Wednesday, September 9, 2009
1,000 Ways of Getting Rich -- From the Experts of 1890
I just listed a terrific antique book published in 1890 for sale in my Etsy shop. It is actually two books in one: The Compendium of Cookery and Reliable Recipes and The Book of Knowledge, or 1,000 Ways of Getting Rich.
The treasured recipes and tips within these two books will have you howling, both with delight and incredulity. Of course, 119 years ago, this volume was published in all seriousness. And . . . many of the tips are very user-friendly for us today. Great-great-grandmother would be considered to be very green in how she followed the old addage, "use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without" in following the advise within its pages.
Here are some of the more humorous selections:
"To Sweeten Meat: A little charcoal thrown into the pot will sweeten meat that is a little old. Not if is in anyway tainted -- then it is then not fit to eat -- but only if kept a little longer than makes it quite fresh."
"Moths in Carpets: Persons troubled with carpet moths may get rid of them by scrubbing the floor with strong hot salt and water before laying the carpet, and sprinkling the carpet with salt once a week before sweeping."
"A Good Wash for Hair: One pennyworth of borax, half a pint of olive-oil, one pint of boiling water. Mode: Pour the boiling water over the borax and oil; let it cool; then put the mixture into a bottle. Shake it before using, and apply it with a flannel. Camphor and borax, dissolved in boiling water and left to cool, make a very good wash for the hair; as also does rosemary water mixed with a little borax. After using any of these washes, when the hair becomes thoroughly dry, a little pomatum or oil should be rubbed in, to make it smooth and glossy."
On the practical side, there are some wonderful recipes -- for everything from making wine and simple sauces to making candy and taffy. The selections on canning and preserving make this book worth its weight in gold! The Book of Knowledge section gives hints and tips on everything from making your own ink, to a cement you can make to mend broken china. Here's a tip for removing indelible ink stains (very green indeed):
"Soak the stained spot in strong salt water, then wash it with ammonia. Salt changes the nitrate of silver into chloride of silver, and ammonia dissolves the chloride."