20161027_094745-01.jpegThis morning instead of turning to my usual pancake recipe, I grabbed two cookbooks at random off the shelf, thinking I’d choose a pancake recipe from one of them.  It turned out that Canada’s Prize Recipes didn’t have any recipes for pancakes at all, and McClary’s Household Manual only had one, so that streamlined the choosing process!  The recipe in McClary’s is for French Pancakes, which I first assumed would be more of a crepe, but upon reading the recipe, it turned out that they are pretty much a basic, run of the mill pancake recipe, other than being served rolled, with butter, sugar and lemon juice.

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French Pancakes
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The pancake picture out of the cookbook.

I did add a bit more milk, but the batter was still thicker than what I am used to making.  The resulting pancakes were far too thick to roll, but fairly fluffy, and tasty, though plain.  The butter, lemon and sugar, though, was really good.

I have heard of, and even seen people eating pancakes with sugar and lemon, but I’d never tried it.  Rather than making a mixture of the three, I just spread on butter, then sprinkled with sugar and lemon juice.  The tangy lemon was delicious, and the sugar added a slight crunch that I found quite appealing.  Since they didn’t specify, and I didn’t see the picture until the pancakes were finished, I didn’t realize that it was supposed to be powdered sugar!  Everyone I know uses granulated.

The McClary Household Manual was printed by the McClary Manufacturing Co in London, Ontario, in 1923.  My copy was originally from Hume’s Hardware in Oak River, Manitoba.  It helpfully outlines the perfect kitchen, care and use of utensils, stoves, floors and woodwork, setting the table and serving, and laundry, before  moving into the cooking section.  It’s a really neat little book!

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An ideal kitchen. I wouldn’t mind a kitchen like this!

For an excellent and most economical floor wax, melt 2 ounces of beeswax (unless your floor is light, then use white wax) and mix it with 1/2 a pint of turpentine.  The preparation should be applied to the whole floor and left to stand 15 to 20 minutes  before polishing.  They suggest putting wax on an old flannel and putting it over a long-handled polishing brush to avoid having to apply on hands and knees.  Thank goodness for modern conveniences!  I have a spray bottle of some sort of wood floor cleaner/polish that I bought.  I just spray and wipe with a damp mop.  Voila!  Floor cleaned and close enough to polished!

It’s neat to look back and see what was considered routine for women year ago.  True, domestic help was more common then than now, but still, a lot of work even with a maid or two.  And what of the women who couldn’t afford help?  However you look at it, we’ve come a long way, and it makes  me a bit less inclined to complain about household drudgery.

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