton or linen fabric that was coated with linseed. Sometime in the 1950's it was replaced mostly by flannel backed plastic tablecloths.

-If boiled frosting will not thicken, the syrup is too thin. Place bowl in hot water and use a rotary beater. If the frosting is too thick, add a tablespoon of hot water and beat.

-Glass broken into tiny splinters which are practically invisible can be picked up by wiping the floor or surface with moistened absorbent cotton.

-Diced leftover baked or boiled ham blended with peas, rice or macaroni will be appetizing in a well-seasoned creamed dish.

-Save the water in which fresh vegetables are boiled. The vegetable stock is excellent for soup.

-Muffin tins are excellent for baking apples, tomatoes, stuffed peppers, etc. because they will keep their shape.

-When doubling the ingredients of a recipe, do not double the seasoning. Use the amount stated and taste before adding more.

-Dishes in which milk, eggs or starchy foods have been cooked should be soaked in cold water. Use hot water for sticky or greasy dishes.

-If dividing a recipe in half, use 2 small eggs when it calls for 3 eggs in the original recipe.

-Always cool melted fat before adding to the flour to make a smooth mixture; otherwise, there will be tiny balls of dough that will leave holes in the cake.

Do you have one of those small tabletop fountains? We have a nice article on OFL with tips on cleaning the fountains: