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Monday, April 05, 2010

Tips From The Old Housewives Book Review

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Tips From The Old Housewives Book Review

About the Book: This book is full of humorous housewifely notions that our grandmothers and great-grandmothers most likely swore by. Relying on Foremother Beeton, Drury's collection provides a humorous glimpse into the past as well as some practical (and some not-so-practical!) household tricks for the present.

To banish the smell of fish from silverware, add a spoonful of mustard to the washing water.

For an earache, roast an onion, take out the center and put the point of it into the ear for an hour.

Cut flowers last longer if their stems are stuck into a potato.

To cure the hiccups, drink half a teaspoonful of vinegar and hold the hands above the head for a minute.

"Some respite to husbands the weather may send, but housewives affairs have never an end." Old housewives truly had a lot to do.

Our Take: Some of the best tips I have ever learned about the laundry I learned from my mother. Naturally, she learned from her mother... and so forth and so on. Sometimes the best detergent, stain removers, and bleach alternatives just aren't as effective as the old ways. Sometimes vinegar or lemon juice just work better for certain problems. For example, I couldn't get rid of a recent infestation of ants. The little buggers always found a way into my house no matter how much I sprayed, filled in cracks, whatever.....they just came back! So, someone told me to put cayenne pepper in their trail and you'll never see them again.  I thought to myself 'Oh that can't be so....the modern ways are most certainly better than some old wives tale!'  I’ve spent countless dollars to get rid of these things. Surely not something in my cupboard could cure this problem, could it?  At that point what did I have to lose?  I tried it and darned if I never saw them ever again!  Something I had in my cupboard for cooking would get rid of them all along!

Tips From the Old Housewives is an entire book compiled of tips from, well...old housewives. The catch is that it is written as if you are a housewife during the Victorian era to even maybe slightly after.  Some of these tips are just downright interesting and are a peek into their society and ways of doing things, but most of them can be easily translated into a modern day usage. Sure, you probably aren't going to care how you water proof your shoes in this day and age.  If you want water proof shoes, you'll just buy them right?   But, if for some reason you need to it tells you exactly how to do it!  A more practical tip is getting the smell of tobacco out of clothing. You simply hang it in the bathroom while you are having a bath (more likely shower) to steam it out. Of course make sure you let the item dry properly before wearing it or putting it away.

Oh, and by the way my cure to ants is actually in this book.  I was amazed to find it there. In black and white there is was. Along with how to get rid of beetles and cockroaches. They are a huge pests in a lot of households and they have methods that don't call for noxious chemicals that are said to cause cancer. So, if you want an old housewives way of getting rid of or curing stuff look no further. I've found that a lot of the time the old ways of doing things were easier not to mention safer than today. In reality just another way to go green in a lot of instances.  This book is a gem!

-Holly, Book Legion