From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Friday, September 01, 2006

The White House Cookbook: How To Keep Well

History and Old Stuff...



A century ago, the White House Cookbook by Mrs. F.L. Gillette and Hugo Ziemann could be ordered by mail from the Sears and Roebuck Catalog. Many homemakers relied on it for trustworthy home remedies, as well as good recipes. The following health tips are from the 1899 edition.


HOW TO KEEP WELL
Don't sleep in a draught.
Don't go to bed with cold feet.
Don't stand over hot air registers.
Don't eat what you do not need, just to save it.
Don't sleep in a room without ventilation of some kind.
Don't stuff a cold lest you should be next obliged to starve a fever.
Don't sit in a damp or chilly room without a fire.
Don't try to get along without flannel underclothing in winter.


RELIEF FROM ASTHMA
Sufferers from asthma should get a muskrat skin & wear it over their lungs with the fur side next to the body. It will bring certain relief.



RECIPE FOR FELONS*
Take common rock salt, as used for salting down pork or beef, dry in an oven, then pound it fine & mix with spirits of turpentine in equal parts; put it in a rag, wrap it around the parts affected; as it gets dry put on more, and in twenty four hours you are cured. The felon will be dead.

* According to Webster's Dictionary, a felon is an "acute and painful inflamation of the tissues of a finger or toe, usually near the nail."



TO REMOVE WARTS
Wash with water staurated with common washing soda, and let it dry without wiping; repeat frequently until they disappear, or pass a pin through the wart and hold one end of it over the flame of a candle or lamp until the wart fires by the heat, and it will disappear.



COUGH SYRUP
Take a half pound of dry hoarhound herbs, one pod of red pepper, four tablespoons of ginger, boil all in three quarts of water, then strain, add one teaspoon of good, fresh tar and a pound of sugar. Boil slowly and stir often, until it is reduced to one quart of syrup. When cool, bottle for use. Take one or two teaspoons 4 to 6 times a day.


The 1887 version of the White House Cookbook is available as a free download on Project Gutenberg. This version, the first edition by Mrs. Gillette, contained some photographs and illustrations of First Ladies, but in later editions, the cookbook was co-authored by Hugo Ziemann who had been the White House steward under Grover Cleveland.

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Related:
A Recipe for KTOO-FM -- a pleasant read about the pound cake recipe in the White House Cookbook.

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2 comments:

heelers said...

The cure for felons might attract the censure of the Civil Liberties groups...
James

Genevieve said...

I kind of liked it. ;)

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.