Thursday, 26 April 2018

March 1899 - Notes from a Mistress

March 1899

Cook

Thursday: 
Clean Drawing Room
Silver and Brasses first - passage after Drawing Room is finished.
Clean attic in afternoon.


N.B.   Brass plate and bell to be cleaned every day.
Bake Tuesday and Friday.    Clean tins.







Housemaid

Thursday:

One week Drawing Room is turned out, the other the Dining Room, so that each room is turned out once a fortnight.
Before breakfast clean grate and fire irons well.     Cover furniture with dust sheets.     Cook and housemaid help each other in finishing room after breakfast, after the housemaid has finished the bedrooms.
Clean stair rods once a fortnight.





These notes were tucked into one of my old recipe books.






Seeing as I am both Cook and Housemaid around here, I guess that is my day filled then... 

Luckily, we don't have a Drawing Room, a Dining Room or a staircase.       



12 comments:

  1. When we first moved here, the large grand room at the back of the house, looking across the paddock, was deemed to be the Morning Room. Grandeur indeed - festooned with cobwebs, bad damp in the back wall, and a grey-shade of white on the walls. It's a bit different now and Grand again.

    How lovely to find these little snippets inside your wonderful old cookery books. It would seem that Cook's duties weren't just confined to the kitchen, which makes more sense - all hands to the pump and all that.

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    1. I bet it looks splendid - and I hope that the weekend viewers feel the magic of the place and allow you to move on to your next adventure.

      The little notes and newspaper articles reveal quite a lot about the type of household the recipe book came from. I also love it when there are little notes about how well the recipes worked...one or two are crossed out, quite emphatically.

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  2. What treasures you have in those books

    Have you got a copy of the Persephone re-print " How to run your home without help?" from 1949 it's got timetables for every minute of the day! Or you might have the original I guess

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    1. I haven't got that book, Sue. I must investigate - see if there are any one penny bargain copies on Amazon, they often 'hide' them away so they don't show up in initial searches - thanks for telling me about it!

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  3. How the other half lived back then but I'm a bit lost at the turning out of rooms bit

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    1. 'Turning out' just means giving the room a really thorough clean, much easier these days with our modern vacuum cleaners, etc!

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  4. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, such happenings. So far removed from our world today. :-)))

    But delightful to come across, in an old book.

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    1. I was thrilled when I first found them, a little window on the past - handwritten, so all the more special to me.

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    2. Not so much of the past Elaine, I have kept messages to me from a ‘lady’ instructing me on specific dietary requirements. Makes me smile to read now, as I ought to say it did then, didn’t have much effect, mind. Bolshie to the last... me! My free spirit gene kept me safe and funnily enough well regarded, amazing but true.

      I can imagine you were chuffed to discover them, what a find.

      LX

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    3. I'm glad to hear that you kept them, Lettice. I hope you also have your handwritten 'kitchen bible' and notes on all the shenanigans, even if your lips are sealed.

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  5. Those were the days. Even very rich people don't seem to really live in the grandeur that they would have done.

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    1. Hello Lilbitbrit, Welcome. A different type of grandeur, perhaps. I can only speak from the bottom of the heap - a happy country mouse! I do enjoy dipping into old books, especially if they are handwritten, they really set my imagination on fire!

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Lovely to hear from you!