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The Household

The Household image
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Houskeeping is administration on a unall scale. It includes the capacity ' for managing children and servante, nul of exercising economy if necessa■y. Yet a girl is not generally given in y preparation for the life of a houseceeper, though it may be cheerf ully conceded by her parents that such will robably be her de8tiny, The average school course contains nothing that will fit her to be the head of a houseïold, with its complex duties and requirements. There is much of the jower in a home in knowing how to ook, or to direct others how it shall se done If the dinner is a failure the music of the piano will not bring sootMng to the mind of the liusband. lic m ïina uic wife'a swpftpst strains outdiscord, wliile the recollection of ihe overdone or nnderdone joint and iieavy bread is fresh in his recollection. It appears to me that the surest method of sowing broadcast good liousekeepers through the land, is to let the girls of each household assume in turn the responsibilities of the housekeeping. Let them have in succession, a month at a time, charge of the cooking, the chamber work, the mending, and under proper supervisión the buying for the family. There will be no mistake about their knowledge then. They will have learned everything from experience, and, as we all know, experience is a very competent teacher Let us suffer for a mistake and we do not repeat it. The judgment and discrimination will be well developed by such training, and though the girls may turn up their pretty noses at this plan, they will live to thank "Mother" for the wisdom which dictated the course. Mothers may argue tliat it is easier to do the work themselves than to teach their young daughters how to do it. But if they reilect for a moment they will see that it is selfish and cruel to allow children to grow up in ignorance of the grave duties which the future assuredly holds lor them. What wonder that the young bride, whoin her days of girlhood never bought a piece of meat nor saw the inside of a inarket, should on beginning housekeeping for herseit maKe many lamentable mistakes. which are so expensive as frequently to decide the husband to board ? Hovv is slie, never ha ving been taught, to knovv good flour from bad, poor sugar from fine, tender meat from tough, or what the price should be for each article ? Is it any wonder that she is cheated on every hand and is ever at the bottom of her purse ? She of courso goes to "Mother"- if she can- with her troubles, but it is too late for the mother to rehder much aid. The young housekeeper must learn by experience, which is very dearly bought sometimes. r".-viiVi umi f..;i & Uiij joH ai'e apt to oaat, a shadow over the married life of theyoung coupic. m.i,.i.. for granted that their wives know how to manage a household, and they can make no excuse for f ailures, partioularly if it affects their pockets very seriously. The yoang wife, accustomed all her life to be considered and petted, thinks her husband positively brutal when he finds fault, and tears and reproaches only make matters worse, and the shadow over the household grows very dark indeed. Ah! theflrst year or two of married life, before experience has put things straight, may be very dark for both ( husband and wife if the girthood of j the latter has not been spent under a judicious mother, who has had an eye to the future of her daughters and acted accordingly. I know a young lady who, on first attempting housekeeping, undertook to roast a pair of chickens, attending to their cleaning and singeing herself. They came to the table a beautiful delicate brown, and she looked proudly at her husband, expecting nis commendation. He waited, however, to test the fowls before praising the cooking, and it is as well that he did so, for at the first cut he made, corn went flying all over the table. She had forgotten to take out the erop. In fact, had not known that chickens had crops. Economy in cooking does not consist in the use of very little of what are called the necessaries, but rather in getting up even the simplest dishes in such a manner as not only to taste but to look well. Some housekeepers possess this faculty in a remarkable degree. Others are totally without it. And there is, too of ten, waste wliich might be avoided by exercising a little forethought and care. Meat is thrown aside which might be hashed ; the flour is sif ted in a wastef ui manner ; soap is lef t in water to dissolved ; sugar is spilled f rom the barrel ; apples decay for want of looking over ; pie-crust is lef t to sour ; bones, good for soap, are thrown away ; pieces of bread go into the swill bucket, and a hundred such little ways is the substance of the household wasted. The importance of economy in small matters is too little considered. It is seldom that the wife can in any other way help her husband. and it is her duty to lighten his load by exercising economy, if economy is


Old News
Michigan Argus