PEAR TREE LOG

pear tree log: I started this blog to keep my younger son, Jonny, in touch with life in Lincolnshire, while he spent a year working in China. That year turned into five! Now he is home and training to become a physics teacher. This is simply a patchwork quilt of some of the things I enjoy - life in rural Lincolnshire, our animals, friends, architecture, books, the gardens, and things of passing interest.



Saturday, 12 May 2012

Dandelion Cleanser, and 1920's Kitchen Hints

I recently found these hints in one of my 1920's cookery booklets.
Please note:  I have not tried them out:  They may work, they may not.
If  you do try any of them, please let me know!
I particularly like the idea of using dandelion cleanser to make the house sparkle.  Now, where's my cauldron...

Cleanser:
For white enamel, paint of any colour, brass, copper, or plate, also furniture of any description, leather or bamboo, take four or five roots, leaves, flowers and tendrils of dandelion and about 3 pints of water.  Boil until it becomes brown and about half the quantity.

When cold, wash article with a clean piece of flannel, let dry for about two hours, then polish with chamois leather or dry duster and it becomes like new.

It is also excellent for cleaning windows and looking-glasses.




To Test the Purity of Water:
When water is shaken, if bubbles break immediately, the water is pure, but if they float for a time it is charged with organic matter, and should be filtered or boiled before use.

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Prevention Better Than Cure:
To make sure that all tinned goods are non-poisonous, remove contents of tin into a basin, and leave about 3 tablespoonful of syrup or gravy (whichever it be) in the tin.  Place a sixpence into the tin, place on the stove, and let it come to the boil for about three minutes.

Remove from the stove, take out the sixpence.  Should it have turned black you will know the food is poisonous - otherwise it is all right.

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In buying eggs, choose dull ones as being freshest and brown as having the best flavour and the largest yolks.

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The rough side of a cabbage leaf will draw a wound and the smooth side will heal a wound.

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Oatmeal Drink:

When placed by the side of any alcoholic drink it shows itself infinitely superior and much cheaper.  Take of fine oatmeal 1/4lb
coarse sugar 1/4lb
ground ginger 1/2oz
essence of lemon 30 drops
boiling water, 1 gallon.

Pour the boiling water over the other ingredients, stirring well all the time, then boil the whole for about 3 minutes.

A thicker or more nourishing drink can be made by adding 1/2 or 3/4lb of oatmeal to the gallon of water.  

*   *   *

Mmmn.  I'm not convinced by the drink, but I do know that the old cabbage leaf trick works.


28 comments:

  1. what on earth is a "dull" egg?

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    1. Hello John, Goodness,
      Have I broken lots of rules posting that little tip...are we allowed to say 'dull', should I have said 'educationally disadvantaged'? Ooops!

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  2. Hello Elaine:
    Happily we seldom have food from a tin so will not have to source old sixpences nor spend time watching them boil. We assume that such work could, in the 1920s, be added to the job description of the skivvy/kitchen maid and would be quite beneath the duties of the cook.

    Your 'Remarkable Old Oak' does sound wonderful.

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    1. Hello Jane and Lance, When I read my old pamphlets I suddenly realise how much we take for granted these days, although, of course, we have other challenges to face.

      I shall try to photograph the old oak tree today, I am sure you will enjoy seeing it.

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  3. Re dandelion cleanser: I have an acre of raw material.

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    1. Hello Joanne, Just think, if it works you could go into wholesale production with an acre of them. You would have fewer dandelions in your garden, the world would be a little cleaner, and no nasty chemicals would have been used.

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  4. Those household hints are really interesting. Some sound like wisdom and some sound like a joke. The one about testing whether food in a tin can is poisoned is kind of scary!

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    1. Hello Ms Sparrow, You are right, it is very scary - and the hint about the water is in the same league - I am very thankful to be able to simply turn the tap on for drinking water.

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  5. Interesting little tips. No shortage of dandelions here.

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    1. Hello Molly, I wish some of my other plants would flourish and spread as easily as the dandelions.

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  6. GREAT tips :) Loved reading those... I have a few books like that, too and I just love to pour over them.

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    1. Hello Little Home in the Country, Aren't they wonderful little books. I dip into them much more often than any of my modern books. Often they give the name of the person who submitted the recipe, or hint, and I love to give a moment of thought to that person. Cheaply produced, often well worn and stained, but treasures none the less.

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  7. I love finding "old" remedies. It reminds me of how our ancestors used their "know-how" before all the science experiments ;-D Now, where are those dandelions...XOXO

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    1. Hello Susan, You are right - and isn't it wonderful how often it is shown that they did know what they were talking about. I am thinking, in particular, about Elderberry Rob - a syrup brewed from elderberries and sugar. A small amount taken in a little water has been proven to help fight 'flu. There is even a modern, pharmaceutical (very expensive) equivalent sold for that purpose....needless to say, we harvest the hedgerows and pick elderberries in the early autumn then I brew the sweet and sticky concoction for use through the year.

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  8. Hi Elaine....well, I have plenty of dandelions. If I could only find someone to boil them until brown! Until then, I will probably continue to use store bought cleaner. I'll remember the one about the cabbage leaf. It seems easy enough for me to try.

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    1. Hello Meggie, I really feel that I should find an old saucepan and try making the brew. I really dislike using chemicals around the home and garden, so it could be a useful alternative. The cabbage leaf is something which my mother was taught by her father, and so on. We have always used it - I was delighted to find that it was given as a tip in that little old book. I wonder whether he got it from there...

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  9. How interesting! Thanks for posting!

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    1. Hello Amy, I am always drawn to the piles of pamphlets and booklets at sales or book stalls. The little old shabby books which people overlook, they often make great reading.

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  10. You're kidding with the cabbage leaf, right?

    Is there anything in there for man flu?

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    1. Hello Chris, No, I am serious about the cabbage leaf. I survived the treatment as a child, I also used it on my children and they lived to tell the tale. I got the tip out of an old book, interesting to see that other people used to do that too.

      Man flu, you need to harvest the elderberries later in the year and then make a large brew of Elderberry Rob (I'll post the recipe later in the year) take a small amount in water and you'll be on your feet in no time.

      Not much help to you right now - sorry. You could try Boots Chemists, they do something similar but it costs an arm and a leg!!

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  11. I love dandelions and the greens are supposed to be good for you and that tip about the poison food, very interesting indeed.

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  12. Hello Linda, I agree with you, I like the flowers - the same with buttercups and daisies! Our lawns are littered with them and look all the prettier for it.

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  13. What a treasure - so fascinating. So much old wisdom has been lost - I'm saddened by it, and often feel I'm "reinventing the wheel" needlessly, if only I could read something of talk with someone who has that knowledge!
    -Jaime

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    1. Hello Jaime, Wouldn't it be marvellous, I think quite a number of us would like to listen to that talk. I will have another rummage in my old books, see if I can come up with something.

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  14. At last a good use for all the dandelions in our garden! Fantastic!

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    1. Hello freerangegirl, It is a shame that it only requires five dandelions - but you could always make dandelion wine - I have heard very good reports about that. Jane at 'The Maple Syrup Mob' - see my sidebar - makes it.

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  15. Fascinating stuff! I know tinned food used to have the potential for food poisoning, but that's a very elaborate testing system!

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    1. Hello Knatolee, It reaffirms why I prefer fresh food, whenever possible. I find myself eyeing tins very suspiciously these days.

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