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Vincent's Odds and Ends, continued In WinterDip clothes pins in…

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Vincent's Odds and Ends, continued

In Winter
Dip clothes pins in salt water before pinning clothes to line. Pins will not freeze to clothes. Wipe clothes line with rag wrung out of salt water - clothes will not freeze to line.

Venetian Blinds
Use a dampened sock over the hand to clean Venetian blinds, and also dust in hard places.

Eat cherries, a few each day, fresh or canned. Some forms of Arthritis will respond to cherry treatment.

Spearmint, peppermint, pennyroyal, catnip, blue-horse mint. Tie in bunches, hang over clothesline to dry. Put in cloth bag or folded cloth. Whip fine with carpet beater. Sift and pick out coarse stems. Store in tight container to later relieve stomach distress.

Cut leaves with garden shears, leaving stems on plant. Plant will continue to grow. Dry leaves and put in tight container. There will be no smell. To use, grind a few leaves between palms of hands, and the flavor is apparent.

Stomach Distress
Stomach distress from eating greasy foods can be relieved by drinking a small amount of baking soda in a little water. A handful or two of popcorn often does the trick.

Garden Salad
Many weeds are edible. Make your own tossed salad with: onion tops (wild or tame), sheep sorrell, horseradish leaf, lamb's quarter, mint, violet leaves and/or blossom (much Vitamin A in violets), lettuce leaf, parsley. Cut all very fine, add salad dressing, ground nuts and top with brown sugar. Chill before serving.

If your child is peevish, a bit white about the mouth, give him popcorn in any form, buttered, with milk, popcorn balls or Crackerjack.

For Horses
Symptoms - rubbing neck main against some object, or base of tail against object to relieve apparent itch, place wood ashes and a bit of salt in bottom of feed box. Place corn or oats as usual on top of ashes. Eventually horse will eat some of ashes.

Sweet corn can be cold packed. 1 tsp lemon juice to qt.

String Bean Salad
Use cooked string beans, cut small, hard boiled eggs, onion, celery (ad lib) mayonnaise. Jennie Olmstead, Prophetstown, IL.

Baked Lima Beans
Soack three cups dried lima beans overnight. Drain. Cook in fresh water until tender. Drain and reserve bean liquor. Put beans in bean pot or greased casserole. Combine 2 tbsp molasses, 3 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tbsp dry mustard. Add to beans. Pour 1 cup bean liquor over 4 slices bacon on top. Bake in 350 oven 2 hours. Uncover to brown. Add water or liquor if too dry. Serves 6-8.
Helen Deischer

Canned Meats
Spam, Treat, etc., chilled in icebox come out of tins easier. Try slicing and frying them; grind, add boiled eggs and sweet pickle to make a salad or sandwich spread.

Trim off outer leaves. Place in stone jar 1 handful coarse canning salt to dishpan of kraut, until jar is nearly full. I do not pound or stomp the kraut. Spread a clean dishtowel over cabbage and tuck it in at sides. Weight it down with large plate or a stone cover for a smaller sized jar, one or two jugs of water as a weight. Kraut can be added to from day to day. The weight should press out juice to cover all. If juice dries down, add more bring to keep it submerged. From time to time remove and rinse off foam on cloth. Replace. When worked, cook 45 minutes and can open kettle style. When opened, if too sour, put in basin of water, stir, drain. This can be done even after ready to serve. Wash it in hot water, drain and eat. The "left over" in tight container will keep a few days in icebox. Cook with spare ribs or weenies.

Plant lettuce and radishes broadcast where other garden stuff is out, 1st week in September, wet or dry. Plenty later on.

"26 of July plant your turnips wet or dry." Turnip tops make good greens cooked with ham.

Boil beets, any size, 15 to 30 minutes, until tender. Cool and skin.

To pickle - syrup: 1 cup water, 1 cup vinegar, 1 1/2 c sugar, 1 tbsp pickling spices in bag. Heat to boiling, add beats, cook a few minutes. Can hot with syrup. Store in dark place.

Same syrup can be used to pickle yellow stringbeans.
Mrs. H. Hawkinson's pickle recipe

(found under Pumpkins in catalog)

White or green and white striped. Weighs 8-20 pounds. Grows like a pumpkin on long coarse vine. Easily peeled. Can be used at almost any stage after losing first green colored stage.

Peel, dice, 1/2 stick margarine, 1/4 cup or more water, 1 cup white sugar, 1/2 box brown sugar, salt. Cook in large skillet. Melt margarine first. Fill skillet rounding full as cooking settles it. When soft enough to use potato masher it is done. Serve warm as a vegetable. Can be frozen. Use as "pumpkin pie" or in cookies.

Can be mashed, baked one hour in tinfoil, and reheated in tinfoil.

Cold boiled potatoes, ground with boiled beef makes good hash, seasoned with onion in greased skillet, or baked.

Left over mashed potatoes, formed in a roll as for ice-box cookies - if difficult to roll (should be done while a bit warm) place in a cloth and roll. Chill in icebox, remove cloth, slice, dip in beaten egg, fry.

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Scalloped Potatoes
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
dash pepper
1 tbsp minced onion (ad lib)
5 cups sliced cooked potatoes
3/4 cup shredded cheese

Stir soup well, blend in milk, heat to a boil, add salt and pepper. Arrange 1/2 potatoes in layer in greased baking dish; pour on half mushroom sauce. Repeat layers and sprinkle with cheese. Bake uncovered in 350 degree oven 30 minutes. Serves 6.
Loy Hoy from Chicago Tribune August 1963

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Peel potatoes a bit thick, especially seed end with the "eyes." Plant.

- - - - -

Plant potatoes as early as possible as new potatoes like damp soil. Later, hot dry weather stunts the growth. If buds appear the little potatoes are forming below and need rain.

Potatoes overlooked in the digging will live thru the winter and grow the following spring, but run risk of a late frost.

"Old superstition - plant on St. Patrick's Day even if you must hack thru frozen ground."

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Potato Pancakes
Grate and drain 5 good sized potatoes, grate one small onion, add 1 egg, 1/4 cup milk, about 1 tbsp flour. Fry in oil over hot fire. Spread applesauce on top, or any other desired topping.
Mrs. Martha Wolters, Hillsboro, WI

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Potatoe Candy
Boil in jacket one large potato. Peel while warm. Mash. Stir in 1 lb pulverized sugar. Add vanilla. Mix until firm like pie dough. Roll out like for a pie. Spread with peanut butter or strawberry jam. Roll up. Cut into slices and continue to make long roll. Cut into bite sized pieces. Can divide, add coconut, or color, or add chocolate in part.
Mrs. Annie Beldin

Cocoanut Candy

1/2 cup mashed potatoes
1 tsp butter
1/2 stp almond extract
1 lb sifted confectioner's sugar
1/4 oz can moist coconut

Measure potato and butter into bowl. Beat in sugar gradually. Add flavoring and cocoanut. Mix thoroughly. Drop by teaspoon on waxed paper to harden. Makes about 1 1/2 lbs candy.
Mrs. Marian Wheeler, Franklin School

Weather Signs

Frost on the base of a horse's tail shows cold weather.

If the sun rises clear and 'goes to bed soon' it will storm during the day.

If the rooster crows after sunset, he will get a wet head before morning.

A sun dog - a bright circle on either side of the sun - shows cold weather.

Rainbow in winter on either side of the sun shows cold weather.

Thunder (and lightning) in wintertime shows cold weather to come.

If the sun sets clear on Friday night, there will be a storm before Monday night.

If the wind follows the sun - clockwise - no storm. If the wind goes counter-clockwise, expect a storm. It will eventually get east.

East wind brings a storm.

"Morning red and evening gray sends the traveler on his way. Morning grey and evening red, sends the showers upon his head" ! ! !

A winter's fog will freeze a dog; a summer's fog will scald a hog.

Weather the first 12 days of January governs the 12 months of the year (hearsay)

If the groundhog sees his shadow Feb. 2, he sleeps six weeks more.

If the oak leaves turn wrong side out, rain is due to come.

The north end of a south wind is cold (it's the cold air coming back.).

Birds eat fast and hungrily before a storm.

Thick corn husks tightly wrapped around the ear means a cold winter to come. If thin, loosely wrapped and open - there will be an open winter.

Heavy fur on beaver & muskrat hides indicates a cold winter to come.

A clear yellow golden sunset - see sunshine tomorrow.

A red hot looking sunset - see hot weather tomorrow.

Cattle running tail in the air in summer, before a storm, pigs may run carrying sticks.

Debris or ice floating at edge of river - water rising. River looks rounding. If in the center, water is falling - water looks 'concave.'

Rainbow at night is the sailor's delight. Rainbow in the morning, sailors take warning.

If it rains when the sun shines, it will rain tomorrow.

Rain before 7, clear before 11.

As the days lengthen, the cold strengthens (after Dec. 21 or 22).

The number of stars seen in a circle around the moon indicates the number of days away before a storm.

In the fall, low flying geese (sometimes heard) are looking for a place to light nearby. Water or cornfield means no severe weather immediately. If geese are hight and flying south fast, a cold snap is following them.

When snow squeaks under your feet or wagon wheels, it is very cold.

In very cold weather, the sun will set very bright white light - can't see outline of sun.

A green Christmas means a full graveyard.

If March comes in like a lion it goes out like a lamb or vice versa.

If it rains or snows in the open grave, another of the family will follow in a year.

If it rains on Easter Sunday, it will rain the next 7 Sundays.

The recipes and health tips have a lot of clues about the little things that used to be everyday, so I was a little disappointed when the list devolved into a string of weather lore, but then I reconsidered. Some of these things I know because I read them in the Little House books, some I grew up knowing, and some I have never encountered until I typed this list. It makes me think about why most of these things have faded from surface knowledge.

In a pile of sayings from the past gathered in this part of the country, it makes sense that there'd be intense interest focused on figuring out when it'll get cold and how cold it'll be. When this was all prairieland, eight feet of snow was a normal occurrence. It's a lot harder nowadays to get yourself killed just by making an error during normal weather conditions in this area. The same goes, to a lesser extent, for warm weather storms. We're shielded by a vast umbrella of technology - as far as I can tell, any bitching you hear these days about the inaccuracy of meteorologists is desultory, the product of cultural lag rather than anything real, because real weather prediction is here. This is a good thing for me, as I'm not likely to skin a muskrat any time soon or have any idea whether the geese are low or high. In fairness, I will say that adding the vice versa onto the lion/lamb bit for March actually makes it more sensible to me.

Some of these don't quite fit even that mold. There are a few in here that seem about as useful to me as warnings to avoid stepping on sidewalk cracks. Of those, Groundhog's Day has obviously stood the test of time, and it surprised me to see it listed with similar sayings that have not. I've never paid much attention to stars circling the moon, and I have never noticed the first 12 days of January predicting the weather for the rest of the year. On a similar note, so far I am unafraid of the danger of scalding fogs, and I'm pretty sure rainbows at night are actually impossible, dependent as they are on the sun's rays - I learned that one as "red skies," which makes more sense to me.

In some ways this mixture of knowledge and "knowledge" makes earlier generations feel less remote, but I wish for more information. Who believed these things? Who thought this one or that one was worth saving in a list like this? What do some of them even mean?

If only I could find this Vincent.
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