Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Dont’s for Housekeepers (1916)

If you are sure that kitchen-work is more efficient if guidelines are clear, if you are more comfortable when you know the rules, or if you simply like lists, then this post is for you.

From From Twenty lessons in domestic science: a condensed home study course, glossary of usual culinary terms, pronunciations and definitions, marketing, food principles, functions of food, methods of cooking, etc. (1916) by Marian Cole Fisher (formerly of St.Paul Institute of Arts and Sciences, Chautauqua Lecturer):-

Don’t’s for housekeepers

Don't be without reliable scales.
Don't be without a set of tested measures, both dry and liquid.
Don't be without a yard stick.
Don't buy from a dealer or huckster who uses dented measures.
Don't be afraid to tell your dealer if you are being cheated; it may be the fault of his clerk.
Don't waste energy, time and strength by taking unnecessary steps.
Don't fail to use your head to save your heels.
Don't neglect your refrigerator; several million bacteria may be breeding in the drain pipe.
Dont fail to make an intimate acquaintance of the sanitary papers specially prepared for various household purposes.
Don't have sink and table too low for comfort. Secure good light for sink and range, and don't have either in dark corner.
Don't overlook covering drain boards with zinc or galvanized iron when the sink and drain shelves are not in one piece. The most sanitary sink is of white enamel, with sink, wall back and drain shelves in one piece.

Fireless Cooker: The fireless cooker with radiator is almost as necessary as the range. Fitted with aluminum vessels and heating plate or radiator, they can be obtained at the stores, and are so complete that the amateur hesitates to make one at home, but many very good ones are made with a 50-pound lard can, a galvanized inner can for a lining and a filling of clean ashes as a non-conductor. The aluminum cooker vessels with tightly clamped cover and the radiators purchased at the department stores complete a very serviceable fireless cooker.

Every kitchen should be provided with a tested scale of about 20 pounds capacity.
See that every dollar buys a hundred cents' worth
Check up your purchases when delivered and see if they agree with your order.
Order your groceries for the day early in the morning and do not ask your dealer to deliver twice in one day.
Pay your bills promptly and discourage the trading stamp evil.
Discourage also the killing of calves for food as one of the reasons for the high cost of beef. Let them grow until they are valuable as food and a profit to the stock raiser.

As the recipe for the day, may I give you a beef (not veal, of course) dish from our book of the day?

Mexican Round Steak

Select a thick steak and hack with a sharp knife, working in all the flour possible. Put into hot skillet with half cup of drippings, turning until well seared. Pour over it one cup of water and a covering of tomatoes, a couple of medium onions minced fine, with a minced green pepper. Cook for about one hour. Season with salt and pepper; cover with a liberal grating of cheese and slightly brown. This method conserves all of the meat juices and provides a delicious gravy.

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