Monday, 21 July 2008

Helpful Hints My Grandmother Taught Me.

My Grandmother had more common sense than anyone I have ever met. She was also very kind and patient. She was the eldest of six siblings and not only did she become an excellent business woman but also a wonderful home maker and she sang like an angel.

How ever difficult her circumstances, she lived life positively and was never known to complain about anything. She always ended her long newsy letters to me at boarding school with “Do good and be good, darling and life will treat you well.”
Not an easy instruction for a high spirited teenager to follow but I loved my Gran dearly, so I did try!

During my holidays and weekends spent with her, she taught me the many, many things, or rather I learnt by watching and asking questions, which she’d answer casually and kindly, like the uses of bicarbonate of soda – for cleaning just about anything – from thermos flasks to ovens and fridges. She knew how to sharpen a pair of scissors by cutting several long strips from a sheet of sand paper – just that simple and they would cut like a dream.

“Don’t get upset if your freshly baked cake sticks to the tin” she’d say, – “just wring out a cloth in cold water and wrap it round the sides and base of the tin. Leave it for a few minutes and the cake will slip out easily.” And it did, every time.

She told me never to carry more money about with me than I could afford to lose! Wise words, even 50 years ago, when a cheque book was probably the safer option.

Did you know that shiny garments should be ironed on the right side and dull garments on the inside? Seams though, of both types, should always be pressed open and on the wrong side. When ironing garments with buttons, make sure you iron them with the button side down and its easier if you place a soft towel underneath, covered with a clean sheet.
Use a damp cloth when pressing heavily creased clothing or good linen and tablecloths. It works better than most steam irons to this day.

Always rinse “milky” or “starchy” utensils in cold water first, and that includes electric beater blades and anything you may have used for cheese. Hot water causes the fat or starch to stick, making it harder to clean in the long run.

Granny even taught me how to make the best pin cushion. Just take a new steel wool ball and cover it with fabric. This will keep your pins and needles really sharp.

Scuffed shoes will take polish once they have been rubbed well with a raw potato. Apply the polish, rub up and they’ll shine like new! (Well almost)

Did you know that flour never freezes? Keep it in a plastic bag in the freezer, and it will keep fresh for longer AND you will never find a weevil in it!

A little salt sprinkled in your frying pan will stop the oil from spattering and it makes the pan easier to clean afterwards.

I picked up hundreds of little tips from my Gran and most have become second nature to me but that’s all for now, folks! Till next time…

If you have enjoyed this article, please post a comment on the blog telling us what you have enjoyed and what kind of helpful hints you would like in future articles.

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