The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 15, Issue 1 (April 1, 1940)
Our Women's Section
Cover the Hair
After showing almost all our coiffure during the summer, we are not surprised to find some winter fashions electing to cover the hair. Of such are the snood and the hood, and the many types of hat with back drapery.
Snoods may be of any material, but the most popular overseas are those of crocheted net. Snoods may be drawn up under the back hair by an elastic, or they may be draped round the head and tied with ends falling at the back in school-girl fashion. Some hats have snoods fastened over the narrow hat brim at the back.
For evening wear, snoods are made of gold or silver thread ornamented with sequins.
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Hoods are a delightful fashion for colder climates. They may be attached to long coats, short coats, evening coats, day frocks, ski suits. They may be detachable (by buttons or zipper). They will almost certainly roll back to form a flatteringly soft collar. They may be lined with a glowing velvet to accent a sombre wool frock, or with fur to give richness to a tweed coat.
But they refuse to flatter any but a young-looking face. You may be thirty-five or forty, but if your face is soft and rounded a hood may be for you. Try one and see.
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As for back draperies to hats, have something hanging over your back hair if you wish to be fashion-wise. Straight ribbon tails will do. Or buy, if you will, a length of wide, very stiff ribbon; fold it in half, and gather into the shape of a pouched bag; attach the gathered end by an ornamental clip to the back of your tiny tipped-forward chapeau—and there is Paris or New York chic!
A flat little Breton sailor has two felt pig-tails behind the ears. A more girlish hat has a flat ribbon bow drooping over the down-turned medium-width back brim.
With a tiny hat, perched forward on the head, wear a veil draped over the hair and sometimes round the chin.
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Toppers are more like opera hats in every stage of “concertina.” They may be merely flattened, or squashed forward, or waisted, or tucked back and front to give a forward impulse. However they're treated, they're definitely 1940—and an exception to the “cover the hair” rule. When one comes to think of it, there are always many exceptions to any fashion rule—thank goodness!
War And Fashions.
Very little of the war influence is yet seen in women's clothes, but we are hearing things from overseas.
Epaulettes of gold braid or metal will extend the heavy shoulder line. Buttons, maybe gilt, will march in military line. Hats will copy the more rakish military styles. Gold braid and cord will be used extensively for trimmings. Military red and black feature in the dress parade.
Styles for the danger-zones are hand-bags which are also gas-mask holders; luminous belts, buckles and buttons for black-out nights; wool “all-occasion” suits, advertised as just right for the air-raid shelter.
But men insist that their civilian suits should show no trace of the military influence!
The “Placid” One.
A Child's Troubles.
“Elsie was the easiest of my children,” said the proud mother of a grown-up family. “She never showed temper or answered back.”
“Yes, but Mother doesn't know, even now,” said Elsie to me, later, “how I used to feel at times, and what a lot of remarks I made inside myself. They all thought me a placid child who never minded being left out if there wasn't enough to go round—even if it was only a banana I missed through being at the shop when Cousin Emily arrived with fruit for us children. ‘Elsie doesn't mind, do you dear?’ said mother afterwards. ‘The next door children were here to play and, of course, it wasn't fair to give fruit to ours and not to them. I'll buy something for you, dear, next time I go to town.’ I didn't say anything, of course (not out loud!), until I got away to my hidey-hole behind the rhododendron bushes. A banana page 58 was a big thing to me in those days!
“And when an invitation came for Ada or me to go and stay with Auntie in Wellington! If only they hadn't discussed the possibility in front of me!—and then decided that Ada should go, as she was a year and a-half older (forgetting that she had had the last holiday), and that she could take my new coat which was a bit big for me (and I felt so proud of myself in that coat, and looked forward to wearing it to Sunday School) and my new pairs of socks that Grandma sent, and even my little blue bag, I remember! They were so sure that I wouldn't mind staying at home and lending my best things to Ada. But I wept gallons behind the rhododendron bushes; and nobody knew, so I didn't get any sympathy.
“And next time, again I was Mother's dear little girl, who was so easily pleased, and never made a fuss, and there were only two tickets for the circus, and Johnny and Bill were boys and so keen on animals. So ‘dear little Elsie’ stayed home, and hid once more in the rhododendron bushes, and said all sorts of naughty things under her breath and finally wept gallons.
“But as I could never bring myself to say anything in company, I've a reputation for placidity even to this day,” laughed Elsie.
“Of course, no one was ever actively unkind to me; but they just didn't realise that small things are often world-shaking to a child. That's what makes me so careful with my two boys. I'm so dead scared of hurting their feelings that everything has to be absolutely fifty-fifty between them. When Grand'ma sent Bob 5/- for Christmas, and only 3/6 for Alan because he was younger, I was very annoyed.”
Elsie's two boys are fine little chaps. There seems to be less friction between them than is the case in some families I know, where the parents, kind but unimaginative, could well take a leaf out of Elsie's book.
A young married woman showed me her painfully cracked finger-tips.
“My hands are not used to housework yet,” she laughed.
“Are you doing anything for them?” I asked.
“Oh, I'll rub in some cold cream for a night or two, and they'll be all right—till next time.”
“But you've such pretty hands. It's a pity to spoil them. Can't you save them at all?”
“Well, I wear rubber gloves when I'm washing the ‘coloureds.’ That's a help.”
“Of course it is. How about dishes and vegetables?”
“Oh, I don't bother. It seems such a nuisance struggling into and out of gloves so many times a day. Do you think I'm careless? Perhaps I should take more trouble. I used to be terribly fussy about my hands before I was married.”
I gave her my ideas about hands.
It always makes me sorry when I see married women's hands looking cracked and stained, comparing so unfavourably with those of the unmarried. True, a housewife's hands need more care than an office girl's, though she has less time for it. But extra attention to hands is well worth while, if only to avoid that terrible cook-laundress inferiority that some women feel when in company. I've seen many a pair of hands hidden by evening bags or the edges of bridge tables.
Certainly it is a nuisance to have to don rubber gloves every time one washes dishes, but those extra seconds are well spent, for water is the enemy of beautiful hands. For housemaid tasks, such as mopping and dusting, cotton gloves are well worth while to guard against the drying and roughening effect of dust, which acts on the skin like fine grit.
Bed-time care is most important. If hands are cracked, use a mild ointment. Otherwise, rub in any recommended hand lotion (such as a mixture of mutton fat, glycerine and rose water) or even cold cream, paying special attention to the corners of the nails, where the skin is apt to become dry. The lotion may be well rubbed into the hands and the excess wiped off with cleansing tissues, or old gloves may be worn at night.
One friend tells me that she massages her hands and feet every night with olive oil. She then wears old cotton gloves and a pair of her husband's socks to bed. “Of course I look a fright,” she confided. “But at least my hands are respectable by day-light and I shan't have 'hot-water bottle’ feet.”
With the approach of cold weather, hand culture is still more important if one wishes to avoid that much-married look—and hands can be a terrible give-away!
Relaxation and Sleep.
The ability to relax when off duty is one of the most valuable gifts one can have in these troubled times. Rest, apart from sleep, counts for much, provided the individual lies in bed relaxed and calm, and is not disturbed by unrest of body and soul. We therefore need not be unduly worried if we have a few wakeful hours during the night, so long as we do not banish sleep altogether in our feverish anxiety about our inability to sleep.
Indigestion, poor circulation, etc., tend to cause sleeplessness. Tea and coffee, especially coffee, taken at supper may in certain persons prevent sleep, while others can take these beverages at any hour of the evening and fall asleep without difficulty. Poor circulation is a physical condition which may be overcome by diet and exercise.
Most parents are ready to recognise and act upon symptoms of ill-health in children. But it is more timely to lay emphasis upon the signs of health in childhood, rather than to wait for the child to have a temperature or the eyes darkened by shadows underneath.
Good posture, for instance, plays a very important part in the child's welfare, as it is not only an indication of health, but it is a certain basis for continued health. Any slovenly or slouchy posture with the weight of the body thrown to one side is the forerunner of ill-health.
The tongue is a sure sign of digestive health, and in good health is clean without spots or coating. The eyes are clear, bright and alert, and the inner membrane lining the eyelids is deep pink in colour.
The muscles of a healthy child are rounded and firm, giving a sense of strength, rather than any softness or flabbiness.
A healthy child, although perpetually on the go during the day time, enjoys sound sleep at night.
A healthy child is usually happy, and free from nervous jerky movements.
Baked Salmon Loaf.
One tin salmon; 2 cups mashed potatoes; 1 cup browned cracker crumbs; 2 cups parsley sauce; salt and pepper to taste.
Grease mould with butter, sprinkle in few cracker crumbs and line with mashed potatoes. Drain oil from salmon and remove skin and bones. Season with salt and pepper and pack in mould. Cover with layer each of potato and cracker crumbs. Place a few pieces of butter on top and bake in hot oven for about half an hour. Turn out on platter and serve with egg and parsely sauce.
Egg and Parsley Sauce.
Add 2 eggs (hard boiled); 1 tablespoon chopped parsley; and 1/2 tablespoon vinegar to white fish sauce.
White Fish Sauce.
Six tablespoons flour (flat); 3 tablespoons butter; 1 cup fish sauce; slice of onion; 1/2 cup milk; salt and pepper to taste; lemon juice.
Boil stock, milk and onion for five minutes. Melt butter in saucepan. Add flour and stir over fire for a few minutes (do not brown). Gradually add stock and milk and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Strain, add seasoning and a few drops lemon juice.
Add 1/2 cup oyster juice to 1 cup white fish sauce and bring to boiling point; remove from heat and add 6 oysters blanched and quartered.
Required amount of oysters; 3 table-spons butter; 2 tablespoons flour; 1 cup milk; yolks of 2 eggs; cayenne pepper; salt.
Steam required amount of oysters and cut each one into 4 pieces. Make white sauce by melting butter, adding flour and stirring milk in gradually. Cook until thick, stirring constantly. Add seasoning to taste and remove from fire, when cool, stir in beaten egg yolks, reheat, stir until thick, then add oysters. Serve in patty shells.
After puff pastry has been thoroughly chilled roll out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut with round biscuit cutter. Cut centres from half of pieces with small cutter. Moisten edges of rounds with cold water. Bake in hot oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Note: Shells may be kept in closed tin and reheated when ready to serve.
French Fried Potatoes.
Pare the potatoes and place in cold water for 20 minutes or until firm. Cut in slices, strips, balls or any fancy shape, and dry thoroughly. Drop quickly into fat hot enough to brown them by the time they come to the surface. They are cooked when they float. Drain, sprinkle with salt and serve hot.
Two cups hot mashed potatoes; 2 tablespoons butter; 1/2 teaspoon salt; 1/3 teaspoon pepper; 1/4 teaspoon celery salt; few drops onion juice; yolk of one egg; 1 teaspoon finely chopped parsley.
Mix ingredients in order given and beat thoroughly. Shape, roll in crumbs. Dip in egg and then in crumbs again. Fry until lightly browned in deep fat and drain on brown paper.page 60