17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Saturday, June 22, 1912: Went to Watsontown this afternoon. I managed to get through with the dishes and then went for the cows. I found them having a picnic in the corn field, and they were quickly dispatched to safer premises.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Here’s some advice from the early 1900s for doing the dishes. It is abridged from a 1902 cookbook.
Do not be afraid of hot water in washing up dishes and dirty cooking utensils. As these are essentially greasy, lukewarm water cannot possibly have the effect of cleansing them effectively.
After you have washed your saucepans, fish-kettle, &c., stand them before the fire for a few minutes to get thoroughly dry inside, before putting them away. They should then be kept in a dry place, in order that they may escape the deteriorating influence of rust.
Never leave saucepans dirty from one day’s use to be cleaned the next.
After washing up your dishes, wash your dish-tubs with a little soap and water and soda, and scrub them often.
Do not throw anything but water down the sink, as the pipe is liable to get choked, thereby causing expense and annoyance.
Mrs. Beeton’s Cookery Book (1902)
Whew–the cows escaped from the pasture, again! This must be at least the fourth or fifth time in 1912. (It’s happened so many times that I’ve lost track of the exact number.)