Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Little Housekeeper That Can.

Going "antiquing" is one of the most inspiring experiences in the world, IF you are not looking for anything in particular.  When you are looking for a specific thing, than you either won't find it, or it might not be what you expected it to be.  That's why it's important to follow my designer-friend Kate's advice and just "go to clear your head."  Maybe this rule applies to life: living without any expectations can deliver the most unlikely surprises.  You browse around and do your thing and out pops, um... the weasel?  A baby?  A winning lottery ticket?  A tiny, fragile, dusty pamphlet from post WWI titled, Hints to Housekeepers?  Yes (to the latter).  

Hints to Housekeepers is incredible (complete with advertisements for Dr. Miles' Remedies).  When I saw the faded cover of the woman in the checkered apron peeling apples I turned to Kate and said, "Look!  It's me!" and had a laugh.  Then I gave it a tender-handed flip through and, whoosh, I was back in the olden days, reading "hints" that either may or may not be applicable any longer.  But if you still darn stockings or rinse cow's milk from a pail, here is a little advice for you:

If you rub your new tin ware with lard and heat it thoroughly in the oven, it will never rust.
Or, perhaps still relevant?
To remove warts, a small drop of cinnamon oil applied daily will remove a wart and leave no scar.  The same effect may be obtained by rubbing the wart with a radish daily or by applying the juice of a marigold flower.
(So that's how you do it!)

One more...sorry, they are too interesting:
To tell mushrooms, sprinkle a little salt on the gills.  If this turns the gills black they are fit for food.  If yellow they are poisonous.
If you already knew that one, forgive my redundancy. Though almost mythical pieces of advice now, I like to read them and fade back to the memory of reading Laura Ingalls Wilder books, while imagining my parent's Isuzu Trooper was a covered wagon.  

The idea that "tips" are still adorable, though I don't have any Fullers Earth for restoring my scorched linens or any Alum for my faded carpets, is very appealing to me, I guess because it's sometimes what I try to tackle and share.  With that in mind, and now that you have your kitchen staples, I believe it would be most prudent to fetch some appliances that'll make you feel like The Little Housekeeper-That-Could (if that's what you want.  If not, it will at least make you feel smarter).  Oh, and guys, gasoline will remove rust from nickel.

My own 'kitchen tools and tips' are coming up in the next post.  In the meantime, think about what you use and whether it is annoying or appeasing you.  Wonder, for example, if you are laboring over your morning coffee grinds like Kate with this antique coffee grinder, or any other tool that might cause you to feel like this:

And feel free to share any handy tips you have here on TwinYolks.


Kate said...

I can't wait for your tips... i hope they include how not to take terrible, or actually rather painful looking photos!
great post, i will promise to comment again when i am not it the post...i look like a narcissist.

Patty said...

Hi, I love your blog. I am an obsessive editor, though. It's Laura Ingalls Wilder--and yes, I read them all, eagerly going to the library for the next one.

A.Kelley said...

Hi Patty - Welcome to TwinYolks and thanks for the tip! I Hope my grammar errors don't scare you away, they slip by me more often than I care to admit. :)

Kate - Finally! You stopped being shy! (qhy?) you are NOT a narcissist because you didn't comment on the previous post and you were in it. Right? I'm letting you off the hook.

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