After my mother died, I rescued her 9 by 7 inch three-ring binder cookbook from her home. Flipping through the pages sent me traveling back in time. I remember the food cooked from the old handwritten pages. Also the recipes she clipped from newspapers and food labels. One of her few pleasures in life was cooking; by rescuing this book I have a positive connection to her.
I also found some odd little household hint clippings in one envelope in the binder. These clippings are brittle and yellow with age.
Household Hints from the Past
This one I certainly wouldn’t share with any of my guests:
If your’re not completely certain about the freshness of cream, beat in a pinch of baking soda. The cream won’t curdle, even when you add it to hot coffee.
Maybe this one was penned by a lawyer and a precursor to the overly obvious warning labels on products today:
Always oil your sewing machine according to the directions in the booklet that came with it and not as you think it should be done.
Due to my lack of artistic ability and fear of injury, probably not this one:
If you’re at all creative you can fashion your own cookie cutters, thereby having designs meaningful to your family. Remove the serrated metal strip from wax paper cartons and bend it into the shape of your choice.
Does anyone own and polish silverware anymore? If you do, here’s a tip:
Once you have the silver polished for the holidays, help it stay bright by placing a stick of white chalk in your silverware chest. It will help retard tarnish.
Now for some uninspiring beauty advice:
Here’s a great exercise to reduce your waist measurement. Place your hands on your shoulders. Bend your knees slightly. Keeping your hips facing forward, twist your upper torso as far as you can to the right and then to the left. Repeat until tired or bored.
This doesn’t sound too easy nor effective:
Use your long-handled sponge floor mop to clean the kitchen ceiling easily and effectively.
Hey this idea may be useful or at least fun to watch:
Q: How can I determine if baking powder is still active?
A: Mix 1 teaspoon baking powder with 1/2 cup water. If mixture bubbles enthusiastically, it’s still good.
I don’t know how well these vintage household hints translate to the year 2012. Maybe I also rescued a bit of my mother’s sense of humor as well.