Saturday, August 25, 2007

Washing then and now

Years ago an Alabama grandmother gave the new bride the following recipe:

(This is an exact copy as written and found in an old scrapbook -- with spelling errors and all.)

Build fire in backyard to heat kettle of rain water. Set tubs so smoke wont blow in eyes if wind is pert. Shave one hole cake of lie soap in boilin water.

Sort things, make 3 piles
1 pile white,
1 pile colored,
1 pile work britches and rags.

To make starch, stir flour in cool water to smooth, then thin down with boiling water.

Take white things, rub dirty spots on board, scrub hard, and boil, then rub colored don't boil just *wrench and starch.

Take things out of kettle with broom stick handle, then *wrench, and starch.

Hang old rags on fence.

Spread tea towels on grass.

Pore wrench water in flower bed. Scrub porch with hot soapy water. Turn tubs upside down.

Go put on clean dress, smooth hair with hair combs. Brew cup of tea, sit and rock a spell and count your blessings.

Paste this over your washer and dryer. Next time when you think things are bleak, read it again, kiss that washing machine and dryer, and give thanks. First thing each morning you should run and hug your washer and dryer, also your toilet--those two-holers used to get mighty cold!

*For you non-southerners--wrench means rinse.

4 comments, add yours here:

Amazing Gracie said...

Oh man alive! Can you imagine if we had to go back to that? Hah! I remember w-a-y back when my mom had a wringer washer and I had to hang out the wash! Yep, clothespins and all that. Then the stuff all had to get ironed.
My husband didn't have indoor "facilities" until he was in Jr. High! Whew!
I am very thankful!!!

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

ha ha ha, i knew exactly what wrench meant! never even thought of anyone not knowing! what a life they had back then, wow...

smiles, bee

Travis said...

My grandmother told stories about doing the wash like this back in Missouri when she was about 10 years old.

She always said of all the "modern conveniences" that here washer and dryer were most prized, followed closely by indoor plumbing.

katherine. said...

I had one Gramma and three great Grammas who did laundry this way...although one of them said