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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 14, Issue 11 (February 1, 1940)

Our Women's Section — Late Summer

page 57

Our Women's Section
Late Summer

Looking Forward

The frocks sketched belong to this season but have a touch of the next. The black silk, formal, plain, with fitted corselet waist, and bodice and skirt fullness, has an engaging ruffle of white eyelet embroidery at neck and wrists. The same ruffling will lend distinction to a fine woollen in the same style for autumn.

Perhaps you will buy a piece of plaid silk at the sales. Make it up as simply as possible, with short sleeves and a slim waist. Wear a narrow belt. (Belts for autumn will be narrow or of medium width). You'll want a coatee to make it a town outfit. Face the lapels with plaid. This gay jacket may pair off, at times, with something plain from your wardrobe—and watch that plain frock perk up in good company!

Here's another idea for a dress fillip. Buy a velvet remnant and some narrow gold braid. From the velvet make thongs or “strings,” and arrange six or seven of them to make a collar. Fasten in position, every few inches, by a cross-piece of gold braid. Make a belt in the same way.

As it's sale time, you may be buying silk dress-lengths for winter afternoons at home. Plan carefully before having frocks made up. Aim at the new silhouette which is youthful and flattering, with its low-placed front fullness and flat back. Don't worry unduly if your waist is not of Victorian dimensions. A careful choosing of styles will create the necessary optical illusion and take inches, apparently, off your beltline.

Mother's Time And Mother's Money.
She Must Look After Herself.

The housewife and mother too often drags wearily through her day, her only outing the necessary household shopping trip, her only “rest” period the time when she sits down to mend, or shell peas or iron. Drearily she wonders how her life has become so drab. Her husband is just as fond of her, but she misses something in herself. She looks back, perhaps over only a few years, at the girl she used to be and marvels how she, who was so gay and happy, has now become so uninteresting, even to herself.

How has it happened? In her case it is true that “woman's work is never done.” With the advent of the children she has lost her leisure. From getting up to bed-time she goes from task to task, caring for her husband and children, their clothes, their meals, their surroundings. There is no one to do the same for her—unless she can afford a maid. Therefore the only help is in her hands. Somehow she must claim her share of attention.

Why should the children's hair be washed and brushed so thoroughly, while mother's is given a swift run through with a comb each morning, and a shampoo “when she has time”? Why should the children be dressed as well as any of their friends, while mother carries on with what she has, because “she has no time to do the rounds of the shops, and anyway she doesn't go out much”? Why should the rest of the family have time for books and magazines while mother contents herself with an occasional glance at the newspaper? Why? Why? Why?

Mother, in devotion to the needs of her family, is neglecting herself, and no husband, no children, however helpful, can prevent a woman robbing herself in this way.

The woman has to convince herself that she is as important as anyone else in the household, for their sake as well as for hers. Somehow she has to find time to devote to herself. It will require determination, and planning, and again determination, to manage this, once the “household drudge” state has been reached.

Early rising is a solution for many mothers. Morning energy can cope with page 58 the ordinary household cleaning before breakfast; and an early bird of a mother gets the family on the scene in time to do their share in the way of bedmaking, own room mopping and dusting, etc., before departing for school or office.

With breakfast over (and dishes washed by the young ones), mother can look round on a clean, tidy house and a morning to organize as she wishes, with extra household tasks and shopping, and time left over for herself. The afternoon, too, will have its freedom. Of course this time is stolen from the early morning when mother otherwise would have been sleeping, and it is up to her to see that she has a rest period, with feet up, either before or after lunch, in order that she may not be tired in the evening.

Having found how to gain an extra hour or two, the clever woman will use it to advantage, for herself.

As for the clothes problem, any married woman will tell you that her housekeeping money goes on food, and clothes for the children, and somehow there's very little left for herself. But why should she always be the last to dip into the purse? She has to fight her own self-denying instincts by setting aside her fair share, each pay day, for personal expenses, including clothes. It's the only way, isn't it, you mothers of families?

Electrical Cooking.
Points for Economy.



Turn off cooker main switch when cooking is finished. Do not waste heat —cook as many dishes as possible in the oven at one time.


Arrange the shelves in the oven and remove all surplus tins, etc., before switching on to heat the oven. Have the food assembled near the oven so that it can be packed in with the minimum loss of time and heat.


Electric ovens and boiling plates keep hot for a while after the switch is off. Use up this heat by getting into the habit of switching off before the food is quite ready to serve, or by having something to go into the oven which will cook on the retained heat.


When using the oven for one or two dishes requiring short cooking periods or a falling temperature, take full advantage of the heat-retaining properties of the electric oven, by switching off when a hot oven has been reached.


Foods taking 30 minutes or longer to cook may be put into a cold oven and the switch turned to high until a temperature slightly lower than that normally used to cook the food is reached. Then switch down.


When vegetables have come to the boil on the boiling plate, switch to low, then off, and experiment to see how long the switch may be off and the contents of the pan continue to boil. The success of this procedure will depend on the type of pan being used. It is essential that flat-based pans be used on the solid type of boiling plate.


Use a large pan covering the whole surface of the boiling plate even though heating a small quantity of food.


Remember to use a lid on every pan, and two or three pans will keep boiling on one boiling plate.


Remember that vegetables when cooked in the oven require a longer cooking period.


Put a bowl of water to heat for washing-up into the oven when cooking is finished, but stand it in a baking tin or tray so that it is easy to remove.

Health Notes.

Catarrh is not usually considered as a dangerous disease; when it affects the nose and throat, however, it may cause the development of complications which may have a definite effect on health–such as tonsil trouble, loss of hearing, etc.

It is generally understood that an excessive accumulation in the blood of material formed from the carbohydrate foods (sugars and starches) is responsible for catarrh. The mucous membranes become irritated and develop a chronic state of congestion and exude an excessive amount of mucus.

In order to effect a cure it is of the utmost importance to cleanse the bloodstream of its accumulation of toxic material as quickly as possible and then to plan a diet free from those foods which have caused the trouble.

The diet should include an abundance of vegetables—cooked and uncooked–fresh, juicy fruit, wholemeal bread and butter, a few raisins or figs, etc. Tea, coffee, alcoholic beverages, condiments, should be avoided as well as all stimulating foods and drinks.

Exercise is a very important factor in the treatment of catarrh. Long walks are recommended, together with deepbreathing exercises performed daily. As much time as possible should be spent out-of-doors and hot stuffy rooms avoided.

Catarrh can only persist when the impurities in the blood are present–therefore remove the causes and guard against further trouble.

page 59

Fresh Fruits And Vegetables.

One of the most encouraging changes in the diet concerns the increasing use of fruits and vegetables.

Vegetables should be washed in cold water, but not soaked. Save the water in which the vegetables are cooked for making sauces and soups, as this water contains the most valuable part of the vegetables—the mineral salts and vitamins.


Take fresh spinach leaves and tear them in pieces, removing the veins and stalks. Wash in several waters, shake a little and put into a saucepan. Do not put in any water, the moisture clinging to the leaves is sufficient to cook them. Steam till tender. Turn into a colander to drain and press well with a wooden spoon or basin till no moisture will come away. Turn on to a board and chop as fine as possible. Put into a saucepan with a piece of butter and stir till very hot. A little milk or cream may be added.

Carrots and Peas.

Wash, scrape and cut young carrots in small cubes or fancy shapes; cook until soft in boiling salted water. Drain, add an equal quantity of cooked green peas, and season with butter, salt and pepper.

Tomato and Mushroom Pudding.

Four large tomatoes, peeled and sliced; 4 ozs. breadcrumbs; paprika; 1/2 lb. mushrooms, skinned; 2 ozs. butter.

Grease a basin and put the sliced tomatoes all round, and then alternate layers of breadcrumbs and mushrooms. Season each layer with paprika and dot with butter. Finish with a layer of breadcrumbs, cover with greased paper and steam for one hour. Serve with tomato sauce.

Vegetable Stew.

Two leeks; one turnip; two large onions; 2 ozs. butter; paprika; two carrots; one parsnip; 1 lb. potatoes; quart water.

Peel and cut up all the vegetables except the potatoes and fry in the butter until golden brown. Add the water and simmer for an hour. Add the potatoes and seasoning. Cook for a further twenty minutes.

Vegetable Cutlets.

Cooked sieved carrots; cooked sieved peas; chopped celery; chopped onion; chopped parsley; a little mashed potato; egg yolks; a little baking powder mixed with the potato.

Form into cutlets and fry in olive oil or fat.

Grated Carrots.

Grate some lightly-scraped carrots with a coarse grater. Put into a small, covered casserole or piedish and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, then add a few dabs of butter. Cover and place in an oven for twelve to fifteen minutes. Serve around spinach rings.


Fruit Mousse.

One cupful grated apple; twelve chopped dates; sufficient cream (or top off the milk) to moisten; one cupful mashed bananas; two finely cut oranges; half cupful chopped nuts.

Serve in individual glasses and decorate with raisins.

Orange Sundae.

One large orange; one heaped teaspoon honey dissolved in four tablespoons of water; 1/4 lb. chopped nuts; 2 ozs. finely chopped candied peel; juice of half lemon; three bananas.

Cut up the orange slices fairly small and mix thoroughly with all the other ingredients except the nuts. Place in individual glasses and cover with the nuts.

Peach Cocktail.

Take one cup of peach juice, one cup of orange juice, the grated rind of an orange, the juice of one lemon and sugar syrup to taste. Shake well and serve iced.


Two gallons water; 2 lbs. sugar; three lemons; one tablespoon cream of tartar.

Boil water and pour over all other ingredients. Leave overnight. Next day strain and bottle. Let lemonade stand in bottles seven days before using.

Note.—Use caps on bottles, as corks may fly off.

Springtime Cocktail.

Cut the white portion of a fresh, young cucumber into half-inch dice. Place in a basin, sprinkle with salt and dessertspoon sugar, add crushed mint leaves. Pour over all the juice of two grapefruit. Stand in a cold spot for two hours. Divide the cucumber into cocktail glasses; strain the liquid into the glasses and garnish with sprigs of fresh mint.

Orange Cream.

One egg; 2 cups water; 1 tablespoon butter; 1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind; 2 1/2 tablespoons cornflour; 1/2 cup orange juice; 6 tablespoons castor sugar.

Beat egg and stir in sugar mixed with the cornflour. Add water and orange rind and juice. Stir in the top of a double boiler until thick. Add butter. Cool before serving.