Household Helps from 1920

Household Helps from 1920
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tipsIn 1920 The League of Women Voters is founded in Chicago, as is The National Football League and Prohibition begins in the United States. It’s was an exciting, yet challenging time, especially since there is a lot of unrest in the rest of the world as well. Families are still recovering from the many hardships that occurred during World War I, and lessons in thrift are always appreciated during this time.


The April 1920 issue of The Modern Priscilla magazine printed tips from homemakers, paying them a dollar per tip. The following cooking tips were very helpful, and appeal to cooks of all ages and income. I’ve added notes where needed.


Next time you make pies bake two or three extra crusts for one-crust pies. These will keep fresh several days and are ready within a few minutes for a boiled custard or a fruit pie. Be sure to prick the pastry dough several times with a fork, to prevent it from rising on the plate like waves on a story sea.


If necessary to add more flour to batter for cake or griddles, be sure and add from half to a teaspoon of baking powder along with it.


An excellent celery seasoning, put five cents worth of celery seed through the finest knife of the chopper, mix with ten times its bulk in table salt and store in tightly covered bottle.


A long handled corn popper is convenient for broiling steak, a chop or making a slice of toast over the furnace fire if the kitchen fire is low and one is in a hurry. (While this doesn't apply to our modern kitchen, it's a great tip for cooking over a campfire!)


When putting sugar in cranberries, add one teaspoon of cornstarch for each quart of berries. Less sugar is required and yet the jelly will be firm.


Cooked dried apricots served with mayonnaise and grated cheese, make a delicious salad.


Before putting beans in the beanpot to bake, grease the top, inside and out, with the rind of the pork and save many minutes of scouring later.


In warming leftover roast meat, lay a few slices of bacon over it and cook long enough to crisp bacon. A juice, deliciously flavored roast is the result.


It is impossible to burn noodles, macaroni, or spaghetti if they are first placed in a colander and then in a pan of boiling salted water to cook. (This would refer to metal colanders.)


Citron or orange peel may be prepared very easily by soaking ten minutes in hot water and then putting through a grinder.


About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at


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