Instead of cooking lessons at the Y.W.C. A. Rooms we are being given lessons in starching and ironing by an experienced laundrymaid. This is a capital idea, but they will, I hope, be followed by a series of those on cooking fi«ch asjwe had last winter. I hope to go to the six upon laundry work, and to pick up many good useful hints, such as we were given at the first one, the only drawback to which was that we din't hear enough. This will, I believe, be rectified in future, and someone else will describe in words, while the very able instructor we have shows us the shirts, collars, laces, etc., growing into things of beauty under her deft fingers. These lessons appear popular, for at one last week there were over seventy people. I have heard a woman say that she could always tell at a dance which were the unfortunates who had their shirts done up at home and which the gay bachelors who sent theirs to an adept. Possibly after this course of instruction she will not find it so easy to distinguish between professional and amateur work.
The meeting held in the Choral Hall the other night about the "sweating system" waß a very interesting one, and at times equally amusing. I sat in the gallery among a number of factory girls, who took a most intelligent interest in the proceedings, and we all enjoyed the fun, too, when there was some friction (to put it mildly) between different speakers, or between speaker and audience. After reading such books as Charles Reade's ' Put Yourself in His Place' and others touching on the same questions, I have had rather a horror of trades unions, but they do seem to be a needful protection now for the employed. The president from the Union in Cbristchurch spoke humorously and pleasantly the other evening, and with no violence whatever against employers. With so many good people on the Committee to inquire into and to try to improve the present state of affairs, we can hope that the evil in this country will be nipped in the bud, as it must be only in its infancy as yet, Very likely those who are eager to buy cheap bargains would be as horrified as any at tho starvation wages given for the making of the very articles in question, not seeing that they are doing their best to uphold the system. In spite of our grubby old theatre, and of the Simonsen Company being but a weak
one, I was glad to see that thoy had on the whole good houses during their stay here. 'Satauella' and 'Girofle Girofla' were, I thought, the best performed of the operas given here, and perhaps the best mounted. It is a pity the trams don't run a little more conveniently. For instance, anyone going from St. Clair could only get one to the Forbury road corner after the opera was over, and not being sure that even the last Caversham tram would wait if the performance lasted beyond eleven o'clock, people sometimes missed the finale of a long opera. In Auckland and Wellington, I remember, one always found trams waiting outside the theatre till the audience streamed out. Perhaps with a new house we shall get better arrangements made for our convenience.
Until I read the pamphlet Mr Jago has compiled upon ' Woman's Work for Temperance,' I had no idea of the wonderful crusade the American women had embarked upon within the last twenty years. Their power for good seems to have been immense; and what began in such a small way is now a well organised and far-reaching movement, of which it is most interesting to read. I went the other day to see the pictures Messre Moultray, ptre et fits, have on view in their studio in Royal terrace. I was agreeably surprised, for besides the interesting scenes from 'Bella I horrida bella !' by the son are several landscapes by Mr Moultray, sen. Those I admired most were of some lovely Scottish scenery, and it is interesting to contrast the prevailing tints of the two countries, the Scotch scenes being of warmer hues with a soft mistiness, while those of our Southern lakes and sounds are of colder colors, but with the wonderful sharpness of outline that is so remarkable out here. This is most striking in Auckland, where I have seen effects that, if depicted by anyone but Dame Nature herself, would be called hard and unnatural. ' Now for my little dinner. I must first remark that I go upon the French plan of having a succession of dishes, one only in each course, so that your guests need not suffer the agonies of making a decision, but can eat of each if they think fit; and if one happens to be something they dislike, they yet need not starve: — Fried ood steaks and oysters. Small saddle of mutton. Mashed potatoes. Jerusalem artichokes. Dry curry and rice. Apple pie and custard. I Coooaout and sago pudding. Cheese straws.
The whites of eggs left from the custard will do for egging and bread-crumbing the fish and the oysters. The latter should have both the beards and bard parts removed. One cocoanut will do for the sago pudding and the curry. I only give a dinner for a house in which, tay, one servant is kept, or at any rate inexperienced ones. Of course, if they were experienced they would not need my humble suggestions; and I have arranged one so that a good deal can be prepared beforehand, and the mistress need not be on thorns during the meal, fearing a fiasco. For instance, curry can always be made the day before, and by means of bains-marie, if made only of the primitive billy in a saucepan, nothing need be burnt, and yet be prepared some, time before. If any fish and oysters are left over, they can be escalloped for breakfast, and if a little of the white sauce is left from the artichokes, it, with a dash of anchovy sauce in it, will improve this rechauffe. Mashed potato, with some egg to bind it, makes delicious little balls when fried for breakfast; probably there would be enough of the white of egg for this. Any artichokes left over are good escalloped with bread crumbs. Cold saddle of mutton is as good as hot, and when too dilapidated to appear, the meat could be cut off and made into an " epicure's hash," or put through the mincing machine and formed into croquettes. If there is much custard left (which is perhaps not likely), with a few stale sponge cakes, a little cooking sherry, and a dozen or so of almonds, you can make a tipsy cake. By-the-bye, you can add a little of the cold boiled rice to the rechauffe" of fish and oyster, provided you have some sauce to prevent it being too dry. Cold boiled rice, too, makes good scones, done in the same fashion as potato cakes. Of all the things I have suggested I have already given recipes. If anyone wants them repeated, however, I will be happy to oblige them.
As 1 see a good many pie-meloiiß in. the town, I will add a good recipe for making jam with them, for fear of their being over when my next letter is due. After peeling the fruit and taking out all the seeds, cut it into blocks from §in to lin square, and leave it over night with the sugar over it, in the proportion of ilb sugar to lib prepared fruit. Break up the lumps of sugar partially. Next put the liquid into a preserving pan, and when it boils add the fruit and let it boil briskly for two or three hours. It will require little attention at first; bat, after an hour or so, when it begins to thicken, stir and skim carefully. When done, the blocks should be semi-trans-parent, in a clear, thick syrup. After taking the pan off the fire stir in some essence of lemon—one teaspoonful to each 71b of fruit. If ginger is preferred put loz ground ginger to every 41b of the fruit, and it must be put in at the outset. Some bruised whole ginger in a muslin bag is still better. If you can manage to very slightly candy the jam it is an improvement, but this is dangerous, as if overdone the brew is spoilt, and nothing but experience will teach you the happy mean. Maktha.
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FEMININE FANCIES., Evening Star, Issue 7934, 15 June 1889, Supplement
FEMININE FANCIES. Evening Star, Issue 7934, 15 June 1889, Supplement
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