Sunday, January 13, 2013

Household Advice?

Today, I thought I'd share some of the advice 
one can find in a community cookbook. 
Most of it is extremely helpful, 
but some of it is a little odd.

This information comes from the Loose Creek, Missouri community cookbook.
Loose Creek is a small unincorporated town in Osage County, Missouri 
and the place where my father's German ancestors settled in the early 1800s.

Let's start with the good ideas:
The Loose Creek cookbook says that tomatoes will stay fresh longer 
if they are stored stem side down.

photo courtesy of

And this one I just might try:
when baking fish, place it on a bed of onions, celery, or parsley
to prevent its sticking to the pan.

And this one, I actually have tried with great success.
In fact, I never use drain cleaner. Try this for a clogged drain:
Pour in a cup of baking soda, followed by a cup of vinegar.
Wait a few minutes and pour in a kettle of boiling water.
Voila! Clogged drain is easily opened without dangerous chemicals. 

As helpful as that advice is, there is some that really seems odd.
The first one that caused me to do a double take: 
the advice to put ground egg shells in with the coffee
"for a better flavor" of coffee.

And then there was the extended process for cleaning
"blood on the rug," which prompted a number of musings from me 
about just how the blood got on the rug 
and why it happens so much in Loose Creek 
that it merited inclusion in the cookbook.

Another odd piece of advice: cleaning window screens
by coating them with kerosene "on both sides."
I wonder how long before the kerosene smell dissipates
and how long the screens would remain flammable.

Here's a peculiar tip titled "Finding a gas leak."
Lather the pipes with soapy water. 
The escaping gas will cause the soapy water to bubble.
Make a temporary plug by moistening a cake of soap 
and pressing it over the spot.
When the soap hardens, 
it will effectively close the leak until the gasman comes.

Hardy pioneer stock, these folks are, and very self-sufficient.
Even so, I would suggest leaving the soap in the bathroom 
and just running out of the house until at a safe distance.

This final one made me laugh right out loud:

"For Bald-Headed People"
1/2 gallon of green persimmons,  mashed
1/2 tablespoon of salt
1/2 cup of alum
1 cup of flour
1/4 teaspoon of pepper

Mix contents in a big bowl. Smear 1/4 inch thick over scalp 
and wrap with damp towel. Leave wrapped for 36 hours--
during this time scalp will pucker up and draw the hairline
from side of head to top--renewing hair on top of head.

Seriously, I'm at a loss for words.

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