Have you ever walked the floor with a fretful babe frustrated that the “meds” are not working? Is you child constantly bringing home coughs and colds that have you off work for a week? Have you ever resorted to age old cures and hints handed down through the family, a friend at work or the next door neighbour? … I sure have. For this week’s Family History Through the Alphabet challenge I’ve chosen Handy Household Hints. Some are taken from recent purchases of old Cookery Books which I love, not only for the reasons already written about, but also for the Household Hints they always contain. The rest were handed down by my mum, which were handed down by her mum… and so it goes.
A GOOD HOUSEHOLD CLEANSER
Break up a cake of sand soap until all the lumps are removed, then mix thoroughly with 2 packets of Lux. Put into basin and add 3 cups boiling water, keeping well stirred till almost cool, then pour into tins ready for use. – Mrs B. Krieg
TO REMOVE SOOT FROM CARPET
If soot should fall on the carpet, cover it thickly with salt. The salt and soot can then be swept up without damaging it. – Mrs. U.R. Heinze, Tanunda
TO RENEW SATIN SHOES
Half teaspoon eucalyptus on a rag, and rub in satin shoes will make them look like new. – Mrs U.R. Heinze, Tanunda
HOME MADE SOAP
Six and a half lbs. fat, 1 lb. caustic soda, ½ lb. resin, ½ lb borax, 2 gallons water. Boil together for 2 hours. Remove from the fire and add ½ cup of kerosene. Stir well with a stick or poker. Wet a cloth and line a box, pour in the mixture, and put away to set. Next day cut into bars and leave to dry. – Mrs A.W. Steader, “Glenview,” Angaston
Cut up five stalks rhubarb, slice 4 lemons, and take 1 teaspoon cream of tartar, 1 cup sugar. Place all in a jug and cover with boiling water. When cold, strain and add ½ glass cold water to ½ glass syrup. This is a splendid spring medicine, useful in a case of skin eruption. One wineglass of the syrup three times a day. – Mrs. Will Hage, Tanunda
FOR RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS
Boil together 1 bottle of Gilbey’s best dry gin and 2 tablespoons sulphur for 5 minutes. (Keep the lid on the saucepan as much as possible to avoid evaporation, but do not let the gin boil over.) Replace in bottle and fill with water. Dose: First day, 1 tablespoon three times: second day, 1 tablespoon twice and then continue with 1 tablespoon per day. Also take 1 teaspoon of sulphur mixed with 2 teaspoons of treacle twice per week. In many cases one or two bottles of this remedy will give relief, but a swufferer of years’ standing requires more. – Addie E. Smith, “Warrakoo” via Renmark
RELIABLE CURE FOR CROUP
Mix together 1 dessertspoon methylated spirits, 2 dessertspoons vinegar, 3 dessertspoons water. Dip a small piece of flannel in this liquid and wrap around throat. Then cover with a dry strip. This gives immediate relief. – Addie E. Smith, “Warrakoo,” via Renmark
TO DRAW A FOWL
See that the fowl is completely plucked and singed. (2) Place on its breast, and cut the skin at back of neck down about 2 in. (3) Loosen the skin around the neck. (4) Cut neck off close to the body (leave skin on.) (5) Remove crop carefully. (6) Loosen the liver and heart by inserting fingers where crop came out, and working them on to the backbone. (7) Turn the fowl onto back and cut small opening at vent. (8) Insert fingers and draw out all the organs; be very careful. (9) Rinse the bird and wipe dry inside and out.
TO STRENGTHEN THE IMMUNE SYSTEM & WARD OFF COUGHS AND COLDS
1 dessertspoon Cod Liver Oil, 1 dessertspoon Scott’s Emulsion followed quickly by a boiled black & white peppermint every night, in winter, before bed.
TO HEAL “STYES” ON THE EYES
As soon as the eyelid becomes sore, rub lightly with Castor Oil and continue until the stye comes to a head. It will then heal quickly and with little pain and discomfort.
TO RELEASE DRIED MUCOUS FROM A BABY’S NOSE
Rub Vaseline over bridge of nose 3-6 times daily until it loosens and can be easily removed.
These last three are a few of the many that were passed down by my mum, they were passed down to her, I used them and have passed them on and so it goes… Such is the power of family folk-lore.
My doctor recommended the Vaseline on baby’s nose and was rather embarrassed, defensively declaring that it really did work. I assured him and explained that, rather than “Vaseline”, my Great Grandmother Eliza Jane (Rowen) Murray would rub Lard/Pig’s Fat over the noses of her babes to clear their breathing.
Do you also have some Handy Household Hints that have been passed down through time?
SOURCES: The Barossa COOKERY BOOK, (circa 1920) Donated Recipes with Proceeds of the sale devoted to TANUNDA SOLDIERS’ MEMORIAL HALL
MANUAL – DOMESTIC ART (COOKERY) Education Department, South Australia. 1932. Published by the Education Department, Adelaide. Printed by HARRISON WEIR, Government Printer, North Terrace.
Copyright © 2012. Catherine A. Crout-Habel. Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family