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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 10 (January 1, 1938.)

Our Women's Section

page 57

Our Women's Section

Timely Notes and Useful Hints.

For “Don't-Dress” Evenings.

I Have studied this business of informal summer evenings, and the criterion of dress seems to be skirt length. Otherwise, your frock has the makings, at top of an evening gown, your material is “dressy,” your sleeves are bouffant. Your flowers, however, are smaller and neater than for “real evening.”

A charming fashion, sponsored by one of the Paris houses, is carried out in black net. The very full skirt comprises three shirred flounces. The slip is black, with a pink top dipping to a point in front. The black net collar fastens demurely high. It is just too dressy for street-wear; but with an all-black slip, a black halo hat, black bag and white gloves, it is right for afternoons in sultry weather.

Chiffon, marquisette, georgette, mousseline, are suitable for this full-skirted fashion.

Depending for its appeal on its smartness, is the taffeta tunic, worn with a pleated georgette skirt. A huge cascading jabot, for instance, sulphur with brown, or pink with navy is striking.

Another smart “dual” frock is of sheer acetate crepe in navy blue. There is a soft lace frill at the throat. Imagine this for afternoons with a navy hat, white flowers bunched tightly in front, a navy veil and navy and white gloves.

A plain silk frock may have a brightly-embroidered vestee and collar, and embroidered bands on the below-the-elbow sleeves.

With a printed frock, try the effect of a waist-band of grosgrain ribbon in effective colour contrast. Or have a neck-ruffle tied with a ribbon bow.

Frills of organza for the essentially feminine! The more tailored type may prefer a plainer frock of fine linen painted with faintly iridescent designs.

Perhaps you have a black silk suit. Make use of it for evenings by discarding the coat and showing a black-embroidered white georgette blouse. Or you may prefer a heavy black gold-shot crepe tunic touched with gold lamé. This is definitely smart, but the younger people would do well to favour the simpler, and cooler, georgettes and nets.

* * *

School Holidays.
A Problem for Mother.

Harking back to the December issue, to the problem of the woman who dreads holiday-time, one can suggest methods of making the holiday, at home or away, pass pleasantly for both parent and child.

Once the mother realises how easy it is to rouse and direct the interest of her children, a new relationship will begin. Mother will no longer be regarded as the person who says “Don't!” with father in the background as a menace to the disobedient. Billy and Mary will no longer be regarded as naturally obstreperous and permanently out-of-hand.

To this end, mother must plan for the holidays, just as school-teachers do for the term, with due regard for the varied interests of the child. We will assume that rest, clothing and diet present no difficulties, but that the problems are occupational.

Just as a school-teacher encourages all children to have tidy desks, to put away apparatus neatly, and to help with dusting, flower-arrangement and room decoration, so the mother in the home assumes that the child is interested in his environment and willing to make it tidy and attractive. That is where the possession of individual drawers, table and wardrobe helps a child. The wise mother, especially with older children, encourages the child to help plan any change in these surroundings. Perhaps the room is to be repapered, the furniture painted, or new curtains and bedspread chosen. That is the time to allow the child to help choose—and not merely nominally. Take note of the child's preferences and show that you value his or her opinion. A thing self-chosen induces pride of ownership, and the problem of “tidying the bedroom” becomes simple.

In holiday time, especially, a child needs space for himself and his belongings. If possible, allow a child space, and facilities in the way of table and/or drawers, in bedroom, workshop or shed, where he may keep his “things” in his own way without danger of interference from adults. Of course, if bits of Billy's meccano set or Mary's paper dolls stray into the drawing-room or kitchen, then mother has every right to tidy them away; but if they are where they should be—in the child's own corner—no adult must interfere. Recognition by both parent and child of the fairness of this division of space goes a long way towards mutual understanding.

The next important step is to realise that the children like doing things, and that they don't have to be forced to “do.” The only difficulty is to keep them supplied with material sufficient for their avid interest and busy fingers. Most children, if given space in a house, soon collect all sorts of interests round them. The clever page 58 mother is the one who realises when material is running low, and who, at the right moment, quietly presents modelling clay, a building set or paints to the younger ones; a frock length and pattern, and the promise of help, to big sister; a simple book on amateur photography to big brother who has been given a camera for Christmas and who wants to save up for materials to develop and print his own “snaps.” With boys to-day, remember their amazing interest in technical matters. Even a ten-year-old often shows astonishing knowledge of motor or radio engineering. Help him with simple books and with apparatus. He will tell you what he wants.

You will notice that all the gifts mentioned lead to the development of the children. The “toys” are not “dead-ends.” The young modeller, if encouraged and helped, may reach the stage where he wishes to have his efforts properly baked in a kiln. The painter, after happily daubing for a while, wants to know a bit more about it, and “Mother couldn't I possibly take my paints with me when we go to the beach next Saturday? And will you show me about clouds? The sea's easy.” The big sister is probably ready to share, and help with the youngster's hobbies, while continuing with her own dressmaking efforts. Big brother is well on the way to an absorbing interest in photography. Where is the boredom of the holiday period? Gone! When school starts, they'll be hurrying home in the afternoons to carry on with their spare-time hobbies. And if each child has been presented with a garden of his own, home happiness and busy-ness will be complete.

Of course, the bored child does not respond to treatment right away. There is the problem of the child who plays with his new “toy” for a few minutes and then comes to mother.

“What'll I do now? I'm tired of that.”

The unwise mother says, “Your beautiful new paints! Be a good boy and go away and play with them some more. Mother's busy.”

The wise mother says, “What have you been doing? Show me. Oh, yes. That's the tree in the garden. Look, we'll put the shadow on the trunk like this. How about trying the willow-tree? Peter has some paints, hasn't he? Why not call Peter (Peter lives next door) and ask whether he would like to paint, too?”

The two resultant very weepy willow-trees receive due praise, and it is suggested that the boys bring their painting materials along on an afternoon walk to a nearby reserve. The boys try various kinds of trees, and Peter suddenly discovers that the painting in of a small boy he has seen playing round his tree, adds to the interest of the scene. The mother suggests that the boys keep a folio of their holiday paintings. Perhaps they can even interleave their paintings with a written record. The boys are engrossed in a worth-while hobby for the rest of the holidays.

It sounds easy, doesn't it? All that is required is a little understanding and consideration, and the provision of simple facilities for child activity.

Health Notes.

A cherry stone or other small smooth object that has “gone the wrong way” may often be expelled if the child is immediately laid over one's knees, face downwards, and smacked smartly on the back. If, however, the stone does not appear very soon, a doctor should be sent for—in fact, the safest way is to perform the home treatment whilst awaiting the arrival of the doctor.

A child may suffocate by drinking scalding water, owing to the inflammation in the back of the throat caused by the injuriously hot water. This swelling prevents the air passing through the vocal cords.

The Scrap Book.”

Never handle pastry more than is necessary. A light hand with the rolling pin is also essential.

A very hot oven is required at first. Later, the heat can be reduced.

Do not place cooked pastry, after removing from the oven, in a cold or draughty place, as the condensing of the steam is apt to make the pastry heavy.

Don't forget the basting—roasts are basted with fat and dripping as they roast. Makes them juicy and helps on the “finish.” Eggs are basted while frying, and fruits are basted while they glaze.

Fruits—currants particularly—which are small and shrivelled, may be improved considerably by steaming. Place in a colander and put over a saucepan of boiling water. A few minutes are sufficient to cause the fruit to swell.

For the Holiday Season.

A Miscellaneous Assortment.
Rock Cakes.

Quarter lb. butter, 1 egg, 1/2 lb. flour, 2 oz. currants or sultanas, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 lb. sugar, sufficient milk to mix.

* * *

Bran Biscuits.

Four lbs. sugar, 6 ozs. butter, 1 egg, 2 cups bran, 2 cups flour, salt to taste, 1 teaspoon baking power, 1 tablespoon golden syrup dissolved in hot water, little milk to mix—roll out thinly.

* * *

Sultana Loaf.

Four cups flour, 4 teaspoons baking powder, 1 cup sultanas, 2 large tablespoons golden syrup, milk to mix. Bake one hour.

* * *

Buma Cake.

Half lb. butter, ½ lb. sugar, 4 eggs, 2 breakfastcups flour, 1 dessertspoon golden syrup, 1 dessertspoon vinegar, ½ teaspoon soda dissolved in little hot milk, ½ lb. raisins, ½ lb. sultanas, 2 ozs. currants, 2 ozs. cherries, almonds, and 2 ozs. lemon peel, pinch nutmeg, mace, spice, ginger and cinnamon (to taste).

page 59

Delicious Sponge.

Half lb. butter, 5 ozs. sugar, 3 eggs, 1 breakfastcup flour, ½ cup sultanas and preserved ginger, 1 teaspoon cream tartar, ½ teaspoon soda in little milk.

Cream butter and sugar, then add eggs one by one unbeaten. Bake in sandwich tin for 20 minutes. Coffee icing on top. When adding eggs beat well.

* * *

Ginger Beer.

To a kerosene tin of cold water, put 4 tablespoons ginger, 2 tablespoons cream of tartar, 8 cups sugar, 2 ozs. fresh yeast, whites of 2 eggs beaten to a froth.

Put all together and allow to stand over night. Bottle when ready in the morning.

It is a good idea to dissolve sugar in boiling water or bring to the boil.

* * *


One oz. gelatine soaked in 3/4 cup cold water for ½ hour, 2 lbs. sugar soaked in 3/4 cup cold water for 1/4 hour. Put sugar and water on to boil for 5 minutes, add gelatine and simmer for 5 minutes. Take off the fire and cool. When skin forms—about 10 minutes—beat well, and add lemon juice for flavouring (or nuts if liked). When thick and foamy turn out on buttered dish.

* * *

Boston Cream.

Dissolve 3½ lbs. sugar in 3 quarts boiling water. When cool, stir in 4 ozs. tartaric acid and whites of 4 eggs (well beaten). Add essence lemon to taste. Bottle the liquid.

When ready for use, a wineglass of liquid to a tumbler of cold water and 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda. Stir well to fizz.

* * *

Cherry Cake.

One lb. butter, 6 eggs, 3 large cups flour, 1 cup sugar (large), 1/4 lb. almonds, 1/4 lb. cherries, 1 teaspoonful baking powder, little milk, 3 cups sultanas. Bake two hours—slowly.

* * *


One and a-half teacups sugar, 1 large cup water, 1 tablespoon gelatine. Mix 1 tablespoon flour and gelatine with little water and add to other ingredients—bring all to the boil, then allow to cool and beat well for 20 minutes or until fluffy. Add juice of one lemon and passion fruit—or any other fruit preferred.

* * *

Raspberry Mould.

Two pints raspberry crystals dissolved in 1 cup hot water—put on to boil—2 pints milk; mix 2 tablespoons cornflour in little milk and add the boiling milk with half cup sugar. Beat up 2 eggs and, when the milk is absolutely boiling, pour over the eggs, then add the jelly and mix well together. Allow to set over night.

* * *

Norwegian Cream.

Six eggs, 1 oz. gelatine, 6 tablespoons sugar, 2 cups boiling water, vanilla to flavour.

Soak gelatine in water for ½ hour—beat the whites of eggs, then the yolks with sugar. Add to the gelatine then the whites and stir slowly until the mixture is of the consistency of thick cream.

Orange Pudding.

Peel 3 large oranges, slice, put into a glass dish and sprinkle with sugar. Beat yolks of 2 eggs, with 1 tablespoon of cornflour, 2 tablespoons sugar and pinch salt. Stir one pint boiling milk into the eggs, etc., cook till it thickens and then pour over the oranges. When cold, put meringues on top filled with cream.

* * *

Passion Fruit Sago Cream.

½ cup sago, 1 cup milk, 1 cup water, 1/4 cup sugar. Boil all together, stirring all the time till sago is clear. Stir in the pulp of one dozen passion fruit; put into mould and when cold turn on to a glass dish and pour whipped cream over. Decorate with sliced cherries.

* * *

Asparagus Filling.

Mix asparagus tips with thick white sauce flavoured with grated cheese.