14 May 2012

Home Economy Excerpts
1830, 1833, 1834, 1849, 1852 & 1859


I took this is a picture of a kitchen at Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Easy and Safe Puke
Take two tea-spoons full of mustard from the mustard pot, or the seed, mix it with warm water,—and swallowed, instantly operates as an emetic; and is recommended in case of accidental or other internal poisoning.
—1830, Thomas’s

To Destroy Musquetoes
Take a few hot coals on a shovel or chafing dish and burn some brown sugar in your bedrooms and parlors, and you effectually destroy the musquetoe for the night. The experiment has been often tried by several of our citizens, and found to produce the desired effect.
[Maine Farmer's Almanac]
Charcoal Poultice
To half a pound of the common oatmeal cataplasm or poultice, add two ounces of fresh burnt charcoal, powdered and sifted. Mix the whole well together, apply it to foul ulcers or sores of any kind, and it will speedily remove the unhealthy appearance, and destroy the fetid smell. 
[Thomas’s Farmer's Almanac]
Daily Bathing
A distinguished writer upon health and longevity says, “Extend the same favor, daily, to your whole person, that you do to your face and hands. All you require is two to five quarts of cold water (and as much more as you please), and one or two towels; the whole operation need not occupy five minutes. When you can faithfully and fearlessly wash yourselves all over with cold water daily, you will have taken a vast step in the commencement of uninterrupted health.” 
[Thomas’s Farmer's Almanac]

Here's another view of the shaker kitchen at Hancock. Notice the pipe on the ceiling. The Shakers had plumbing. They also installed electricity when it became available. Hancock Shaker Village came into existence in 1960, when the Shaker population dwindled to only a couple of old ladies.

Good Yeast
Boil a handful of hops in 3 pints of water; add 3 mashed boiled potatoes; strain, and mix with a cupful of flour; set aside to cool, and then add a tea-spoonful of sugar, and bottle up for use. A more permanent ferment is made by boiling a quantity of wheat-bran and hops in water; the decoction is not long in fermenting, and when this has taken place, throw in a sufficient portion of bran to form the whole into a thick paste, which work into balls, and afterward dry by a slow heat. When wanted for use, they are broken, and boiling water is poured upon them; having stood a proper time, the fluid is decanted, and in a fit state for leavening bread. 
[Maine Farmer's Almanac]
Ox-Marrow Pomatum 
For the Hair
Melt four ounces of beef marrow, one ounce of yellow wax, and six ounces of lard; perfume, while cooling, with oil of bergamot or the essential oil of almonds.
[Leavitt’s Farmer's Almanac]

These rolling pins were at Hancock Shaker Village. I have never seen a double rolling pin like these before, and don't know the advantage that a double roller would have. I could have bought one in the village gift shop for $60 but, as much as I like the novelty, I don't really need a rolling pin.