Sunday, January 20, 2008

Housekeeping Made Uneasy

Today's household hints come from a cookbook written by Mrs. Frances Youngren, Director of Women's Programs at the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago (which is still around and has a website and everything). It is called More Food For the Body For the Soul and is a sequel to this.

There is a photo of her at the front of the book, looking very much like she is about to put a portion of delicious holly leaves on a lucky someone's plate. The tie-back curtains behind her have been tied back with fruits. Shouldn't this be the other way around, Mrs. Youngren?

But I don't really like to complain. She looks quite formidable. Determined. She knows you would rather eat some delicious holly.

There are not only recipes in here but household hints and some of them absolutely have floored me. For example:

No desk? A special wastebasket will hold all writing paper, ink, pencils. Even a box of stamps. I don't think this will work, because when I see a wastebasket I tend to throw stuff like old Kleenex in there. Not writing paper and stamps.

Don't miss a trip because of your houseplants. Leave them in the bathtub in about two inches of water. This maybe could work, if we didn't have cats who like to play in the bathtub and chew on things. But don't you also get the feeling that the plant owner in question is - sort of anthropomorphizing a little? It's just the feel of the sentence - like they won't LET you go away. You are in their power. The plants have hypnotized you. Maybe they are actually from another planet and trying to take over the world. They cannot allow you to leave. Their tendrils reach out as you try to sneak out with your suitcase and - but perhaps if you put them in the bathtub and lock the door -?

I have saved the best hint for last. I promise you this is an actual quotation from the book (as are all they all!) -

For an original wrapping: save the wishbones from chickens. Enamel in bright colors, tie on top of package.

OK, whoa there Mrs. Y. Let's back up the train. Number one, if it isn't for the occasional soup stock, I'm not saving chicken or any other bones. And aren't they kind of greasy to - enamel? And, um - what are you putting in the package, do tell? If it was me, and I saw that under the Christmas tree, or on my birthday, I wouldn't be opening that package, I'd be heading for the door.

No matter what the houseplants try to do to me.

[Image from Wikimedia Commons of some lovely Japanese gifts. Not a chicken bone in sight.]

1 comment:

Sarah said...

I just found your blog via Vintage Cookbooks (my friend's blog). Delightful! I also love the retro cookbooks.I can't wait to enamel some chicken bones for all my gift wrapping needs...