Monday, June 13, 2016

1950 home tips: Flaxseed, laxatives, nail polish, marbles and more

I picked up this spiral-bound Vermont Recipes book — published in 1950 by members of Home Demonstration Clubs of Rutland County, Vermont — for 50 cents at last month's Friends of the Lancaster Public Library book sale at Franklin & Marshall College.

It contains, of course, many interesting recipes, including deviled shrimps, navy mulligan stew (from World War I), golden glow salad, famous Pottsfield pickles (from Mrs. William A. Ward of Poultney), daffodil cake, gum drop cake, mahogany cake ("has won 67 prizes"), pork cake, and little red hen cookies.

What I found most interesting, though, was the "Just Between Us" section at the end of the book, which features a collection of household tips and remedies. Here are some of them:

  • Envelopes sealed with colorless liquid nail polish cannot be opened by steaming.
  • An old-time cook book recommends flaxseed tea for coughs. Here's how: 1-2 cup of flaxseed boiled for 30 minutes in 1 quarter of water. Let it stand near fire to thicken. Strain it, add lemon juice and rock candy or sugar to taste.
  • Fasten a rubber jar ring to the string which pulls a toddler's toy. It is easier for a small hand to pick up, and hold in its grasp.
  • For a luscious laxative, kept on hand by a prominent Rutland doctor, run through the food chopper and equal amount of figs, dates, prunes and raisins with about a dozen senna leaves. Press the mixture, firmly into a shallow sheet pan previously dusted with powdered sugar. Score into squares or bars and keep in refrigerator. This is a gentle digestive conditioner and one popular with children. Senna leaves are procurable at most drug stores.
  • Warmed tomato juice is a treat the family will appreciate on a chilly morning.
  • Paste an envelope on the inside cover of your cook book to hold recipes, clipped from papers and magazines, which you wish to try someday.
  • When whipping cream, add about 1-4 teaspoons of unflavored gelatin to make the cream stay up.
  • While hanging silk stockings on the clothesline, drop a marble into the toe of each to prevent the stockings whipping around the line. Dime stores sell the marbles, if none of Junior's old ones are at hand.

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