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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/1984

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HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMENT

she will do well to clean up plate, glasses, etc., which have been used for the evening meal, and prepare for her morning's work by placing her wood near the fire on the hob to dry, taking care there is no danger of it igniting, before she leaves the kitchen for the night. Before retiring, she will have to lock and bolt the doors, unless the master undertakes this office himself.

Home Washing.—If the washing, or even a portion of it, is done at home, it will be impossible for the general servant to do her household duties thoroughly during the time it is about, unless she have some assistance. Usually, if all the washing is done at home, the mistress hires some one to assist at the wash-tub, and sees to little matters herself, in the way of dusting, clearing away breakfast things, folding, starching and ironing, the fine things. With a little management much can be accomplished provided the mistress be industrious, energetic, and willing to lend a helping hand. Let washing-day or week be not the excuse for having everything in a muddle; and although "things" cannot be cleaned so thoroughly, and so much time spent upon them, as ordinarily, yet the house may be kept tidy and clear from litter without a great deal of exertion, either on the part of the mistress or servant.

THE DAIRYMAID

The duties of the dairymaid differ considerably in different districts. In Scotland, Wales, and some of the northern counties women milk the cows. On some of the large dairy-farms in other parts of England, she takes her share in the milking; but in private families the milking is generally performed by the cowkeeper, and the dairymaid only receives the milk-pails from him morning and night, and empties and cleans them preparatory to the next milking, her duty being to supply the family with milk, cream and butter, and other luxuries depending on the "milky mothers" of the herd.

The Dairy.—The locality of the dairy is usually fixed near to the house; it should neither be exposed to the fierce heat of the summer's sun, nor to the equally unfavourable frosts of winter—it must be both sheltered and shaded. If it is a building apart from the house and other offices, the walls should be tolerably thick, and if hollow, the temperature will be more equable. This should range from 60 to 65 F., never exceeding the latter. The floor should slope very gently to one side or corner, where there should be an outlet for the water to escape when the floor is flushed; and the dairy should contain at least two apartments, besides a cool place for storing away butter. One of the apartments, in which the milk is placed to deposit cream, or to ripen for churning, is usually surrounded by shelves of marble or slate (perforated ones keep the milk freshest), on which the milk-dishes rest; but it will be found a better plan to have a large square or round table of stone in the centre, with a water-tight ledge all round it, in which water may remain in hot weather. Round this table the milk-dishes should be