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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 5 (August 2, 1937)

Our Women's Section — Timely Notes and Useful Hints

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Our Women's Section
Timely Notes and Useful Hints

Holidays In Winter?

Oh, no!” said Meriel. “Jim and I could easily get away for a few days now, but we prefer to add it on to our annual leave and have that in the good weather.”

I looked at Meriel. Her hair had lost some of its gloss—in fact her whole personality was lacking in its usual shine. I thought of Jim, who had just been dashing out to an evening meeting as I arrived. Jim was one of the “lean kine,” but to me, who had not seen him for several months, he looked too fine-drawn. I said as much to Meriel.

“Oh, do you think so? Of course, seeing him every day I can hardly notice it. He's been working too hard lately though—overtime, and that Secretaryship. Perhaps a break would be a good idea.”

Meriel is a sensible girl. She and Jim left last night for a short visit to Jim's parents. They'll come back refreshed, both of them. They'll have long, lazy days of do-as-you please in a home where breakfast in bed (real breakfast, not tea and toast) is a prerogative of guests; where, in winter, huge log fires are set and may be lit in early morning if one pleases; where the car is at one's service.

Jim will laze for a day or two, and then get his father out on the links for as much golf as the weather permits. Meriel will get up late, have long, comfy chats with her mother-in-law, read those books she has had by her for months. In the evenings there will be talk, with the party gathered round the fireside at home or in the home of an old friend.

Even if they stay for only a week, Meriel and Jim will come back keyed up, mentally and physically, for the rest of the winter.

Of course, they're exceptionally lucky in having such an ideal home to go to. But anyone who can manage a change of scene (and people) for even a short time in the middle of winter, should do so. Otherwise, there is the possibility of being so rundown at the end of the year that the annual holiday is enjoyed only towards its close.

Planning a Party.

Whether you are having a few friends to bridge, planning your parents' golden wedding or giving a birthday-party for the young son or daughter, your duties as caterer and organiser may tire you so much that you are unfit for your duties as hostess. Try not to let this happen. The best safeguard is planning—planning well in advance.

List your guests, trying to ensure that they will prove congenial; if a large party is planned check your seating accommodation, card tables, cutlery and crockery, making sure that you will have enough (your own, or borrowed) for your peace of mind and the comfort of your guests.

Have your invitations out well in advance. The planning of entertainment is fairly simple (if not, books to aid harassed hostesses can be procured) and should be decided early. Any necessary “properties,” such as cards, scorers, pencils, copies of competitions, apparatus for games, musical or elocutional performers, should be procured, or arranged for, at an early date.

Most hostesses' thoughts centre on supper. Plan your menu, and any extra dishes (or drinks) to be served during the evening. Write it out, check up again on necessary crockery, glasses, sweet-dishes, etc. List the food ingredients necessary.

Sweets (of the confectionery kind), drinks and some of the foodstuffs (e.g., meringues) can be arranged for days in advance. If cakes are to be bought, matters are much simplified, but the preparation of a home-cooked supper need not be irksome. Your ingredients are already in the house. Sponge cakes for trifles, biscuits and cakes that last well, can be made two or three days beforehand. Remember to lay in necessary stocks of tinned goods (fruits, asparagus, etc.). Have nuts ready shelled for cooking or decorating purposes.

Most of the cooking can be done the day before, leaving for the day itself a few special dishes, the arranging of savouries and the cutting of sandwiches (with bread bought ready sliced).

The household cleaning has, of course, also been planned, leaving little to do, except dusting and arranging of flowers, on the day of the party.

The unruffled hostess, who obviously enjoys her own party, is the one who has planned everything so well in advance that all the worries have been overcome before the day.

Heel-less Bed Socks.

We women like bed-socks, or hot-water bags in winter. How about the men-folk? I think they'd rather give in to bed-socks than to hot-water bags. So, sister, wife or mother, if you have a cold-footed man in your home, get out your knitting-needles, even if you are not very good with them, and knit him a pair of heel-less bed-socks (which fit any size of foot) by the following simple pattern.

Materials required: Four ounces of four-ply wool; four No. 6 knitting needles with points at each end.

Cast on 48 st., 16 on each of 3 needles. Work, in rounds, in rib of k. 3, and p. 1 (i.e., 1st row k. 3, p. 1; 2nd row p. 3, k. 1), until 2 inches are worked.

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In the next round, make the holes for the draw cord as follows: * k. 2, wool forward, k. 2 together, repeat from * to the end of the round.

Work again in the rib until the work measures 20 inches from the commencement.

Then work the remainder in plain knitting, shaping the toe as follows:

1st Round.—K. 2 together at the beginning of each needle.

Knit 2 rounds plain.

Repeat these 3 rounds until only 24 st. remain. Run a thread through these st. and fasten off very securely.

With the wool, crochet a length of ch. and thread it through the holes at the top of the sock. Finish off each end of the ch. with a small tassel.

The Swing of Dance Frocks.

Dance frocks lose none of their charm—and styles are so adaptable. You can emphasise your good points (a slim waist, graceful shoulders or a good back) and disguise your bad ones (if you admit to any).

First of all—waists. The Empire waist flatters slimness—and can give an illusion of it. Bare shoulders are demure above a dropped shoulder line, or sophisticated with a low decolletage. Shoulder straps are not conservative. Cross them, or have two on each side, clipping together at the shoulder line.

Some backs are best hidden. A charming frock I saw, in lace, had a definitely high neckline and swathed shoulders. Another smart fashion is the slit back.

Some backless gowns are so-“less” that one is surprised to find anything at the front.

Don't forget the dinner-suit in broadcloth or taffeta or what-you-will with crisp or gleaming vest—ideal for a cocktail party, for diner-a-deux, and on to a dance. The skirt will be slim, swinging a little to the hem, and slit for free movement.

I like junior frocks, for instance one with a front panel gradually losing itself in its own widening, and with the skirt widening with it to a swirl; short sleeves, puffed high.

If you catch your heel in your frock, the rip probably won't show, as more and more fulness is creeping into dance-frocks. The sway of them is accentuated by banding at the hem-line. Some filmy materials are tiered.

Health Notes.
Winter Chills.

This is the season of the year when the battalion of colds, coughs and influenza marches upon us. It finds some of us unprepared to withstand the onslaught, and we become victims through our own thoughtlessness. We have not attempted to build up resistance against the enemy. We have not even worn suitable clothing (warm but not stuffy), and most emphatically, we have not been tempted to exercise as much as possible out of doors. Perhaps, too, we have not maintained proper personal hygiene. We have not realised the importance of keeping away from infected persons—unless duty has ordained otherwise—and, if we are prone to infecton, even from hot stuffy rooms and crowded buildings.

Now that we have succumbed, we find it not so easy to regain our normal health. The heavy head, dry throat and cold shivery feeling all combine in causing a feeling of depression. We find nothing more comforting than a hot bottle and “so to bed” (with a hot water bottle). The next item on the programme is plenty of hot drinks—water or milk to which has been added a teaspoon of baking soda, or a lemon drink. This treatment should break up the cold. If, however, the infection is severe, it is necessary to keep to your bed for at least two or three days.

We do not realise how selfish it is not to take the necessary precautions to keep fit. We feel aggrieved because we have the heavy head, dry throat and shivery feelings, but it should be the one waiting on us who should feel aggrieved. What about the time devoted to preparing special drinks and milk foods, which are so often accepted grudgingly?

Another important point, do not hesitate about cancelling social engagements if suffering from a cold. Don't think how meticulous you are in fufilling your obligations, but consider what a source of danger you would be to a person prone to infection. For instance, the inconvenience caused by the postponement of a game of bridge is infinitesimal compared with the wrecking of a friend's health.

The Breath.

Breath daintiness is an essential attribute of a charming woman.

A disagreeable breath means internal disorders or decaying teeth, diseased gums or trouble in the region of the throat or mouth.

Brush the teeth after every meal. Rinse the mouth with half a glass of water in which a pinch of carbonate of soda has been dissolved. An ordinary salt mouth wash is very cleansing too. If necessary, rinse the mouth two or three times a day, otherwise a precautionary once a day would suffice.

We often light-heartedly read the advertisements depicting the handicaps of those afflicted with disagreeable breath, but it never occurs to us that we could be a source of annoyance to our friends in that direction.

If the affliction is not cured by these simple measures, then a call on a doctor is absolutely necessary, in order to find out the root of the trouble. No one should look on this trouble as a minor affliction.

Home Notes.

Home-made Cleaner.

One cake sandsoap, 2 small packets of Lux, 3 breakfastcups of boiling water.

Method: Dissolve Lux in boiling water. Then add crushed sandsoap and stir well.

Home-made Floor Polish.

One-quarter lb. beeswax, 1 oz. white soap, 1 pint turpentine, 1 pint boiled water.

Method: Pare wax and soap very fine. Pour turpentine over it, and let stand until quite dissolved, then add water—cold. Bottle and shake up till the mixture becomes creamy.

To Clean Brooms and Household Brushes.

Choose a fine day and wash in a pail of warm suds. Rinse in warm water, then under the cold tap. Hang in the fresh air to dry.



Four kidneys, 1 teaspoon each flour, onion, sauce, lump butter, bacon.

Mince kidneys, bacon and onion and stew gently with other ingredients in about three tablespoons of cold water. Serve on hot buttered toast.

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Tomato Cheese.

Three tablespoons grated cheese, II tablespoons tomato sauce, 1 oz. butter, cayenne and salt.

Melt the butter in a saucepan, add tomato sauce, then cheese. Mix well, add seasoning. When very hot pour on fried croutons or pieces of toast.

Cheese and Olive Savouries.

Six olives, 1 egg, plain biscuits, 1 tablespoon grated cheese, curry powder, salt and pepper.

Chop up olives with grated cheese, salt and pepper and a touch of curry powder. Mix all together with a tightly boiled egg and pile on plain biscuits. Garnish with slices of olives.

Better Than Bought Soaps.

Here is an easy way of saving ten shillings on every 20lbs. of soap that you use. The only ingredients required are 5lbs. fat and a 2s. 3d. packet of “Soap-save”—the wonder soapmaker. Add to one gallon water as directed on packet, and you have approximately 20lbs. of the finest household soap. In fact, a correspondent from Auckland states: “I have found soap made with Soapsave better than a great number of bought laundry soaps.” It not only lathers easily but protects delicate colours. It is also pleasantly perfumed. If unable to obtain “Soap-save” from your local store, send postal note and grocer's name to A. Murdoch & Co., Manufacturing Chemists, Dunedin.—A.M.C

Sardine Fingers.

Roll out pastry and cut into fingers. Place a small or half sardine on each piece of pastry, season with salt and pepper, cover with another piece of pastry and cook in quick oven.

Savoury Cream Puffs.

Very small cream puff cases filled with whipped cream flavoured with grated cheese and chopped parsley.

Sandwich Recipes.

Asparagus Sandwiches.

Use the tips of either fresh or tinned asparagus. The tips should be removed from the coarse stems, the pulp beaten up and salt and pepper added. This mixture should then be spread on slices of thin buttered bread.

Beetroot and Egg Sandwiches.

Boil an egg hard, then crush up the yolk with a little grated cheese. Chop up three or four slices of cooked beetroot, quite small. Add it to the cheese and egg. Season with a pinch of salt. Then spread the mixture between thinly-cut bread and butter.

Celery and Walnut Sandwiches.

Select young shoots of celery and peel the walnuts. Have about equal quantities of both ingredients and chop them fairly fine. Then mix them into a paste by the addition of a little cream. Spread thickly on the buttered bread.

Curry Powder and Egg Sandwiches.

Boil an egg until it is hard; then mix in a small amount of dry curry powder and bind the two ingredients with butter.

Fruit Sandwiches.

Peel and core an apple and pear; then chop fairly fine. Mix with the fruit some castor sugar and use this as a filling between slices of brown bread and butter.

Parsley Sandwiches.

Wash some parsley, pick off the fresh leaves and chop them fine. Then mix this evenly with butter and a squeeze of lemon juice. Spread this on thin slices of bread.

The experienced married lady who, when asked to reveal the secret of how to manage a husband tersely replied, “feed the brute.” Evidently believes that the way to a man's heart is via his tummy. But there's “another way,” as the cookery books have it. What about smoking? Wives who hate and detest tobacco, and there are still some who won't allow their husbands to smoke — at any rate in the house—make a great mistake. The wise wife knows full well what the weed can do and how under its beneficient influence irritability and temper generally vanish. Therefore, ladies, “feed the brute” if you like, but let him smoke when—and where—he will, and all will be well. Get him to smoke one or other of the famous toasted blends, Cut Plug No. 10 (Bullshead), Navy Cut No. 3 (Bulldog), Cavendish, Riverhead Gold and Desert Gold. They have a most delicious flavour and a beautiful aroma and are very pure because toasting eliminates the nicotine as nothing else does or can. These are the only toasted tobaccos manufactured.*

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