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General Rules For The Kitchen

( Originally Published Early 1900's )


Preparing Dishes for Washing. Scrape the food from the plates and other dishes and wipe them with a bit of soft paper or a rubber dish scraper ; pile dishes of one kind together ; wipe grease from knives, forks, and spoons with a paper. Place silver in one pile, steel knives in another. Rinse sugar from cups with a little hot water.

Soaking Dishes. Soak dishes that are sugary or that have had gummy substances such as gelatin on them, in hot water; dishes that have been used for milk, eggs, or starch in cold water. Never put cold water into hot earthenware dishes.

Dish Water. Fill the dish pan half full of hot water, and put in the dishcloth and a piece of white soap. A soap shaker will be found a great convenience. Wash the dishes, using a hand mop or a cloth on a fork. Put the hands in the water as little as possible. Fill another pan with clean hot water and rinse the dishes in it as soon as they are washed; put them in a draining pan or rack, and dry with a cleans oft towel ; or put the dishes in a pan or rack and scald ; then dry. Do not scald delicate china.

Order of Work. 1. Glassware. Put the glasses into the water sidewise, dipping them so that the whole glass will be covered at once, for if one side is heated before another, unequal expansion will result and cause them to break. Glassware and silver will be brighter if wiped from clean suds without being rinsed. Always use a dry towel free from lint. Cut glass should never be put into hot water.

2. Silver. Do not put ivory or bone handles into water.

3. China. Cups, saucers, plates, platters, and vegetable dishes.

4. Kitchen Utensils. If necessary, use one of the commercial cleansing preparations on a cork for rough places. Clean seams in kitchen utensils with the dishcloth on a wooden skewer. Wash small utensils. Do not put the wheel of the dover egg beater in water. Kitchen utensils may be washed first, if so desired.

5. Coffee Pots and Teapots. Take clean, fresh hot water for coffee pots and teapots. Clean the spouts carefully, dry thoroughly, and leave the lids open so that they may air.

6. Milk Vessels. Rinse milk vessels in cold water, wash in clean soap suds, rinse, scald well with boiling water, then air. Milk bottles should not be scalded, but they maybe covered with cold water and brought to the boiling point. Before boiling put a cloth under them.

Polishing Knives and Forks. For steel knives use the special brick or tripoli. Dampen a cork, dip it in the polishing material, then rub the knife blade briskly on both sides; wash in soapy water and dry. If tripoli is used rub the knives dry with a soft cloth, but do not wash them.

Cleaning Silver. Silver may be cleaned with fine whiting or silver polish. Put the powder on a damp cloth, rub the article to be cleaned well, then rub with a dry cloth and polish with a chamois skin. Use a soft brush to clean ornamental work on silverware. Rub spoons tarnished by egg with salt, then wash in water to which ammonia has been added.

Silver may be cleaned by using the solution given below :

1 quart water
4 tablespoonfuls of bicarbonate of soda
2 tablespoonfuls salt a piece of zinc

Use an aluminum pan. Secure a piece of zinc of a size to suit the pan you wish to use. A piece from an old stove board will do. Put it into the pan and add enough of the solution given above to cover the silver, which has been previously washed. Be sure that the silver touches the zinc or some other piece of silver that is in contact with it. Let it stand until the black portions of the silver have turned white (from one minute to one hour may be required), then remove, rinse well, and dry.

Metal Utensils. Wash all utensils with a mild soap suds, rinse, and dry thoroughly. If the inside of aluminum utensils becomes dark, clean with lemon juice and salt. Do not scrape aluminum with a knife or other sharp instrument, but use a wooden spoon or a clothespin. Do not clean it with soda, ashes, lye, ammonia, washing powder, or a strong soap, as strong alkalies tarnish aluminum. Keep both inside and outside clean. Handle enameled ware as though it were glass, to avoid chip-ping. Utensils of iron or steel should be coated with vaseline if not in constant use.

The Bread-Board and Rolling-Pin. Scrape all dough and flour off, but do not cut the wood. Clean with cold water, using a small scrubbing brush. Dry well. Scald occasionally, but do not let the boards stand in water, as this softens the wood.

The Refrigerator. Keep the refrigerator clean. Wipe the ice with a clean damp cloth before it is put into the box. Do not wrap ice in paper. Never put any dirty articles such as peach or grape boxes, or food with dust on it, into the refrigerator. Anything that is spilled in the chest should be wiped up immediately.

Keep special dishes as food receptacles for the refrigerator. Wipe the inside of the box and the shelves and doors with a dry, clean cloth every day.

Once a week wash and scald the shelves, and wipe the inside of the box with a cloth wrung out of a soda solution, then with a clean, damp cloth, and dry with a clean cloth.

The drain pipe catches dust on its damp surface and molds or bacteria may lodge there, so it should be well cleaned with a brush or a cloth on a wire. Scald it with the soda solution once a week. Clean the drain pan the same way. The slime that forms in the pan is the result of bacterial growth. Never connect the drain from the ice-box with the sewers.

Dish Towels. Wash the dish towels and cloths with warm water and soap, rinse in warm water, and dry outside in the sun if the flies cannot reach them there, or hang in a current of air in the kitchen. Pour boiling water over them very often and wash and boil them at least once a week.

Wooden Drain Boards and Tables. Wipe off the crumbs, then wash well, using a cloth, a good cleanser, and a small scrubbing brush. Scrub the board with the grain of the wood. Rinse well, then dry promptly. Scrub wooden tables in the same way.

The Sink. As soon as the dishes have been washed, clean every part of the sink with hot, soapy water, using a skewer and a piece of cloth to cleanse the cracks. Scald and dry thoroughly. Then wipe and dry the faucets. Once a day pour a kettle of boiling water through the drain, and once a week pour through it two quarts of boiling water to which has been added half a cup of washing soda. If much grease has been allowed to run down the sink, scald it with a gallon of boiling lye solution (1 lb. concentrated lye to 5 gal. water).

The Garbage Pail. Use a strong metal pail with a close fitting cover. Drain all garbage before putting it into the pail. Keep the garbage pail clean by washing it once a week with a hot soda solution, then airing it, and drying it thoroughly. A dirty garbage pail attracts flies and other insects in great numbers. If the rules of the sanitary department of your city permit, line the bottom and sides of the garbage pail with several folds of newspapers, to lessen the labor in cleaning.


Exact measurements are necessary for successful cooking. The regular measuring cup holds half a pint, and is marked in thirds, fourths, and halves. It is well to have a tin or aluminum cup and one of glass. Use the metal cup for anything that is hot. Teaspoons and tablespoons of regulation size are used in measuring. All measurements in this book are level.

All dry materials must be stirred or shaken before they are measured. Sift flour, meal, powdered sugar, confectioners' sugar, soda; and mustard, before measuring, then fill the cup by means of a spoon or scoop. Do not pack hard or shake down. Smooth the top with the back of a knife.

To measure butter, lard, or other solid fats, pack hard in the cup. If it is very firm, shave or cut it into small bits before measuring.

To measure spoonfuls of dry materials, dip the spoon in the material, lift it out, and smooth the top with the side of a knife. To measure half a spoonful, draw the knife through the center from the handle to the tip, pushing half the material off the side of the spoon.' For a quarter of a spoonful divide the half spoonful in two, crosswise, marking a little nearer the handle than the center. For an eighth of a spoonful, mark diagonally across the quarter spoonful. Less than a sixteenth of a teaspoonful is called a few grains or a speck.

Small quantities of flavoring or other liquids are measured by drops. The number of drops in a spoonful depends on the thickness of the liquid. There are sixty drops in a teaspoonful of liquids such as vanilla extract. Drops from a thick lipped bottle are larger than from a thin lipped one. In measuring liquids pour into the measure all that it will hold.


In recipes some words are shortened and for others letters only are used.

tsp. stands for teaspoonful. tbsp. stands for tablespoonful. sp. stands for speck. gr. stands for grain.

oz. stands for ounce. c. stands for cup.
pt. stands for pint. qt. stands for quart.
min. stands for minute. hr. stands for hour.


3 tsp. equal 1 tbsp. 1 c. equals pt.
2 gills equal 1 c. 2 pts. equal 1 qt.
4 c. equal 1 qt.


2 c. butter equal 1 lb.
2 3/4 c. corn meal equal 1 lb.
43/4 c. rye meal equal 1 lb.
4 3/4 c. rolled oats equal 1 lb.
2 tbsp. gran sugar equal 1 oz.
2 tbsp. butter equal 1 oz.
4 tbsp. flour equal 1 oz.
1 c. stale bread crumb equal 1 oz.

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