Rubbing Furniture with Eels

The Saucer of Milk, by Helen Allingham

The Saucer of Milk, by Helen Allingham

Snippets 94. For the last couple of snippets we have been looking at The New British Jewel, or Complete Housewife’s Best Companion, published in 1788, a collection of recipes and other practical information. We will return to this book in future to look at some more of the gardening advice, but apart from that here is the final snippet from this interesting old book, a selection of quotes giving some household advice. Firstly, a method of mending broken china, which nowadays would probably find its way into the bin!

Chinese method of mending china.

Boil a piece of white glass in river water five or six minutes, beat it to a fine powder, and grind it well with the white of an egg, and it joins china without riveting, so that no art can break it in the same place. You are to observe, that the composition is to be ground extremely fine on the painter’s stone. This by the Royal Academy of Sciences, being their last prize secret.

An excellent method of cleaning any kind of glass:

First rub the glass with snuffs of candles, clean it from this, and rub it over with good soft lead. Lastly you are to rub it with buff leather, and your work will look very beautiful. This communicated by St. Jean.

For preserving from rust.

Take an eel, fry it, press out the oil, and rub your furniture in metal therewith.

Necessary things to be provided when a family is going in the country for summer.

Nutmegs, cinnamon, cloves, mace, pepper, ginger, Jamaica and black pepper, currants, raising, Lisbon sugar, loaf and double refined sugar, prunes, oranges, lemons, anchovies, olives, capers, mangoes, oil for salads, vinegar, verjuice, tea, coffee, chocolate, almonds, chesnuts, French pears, sago, truffles, morels, macaroni, vermicelli, rice, millet, comfits and pistachoe nuts.

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About Roger Pocock

Co-writer on Author of Editor of
This entry was posted in 18th Century, Books, Food, History, Snippets and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Rubbing Furniture with Eels

  1. Very enjoyable snippet and useful if, that is, I can secure some eels!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. By the way, I have been asked by email what “verjuice” is. It is a juice made from pressing unripe fruit, especially grapes. Also the comment was made that it seems like an odd selection of ingredients to take to the country, but I think the point of the list is that it is things that could not be easily purchased locally. Everyday foods such as milk and eggs would be available locally, but not necessarily the ingredients listed.


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