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Jan 8 1901


The Evening News, Toronto, Ontario January 8, 1901


At the meeting of the Canadian Household Economic Association, held in the Normal School lecture room this afternoon, the principal part of the programme was the reading of a paper prepared by Mrs. J. L. Hughes on "House keeping to Live, not Living to Housekeep." The meeting was, as usual, well attended, and Mrs. Hughes' excessively practical paper was listened to with a great deal of interest and profit. The paper took the form of many recipes for the best ways to do very ordinary household duties. Mrs. Hughes contends that to be a good housekeeper and the chatelaine of a comfortable well ordered home, one need not necessarily be a slave to one's household duties. If well-planned and systematically carried out, housekeeping may be a pleasure, and not in any sense drudgery. It is not well to have cast iron rules, which must be carried out at the expense of the comfort of the family, but have rules, and do not lightly set aside the order of your work or make capricious changes in your plans for trivial causes. A very good schedule for the weeks work is as follows: Monday, washing; Tuesday, ironing; Wednesday, mending; Thursday, cleaning silver, preserving, etc.; Friday, sweeping and window cleaning; Saturday, general cleaning of kitchen closets, cellar, etc., and the baking necessary. In connection with the Saturday programme Mrs. Hughes gave two excellent plans for the cleaning of brass and copper, and also the cleaning of steel knives. For cleaning brass and copper wash in hot suds, then dip a wet rag in fine sifted coal ashes and scour well, then polish with dry ashes, or some of the excellent and inexpensive brass polishes on the market. If much stained they can be cleaned with vinegar and salt or oxalic acid. In the cleaning of knives, the brick is rubbed on the board till there is a fair amount of fine dust; hold the knife firmly by the haft and rub it swiftly from one end of the board to the other instead of rubbing to and from you, as in the old way. It will be a little awkward at first, but you will be well repaid by the fact that they have a brilliant polish, like that of a new knife. Mrs. Hughes' paper also presented a thoroughly reliable time-table for the cooking of vegetables. Potatoes, half an hour, unless small, then rather less. Peas and asparagus, twenty to twenty-five minutes. Cabbage and cauliflower, twenty-five minutes to half an hour. String beans, if slit lengthwise, twenty-five minutes, if only snapped across forty to forty-five minutes; green corn twenty to twenty-five minutes; Lima beans half an hour to forty minutes; carrots and turnip forty-five minutes when young, one hour to one and a half hours in winter; onions, medium size, one hour. All vegetables to go into boiling water, to be quickly brought to a boil again, not left to steep in hot water before boiling, which melts them and destroys their color and flavor.

Then followed some recipes relative to the family washing: First, in the boiling of starch, most people simply pour the boiling water on and boil for a few moments, but much better results can be obtained by boiling an hour or so till the liquid falls like syrup from the spoon. The clothes will iron more satisfactorily and retain their freshness much longer.

In the washing of flannels great care should be taken that they be washed and rinsed in water, the same temperature and not allowed to get cold between the washing and rinsing. Water should not be too hot. Flannels should never be rubbed on the boards, as it ruins the texture. Colored flannels should never be washed after white, as upon being dried they will show lint: they should be dried as quickly as possible. To set doubtful colors to cotton goods: Dissolve ten cents worth of sugar of lead in tin pails of water and soak the articles, then wash. But as this process sets dirt as well as color doubtful colors should be soaked in the piece before they are made on. Stains from perspiration should have soap rubbed on them and laid out in the hot sun. The airing of beds should be religiously cared for. Two hours is not a bit too long. This habit of making beds directly after breakfast is not at all a healthy or advisable one. Mrs. Hughes also gave a good recipe for the mending of window shades, which are not often washed. Take a piece of material as near the texture of the other possible, starch and set the piece and iron it over the spot: the heat will act as a cement.

On the whole Mrs. Hughes' paper was most instructive, dealing as it did with the ordinary prose of the housekeeping, which is the most important part in the comfort of any home.

The only business transacted at the meeting was the appointing of five delegates to the next meeting of the Women's Council.


In a most delightful little volume called "Birds and poets," by John Burroughs, there are some truly refreshing reflections under the head of "Touches of Nature." Particularly interesting are the few remarks on "Boys." Mr. Burroughs says: "A boy in his early teens is like a bean-pod before the fruit has developed--indefinite, succulent, rich in possibilities which are only vaguely outlined. He is a pericarp merely; unrudimental are all his ideas. I knew a boy who began his school composition on swallows by saying that there were two kinds of swallows-"chimney swallows and swallows."

Any schoolteacher will bear out Mr. Burroughs in the statement that for indefiniteness the boy in his teens certainly is without a rival. But there are some other trials that the school teacher might not treat quite so kindly. Allow me to quote Mr. Burroughs again for their comfort and encouragement: "Another savage trait of the boy is his untruthfulness. Corner him, and the chances are ten to one he will lie his way out. Conscience is a plant of slow growth in the boy. If caught in one lie he invents another. I know of a boy who was in the habit of eating apples in school. His teacher finally caught him at it, and without removing his eyes from him, called him to the middle of the floor. "I saw you this time" said the teacher. "Saw me what?" said the boy, innocently. "Bite the apple," replied the teacher, "No, sir," said the rascal. "Open your mouth;" and from its depths the teacher with his thumb and finger drew out the piece of apple. "Didn't know it was there," said the boy, unabashed.

Nearly all the moral sentiment and graces are late in maturing in the boy. He has no proper self-respect till past his majority. Of course there are exceptions, but they are mostly windfalls. The good boys die young. We lament the wickedness and thoughtlessness of the young vagabonds at the same time that we know it is mainly the acridity and bitterness of the unripe fruit that we are lamenting."

Not a bad idea to compare a boy to an unripe apple is it? Of course, the boy's mother won't entirely agree with Mr. Burroughs: however, this was not selected for the boy's mother, but for that long-suffering person, his school teacher. Benedicite.


The talented French actress Madame Rejane, has founded an orphanage for the orphans of actors. All members of her own profession will recognize the need for such an institution, as the men and women who make great fortunes on the stage are the exceptions not the rule. Very few are able even to leave a modest amount behind them, and people of the theatrical profession are not noted for their longevity. Madame Rejane has adopted, or perhaps one should say, invented, a novel method of procuring funds for her orphanage. Rejane wrote a very earnest contribution which was published in all the leading Parisian journals under the title of "L'Orphelinat des Arts," in it she invited all those who wished to comment to orate some especially happy day or hour of their lives to donate an yearly sum to the Orphanage as a memorial. Paris society takes to a fad as a fish takes a worm bait, and many and generous have been the responses to the appeal. In a word, it has become the charity, and most of the personalities of Paris have done so.

Already there has been received upwards of 55796 francs.


The ladies of Toronto who are interested in the reception to the soldiers returning on the "Rosslyn Castle" are preparing to give them a banquet and reception at the Legislative Buildings on the day of their return to Toronto. Tables will be laid for the Mounted Riflemen in the corridors of the main hallway, and after the feast a reception will be held in the Assembly chamber. The decorations are now being prepared for the event. Flags, bunting and electric effects will be used. The Government will foot the bill for the decorations.


From an article called "Culture and Woman," in the St. James' Budget one pithy sentence at least is worthy to be quoted, expressing as it does the thought of many people who believe in moderation in this new emancipation, as in all things. The writer says "I am not enamoured of factories of learning for the turning out of bluestockings and lady novelists...but of an education rather, which shall develop the mind without cramming the memory; also one other sentence which speaks for itself strongly, "Nature has decreed that if the race is to continue woman must be child-bearing and child-nurturing."

I came across a funny little incident the other day, observed by a student of natural history. A common garter snake was minded to make a meal off a lizard, but the lizard disliked the idea of providing nourishment for his betters (?) and had chosen a quaint, but entirely efficacious method of circumventing (literally circumventing) the kind overtures of the garter snake. The lizard simply took his own tail in his mouth and make a hoop of himself. The snake went round and round and could not find a place to begin. It was like trying to swallow a bit of eternity. This story though it is not a "tail," has a moral. It suggests that there are very simple ways of circumventing the hereditary enemy of woman after all.

The committee of the United Empire Loyalists have arranged a very pleasant programme for their reception on Thursday evening in the pretty gallery of the Women's Art Association in the Confederation Life building. There will be interesting addresses by Mr. J Castell Hopkins and Mr. Sanford Evans and also some good music, and refreshments will be served. Each enrolled member is asked to take one or two others; in fact, all United Empire Loyalists will be cordially welcomed.

The adjourned meeting of the Woman's Art Association of Canada will be held in the gallery on Wednesday, January 9th, 1901, at 10.30 a.m., sharp. Also a meeting of the bookbinding class at 11.30 a.m. Members are earnestly requested to be present.


"Give me a fillet, Love," quoth I,
To bind my sweeting's heart to me,
So ne'er a chance of earth or sky
Shall part us ruthlessly.
A fillet, Love but not to chafe
My sweeting's soul to cause her pain,
But just to bind her close and safe
Thro' snow and blossom, and sun and rain
A fillet, boy!"
Love said, "There's joy."

Give me a fetter Life, " quoth I,
To bind to mine my sweeting's heart,
So Death himself must fail to pry
With bitter Time, the two apart,
A fetter, Life, that each shall wear
Whose precious bondage each shall know
Pray thee, Life, no more forbear--
Why dos't thou wait and falter so?
Haste Life be brief.
Said Life, "Here's grief."

Belle Lappman.

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Copyright 2002 Whitehern Historic House and Garden
The development of this website was directed by Mary Anderson, Ph.D. and Janelle Baldwin, M.A.
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