We all agreed only yesterday that women should remain attractive in all they do. A well-made apron adds the perfect touch. The Delineator Magazine of January 1886 offers us some much needed further advice for planning our day. Slip out for a nice morning walk and then heat up the wood stove for an average day of cooking in your favorite dress–watch the ruffles and the trains! There are meals to be made:
Cooked Wheat with Cream
A Ragout or Mutton Chop
Lyonnaise Potatoes Graham Gems
Home Baked White and Graham Breads
LUNCHEON OR SUPPER
Warm Meat in Slices
Baked or Fried Potatoes Canned or Cooked Fruit
Tea or Coffee
Tomato or Bisque Soup
Baked Fish with Oyster Sauce
Apple Sauce Boiled Onions
Potato Puff Celery Salad
DO THE DISHES!
Contrary to popular belief many middle class women did not have servants but for the lucky ones here was some very useful advice:
“Pick a sturdy German girl for drudgery (Buck Crenshaw in my fifth novel picks a German girl to help his wife but she quits)
Where hours are irregular, and where the house mother needs sympathy . . .the warm-hearted Irish.
For loyalty and conscientious attention to duty . . . the Scotch cannot be surpassed.
Whatever the nationality of our domestics we are all one family and one in our Father.”
In Englewood where my books take place it was more common to hire black servants since after the Civil War many settled in the Fourth Ward of the town. Margaret Crenshaw’s servant Lucretia is a trusted friend and Margaret promises Buck she will find the best house servant for Buck’s new wife even if it’s only an Irish girl.