Thursday, May 7, 2009

Household Tips

By Bessie Baker Cook
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It does us good to be reminded once in a while of the virtues of baking soda in housekeeping. The other day I cleaned off some very stubborn tea-stains on a fine china tea pot by making a baking soda paste and rubbing it in with a damp cloth. 

I recently found a little tiny card with a colorful bird printed on it in some old papers. With the aid of my magnifying glass, I read the copyright was 1918 and it was included in a box of Arm & Hammer baking soda. It was part of a  series of Birds of America.  As a matter of fact, for two 2-cent stamps, you could send away for all thirty of the cards. I think that the Arm & Hammer company should revive this little token in their boxes of baking soda. It brings a little fun to homekeeping. 

I have made a note to tell you all about the "clever plastic do-dad," but unfortunately I cannot remember what the clever plastic do-dad was that I was so enthusiastic about. If you think of it, let me know. 

I have seen the need for something to better line my muffin tin, than the little cupcake liners. I always end up dribbling some batter on the top of the tin, even wiping it up before baking does not help the mess. And, my tin ends up having to have a good scrubbing from all the batter drips on top. What I would like to see is a baking pan  company sell a muffin tin, and sell these handy liners that fit  in their tins:

The liners would be made of parchment paper, and somehow the cupcake part would be molded in with the paper, and detachable by perforation. You plop the whole paper liner in the pan, and if your muffin batter drips, who cares. Then you can lift the paper up, take the cupcake liner part out, and throw the rest away, and you are left with a clean muffin tin! If anyone has seen these already invented, please let me know. 

While we are on the subject of "Mothers" this month, we cannot help but think of the pitter-patter of little feet through the house that makes a mother in the first place. Sometimes when toddlers are about, we feel that they are "under foot," but there are a lot of things that little ones can do to help around the house. Two-year-olds (or thereabouts) can help you put laundry in the dryer (they like it if you tell them who each sock belongs to), take plastic cups out of the dishwasher, put away a folded piece of clothing in a drawer (watch those fingers!), maybe even fold washcloths. They can dust and polish, and pick up things off the floor for you. They like to help knead bread and stir biscuits. They can be included in so many things, and what good training it is to teach them how to be a helper!

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