Family Meals for a Week

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of the The Buffalo Sunday Morning News on February 13, 1910.

Sunday.

Breakfast.
Sileced pineapple, oatmeal jelly and cream, friend scallops, grahm and rice muffins, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Jellied ham loaf, baked potatoes, cellery and lettuce salad with mayonnaise dressing, bread and butter, apple snow, tea.

Dinner.
Cream of tomato soup, roast lamb and mint sauce, string beans, mashed potato, squash pie, black coffee.

Monday.

Breakfast.
Grapefruit, vereal and cream, bacon, boiled eggs, French rolls, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Sliced ham loaf (a left-over), baked tomato toast (a left-over), cress and cream cheese sandwiches, cookies and orange marmalade, tea.

Dinner.
Oyster bisque, lamb deviled, then fried in batter (a left-over), potato croquettes (a left-over), string beans steamed and served with lemon sauce (a left-over), floating island, black coffee.

Tuesday.

Breakfast.
Baked apples, eaten with rice boiled in milk, with cream; minced lamb (a left-over), brown and white bread, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Savory omelet, stewed potatoes, lettuce sandwiches, crackers with American cheese sliced and heated upon them, apple cake, tea.

Dinner.
Black bean soup a la mock turtle, pot roast of beef served with horse-radish and harnished with browned sweet potatoes, mashed turnips, date pudding, black coffee.

Wednesday.

Breakfast.
Oranges, cereal and cream, chipped beef with cream gravy, waffles, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Philadelphia scrapple, souffle of turnips (a left-over), sweet potatoes sautes (a left-over), graham bread, hot gingerbread and cocoa.

Dinner.
Yesterday’s soup, cannelon of beef (a left-over), Jerusalem artichokes, baked bananas, French pancakes, black coffee.

Thursday.

Breakfast.
Oranges, cereal and cream, bacon and green peppers, quick biscuits, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Mince of beef with green peppers chopped in it (a left-over), boiled potatoes with butter and parsley sauce, baked Welsh rarebit, bread, pudding, tea.

Dinner.
Cream of artichoke soup (a left-over), calf’s head a la viniagrette, spinach, carrots fried in batter, rice and raisin pudding, black coffee.

Friday.

Breakfast.
Oranges, cracked wheat and cream, creamed codfish, cornmeal muffins, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Clam fritters, potatoes a la Parisienne, chestnut and lettuce salad, bread and butter, canned peaches and cake, tea.

Dinner.
Potato cream soup, halibut steaks, celery knobs, sweet potatoes fried, orange pudding, black coffee.

Saturday.

Breakfast.
Apple sauce and cream, dried rusk, bacon and fried hominy, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Croquettes of calf’s brain (a left-over), salad of celery knobs and romaine (a left-over), crackers and cheese, stuffed potatoes, jelly and tea.

Dinner.
Mock turtle soup based upon liquor in which calf’s head was boiled, corned beef, mashed turnips, lady cabbage, cottage pudding, black coffee.

Pan Cakes and Hot Cross Buns

This is the first article in February of the School for Housewives 1910 series published on February 6, 1910, and gives a couple different recipes related to pancakes for Shrove Tuesday. There is also a nice recipe for hot cross buns!

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of the The Buffalo Sunday Morning News.

Pan Cakes and Hot Cross Buns

IT WAS while I watched in idle amusement a group of Adirondack guides making ready the supper for our hungry hunters that the probable origin of the immemorial pancake occurred to me.

We name it “immemorial” carelessly, because we have heard of it all our lives, and our fathers ate pancakes for generations before us. Shakespeare says, “As fit as a pancake on Shrove Tuesday.” Country-bred and self-made Benjamin Franklin growls of the croakers of his day;

“They will never think it good times until houses are tiled with pancakes.” That was his ideal of extravagant luxury.

But to our Adirondack woodmen. They baked no bread for us all the while we were in camp, except what we called “pancakes” and they dubbed “flapjacks.” When I volunteered to bake biscuits over the wood fire in the broad, shallow pan into which they were used to pour their hastily made batter, they let me have my way; acknowledged that the “cakes” we made were “nice enough for a change”—and mixed pancakes for the next meal.

“You see,” observed one to whom I gently hinted the possibilities of varying the diet by other combinations of flour and water, “living on the jump-like, as we do for months together, flapjacks come easier than anything else. Many’s the time I’ve got breakfast, and help eat it, and had the frying-pan strapped up and slung over my shoulder—not quite cold—before sun-up.”

It may have been the touch of the kitchen utensils slung over the traveler’s shoulders that suggested the train of thought beginning with the hurried exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, when—

“The people too their dough before it was leavened, their kneading troughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders. * * * And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough, which was brought out of Egypt, for it was not leavened, because they were thrust out of Egypt and could not tarry, neither had prepared for themselves any victual.”

Why should not this be the genesis of the pancake? I asked myself the same many years thereafter, when I saw the Arab women stir up unleavened batter in a wooden bowl just stiff enough to handle, mould it swiftly into round cakes and bake these upon stones heated in a fire of thorns or chaff.

“Pancakes again—all but the pan!” quoth I, recollecting the Hebrews’ flight and the guide’s hurried breakfast.

And why not? Is there not a dim reminiscence of the Passover, and the subsequent forty years of wandering in the desert, in the Shrove Tuesday preceding the Lenten fast of forty days?

It would be too long a digression were we to pursue that question of the significance of the numeral “forty” in sacred history. It rained forty days and forty nights; Elijah went in the strength of angel food forty days; forty stripes save one was the limit of scourging, and a fast of forty days preceded the temptation in the Wilderness.

The word “shrove” is rooted in “shrive,” and Shrove Tuesday, for which the English pancakes were named, was the date on which the church enjoined a general confession and “shrift” (or absolution). The day following was Ash Wednesday.

Pancakes are still eaten in England and Wales upon Shrove Tuesday. I have talked with old people who recollected the custom as nearly universal in Puritan New England. It is safe to say that not one in a thousand of cooks and eaters had any suspicion of the churchly authorization of the practice.

The hot cross bun is venerable, although it may not claim equal antiquity with the pancake and the “Fassnacht,” eaten in Germany on Shrove Tuesday, and having, undoubtedly, the same pedigree with the English cake.

The Good Friday bun is found in all Roman Catholic countries, and in most Protestant. Mother Goose taught us to chant:

“Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns!
One a penny! two a penny!
Hot cross buns!”

It was one of the London cries while America was still a royal colony.

Old Virginia Pancakes (No. 1.)

Beat five eggs very light; add three cupfuls of milk, two tablespoonsful of shortening—butter or lard, melted—and—a handful at a time—a quart of sifted flour with which has been mixed a teaspoonful of salt. No baking powders were added by our grandmother. She depended upon the beaten eggs and quick mixing to insure lightness.

Have a large frying-pan on the fire which enough melted butter in it to reach every part of the bottom. Pour in enough batter to cover the bottom of the pan, and shake slightly in cooking to loosen the cake from the iron surface. Run a broad spatula under one edge of the pancake in three minutes to see if the lower side be nicely browned. If it is, turn the cake dexterously, without breaking or ridging it.

In the very old times—so the story goes—the skillful cook turned her pancakes by tossing them clear of the pan, and in such a fashion that they turned a somersault in the transit and alighted on the other side in the pan. Tradition has it that a young woman proved her culinary cleverness by tossing the cakes straight up the wide-throated chimney to the very top and catching them in good shape, the cooked side uppermost, as they shot down. My old mammy boasted that she had seen this feat accomplished in her youth. The art was lost before I appeared upon the scene.

When done, the pancake was rolled up and sent to table with a good pudding sauce.

Old Virginia Pancakes (No. 2.)

One pint of sifted flour. Four eggs beaten very light. Half a teaspoonful of salt and the same quantity of soda, the latter mixed, just before it goes into the batter, with a teaspoonful of vinegar. Two and a half cups of milk. Beat the yolks very smooth, stir into the milk; then the salt and soda; finally, with few, swift strokes, the flour and stiffened whites alternately.

New Jersey Pancakes.

One cup of flour, sifted twice with a teaspoonful of baking powder and a quarter of a teaspoonful of salt. One cup of milk. Four eggs, the whites and yolks beaten separately. Mix the yolks with the milk; add the flour and the beaten whites, alternately, whipping fast but lightly. Melt a tablespoonful of butter in a hot frying pan and pour in enough batter to cover the bottom of the pan thinly. Brown on both sides. Care will be required to prevent earing the half cooked cake in turning. Before taking it up, strew the pancake with powdered sugar and cinnamon and roll upon the mixture.

French Pancakes.

Make according to any of the recipes given above, then spread with jelly or marmalade; roll up and sprinkle sugar upon the top.

Two things are essential to success in pancake manufacture; quick mixing and quick yet careful baking. The cook must give her whole attention from the beginning to the end of the task. And the pancakes should be sent to table direct from the fire. They get clammy and viscid with waiting.

Hot Cross Buns.

To a quart of sifted flour add three cupfuls of milk. This should make a rather thick batter. Have at hand a cake of compressed yeast well dissolved in half a cup of lukewarm water, or a half cup of baker’s or home-made yeast. Beat this into the batter and set in a sheltered corner to rise for six or eight hours. It should double the original bulk. In the morning beat in hard and long four tablespoonfuls of melted butter, a generous pinch of grated nutmeg and a saltspoonful of salt. Have ready a cupful of flour that has been sifted three times with an even teaspoonful of soda. Knead for 10 minutes. The dough should be just soft enough to handle. Set again to rise and double its bulk. It should do this in from four to five hours.

Turn out upon the kneading board; roll into a sheet half an inch thick and cut into round cakes. Arrange in greased baking-pans and leave, covered, for the last rising. When they are high and puffy cut a deep cross in each with a knife. Bake in a steady over, covered, for 20 minutes, then brown lightly.

Wash the tops of the buns, while hot, with beaten white of egg mixed with powdered sugar.

They are best when fresh.

Marion Harland

OTHER ARTICLES ALSO PUBLISHED…
Family Meals for a Week
The Housemothers’ Exchange

Family Meals for a Week

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of the The Buffalo Sunday Morning News from February 6, 1910.

Sunday.

Breakfast.
Grapes, large hominy and cream, fried scallops, popovers, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Scallop of veal and oysters (a left-over), large hominy, heated and browned (a left-over): thin bread and butter, cress salad, crackers and cheese, chocolate blanc mange and cake, tea.

Dinner.
Tomato soup, stuffed and breaded beef’s heart. Brussel’s sprouts, Jerusalem artichokes, mince pie, black coffee.

Monday.

Breakfast.
Stewed prunes, cereal and cream, bacon, French rolls, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Cold beef’s heart, sliced (a left-over), toasted English muffins, baked sweet potatoes, cream cheese sandwiches, with brown bread (a left-over); cookies and jam, tea.

Dinner.
Artichoke cream soup (a left-over), lamb’s liver and bacon, mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, warmed over; bread pudding, unsweetened, eaten with hard sauce; black coffee.

Tuesday.

Breakfast.
Oranges, oatmeal porridge and cream, salt mackerel, creamed; corn bread, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Mince of lamb’s liver on toast (a left-over), potato puff (a left-over), corn bread, toasted (a left-over); crullers and cheese, cocoa.

Dinner.
Split-pea soup, corned beef (cooked in “the fireless”), mashed turnips, string beans, apple meringue pie, black coffee.

Wednesday.

Breakfast.
Canned pineapple, cereal and cream, bacon and eggs, graham gems, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Cold corned beef (a left-over), potatoes boiled whole with butter and parslet sauce, string bean and lettuce salad (a left-over), cornstarch hasty pudding, tea.

Dinner.
Yesterday’s soup, mutton chops en casserole, stewed tomatoes, spinach, orange tart, black coffee.

Thursday.

Breakfast.
Baked apples, cereal and cream, Philadelphia scrapple, bread and vutter, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Corned beef hash (a left-over), tomato toast (a left-over), peanut sandwiches, hot gingerbread and American cheese, tea.

Dinner.
Cream of spinach soup (served with a poached egg upon each portion), fricaseed fowl (prepared in fireless cooker), boiled rice, fried oyster plant, cabinet pudding, black coffee.

Friday.

Breakfast.
Oranges, cereal and cream, clam fritters, rice muffins, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Fried panfish, potato cakes, lettuce and oyster plant salad (a left-over), griddle cakes and maple cream, tea.

Dinner.
Yesterday’s soup, halibut steaks, rice croquettes (a left-over), stewed celery, suet pudding, black coffee.

Saturday.

Breakfast.
Oranges, cereal and cream, bacon, boiled eggs, quick biscuits, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Chicken potpie (a left-over), breakfast biscuits, heated; baked sweet potatoes, ceam puffs and tea.

Dinner.
Celery cream soup (a left-over), pork tenderloins, apple sauce, baked and glazed potatoes, buttered parsnips, batter pudding with liquid sauce, black coffee.

How Does Our Girl-Graduate Fit into the Home-Niche?

This is the fifth article in January of the School for Housewives 1910 series published on January 30, 1910, and talks about the transition period when a girl-graduate comes home from school. It is Marion’s opinion that girls should actually be equated closer to home so that they remain with family.

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of the The Buffalo Sunday Morning News.

How Does Our Girl-Graduate Fit into the Home-Niche?

I MET her upon the ferryboat this morning in company with her mother. The two were bound for a day’s shopping. The mother, whom I knew when she was herself a girl, recognized me and crossed the cabin to speak to me. The girl sat still. If she noticed that her companion had left her side, she gave no token of the consciousness. She continued to stare at a fixed spot on the opposite wall with eyes that were dreary and unseeing. Her attire was tasteful and quiet, as befitted the work of the day. She had an intelligent face that might be pretty when lighted up. Just now it was alike irresponsive to impressions from without and emotions from within. Somehow it made me think of a sheet of the gray, calendared paper affected by some of the correspondents.

By the time the mother had exchanged salutations with me the girl’s name took the lead in the conversation.

“Gladys”—I wondered, idly, why it seemed so much of course that the listless creature over there should have been christened “Gladys”—“will be at home this winter for the first time since she went to boarding school at 13. Then there was college—four years of it—and, last summer, seeing that she had graduated so high up in her class, her father and I thought the least we could do was to let her go to Europe with a part of girls conducted by Miss Blank Asterisk. You must have heard of her? She got back two months ago. Travel is very improving, and her father and I have tried hard to give her every advantage of education. But it will be real nice to have her home again! If only”—dropping her voice and her eyelids lest the girl might glance at her and divine the subject of our talk—“we can make her happy there! You see, things are so different now from what they were when her father and I were young! I got so low-spirited, thinking over it all last night, that I caught myself wishing that we hadn’t educated her so much, or that we were educated more.”

The Transition Period.

I spoke as consolingly as conscience would allow me, to minister to her pain. For pain it was, loath as she was to admit it. It was a relief when the boat bumped the wharf and the mother hurried back to her charge. The latter did not offer to meet her halfway, or to notice me. Her unaffected indifference to our interview advertised as plainly as words could have done that her mother’s friends were not hers by natural selection.

I was still thinking of the incident and of what it implied and prophesied when I got home and picked up the topmost letter from the pile on my desk. It was from another mother, and one who is an utter stranger to me. I copy a paragraph:

“You have the ear of the women of our country. Won’t you, some time, write some words of counsel to mothers and to daughters that may pilot both over the transition period succeeding the return of the girl from boarding school or college, with a diploma in her trunk and the world before her?”

She might have added, “A world of which she knew next to nothing when she left that home to be ‘educated’ by hired professors.”

I wish I could take it for granted at the outset of these “Words” that the girl was not sent away from the supervision of her natural guardians until they were convinced that she could not be properly educated as a day pupil in a really good school in the vicinity of her home. My views upon this branch of our subject are pronounced.

A woman to whom I said this one day returned “And antiquated!”

I answered, “I beg your pardon! The ‘finishing school’ under the very same name was familiar to fashionable mothers and parvenus in Fanny Burney’s and Maria Edgeworth’s day.”

Now, as then, the mother would have her children wiser than herself and better fitted to fill their places in society. The one disinterested affection possible to human nature comes out strongly here. Her son may be ashamed of her when he reaches intellectual and social heights she can never climb. She has studied her limited sphere to small advantage if she does not admit the probability that her daughter will pity and patronize her when she has taken the polish of the finishing school Amen! So let it be! They must increase in mental stature, though she be dwarfed by comparison. Let them shine, though her feeble light be quenched in the outer darkness.

There’s not one mother in ten thousand whose own education was meager who does not face as a strong probability this result of sending her child from her for a term of years to be spent in acquiring learning and accomplishments she cannot hope to get under the parental roof. After more than a half century of patient study of the problem, I am today unable to comprehend why either boy or girl should be banished from a home where refining and intellectual influences make an atmosphere in which mind, morals and manners must develop healthfully, and this at an age when the mother’s watchful care of physical growth and the father’s restraining hand over youthful rashness and imprudence are imperatively needed. In a word, I fail to see why my boy should be committed at 12 years of age to the training of teachers and guardians and subjected to the perils of body and soul that are rife in boarding school, when he can live at home and attend as good a school on the next block to my comfortable abode. It is a greater mystery to my dull comprehension why I should be compelled by public opinion and social decree to banish my 13-year-old girl from the house of which she is the joy and pride to a fashionable seminary, to take her chances of good and evil among 500 other girls of varying characters and mixed antecedents. God gave the child to me to be guarded, drilled and loved, and made, so far as mortal can mould her, into a “perfect woman, nobly planned.” I would have her a “hand-made article,” not one turned out by contract and machinery.

This is so unlike the popular conception of maternal duty and the ideal education for girls that, according to the data collected by the clever author of a clever paper entitled “Our Undisciplined Daughters” in a late number of a popular magazine, there are 500 “finishing schools” in the United States. I quote from the paper before mentioned:

“Five hundred of them, and the ‘receive’ from 2000 to 2100 pupils each! All it an average of 60 to the school, and you will be conservative. That means that there are 30,000 of our young girls continuously engaged in the absorption of that sole quality of mental training which these places have to offer; that close up 7500 are each autumn admitted, and 7500 each spring turned loose upon us, and that, finally, in the process there is spent fully a million and a half parental dollars per annum.”

Living by Rule.

To sum up my own individual and antiquated theory upon the subject: If a mother feels herself unable to superintend her daughter’s education and wishes her to grow into other likenesses than she is likely to acquire in the home to which God sent her, she is justifiable in passing her over into the hands of hirelings. If she is competent to perform the work assigned to her in the gift of the child, and can rise to the holy mission of growing with her pupil and achieving a higher and nobler womanhood by means of keeping step with her in the upward path, nothing but loss of health excuses her for shirking her duty.

Pass we to the return of our girl graduate to the home of her childhood. She left it at the most plastic age for mind and principles. She has, as was inevitable, taken the stamp of the school. It is as inevitable that she should find it hard to adjust herself to what have become, during the years of absence, unfamiliar surroundings. Every girl who has been for several terms at a boarding school will confirm the assertion that the most depressing feature of the new life, “which is the old,” is the abrupt cessation of routine. She lived by rule all these years. Every hour of the day had its appointments of tasks and recreations. Whether she went through the round with zest or found it a bore, the harness was worn by day and by night, and she is awkward without it. After the pleasing excitement of the homecoming is over, she feels lost, bewildered and “blue.”

She is exceptionally sensible or amiable if she do not attribute her depression to discontent with home and home people. “Mamma is sweet and dear, but she had odd ways of speaking,” and “things” somehow are plainer than the girl expected to find them. At the holidays there was a joyous bustle, and the aim of every member of the household, from her father down to the cook, was to make much of the visitor. She is no longer a visitor, nor is she one of and with them. By and by, when she is fairly launched upon the sea of society, she will have something to do and find her element–perhaps! In the doleful ennui of the present she cannot hope for any change from the dead level of domestic boredom.

She is utterly out of touch with the former life, and early associates are strangers to the full-fledged woman.

A higher educated mother, one of the most accomplished women I know, told me a story not long ago that was a revelation to me. For reason that were cogent to her apprehension, she had put her only daughter, at 12 years of age, into a first-class boarding school, and had herself gone abroad for a year. The correspondence between the two was regular and, to the mother, gratifying. Constance studied well, was healthy and contented, and not impatient for the return of her parents. When they again look up their residence in their native land the three were together in the girl’s vacations and intermediate holidays.

“She was graduated with distinction at 18,” related my friend.

“Then she came home for good. A month later I looked up from my sewing one afternoon, struck by the long silence that had fallen between us, and found her eyes fixed upon me with such singular intensity that my heart actually stood still. I had the instant impression of being on trial, or of being under a microscope.

“‘What is it my dear? I asked, faintly.

“‘I am thinking, mother, of you!’ She said it slowly and her intense gaze never wavered.

“I tried to laugh. ‘And may I know the result of your meditations, or are you ready to give it?’

“‘I think I am,’ in the same grave, thoughtful way. ‘I have been studying you ever since I came home. I have hardly known you for the last five or six years. I was afraid we might not harmonize when we became really acquainted. I have come to the conclusion that we shall. We are quite simpatica, as the Italians say.’

“I could have cried heartily, so great was my relief. But she does not like emotional demonstrations. She has wonderful self-poise for one so young. I had some studying on my own account, and it would have broken my heart if this fine young creature had not found me ‘simpatica’ upon closer view.”

The letter that led me to think out this subject upon paper strikes the same keynote.

“Our girls are the dearest things living,” writes the fond mother. “If you could buy say something that would lead them to a right understanding of us, their parents, you would do a great good for us all. The work for readjustment into their rightful place in the old home is difficult to them, and sometimes an agony to us.”

Is it strange that, with the memory of that other mother’s meek submission to the tribunal of her child’ judgement and taste fresh in my pitying soul, I uttered aloud in folding the letter in a sort of passionate protest the cry that breaks, as through cooled lava, upon the calm sequence of narrative in Thackeray’s masterpiece:

Daughters, Be Charitable!

“O it is pitiful—the bootless love of mothers for children in Vanity Fair!”

This problem is not new in our country. Over 80 years ago an eminent New England divine, who had paid much attention to the subject of “Female Education,” wrote:

“Thousands of American mothers, impressed with the importance of knowledge which they do not possess, are willing to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of the most rigid economy, that their daughters may be favored with means of improvement greatly superior to what they have enjoyed.”

It is not one of the “little ironies of fate” that the love and the sacrifice so often result in “Agony” to those who have borne the heat and burden of the day, sustained by hopes of what the homecoming of the girls will be in yearning, prideful mother-heart. It is domestic tragedy.

“O, ye poor! be charitable to the rich!” cries the parson in Bulwer’s “My Novel.”

If I might stand, face to face, with our girls, my plea would be “O, ye daughters! be charitable to those who have impoverished themselves in all except their wealth of love for you!” To come down to the bare truth, is what you have gained worth what she has lost?

Suffer a last quotation from our clever magazine writer:

“If the proper end of education be individual happiness, then the form and mode of education is a matter of individual taste. If the proper end of education be usefulness, then the proper mode and form are not the mode and form of the average finishing school.”

Marion Harland

OTHER ARTICLES ALSO PUBLISHED…
Family Meals for a Week
The Housemothers’ Exchange

Family Meals for a Week

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of the The Buffalo Sunday Morning News from January 30, 1910.

Sunday.

Breakfast.
Grapefruit, oatmeal, jelly (cooked all night in the “fireless”), lamb chops, southern batter bread, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Cold corned ham (a left-over), orange and walnut salad, Saratoga chips, cheese and cress sandwiches, blanc mange and cake, tea.

Dinner.
Green pea soup (canned peas and liquor in which corned ham was cooked), roast beef, garnished with glazed sweet potatoes; Brussels sprouts, squash pie, black coffee.

Monday.

Breakfast.
Baked apples, rice boiled in milk, eaten with cream; bacon, French rolls (heated), toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Barbacued ham (a left-over), baked potatoes, salad of Brussels sprouts (a left-over) upon lettuce with French dressing, crackers and cheese, prune jelly and cake, tea.

Dinner.
Yesterday’s soup with tomatoes added, beef a la Milanaise (with sauce of pine nuts and sultana raisins), mashed potatoes, stewed oyster plant, German puffs with hard sauce, black coffee.

Tuesday.

Breakfast.
Oranges, hominy and cream, bacon and eggs, brown and white bread, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Beef and potato hash (a left-over), fried hominy (a left-over), thin bread and butter, pickles, apples, but and raisins, cocoa.

Dinner.
Oyster plant, cream soup, spareribs of fresh pork, mashed white turnips, baked sweet potatoes, apple sauce, rice pudding, black coffee.

Wednesday.

Breakfast.
Stewed prunes, cereal and cream, bacon and fried green peppers, muffins, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Frizzled beef with cream gravy, sweet potatoes sautes (a left-over), coldslaw, crackers and cheese, hot biscuits with honey, tea.

Dinner.
Browned potato soup, beefsteak and onions, cauliflower, carrots fried in batter, cottage pudding, black coffee.

Thursday.

Breakfast.
Oranges, cereal and cream, sausages, waffles, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Beef stew and onions (a left-over), boiled potatoes, cress and radish salad, crackers and cheese, cookies and marmalade, tea.

Dinner.
Clear soup with poached eggs on top, “frittura,” string beans, macaroni with tomato sauce, apple dumpling, black coffee.

Friday.

Breakfast.
Oranges, cracked wheat and cream, codfish balls, shortcake, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Clam fritters, stewed potatoes, macaroni baked with tomato sauce and cheese (a left-over), warm sugar gingerbread and maple cream, tea.

Dinner.
Vermicelli soup, oyster pie, chestnut, croquettes, lettuce salad, thin brown bread and butter, cocoanut custard, black coffee.

Saturday.

Breakfast.
Oranges, cereal and cream, bacon, boiled eggs, quick biscuits, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Baked pork and beans, hot Boston brown bread, potato salad, crackers and cheese, cream puffs, tea.

Dinner.
Yesterday’s soup, stuffed breast of veal, stewed tomatoes, spinach, date and raisin pudding with liquid sauce, black coffee.

Slighting as a Housewifely Art

This is the fourth article in January of the School for Housewives 1910 series published on January 23, 1910, and talks about the need to put aside chores for health and well-being.

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of the The Buffalo Sunday Morning News.

Slighting as a Housewifely Art

“YOU are opening a wide door!” warned a friend to whom I mentioned the title of this talk.

She has hung up in a conspicuous place in her kitchen an illuminated sign that, as the French put it, “jumps at the eyes” of every one who enters the door:

“What is worth doing at all is worth doing well.”

I sat down right in front of the motto and reasoned out the case with her then and there, for I, too, have m motto. It is tacked up in my sitting room, where the day’s work is laid out every morning as soon as breakfast is over. The wise saying was borrowed from “Leslie Goldthwaite’s Summer,” a girl’s boo so much better worth reading than nine out of 10 of the volumes I see nowadays in the hands of my young friends that one would expect a new edition to be brought out monthly. But my motto! I have quoted it before in the Exchange. Today I would fasten it, like a nail in a sure place, in the mind and conscience of every anxious-eyed, overwrought housemother who sees this page:

“Something must be crowded out!”

Postponing as an Art.

“Dear! had you need in the place of the Creator, you would not have been content to make the world in six days. You would have summoned angels, principalities and powers, and exhorted them to hurry up the job so as to get it out of the way and all cleaned up by Wednesday night.”

It was not uttered flippantly, however it may sound in the telling. It sank deep into my heart, and it has stood me in good stead hundreds of times, when zeal threatened to get the better of patience. A good head and a sane judgment are required to separate essentials from duties of secondary import; to decide what should be done now and what may be crowded out and postponed to a more convenient season.

The longing to “get thing out of the way and clean up, ready for the next job,” is, with many an American housemother, an obsession. Now and then it waxes into frenzy. One of the saddest sights I ever beheld was a woman in an insane asylum who was rubbing the panes of her window all say long. She fell to work upon the task as soon as it was light enough to see the glass in the morning and kept it up until she was led away to bed at night, protesting, tearfully, that it “had to be done that day!” She wore out an apron a week in the rubbing.

Anxiety is a Disease.

I grant to you, overcareful and distracted Martha, as I conceded to my friend with the illuminated motto before me, that what is laid in our hands should be done well. The question is not how we shall perform the task, but whether or not it is wise and just to do it this hour or this day. In other words, what may be crowded out of the work of that day or hour without serious derangement of the comfort and well-being of myself and those to whom my well-being is of moment?

To illustrate: My estimable neighbor, Mrs. Notable, who will never see her portrait here, since she never gets time to read so much as a newspaper from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, takes care of her own parlors. So do thousands of other well-to-do women. This is her way of doing it: Every rug is lifted and brushed daily; every tuft in the upholstered furniture dusted with a pointed brush made for the purpose; every article of bric-a-brac is wiped carefully; the mirrors are polished and the inside of the windows rubbed bright. The picture frames and the tops of the doors and window sashes and frames are wiped off with a dampened cloth; ditto the chandeliers. In brief, not an inch of space in the handsome rooms is unvisited by the duster and cloth. The work occupies from an hour and a half to two hours of the forenoon. Her china closets are set in order weekly, and this although she is scrupulously exact in replacing every cup, plat and dish in its own corner whenever it has been used. Once a month she washes them all and scrubs the shelves. When a thin place or a hole appears in her stocking or in one belonging to husband or child she makes it a point of conscience to see that it is mended that very day. Not a book that ought to be snugly reposing upon the shelf behind glass doors is left lying upon library table. The daily newspaper is rubbish when Mr. Notable and the grown son have read it. So are letters that have been opened and perused. The waste-basket receives them, and they are seen no more within the precincts inhabited by “the family.” A spot on the tablecloth would deprive her of appetite for the meal thus disgraced. A chipped plate is a grievance demanding a vigorous exercise of Christian patience.

It should go without saying that she has the best-kept house in the neighborhood. It is impeccable from roof to foundation. I was once led by the shining cleanliness of the premises to say something of the admiration inspired by such perfect housewifery to her daughter. To my consternation the girl, a wan, shadowy young thing, burst into tears.

“Yes! We have the cleanest house in the city, but we pay for it! Life is not worth living as we live it!”

Yes—and this I said to my friends with the motto staring me in the face—Mrs. Notable carries out to the best of her lights the principle that what is worth doing at all is worth doing well. Her mistake is that she lacks a sense of proportion; she has not a right estimate of values.

Said a wise and tender mother to me: “Frank litters up his room with things that are rubbish to me. It offends my taste and my eye to see and put up with the masks and foils and gloves and racquets and photographs and ‘specimens’ of all sorts he collects. But I took myself to task for my impatience in time to keep from driving him from home by overstrictness. I went into a deliberate calculation of comparative values and concluded that the boy is worth more than the room.”

In other words, she crowded out selfish likings which she had rated as principles for the boy’s happiness.

To return to Ms. Notable. Her house would look as well to the general eye and be more comfortable to husband and children if she contented herself with dusting the polished wood of the furniture and brushing up scraps from the rugs on three days of the week, reserving the thorough visitation of the apartment for, say, Wednesday, Saturday and Monday. Nobody is going to climb to the tops of the window, and door frames to espy the dust collect there during a couple of days. Were she to “slight” her china closets to the extent of overhauling them once a month instead of weekly, the china would suffer no wrong; and she would have time to read the Exchange, or, what is more important, grant to her overwrought, “distracted” body and mind the rest and relaxation without which no mortal can perform his or her part aright in a world where one’s own fancies and prejudices are the last thing to be considered in reckoning up daily duties.

I know a blessed woman who makes a frolic of the weekly darning of her own stocking and John’s and the boys’ socks. Another of like fancies brings her mending basket once in a while, and the two take afternoon tea from the work table. I dropped in upon them last week while they were thus engaged. One reported thirty pairs of hose as her “weekly dole,” the other thirty-five.

“My mother-in-law says it is bad management to lay so many aside for one mending,” said the visitor. “She could not sleep if she knew there was a bit of mending undone in the house.”

And the darners groaned in unison. “Poor woman!”

The hostess added that she “kept her darning often for Friday night work, when the boys have no lessons to study.

“One of them reads aloud while I work. And that is the confession hour, when I hear of all the scrapes and the jolly times they have had that week.”

All of use housemothers are prone to make a fetich of duty. Few of us rise above the propensity deprecated as a feminine foible by the clergyman I have quoted, namely, to make a clean sweep of work on hand and make way for the next assignment. There are scraps of diverse kinds in the refrigerator that ought to be put into the stockpot and be cooked. The slices and heel-ends of laves in the bread-pan should be heated and crushed into crumbs. Then you promised John to make a “famer’s rice pudding” for him soon, and the promise weighs upon you; it out to be fulfilled today. Yet here is all the ironing, hindered this eek by rainy weather on washing day, and the cook, who does the washing has a headache. You, who always supplement her on Monday and Tuesday, have your hands full. All the same, in your desire to make clean work and keep up in the march of daily duty, you cannot ignore the claims of stockpot, breadbox and John’s pudding.

Dear child—for am I not the mother of a big family? — be merciful to John’s wife and the children’s mother, and study the fine art of slighting. The scrapes will keep until tomorrow, and the heels of bread and the crusts will not mould and John will not recollect the pudding when he sees your eyes bright and movements alert, instead of meeting a fagged-out drudge whose frazzled nerves and spiritless air are a silent reproach to him for not lifting her above the necessity of domestic slavery.

Marion Harland

OTHER ARTICLES ALSO PUBLISHED…
Family Meals for a Week
The Housemothers’ Exchange

Family Meals for a Week

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of the The Buffalo Sunday Morning News from January 23, 1910.

Sunday.

Breakfast.
Grapefruit, hominy and cream, sausages and breadcrumb griddle cakes, honey, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Cold corned beef (a left-over), baked potatoes, baked Welsh rarebit, graham bread and cream cheese sandwiches, chocolate cake and tea.

Dinner.
Bean and celery soup (based upon liquor in which beef was boiled), roast suckling pig with chestnut stuffing, apple sauce, mashed and browned potatoes, celery knobs, cracker pudding with hard sauce, black coffee.

Monday.

Breakfast.
Oranges, cereal and cream, bacon and fried hominy (a left-over), English muffins, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Hashed corned beef and potato pie (a left-over), celery knobs and lettuce salad (a left-over), crackers and cheese, boiled macaroni and yesterday’s pudding sauce, tea.

Dinner.
Bean and celery soup (a left-over), yesterday’s roast pig with chestnut stuffing, heated; kohlrabi turnips, stewed potatoes, apple pie and cheese, black coffee.

Tuesday.

Breakfast.
Apple sauce and cream, dried rusk soaked in milk, cheese omelet, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Mince of roast pig garnished with fried potatoes, English muffins (a left-over), split and toasted; bananas sliced with cream, cake, tea.

Dinner.
Beef broth with barley, roast shoulder of mutton, string beans, baked canned corn, poor man’s pudding, black coffee.

Wednesday.

Breakfast.
Oranges, cereal and cream, bacon and eggs, corn bread, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Yesterday’s shoulder of mutton, corn pudding (a left-over), corn bread, toasted (a left-over); salad of lettuce and string beans (a left-over), sugar gingerbread and tea.

Dinner.
Yesterday’s soup with addition of macaroni. (Served grated cheese with it.) Larded calf’s liver, spinach stewed tomatoes, New Jersey pancakes, black coffee.

Thursday.

Breakfast.
Oranges, cereal and cream, bacon and fried apples, sally lunn, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Cold liver (a left-over), rice and tomatoes (partly a left-over), potato salad, crackers and cheese, hasty cornstarch pudding, cocoa.

Dinner.
Tapioca cream soup, mock pigeons (rolled and stuffed veal cutlets), souffle of spinach (a left-over), caramel sweet potatoes, oranges sliced with bananas, cake, black coffee.

Friday.

Breakfast.
Steamed prunes, cereal and cream, fried panfish, muffins, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Creamed salt cold, hashed brown potatoes, olive sandwiches, hot scones and honey, tea.

Dinner.
Tomato and split pea soup, salmon steak, mashed potatoes, fried celery, stewed tomatoes, raisin and date pudding, black coffee.

Saturday.

Breakfast.
Oranges, cereal and cream, pickled salmon and potato (a left-over), hot shortcake and marmalade, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Philadelphia scrapple, tomatoes, baked (a left-over); chestnut and lettuce salad, crackers and cheese, crullers and tea.

Dinner.
Yesterday’s soup, half of a ham boiled, then breaded and browned; lady cabbage, black-eyed peas, garnished with fried bacon; cocoanut custard, black coffee.