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Household Hints and Practical Points


Boston Fish Pier Sea Food Cookbook (1913)


• Cranberries, if sound in the first place, will keep all the winter in a keg of water. Lemons remain fresh almost indefinitely if covered with cold water which is changed weekly.

• To make carpets bright, sprinkle with damp tea-leaves and sweep thoroughly. Draw out grease spots by covering with a coarse brown paper and using a warm flat-iron.

• Pumpkin, seeds are better than cheese for baiting a mouse-trap.

• Apply white of egg with a camel's hair brush to remove specks and soil from gilt frames. Rub with water in which onions have been boiled to removed dust and to brighten the gilding.

• Put a thimble over the end of a curtain-rod and the freshly laundered curtains will slip on easily.

• An economical cook seldom buys lard. Save all trimmings, skimmings and drippings, place in a saucepan and melt over a moderate fire. Strain into a clean pan and add to each pound of fat a half cup of boiling water and a pinch of soda to sweeten it. Boil slowly until the water is evaporated; strain into a tin pail and keep covered until used.

• To remove old putty easily from window frames, pass a red hot poker slowly over it.

• To toughen lamp chimneys and glass-ware, immerse in a kettle of cold water to which a tablespoonful of common salt has been added. Boil well, then cool slowly.

• In winter use mint vinegar instead of mint sauce with lamb. Wash the leaves well and put into a wide mouthed bottle with good vinegar; keep tightly corked for three weeks, strain into another bottle and cover closely until used.

• Clear boiling water will remove fruit and tea stains. Stretch the cloth over a basin and pour the water through the stain, rubbing it gently with a spoon if it seems obstinate.


• To take ink out of linen, dip the spot in pure melted tallow; the ink will come out with the tallow in washing.

• To kill moths in a carpet without taking it up, wet a thick cloth in water, lay it over the carpet and steam with a hot iron.

• Before washing colored stockings let them soak for ten minutes in a quart of cold water containing a tablespoonful of salt. They may then be washed in soap and water without "running."

• Puckering of seams in clothing—if the machine tension is not too tight—may be avoided by soaking the spool of thread in water over night and letting it dry before using.

• To remove mildew, rub soft or dissolve soap on the spots, scrape chalk on them and lay them in the sun. Repeat if necessary.


• White of eggs is most nourishing and should be given freely to invalids. Beat slightly and add to tea or coffee, or it may be stirred into any kind of farinaceous food just before serving.

• To remove fruit stains from tablecloths, cover with powdered starch and leave this in the stain for a few hours. All the discoloration will then be absorbed by the starch.

• When cooking a blanc mange, while yet boiling mix a piece of butter with it, then you will find it turn out of the mold when cold without any trouble, and also that it will have a much glossier appearance.

• Cucumber rind, cut into thin strips and put about where ants abound, will invariably drive them away.

• An easy way to clean decanters or bottles with small necks is to chop a potato into small pieces. Put these into the de- canter with warm water and shake vigorously up and down. When the glass begins to shine, empty out the potato and rinse several times with cold water.

• To sweeten jars and tins which have contained tobacco, onions or anything else of strong odor, wash the article clean, then fill it with fresh garden earth, cover it, and let it stand for twenty-four hours. Then wash it and dry it, and it will be quite sweet and fit for use.

• If you wish to know whether your coffee is pure sprinkle a small quantity on the surface of a tumbler of water. Pure coffee floats, the adulterated article sinks to the bottom and discolors the water. This is a simple but effective test.

• When heating a pie stand it in a deep baking dish filled with boiling water and place on the stove for half an hour, then, twenty minutes before it is required, place it in the oven to heat the crust. It will be as good as if freshly cooked.

• In cases of illness, where ice is not procurable for cooling the head of a feverish patient, cut a strip of cucumber, peel rather thick and lay the inner part on the forehead. It is deliciously cool, and remains so for a long time.

• To thoroughly clean saucepans after cooking oatmeal, fill them with boiling water, empty away and then fill with cold water, and the oatmeal will almost fall away from the sides of the saucepans.

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