If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful. ~ William Morris

26 November, 2018

Mrs. Hey's Hot Cocoa and Hoosier Headwork

Mrs. Dan Hey ~ From the Farmer's Wife Magazine ~ October 1938

One of my favorite all time articles from my vintage collection is that about Mrs. Dan Hey and her 'hoosier headwork' in planning school day meals. 

It is filled with wonderful tid-bits of the time. She came to St. Paul as a Country Kitchen guest, recommended by the extension folks at Purdue University as a rural homemaker who did a good job of planning meals and solving school lunch problems.  She was also the President of the Indian Home Economics Association. 

She put up 400 quarts of meats, fruits and vegetables the prior year, as well as home cured hams and bacon. The family doctor says the Heys do not give him a chance for living -- they are all so healthy. The Heys had three children, ages 18, 14 and 7.  This particular article was about Mrs. Hey's planning of the school day meals. 

According to Mrs. Hey, any plan for meeting the food needs of school children must take into account the whole day's meals. A glimpse into her own kitchen would show that the day's food preparation proceeds according to a well-planned  pattern.   Breakfast is not a heavy one, but quite satisfying for their needs.  There is fruit, orange juice, or tomato juice, apple sauce, canned pears or stewed dried fruit.  There is sometimes a cereal - a prepared cereal in the warmer weather perhaps with berries or sliced bananas, and hot oatmeal or a wheat cereal in the colder weather.  Instead of cereal there may be eggs or bacon and eggs.  Then there are rolls or toast, and always hot cocoa for the children and coffee for the grown ups. 

Since the children are away at noon the parents eat more of a luncheon than a dinner.  Then comes the extra meal in the late afternoon, for the minute the children are inside the door after school, it's eating time again.  They are always hungry then and again at supper time.  Supper then is the hearty meal of the day.  It is depended up on the supplement a moderately hearty breakfast, a fairly light lunch and a "piece," so it includes meat, two or three vegetables, one a green leafy one and a light dessert.  On Dad's night out -- Kiwanis Club -- the children could have their special favorites, which usually meant macaroni and cheese for one thing and on Friday nights, some of the children's friends might be brought home, and supper often boasted friend chicken.  The meals are easy to plan for their cupboards are always well stocked. 

Let's not forget Mrs. Hey's school lunch ideas:

I keep on hand a quart or so of homemade salad dressing in order to be able to mix up into sandwich filling any materials I may have at hand:

Minced ham and pickle
Hard cooked eggs and mango
Baked beans, even cold navy beans moistened with mustard or catsup
Left over meats or any kind ground with mango, pickles, pimento or onion
Carrots and raisins
Cream cheese and pimento

For vegetables I often send our favorite, tomato, but a whole tomato is rather soft and warm and quite unappetizing after a morning in the lunch box.  I peel one, cut it into pieces and place it in a small glass jar; then salt it and on top place a nasturtium leaf on which is a small dab of mayonnaise. When the child is ready to eat, he puts the dressing directly on the tomato, and the serving is much more attractive. 

The glass jar may also carry puddings, baked beans, custards, the dabs of pie fillings that are sometimes left over, fruit salad, slaw, stewed fruit, cottage cheese or anything that has been served on the family table that is good eaten cold. 

In the thermos bottle I have sent besides the customary cocoa and soups such things as creamed meats, creamed vegetables, spaghetti and tomatoes, fruit juices and jello.  

When baking a cake some of the batter may be dropped into muffin pans or paper cups to make just a few cup cakes to help in packing a school lunch.  

In years gone by I could not have sent school lunches, I sometimes think, had it not been for graham crackers and marshmallows.  I always kept these in the house and they served in emergencies many times. If you have too much cake icing use the surplus on a few graham crackers.  They will help you out after the cake is gone and you've forgotten to replenish the cookie supply.   Place some marshmallows on crackers and place in the oven.  When marshmallows just begin to melt, put another cracker on top and press down.  Toast slightly.  These marshmallow sandwiches stay crisp and help to give children their needed cereals. 

And now, for Mrs. Hey's unusual hot cocoa recipe:

Mrs. Hey's Cocoa

1 c. cocoa
1 c. sugar 
1/4 c. corn starch

Mix and combine with water to make a paste.  Cook in top of double boiler 1 hour or longer.  Cool and store.  Add as needed to scalded milk and beat until frothy. (I have made this.  Do keep it on low and keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't burn.  She doesn't give a water amount but I would start with 1/4 cup and add as needed.  Store in the refrigerator as ours did once mold on the counter top even though there was no milk or dairy in the mixture.  I'm guessing someone double dipped a spoon, but to be safe store in the fridge.)

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