Facing a Stubborn Fact

This is the second article in October of the School for Housewives 1909 series published on October 10, 1909, and is the first article in a series on economy.

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of the The Buffalo Sunday Morning News.

Facing a Stubborn Fact

This is the first of a series of articles by Marion Harland, the object of which is to aid housewives toward economy in the household during the present reign of high prices for necessities.

The second article of the series, to be published next Sunday, will be entitled, “Economy in Buying.” The third and fourth, to be printed on following Sundays, will be entitled “Economy in Cooking” and “Economy in Hired Labor.” Correspondence on the general topic and suggestions along the lines of these articles will be welcomed by the editor of the page.

An able editorial in one of the leading papers announced some weeks ago:

“The stubborn fact that confronts every American is tat the era of waste has ended, and economy is henceforth not to be a voluntary method of accumulating wealth, but a daily necessity to escape pauperism.”

A hard saying, this, but the statistic by which our prophet sustains it are harder still.

“The mom ca’ed me a leear!” spluttered an Irate Scotchman to a friend.

“And ye didn’t knock him doon!” reported the other.

“Nae, nae, mon! The warst of it was that he proved it!”

The anecdote recurred to me as I finished reading the summary of stubborn facts. We have been shutting our eyes and ears to them for six years and more, saying to legislators, political orators and fearless press, ‘Prophesy until us smooth things.” When the price of flour climbed steadily from $5 a barrel up to $8, we cried but upon the authors of trusts and the manipulators of corners. As surely as it is recorded in Holy Writ that the wages of iniquity shall not prosper, so certainly, we argued, prices must come down with a run, bringing the violent dealings of trust factor and corner dealer upon his own pate. And pending a consummation so devoutly to be desired that we had full faith in its coming before we should ourselves feel the pinch of poverty, we went on buying the finest of the wheot and using it with as free a hand as when it was the cheapest.

I was waiting for my turn in the shop of a highly respectable meat merchant on day, when a woman who stood net the counter asked the price of spring lamb.

“Twenty-eight cents a pound,” was the answer.

“And three years ago you sold it to me for twenty!” ejaculated the customer. “I wonder where you butchers expect to go when you die after robbing us at this rate?

“We give ourselves little concern on that score, madam,” returned the man, respectfully. “We shall find friends in both places.”

I laughed, as did others who heard the repartee. But, as Bunyan hat it, “I fell amusing,” and when the shop was cleared of other customers, I fell into quiet, serious talk with the vendor of flesh-foods. Without calling his attention to the possibility that some of his fellow-creatures might precede him to some of the “places” of which he spoke with such philosophical composure, if prices kept on rising, I asked him plainly why it costs me 35 per cent more to feed my family than it did three years agone.

Waiting for the Drop.

“We were assured that prices must fall with renewed public confidence. Capitalists were afraid of Roosevelt’s strenuous measures. Nobody could tell what he would be about next. Wait until Taft or Bryan is safe in the White House and the seething caldron will settle into a great calm,” and so on through the thousand-and-one etceteras with which we have been quieted until the soothing syrups have lost their efficacy.

The man is intelligent, and he had begun to take the state of the market seriously before I awoke to the “stubborn facts” in the case.

He talked to me of the increased cost of breadstuffs and feed; of the consequent rise in butter and milk, and in cattle of all kinds; of the absolute necessity that farmlands and lay laborers in other departments should receive higher wages to keep the life in themselves and families.

“It’s like arrow of bricks—don’t you see, ma’am?” he wound up by saying. “If one goes down, the rest must tumble. Where is it all to end?” with a despairing shrug. “I’ve long ago given up guessing as to that!”

I thanked him, and (perhaps ungratefully) ordered a piece of beef for a pot roast instead of the spring lamb I had promised myself for Sunday’s dinner. Then I went home deep in thought, and sat down that evening for a second reading of the editorial I had scarcely glanced at a breakfast time.

Here is a lurid sidelight gained by the second perusal:

“A few weeks ago a New York newspaper reported that hundred of small butcher shops in the city have been closed simply because the increase from 2 to 5 cents a pound in the price of meat has put it altogether out of the reach of thousands of people.”

A significant and gruesome item of information succeeds the announcement:

“A Washington estimate was that the advance amounted to an increase of $1,600,000 in the daily receipts of the Beef Trust.”

A Question of Pride.

This very plain and familiar talk with my fellow-housemothers does not soar (or sink?) to the contemplation of the stupendous figure I quote at close connection with the paltry []e of 5 cents per pound in the poor man’s meat.

One phrase in the extract with which my Talk begins must rivet the attention of the least thoughtful reader who has natural pride in his native end:

“The Era of Waste has ended.”

We fell into the habit of regarding ourselves as a thrifty people so long [] that the imputation stings our self-love. Out of a wilderness we have created a paradise that challenges the admiration of the world. We are proud of our natural resources and vain of the genius and industry that have developed them. No need to put out the question to those who have studied the special and domestic economies of other countries. American prodigality abroad is a byword and a hissing among the nations. American extravagance at home is not confined to the rich by inheritance and by speculation. Nor, let me remark, to the shiftless poor.

In my Talk of last week I defined the term, “Our Great Middle Class.” The Era of Waste has prevailed with them as truly as with the rich who have more money than they know how to spend the the poverty-ridden who live from hand to mouth. Our national proverbs reflect this unflattering truth. We sneer at “Candle-end savers.” We aver that such and such a one would skin a flee for his hide and tallow.” The returned tourist relates, with scornful glee, how he saw an English “tripper” in Switzerland put the remnants of the candles, for which he had been charged in the bill, into his valise, with intent to save that item of cost at the next stopping place. It is certain that if the portable Holland housemother discerned possible profit in a flea’s yield of hide and tallow she could not conscientiously neglect the duty of flaying it.

I asked a farmer’s wife who had the sole care of the poultry yard, if she knew that potato parings, corn cobs—in fact, the refuse of all vegetables—if put into a great pot and cooked soft at the back of the stove, are excellent and fattening food for chickens. I was led to the suggestion be seeing her garbage pail, piled with parings, husks and “scraps,” emptied upon the manure heap.

She laughed in my face. I knew from accent and look that she despised me in her heart.

“More trouble than it’s worth!” she said, briefly. “I ain’t one to look after trash.”

Let us look at the situation squarely in the face. Business optimists ply us with yet another patent of soothing syrup in the prediction that “things will right themselves as soon as this tariff question is settled.”

Perhaps they are right. I am not a political seer. I do know, as a common-sense woman who is in touch with tens of thousands of other women from Nova Scotia to California, that there is a big deficit to be made up before the return wave of prosperity can refresh our households. I speak that which I do know in asserting that the rainy-day fund in hundreds (maybe thousands) of homes was never so low before as now. The shrunken savings-bank account must be drought up to something like the proportions that rejoiced the deposer’s heart prior to the “hard times.” The wind that has blown straight and hot from the desert all these weary months may shift to a quarter promising beneficent showers. But we have the ravages of the drought to repair. And some of us do not forget that the winds that inflate business interests generally are slow in reaching salaries. To change the figure and adapt my meaning to housewifely compression—the brand of yeast that raises trusts and “big” concerns is not available for domestic use.

Briefly, then, it will be a long time before we can hope to rise from the universal depression succeeding the stringent “times” under which we have staggered until we have almost forgotten how to walk upright. She is a wise and prudent woman who accepts “the stubborn fact” and sets about the work of reconstruction without delay.

It is the little leaks in the household that tell upon the stability of the whole. And nobody but a woman can detect and stop them. If your grocer’s bills are too heavy, examine the items closely and see what swells them out of proportion to your allowance. It will be a disheartening task. For you are using no more butter than you thought necessary for the family two years back. You curtailed the quantity of cake made weekly some months ago. But the bills for the ingredients are half as large again as when the children had all the sweets they wanted. And so on and so forth, to the sum total that sickens you, heard and body.

Remedy Lies Ahead.

“We have all been there,” my toiling discouraged sisters! “In point of fact,” as Cousin Feenix says, we are there now, and wading more heavily in the slough of despond than ever before in our housewifely experience. Whether or not the firm land of promise be within hail, our present duty is plain. Each of us owes it to herself, to her family and to her country to learn and practice economies that make for thrift and prosperity in older lands than ours.

One and all, you will bear me witness that I am not an alarmist. But I have watched with growing uneasiness the development of agencies which have brought us up against the reef our sensible editor has lettered “A Stubborn Fact.” And I would not prove myself the true friend I am in heart to every member of our mighty guild if I did not speak out at this crisis.

Let us gird up the loins of our minds and spirits and reason together as to the course to be taken in the grave emergency that is not without terrors to any one of us.

In our next Talk we will discuss practical, everyday ways and means by which we may relegate the era of waste to a past we have out grown.

Marion Harland

OTHER ARTICLES ALSO PUBLISHED…
Family Meals for a Week
Fashion and Fads
The Housemothers’ Exchange

Today in the Dauphin Herald – October 9, 1919

Fork River

Miss Millidge, organizer of the Women’s Auxiliary of the Anglican Church, was a visitor for a few days with Mrs. W. King.
Mrs. Vinning and daughter, of Winnipeg, have returned home after spending a week with Mrs. J. Reid.
T.N. Briggs has invested in an oil pull tractor. This power will turn over the land more rapidly. It’s more speed that counts these times.
Bert Little has taken a trip to Chicago. Fred Tilt is in charge of the store during his absence.
The Cypress River paper, in a recent issue contains the following item:
“Mr. and Mrs. N. Little both old time residents of Cypress River and town this week. They left home in May for an overseas tour, and visited the battlefields of France and Belgium, securing many photos of great interest. They sailed to New York on a French boat and went from there to Toronto near which city Mr. Little purchased a new model 1920 McLaughlin 6 cylinder car and motored to Cypress. They are now on their way home. The same cherry Nat as of old looking as young as ever.”

Fork River Fair Prize Winners

The following is a list of the prizes awarded at the Fork River fair, held on the 26th ult.:
HORSES.
Draft stallion, A. Rudkanvitch. Pair draft mares or geldings, P. Toperasky. Draft filly or gelding, Fred King. Pair agricultural, mares or geldings, Fred King; J. Bodnarchuk 2nd. Brood mare, J. Bodnarchuk. Agricultural, 2-year-old, mare or gelding, M. Bayko; T.B. Venables, 2nd. One-year-old, mare or gelding, Chas. Pereski. Foal, John Bodnarchuk. T.B. Venables’ special, foal by Baron Regal, W. Williams. Pair of drivers, D.F. Wilson and Sons.
Beef cattle (pure-bred), bull over 1 year, 1 and 2, D.F. Wilson and Sons.
T.B. Venables took first prize for cow 3 years and over, 2 year-old heifer, bull calf, and heifer calf.
Grade cattle (beef type), heifer, 1 year old, S. Narvasod; W. Williams 2.
Dairy cattle (pure-bred), bull, 1 year old and over, F.F. Hafenbrak. Grade dairy cattle, cow 3 years old, 1 and 2, D.F. Wilson and Sons.
Fat cattle, yearling steer, W. Williams.
Sheep—Ram, 1 year and over, D.F. Wilson and Sons; T.B. Venables 2nd. Pair of ewes D.F. Wilson and Sons; T.B. Venables 2nd. D.F. Wilson and Sons took first and 2nd prizes for pair shearling ewes, pair ewe lambs and pair fat sheep. Ram, any age, P. Soloman.
Pigs, bacon types—Boar under 1 year, D.F. Wilson and Sons. Sow, under 1 year, D.F. Wilson and Sons, 1st and 2nd. Pair pigs, under 6 months, F.F. Hafenbrak. Lard type—Boar under 1 year, F.F. Hafenbrak. Pair pigs, under 6 months, F.H. Richardson; F.F. Hafenbrak, pair pigs by boar Gladstone, J.H. Richardson.

POULTRY
Wyandottes, white. D.F. Wilson, jr. Buff, 1st and 2nd, D.F. Wilson, sr. Plymouth Rocks, barred, W. King. White, W. King. Leghorns, white, F.H. Benner. Brown, T.B. Venables. Rhode Island Reds, F.F. Hafenbrak. Any other variety, W. King; 2nd, S. Narvasod. Pair spring chickens, any variety, D.F. Wilson, jr; 2nd, W. King. Pair geese, D.F. Wilson; 2nd, T.B. Venables. Pair ducks, S. Narvasod; 2nd, M.A. Munroe. Best collection of poultry, W. King.

DOMESTIC AND DAIRYY PRODUCE.
Homemade bread, Mrs. Pruden; 2nd Mrs. Rawson. Twelve buns, Mrs. A. Rowe. Homemade pickles, Mrs. Rawson; 2nd, Mrs. F.F. Hafenbrak. Collection of preserved and canned fruit, Mrs. Brunsden; 2nd, Mrs. King. 5lbs butter, Mrs. Shiels; 2nd, Mrs. King. Home cured bacon, D.F. Wilson; home cured ham, D.F. Wilson.

GARDEN PRODUCE.
Potatoes, white, G.H. Tilt; 2nd F.H. Benner. Colored, W.H. Johnson; 2nd, T.B. Venables. Turnips, P. Solomon; 3rd W. King. Carrots, D.F. Wilson and Sons. Beets, D.F. Wilson and Sons; 2nd G.H. Tilt. Mangels, T.B. Venables; 2nd, N.H. Johnston, Cabbage, R. Senieuk; 2nd G.H. Tilt; Cauliflowers, Charles Pereski; 2nd, G.H. Tilt. Pumpkins or squash, F.F. Hafenbrak; 2nd W. King. Cucmbers, W. King; 2nd, R. Senieuk. Corn, D.F. Wilson and Sons; 2nd W. King. Tomatoes, F.F. Hafenbrak; 2nd W. King. Parsnips, D.F. Wilson and Sons. Celery, D.F. Wilson and Sons; 2nd G.H. Tilt. Onions, G.H. Tilt. Rhubarb, D.F. Wilson and Sons. Lettuce, S. Narvasod. Beans, T.B. Venables 2nd W. King. Peas, W. King.
Grain and Grana—Sheaf of barley—H. Harrineuk; 2 nd J. Smiduke. Sheaf of oats, L.V. Hafenbrak. Sheaf of rye, F.H. Bennes. Sheaf of flax. H. Herrineuk.

LADIES’ WORK.
Tray cloth, Mrs. Rowe; 2nd Mrs. Eales. Tea cosy, Mrs. McEcheran; 2nd, Ms. A. Rowe. Table centre, Mrs. McEcheran; 2nd Miss K.E. Briggs. Table mats, Miss S. Briggs; 2nd, Mrs. A. Rowe. Eyelet embroidery, Mrs. A. Rowe; 2nd Miss K. E. Briggs. Punch work, Mrs. A. Rowe. Handmade pillow cases, Miss S. Briggs. Homemade towels, Miss S. Briggs. Handmade bedspread, Miss K.E. Briggs. Homemade ladies’ underwear, Miss K. Briggs. Homemade corset cover, Mrs. Pruden; 2nd Miss S. Briggs. Sofa cushion, Miss K.E. Briggs; 2nd Miss S. Briggs. Fancy workbag, Miss K.E. Briggs; 2nd Miss S. Briggs. Knitted stockings, Mrs. Venables; 2nd Miss Lacey.

The baby show brought out 12 entries, Mrs. A. Rowe taking first honors and Mrs. Garnet Lacey second.

Winnipegosis

The Anglican church held a successful entertainment at the Rex hall last week. The programme consisted of a whist drive, musical entertainment and a tombola. Mrs. Paddock won the lady’s prize at whist and Mr. T. Johnason the gentleman’s. Miss E McArthur and Mr. J Campbell’s songs were especially good. Mrs. Campbell’s playing of the violin was greatly applauded. A large crowd was present and the church netted $125. After paying the church debts there is a balance of $75.00 left, which will form a nucleus for a building fund.
The fishermen have pulled up their nets a few days ago on account of the fish being dropped in price. The men subsequently promised that the price would be raised and returned to work and the companies obtained a week’s extension of the fishing period from the Government.
An epidemic of broken legs and arms is going around. Three children and an adult have met with such accidents in the past month.
Hechter Bros. have sold their store to M. Popenski.

The Sunday Night Tea

This is the first article in October of the School for Housewives 1909 series published on October 3, 1909, and is an article on Sunday night dinner and families having to do without their maid-of-all-work.

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of the The Buffalo Sunday Morning News.

The Sunday Night Tea

THE Sunday night tea is a memorial feast.

I have said that in effect before, and I repeat it now with emphasis. It is a standing and visible token of the respect paid by the great middle class of America to the wishes and privileges of the hired girl. That is what we called her in the day when the Sunday night supper was instituted for her express benefit. She is a “maid” now, and there are three where there was then one. But the institution stand sure and fast.

Let me guard that phrase—“the great middle class.” It has not the invidious meaning on this side of the water attached to it as in England. It signifies the backbone, the thews and red blood of the nation. The men who are hewing out their own fortunes; the women who are building and keeping homes; the architects of the best future of our land—make up the ranks. To come to practical details, I include in the term families of moderate means, in which regard for education of children is a duty; in which the expediency of laying aside a “Rainy day fund” for those who have no inherited wealth is a judicious economy. These are the households where the maid-of-all-work (a species that is growing rarer and dearer with every passing year) represents hired labor, the rest of the work falling upon the mother and her daughters; or, where the family is larger and the income justifies, there may be two maids.

Her Own Way.

Be her nationality what it may, the maid must have her Sunday afternoon or evening “out” or “off.” I append that last monosyllable advisedly. I know of more than one household in which the “hired help” sometimes elects to remain within-doors on Sunday evening or afternoon, when the weather is bad—or she is not feeling “quite fit.” She takes her half day off, all the same. Sometimes she retires to her bedroom and sleeps or lazes away the rest hours. I have seen one, at least, who dressed in her Sunday best and sat with a book in the orderly kitchen while her reputed mistress got up the evening meal, the maid never lifting her eyes from the book or paper on the table before her. When the china and glass were out of the way—washed and wiped by the employer—the real sovereign of the small realm was ready to receive “company.” If the fragrance of tea and toast ascended to the drawing rom later, blended with the cackle of Milesian mirth, the (alleged) mistress was conveniently deaf. “Norah is a treasure—neat, industrious, a good cook, honest and willing. And it is not easy to get a really general housemaid nowadays.”

So much for the reasons that have bound the Sunday night tea upon us as irrevocably as custom and tradition have decreed the Fourth-of-July fireworks.

Some blessedly optimistic housemothers assure us that they “rather like it. It is a relief from the hot dinner or supper to which we must sit down six evenings in the week.” Now and then one adds that “John and the boys enjoy it. It is fun to have me cook for them. And they like the unceremoniousness of it all.”

Personally (and I suspect if others were as frank I should hear many an “Amen!”) I look forward to the cold or semi-cold supper of the first day of the week with decided disfavor. It is right and humane and Christian that it should hold a place among our national institutions, and I make the best of it. That “best” is contriving that some especial delicacy shall invariably grace the board, and that there shall as invariably be one hot dish. The English call it a “cover,” signifying that there is heat to be kept in.

For a term of years, thanks to my self-freezing process, ice cream was the children’s Sunday night treat. We still have it in hot weather when the grandchildren visit us. Salads are the regulation dish, and of these there is endless variety. If the piece de resistance be cold meat, it is made as unlike as possible to the pallid chips and chunks and slabs that usually pass under that name. Pressed or moulded or jellied into comeliness, and garnished tastefully, it graces the foot of the board appetizingly to eye as to palate. Baked cream toast is a frequent and welcome visitor; likewise baked Welsh rabbit. “The boys” like both.

The chafing dish in the hands of an expert does wonders to alleviate the chill and cheerlessness of our First-day night supper. Among the almost countless delicacies the elder daughter or the mother may prepare before the gloating eyes of those who are as hungry on Sunday evening as one weekdays, I name as popular and “comforting” to the inner man Spanish eggs, olla podrida omelet, creamed oysters, shrimps and eggs, panned oysters, broiled mushrooms, cream cheese, golden buck, corm omelet and creamed fish.

I could fill the page with the titles of other dishes suitable for the memorial feast. Recipes for a few of these I have named will be found below. Tea and coffee *hot) are made on the table; likewise cocoa, iced tea and coffee are kept in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve them.

A Sunday Night Frolic.

If there be but one maid in the household, and she be “off,” the waiting is done by members of the family. One wise mother has trained her boys, lads of 10 and 12, to wait quickly and dexterously on Sunday night.

They make a genuine frolic of it, and vie with one another in the display of their skill. The plates are changed noiselessly by the little mock footmen, each girded with a white napkin while on duty. They are as grave as the primmest of English butlers, and play the part to perfection. The smallest children may be taught.

Another mother has three young daughters, who take turns in serving and waiting, while even the smaller children help. The office may be made graceful. Perfect breeding preserves the most lowly service from any touch of vulgarity. No household duty is in itself menial.

Spanish Eggs.

Heat a great spoonful of butter in the blazer of the chafing dish or in the frying pan. Have at hand a cupful of tomatoes, peeled and cut up small, or a can of tomatoes, drained from the liquor; four green sweet peppers that have been seeded, parboiled, cooled and minced fine, and eight eggs. When the butter hisses put in the tomatoes and stir briskly together with the minced peppers. When they have cooked three or four minutes break in the eggs, stirring all the time. Season to taste, adding a teaspoonful of onion juice, and as soon as the eggs are done serve.

Olla Podrida Omelet, Another Spanish Dish.

Make a roux of a great spoonful of butter and the same of browned flour by stirring them together in a frying pan. When the mixture bubbles add a cupful of tomatoes, peeled and cut small; a half cupful of mushrooms cut fine, three tablespoonfuls of minced tongue or chicken or veal (cooked and cold) and a teaspoonful of finely chopped red onion. Sit to a smoking mass—about six minutes will do—and break in six eggs. Stir constantly, tossing up the “podrida” to incorporate the ingredients well, seasoning with kitchen bouquet, white pepper and salt to taste. When the eggs thicken serve upon rounds of toast.

Shrimps and Eggs.

Prepare a roux as in the last recipe. When it hisses and heaves all over the surface stir in three sweet green peppers, seeded, parboiled and minced fine, together with a teaspoonful of onion juice. Cook three minutes before stirring in a can of shrimps from which you have drained all the liquor. Wash the shrimps and cut each in half before cooking. Simmer four or five minutes and break into the pan six eggs. Sit until the eggs thicken to your liking and serve.

Cheese Golden Buck.

Rub a cream cheese to a soft paste with warmed butter; season with salt, a little French mustard and a dash of cayenne. Set over the fire in a double boiler and stir until hot all through. Beat three eggs without separating yolks and whites, and stir and toss into the cheese. Have at hand rounds of buttered toast and spread the “buck” upon them.

Green Corn Omelet.

Grate or shave the grains from six ears of cold boiled corn. Have in a saucepan a tablespoonful of butter, heated. Put the corn into this and set in boiling water, tossing it until very hot. Leave the saucepan in the water while you make an omelet of six eggs and three tablespoonfuls of cream. Dish; season the corn with salt and pepper, and when the omelet is dished lay the corn upon it and fold the omelet over the inclosed vegetable.

Marion Harland

OTHER ARTICLES ALSO PUBLISHED…
Family Meals for a Week
The Housemothers’ Exchange

Today in the Dauphin Herald – October 2, 1919

G.W.V.A. Notes

The regular meeting of the above association was held on Sept. 25th. Only a small turnout was registered, this without a doubt being due to the fact that the majority were busy threshing, still, all the same, there could and should have been more and the comrades are earnestly asked to remember the meeting on October 9th. A full attendance is desired and, in fact, must be had, and all are asked to make a special effort to attend. Matters of great importance to the association will be dealt with and it is the desire of the executive that a representative meeting give its ruling on these matters.
On the 14th inst. the second entertainment arranged by the Veterans will be placed on at the town hall, viz., The Victorian Serenaders. There will be a dance after the same as the previous show an the co operation of all to secure a good house is asked. Little need be said as to the merits of the company as same is well known to the majority, but it will fully maintain the reputation established by the Castle Squares and good value for money is assured.
We would draw the attention of the reader to the special appeal from the G.W.V.A. in this edition of the paper and ask that they give the proposition their support. This will be the first time that a general appeal has been made in this district by the returned men and we are confident that we shall not ask in vain, but that the public will respond in the same spirit as the men did in the past four years.
Comrades, keep the 9th October in your “bean” and attend the meeting that night.

Presented With Meerschaum Pipe

The employees of the town met at the hall on Wendesday afternoon and presented ex-Chief Bridle with an address and valuable meerschaum pipe. Mr. Bridle and family left on the early morning train for British Columbia.

Women Killed by Tree

A sad fatality occurred last Friday during the heavy windstorm. Mrs. Wm. Lesiuk, of Venlaw, was out in the garden digging potatoes for the mid-day meal when she was struck on the head by a falling tree. A limb of the tree pierced the unfortunate woman’s skull and penetrated the brain. She leaves a family of several small children – Gilbert Plains Maple Leaf.

Fork River

The postponed Fork River fair was held on the 26th. Owing to rain the night before some of the farmers in the outlying districts did not exhibit as had been their intention. The exhibits in all classes were exceptionally good; the garden truck, I am told by those who were at both fairs, was even better than Dauphin. Taken all around Fork River did will and with the experience gained next year should be a top notcher.
The Boys’ and Girls’ Club held their fair the same day and the showing made by them was a credit to the children and their teachers.
A great deal of trouble is caused by the young people on the district in tricks played with the property of residents of the town. Unless this is stopped some of the younger generation may find themselves up before the local J.P. Boys will be boys, but the destruction of property is carrying fun too far. Placing a hayrack on the road, and piling barrels and boxes in the way of the automobiles is a pastime that may prove costly for the offenders.
Victory Loan Campaign starts Oct. 27th. This will give those who are applying for their naturalization papers a chance to show just how patriotic they are, and we are waiting to see how much they will put into victory bonds. Everybody should subscribe for some and help reconstruction.
I read with interest “Well Wisher’s” letter in last week’s Herald and think it well worthy of the thought and action of those having the welfare of the boys and girls of the district at heart.
Mrs. Jerry Frost and family have returned to Southern Manitoba, after having spent a month with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. D.F. Wilson.
The dance in the hall on fair night proved a success. Let us dance while we are young, as the time will come when we can’t.
Prof. Williamson and family have arrived from Southern Manitoba to take up their residence. The professor will teach music.
The Jewish New Year service was held on Thursday and Friday. Quite a number attended from Winnipegosis, Sifton and other points.
Mrs. McQuay and children were visitors at the home of Mrs. Fred. Cooper during the fair.
Mrs. Vining and G. Stuart, of Winnipeg, are visiting Mrs. Rice, who is on the sick list.

Zelana

Fork River, Sept. 23rd.
My last letter spoke of some nice weather for threshing. Perhaps I spoke too soon for there seems to have been very little nice weather since for threshing. But according to the old saying “It is an ill wind that blows nobody good,” so if people could not thresh then at least some of them can plow. A few around here have quite a bit turned over ready for next spring. If the fields could be sown now, there would surely be enough moisture to promote growth. In fact grain is sprouting in the stooks and in some of the stacks.
After threshing for Peter Drainiak on Saturday, Gaseyna’s machine was moved to their own place just before another rain. We understood that John Pokotylo’s machine held up at Mr. Chraighill’s by the bad weather. The threshing outfit owned by Messrs. Bugutsky, Miskae and Lyluk had not been out at all this season.
Last Friday Mrs. Paul Lyluk had the misfortune to run a pitchfork into her foot. Our teacher, who has taken a course in “First Aid”, dressed the wound.
Jim Phillips lost a valuable cow recently from blackleg it is supposed. A number of animals have died around here from the same cause.

Whose Duty Is It? Mother’s or Daughter’s

This is the forth article in September of the School for Housewives 1909 series published on September 26, 1909, and is an article on the importance of teaching daughters how to be housewives before they are married.

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of the The Buffalo Sunday Morning News.

Whose Duty Is It? Mother’s or Daughters

FIVE years ago the question was asked in my hearing concerning a girl graduate: “What will she do with herself now?”

She was the only single daughter in the family. Three older sisters had married and gone to homes of their own. The mother is not strong, and the father, although not rich, makes a comfortable living for house household. They keep but one servant—a maid-of-all-work—and much of the dining room and the upstairs works falls upon the mistress of the modest establishment on washing and ironing days.

With these facts in mind, I asked: “Why need she do anything except stay at home, take her share of the labors of the household and be a comfort and joy to her parents in their declining years?”

My companion looked at me with a sort of patronizing pity. “You can’t expect a lively, independent young girl, who is college-bred and full of ambitions of her own, to settle down in that humdrum fashion. The day for that kind of thing has gone by.”

“I held my peace even from good,” says the Psalmist of a season when silence seemed to him to be “golden.”

Ignorance—Not Bliss.

In humble imitation, I refrained from speaking out what was in my mind that instant, assured as I was that what I would have said were the words of truth and soberness. But, like Paddy’s dumb parrot, I “kept up a moighty dale of thinking.” And when my mind and heart are very full, I have a habit of talking both out to my family.

To finish the story begun above: The young girl in question took an expensive course of tuition as a trained nurse in another city than in which her parents lived, and within three months after graduating married a resident of that place and set up housekeeping. I met her mother the other day in a shop. She is a great sufferer from rheumatism, and walks with pain and difficulty. But she had just returned from a visit to Clara,

“Who, poor child! is having a fearful time with housekeeping. She had no time to learn anything of it before her marriage, of course. No girl has, nowadays.”

One Among Many.

When I got home, oddly enough, I found awaiting me a letter from a friend whose niece married, last spring, a young doctor with whom she had become acquainted while taking her course in a training school for nurses. They were married the week after she received her diploma.

“I cannot help thinking it would have been wiser to postpone the wedding until Emma had an apprenticeship in her mother’s kitchen,” wrote my correspondent. “She is as ignorant as a baby of the rudiments of what a woman must know, unless she has abundant means and can employ trained servants. I foresee a grievous novitiate for the young bride. We—you and I—know what trials await her who sets up in business for herself before she has mastered the a b c of her trade.”

I read the letter to a youthful matron whose mother insisted upon putting her into training in active housewifery on Saturdays and in vacations while she was still a schoolgirl. In the year that elapsed between her graduation and her marriage the apprenticeship was steady and systematic.

“I used to gird at her rules sometimes,” commented the matron in harking back to her experience. “I bless her hourly for it now. My knowledge of practical housewifery saves hundreds of dollars yearly, to say nothing of sparing me time, nervous tissue and temper.”

“Among other duties that developed upon me during the last year of my novitiate was marketing. I set forth gayly the first day, with my memorandum in my pocket and a careless smile on my lips. It was the easiest matter in the world to walk into a shop and ask for what I had written down before leaving home. So I entered my butcher’s salesroom and ordered ‘a nice roast of corned beef.’ My mother was an old customer, and the butcher had seen me with her from the time I was a child. So he took the liberty of saying, with a kindly, amused smile: ‘Excuse me, Miss Blank, but corned beef is never roasted. Are you sure you don’t want fresh?’”

Multiplied Responsibility.

That was a minor mortification by comparison with the great fight of worries that are genuine afflictions which beset the woman who, to quote one of our speakers, sets up a business of which she is profoundly ignorant. It is not true, as some persons who should know better affirm, that “any girl with a fair outfit of common sense may learn practical housewifery, including cookery, as well after marriage as before.”

Setting aside other duties incumbent upon wifehood, the responsibility of providing what is to be cooked; of judicious selection of materials, consulting times and seasons; of preparing food that is wholesome, palatable and economical; of directing servants who ingeniously and invariably take advantage of an incompetent and inexperienced employer—I appeal to the great army of housewives with whom our familiar chats are held the year round whether or not I am right in declaring that our profession involves all this and so much more of intelligent effort as to demand long previous training before one stepped into the ranks of workers.

It is not a “trick” to be learned in a week or a month of a year. I, for one, have been laboring diligently at it for over half a century, and account myself still a learner.

Answering the question that heads our page, I say, then, without hesitation, that the mother who allows her daughter to grow up without a fair knowledge of practical housewifery is guilty of absolute cruelty to one whose need of the knowledge may be sore in days to come. I add that the girl who fails to appreciate the value of training in the profession that falls to the lot of seventy-five out of every hundred women in America is short-sighted and improvident. She is sowing for herself a crop of tare and bitter herbs.

Where there are several daughters, and the means of the family do not justify the employment of more than one or, at the most, two servants, the xxx to cook girl of a xxx xxx-tion of daily tasks makes the wheels of the machinery run smoothly.

Carry into your profession the systematic arrangement of work that prevails in your father’s factory or your brother’s office. As I say it, the memory recurs to me of one well-regulated home in the great and influential middle class of American social life in which this plan worked to a charm. The mother held the reins of government. No woman who is set at the head of her own household by her husband should ever resign the office unless hopelessly invalided. She is “called” to the place as truly as a queen to her sovereignty.

Rotation in Office.

As time made her subordinates expert, she did less manual labor, but her superintendence never relaxed in vigilance. One girl took charge of the kitchen for one month; the upstairs work devolved upon a second for the same time; a third, the dining-room, china, silver, etc. Rotation in office brought in orderly sequence each department into the hands of each girl during the quarter year. The only outside help brought into the house was a laundress and now and then a housecleaner.

It goes without saying that the house was beautifully kept from top to bottom. Intelligence and personal interest in the matter in hand insured that end. It may seem less credible to some readers that the machinery of daily toil was so cleverly concealed that, as one writer reported to me, “The house appeared to run itself. Mother and daughters were never slovenly in dress or fagged in appearance. Except that one of the girls arose quietly from table at meals to make needful changes in the courses, I should not have missed the services of a waitress. And how swiftly and noiselessly these changes were accomplished no one can imagine who has not seen a trained gentlewoman do housework. It was a fine art, through and through.”

It passes my comprehension—the cool indifference with which some daughters see their mothers toil in the treadmill where they have wrought for fifteen or thirty years while their families were growing into man’s and woman’s estate, carrying upon their shoulders accustomed burdens which their children, with pharisaic superciliousness, “will not lift with so much as one of their fingers.” “Only mother!” The life of many and many a girl is pitched to that key.

It was a refreshing contrast when, last week, I saw a pretty girl put her soft white arms around the withered neck of her mother, and press ripe red lips to the faded cheek, with—

“You know, mother is advanced to the dignity of consulting physicians now? Oh, I might say, lord high admiral. We make her sit still in state, and the tribes come up to her for judgment.”

I forgive the confusion of figures in consideration of the beautiful reverence to one who had earned the chief office. She is too feeble now for active duties, but her children arise and call her blessed for the work she has done.

Home-Making a Profession.

A serious editorial appeared in one of our leading dailies not long ago, headed, “Learning a Profession.” In it the course pursued by sensible parents with respect to preparing their sons for their lifework and their neglect of a similar duty to their daughters were strongly contrasted.

Even the “advanced” advocates of public careers for our sex cannot deny that, for the average woman, Providence has clearly indicated home as her sphere and home-making as her profession. And the school in which this is to be learned is, as unequivocally, her girlhood’s home under the loving tuition of her mother.

By the time the child can handle mop and duster her apprenticeship should begin. When she is of marriageable age she should have her profession so well in hand that the heart of her husband may safely trust in her as a true helpmeet. The calamities of the earlier years of the novice in housewifery would fill a library.

Were I to solicit a comparison of experience on this head from the members of our Exchange I should have no room for any other matter for a year to come.

Marion Harland

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Today in the Dauphin Herald – September 25, 1919

Dauphin Industry Checked

(From The Winnipeg Free Press.)
Some districts are dogged by misfortune. Here we have a proposal in the House of Commons to abolish hanging just as Dauphin was coming to the fore as a good place to grow help.

Farms Sold for Big Prizes

Frick brothers, from Illinois, purchased the Hambleton and Puchalski farms this week. Both are half sections and close to town. The price paid for the former was $30,500 and the latter $35,000.

Bicton Heath

Winnipegosis, Sept. 23.
Duncan Crerar has returned home from Winnipeg after interviewing Hon. Dr. Thornton in regard to our school affair.
The Coffey and Grenon farm here was sold the other day to two American farmers for the sum of $7000.
Mrs. Sharp is leaving soon for England. Her absence will be regretted sincerely by her numerous friends.
The second lawsuit between Cooper and Russell will be heard before J.P. Tilt, of Fork River, on the 24th inst.
The Grain Growers’ of this district will hold a meeting at the house of Jas. Laidlaw on Friday, Oct. 2nd. Members are requested to be present.
Thos. Toye has purchased from Jas. Costello, of Alberta, the famous Clydesdale stallion “Gay Lad.”
Pte. John Heywad, of Virden, has taken up land in this district and has brought in his stock. He is busy securing a supply of hay for the winter.
Vacant land in this district is nearly all being taken up by returned soldiers.
Capt. Wm. Slater, of the Salvation Army, has gone to Brandon. He has been holding meetings here at different points.
The weather of the past week has been unfavorable for haying and harvesting operations.
The municipal grader working between Winnipegosis and Fork River does not seem to be making as good progress as we would like, but, before offering criticism, we will bide our time.

Winnipegosis

The regular monthly meeting of the Women’s Institute was held in the Union church Friday evening, Sept. 10th. A goodly number of the members were present and the programme proved a very interesting one. Misses Ruth McCauley and Lottie Black gave a very pleasing duet. Miss Kathleen Dempsey delighted the audience with a recitation, Mrs. Houchin gave a splendid and well prepared paper on the subject, “Why Women Should be on the School Board.” Miss M. McMartin gave a talk, and illustrated the difficult subject, “Chilling of Childhood.” She explained in her usual intelligent manner what helps to make a beautiful life. Ten cent tea in aid of the library fund was served at the close by Misses Falconer and MacDougall, when the meeting closed with “God Save the King.”

Olive Oil

This is the third article in September of the School for Housewives 1909 series published on September 19, 1909, and is an article on the benefits of olive oil and to use only the purest.

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of the The Buffalo Sunday Morning News.

Olive Oil

IMPRIMIS; it must be Olive Oil!

Once upon a time, and not a hundred years ago, a certain “promoter,” who is now a millionaire, took me into confidence concerning the “tricks of the trade.” Said trade, at that time, was the education of the great American public into the manifold merits and innumerable uses of the product, the name of which stand at the head of this page. He was the originator and backer of a firm which advertised “Genuine Oil of Lucca.” The phrase, borrowed from Sydney Smith’s celebrated recipe for salad dressing, was flaunted conspicuously in their circulars.

“The spoon with Oil of Lucca crown” made a taking trade-mark.

A Scheme Unmasked.

The speculation was booming fast and loudly when I had my talk with the parent thereof. If his advertisements were to be believed, he had fenced in every olive orchard in the pretty Italian town famed for its oil. Every drop offered for sale was shipped direct to his warehouses on this side of the Atlantic, and thence distributed to every city in the Union.

I have wondered since if the promoter had not a glass too much of heady champagne that evening, but his brain seemed steady and his speech coherent. Something, perhaps cleverness, had loosened his tongue. He confessed, with never a flicker of a blush, that “Lucca” was, to borrow from the Irishman’s excuse for the frozen pies he hawked as hot, “just the name of ‘em.” All the olive oil that filled bottles with the foreign trade-mark came from California.

“And every whit as good as the Italian,” he averred. “But the public must be gulled with the foreign name. We really use a fair percentage of genuine salad oil. The rest, say one-half, is the best quality of cottonseed oil. And why not? It is a pure vegetable product, and harmless, and, I dare say, nourishing. Bless your heart, my dear madame, the grocers know it, if the consumers do not. We put a well-flavored oil, with all the earmarks of the bona-fide ‘Lucca,’ within reach of the people of limited means. And,” rising into complacent animation, “we are public benefactors when you come down to the solid bottom fact. Time was when none but the rich could afford to eat salads every day.”

Find an Honest Grocer.

To prove the excellence of the counterfeit, he sent me a bottle of “Italian oil,” bearing the illuminated admonition to “crown the spoon with oil of Lucca.” To do him justice, it was not unpleasant to taste or smell. It lacked the slight greenish tinge, scarcely perceptible except in a strong light, and the faint but unmistakably nutty fragrance by which the connoisseur identifies pure olive oil. I dare say that lie was right in asserting that it was harmless. Cotton is a vegetable product.

Let that pass, with our ingenious promoter and his works. Return we to our starting point. Take the pains to get real olive oil. The pure-food laws make this easier now than in the day when our speculator with the elastic conscience took compassion upon my ignorance of business methods. Don’t be beguiled into buying cheap brands. Go to a responsible man and tell him what you want. Honest grocers are not so hard to find as some would have you think. Real, unadulterated olive oil may be had and at reasonable process. My grocer keeps it in half-gallon cans, sealed, and warrants it pure. It comes cheaper than the bottles bearing the same brand.

In Southern Europe, where olive trees are more plentiful than cotton plants, oil is used for frying to an extent that would seem incredible to the American housemother, who calls upon the butter tub or the lard can for the same purpose. There is absolutely no greasy smell about the omelets and croquettes fried in French and Italian kitchens; the oil, being lighter in weight than butter, does not interfere with the airy puffiness of beaten eggs and batter. If one be disposed to doubt of the oil sold in foreign markets and that for which we pay twice as much on this side of the water, let this fact be the test.

Fifty years ago it was not uncommon to hear objections to oil in salad dressing. Women with ultra-delicate stomachs “could not endure the taste and smell.” In my own early housewifey life I had the pleasure and the fun of converting three such prejudices by feeding them for days at a time with salads served in separate dishes from that passed to the rest of the household, hence presumably dressed with butter instead of oil. They were sensible folk and when, after hearing their praises of the salad, I made full confession, I was thanked instead of chided. If the oil be good and the blending of the various ingredients skillfully done, perhaps with a dropper, there is literally no distinctive flavor of the chief element in the compound. It adds velvety richness to the completed whole, attainable by no other process.

This is so well understood now, even by the old-fashioned cook, that I need not argue the point.

The value of olive oil as a medicinal agent has now taken firm hold upon the comprehension of the average housemother. We once were wont to think of it as a mild medicament for babies, working it into a syrup with fine sugar to delude the infant into the idea that it was confectionery. It takes a more dignified place in the family material medica now. A tablespoonful of the best olive oil, taken three times a day, is prescribed for stubborn constipation. It acts as a gentle laxative, and painlessly, at the same time nourishing the whole body and building up wasted tissues.

Anemic children have been restored to health by perseverance on the part of parents in feeding them with pure olive oil, in doses of a teaspoonful every three hours per day for a month, gradually increasing the quantity. The oil must be of the best quality, not half cottonseed grease, and perfectly sweet. In time the child becomes fond of it. I have in mind one little fellow who looked forward zestfully to the threat of a full tablespoonful before each meal. He gained flesh under the regimen, and flesh of the kind that rejoices the parental eye—firm and rosy. His skin was clear and soft, and even his hair improved in texture and luster.

One disciple of the olive-oil school assumes me that at least four cases of threatening appendicitis have come under his observation that were warded off by a steady course of pure olive oil—a tablespoonful every three hours for a week. Symptoms of tuberculosis have been arrested in another family by the same practice, continued for a whole winter and bringing out the patient in the spring not only well but plump.

As a flesh food it takes high rank with masseurs. Puny babies should be rubbed with it daily, at least twice, after the morning and night bath. It must be worked gently and evenly into the whole surface of the body with the palm of the operator’s hand. If the child shows signs of having taken cold, especial attention is paid to the throat and chest. An incipient cold and sore throat may be averted by administering a teaspoonful of oil, beaten to a cream with half as much powdered sugar, and fed to the child three times a day.

A crowning advantage of what may be called the “olive-oil treatment” is that the patient, young or old, cannot be injured by it. It is food as well as medicine, and no matter how it is used it is never a “drug.” Life might be sustained for days by a diet of pure oil, if the stomach could retain it.

Travelers in Southern Europe and in the Orient are struck with wonder and admiration at the important part played by the olive tree in the lives of the inhabitants. In Palestine the otherwise bare hills are clothed with the silver-gray foliage. The fruit is gathered whole for export; ground into pulp from which the precious oil is expressed; the pomace left from the oil press is dried for fuel, and the roots of old trees, removed to make room for younger or to be wrought into articles of use and ornament, are the chief firewood of the country. I saw no other in Jerusalem and Jericho. But for the olive groves the native population would starve.

Then and there, as never before, we entered into the full significance and beauty of the words which the disinherited son of the dead judge of Israel attributes to the olive in the stinging satire hurled from the hilltop at the rebel host in the valley beneath:

“But the olive tree said, ‘Shall I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honor God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees.’”

Marion Harland

OTHER ARTICLES ALSO PUBLISHED…
Family Meals for a Week
The Housemothers’ Exchange