EASY does it. I don’t mean that you should sit down and do nothing, or be too happy-go-lucky in your house-keeping. I merely suggest that you adjust your programme to suit the weather.
A temperature of ninety in the shade or thereabout calls for good management. Certain things have to be done, but it is only common sense to follow the easiest way of getting through with them as quickly and (fficiently as possible. Short-cuts are permissible, even advisable, for there is no virtue in making a martyr of yourself when it can be avoided.
Live simply—that is the important thing.
1 hope you have already packed away heavy draperies, hard-to-iron linens and ornaments which are dust-catchers. A tidy house free of folderols has an appearance of coolness even when the mercury soars, and certainly it is much easier to keep in order. Perhaps the carpets are stored at the cleaners, and upholstered furniture is dressed in washable slip-covers to protect it and give that look of summery freshness to your house—a good idea if you are trying to keep cool in July.
Plan your housekeeping, your meals and your cooking. It is surprising how much quicker you get things done when you have a good system worked out. Budget your time and stick to it as closely as you can, even in the face of all those unavoidable little interruptions which are part of the homemaker’s day.
The right idea is to get a g(x>d deal done in the cool of the morning. Often it is wise to let the dusting and the dishes go while you prepare something for lunch and dinner, so the fire can be extinguished early. It gets hotter as the day advances and there is time then for making the beds, putting the house to rights, and doing other less strenuous jobs. Perhaps, with good luck and good management, the afternoon will be free to take your ease in the knowledge that dinner is well on the way. It is very pleasant, that feeling of preparedness.
Fortunately, the simple menu is most suitable and popular in hot weather. But even the simplest takes some thinking out, and you will find it a great time-saver to plan them for several days or a whole week at once. Then you are able to order supplies well in advance, and get at the cooking early. Here is where the short-cuts I spoke of come in, if you are going to accomplish much without spending half your summer in a hot kitchen. It is just as easy to make up quite a quantity of certain dishes as it is to prepare only enough for the meal, and by doing so you save yourself some duplication. Both sweet and savory sauces can be made a day or two ahead of time, bottled and stored in a cool place, ready for using. Sugar syrup so frequently required for those long refreshing drinks will also keep well and save both
sugar and time when you come to serve. Use this same syrup for fruit cups, grapefruit, berries and other things which need a bit of sweetening.
Chocolate syrup—from the can or your own make from a jar in the refrigerator— may be the sauce for your pudding and ice cream, or the flavoring for your chocolate milk desserts and beverages. In fact, you will find dozens of time-saving uses for it, after you have made up your week’s supply. Salad dressing can be considered a staple in most households, for it gives the finishing touch to fruit and vegetable combinations which are such favorites nowadays. Have a jar of one or two kinds on hand, then change the flavor to suit the salad by making additions such as catsup, chopped olives, parsley, capers, chives, and so on. By the way, mayonnaise or the boiled type makes a good sauce for fish or the base for sandwich filling when combined with appropriate relishes to give the desired piquancy of flavor. And, in case you want to know a quick and easy way of turning out an excellent dressing, we are giving you just such a recipe.
Dough in the Refrigerator
ENOUGH RICE can be cooked to use one day as dessert and the next as a vegetable. Everyone knows several ways of serving left-over potatoes, so one boiling may do for two or three days. And so with many other things.
Preparing bread crumbs when required is a fussy time-consuming job. Don’t do it. Save the ends, crusts and left-over slices, let them dry until brittle, put them through the meat grinder and store in a covered jar. Then you have, ready-made, the topping for scalloped dishes, the coating for croquettes, the filler for meat loaves, and any other of the many purposes for which they are called upon.
Housekeeiiers and small boys know the convenience of a full cookie jar, or a roll of dough in the refrigerator waiting to be sliced and cooked at a moment’s notice while the oven is on for something else. Cookies are the answer to the question Of what to serve with summer beverages, simple fruit desserts and ice creams, so keep up the supply at this season. Make pastry dough ahead of time, too. if you want to make a pie in a twinkling or some fresh berry tarts or cheese straws. Even the dough for rolls and buns may be kept on hand, with a refrigerator to control the temperature until it is time for them to rise and shine. And for hot homemade biscuits you can combine the dry ingredients, mix in the shortening and store in a covered bowl, adding the liquid just before cooking and dropping by spoonfuls on to the baking pan, instead of rolling out and cutting. They’ll be just as good as they ever are, and will have a nice rustic look.
For tonight’s dinner, you might get many dishes on the way—ice cream in the tray of your refrigerator, if it is a gas or electric one, a jellied salad or dessert prepared, a meat loaf mixed and molded, vegetables washed and put to crisp, fruit crushed and mixed with a little syrup for a fine sauce, fish cakes crumbed, and anything else that will speed up the preparation of the meal.
Don’t rush at the job, but work as quickly and efficiently as possible. To do this, have your recipes filed where you can put your hands on them, with changes and variations noted. Standard measuring utensils are the surest way to accuracy, but you can save time here, too, if you remember that a pound of butter or shortening is two cupfuls and simply cut it in half when one cupful is needed and in quarter for one-half cupful.
There are all sorts of inexpensive gadgets to reduce work and time, but 1 think the scissors deserve a special word. They cut the rind off bacon in no time, snip the leaves and ends from vegetables, shred lettuce, quarter marshmallows, slice peel, cut the core from grapefruit, shape the wax paper for cake tins, trim the pastry for juicy fruit pie, and a dozen or more other things. Don’t
Helen G. Campbell
Director The Chatelaine Institute
overlook paper products as a labor silver; paper towels, table napkins, shelf paper and cookery parchment save dish washing and are convenient for many purposes.
The whole list of ready-to-serve food products are real short cuts in themselves, and it is a part of wisdom to be well stocked with them at this season, to be always ready, come who may.
Many of the newer recipes are designed to help you get a meal on the table in no time. We are giving you a few of them which I think you will like, both for their convenience and good eating qualities.
Butterscotch Ice-Box Wafers
]4 Cupful of butter
1 Cupful of brown sugar
}/¿ Teaspoonful of vanilla
2 Cupfuls of flour Pinch of salt
y Teaspoonful of baking soda
y. Teaspoonful of cream of tartar
Cream the shortening, add the brown sugar gradually and continue creaming. Add the beaten egg and the vanilla, and combine thoroughly. Sift the flour, measure and sift again with the salt, soda and cream of tartar. Add gradually to the mixture. Form into a roll about two inches in diameter, wrap in
waxed paper and place in the refrigerator until thoroughly chilled. Cut in thin slices with a sharp knife and bake on a greased baking sheet in a moderate oven—350 degrees Fahr.—for about ten minutes. This makes about sixty wafers, which may be cut and baked as needed.
Quick Salad Dressing
Cupful of vinegar or lemon juice y Cupful ol salad oil y Cupful, or one-half can of sweetened condensed milk 1 Unbeaten egg yolk 1 Teaspoonful of mustard 1 ■> Teaspoonful of salt Dash of cayenne
Combine the above ingredients in a jar, cover tightly and shake vigorously for two minutes.
Quick Lemon Pie, Vanilla Wafer Crust
Roll enough vanilla wafers to make threequarters of a cupful and cut enough of the wafers in halves to stand around the edge of
a pie plate. Cover the bottom of the plate and fill the spaces between the waters with the crumbs. To make the filling, blend together the following;
1 Can of sweetened condensed milk y Cupful of lemon juice Grated rind of one lemon
Pour this mixture into the lined pie plate and chill. Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream.
y Cupful of cocoa 1 Cupful of sugar 1 Cupful of water Pinch of salt
Combine the cocoa and sugar thoroughly, add the water gradually and bring slowly to a boil, stirring constantly. Coritinue boiling and stirring until the mixture is quite thick. Keep in a covered jar in the refrigerator and use as desired for drinks and sauces.
1 Cupful of sugar 1 Cupful of boiling water
Combine the sugar and water, stir until the sugar is dissolved, bring to boiling point and boil for ten minutes. Cool and bottle and use for fruit drinks and for sweetening fresh fruit.
1 Cupful of shortening % Cupful of sugar
1 Cupful of boiling water
2 Yeast cakes
1 Cupful of cold water
1 Teaspoonful of salt 6 Cupfuls of bread flour
Cream the shortening and sugar together, j and add the boiling water. Allow this mixture to cool and add the yeast cakes, which
have been dissolved in the cold water. Stir until well mixed and add the beaten eggs. Combine the flour and salt and sift into the mixture. Blend thoroughly, cover the bowl with waxed paper, and place in the refrigerator overnight or until ready to use. Take from the refrigerator, break off bits of the dough and form into small balls of uniform size. Grease muffin tins and put three balls in each tin. Let rise at room temperature for two hours and bake for twenty minutes in a hot oven—400 degrees Fahr. Other shapes as desired may be made from this dough.
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