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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 14, Issue 10 (January 1, 1940)

Our Women's Section

page 57

Our Women's Section

Children After Christmas

After the excitement of Christmas Day comes a period of reaction. Mother is tired after the rush of shopping and special Christmas cooking. Children also droop a little in spirits. They have expended a great deal of nervous energy, and have probably, like the grown-ups, eaten rather more than necessary. Now the new toys begin to pall, and a weary mother is assailed with the question, “What'll we do now?”

If possible, the answer is, “Get ready for an outing,” whether it be a full-day picnic, a half-day at beach or baths, or a walk across the road to ask little friends to play in the park.

Every child appreciates an outing, simple though it may be, and even a well-known destination becomes exciting when playmates are invited to “come too.” The wise mother is only too glad to include Johnny-next-door or Sallyover-the-way in her party.

But there is no guarantee that the weather will be suitable for out-ofdoors. In case of rain, mother is the one who is expected to suggest some interesting indoor occupation. Mother realizes that children like to be doing, and that possibly the toys that wellmeaning relatives have given are not of a type to keep the young ones busy for long.

Perhaps mother suggests that the children prepare for next day's picnic. “You will want your bathing suits. Merle's cap is in the chest in the hall. You go swimming so often I've decided you'll have to look after your own things, including the towels. You may each have two of your very own from the pile of swimming towels in the linen press. Yes, choose the ones you like. Draw lots if you wish. Daddy and I'll have the remainder. Yes, I know some of them are the same. You'll have to label your own. Yes, either with embroidery thread or marking ink on tape. No, why should Merle do it for you boys? Each mark your own. And you'll have to find room in your drawers for them. I suggest keeping special picnic gear all together. You may have to rearrange your drawers.

By this time the children have got the idea, and turn to a rearranging of all their belongings, hardly realizing that the irksome task of tidying drawers has become a worthwhile job.

Sister later is found studying recipe books in the kitchen with the idea of making something tasty for the picnic, and young Jack gets busy sorting out billies, milk bottles and other picnic utensils.

Meanwhile mother is noticing the discarded toys here and there about th house. Re-arranging can well be extended to the toy cupboard. There probably isn't an adequate cupboard, but an interested father or big brother can do marvels with wooden boxes or a few shelf boards. The small child who is to use the shelf space should help to plan and to build. Even the holding of nails gives a “proud builder” air to the young child.

Envelope Pillow-Slip

Envelope Pillow-Slip

Big brother, too, could probably do with more storage space for his belongings, and will attend to this need after he has fixed things up for the small ones.

If sister wants to help with the carpentering, let her. Show her how to use the tools and she'll enjoy the job as much as brother does.

The final painting or varnishing is an absorbing occupation. (Mother might like to enlist workers for other jobs about the house). Then comes the de page 58 lightful task of arranging “my shelf” or “my cupboard.” Old toys assume new value now that they have a home, and a surprising number of repair jobs are carried out by the young craftsmen.

Who cares whether it rains to-morrow or not? The children have indoor plans for days ahead.

Pillow Slips.

A friend who has replaced her double bed by single beds was exercised as to what to do with her double sheets, which, though large (78ins. by 93 ins.) are not quite large enough to cut in two for single sheets.

So far she has made pillow slips from a couple of them. Each sheet makes five envelope slips, with sufficient of a turn in to guarantee the pillow won't show. The diagram shows the pattern she used. Note that two slips can be cut from the width of the material.

She may make one single sheet and one pillow slip from each of the remainder or use them as they are for top sheets.

Electrical Economy.

Electricity in Great Britain is now rationed, consumers being allowed only 75 per cent. of last year's quantity. Excellent economy hints for British housewives, given in an article in “The Electrical Age,” should also prove of interest to New Zealand women who, though not rationed by the Government, are forced by the rising cost of living to economise where they can. Main points from the article “Rationing Electricity,” are as follow:—


For the cost of one unit a 25 watt lamp will give light for 40 hours; a 40 watt do. for 25 hours; a 60 watt do. for 16 hours; a 100 watt do. for 10 hours.


Wherever possible concentrate the principal activities in the house in as few rooms as practicable.


In all rooms make full use of floor and table standards, eliminating eye strain by placing light where it is needed.


Use good quality pearl lamps. These give better results and longer life. Where possible use cream or amber coloured shades.

Heating—of Rooms.

A fire marked 1000 W., I K.W. uses 1 unit per hour; do. 2000 W., 2 K.W, uses 2 units per hour; do. 3000 W., 3 K.W. uses 3 units per hour.


In rooms where it is essential to have a large electric fire, switch on full heat until the room is warmed, then switch down.


Use only one bar when and wherever possible.


For short periods and localized heating in rooms other than kitchens and bathrooms, bowl fires are to be recommended on account of their portability and low consumption of electricity.

Heating—of Water.

About 3 or 4 units will be needed to heat enough water for one bath. A 2-or 3-pint kettle can be used for half to one and a-half hours for one unit, depending on loading of kettle.


It is important to see that the lagging of the tank is adequate, minimising the loss of heat.


It will not be necessary to economise in the number of baths if the amount of water used is considerably reduced.


On no account should either washing-up or hand-washing be done under a running tap. Organise your washing-up to avoid incessant drawing off of hot water.


Where thermostats are installed, the local Electricity authority can be consulted with regard to economical temperature regulation.



Heat only the amount of water required. This is to be recommended in any circumstances.


Always heat water in the electric kettle except when cooking is being done and space is available for a kettle or saucepan on a boiling plate already in use.

Washing, Vacuum Cleaning, etc.

Electrical appliances which are driven by a motor, such as washers and vacuum cleaners, can be used for four to eight hours for one unit. If care is taken with the use of heavy current-consuming apparatus, it is possible to have full use and service of the labour-saving apparatus in the home, as the consumption of such apparatus is low.


An electric iron can be used for two to three hours for one unit. Temperature-controlled types should be used wherever possible.



The refrigerator door should not be opened more than is necessary.


Hot foods should not be put into the refrigerator.


The regulator should not be set to “Freezing” longer than is necessary.


The refrigerator should be used for perishable foods only and not as a store cupboard.

(To be concluded next month.)

Health Notes.
Ptomaine Poisoning.

Here are a few simple rules to remember in case one is called upon to help a person suffering from Ptomaine Poisoning.


Immediately give an emetic.


Warmth is the next consideration.


Later, give a good dose of castor oil.

When the patient has recovered from the emetic, stimulants such as hot tea or brandy and water may be given.

The best emetics, are two flat tablespoonfuls of salt in a tumbler of tepid water or a flat tablespoonful of mustard in a tumbler of tepid water.

If neither is at hand, tickle the back of the throat with a feather or very lightly with a forefinger.

Food poisoning is often accomplished by chill on the abdomen, and it is therefore advisable to combat this by keeping the patient warm with hotwater bottles, hot blankets, etc.

Administration of a purgative such as castor oil relieves the patient, and should be given without any unnecessary delay.

There is no need to describe the symptoms of Ptomaine Poisoning because they speak for themselves—the page 59 abdomen strongly resents its illtreatment and is backed up by headache, cramp in the limbs, a varying degree of prostration, etc.

Tired Feet.

Whenever possible rest with the feet raised above the level of the knees. A pillow at the foot of the bed between the sheets, with a hot-water bottle beneath, is comforting to tired feet.

Placing the feet and ankles in hot and cold water alternately is also a sure method of relieving tiredness. Begin with the hot water for about half-a-minute, then plunge the feet into cold water for the same period; repeat for about 15 minutes, then massage with your favourite ointment.


Everyone is more or less aware of the harm done by excessive drinking, but over-eating is just as dangerous. This is one of the temptations peculiar to middle-age, when the more strenuous delights of youth have necessarily to be curtailed. It is usually a more placid period of existence, and one feels that the time has arrived when over-weight need not be considered as a “falling from grace.”

Every pound of superfluous fat laid down, however, is a strain upon the bodily tissues. The heart, arteries and kidneys are affected, and over-replenishment is directly or indirectly responsible for “high-blood pressure.”

Kitchen Lore.

The tomato is now revealed as a firstclass food for health. It is very nourishing as it contains valuable organic acids useful to the system The skins and seeds are indigestible and should be discarded.

Standing the tomatoes in hot water for a few minutes enables them to be skinned easily in readiness for use in salads, etc.

Hors d'Oeuvres.

Anchovies.—Turn out the anchovies and sprinkle lightly with finely-chopped parsley.

Sardines.—Turn the sardines out of the tin and serve them ungarnished.

Cauliflower.—Boil a small cauliflower until it is tender but not broken, then take it up and leave it to get cold. Divide the white flowers into small branches. Mix these lightly with some dressing to which a little chopped pimento has been added before serving.

To make the dressing, mix together two teaspoonfuls of salad oil with one tablespoonful of vinegar, and half a level teaspoonful of made mustard. Season the ingredients with salt and pepper, add a tiny grating of onion and one to one and a-half level dessertspoonfuls of chopped pimento.

Egg Mayonnaise.—Hard boil as many eggs as may be required and cut into eighths. Mix them with mayonnaise to taste, and granish with strips of chopped chives.

Beetroot.—Peel and cut the beetroot into small dice. Toss in dressing and serve it sprinkled with finelychopped parsley.

Tomatoes.—Peel the tomatoes and slice them thinlyj dress them with French dressing, and sprinkle them with finely-chopped parsley.

For the French dressing, use twice as much oil as vinegar, a little made mustard, a tiny grating of onion, and salt and pepper to taste.


1/4 pint salad oil; I egg yolk; I or more dessertspoonfuls vinegar, as required; salt, pepper and mustard.

Break the egg yolk in a basin and add a little salt, pepper and mustard. Stir in the oil very gradually, adding it drop by drop. When the sauce begins to get thick, add just a little of the vinegar. Continue in this way until all the ingredients are added. The sauce should be of a thick, creamy consistency when finished.

Welsh Rarebit.

4 ozs. grated cheese; 1/2 pint milk; butter, flour and chopped onion, 1 oz. each; salt and pepper to taste; buttered toast.

Sauté the onion in the butter, stir in the flour, remove and stir in the hot milk. Return to the fire and cook, stirring all the time for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the fire and stir in the cheese and seasoning. Serve on hot buttered toast.

Curried Vegetables.

Cooked diced carrot, turnip, parsnip -1 each; 1 cup peas or beans; 1 stick celery—finely chopped; 1/2 teacup boiled rice; 1/2 pint curry, sauce.

Place the cooked vegetables in the curry sauce. Heat through slowly. Serve with a border of rice.

Curry Sauce.

1 oz. butter; I oz. flour; seasoning; 1/2 pint milk or stock; 1 apple; 1 onion; 1 dessertspoonful curry powder.

Melt the butter, sauté the chopped apple and onion, stir in the flour and curry powder. Add the hot milk or stock, stir and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add seasoning.