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gravy pitcher

Adding whole meal flour helps to thicken sauces and gravies

Brown Gravy

Fry a chopped onion in a very little butter until a dark brown. (Do not  burn, or the flavour of the gravy will be spoilt.)

Drain off the fat and add 1/2 pint water.

Boil until the water is brown. Strain. Return to saucepan and add flavouring to taste.

A teaspoon of lemon juice and a tomato, skinned and cooked to pulp, are good additions. Or any vegetable stock may be used instead of the water.

If thick gravy be desired, mix a dessertspoonful wholemeal flour with a little cold water. Add the boiling stock to this. Return to
saucepan and boil for 3 minutes. Add a small piece of butter just before serving.

Another method: Add a little “browning” (see recipe) to any vegetable stock. Thicken. Read more »

Egg Cookery

Whisk the eggs lightly to a froth

Whisk the eggs lightly to a froth for an omelette


3 eggs, 1 tablespoon milk, 1/2 oz. fresh butter.

Beat up the eggs and add the milk. Melt the butter in a small stew-pan.
When hot, pour in the eggs and stir until they begin to set. Have ready
some buttered toast. Pile on eggs and serve.


1 egg, 2 medium tomatoes, butter.

Skin the tomatoes. Break into halves and put them, with a very small piece
of butter, into a small stew-pan. Close tightly, and cook slowly until
reduced to a pulp. Break the egg into a cup and slide gently on to the
tomato. Put on the stew-pan lid. The egg will poach in the steam arising
from the tomato.


Boil eggs for 20 minutes. Remove shells. Cut in halves and take out the
yolks. Well mash yolks with a very little fresh butter, melted, and curry
powder to taste. Stuff the whites with the mixture, join halves together,
and arrange in a dish of watercress.


Skin the tomatoes and cook to pulp as in the preceding recipe. Beat the
egg and stir it in to the hot tomato. Cook until just beginning to set.


Whisk the egg or eggs lightly to a froth. Put enough butter in the
frying-pan to just cover when melted. When this is hot, pour the eggs into
it, and stir gently with a wooden spoon until it begins to set. Fold over
and serve.


  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely-chopped parsley or mixed herbs
  • 1/2 a very small onion (finely minced)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh butter.

Put butter in the omelet pan. Beat the eggs to a fine froth, stir in the
milk and parsley, and pour into the hot pan. Stir quickly to prevent
sticking. As soon as it sets, fold over and serve.


Proceed as in recipe for Savoury Omelet, but substitute a dessertspoon
castor sugar for the onion and parsley. When set, put warm jam in the
middle. Fold over and serve.


2 eggs, 1 dessertspoon castor sugar, grated yellow part of rind of 1/2
lemon, butter.

Separate the yolks from the whites of the eggs. Beat the yolks and add
sugar and lemon. Whisk the whites to a stiff froth. Mix very gently with
the yolks. Pour into hot buttered pan. Fold over and serve when set. Put
jam in middle or not, as preferred.


Put the egg on in cold water. As soon as it boils take the saucepan off
the fire and stand on one side for 5 minutes. At the end of this time the
egg will be found to be very lightly, but thoroughly, cooked.

Potatoes are best mashed after steaming

Potatoes are best mashed after steaming

Scrub well and steam, either with or without peeling. If peeled, this
should be done very thinly, as the greater part of the valuable potash
salts lie just under the skin.


Moderate-sized potatoes take from 45 to 60 minutes. If peeled
before baking, cut in halves and put on a greased tin with a little
nut-fat or butter on each. Read more »

Too much sugar spoils the taste of the fruit in homemade jam

Too much sugar spoils the taste of the fruit in homemade jam

Jam simply consists of fresh fruit boiled with a half to two-thirds its
weight of white cane sugar until the mixture jellies.

Nearly every housekeeper has her own recipe for jam. One that I know of
uses a whole pound of sugar to a pound of fruit and boils it for nearly
two hours. The result is a very stiff, sweet jam, much more like shop jam
than home-made jam. Its only recommendation is that it will keep for an
unlimited time. Some recipes include water. But unless distilled water can
be procured, it is better not to dilute the fruit. Read more »

Curry Recipes

Curry is delicious served with plain white boiled rice

Curry is delicious served with plain white boiled rice


  • 3 ozs. coriander seed
  • 2-1/2 ozs. tumeric
  • 1 oz. black pepper
  • 1/2 oz. lesser cardamoms
  • 1/4 oz. cinnamon
  • 1/4 oz. cumin seed

Put the ingredients into a cool oven and let them remain there all night.
Next day pound them thoroughly in a marble mortar, and rub through a
sieve. Put the powder into a well-corked bottle.

A spice machine may be used instead of the mortar, but in that case the
tumeric should be obtained ready powdered, as it is so hard that it is apt
to break the machine.


  • 1 large onion
  • 1 dessertspoon curry powder
  • 1 oz. butter or nutter
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 dessertspoon tomato pulp
  • 1 teacup water.

Shred the onion, put it in the stew-pan with the butter, sprinkle the
curry powder over, and fry gently until quite brown. Shell the eggs and
cut them in halves. Add the eggs, the tomato pulp, and the water. Stir
well, and simmer until the liquid is reduced to one-half. This will take
about 15 minutes.

Serve with plain boiled unpolished rice.


Use the ingredients given, and proceed exactly the same as for egg curry.
But in place of eggs, take 1  cup of cold cooked German lentils
(see recipe for cooking lentils). Use also 2 teacups water in place of the
1, and only 3/4 oz. butter or nutter.


Use the ingredients given and proceed the same as for German lentil curry,
using any cold steamed vegetables in season. The best curry, according to
an Indian authority in cooking, is one made of potatoes, artichokes, carrots, pumpkin
and tomatoes. Read more »

Different thickness of soup, require different methods of preparation

Different thickness of soup, require different methods of preparation

Soups are of three kinds: clear soups, thick soups, and purées. A clear
soup is made by boiling fruit or vegetables (celery, for example) until
all the nourishment is extracted, and then straining off the clear liquid.
A little sago or macaroni is generally added and cooked in this.
When carrots and turnips are used, a few small pieces are cut into dice or
fancy shapes, cooked separately, and added to the strained soup. Thick
soups always include some farinaceous ingredients for thickening (flour,
pea-flour, potato, etc.). Purées are thick soups composed of any vegetable
or vegetables boiled and rubbed through a sieve. This is done, a little at
a time, with a wooden spoon. A little of the hot liquor is added to the
vegetable from time to time to assist it through. Read more »

Uncomplicated recipes for fresh unfermented breads
Uncomplicated recipes for fresh unfermented breads


  • 9 ozs. fine wholemeal
  • 1 egg
  • a bare 1/2 pint milk and water
  • butter size of walnut.

Put butter in a qr. qtn. tin (a small square-cornered tin price 6-1/2d. at
most ironmongers) and let it remain in hot oven until it boils. Well whisk
egg, and add to it the milk and water. Sift into this liquid the
wholemeal, stirring all the time. Pour this batter into the hot buttered
tin. Bake in a very hot oven for 50 minutes, then move to a cooler part
for another 50 minutes. When done, turn out and stand on end to cool.


  • 1-1/4 lb. fine wholemeal flour to 3/4 pint water

Put the meal into a basin, add the water gradually, and mix with a clean,
cool hand. (Bread, pastry, etc., mixed with a spoon, especially of metal,
will not be so light as that mixed with a light cool hand.) Knead lightly
for 20 minutes. (A little more flour may be required while kneading, as
some brands of meal do not absorb so much water as others, but do not add
more than is absolutely necessary to prevent the fingers sticking.) Put
the dough on to a floured board and divide into four round loaves. Prick
with a fork on top.

The colder the water used, the lighter the bread, and if the mixing be
done by an open window so much the better, for unfermented bread is
air-raised. Distilled or clean boiled rain-water makes the lightest bread.
But it should be poured backwards and forwards from one jug to another
several times, in order to aerate it.

Another method of mixing is the following:
Put the water into the basin
first and stir the meal quickly into it with a spatula or wooden spoon.
When it gets too stiff to be stirred, add the rest of the meal. Knead for
two minutes, and shape into loaves as above.

Bake on the bare oven shelf, floored. If possible have a few
holes bored in the shelf. This is not absolutely necessary, but any tinker
or ironmonger will perforate your shelf for a few pence. Better still are
wire shelves, like sieves. (This does not apply to gas ovens.)

Start with a hot oven, but not too hot. To test, sprinkle a teaspoonful of
flour in a patty pan, and put in the oven for five minutes. At the end of
that time, if the flour is a light golden-brown colour, the oven is right.
Now put in the bread and keep the heat of the oven well up for half an
hour. At the end of this time turn the loaves. Now bake for another hour,
but do not make up the fire again. Let the oven get slightly cooler. The
same result may perhaps be obtained by moving to a cooler shelf. It all
depends on the oven. But always start with a hot oven, and after the first
half hour let the oven get cooler.

Always remember, that the larger the loaves the slower must be the baking,
otherwise they will be overdone on the outside and underdone in the middle.

Do not open the oven door oftener than absolutely necessary.

If a gas oven is used the bread must be baked on a baking sheet placed on
a sand tin. A sand tin is the ordinary square or oblong baking tin,
generally supplied with gas stoves, filled with silver sand. A baking
sheet is simply a piece of sheet-iron, a size smaller than the oven
shelves, so that the heat may pass up and round it. Any ironmonger will
cut one to size for a few pence. Do not forget to place a vessel of water
(hot) in the bottom of the oven. This is always necessary in a gas oven
when baking bread, cakes or pastry.

It must not be forgotten that ovens are like children they need
understanding. The temperature of the kitchen and the oven’s nearness to a
window or door will often make a difference of five or ten minutes in the
time needed for baking. One gas oven that I knew never baked well in
winter unless a screen was put before it to keep away draughts!

If you desire to get your bread more quickly it is only a question
of making smaller loaves. Little rolls may be cut out with a large egg-cup
or small pastry cutter, and these take any time from twenty minutes to
half an hour.

Put into a basin a pint of cold water, and beat it for a few minutes in
order to aerate it as much as possible. Stir gently, but quickly, into
this as much fine wholemeal as will make a batter the consistency of thick
cream. It should just drop off the spoon. Drop this batter into very hot
greased gem pans. Bake for half an hour in a hot oven. When done, stand on
end to cool. They may appear to be a little hard on first taking out of
the oven, but when cool they should be soft, light and spongy. When
properly made, the uninitiated generally refuse to believe that they do
not contain eggs or baking-powder.

There are proper gem pans, made of cast iron (from 1s.) for baking this
bread, and the best results are obtained by using them. But with a
favourable oven I have got pretty good results from the ordinary
baking-tins with depressions, the kind used for baking small cakes. But
these are a thinner make and apt to produce a tough crust.

This bread has a very sweet taste. It is made by stirring boiling water
into any quantity of meal required, sufficient to form a stiff paste. Then
take out of the basin on to a board and knead quickly with as much more
flour as is needed to make it workable. Cut it into small rolls with a
large egg-cup or small vegetable cutter. The quicker this is done the
better, in order to retain the heat of the water. Bake from 20 to 30

Mix medium oatmeal to a stiff paste with cold water. Add enough fine
oatmeal to make a dough. Roll out very thinly. Bake in sheets, or cut into
biscuits with a tumbler or biscuit cutter. Bake on the bare oven shelf,
sprinkled with fine oatmeal, until a very pale brown. Flour may be used in
place of the fine oatmeal, as the latter often has a bitter taste that
many people object to. The cause of this bitterness is staleness, but it
is not so noticeable in the coarse or medium oatmeal. Freshly ground
oatmeal is quite sweet.


  • 1 lb. fine wholemeal
  • 6 oz. raisins
  • 2 oz. Mapleton’s nutter
  • water.

Well wash the raisins, but do not stone them or the loaf will be heavy. If
the stones are disliked, seedless raisins, or even sultanas, may be used,
but the large raisins give rather better results. Rub the nutter into the
flour, add the raisins, which should be well dried after washing, and mix
with enough water to form a dough which almost, but not quite drops from
the spoon. Put into a greased tin, which should be very hot, and bake in a
hot oven at first. At the end of twenty minutes to half an hour the loaf
should be slightly browned. Then move to a cooler shelf, and bake until
done. Test with a knife as for ordinary cakes.

For this loaf a small, deep, square-cornered tin is required (price
6-1/2d.), the same as for the egg loaf. 3 ozs. fresh dairy butter may be
used in place of the 2 ozs. nutter.

Into 1 lb. wholemeal flour rub 4 ozs. nutter or 5 ozs. butter. Mix to a
stiff dough with cold water. Knead lightly but well. Shape into small buns
about 1 inch thick. Bake for an hour in a moderate oven.


This salve heals all sores, chaps, cuts, bruises, sore lips, chafed limbs, roughness, etc. It is invaluable as a healing ointment and may be applied to the tenderest skin without injury, and yet it will heal the most painful sores. Read more »

The begonia rex makes a beautiful parlor plant. Five or seven leaves make a nice-sized plant: Select five or seven healthy begonia leaves of different sizes, as no two leaves of the rex are of one size on the same plant. Cut the leaves closely off the stem and immerse them in a solution of cold water and castile soap.

Leave them in this twelve hours before using. Melt the wax to the consistency of cream, in chrome green, permanent green, dark olive-green, and verdigris-green. Now take a leaf out of the soapsuds and lay it on a marble slab, keeping the under surface or veined side uppermost; then with a camel’s-hair brush lay on the melted wax in different shades, following the shades of the natural leaf.

The soapsuds having made the leaf transparent, all the [195]shades and spots can be plainly seen on the veined side, which is the side the waxen leaf has to be formed on. The belt of light green over the silvery markings of the leaf should be put on with verdigris-green. Begin the leaf in the center and continue on each side of the midrib till the edge is reached and the leaf has a thick coating of wax. Then lay a wire along the midrib or center of the leaf, fasten it in the wax by pressing, care being taken to leave it long enough for eight or nine inches of stem.

Wire must also be laid on all the side ribs or veins leading to the midrib. These small wires are all brought to the center wire and laid evenly by its side till they all come to the stem, where they are all twisted around it to form one long, thick stem. Give the leaf another coating of dark olive-green wax (this covers the wires), then finish with a thin coating of burnt umber tinted with Vandyke brown, and the under surface of the leaf is finished. Remove the natural leaf from the waxen and tint the veins lightly with carmine. Brush a little carmine loosely on the darkest shade in the center of the leaf, and before it sticks blow off as much as possible, when enough will be left to give it that reddish-green tint peculiar to the begonia rex leaf.

The next is to finish the silver belt or silvery leaf-markings midway between the center and the edge of the leaf. This strip must be rubbed with spirits of turpentine; then with the tinting brush apply a coating of silver bronze (Nos. 4000 and 6000), care being taken that the bronze does not scatter over the leaf. Now the leaf is finished.

If the work is done according to directions, the waxen leaf will be a true copy of the original. Continue in the same way till all the leaves are made, then wax the stems and run them through the begonia stemming, when they may be arranged in their natural growing manner in a flowerpot filled with moss; or, if preferred, the flowerpot may be filled with wax, in terre-verte green, and the stems must be placed in it before the wax gets hard.

A homemade old fashioned but contemporary style of hanging baskets for plants made of round maple sticks about one inch in diameter, eight inches in length at the bottom, increasing to fourteen at the top.

In constructing, begin at the bottom and build up, log-cabin fashion; chink the openings with green moss and line the whole basket with the same.

These are easily kept moist, and the plants droop and twine over them very gracefully.

A good way to keep the earth moist in a hanging basket without the trouble of taking it down is to fill a bottle with water and put in two pieces of yarn, leaving one end outside.

Suspend the bottle just above the basket and allow the water to drip. This will keep the earth moist enough for winter and save a great deal of time and labor. Plant morning glory seeds in hanging baskets in winter; they grow rapidly and are very pretty.