A Present for a Serving Maid28th March 2016
In 1743, Eliza Haywood published handy little volume called A Present for a servant-maid: or, the sure means of gaining love and esteem. as a guide for servants because, as always, it was terribly hard to get good domestic help.
There is a lot of sanctimonious verbiage about how a servant should attempt serve with humility and so forth but it also contains some material of great interest to what we might call practical historians - people such as historical novelists who need the minutiae of life.
- Going to Market tells the servant maid what to watch out for when buying food. For example: The Butchers about London have so many Arts in blowing up their Veal, and keeping it in wet Cloths, that you cannot be too careful in examining the Scent, for what looks beautiful to the Eye may prove musty. Useful advice.
- Preparing Food tells the servant maid how to prepare food - good practical advice on how to cook a particular type of meat and what type of sauce is appropriate. Also, how to make pies, puddings and pancakes.
- Washing Linen tells the servant maid how to wash linen including how to get stains out, what sort of soap to use and how you should let the water stand for 3 to 4 days before using it.
I found the whole thing fascinating. I hope you do too.