Life during the 1800s in America was already difficult for many people. Of course there were rich factory owners in the North and plantation owners in the South, but the average farmer and his family worked extremely hard just to survive. When the Civil War started, living conditions became even more difficult for the average American. Many of the men joined the army or were drafted. The women were left at home to work the farm or to find jobs and support the family on their own.
With so many men gone to war, women had to take up new jobs. They worked the fields on farms and at factories producing goods for the armies. Some women served as nurses in the army, helping wounded soldiers recover. Women had to work very hard to provide for their families. Often not only their husbands were at war, but also their older sons and fathers.
This interesting peek into the past shares Civil War frugal tips and suggestions of how so many people survived getting by with a small amount of supplies. Published in 1863, the Confederate Receipt Book contained more than 100 hints for making do with less during wartime. At the end of this article you can find a link to download the PDF version of this book.
Confederate Receipt Book
Take one quart of flour, three teaspoonfuls of cream of tartar, mixed well through the flour, two tablespoonfuls of shortening, one teaspoonful of soda, dissolved in warm water, of sufficient quantity to mould the quart of flour. For large families the amount can be doubled.
Take two quarts of flour, two ounces of butter, half pint of boiling water, one teaspoonful of salt, one pint of cold milk, and half cup yeast. Mix well and set to rise, then mix a teaspoonful of saleratus in a little water and mix into dough, roll on a board an inch thick, cut into small biscuits, and bake twenty minutes.
One quart of sour milk, one teaspoonful of soda, one of salt, a piece of butter the size of an egg, and flour enough to make them roll out.
Boil a good pumpkin in water till it is quite thick, pass it through a sieve, and mix flour so as to make a good dough. This makes an excellent bread.
Take three quarters of a pound of sifted flour, two large spoonfuls of brown sugar, two spoonfuls of good yeast, add a little salt, stir well together, and when risen work in two spoonfuls of butter, make into buns, set it to rise again, and bake on tins.
One quart of butter milk, one quart of corn meal, one quart of coarse flour, one cup of molasses, add a little soda and salt.
TO RAISE BREAD WITHOUT YEAST
Mix in your flour subcarbonate of soda, two parts, tartaric acid one part, both finely powdered. Mix up your bread with warm water, adding but little at a time, and bake soon.
Boil one pound of good flour, a quarter of a pound of brown sugar and a little salt in two gallons of water for one hour. When milk warm bottle it close, it will be fit to use in twenty four hours. One part of this will make eighteen pounds of bread.
A CHEAP AND QUICK PUDDING
Beat up four eggs, add a pint of milk and little salt, and stir in four large spoonfuls of flour, a little nutmeg and sugar to your taste. Beat it well, and pour it into buttered teacups, filling them rather more than half full. They will bake in a stove or Dutch oven in fifteen minutes.
Take one cup of soft boiled rice, a pint of milk, a cup of sugar, three eggs, and a piece of butter the size of an egg. Serve with sauce.
A MINUTE PUDDING
Stir flour into boiling milk to the consistence of a thin hasty pudding, and in fifteen or twenty minutes it will be fit for the table. Serve with sauce to suit the taste.
Take about three quarters of a pint of split peas, and put them into a pint basin, tie a cloth over them (to give room to swell,) put them into boiling water, and let them boil two hours, then take them up, untie them, add an egg beaten up, a little butter, with salt and pepper, then beat up, tie up again, and place them in the water to boil for about twenty minutes more, you will then have a well flavored and nice shaped pudding.
PLAIN POTATO PUDDING
Having pared a pound of fine large potatoes, put them into a pot, cover them well with cold water, and boil them gently till tender all through. When done lay each potato (one at a time) in a clean warm napkin, and press and wring it till all the moisture is squeezed out, and the potato becomes a round dry lump. Mince as fine as possible a quarter of a pound of fresh beef suet, (divested of skin and strings;) crumble the potato and mix it well with the suet; adding a small salt spoon of salt. Add sufficient milk to make a thick batter, and beat it well. Dip a strong square cloth in hot water, shake it out, and dredge it well with flour. Tie the pudding in, leaving room for it to swell, and put it into a large pot of hot water, and boil it steady for an hour. This is a good and economical pudding.
Boil six good-sized mealy potatoes, and mash them fine, add salt, a spoonful of butter, and two of water, while they are hot, then work in flour enough for making a paste to roll out, or put in two or three spoonfuls of cream, and no butter or water. This is a good crust for hot pies or dumplings.
PASTE FOR PIES
Excellent paste for fruit or meat pies may be made with two-thirds of wheat flour, one-third of the flour of boiled potatoes, and some butter or dripping, the whole being brought to a proper consistence with warm water, and a small quantity of yeast added when lightness is desired. This will also make palatable cakes for breakfast, and may be made with or without spices, fruit, &c.
APPLE PIE WITHOUT APPLES
To one small bowl of crackers, that have been soaked until no hard parts remain, add one teaspoonful of tartaric acid, sweeten to your taste, add some butter, and a very little nutmeg.
Take young green corn, grate it in a dish; to one pint of this add one egg, well beaten, a small teacup of flour, two or three tablespoonfuls of butter, some salt and pepper, mix them all together. A tablespoonful of the batter will make the size of an oyster Fry them light brown, and when done butter them. Cream if it can be procured is better.
This is a good way of using up a pan of milk that is found to be turning sour. Having covered it, set it in a warm place till it becomes a curd, then pour off the liquid, and tie up the curd in a clean linen bag with a pointed end, and set a bowl under it to catch the droppings, but do not squeeze it. After it has drained ten or twelve hours transfer the curd to a deep dish, enrich it with some cream, and press and chop it with a large spoon till it is a soft mass, adding as you proceed an ounce or more of nice fresh butter.
Take flour, little sugar and water, mix with or without a little yeast, the latter better if at hand, mix into paste, and fry the same as fritters in clean fat.
Three parts of Indian meal and one of brown sugar, mixed and browned over the fire, will make the food known as “Sagamite.” Used in small quantities, it not only appeases hunger but allays thirst, and is therefore useful to soldiers on a scout.
BEER, VINEGAR, &c.
To eight quarts of boiling water put a pound of treacle, a quarter of an ounce of ginger and two bay leaves, let this boil for a quarter of an hour, then cool, and work it with yeast as other beer.
Eight quarts water, one quart molasses, one pint yeast, one tablespoonful cream of tartar, mixed and bottled in twenty-four hours; or, to two pounds of coarse brown sugar add two gallons of water, and nearly two ounces hops. Let the whole boil three quarters of an hour, and then work as usual It should stand a week or ten days before being drawn, and will improve daily afterward for a moderate time.
Take three gallons of water, blood warmth, three half pints of molasses, a tablespoonful of essence of spruce, and the like quantity of ginger, mix well together with a gill of yeast, let it stand over night, and bottle it in the morning. It will be in a good condition to drink in twenty-four hours.
One pint of molasses and two spoonfuls of ginger put into a pail, to be half filled with boiling water; when well stirred together, fill the pail with cold water, leaving room for one pint of yeast, which must not be put in until lukewarm. Place it on a warm hearth for the night, and bottle in the morning.
Measure your berries and bruise them; to every gallon add one quart of boiling water, let the mixture stand twenty-four hours, stirring occasionally, then strain off the liquor into a cask; to every gallon add two pounds of sugar, cork tight, and let it stand till following October, and you will have wine ready for use without any further straining or boiling, that will make lips smack as they never smacked under similar influence before.
Take one tart apple of ordinary size, well baked, let it be well mashed, pour on it one pint of boiling water, beat them well together, let it stand to cool, and strain it off for use. It may be sweetened with sugar if desired.
Boil cider to the consistence of syrup, and let it cool, and you have nice jelly.
TO MAKE VINEGAR
Take one pint of molasses, put it in a jug with one gallon of warm water, not boiling, let it stand for two months, and you will have good vinegar.
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ANOTHER RECEIPT FOR A LARGER QUANTITY
To eight gallons of clear rain water add three quarts of molasses, put into a good cask shake well a few times, then add two or three spoonfuls of good yeast. If in the summer place the cask in the sun; if in winter near the chimney, where it may be warm. In ten or fifteen days add to the liquid a sheet of brown paper, torn in strips, dipped into molasses, and good vinegar will be produced.
Nice catsup may be made with four quarts of tomatoes, one pint of vinegar, three table spoonfuls salt, two of mustard, two of black pepper, three red peppers broken and half ounce alspice or mace.
SOAP AND CANDLES
Pour twelve quarts of boiling water upon five pounds of unslaked lime. Then dissolve five pounds of washing soda in twelve quarts of boiling water, mix the above together, and let the mixture remain from twelve to twenty-four hours, for the purpose of chemical action. Now pour off all the clear liquid, being careful not to disturb the sediment. Add to the above three and a half pounds of clarified grease, and from three to four ounces of rosin. Boil this compound together for one hour, and pour off to cool. Cut it up in bars for use, and you are in the possession of a superior chemical soap, costing about three and a half cents per pound in ordinary times.
Bore some holes in a lye barrel, put some straw in the bottom, lay some unslaked lime on it, and fill your barrel with good hard wood ashes, wet it, and pound it down as you put it in. When full, make a basin in the ashes and pour in water, keep filling it as it sinks in the ashes. In the course of a few hours the lye will begin to run. When you have a sufficient quantity to begin with, put your grease in a large iron pot, pour in the lye, let it boil, &c. Three pounds of clean grease are allowed for two gallons of soap.
Cut into thin shavings two pounds of common yellow or white soap, put it on the fire with just water enough to keep it from burning; when quite melted, add a quarter of a pound of honey, stirring it till it boils, then take it off and add a few drops of any agreeable perfume. Pour it into a deep dish to cool, and then cut it into squares. It improves by keeping. It will soften and whiten the skin.
After melting the tallow, add say one pound of quicklime to every twenty of tallow, strain the tallow, and mould the candles. If this recipe is followed, you will have a candle equal to the adamantine, free from all impurities, and giving a brilliant light.
Melt together a pound of beeswax and a quarter of a pound of rosin or of turpentine, fresh from the tree. Prepare a wick 30 or 40 yards long, made up of three threads of loosely spun cotton, saturate this well with the mixture, and draw it through your fingers, to press all closely together, and to keep the size even. Repeat the process until the candle attains the size of a large straw or quill, then wrap around a bottle, or into a ball with a flat bottom. Six inches of this candle elevated above the rest will burn for fifteen or twenty minutes, and give a very pretty light, and forty yards have sufficed a small family a summer for all the usual purposes of the bed-chamber.
Dissolve as much table salt in pure vinegar as will ferment and work clear. When the foam is discharged cork it up in a bottle, and put it away for use. A large spoonful of this in a gill of boiling water is efficacious in cases of dysentery and cholic.
CURE FOR CHILLS
The plant, commonly called hoarhound, is said to afford a certain cure. Boil it in water, and drink freely of the tea.
GARGLE FOR SORE THROAT, DIPTHERIA OR SCARLET FEVER
Mix in a common size cup of fresh milk two teaspoonfuls of pulverized charcoal and ten drops of spirits of turpentine. Soften the charcoal with a few drops of milk before putting into the cup. Gargle frequently, according to the violence of the symptoms.
TO RELIEVE ASTHMA
Take the leaves of the stramonium (or Jamestown weed,) dried in the shade, saturated with a pretty strong solution of salt petre, and smoke it so as to inhale the fumes. It may strangle at first if taken too freely, but it will loosen the phlegm in the lungs. The leaves should be gathered before frost.
SIMPLE CURE FOR CROUP
If a child is taken with croup apply cold water suddenly and freely to the neck and chest with a sponge or towel. The breathing will instantly be relieved, then wipe it dry, cover it up warm, and soon a quiet slumber will relieve the parent’s anxiety.
FOR A TROUBLESOME COUGH
Take of treacle and the best white wine vinegar six tablespoonfuls each, add forty drops of laudanum, mix it well, and put into a bottle. A teaspoonful to be taken occasionally when the cough is troublesome. The mixture will be found efficacious without the laudanum in many cases.
FOR SICK HEADACHE
One teaspoonful of pulverized charcoal and one-third of a teaspoonful of soda mixed in very warm water.
CURE FOR A TOOTHACHE
Powdered alum will not only relieve the toothache, but prevent the decay of the tooth. Salt may advantageously be mixed with the alum.
CURE FOR A BURN
Wheat flour and cold water, mixed to the consistency of soft paste, is an almost instantaneous cure for a burn. Renew before the first gets dry so as to stick.
CURE FOR CAMP ITCH
Take iodide of potassium, sixty grains, lard, two ounces, mix well, and after washing the body well with warm soap suds rub the ointment over the person three times a week. In seven or eight days the acarus or itch insect will be destroyed. In this recipe the horrible effects of the old sulphur ointment are obviated.
CURE FOR A FELON
The Selma Reporter says: A poultice of onions, applied morning, noon and night for three or four days, will cure a felon. No matter how bad the case, splitting the finger will be unnecessary, if this poultice be used. We have seen it tried several times, and know that the remedy is a sure, safe and speedy one.
TO CURE CORNS
The cause of corns, and likewise the pain they occasion, is simply friction, and to lessen the friction you have only to use your toe as you do in like circumstances a coach wheel–lubricate it with some oily substance. The best thing to use is a little sweet oil rubbed on the affected part (after the corn is carefully pared) with the tip of the finger, which should be done on getting up in the morning, and just before stepping into bed at night. In a few days the pain will diminish, and in a few days more it will cease, when the nightly application may be discontinued.
TO DESTROY WARTS
Dissolve as much common washing soda as the water will take up, wash the warts with this for a minute or two, and let them dry without wiping. Keep the water in a bottle and repeat the washing often, and it will take away the largest of warts.
PRESERVING MEAT WITHOUT SALT
We need salt as a relish to our food, but it is not essential in the preservation of our meats. The Indians used little or no salt, yet they preserved meat and even fish in abundance by drying. This can be accomplished by fire, by smoke or by sunshine, but the most rapid and reliable mode is by all these agents combined. To do this select a spot having the fullest command of sunshine. Erect there a wigwan five or six feet high, with an open top, in size proportioned to the quantity of meat to be cured, and protected from the winds, so that all the smoke must pass through the open top. The meat cut into pieces suitable for drying (the thinner the better) to be suspended on rods in the open comb, and a vigorous smoke made of decayed wood is to be kept up without cessation Exposed thus to the combined influence of sunshine, heat and smoke, meat cut into slices not over an inch thick can be thoroughly cured in twenty-four hours. For thicker pieces there must be, of course, a longer time, and the curing of oily meat, such as pork, is more difficult than that of beef, venison or mutton.
To cure meat in the sun hang it on the South side of your house, as near to the wall as possible without touching.
Savages cure fish by pounding it fine, and exposing it to the bright sun.
TO CURE BACON WITH LITTLE SALT
Take five gallons water, seven pounds salt, one pound sugar, or one pint molasses, one teaspoonful saltpetre, mix, and after sprinkling the flesh side of the hams in the salt, pack in a tight barrel, hams first, then shoulders, lastly middlings. Pour over the brine, and if not enough to cover, make another draft of the above, and repeat till all is covered, leaving the meat in brine from four to seven weeks, according to size.
TO PREVENT SKIPPERS IN HAM
In order to avoid the skipper, and all worms and bugs that usually infest and destroy bacon, keep your smoke house dark, and the moth that deposits the eggs will never enter it. Smoke with green hickory, this is important, as the flavor of the bacon is often destroyed by smoking with improper wood.
METHOD OF CURING BAD BUTTER
Melt the butter in hot water, skim it off as clean as possible, and work it over again in a churn, add salt and fine sugar, and press well.
TO CLARIFY MOLASSES
To free molasses from its sharp taste, and to render it fit to be used, instead of sugar, take twelve pounds of molasses, twelve pounds of water, and three pounds of charcoal, coarsely pulverized, mix them in a kettle, and boil the whole over a slow wood fire. When the mixture has boiled half an hour, pour it into a flat vessel, in order that the charcoal may subside to the bottom, then pour off the liquid, and place it over the fire once more, that the superfluous water may evaporate, and the molasses be brought to their former consistence. Twelve pounds of molasses will produce twelve pounds of syrup.
SUBSTITUTE FOR CREAM IN TEA OR COFFEE
Beat the white of an egg to a froth, put to it a very small lump of butter, and mix well, then turn the coffee to it gradually, so that it may not curdle. If perfectly done it will be an excellent substitute for cream. For tea omit the butter, using only the egg.
SUBSTITUTE FOR COFFEE
Take sound ripe acorns, wash them while in the shell, dry them, and parch until they open, take the shell off, roast with a little bacon fat, and you will have a splendid cup of coffee.
TO JUDGE THE QUALITY OF LAMB
If fresh the vein in the neck of a forequarter is bluish; if green or yellow it is stale. In the hindquarter if the knuckle is limp, and the part under the kidney smells slightly disagreeable, avoid it. If the eyes are sunken do not buy the head.
TO TEST FLOUR
Knead a small quantity by way of experiment. If good, the flour immediately forms an adhesive elastic paste, which will readily assume any form that may be given to it without breaking.
TO PREPARE SALT
Set a lump of salt in a plate before the fire, and when dry pound it in a mortar, or rub two pieces of salt together. It will then be free from lumps, and in very fine powder.
If you are troubled to get soft water for washing fill a tub or barrel half full of wood ashes, and fill it up with water, so that you may have lye whenever you want it. A gallon of strong lye put into a large kettle of hard water will make it as soft as rain water.
The largest, heaviest, and most unctuous nutmegs are the best. If you begin to grate nutmeg at the stalk end it will prove hollow throughout.
Mix rice flour smoothly with cold water, and simmer it over a slow fire, when it will form a delicate and durable cement, not only answering all the purposes of common paste, but well adapted for joining paper and card board ornamental work.
TO CEMENT BROKEN CHINA OR GLASS
Beat lime to the finest powder, and sift it through fine muslin, then tie some into a thin muslin, put on the edges of the broken china some white of egg, dust some lime quickly on the same, and unite them exactly.
To make five gallons of good cheap ink, take half a pound of extract of logwood and dissolve it in five gallons of hot water, and add half an ounce of bichromate potash. Strain and bottle it.
TO IMPROVE PALE BLACK INK
To a pint of black ink add one drachm of impure carbonate of potassa, and in a few minutes it will be jet black. Be careful that the ink does not run over during the effervescence caused by the potassa.
TO PRESERVE STEEL PENS
Metallic pens may be preserved from rusting by throwing into the bottle containing the ink a few nails or broken pieces of steel pens if not varnished. The corrosive action of the acid which the ink contains is expended on the iron so introduced, and will not therefore affect the pen.
FIRE BALLS FOR FUEL
Mix one bushel of small coal or sawdust, or both, with two bushels of sand and one bushel and a half of clay, make the mixture into balls with water, and pile them in a dry place to harden them. A fire cannot be lighted with these balls, but when it burns strong put them on above the top bar, and they will keep up a strong heat.
TO PURIFY RIVER OR MUDDY WATER
Dissolve half an ounce of alum in a pint of warm water, and stirring it about in a puncheon of water from the river, all the impurities will soon settle to the bottom, and in a day or two it will become quite clear.
TO GIVE A COOL TASTE TO WATER
A few leaves of sheep mint held in the mouth, or chewed, just before drinking water, will seemingly impart a degree of coolness to the draught.
TO PREVENT THIRST
Coffee grounds chewed at intervals on a march, or during any arduous service, will repress thirst. and satiate the cravings of hunger. When boiled over again, and the decoction becomes cool, it will quench thirst more effectively than water.
CHARCOAL TOOTH POWDER
Pound charcoal as fine as possible in a mortar, or grind it in a mill, then well sift it, and apply a little of it to the teeth about twice a week, and it will not only render them beautifully white, but will also make the breath sweet, and the gums firm and comfortable. If the charcoal is ground in a mortar, it is convenient to grind it in water to prevent the dust from flying about. Indeed the powder is more convenient for use when kept in water.
WAX FOR SEALING BOTTLES
Take equal parts of rosin and beeswax and melt over a fire, stir in some Spanish Brown, and while hot dip in the bottles.
To a tea cup of molasses stir in lampblack until it is black, then add the white of two eggs, well beaten, and to this add a pint of vinegar or whiskey, and put it in a bottle for use. Shake it before using.
CHINESE METHOD OF RENDERING CLOTH WATERPROOF
To one ounce of white wax, melted, add one quart of spirits of turpentine, in which, when thoroughly mixed and cold, dip the cloth and hang up to dry. Try it.
TO CLEAN KID GLOVES
First see that your hands are clean, then put on the gloves and wash them, as though you were washing your hands in a basin of turpentine, then hang them up in a warm place, or where there is a good current of air, which will carry off all smell of turpentine. This method was brought from Paris, and thousands of dollars have been made by it.
TO BLEACH STRAW HATS, &c.–
Straw hats and bonnets are bleached by putting them, previously washed in pure water, into a box with burning sulphur, the fumes which arise unite with the water on the bonnets, and the sulphurous acid thus formed bleaches them.
TO REMOVE GREASE FROM CLOTH
Take soft soap and fuller’s earth, of each half a pound, beat them well together in a mortar, and form cakes. The spot first moistened with water is rubbed with the cake and allowed to dry, when it is well rubbed with a little warm water, and afterwards rinsed or rubbed clean.
TO REMOVE GREASE FROM BOOKS
Lay upon the spot a little magnesia or powdered chalk, and under it the same, set on it a warm flat iron, and as soon as the grease is melted it will all be absorbed, and leave the paper clean.
TO MAKE OLD SILK LOOK AS WELL AS NEW
Unpick the dress, grate two Irish potatoes into a quart of water, let it stand to settle, strain it without disturbing the sediment and sponge the silk with it. Iron on the wrong side.
POWDER TO CLEAN GOLD LACE
Rock alum (burnt and finely powdered,) five parts, levigated chalk one part, mix. Apply with a dry brush.
TO KEEP ARMS AND POLISHED METAL FROM RUST
Dissolve one ounce of camphor in two pounds of hog’s lard, observing to take off the scum, then mix as much black lead as will give the mixture an iron color. Fire arms, &c., rubbed over with this mixture, left twenty-four hours, and then dried with a linen cloth, will keep clean for many months.
TO MAKE ECONOMICAL WICKS FOR LAMPS
When using a lamp with a flat wick, if you take a piece of clean cotton stocking it will answer the purpose as well as the cotton wicks which are sold in the shops.
TO DRY HERBS
Dry the gathered crop, thinly spread out and shaded from the sun, tie the herbs in small bundles, and keep them compactly pressed down and covered with white paper; or, after drying them, put each sort into a small box, and by means of boards fitted in it, and a screw-press, press the herbs into cakes or little trusses. These should be afterwards carefully wrapped up in paper and be kept in a dry place, when they will retain their aroma as perfectly as when they were put into the press, for at least three years. By the common method of hanging up herbs in loose bundles the odor soon escapes.
AN ILLUMINATED BOTTLE
By putting a piece of phosphorus the size of a pea into a phial, and adding boiling oil until the bottle is a third full, a luminous bottle is formed, for on taking out the cork to admit atmospheric air, the empty space in the phial will become luminous. Whenever the stopper is taken out at night, sufficient light is evolved to show the hour upon a watch, and if care be taken to keep it generally well closed it will preserve its illuminative power for several months.
A CHEAP TAPER FOR A SICK ROOM
Take a piece of soft pliant paper, part of newspaper for example, and form a circle of it, then gather the centre together and twist it into a wick, immerse the whole in a saucer of lard and light it, and you have a taper that will last some hours.
TO PREVENT BLISTERS ON THE FEET
Blistering or soreness of the feet may be prevented on long marches by covering the soles of the stockings with a coating of the cheapest brown soap. Coarse cotton socks are the best for walking.
Those whose teeth are not strong enough to masticate hard beef should cut their steaks the day before using into slices about two inches thick, rub over them a small quantity of soda, wash off next morning, cut them into suitable thickness, and cook according to fancy. The same process will answer for any description of tough meat.
CHEAP DOOR MATS
Cut any old woolen articles into long strips, from one to two inches broad. Braid three of these together, and sew the braid in gradually increasing circles till large enough.
ECONOMY IN CARPETS
In buying a carpet, as in everything else, those of the best quality are cheapest in the end. As it is extremely desirable that they should look as clean as possible, avoid buying a carpet that has any white in it. Even a small portion of white interspersed through the pattern will in a short time give it a dingy appearance.
If you cannot obtain a hearth rug that exactly corresponds with the carpet, get one entirely different, for a decided contrast looks better than a bad match.
One flannel petticoat will wear nearly as long as two, if turned behind part before, when the front begins to wear out. If you have a strip of land do not throw away soapsuds. Both ashes and soap suds are good manure for bushes and young plants.
See that nothing is thrown away which might have served to nourish your own family, or a poorer one.
“Brewis” is made of crusts and dry pieces of bread soaked a good while in hot milk, mashed up, and eaten with salt.
Charcoal powder will be found a very good thing to give knives a polish.
A bonnet and trimmings may be worn a much longer time if the dust be brushed well off after walking.
A bowl containing two quarts of water, set in an oven when baking, will prevent pies, cakes, &c., from being scorched.
RECIPES FOR MAKING BREAD, &c., FROM RICE FLOUR.
RUSSEL COUNTY, ALA., SEPTEMBER 8TH, 1862.
Editors Columbus Sun :–I read an article in one of your papers lately in which recipes for making different kinds of bread with rice flour were enquired for, and having a few that I think will be found very good I send them to you. They were printed in Charleston, S. C., several years ago.
ELIZABETH B. LEWIS.
TO MAKE LOAF RICE BREAD
Boil a pint of rice soft, add a pint of leaven, then three quarts of rice flour, put it to rise in a tin or eathern vessel until it has raised sufficiently; divide it into three parts, and bake it as other bread, and you will have three large loaves, or scald the flour, and when cold mix half wheat flour or corn meal, raised with leaven in the usual way.
One quart of rice flour, make it into a stiff pap, by wetting with warm water, not so hot as to make it lumpy, when well wet add boiling water, as much as two or three quarts, stir it continually until it boils, put in half pint of yeast when it cools, and a little salt, knead in as much wheat flour as will make it a proper dough for bread, put it to rise, and when risen add a little more wheat flour, let it stand in a warm place half an hour, and bake it. This same mixture only made thinner and baked in rings make excellent muffins.
JOURNEY OR JONNY CAKES
To three spoonfuls of soft boiled rice add a small tea cup of water or milk, then add six spoonfuls of the rice flour, which will make a large Jonny cake or six waffles.
Take a pint of soft boiled rice, a half pint of milk or water, to which add twelve spoonfuls of the rice flour, divide it into small cakes, and bake them in a brick oven.
RICE CAKES LIKE BUCKWHEAT CAKES
Mix one-fourth wheat flour to three-fourths superfine rice flour, and raise it as buckwheat flour, bake it like buckwheat cakes.
TO MAKE WAFERS
Take a pint of warm water, a teaspoonful of salt, add a pint of the flour and it will give you two dozen wafers.
TO MAKE RICE PUFFS.–
In a pint of the flour add a teaspoonful of salt, a pint of boiling water, beat up four eggs, stir them well together, put from two to three spoonfuls of lard in a pan, make it boiling hot and fry as you do common fritters.
TO MAKE A RICE PUDDING.–
Take a quart of milk, add a pint of the flour, boil them to a pap, beat up six eggs, to which add six spoonfuls of Havana sugar and a spoonful of butter, which when well beaten together add to the milk and flour, grease the pan it is to be baked in, grate nutmeg over the mixture and bake it.
RICE FLOUR SPONGE CAKE.–
Made like sponge cake, except that you use three-quarters of a pound of rice flour, thirteen eggs, leaving out four whites, and add a little salt.
RICE FLOUR BLANC MANGE
Boil one quart of milk, season it as to your taste with sugar and rose water, take four table-spoonfuls of the rice flour, mix it very smooth with cold milk, add this to the other milk while it is boiling, stirring it well. Let all boil together about fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally, then pour it into molds and put it by to cool. This is a very favorite article for invalids.
RICE GRIDDLE CAKES
Boil one cup of whole rice quite soft in milk, and while hot stir in a little wheat flour or rice flour when cold, add two eggs and a little salt, bake in small thin cakes on the griddle.
In every case in making rice flour bread, cake or pudding, a well boiled pap should be first made of all the milk and water and half the flour, and allowed to get perfectly cold before the other ingredients are added. It forms a support for them, and prevents the flour from setting at the bottom, stir the whole a moment before it is set to cook.
HINTS FOR THE LADIES
Some of the more economical readers may be glad to have a little advice as how to freshen up a dress of which they have got tired, or which may be beginning to lose its beauty. Those which are soiled, or worn at the bottom may be made up so as to look very well at very small expense, and with little trouble. Thus, for a dress of fancy material, a band of alapaca between five and six inches in width will suffice to renew it. This band should be waved at the top, and piped with a thick blue or red piping. The sleeves must have a similar reverse, and a little Swiss body, trimmed also with a piping, will complete the costume. For taffetas dresses the band should be of the same material, but black, and finished off at the top in the same manner; or, if a more simple arrangement be preferred, it may be headed with two or three rows of narrow ribbon plated in the middle. A band might be replaced with two flounces, or pinked black taffetas; these will have a better effect if placed a little distance from another, and with a heading.
If it should happen that a skirt of taffetas requires widening, and all thought of matching the dress has been given up, the only resource left is to insert plain bands. If the dress be of a deep shade, we would advise that the bands be made of black taffetas not quite eight inches wide, and put in between each breadth; in this style the skirt will have no trimming at the bottom, unless it be a band of black taffetas in wide scollops or festoons, one scollop reaching just across the breadth of the taffetas from one black band to the next; this should be headed by a narrow ruche of ribbon, and a similar ruche placed up each black band up the skirt. In setting this dress on to the skirt, care should be taken to so arrange the plates that the black band may be folded under so as not to show at the waist. A Swiss sash should be added as a finish to the body, and plain turned-back cuffs. If the dress be a light-colored plain taffetas, the best arrangement will be to make the bands of the same color, but of a deeper shade, and the little ruche should be composed of narrow guipure instead of ribbon.–Le Follet.
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