The American Pictorial Home Book
or Housekeeper's Encyclopedia - online book

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

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from the store within the granary or chosen from frost bitten vines, and having been subjected to the process of scooping, is made ready for the chisel of the embryo sculptor; with cunning hand our young artist applies his unerring jack-knife to the glistening rind. At first he traces with delicate touch the outline of features, which he possi­bly intends to be majestic,—Jove like in their effect upon the behol­der. The features having been determined on, the chiseling knife cuts deeper, until only a paper like thickness of the inner rind remains. The fragment of a tallow candle is then inserted through a hole in the top of the disembowelled pumpkin and the lantern is ready for exhibition, when the candle is lighted, and it is carried in­to a group of children. It is a source of infinite amusement to the larger ones, though the uwee small children" appear startled, and if we did not know the origin, we think that few of us could withstand such a genii-like glance as flashes from the outer features of the average jack-o'-lantern.
Farm Yards should be kept dry and warm with shelters for the cattle, hogs and poultry; then they would keep healthy and prosper.
A Pit or Tank—Should be kept on every ranch or farm to receive the dish water, offal of vegetables and animals, &c, which the cook should throw into a tub for the purpose. It should be emptied daily into this pit, which should be closely shut by doors on hinges with an apperture to open it, of a foot and one-half square, with a ring to lift it by, to pour in the contents of the tub. No unpleasant smell should be allowed to escape from it The contents of this pit will form valuable manure for garden or field purposes. Or if pigs are kept, pieces of bread, stale bread crusts, bacon rinds, pieces of meat, stale milk, the washings of greasy pots, vegetables, &cM can be put in a tub for the pigs. The mistress should see that nothing is wasted, and if her cook is extravagant or wasteful, she had better change her for one more economical. For extravagance and waste will produce want some­where ; and it may fall on the family of the employer, but more likely on the cook.
To drive Rats from a Building.—Dissolve 2 ounces of glue, 2 ounces of assafoetida, 2 ounces of potash in water, and add 1-2 oz. of phosphorus to the mixture. Then in a wire cage or trap baited with corn meal scented with oil of anis catch 2 or 3 rats ; if they are very numerous more will be necessary. Singe the hair partly off these in such a way as to hurt them as little as possible, then give them a slight coating with the above mixture heated warm; let them loose in their holes, and there will be no more trouble with the rats for months to come. This mixture will last for 2 years. Or, take chloride of lime and scatter it dry all around their holes and when­ever they haunt, and they will leave at once.