Only a Boarder

This is the second article in September of the School for Housewives 1909 series published on September 12, 1909, and is an article bringing to light the experiences of women in boarding houses.

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

Only a Boarder

I DROVE her to the station this morning, thus ending a visit beginning with “a week-end.” That is the twentieth century form of invitation to those we delight to honor in our country houses. We used to say, “Come out and spend a Sunday with us.”

I asked Miss Matilda Faden for a week end, then, and when Saturday’s mail brought me a message to the effect that the friends I had expected on the following Wednesday were detained by a case of scarlet fever in the family, I asked Miss Matilda to protract her visit.

She is a spinster of 48 or thereabouts, and I have known her 28 out of the two score and eight years. She was a prettyish girl when I first met her, the darling and only child of well-to-do parents, and engaged to be married to a naval officer. He died in South America the next year of ship fever and Matilda (we had not fallen into the way of saying “Miss” then) lived at home with her father and mother for five years longer.

Then Mr. Faden died after a lingering illness, and it was found that his property was much less than had been generally supposed. The widow and daughter sold the homestead and went into a boarding house. The old lady left the daughter alone 10 years later.

Dubious Comfort.

“And I have been boarding, first in one house, then in another,” said the patient soul to me yesterday, as we sat out the Sunday sunset and twilight on the lakeward veranda. “I shall be only a boarder to the end of the chapter. I cannot afford to keep house, you know. If I could, there is nobody to help me to make a Home.”

She dwelt with a sort of pensive fondness upon the monosyllable.

“You’ll maybe think me foolishly sentimental, when I tell you that I have been homesick for over 20 years.”

“You had your mother after the old home was broken up,” I ventured to remind her.

“Yes; but we were strangers and sojourners, less lonely of heart because we were together, but homeless all the same. The best hotel can never be a home. And we were not able to live in hotels, or even in an expensive boarding house. They may be a trifle more comfortable than those in which I have stayed (I can’t say ‘lived!’). I fancy that the trail of the boarding house is over them all.”

“Do you mean”—in genuine bewilderment I pushed the question further—“that you have not material comforts? Would you mind telling me in what the hardships of the boarder consist?”

Miss Matilda is a good talker and no grumbler. I have never heard her complain of her lot until now, and compassion was mingled with curiosity.

“Haven’t you a comfortable room? Don’t you get enough to eat? Are the people who keep the house unkind to you?” I continued.

She pulled up her light shawl closer about her neck. I had not felt that the evening was growing chill, but she appeared conscious of it. Hers is a comely presence. Her abundant hair is silver gray, her black silk gown and old laces become her well. And she is a gentlewoman ingrain. If there be aught degrading in the monotony of boarding house life, it has never touched her.

“My room is as comfortable in winter as one small register that is ‘well-regulated’ by the landlady can make it. The furnace is ‘banked up’ at 10 o’clock every night, and there is no heat to speak of next morning until half-past 8. When the wind is on that side of the house I am chilled to the bone by the time I am dressed. I heat water over a spirit lamp. I proposed an oil stove once to Mrs. Sharpe. She said it would affect her insurance and could not be allowed. I make a surreptitious cup of tea over my lamp now and then. I used to boil an egg for breakfast. When she found the shell in the waste basket she reminded me that no first-class landlady allows cooking in the rooms. ‘It increases the risks of fire and makes no end of dirt for the chambermaid to clean up.’ She raised the same objection to my reading lamp. I take all the care of it myself, but I offered to give it up if she would let me have an argand burner or a good drop light. You see, the gas is very poor in our part of the town at the best—or so she says when we complain of the low light in the dining room and parlors. I needed no explanation of the dimness in my room after I unscrewed the burner one day and pulled out a wad of raw cotton from the pipe. I had a clean, strong light for two nights. Then she must have found the wad in the waste basket, or maybe the maid reported the increased radiance. For when I came in one evening from a walk and lighted the gas it was as low as ever and the burner was fastened on so tight that I could not move it.

“My eyes are not as strong as they would be if I had not had to write and sew and read by boarding-house gas for so many years, and I did make a stand upon my reading lamp. I use it under protest, and the warning that I would be responsible for any fire that might occur from spill or explosion is drummed periodically into my years.

“Do I get enough to eat? Yes, and no! On Sunday morning we have fruit for breakfast. For the rest of the week there is oatmeal or cornmeal porridge, usually lukewarm. Boarding-house cream is, always and everywhere, skim milk. That goes without saying. If I fancy that ours is thinner and bluer than the average article, it may be that I have not seen that served in cheaper houses. On three days of the week we have salt fish for breakfast. One of these is Sunday, when codfish is worked into balls that are hard, fibrous and briny. On the other three days we have thick slices of bacon, or tough steak and chops. All the tough cuts of the market are sold to boarding houses. You surely know this? The coffee is weak and muddy; the tea is stewed! I could breakfast cheerily upon a saucer of cracked wheat and real cream, a fresh boiled egg, a slice of crisp toast, and a cup of clear, hot coffee. I would not ask for variety in this menu, except perhaps to have fresh berries or a pear or melon—when these are cheapest—substituted for the cereal, and a thin slice of bacon for the egg.

“Now that I mentioned eggs, let me remind you how often you have wondered who buys the second quality. I heard you laughing yesterday over the classification of eggs you overheard a grocer repeat to a customer.”

I laughed now. “Yes, they were ‘Guaranteed eggs, 35 cents a dozen; strictly fresh eggs, 32 cents; fresh eggs, 28 cents; eggs, 25 cents.’ I would not have believed it if I had not heard it.”

“He might have added, ‘Cracked eggs, 15 for a quarter.’ I have seen that advertisement in grocers’ windows. Well, the boarding-house keeper never rises about ‘eggs’! They take no qualifying adverb or adjective before or after them. She buys them by the half-bushel basket. That is why we never have them boiled plain. You must have heard the reply of the colored waiter to an inquiry as to the freshness of the eggs served in his restaurant: ‘Well, suh, I won’t deceive you; but while they is fine for ormerlet and scramble, I can’t consciously recommend them neither for plain boiled nor yet for poached’! Our boarding-house mistress may not say it, but she acts upon his system of grading.

“All these drawbacks to comfortable living the woman (or man) who is a Chronic Boarder knows from experience that she or he must expect and bear with what philosophy may be mustered for the occasion. You may ask why I do not change my quarters? The experience of nearly 30 years has told me that the chances are dead against the possibility that I would improve my condition by the attempt. The stamp of the second and third rate boarding-house is unmistakable. All buy inferior cuts of meat, superannuated fowls, plain EGGS, tub butter, wilted lettuce and cabbage, stale fruits and vegetables and chicory coffee.

“Don’t be hypercritical or overnice! These things must be got off the hands of butcher, greengrocer and huckster. You wouldn’t have them starve? If I were altruistic, I would not grumble because to me is assigned an humble part in the system of domestic and business economics.

The Star Boarder.

“All the same”—dropping the bantering tone suddenly, the pale face flushing under the rush of emotion—“it cuts one to the heart to think how many thousands of women and hundreds of men in the big cities and suburban towns are as homesick as I am!

“Maybe you imagine that landladies (it isn’t often a landlord! They fly at bigger game!)—maybe you believe that they feed their families upon the same fare that we pay for? Not a bit of it! There are choice tidbits for them and for their invited guests—and often for the ‘star board.’ He—it is oftener a ‘he’ than a ‘she’—is pampered privily upon food the hostess reckons inconvenient for those who pay fair prices regularly and get half their money’s worth.

“Did you read that anecdote in the papers the other day of a man who inquired of the aster of a house from the door of which a hearse and a couple of carriages had just rolled away—‘Who is dead?’

“‘Only a boarder!’ was the careless rejoiner.

“That’s what will be said when my turn comes!”

I repeat that my old friend is no pessimist or grumbler. I believe that her experience is that of many, many more than can be imagined by us who dwell in our own sheltered homes, with the privilege of selecting our own food and shaping our environment.

When I was a mere girl I was shocked and saddened by hearing an old spinster say that she had been “homesick for 40 years!” The plaint recurred to me with force in hearkening to the tale of the Chronic Boarder.

There must be another side to this matter. Admitting that what I listened to last evening is true in every particular, the Landlady should have her say.

In conclusion, I throw the subject open for free debate. I shall publish the Landlady’s story as cheerfully as I have written down that of the Boarder. Who will send it in?

Marion Harland

Family Meals for a Week
The Housemothers’ Exchange

The Grandmother in the Home

This is the first article in September of the School for Housewives 1909 series published on September 5, 1909, and is an article on the grandmother and how families should not take advantage of her.

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

The Grandmother in the Home

ONE of the numerous and divers ways by which the Chinese and the Mongolian races in general keep us in mind of the fact that they are our antipodes is the eminence accorded to the grandmother of the household. As a child the Oriental woman is the fag of her brothers; she is sold by her parents in marriage without consulting her inclination. The wife is the overwrought drudge of husband and sons of less value in their eyes than the beasts that perish. But as a mother-in-law she may be said to get her innings. The grandmother rakes in medals and orders by the score. Hers is the most luxurious seat; hers are the choicest tidbits at meals, and her will is law for the whole family. Without ever hearing of the Christian scriptures, the Oriental obeys literally the injunction to “rise up before the hoary head and to honor the face of the old.”

It would be laughable if it were not pitiful to make careful note of the absolute unlikeness of these pagan practices to modern American point of view and behavior with regard to the granddame of the family. One hears and reads constantly the lament from sentimental admirers of the former generation that “we have no more old women.” The dear old grandmother of blessed memory who sat in the corner, enthroned in the armchair, her feet upon a cushioned stool, is, as a species, as extinct as the dodo. Who ever sees a real old lady’s cap atop of the hoary head?

Twenty-odd years ago, when I knew far less than now and thought I knew far more, the editor of a popular magazine asked me to take charge of a department in his monthly and to suggest the trend and title of the same. I brought forward as a novelty which was sure to take, “Armchair and Footstool.” He laughed in my face:

“My dear lady! who would read it? The armchair was banished to the garret long ago, and to footstool split up for kindling wood.”

He was wiser in his generation than I in mine. And, like the resolute optimist I am, I take pleasure in recognizing in the banishment and demolition aforesaid a sign that the period of human usefulness is lengthening in our century. We, upon whose head the years have let fall white feathers in passing (they called them “ashes” 30 years ago!) decline to regard them as tokens of decaying mental and physical powers. We do well to fight away from the infirmities of old age. We do better in denying stoutly that the words are synonyms.

My plea today is for the dignity, the beauty, the usefulness of grandmotherhood. The disposition to set her counsels at naught and to relegate her to the ranks of the supernumeraries has forced her to assert her right to respectful notice. If she tried to deceive acquaintances and society as to her age, what wonder! Respecting her as I do, it hurts me to see her accentuate her lack of middle-age comeliness by dressing in the style of her granddaughter. But I do not despise the motive that makes her do it. I may long to tell her that to fill her wrinkles with powder produces the effect of a flurry of snow upon a fallow field. It outlines the worn furrows that might else not have been noticed. All the same, if her juniors did not make “old” an epithet of contempt, she would not resort to the powder nor make occasions to remark that her family “all grew gray at an absurdly early age.” If you, dear children, did not despise her accumulated years she would not be ashamed of them.

It was Elihu, the youngest of Jobs friendly visitors, who reminded his companions that “Days should speak and a multitude of years should teach wisdom.” But the land of Uz was in the benighted and ancient Orient.

I wish I did not know families in which contempt for wrinkles and gray hairs did not hinder the younger members from imposing burdens upon grandmother that try her impaired powers cruelly. I have in mind more than one, or six, where she is child’s nurse, seamstress and general hack.

All the odds and ends of tasks her juniors shirk as tedious and distasteful are shunted off upon her willing shoulders. She is past the age of party-going and music-loving and dinner-giving and enjoying. She has been told kindly that she “prefers home to junketing, and that no other place is so dear as her own fireside,” until she really believes that she said it at the beginning. Her daughter told me last week that “Mother has the sole charge of baby (aged 10 months) at night. She knows so much better how to manage her than I do that it is the greatest imaginable comfort to me when I am out in the evenings to think she is safe and comfortable.” It leaked out presently that baby is a nervous and a poor sleeper. “But for dear mother,” she added, “I should be a wreck. Mother doesn’t mind losing her sleep.”

I had known the daughter all her life, and I asked her in the temporary absence of the grandmotherly drudge from the room (she had gone to the kitchen to warm baby’s milk)—I ventured, I say, to intimate that physicians forbid old people to sleep with children, believing it to be prejudicial to the health of the latter.

My hostess smiled pity of my narrow views.

“All four of my babies have slept with mother from the time they were weaned. She will not hear of their doing anything else. It would break her heart were the privilege denied her. Isn’t that true, mother?” as the nurse re-entered the room.

Shall I ever forget the sad appeal of the withered face turned to me when the question was explained?

“There is so little an old woman can do for those about her!” she pleaded, in a frightened tone, her thin, veinous hands shaking until the milk in the bottle had little waves on the surface. “I beg my daughters not to make me feel as if I were quite laid on the shelf!”

I was favored not long ago with a glimpse of a letter written by a woman to whom I had unwittingly given offense by something I had printed, or failed to print, in the Exchange. One count of the indictment against me was that I “Actually grovel to grandmothers.” If I did not “grovel” to this martyr, I bowed to her in spirit.

Grandmother may be “wonderful for her age.” Nevertheless, the “age” is upon her, and her vigor must be considered as processes of which you are, as yet, ignorant, so far as your health and staying power are concerned. You have recuperative powers that are not vouchsafed to one who has passed the meridian of life. Grandmother has no invested stocks upon which dividends are declared as a part of her income of vitality. If she gets very tired she draws directly upon her capital. If she could appreciate the truth of this it would be well for her. If you would bear it in mind you might spare her pain and discomfort. When you overexert yourself, temporary inconvenience, maybe a brief illness, may be the penalty of transgressing nature’s law of self-preservation. What is a “break-down” in your case is a “break-up” in hers. She cannot struggle back quite to the point from which she slipped. And every time she slips the return is more difficult.

This physical law may help to explain why old persons are frequently crabbed and irritable. How far the younger people with whom her lot is thrown for the rest of her life are responsible for “cranginess” and for morbidness that sometimes degenerates into confirmed melancholia is a question you, her grandchildren, would act wisely and humanely in considering.

“After all, boys,” struck in a collegian, after listening uneasily to an “experience meeting” that had the short-comings of fathers in the matter of allowances for a topic, “don’t let us lose sight of the fact that they are vertebrate animals and fellow-beings!”

Grandmother has had a hard journey and a long one. If by dint of Christian fortitude and unselfish desire to brighten the lives of those about her, she maintains a tolerable show of cheerfulness and sympathetic interest in the happenings of your lives, give her due credit for it. Don’t “leave her out of the game.” Regard her as a vertebrate animal, not a freak; as your fellow-being, and not a fossil.

Marion Harland

Delicacies of the Tea Table
Family Meals for a Week
The Housemothers’ Exchange
Markets’ and Marketing

The Frivolous Type of Bachelor Girl

This is the final article in August of the School for Housewives 1909 series published on August 29, 1909, and is an article on how young women will regret their summer fancies when they realize how shameful they are acting.

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

The Frivolous Type of Bachelor Girl

IN yielding to the request that I should write down the title of this week’s Familiar Talk just as it stand above, I yet enter a protest against the term “Bachelor Girl.” The phrase has leaped into general use since a college course has become almost an essential part of the scholastic career of the young girl of the period who assumes to be really “educated.”

Lexicons define “bachelor” thus:

In modern use, a person who has taken the first degree (baccalaureate) in the liberal arts and sciences, or in divinity, law or medicine.

Slipping the finger further down the page we come to:

Bachelor—4th def. A woman wo has not been married.

In illustration of this fourth definition we have a quotation from Ben Jonson:

He would keep you (a woman)

A Bachelor still, by keeping of your portion.

No. 4 then, justifies us in widening the scope of our title. In treating of the bachelor girl we will not confine ourselves to the college graduate, albeit I believe the (to me) objectionable phrase was originally framed to apple to her alone.

Why do I dislike the term? Because it smacks of a certain “smartness”—a swing and dash—that accords but ill with my ideal American girl of high (that is, refined) degree—a Daisy miller with a flat cap atop of her sunny curls and an academic gown draped coquettishly about her lithe figure.

This, I contend, is not our normal girl of the better class. We meet scores of the type I have in mind at watering places, seaside hotels and on ocean steamers.

“Personally Conducted.”

I crossed with one of them last summer on the homeward voyage from Cherbourg. I knew her by name and what were her antecedents. She comes of excellent lineage; she was well educated in private schools, although she is not a college graduate, and has the name at home of being a decorous gentlewoman.

Without making myself known to her, or that I was cognizant of her social station and environment, I watched her and give other girls as well born and reared as herself. They were “personally conducted” by a staid sinister who earns her living by taking parties of girls abroad. She was an indifferent sailor. The sextet of “buds,” as I heard them call themselves repeatedly, were without exception “jolly tars.” That was another of their sayings.

Chance Acquaintances.

While the nominal chaperon lay back in her deck-chair and dozed or lazed with closed eyes the bachelor girls promenaded the deck with youths, not one of whom they had ever seen prior to the voyage; ran potato and egg races in the “events” that diversified the monotony of steamer life; played shuffleboard and bet upon games, and contrived in these and countless other ways to keep the eyes of the whole ship’s company fixed upon them and the wits of several hundreds of men and women on the qui vive, wondering what “those girls would do next.”

I am no prude, and I dearly love to see young people merry and vivacious. A bright young girl, with her life before her, in full flush of springtime, rejoicing in health, hope and happiness, is one of the loveliest things in God’s creation. It is not a hundred years since I, too, was in love with the wonderful new life bestowed upon me, and eager to extract all the sweetness “from every opening flower.” I have brought up girls of my own, and joyed in their pleasures, sympathized in their perplexities, and delighted to life their burdens when the privilege was vouchsafed to me. When I cease to feel with and for them may my right hand forget its cunning!

But—it jarred had upon what the “buds” would have derided as antiquated notions of propriety to hear from the men of the party that the sextet, having gone to their staterooms and presumably to their berths under the convoy of the duenna at 10 o’clock, shortly thereafter reappeared upon deck, radiant with the triumph of outwitting their guardian, and forthwith proceeded to light cigarettes and, with then between their cheery lips, to resume the interrupted promenade of the deck in company with their newly-made acquaintances.

It was more than a jar—it was a hard shock to see the bachelor girl lie back in her deck chair next day, yawning between her laughs, that she “was sleepy after last night’s carouse” (they had supped with their escorts at midnight) and that she was “bent upon catching forty winks.”

Kids and Lambs.

Motioning to a lively college boy whose name she had never head three days ago to take the chair adjoining hers, she raised her parasol to screen them from the sun, and the two remained in the semi-seclusion without moving or speaking for half an hour.

“Fast” and “immodest,” do you say? I have been assured since, by those who know her well that she is neither, by a girl of clean heart and life, and, when the summer pranks are over, as well-mannered as your daughter or mine, my dear Madame Critic.

I have been the pained witness of like prankishness in summer hotels.

Our B.G. would tell you, in summer, that she is “out in a bat.” She varies the expression, but not the deed, by saying that she is “in for a lark,” or maybe “a bender.” All winter long she was a bondslave to Conventionality. Young blood must bubble, and if it riot sometimes under the influence of holiday freedom and fresh air, who can blame her? It is as natural for the summer girl to defy rules and to flirt with any convenient man as for colts and lambs to gambol when given the run of the pasture.

Again I say, I grudge her no recreation and frolic that come well within the bounds of propriety. I am willing to acknowledge her kinship with the kids and lambs so far as animal gayety goes. Scamper and gambol are innocent within certain limits.

A gentle, white-haired matron who had been a belle in her day, and who has brought up a family of young people of whom any parent might be proud, voiced my sentiments when she murmured in my ear, as the strings of deck-walkers frowned or grinned in passing the tableau of what I overheard a foreigner sneer at as “a new edition of Paul and Virginia,” to wit, the couple secluded by the parasol.

“Poor child! If she could only know how grievously ashamed she will be to recollect it some day!”

I would have her from the “grievous” reminiscence if I could. The most interesting blend of “bat” and “lark” and “bender” is too dear a price to pay for the loss of self-respect that is bound to follow the frolic which transcends the limits of maidenly modesty.

If that reads like the alliterative cant of a hypercritical dowager, sketch the deck scenes, including the stolen strolls and cigarettes and the midnight supper, to your own mother when the summer madness for fun at any price has passed from your brain and let her pronounce judgment upon it. Ask her what she would have thought and said had she stumbled upon the daughter of her next-door neighbor, as I happened upon you last month, when you believed yourself and your partner in the last waltz to be quiet out of sight of all except yourselves, in the corner of the hotel veranda, and you lighted his cigar, giving it a pull or two with you own lips before putting it to his. He kissed the tip of the weed, as in duty bound, and proceeded to suck complacently upon it.

You “had forgotten the silly scene?” You will recollect it, and not with a laugh, when you would lift unpolluted lips to the true man who reverences you too sincerely to let you forget what is due to your womanhood.

Don’t I know that it was “in the merest fun” that you let that Harvard boy clip a stray lock from your head the day you were climbing the rocks in the Maine woods, and your hair got caught in the underbrush?

He promised to wear it next his heart for the rest of his life, and that it should be buried with him in the same place. He probably had robbed eight or ten other heads with the like promise. You never saw him until this summer, and you do not expect ever to meet him again. “Summer flirtations don’t count.”

Nor does it “count” with you that you have lowered the lad’s ideals of womanhood, and coarsened his thoughts of what “nice” girls will do and permit. Familiarity of speech and license of touch are sure breeders of contempt, be the season what it may.

The eldest of the Bulwer writers said something that cut itself into my memory when I was a merry rattle of 18. It has served me many a gracious turn since then:

There is no anguish like that of an error of which we are ashamed.
Truer words were never penned.

Would that I could bind them like an amulet upon the mind and conscience of our Summer Girl!

Marion Harland

Brevities for the Housekeeper
Concerning Peppers
Family Meals for a Week
The Housemothers’ Exchange
Possibilities of the Breadbox

The Amateur Nurse

This is the fourth article in August of the School for Housewives 1909 series published on August 22, 1909, and is an article containing pitfalls of the at home nurse. A professional nurse knows how to get things done, but they don’t have the tenderness of family or friend.

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

The Amateur Nurse

THE trained nurse is an 19th century product; at least, in the United States. And, despite the beneficent change she has wrought in the sickroom, we cannot disguise from ourselves the truth that there still lingers in the minds of some sane and broad-minded people a certain prejudice against her and her methods. So strong is the disfavor with some that the nurse is occasionally obliged to lay aside her uniform and feign to be a neighbor who has “just stepped in to lend a land with the nursing.” It is maintained, and not without reason, that the very sight of the cap and apron is a danger signal to a nervous patient. She must be very ill, or a trained nurse would not be engaged.

She is an expensive luxury, urge other protestants, to say nothing f the tyranny some of the guild exercises over the whole household that is so unfortunate as to need her services. I could fill this and 20 more pages with authentic anecdotes in support of this objection to the sisterhood and not exhaust the stock at command of memory.

These and what may be cataloged as “sentimental reasons” incline many families to dispense with the salaried ministrations of the trained nurse and to depend in illness upon relative, friend or neighbor, who nurses for the love of the calling or for the patient and those to whom the sufferer is dear.

A Critical Patient.

Since I began this paper, what I reckon as a happy coincidence brought to my study a young kinsman recently recovered from a somewhat serious attack of illness. Knowing that he had been nursed by a favorite maid of his mother, who had begged for the privilege by virtue of her long residence in the family and natural aptitude for nursing, combined with experience, I catechized him upon the subject in hand.

I have had trained nurses in several previous illnesses,” he testifies. “Two were methodical and perfunctorily attentive. I recognized myself as a part of the machinery of which they were the motive power. They were quietly despotic, taking absolute obedience on my part as a matter of course. If I were cross, it mattered nothing to them personally. After representing professionally that excitement would raise my temperature and retard recovery, they disregarded ebullitions of tempter and lowness of mind. It was like being in a refrigerator. No. 3 of the becapped and beaproned sisterhood was tart to activity if I ventured to demur to any of her measures. She dragooned my poor mother and scolded the servants and raised a tempest in a teapot generally in the well-ordered household. I got well as fast as possible to get rid of her.

Methods of Her Own.

“Recollections of her reign were my chief reasons for seconding Mary’s petition to be allowed to take care of me in this last attack. She is a watchful and tender nurse, and it sounds horribly ungrateful to criticise her methods—bless her old soul! But you want the truth, you say.

“In the first place, she set the room in order for a siege by arranging the medicine bottles and boxes, etc., upon a table not far from the bed, and in full sight. The table was spread with a clean napkin, renewed daily, and the bottles and boxes were in straight lines, the biggest in the middle and graded down to each end. I used to lie and stare at them and wonder which was which and wish they had not a sort of fascination that forced me to look at them. My professional nurses kept all the paraphernalia of medicines, plasters and the like of out my sight, and, I think, out of the room. Mary poured out each dose at my bedside, counting the drops audibly. I never knew how much I had to take or anything else about the stuff until the trained nurse had spoon or glass at my elbow. It was administered silently, the glass of water hat was to take out the taste was held to my lips and the thing was over. May ‘wondered if ‘twasn’t about time to take that next dose,’ or that ‘bothering alcohol bath,’ or ‘wasn’t I hungry and couldn’t I think of something I should like to eat?’ or ‘was the room to light?’ or didn’t ‘I think that I could sleep if she read the evening paper to me?’ There was a story of a murder that might interest me. Or, ‘Wouldn’t I like to have her read the report of the big football game??’

“I couldn’t hurt her feelings by saying that she reads badly and that I should certainly jump out of the window if she tried to ‘render’ the sporting page. So I pretended to be sleepy, and she darkened the room until I could just make out the outline of the awful array of bottles and boxes on the stand (she never threw one away) and I could hear her ‘sh-sh-sh-ing’ the family out in the hall for the next hour, and croaking under her breath that ‘poor dear Philip has dropped off to sleep and musn’t be disturbed upon no account whatsumever.’

“She asked the doctor in my hearing one day ‘if he didn’t think that sleeping so much was a bad symptom?’ and I burst out laughing in her face. That was another difference between her and the trained nurse. She either retailed the account of symptoms, temperature and other features of the case audibly to him in my presence, or, what was worse, she took him to the far side of the room and imparted them in a sepulchral whisper that made my blood run cold. The trained nurse passed over her chart silently and out of my sight, and, while the doctor read it, busied herself quietly and naturally about my bed that I might not notice what he was doing.

“I used to wish I could beg Mary not to lean upon the footrail of my bed while she talked to me or watched me eat and drink. She always took her stand there and crossed her arms upon the rail, her eyes fixed solicitously upon me, and chattered in an undertone, as in a death chamber, after she had made my bed or given my medicine or bought in my meals.

“Don’t forget to speak of these meals. She cooked every mouthful I ate with her own hands. She is a capital cook, and her entreaties that the doctor would allow ‘the poor young gentleman nourishing and tasty food, were heartrending. I detest that word ‘tasty’ as violently as you do, and she was positively addicted to it. When she had wrung from the worried practitioner permission to broil an oyster or roast a squab or toss up an omlet or stew a sweetbread or some other ‘tasty’ treat for me, she made hot haste to get it ready, and would let nobody else bring it to me. For luncheon the first day I was permitted to touch meat after the fever went off she brought a big tray and placed it right beside me, cooing over me as a robin who brings a particularly fat slug to her nest.

“The sweetbread was the piece de resistance, but in case ‘the poor dear young gentleman might not relish it,’ she flanked it by a poached egg—‘poached in cream, dear, to make it real tasty’ a plate of creamed toast, one of thin graham bread and butter and one of dry toast, for my choice. Then there was a cup of tea and a crisp stalk of celery, ‘just to chew and put a taste into your mouth.’

“I had had the grip, you know, and may you know, too, that it is accompanied by dumb nausea, indescribably distressing. I did my best to eat a bit of the sweetbread, and tried not to see that loathly poached egg! It almost broke her heart, I am sure, but she thanked me for saying it was ‘nice’ and hoped my appetite ‘would come up soon.’

Kith and Kin.

“She asked me 40 times in one day, ‘How are you feeling by now?’ and 27 times, ‘What would you like to have me do for you, Mr. Philip, dear?’ I counted them all. Somehow, I couldn’t help doing it. The nervous fret brought up my temperature and she assured the doctor that I had been kept perfectly quiet all day and had not been allowed to speak a word.

“I feel like a cad in telling you all this, auntie, although you say it may be pro bono public. My own blessed mother could not have nursed me more tenderly. I suppose it is not to be expected of human nature that a professional nurse could engraft tenderness upon skill and tact. The kindest-hearted woman alive has not tenderness enough to go around a circle of ‘cases.’ It is inevitable that the skilled services they render at so much ‘per’ must be more or less perfunctory. I wonder if it is an impossibility for the mothers to resign the care of us in sickness to hirelings, to study the methods by which they supplement the physician’s efforts in our behalf?”

I give the take as it is told to me. If I might add anything to the true narrative of the stalwart six-footer, whose present condition may be part owing to the faithful nursing of the devoted amateur, and is undoubtedly due in a large measure to subsequent toil in garden and field, in what one of my boys once pined for when ill in the city, as “a whole skyful of fresh air”—if I might, I say, supplement his graphic report, it would be to substantiate the claims of the trained nurse upon our confidence by asking mother and Mary must feel on behalf of the suffered be not one element of her success? Her perspective of the case in hand is not blurred by loving dreads and her judgment is not weakened by personal partiality for this particular Philip above a dozen other boys who have grip or measles or typhoid.

The cool common sense that withholds the surgeon from operating upon wife or child or mother indisposes the amateur of nursing ne of her own kith and kin, or one in whom her professional interest may be colored by affection.

All the same, mothers and Maries may learn much from watching the ways and means of the professional nurse.

Marion Harland

Family Meals for a Week
The Housemothers’ Exchange

Afternoon Tea on the Veranda

This is the third article in August of the School for Housewives 1909 series published on August 15, 1909, and is an article on how to have afternoon tea on the veranda. This is one of the few articles also printed in the Dauphin Herald which got me interested in Marion Harland’s serial work.

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

Afternoon Tea on the Veranda

I LIKE that word—“veranda”—better than “piazza,” and it expresses something that “porch” does not cover. The latter word is synonymous with the old Knickerbocker “stoop.” Both imply roominess and cozy comfort, a secluded corner in which mynheer and his hausfrau cold take their ease, with pipe and mending basket, when the hard work of the day was done. The neighbors gathered there on summer evenings, and the air was thick with tobacco smoke and gossip. As a rule, the mistress of the house discouraged the growth of vines about the square stoop. They were harbors for mosquitos and slugs, and dry leaves and dropping flowers littered the floor.

Our veranda would not deserve the three-syllabled word were it bared of the draping vines. We got it from the orientals, with whom it signifies seclusion gained by lattices and shutters and vines. An English lexicographer appends to this definition the gratuitous observation that “The veranda is erroneously called a ‘piazza’ in the United States.”

Afternoon tea and the rechristening of porch, stoop and piazza have come to us simultaneously, and they have come to stay. It may be long before, from mansion to hovel, tea will be made and served at 5 o’clock throughout the length and breadth of our land, as in England, Scotland and Ireland. Were the vapor of the tilted teakettle visible, it would obscure the face of the sun between 4:30 and 5 in the British isles. Queen and washerwoman drink together then, and the clink of china marks the hour as faithfully as the town clock.

When Shadows Lengthen.

With us the pretty custom gained favor so fast within a quarter of a century that it is an exception when the cup that cheers but not inebriates is not offered to the afternoon guest. In thousands of homes it is as truly a family meal as breakfast.

I have called the custom “pretty.” It is never a more graceful function than when carried out upon the veranda. The simplest country cottage where the habit prevails is furnished with a wicker table, or one of “mission” manufacture, than stands on the veranda all the time. It has a modest corner for its own and keeps in the background until the “bewitching hour” of afternoon tea approaches. The aproned maid then sets it in the foreground, spreads the teacloth and brings out the tray upon which is arranged the tea equipage.

If the beverage is to be brewed by the mistress or by a daughter of the house, the teakettle and a spirit lamp form part of the pleasing array upon the tray. Or a 5-o’clock-tea stand precedes the appearance of the tray and is set beside the table. A silver or copper kettle swings over an alcohol lamp. Boiling water was poured into the kettle before it left the kitchen. The spirit lamp makes sure the actual boil before it goes into the teapot which must be hot from a recent scalding.

After the English.

The cozy, another English importation, is almost an essential when tea is served upon the veranda. If there be any breeze in the long summer day, it may be depended upon to spring up as the sun nears the western horizon. Moreover, the canny housemother sets the table in the coolest corner of the shaded veranda. She slips the cozy over the pot after the latter is filled, and leaves it there for the two minutes that are requisite to draw out the flavor and tonic properties of the Celestial herb without poisoning the infusion with tannic acid. The hot-water pot flanks the teapot, in case it should be needed to weaken the beverage for a “nervous” drinker. An alcohol flame burns under it while the function goes on.

Don’t cumber the simple and elegant ceremonial of afternoon tea by numerous and various appointments that make it heavy and expensive. I have in mind one city of fair size and abounding hospitality where the custom degenerated into “receptions” demanding salads, ices and a dozen et ceteras, entailing an expenditure of labor and money that made this form of entertainment impracticable for the woman of limited means.

Ask half a dozen of the nicest neighbors you have to take a cup of tea with you on the veranda on a given afternoon when you have a choice fiend staying with you. Group easy chairs and wicker rockers invitingly in the corner sacred to the tea hour, and assemble your guests there as they arrive. Your prettiest tea cloth should drape the table, and all the features of the “equipage” must be the best you can bring to the front. A single vase of flowers not a mixed bouquet should grace the center of the table. As you make and pour the tea, see to it that the talk flows on smoothly. There should be no break in the thread of anecdote and chat. Silence is always formality under these circumstances.

Have a plate or basket of thin bread and butter. Some tea-lovers prefer this accompaniment to sandwich or cake. If you or your cook can make good Scotch scones, for which you shall have a recipe presently, they will be received gratefully by those who have eaten them “on the other side.”

Another pleasant accompaniment of tea is the toasted sandwich. That, too, we will have by and by. Sandwiches of tongue and ham and chicken are popular at all times. In hot weather I refer the lighter varieties of tomato, cress nasturtium and lettuce sandwiches. On very warm afternoons you may substitute iced for hot tea. Yet, since this cooling drink disagrees seriously with many persons, it is best to have hot tea for such as prefer it.

A basket of light cake or cookies is passed after the bread and sandwiches. For those who take no sugar in their tea, cake is not amiss. It vitiates the taste of the drink for such as qualify it with cream and sugar. In addition to cream jug and sugar bowl have a plate of sliced lemon if you serve cold tea, a bowl of cracked ice.

Stop there! Bonbons, fruit and “Frappes” are foreign to the genuine, quietly refined function. You vulgarize it by introducing any of them.

Afternoon Tea Scones.

Sift a quart of flour three times with two teaspoonfuls of baking powder and one of salt. Chop into this a tablespoonful of butter and one of lard for shortening. Mix in a bowl with a wooden spoon into a dough by adding three cupfuls of sweet milk, or enough to make a soft dough. Do not touch with your hands. Lay the dough upon your kneading board and roll into a sheet half an inch thick. Cut into round cakes with your biscuit cutter and bake upon a soapstone griddle to a light brown. Split and butter while hot.

Toasted Sandwiches.

Cut slices of white or of graham bread thin, butter lightly, and spread one with cream cheese. Press the two slices firmly together and toast the outside of each before a quick fire. Send to table wrapped in a napkin.

Cream Cheese and Sweet Pepper Sandwiches.

Scald the peppers to take off the biting taste, and drain them. Lay on the ice for some hours. Wipe and mince. Mix two-thirds cream cheese and one-third peppers into a smooth paste. Spread upon lightly buttered bread and put together in sandwich form.

Tomato Sandwiches.

Butter thin slices of bread and lay between them slices of fresh ripe tomatoes from which the skin has been pared. Spread each slice of tomato with mayonnaise or a good French dressing.

Lettuce Sandwiches.

Butter thin slices of bread and lay between them in sandwich form crisp leaves of heart lettuce which have been dipped in mayonnaise dressing. One leaf of lettuce suffices for each sandwich.

Nasturtium Sandwiches.

Substitute for the lettuce leaves petals of nasturtium flowers dipped in French dressing. This is a piquant and appetizing sandwich.

Marion Harland

Family Meals for a Week
The Housemothers’ Exchange

Camp Life

This is the second article in August of the School for Housewives 1909 series published on August 8, 1909, and is an article on the benefits of camping.

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

Camp Life

WHILE it is true that the fad of camp life may be said to have preceded the tuberculosis crusade, it is certain that it has quadrupled in vigor and in extent since the public at large has been educated as to the vile importance of living in and breathing fresh air. While a great moral or physical good becomes fashionable, its success is assured.

Camping out is no longer the pastime of hunter and fisherman. It is the business of thousands who never cast a line or fired a gun. Al fresco sanitariums do hillsides and fill the hearts of pine woods. The Americans would seem to have become suddenly alive to the duty of living as near to nature’s heart as they can crowd themselves, and, when there, they hold on with pertinacious resolve that is a national characteristic.

We do nothing by haves, nor by three-quarters nor four-fifths. Well men and women and healthy children have the camp craze, and it is on the rapid (I had nearly written “rabid”) increase.

We might do much worse. The most luxurious of the “play camps” of which I shall speak presently is far better for the fashionist who spends her time in seeking out new luxuries than the palatial hotel in which she used to dance and gossip and flirt away her summer “season.”

The rudest of tent life is better for the family of the man of moderate means than the stuffy rooms and “hearty” fare of the cheap farmhouse where he used to board wife and babies during July and August. “Roughing it” is good for children, and cooking under an open shed compels the mother to take in full draughts of such air as never finds its way into her town or village kitchen.

Sylvan Dissipation.

I have spoken of the luxury of the “play camp.” I can think of no more apt descriptive epithet for the toy with which our world-weary Croesus amuses himself by building, and to which his wife invites one house party after another during the month or six weeks that suffice to tire her of this, too, and to send her jaded wits afield in quest of a fresh sensation. “My hut,” she names it in notes of invitation. Her husband calls it a “box.” It is built, ostentatiously of logs—selected and costly timber, you may be sure. It is lined with hardwood, and the verandas are a feature. So are the varieties of lounging and swinging chairs that crowd pergola and porch. The latest patterns of camp appointments furnish the interior. There are suites of rooms, and bathrooms galore, all in perfect keeping with the camp “scheme.” A retinue of servants is in active service; boats and buck-wagons are fashioned and manned in furtherance of the same scheme. Cards and music for the evening, rowing and driving in the mornings and evenings, and noon siestas are as truly a program as the round of winter pursuits that made rustication necessary.

First and last, it is sylvan dissipation, yet. As I said just now, better for one much-abused bodies and racked nerves than town life, inasmuch as the air is continually renewed and pure; subtle healing and calm breaths from earth and air and sky for the least appreciative of sybarites.

Sinking in the scale of expense and rising in the scale of sensible comfort, we come to the family tent set up a dozen miles or so from the nearest railway, in what they used to call in North Carolina, where they cover hundreds of miles, “the piney woods.” The head of pater familias gave out last winter; or the mother had a slight but alarming hemorrhage that ay or may not have come from the lungs; or the children came out from the winter term at school puny, wan-eyed and fretful. In any or in all of these “ors” the prescription of the up-to-date doctor is the same: Fresh air and plenty of it, and indolence of mind and body for as long as you can afford to stay out of town.

“Buy a family tent and live out of doors for two months. No frills and no furbelows. Get a gamp cookstove; arrange a kitchen in the open and be comfortable, but not fashionable. They have brought this matter of camp outfits down to a fine point, as you will find. Travel light! You can carry all you’ll need in the woods in your suitcase.”

It may be enough to cover the aforementioned “fine point” with one word, it would be “collapsible.” The adjective comes to pater and mater familias with first purchase named by the genial salesman. The family tent has three partitions. One is for the kitchen and one for the living room, where the family will eat and in the corner of which the boys will have two “bunks.” The third is the sleeping room of the parents and the younger twain of olive plants. The obsequious shopman shows immediately and dexterously into what a small compass the tent, partitions included, may be folded. “it may be subdivided by collapsible screens,” he pursues the subject by illustrating.

Like an Opera Hat.

The cookstoves may be had at the same place. The business of providing campers with all things they will certainly, and may possibly, require to make life one care-free picnic has opened a new avenue of trade, a vista that is practically endless.

The cookstove is a miracle in itself. It folds up into a dimensions of a butler’s tray. “Could be carried in your trunk, sir!” And every utensil collapses at a touch from the quick fingers. The handles of frying pans double up and shut back upon the body of the utensil; knives and forks slide into their handles and shoot out again, stiffened for action; there are nests of plates and dishes; saucepans that, mater familias exclaim admirably, might be mistaken for opera hats when folded down. “Could carry the whole set in your pocket, sir!”

The beds are hammocks or pallets.

“The old-fashioned hemlock and balsam boughs have clean gone out with the better class of campers,” the salesman informs his customers so confidentially as to put them indubitably in the said class. “To be candid, they were never anything but a makeshift, and a sorry one at that.”

For the hammocks he suggests air-mattresses, so collapsible that mater familias had mistaken them for rubber aprons. He inflates one in two minutes, proving in half that time that it is more luxurious than the finest spring bed. Ditto pillows. “Could carry a pair in your vest pocket, sir!”

“The only place about me he didn’t fill was my watch pocket,” remarks the head of the house, in telling the story of the expedition at the dinner table.

He is in high good humor already, more like the man he was before his head gave out than his wife could have hoped. She enters gaily into his improved humor in laying the “canned stuffs” that must be the chief of their diet while in camp. She had never dreamed that so many provisions could be potted.

“Were they collapsible, too?” inquired her helpmate jocosely.

“They were condensed and concentrated,” she replies, “which amounts to the same thing.”

Economical, Too.

For clothing she gets flannel suits, blouses and skirts for herself and the girls; fills the souls of the boys with joys unspeakable by adding to stout corduroy and flannels a suit of serviceable khaki for each.

A hatchet apiece to cut away underbrush and to fell balsam saplings for firewood; an axe for “father.” Who is to chop wood of stouter grain to keep the collapsible stove going; soft gray blankets, two red-and-white tablecloths and dozen and dozens of Japanese paper napkins; a store of unbleached towels—the “must be saving of washable things in the woods”—pack the traveling cases (collapsible) bought for the transportation.

If I seem to treat the occasion with levity, it is not for lack of sympathy with our campers. When every purchase is made the paternal purse will be heavier by some fifties, or , maybe, hundreds, of dollars than if madame and her brood had been equipped creditably for a month in a seaside caravanseral or at a modish “mountain house.” If the location be chosen judiciously, there are farmhouses near enough for the boys to fetch therefrom fresh eggs and vegetables twice a week, and, mayhap, chickens for a Sunday dinner. Condensed milk, sweetened and unsweetened; sardines, canned chicken and pickled lambs’ tongues; glass jars of bacon, pickles and relishes of divers kinds, evaporated fruits, cheese, crackers, ginger snaps, and dozens of et cetras are lined up temptingly upon the rude shelves father and the boys have rigged upon one side of the kitchen. Bags of flour are kept in tin boxes to keep them fro getting damp.

Mother develops unexpected talents in the direction of biscuits baked over the embers in a covered (collapsible) frying pan, and flapjacks—a forbidden indulgence in the summer at home—are altogether permissible in the woods.

If the mother pine secretly, now and then, for the orderly routine and decorous conventionality of “home,” she stifles the yearning as selfishly sinful. For is not father made over almost as good as new by the freedom and rest of a life that flows on with the bright monotony of a meadow brook? and the children tan and fatten hourly. The green glooms of the forest, the russet carpet of fallen balsam needles, the ceaseless sought of the wind in the boughs may bore her. Sometimes it makes her “blue.” To the rest the days are full of events and the nights bring such depth and deliciousness of slumber as never visits their pillows in “that noisy, smelly old town.”

Let her possess her convention loving soul in the peace that rises from the consciousness of inconvenience and hardships borne for one’s best beloved.

If her thoughts take a winder range, she may rise into philanthropic thankfulness for the multitudes who will take a new lease of life and take up, each bravely, his allotted fardel of care and toil in the winter to come, more bravely for the experience of CAMP LIFE.

Marion Harland

Meals for a Week
The Housemothers’ Exchange

The Tomato as Fruit and Vegetable

This is the first article in August of the School for Housewives 1909 series published on August 1, 1909, and is an article on the tomato which includes some recipes.

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

The Tomato as Fruit and Vegetable

READERS who are familiar with the charming play, “The Old Homestead” (and few are not), will recall the dialogue between Aunt Tildy and her mature admirer, in which the small talk turns upon the tomato.

“We never use’ to thin of eatin’ them,” says the bashful suitor. And the housewife reminds him and herself how they were called “love-apples” when they two were boy and girl.

Two encyclopedias agree that the tomato was brought to the United States from tropical South America; that it was known in Southern Europe early in the sixteenth century—in France as “pomme d’amour” (love-apple.)

Some curiosity hunters claim for the vegetable an Egyptian ancestry. For all we can prove to the contrary, it may have been one of the cool, and hence “kindly fruits of the earth,” for which the Israelites pined vainly in the desert along with leeks, onions and melons.

The encyclopedias go on to assert that “the tomato was known only as a curiosity in the United States until about 1830.” Acting upon this assertion, a critic took me sharply to task for naming it as an ingredient in a “Brunswick stew,” described in my “Judith’s Chronicle of Old Virginia,” the date of which story is given as 1833-35.

In verification of my chronology, and in respectful demur to the learned compiler of dates and facts, I submit recipes from “The Virginia Housewife,” by Marcia Randolph, published in 1828. Said recipes called for “tomatas” (sic) and append no explanation of the word. It is evident that the estimable fruit-vegetable was in common use upon the table of the notable Virginia housemother of that generation. I may add that I made sure of this before writing that particular chapter of my “Chronicle.” Old housekeepers told me of having cooked and eaten stewed tomatoes before 1828, and one diligent Bible reader advances the theory that this was the “red pottage” for which Esau sold his birthright!

Not that the subject of our talk needs the stamp of age to establish its right to a distinguished place in our dietary.

“It is nutritious and wholesome, with laxative and antiscorbutic properties,” writes one authority upon horticulture and pomology. Doctors “away down South in Dixie” prescribed it fifty-odd years ago as a mild substitute for the calomel which was then administered in what seems to us murderous quantities. I recollect picking the yellow and red egg and plum tomatoes in my father’s garden and eating them out of hand in years when late frosts had cut short the fruit crop and the system carved the grateful anti-febrile acid. And that I was encouraged by our family physician to partake freely of the “substitute.”

I have yet to see the man, woman or child with whom the tomato disagrees. Eaten raw, with a French or mayonnaise dressing, or cooked in some one of the ways commended by our best cook books, it should form a part of summer and of winter family fare. In further recommendation of the valuable and amiable esculent, let me refer to a test of “canned goods” made at my instance five years ago by members of our scientific staff, chief among these standing one who, early in the history of our department won for himself the honorary title of “Our Courteous Consulting Chemist.” I recall, as one item in the analysis made by this colaborer, that he detected in three spoonfuls of preserved (canned) pears enough salicylic acid to dose an adult, I recall, more gratefully, that not one of our expects reported the presence of “preservative” drugs in canned tomatoes. They may be found in some brands, but not in any of those that have been tested and reported upon to us.

The tomato is so easily cultivated—sustaining its reputation for amiability here, likewise—that one wonders not to see it more frequently in the small patches that pass for city gardens. Given a trellis or a wire netting against a brick or stone wall or a board fence, and good soil, with a fair allowance of water and sunshine, and the vines clamber fast and lushly. One good woman I know starts her tomato vines in a box set in her laundry window early in January. They are sturdy plants by the May day, when she considers it safe to transfer them to her back yard; after which she has delicious tomatoes in abundance for her family until the frost cuts them down in late October.

Hardly a week passes in which I do not learn of some new and attractive way of preparing our vegetable for the table. One was brought to me last week from a “swell” luncheon party by a woman who is as keen as myself in the quest for new and better ways of doing old things.

It was served as the initiatory “appetizer” of the feast.

Tomatoes Stuffed With Sardines.

Select large ripe tomatoes of uniform size and pare them carefully with a sharp knife. Set on the ice to harden, and cut out the hearts neatly, leaving the walls whole. Prepare the filling by skinning boneless sardines and laying them upon tissue paper to absorb the oil. Then scrape as you would pick codfish for “balls,” and work in a little lemon juice and a dash of white pepper. Toss and work with a silver fork until smooth, and fill the cavities left in the tomatoes with the mixture.

The combination of flavors is very pleasant.

Tomato and Shrimp Salad.

This dish I believe to have been original with me. I had never heard of it until I prepared and set it before wondering eyes that were glad after the salad was tasted—then devoured.

Prepare the tomatoes as directed in the preceding recipe. Set the hollowed tomatoes in the ice after filling them with canned of fresh (cooked) shrimps. Arrange the shrimps neatly, the backs upward, and pack closely. Just before serving put a spoonful of mayonnaise dressing upon the top of each.

Tomatoes With Whipped Cream Dressing.

This too, I might have held, even to this day, to be an original device of my own, had I not chanced, awhile ago, to meet with it in Elizabeth Fennell’s delightful melange of culinary more and poetic fantasies, “The Feasts of Lucullus.” It was, then, coincidence and not plagiarism, when I evolved the combination from my brain.

Pare the tomatoes, halve each and set it in the ice until chilled to the heart. When you are ready to serve, heap whipped cream—chipped—upon each half, having first sprinkled it with salt and yet more lightly with white or with sweet pepper.

You may doubt my word that you will find it delicious. Try it, and complain if you do not like it.

Tomatoes with Mayonnaise.

Pare and cut out the hearts. Set on ice until they are very cold. Serve with mayonnaise filling the cavities. Pass heated crackers and cream cheese with it as a salad course at luncheon or supper.

Tomatoes Stuff With Green Corn.

This is also a salad. Pare as above, and extract the hearts. Fil with green corn that has been boiled on the cob, then cut off ad left to get perfectly cold. In serving, cover with mayonnaise or with a simpler French dressing.

Baked Stuffed Tomatoes.

Select large, fair tomatoes and, without peeling, cut a piece from the top and excavate from the center. Mix with the pulp thus extracted one-third as much fine, dry breadcrumbs; season with melted butter, a few drops of onion juice and pepper and salt. Stuff the hollowed tomatoes full with this, fit the tops on and arrange in a bakedish, pouring about them the juice that escaped from the tomatoes when you dug out the pulp. Put a tiny bit of butter upon each and bake covered. Serve in the dish in which they were cooked.

You may, if you like, substitute boiled green corn for the crumbs. This is a nice accompaniment to roast meat or fish.

Marion Harland

Meals for a Week
The Housemothers’ Exchange