Wednesday, February 3, 2010
There are so many families struggling right now. There is never enough food for even the basics of life. Housewives need encouragement, inspiration and ideas in order to survive on very little.
During the War in the 1940's, Britain's government provided citizens with books to help them obtain skills to manage on very little. These were called: "Wartime cookery" and "Make do and Mend." I understand some of these have been recently re-published.
The other day, I cut out material to make two aprons. While I was ironing all the material I was thinking about the depression-era mothers. They would take scraps of fabric and piece them together for quilts. Or they would make rag-rugs. These women were productive, hardworking and creative. They could take the smallest amount of leftovers, from supper, and come up with something amazing the next day.
With knowledge, ideas and inspiration, these women survived poverty. Currently, in America, we are told, by the government, that a family of 5, earning less than $25,790 is living in poverty. It does not take much to be poor in this current age. Housing costs are high, utility bills are outrageous and food costs are rising. Here are some things the Old time mothers did:
1. Water down the milk.
2. If children were allowed to have a soda, they had to share it.
3. If, during a holiday, the family had soda, they would fill the cups with ice and add a little water before pouring the soda. The children never knew what "real" or "straight" soda tasted like until they were grown.
4. Cut up one apple or orange and divide between everyone in the family. Serve on their lunch or supper plate.
5. Sew and mend rips in the clothes. (Are we doing this today?)
6. Make a big pot of soup, then do the housework and laundry. The soup cooks all day - it is an inexpensive meal and goes far. Just serve it with muffins or biscuits.
7. Bake something every other day - muffins, bread, biscuits. Leave this out, wrapped up, on the table or counter. It will help fill everyone up and keep them from snacking on junk or feeling hungry (deprived).
8. When there is nothing to drink, Mother would make tea. Those tea bags were re-used all day long to fill cup after cup. Mother served tea on tea plates and kept the tea bags on those little plates for re-use later in the day.
9. Mother saved jars (we can save spaghetti-sauce jars today) and kept them clean, storing them in the cabinet. When the family would go out, she would fill that jar with cold water so everyone would have something to drink.
As I was doing some hand-sewing yesterday, I thought how important it was to keep busy. I prayed as I sewed. I was keeping busy with the home arts and this soothed my soul. If we mothers of today, could just work hard around our homes, and pray for courage, we could make it on very little. We would also start believing more in miracles and trust God so much more than we do now. So many blessings come to the diligent, brave housewives. May we all be found worthy.
From the Archives:
Familiar Things - Comforted by My Homemaking Tools.
Creating a Heritage - The Bills in the Whitman's Box.
Keeping it Classy - Mozart Inspired Housekeeping.
Order My Books:
For Home-keeping Inspiration, - For The Love of Christian Homemaking.
A 90 Day Bible Study, inspired by John Wesley, - "Early Morning Revival Challenge"
Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."
An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email.