July with Bettina


Meal Planning with Bettina

This is one of the longer chapters so there are 3 videos of me reading it.

You can read the entire book for free with Project Gutenberg, or buy an original copy from 1917 or one with a new cover from Amazon (affiliated link) 1000 Ways to Please a Husband. I think the title of the book is a bit misleading, but if you consider that many women cooked 3 meals a day every day then that is 1,095 meals in one year. I can’t even imagine doing this. I’m so thankful my hubby likes to cook his own breakfast, and my son has the same thing I do every morning: peanut butter toast placed on a paper towel so there is no dish to wash!

The following is an excerpt from the chapters concerning July, which is rather long (they get shorter as the months go on), but has lots of good advice about budgeting, how tall your sink should be, economizing, keeping silver untarnished, and much more. However, I wouldn’t suggest renting a house to “surprise” your husband, as Mrs. Dixon does!

I’ve omitted the actual recipes as they aren’t really edible these days, but they may give you dinner inspiration. I got out my darling notepaper that has the months of the year at the top, and as she mentions what she’s cooking, I jotted down a list for my own use and inspiration. I also found this blog, Cooking a la Bettina, where the author actually did cook the recipes – check out her blog to see what happened! I’ve set the link to coincide with these July recipes.

Now go brew yourself a cup of tea and enjoy a nice, long read about the perfect homemaker.


The market is full of delights in July:
Fresh vegetables, berries, red cherries for pie!
Good housewives and telephones seldom agree,
So market yourself! You can buy as you see!


“YOU will go to church with us this morning, Bettina?” asked Bob’s cousin Henry, known also as the Rev. Henry Clinkersmith, as he came into Bettina’s immaculate kitchen one Sunday.

“Yes, indeed, I will go!” Bettina answered him. “Is it nearly ten o’clock? Oh, yes, nine forty-five. I’ll go at once and get ready.”

Cousin Henry had arrived late Saturday evening. He was filling the pulpit of a friend that Sunday morning.

Bettina finished arranging the low bowl of pansies which was to be her table decoration. “For the dinner table,” she explained to Cousin Henry.

“And Bob,” she said as they walked to church (Cousin Henry was ahead with an old friend), “I do believe he was worried about dinner. There wasn’t a trace of any preparation to be seen! You know I made the cake and the salad dressing yesterday, and the lettuce was on the ice. The sherbet was on the porch (I bought it, you know), and the lamb and potatoes were in the cooker.”

“Well, let him worry! How long will it take to get it ready after we get home?”

“About fifteen minutes. The table is set, but I’ll have to warm the plates and take things up. Then there’s the gravy to make, of course.”

“All I can say is this,” said Cousin Henry at dinner, as he passed his plate for a second helping, “since you’ve explained the mysteries of the fireless cooker, I realize how it would have helped those cold Sunday dinners of the past generation. The women could have obeyed the fourth commandment and given their families a good Sunday dinner, too!”

That day they had: Leg of Lamb with Potatoes, Lamb Gravy, Head Lettuce, Thousand Island Dressing, Mint Sauce, Bread, Butter, Pineapple Sherbet, Bettina’s Loaf Cake, Coffee


“NOW, boys, run and play while Alice and I set the picnic table!” said Bettina to Bob and Mr. Harrison. “See if the fish are biting! Cultivate your patience as well as your appetites and we’ll surprise you soon!”

“Bettina, let me help you unpack. Everything looks so dainty and interesting!” said Alice, as Bob and Mr. Harrison strolled off toward the river. “You ought to have allowed me to bring something, although I’ll admit that I do enjoy being surprised. You were a dear to bring me with you!”

“I?” said Bettina. “Of course I’m glad to have you here—no one is better fun—but I wish you had heard something that Bob told me. He and Harry Harrison were planning to go fishing today, all by themselves, until Harry suggested that Bob might like to bring me along. And then he added as an afterthought, that as three is a crowd, Miss Alice might be induced to come too. (Why is it that ‘Miss Alice’ or ‘Miss Kate’ or ‘Miss May’ always sounds so like a confirmed bachelor?) Bob chuckled when he told me how careless and offhand Harry tried to be!”

“Betty, how pretty those pasteboard plates are with the flag-seals pasted on them!”

“I saw some ready-made Fourth of July plates, but it was more economical to make my own. And how do you like the red, white and blue paper napkins and lunch cloth? ‘Lunch paper,’ I ought to say, I suppose. Alice, you arrange the fruit in the center in this basket, with some napkins around it, and with these little flags sticking out of it in every direction. But first, my dear, please tell me why you changed the subject when I was speaking of Mr. Harrison?”

“Those devilled eggs wrapped in frilled tissue-paper look just like torpedoes.”

“Alice, Alice, I learned something new about you today. Harry said that society girls got on his nerves, but that ‘Miss Alice’ seemed sensible enough!”

“Goodness, Betty, he has disagreed with every single thing I’ve said, so far! If he is being pleasant behind my back, I don’t see why he should be so disapproving in his manner to me! But if he is really beginning to think me sensible, let us by all means encourage him! Hide my frivolous new hat in the lunch-basket, and give me something useful to be doing. Can’t I appear to be mixing the salad?… Honestly, Betty, I do get tired of society as a single interest. But what else is there for me to do? Go into settlement work? I’d be a joke at that! Learn to design jewelry? Take singing lessons?”

“Try the good old profession of matrimony. Why are you so fickle, Alice, my dear?”

“I’m not; it’s the men! Every sensible one I meet is—well, disagreeable to me!”

“Meaning Harry Harrison? He appears to be taking quite an interest, at least!”

“That is merely his reforming instinct coming to the surface. But—is everything ready now? We’ll sing a few bars of the Star Spangled Banner, and I’m sure the men will come immediately!”

The lunch table was set with: Lobster and Salmon Salad, Ham Sandwiches, Nut Bread Sandwiches, Pickles, Radishes, Potato Chips, Devilled Eggs, Moist Chocolate Cake, Bananas, Oranges, Torpedo Candies, Lemonade


UNCLE JOHN and Aunt Lucy had driven Bob and Bettina home from a Sunday spent in the country.

“Do come in,” begged Bettina, “and have a little lunch with us. After such a bountiful dinner, we really ought not to be hungry, but I confess that the lovely drive home has given me an appetite. And you’ve never been here for a meal! Don’t be frightened, Uncle John, I really thought of this yesterday, and my cupboard isn’t entirely bare. It would be so much fun to show you our things and the house!”

“I’m not afraid I won’t be fed well,” said Uncle John, “but those clouds are black in the east. If it should rain we’d have trouble getting home. Besides, I don’t like to have the car standing out in a storm.”

“I don’t believe it’ll rain, John,” said comfortable Aunt Lucy. “And if it does, well, we’ll manage somehow. I, for one, would like to see Bettina’s kitchen—and all the rest of her house,” she added.

Bettina arranged the dainty little meal on the porch table, and Aunt Lucy and Uncle John sat down with good appetites.

“This looks almost too pretty to eat,” said he as he looked at his plate with its slice of jellied beef on head lettuce, served with salad dressing, and its fresh crisp potato chips. And the nasturtium and green leaf lay beside them.

“Have a radish and a sandwich, Uncle John,” said Bettina. “We have plenty, if not variety. Our only dessert is fresh pears.”

“But it all tastes mighty good!” said Uncle John. “Say, Bob, it is beginning to rain, I believe!”

“Sure enough, a regular storm! We must put the car in the empty garage across the street. I’m sure we can get permission.” And he and Uncle John hurried out.

“It will blow over, I’m sure,” said Aunt Lucy.

“But if it doesn’t—why, Aunt Lucy, stay here all night! We’d love to have you! The guest room is always ready. I know you’ll be comfortable, and they can manage without you at home for once, I’m sure.”

“Of course they’ll be all right, and it would be quite exciting to be ‘company’ for a change. If only Uncle John thinks he can do it!”

“It looks as if there’ll be nothing else to do,” said Uncle John, when he and Bob returned. “Not but what I’d enjoy it—but I haven’t been away from home a night for—how long is it, Lucy?”

“Seven years last May, John. All the more reason why this’ll do you good.”

“Oh, I’m so glad you’ll really stay!” said Bettina. “Now tell me what you like for breakfast!”

“Anything you have except those new fashioned breakfast foods,” Uncle John replied. “I might feed ’em to my stock, now, but not to a human being. But don’t you worry about me, Betty! Because I don’t worry about the breakfast proposition. Bob here is a pretty good advertisement of the kind of cooking you can do!”

The lunch that night consisted of: Jellied Beef, Potato Chips, Radishes, Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Iced Tea, Fresh Pears

Susan Wheeler, Illustrator


“MAY I come in?” said a voice at the screen door. “I came the kitchen way because I hoped that you would still be busy with the morning’s work, and I might learn something. You see” (and Ruth blushed a little), “we are thinking of building a house and we have lots of ideas about every room but the kitchen. Neither Fred nor I know the first thing about that, so I told him that I would just have to consult you.”

“How dear of you, Ruth!” said Bettina, as she put away the breakfast dishes. “Well, you shall have the benefit of everything that I know. Bob and I began with the kitchen when we planned this little house. It seemed so important. I expected to spend a great deal of time here, and I was determined to have it cheerful and convenient. I never could see why a kitchen should not be a perfectly beautiful room, as beautiful as any in the whole house!”

“Yours is, Bettina,” said Ruth, warmly, as she looked around her. “No wonder you can cook such fascinating little meals. It is light, and sunny and clean looking—oh, immaculate!—and has such a pleasant view!”

“I wanted it to have lots of sunshine. We had the walls painted this shade of yellow, because it seemed pretty and cheerful. Perhaps you won’t care to have white woodwork like this, but you see it is plain and I don’t find it hard to keep clean out here on the edge of town! I think it is so pretty that I don’t expect to regret my choice. Another thing, Ruth, do get a good grade of inlaid linoleum like this. I know the initial expense is greater, but a good piece will last a long time, and will always look well.”

“How high the sink is, Bettina!”

“Thirty-six inches. You see, I’m not very tall and yet I have always found that every other sink I tried was too low for solid comfort. The plumbers have a way of making them all alike—thirty-two inches from the floor, I think. They were scandalized because I asked them to change the regulation height, and yet, I find this exactly right. And isn’t it a lovely white enameled one? I am happy whenever I look at it! Don’t laugh, Ruth; a sink is a very important piece of furniture! I had always liked this kind with the grooved drain-board on each side, sloping just a little toward the center. And see how easily I can reach up and put away the dishes in the cupboard, you see. I don’t like a single dish or utensil in sight when the kitchen is in order. This roll of paper toweling here by the sink is very convenient for wiping off the table or taking grease off pans and dishes or even for drying glass and silver. A roll lasts a long time, and certainly does save dishcloths and towels.

“Do you use your fireless cooker often?”

“Every day of the year—I do believe. I cook breakfast food in it, and all kinds of meats except those that are boiled or fried. Then it is splendid for steaming brown bread and baking beans, and oh, so many other things! Mother keeps hers under the kitchen table, but I find it more convenient here at the right of the stove—on a box just level with the stove. Next, O Neophyte, you may observe the stove. The oven is at the side, high up so that one need not stoop to use it. It has a glass oven door through which I can watch my baking.”

“I like this white enameled table. And the high stool must be convenient, too.”

“It is splendid. Ruth, haven’t you an old marble topped table at home? It would be just the thing for pastry making.”

“Yes, I do know of one, I think, and I’ll have the lower part enameled white.”

“Fred can do it himself. Let him help to fix things up, and he’ll be all the more interested in them, and in helping you use them.”

“Bettina, this is an adorable breakfast alcove! What fun you must have every morning! If we have one, I don’t believe we’ll ever use the dining room. How convenient! Here come the waffles—hot from the stove! Fred, do have a hot muffin!”

“Not at the same meal, Ruth!”

“No, he’ll be fortunate if he gets anything to eat at all! He isn’t marrying a Bettina. But he says he’s satisfied. Bettina, does Bob help get breakfast?”

“Indeed he does. He loves to make coffee in the electric percolator and toast on the toaster. He says that an electric toaster and plenty of bath towels are the real necessities of life, but I say I cannot live without flowers and a fireplace. Oh, you will have such fun, Ruth! Let Fred help you all he will.”

“I’m hearing all this advice!” suddenly shouted a big voice in her ear. “Look here, Mrs. Bettina, does Bob know that you are advising your friends to train their husbands just as you are training him?”

“Fred, you old eavesdropper! I hope that Ruth makes you get breakfast every single morning to pay for this! Aren’t you ashamed? Don’t you know that listeners never hear any good of themselves?”

“I suppose Fred knew he needn’t worry,” said rosy Ruth, as she took his arm. “Look, Fred, isn’t it a dear little house? May he see it all, Bettina?”

“Yes, if he’ll explain how a busy man can get away at this hour of the morning.”

“Well, you see I was on my way to the office when I caught a glimpse of Ruth’s pink dress at your back door. I happened to think that she said she didn’t get a recipe for those ‘skyrocket rolls’ that you had at your party the other day. I just thought I’d have to remind her, for the sake of my future.”

“What under the shining sun! Oh, pinwheel biscuits!”

“Yes—that’s it!”

“Why—all right. I have it filed away in my card-index. Here—with a picture of them pasted on the card. I cut it out of the magazine that gave the recipe. They are delicious.”

Arthur Sarnoff, Illustrator


“YOUR set, Bob,” said Bettina, as she gathered up the tennis balls. “But please say you think I’m improving! Oh, there’ll come a time when I’ll make you a stiff opponent, but I’ll have to work up my service first! It’s time to go home to breakfast now, but hasn’t it been fun?”

“Fine, Betty! We’ll do it again! I don’t object at all to getting up early when I’m once up! And we ought to get out and play tennis before breakfast every day.”

“I knew you’d like it when you’d tried it once. But it took my birthday to make you willing to celebrate this way.”

“Just you wait till you see what I have for you at home! I made it all myself, with a little help from Ruth!”

“Oh, Bob, is that what you’ve been doing all these evenings? I’m so anxious to see it! I’ve begrudged the time you’ve spent all alone hammering and sawing away down in the basement, but I didn’t let myself even wonder what it was you were making, since you had asked me not to look.”

“Well, while you’re beginning the breakfast, I’ll be bringing your birthday gift upstairs. Then I can help you.”

In a short time, when Bettina was arranging the cheerful hollyhocks on the table, she heard a low whistle behind her. There stood Bob—looking like a sandwich-man, with a brightly flowered cretonne screen draped about him.

“Well, how do you like it?”

“Oh, Bob, it’s the sewing-screen I’ve been wanting, and it just matches the cretonne bedroom hangings! Here are the little pockets for mending and darning materials—and the larger ones for the unfinished work! How beautifully it is made—and won’t it be convenient! It will be useful as a screen, and also as a place for those sewing things, for I have no good place at all in which to keep them! It will be decorative, too! And how light it is! I can carry it so easily, and work beside it on the porch or in the living room!”

“Glad you like it! Ruth designed it, and made the pockets. I did the carpenter work.”

“Bob, it’s a lovely birthday gift, and I appreciate it all the more because you made it yourself. How pretty it is with all the woodwork enameled white!”

“I wanted it to match the bedroom things. Well, is that coffee done yet? Tennis certainly does give me an appetite!”

Breakfast consisted of:  Iced Cantelope, Poached Eggs on Toast, Toast, Apple Sauce, Coffee


“SO she is about to try her cooking on me, is she?” said Bettina’s father to Bob, as he sat down at the table. “Well, I’ll admit that I have looked forward to this all day. But there was a time when I was a little more skeptical of Bettina’s culinary skill. You know, when mother was in California two years ago last winter——”

“Now, Charlie, you know that all girls have to learn at some time or other,” interrupted Bettina’s mother. “And I believe that Bob has fared pretty well, considering that Bettina is just beginning to keep house——”

“I should say so!” said Bob, heartily. “Why, I’m getting fat! I was weighed to-day, and——”

“Don’t say any more, Bob! We’ll rent the house and take to boarding! If you get fat——”

“No boarding-houses for mine! Not after your cooking, Bettina! I had enough of boarding before I was married. Say—how long ago that does seem.”

“Has the time dragged as much as that? Well, I’ll change the subject. Dad, how do you like my Japanese garden? I think it’s pretty, don’t you?”

“I certainly do, my dear. What are those feathery things?”

“Why, don’t you know that, Father? And when you were a boy, you worked on a farm one summer, too! There’s a parsnip and a horse radish, and a beet. Then there are a few parsley seeds and grass seeds on a tiny sponge! And see the little shells and stones that Bob and I collected for it.”

“Yes, we found that pink stone up the river on a picnic a year ago last May, before we were engaged, or were we engaged then, Bettina? And the purple one——”

“Oh, you needn’t reminisce,” Bettina interrupted hastily. “Eat your dinner.”

“Every little stone
Has a meaning all its own,
Every little shell——
But it wouldn’t do to tell.”

“I composed that poem just this minute,” said Bob, undisturbed.

“Will you help me get the dessert now, Robert? Are you ready, Mother? And Father?”

“Yes, indeed. A very fine dinner, Bettina. We never have steak fixed this way at home; do we, Mother? Can we try it some day soon?”

“I have something for dessert that you like, Dad. Guess what!”

“What is it? Oh, lemon pie! That is fine, I can tell you! But I know already that it won’t be as good as your mother’s! Still, we’ll try it and see!”

That evening for dinner, Bettina served: Devilled Steak, New Potatoes in Cream, Baking-powder Biscuits, Jelly, Cucumber and Radish Salad, Lemon Pie, Coffee


“HERE, Bettina, let me mash those potatoes! It’s fine exercise after a day at the office!” And Bob seized the potato masher with the same vigor that he used to handle a tennis racquet.

“Good for you, Bob! They can’t have a single lump in them after that! About the most unappetizing thing I can think of is lumpy mashed potato, or mashed potato that is heavy and unseasoned. More milk? You’d better use plenty. Here! Now watch me toss them lightly into this hot dish and put a little parsley and a lump of butter on the top. There, doesn’t that look delicious?”

“I should say so! And look at the fancy tomatoes, each one with a cover! What on earth is inside?”

“Just wait till you taste them; they’re a new invention of mine, and I do believe they’ll make a splendid luncheon dish for the next time that Ruth is here, or Alice brings her sewing over. I’m practising on you first, you see, and if you survive and seem to like them, I may use them for a real company dish.”

“You can’t frighten me that way! Creamed chicken?”

“Creamed veal. Don’t you remember what we had for dinner last night? There were two chops left and I made it of them. I know it is good when made of cold veal roast, but I had never tried it with cold veal chops—so again I am experimenting on you, Bobby!”

“You don’t frighten me so easily as that! I’ve just caught a glimpse of something that looks like cocoanut cake, and I’ll be happy now, no matter how the rest of the dinner tastes!”

“There, everything is on, Bob! Let’s sit down to dinner, and you tell me all about your day!”

Dinner consisted of: Creamed Veal, Mashed Potatoes, Stuffed Tomatoes Bettina, Bread, Butter, Sliced Peaches, Cream, Cocoanut Cake, Iced Tea


“WHAT kind of tea is this?” Ruth inquired one Sunday evening on the porch.

“Why, this is a mixture of green and black tea,” said Bettina. “I like that better for iced tea than either kind alone.”

“I like tea,” said Fred, “although perhaps that isn’t considered a manly sentiment in this country. I hope you do too, Ruth. Nothing seems so cozy to me as tea and toast. And I like iced tea like this in the summertime. An uncle of mine is very fond of tea, and has offered to send me some that he considers particularly fine. I believe that Orange Pekoe is his favorite.”

“I think that has the best flavor of all,” said Bettina, “though just now we are using an English breakfast tea that we like very much. And the green tea mixed with it for this is Japan tea.”

“I’ve heard my uncle say that ‘Pekoe’ means ‘white hair,’ and is applied to young leaves because they are covered with a fine white down. Uncle also says that black teas are considered more wholesome than green because they contain less tannin. I tell you, he’s a regular connoisseur.”

“I see that I must become an expert tea-maker!” said Ruth. “I’m learning something new about Fred every day. Bettina, do tell me exactly how you make tea. Fred can listen, too, unless he already knows.”

“Well, let’s see, Ruth. I take a level teaspoonful of tea to a cup of water. I put the tea in a scalded earthenware tea-pot—that kind is better than metal—and pour boiling water over it—fresh water. Then I cover it and allow it to steep from three to five minutes. Then I strain and serve it. You know tea should always be freshly made, and never warmed over. It shouldn’t be boiled either, not a second. Boiling, or too long steeping, brings out the tannin.”

“But how about iced-tea? That has to stand.”

“It shouldn’t steep, though. I make it just like any tea and strain it. Then I let it cool, and set it on the ice for three or four hours. I serve it with chipped ice, lemon and mint.”

“Mother always added a cherry to her afternoon tea,” said Ruth.

“That would be great,” said Bob. “I don’t care much for hot tea, but I believe I would be willing to drink a cup for the sake of the cherry.”

“Ruth,” said Bettina, “I know now what I will give you for an engagement present since Fred likes tea, too. A silver tea-ball. Surely that will symbolize comfort and fireside cheer.”

“Speaking of firesides,” asked Bob, “what material have you decided upon for your fireplace? It seems to me that we’re talking too much about tea-making, and not enough about house-building.”

That evening Bettina served: Salmon Salad with Jellied Vegetables, Boston Brown Bread Sandwiches, Sliced Fresh Peaches, One Egg Cake, Chocolate Icing, Iced Tea

Susan Wheeler, Illustrator


“HELLO, Bettina; this is Bob. What are you having for dinner to-night?”

“It’s all in the fireless cooker! Why?”

“Couldn’t you manage to make a picnic supper of it? One of the men at the office has invited us to go motoring to-night with him and his wife, and, of course, I said we’d be delighted. They’re boarding, poor things, and I asked if we couldn’t bring the supper. He seemed glad to have me suggest it. I suppose he hasn’t had any home cooking for months. Do you suppose you could manage the lunch? How about it?”

“Why, let me think! How soon must we start?”

“We’ll be there in an hour or a little less. Don’t bother about it—get anything you happen to have.”

“It’s fine to go, dear. Of course, I’ll be ready. Good-bye!”

Bettina’s brain was busy. There was a veal loaf baking in one compartment of the cooker, and on the other side, some Boston brown bread was steaming. Her potatoes were cooked already for creaming, and although old potatoes would have been better for the purpose, she might make a salad of them. As she hastily put on some eggs to hard-cook, she inspected her ice box. Yes, those cold green beans, left from last night’s dinner, would be good in the salad. What else? “It needs something to give it character,” she reflected. “A little canned pimento—and, yes—a few of the pickles in that jar.”

Of course, she had salad dressing—she was never without it. Sandwiches? The brown bread would be too fresh and soft for sandwiches, but she could keep it hot, and take some butter along. “I’m glad it is cool to-day. We’ll need hot coffee in the thermos bottle, and I can make it a warm supper—except for the salad.”

She took the veal loaf and the steamed brown bread from the cooker, and put them into the oven to finish cooking.

“How lucky it is that I made those Spanish buns! And the bananas that were to have been sliced for dessert, I can just take along whole.”

When Bettina heard the auto horn, and then Bob’s voice, she was putting on her hat.

“Well, Betty, could you manage it?”

“Yes, indeed, dear. Everything is ready. The thermos bottle has coffee in it, piping hot; the lunch basket over there is packed with the warm things wrapped tight, and that pail with the burlap over it is a temporary ice box. It holds a piece of ice, and beside it is the cream for the coffee and the potato salad. It is cool to-day, but I thought it best to pack them that way.”

“You are the best little housekeeper in this town,” said Bob as he kissed her. “I don’t believe anyone else could have managed a picnic supper on such short notice. Come on out and meet Mr. and Mrs. Dixon. May I tell them that they have a fine spread coming?”

“Don’t you dare, sir. It’s a very ordinary kind of a supper, and even you are apt to be disappointed.”

But he wasn’t.

Bettina’s picnic supper that cool day consisted of: Warm Veal Loaf, Cold Potato Salad, Fresh Brown Bread, Butter, Spanish Buns, Bananas, Hot Coffee


THE next morning Bettina was alone in her little kitchen when the door bell rang.

“Why, Mrs. Dixon; how do you do?” she said, as she opened the door and recognized the visitor. “Won’t you come in?”

It must be admitted that Bettina was somewhat embarrassed at the unexpected call at so unconventional a time. Mrs. Dixon was dressed in a trim street costume, but under her veil Bettina could see that her eyes were red, and her lips quivered as she answered:

“Forgive me for coming so early, but I just had to. I know you’ll think me silly to talk to you confidentially when I met you only yesterday, but I do want your advice about something. You mustn’t stop what you are doing. Couldn’t I come into the kitchen and talk while you work?”

“Why, my dear, of course you can,” said Bettina, trying to put her at her ease. “You can’t guess what I was doing! I was washing my pongee dress; someone told me of such a good way!”

“Why, could you do it all yourself?” said Mrs. Dixon, opening her eyes wide. “Why not send it to be dry-cleaned?”

“Of course I might,” said Bettina, “but it would be expensive, and I do like to save a little money every month from my housekeeping allowance. There are always so many things I want to get. You see I’m doing this in luke-warm, soapy water—throwing the soap-suds up over the goods, then I’ll rinse it well, and hang it in the shade to drip until it gets dry. I won’t press it till it is fully dry, because if I do, it will be spotted.”

“How do you learn things like that?”

“Oh, since I’ve been married, and even before, when I thought about keeping house, I began to pick up all sorts of good ideas. I like economizing; it gives me an opportunity to use all the ingenuity I have.”

“Does it? I always thought it would be awfully tiresome. You see, I’ve lived in a hotel all my life; my mother never was strong, and I was the only child. I liked it, and since I’ve been married, we’ve lived the same way. I never thought of anything else and I supposed Frank would like it, too—but lately—oh, all the last year—he’s been begging me to let him find us a house. And then”—(Bettina saw that her eyes had filled with tears)—”he has been so different. You have no idea, my dear. Why—he hasn’t been at home with me two evenings a week—and——”

“You must be dreadfully unhappy,” interrupted Bettina, wondering what she could say, since she disliked particularly to listen to any account of domestic difficulties. “But why not try keeping house? Maybe that would be better. Why, Bob doesn’t like to be away from home any evenings at all.”

“But you’ve just been married!” said Mrs. Dixon, tactlessly. “Wait and see how he’ll be after a few years!”

“Well, that’s all the more reason for trying to make him like his home. Have you thought of taking a house?”

“That was just the reason I came to you. You seem to be so happy living this way—and it surprised me. I knew last evening what Frank was thinking when he saw this little house—and then when you unpacked the lunch—tell me honestly, did you cook it yourself?”

“Of course,” said Bettina, smiling.

“Wasn’t it hard to learn? Why, I can’t cook a thing—I can’t even make coffee! Frank says if he could only have one breakfast that was fit to eat——” and she buried her face in her handkerchief.

“Why, Mrs. Dixon!” cried Bettina, cheerfully, though her heart was beating furiously. “Your trouble is the easiest one in the world to remedy! Your husband is just hungry—that’s all! I’ll tell you—we’ll make this a little secret between us, and have such fun over it! You do just as I tell you for one month and I’ll guarantee that Frank will be at home every single minute that he can!”

“Do you suppose I can learn?”

“I’ll show you every single thing. We’ll slip out this very day and look for a little house—to surprise Frank! And I’ll teach you to cook by easy stages!”

“Oh, will you?” smiled Mrs. Dixon, showing an adorable dimple in her round cheek. “You don’t know how much better I feel already! When can we begin?”

“Right now—with coffee—real, sure ‘nough coffee that will make Frank’s eyes stick out! Have you a percolator?”

“No, but I can get one.”

“It isn’t necessary at all. I’ll tell you how to do without it, and then using one will be perfectly simple.”


“NOW, Bettina, you sit here and direct me, but don’t you dare to move. I’m going to get breakfast myself.”

“Fine for you, chef! Have it on the porch, will you? It’s the most beautiful morning of the year, I do believe! But you must give me something to do. Let me set the table, will you?”

“Well, you can do that, but get me an apron first. Be sure you get one that’ll be becoming!”

Bettina went to a deep drawer in the pantry, of which the breakfast alcove was a part, and selected a white bungalow apron with red dots.

“Here, put your arms through this! There, how ‘chic’ you look! Bob, do you realize that this is our first breakfast on the porch? I must get some of those feathery things growing out there; I want them for the table. We must celebrate!”

“If having flowers on the table is celebrating, you celebrate every day!”

“Of course, my dear! Our married life is just one long celebration. Haven’t you discovered that yet?”

Bettina had thus far no flower garden, but she was never without flowers. The weeds and grasses in her backyard had a way of turning themselves into charming centerpieces, and then, too, red clover was always plentiful.

Bob moved the coffee percolator and the electric toaster to the porch and attached them while Bettina spread the luncheon cloth upon the small table. “Aren’t you glad we thought to plan it so that we might have the percolator and the toaster out here?” she said. “That was your idea, wasn’t it?”

“Aren’t you glad you married me?” said Bob enthusiastically. “I’ll bet I’m the only man on this street who can frizzle dried beef and cream it! And make coffee!”

“Who taught you that, I’d like to know? Give some credit to your wife who forces you to do it! Here, Bridget! The grapefruit is in the ice box; did you see it? And the oatmeal in the cooker is waiting to be reheated. Set it in a kettle of water over the fire, so that it won’t burn. There are rolls in the bread-box. Put them in the oven a minute to warm up. If they seem dry, dip them quickly in water before heating them. Now shall I be making some toast-rounds for the chipped beef?”

“Well, you might be doing that. I’m getting dizzy with all these orders, ma’am. You can hunt up the cream and the milk and the butter, too, if you will. Now for the beef! Say, but this is going to be a good breakfast! ‘Befoh de wah’ I used to sleep late on Sundays, but not any more for me! I like to cook!”

“There’s someone at the door. I’ll go; you’re busier than I am.”

There on the doorstep beside the Sunday paper stood a little four-year-old neighbor, her hands full of old-fashioned pinks.

“My mother sent these to you,” she said.

“Oh, lovely, dear! Thank you! Won’t you come in?”

“No’m! My daddy has to shine my shoes for Sunday school.”

“Bob, aren’t these pretty with the white feathery weeds? I do love flowers!”

“They don’t look half so pretty as this ‘ere frizzled beef does! Breakfast is all ready!”

Bettina sat down to an open-air breakfast of Grapefruit, Oatmeal, Cream, Creamed Beef, Toast Rounds, Rolls, Butter, Coffee

After a jolly and leisurely meal, Bob announced that he was ready to wash the dishes.

“Ever since I’ve seen that nice white-lined dishpan of yours, I’ve wanted to try it. It’s oval, and I never saw an oval one before.”

“I like it because it fits into the sink so well, and fills all the space it can.”

“See how efficient I am! I put on the water for the dishes when we sat down to eat! Now I’ll have nice hot, soapy water, and lots of it, to rinse them!”

“But don’t rinse the glasses, dear. See how I can polish glass and silver that has just come out of that clean soapy water! Look! Isn’t that shiny and pretty? There, you can scald everything else!”

“There’s the telephone! It’s Mrs. Dixon! What on earth can she want? She asked for you!”

Bettina talked for a few moments in monosyllables and then returned to the dishes. “What did she have to say?” Bob asked.

“She asked me not to tell you, Bob. Nothing much. Perhaps you’ll know some day.”

Bob looked puzzled and slightly hurt. It was the first time that Bettina had kept anything from him and he could not help showing some displeasure.

Bettina saw this, and said: “Bob, I don’t want to have any secret from you, and I’d like you to know that this is nothing that I wouldn’t tell you gladly if I were the only one concerned. I promised, that’s all. You’ll smile when you know all about it.”

And Bob was mollified.


“I’M so glad that you girls have come, for I’ve been longing to show you the porch ever since Bob and I put on the finishing touches.”

“O Bettina, it’s lovely!” cried all the guests in a chorus. “But weren’t you awfully extravagant?”

“Wait till I tell you. Perhaps I ought not to give myself away, but I am prouder of our little economies than of anything else; we’ve had such fun over them. This is some old wicker furniture that Mother had in her attic, all but this chair, that came from Aunt Nell’s. Bob mended it very carefully, and then enameled it this dull green color. I have been busy with these cretonne hangings and cushions for a long time, and we have been coaxing along the flowers in our hanging baskets and our window boxes for days and days, so that they would make a good impression on our first porch guests. Bob made the flower boxes himself and enameled them to go with the furniture. This high wicker flower box was a wedding gift, and so was the wicker reading lamp. This matting rug is new, but I must admit that we bought nothing else except this drop-leaf table, which I have been wanting for a long time. You see it will make a good serving table, and then we expect to eat on it in warm weather.”

“What are we to make today, Bettina? The invitation has made us all curious.

“‘The porch is cool as cool can be,
So come on Thursday just at three,
To stay awhile and sew
On something useful, strong, and neat,
Which, with your help, will quite complete
Bettina’s bungalow!'”

“What about the little sketches of knives and forks and spoons in the corners?”

“Bob did that. He wrote the verse, too, or I’m afraid I should have telephoned. Are we all here? Wait a minute.”

And Bettina wheeled out her tea-cart, on which, among trailing nasturtiums, were mysterious packages wrapped in fringed green tissue paper.

“What is in them? Silver cases—cut and ready to be made! Oh, how cunning! Shall we label them, too? What is the card?

“‘I’ll not incase your silver speech,
For that is quite beyond my reach!'”

“Did Bob do that, too? The impudence!” and Ruth threaded her needle in preparation.

“You see,” said Bettina, “I hadn’t found time to make cases for my silver, so I just decided to let you girls help me! The card tells what to label them, in outline stitch in these bright colors. I used to open ten cases at home before I found what I wanted, so I am insuring against that.”

Talk and laughter shortened the afternoon, but at five o’clock Bettina wheeled out her tea-cart again. The dainty luncheon was decorated with nasturtiums. The girls laid aside their work while Bettina served:  Sunbonnet Baby Salad, Nut Bread Sandwiches, Iced Tea, Mint Wafers, Lemon Sherbet, Tea Cakes

Susan Wheeler, Illustrator


“RUTH asked me today how we manage our finances,” said Bettina over the dinner table. “She said that she and Fred were wondering what plan was best. I’m so glad I have a definite household allowance and that we have budgeted our expenses so successfully. The other day I was reading an article by Carolyn Claymore in which she says that three-fourths of the domestic troubles are caused by disagreements about money.”

“Then we haven’t much to quarrel about, have we, Betty? That is true in more than one sense. But I’m sure that this way seems to suit us to a T.”

“I’m even saving money, Bob.”

“I don’t see how you can when you give me such good things to eat, and when we have so much company.”

“Well, I plan ahead, you know—plan for my left-overs before they are left, even. I do think that an instinct for buying and planning is better than an instinct for cooking. And either one can be cultivated. But it was certainly hard to get that budget of expenses fixed satisfactorily, wasn’t it? I told Ruth that no two families are alike, and that I couldn’t tell her just what they ought to spend for clothes, or just what groceries ought to cost. After all, it is an individual matter which things are necessities and which are luxuries. The chief thing is to live within your means, and save as well as invest something—and at the same time be comfortable and happy. I told Ruth we started with the fixed sums and the absolute necessities, and worked backward. I told her they must absolutely be saving something, if only a quarter a week. Then, that Fred must manage the budget of expenses that comes within his realm, and not interfere with hers, and that she must do the same with the household expenditures, and not worry him. It takes a lot of adjusting to make the system work satisfactorily, but it is certainly worth it.”

“Did you tell Ruth about the envelope system that my sister Harriet, uses? She says she is so careless naturally that when George gives her her allowance each month, she has to put the actual cash in separate envelopes, and then vow to herself that she will not borrow from the gas money to make the change for the grocer-boy, and so forth. That is the only way she can teach herself.”

“My cousin’s wife used to keep the most wonderful and complete accounts, but she couldn’t tell without a lot of work in hunting up the items how much she already had spent for groceries or clothes or anything. She had to change her method, and it was she who taught me to keep my accounts in parallel columns, a page for a week, because you give me my allowance each week. I like this way so much, for I can tell at a glance how my expenses are comparing with the allotted sum.”

“I like to look at your funny, neat little notebook, Bettina, all ruled so carefully for the week, and the headings, such as gas, electricity, groceries, meat, milk, laundry, across the top.”

“Don’t make fun of my notebook. I couldn’t keep house without it. In case of fire, I’d save it first of all, I know! It is almost like a diary to me! I can look back over it and remember, ‘That was the day Bob brought Mr. Green home and we almost ran out of potatoes!’ Or ‘This was the day I thought my brown bread had failed, but Bob seemed to like it!'” she exaggerated.

“Failures in cooking! Why, Bettina, I don’t know the meaning of the words! And I don’t see how you can feed me so well on the sum I give you for the purpose. I’d feel guilty, only you don’t look a bit unhappy or overworked.”

“I should say not!”

“You surely don’t remember how to cook all the things you give me!”

“No, indeed, Bob, not definitely, that is. You see, on the shelf by my account book, which you smile over, I have my card index with lots and lots of recipes filed away. Then I have notebooks, too, with all sorts of suggestions tucked in them just where I can lay my hand on them.”

“Betty dear, you’ve given me a real glimpse into your business-like methods! Some men seem to think that it doesn’t take brains to run a house well, but they don’t know. It requires just as much executive ability and common sense as it does to manage a big business.”

That night the dinner for two consisted of: Cold Ham, Green Peppers Stuffed with Rice, Light Rolls, Peach Butter, Hot Fudge Cake

Susan Wheeler, Illustrator


“I’M so happy!” said Mrs. Dixon, as she stopped at Bettina’s door one cool morning. “But I’m nervous, too! What if Frank shouldn’t like it?”

“Oh, but he will!” Bettina assured her. “He’ll think he’s the luckiest man in town, and I almost believe that he is! He’ll love that dear little white house with the screened porch! Why, the very grass looks as if it longed to spell ‘Welcome’ like some of the door mats I’ve seen! And think of the flower boxes! You were very fortunate to rent it for a year, furnished so nicely, and probably when that time is up you’ll be ready to build or buy one of your own.”

“You are a dear to cheer me up this way, but I’m nervous in spite of you. Perhaps I should have consulted Frank before I promised to take the house.”

“But he has been urging you to keep house for so long! And I know he’ll be grateful to you for sparing him the worry of hunting one himself. Besides, he’ll like being surprised.”

“Well, I’ll go back to the hotel for luncheon with him, and then I’ll phone him later to meet me at the house. I won’t tell him a thing; I’ll just give him the address. I’ll say it’s very, very important. That will surprise him and perhaps will frighten him a little. He never does leave his office during business hours, but it will take only a few minutes for him to run out here in the car. Goodness, I’m forgetting what I came for! Do you suppose I am too stupid to try to make those Spanish buns Frank liked so much? We had them at the picnic, you know. I have three hours after luncheon until he comes, and I just long to give him some good coffee and some Spanish buns that I’ve made myself! That little kitchen looks as if it would be so nice to work in! I tried coffee a little while ago over at the house, and really—it was fine! It looked just like yours! I was so surprised! To think of my doing such things!”

“Of course you could make Spanish buns; it would be fine if you would. I’ll tell you,—why not let me come over for an hour right after luncheon and superintend? Then I’ll slip home so that you can be alone when Frank comes. I could tell you some other things about cooking while we’re there together,—things you may write down in your new notebook. For example, I’ve often wondered that so few housekeepers can make good white sauce.”

“What in the world is that?”

“It’s used in cream soups, and it’s the cream part of creamed vegetables and meat and fish, and then there is a thicker white sauce that is used to bind croquettes—that is, hold the ingredients together. There are really four kinds of white sauces and they are very simple to make. I think everyone should know the right way to make them, for they are useful in preparing so many good things.”

“I’m glad we’ll be near you because I can ask you so many questions.”

“And I’m glad that it is summer, because you can have so many things that require little or no cooking, and by fall, I’m sure you will be an accomplished housekeeper.”

“Will you come over at two, then, or earlier if you can?”

“Of course I will!”

And as Mrs. Dixon hurried away Bettina felt a sympathetic thrill at the happiness two other people were about to find.


THE rain had been falling all day in a heavy downpour, and Bettina had ventured out only to gather some red clover blooms for the porch table, which she was now setting for dinner. In spite of the rain, it was not cold, and she liked the contrast of the cheerful little table, with its white cloth and bright silver, and the gray day just outside the screen.

“If Bob would only come home early, how nice it would be!” she thought. “Perhaps that’s he at the telephone now.”

However, it proved to be Mrs. Dixon. “I phoned to ask you if I should throw away the yolks of two eggs. I’ve just used the whites.”

“Oh, no, Mrs. Dixon! Beat them up well, and add a little cold water to them. Then set them in the ice-box. They will be just as good later as they would be now. You may want them for salad dressing or something else.”

“If I ever have the white of the egg left, shall I treat that the same way?”

“No, don’t beat that up at all, nor add any water. Just set it in the refrigerator as it is. I’m so glad you called up, Mrs. Dixon. Will you and your husband take dinner with us next Sunday? Perhaps we might all go to church first.”

“We’d love to do that! I’ve just been worrying over Sunday dinner, and you’ve restored my peace of mind. But won’t it be a great deal of work for you?”

“I won’t let it be. I don’t believe in those heavy, elaborate Sunday dinners that take all the morning to prepare. We’ll just come home from church and have it in half an hour. You may help me.”

“We’d love to come. I have so much to tell you. I’ve been very busy, but Frank has helped, and it has been such fun! You don’t know how he enjoys the little house! Well, good-bye till tomorrow!”

“Boo!” shouted Bob in her ear, as she hung up the receiver. “I discovered your dark secret this morning! Frank Dixon told me!”

“Well, what did you think of it?”

“The only possible solution in that case. You are their good angel—that is, if she doesn’t poison Frank with her cooking, or burn the house down when she’s lighting the fire.”

“She won’t, don’t worry! She takes to housekeeping as if she had always done it. Her house is immaculate; she has been cleaning and dusting and polishing from morning to night. I’m almost ashamed of mine!”

“I’m not!” said Bob, decidedly. “I don’t see how you can keep it clean at all with a man like me scattering papers and cigar ashes everywhere. And I’m always losing my belongings, and always will, I suppose.”

“That’s only a sign that we haven’t discovered the proper place for them all yet. But we’ll work it out in time. Well, are you hungry?”

“Hungry? I should say so! Why, I could almost eat you!”

“Well, Bob, we have a rainy-day dinner tonight that I hope you’ll enjoy. Hash! Does that frighten you?”

“Not your hash, Betty.”

“Well, everything is ready.”

The rainy evening menu consisted of: Browned Hash, Creamed Cauliflower, Date Muffins, Butter, Apple Sauce Cake, Chocolate


“SOMETHING in refrigerators?” said the clerk politely to Mrs. Dixon and Bettina.

“You talk to him,” said Mrs. Dixon. “I don’t know a thing about a refrigerator; that’s why I begged you to come.”

“Well,” considered Bettina, her red brown head on one side, “we want one that will hold not less than a hundred pounds of ice. The large ones are much more economical in the long run. Here, Mrs. Dixon, is a hundred-pound fellow. May we examine it, please?”

“Certainly, madam.”

“No, this won’t do. See, Mrs. Dixon, the trap is in the bottom of the food chamber. That is wasteful and inconvenient, because in cleaning it you would have to leave the door of the larger compartment open. That would let the cold air out and waste the ice. Anyhow, you know the trap is the sewer of the refrigerator, and has no business in the food chamber. The trap really ought to be in the bottom of the ice chamber, where it can be cleaned without removing the food, or opening the door of the food compartment. Besides, I prefer to have the ice put in at a door on the side of the front, not on the top. Yes, here is the kind I mean. I like this trap, too. See, Mrs. Dixon, isn’t it fine? It has a white enamel lining and shelves of open wire that can be removed.”

“It looks nice, doesn’t it? And when I get some white shelf paper on those shelves it will be like an attractive cupboard.”

“Oh, my dear! You mustn’t do that! That would prevent the circulation of air through the ice-box, which is the very thing that makes the food compartment cold. You see, that circulation of air goes on through these open-wire shelves. Another thing, I’ve seen people cover the ice with newspapers to keep it from melting, as they thought. But they were mistaken. Any friction causes warmth, and ice keeps better when there is nothing touching it.”

“Well, if you like this one, I’ll ask the price of it.”

“It will be expensive, I’m afraid, but the most economical in the long run. Are you staying downtown to meet Mr. Dixon?”

“Yes, I’d like him to see the refrigerator. He takes such an interest in these household things I’m getting.”

“Well, good-bye, dear. I must hurry home to get dinner. It won’t take long, but I’ll have to go, or Bob will get there first, and I’m a little sentimental about being there to greet him at the door.”

Bettina’s dinner that night consisted of: Broiled Lamb Chops, Boiled New Potatoes, New Peas in Cream, Vegetable Salad, Bread, Butter, Rhubarb Pudding


“THIS seems like old times!” remarked Mr. Dixon, as he and his wife strolled leisurely home from church with Bob and Bettina. “I haven’t had this peaceful Sunday feeling since I was a youngster. Then all the Sundays were like this, cool, quiet and sunny—sprinkled all over with little girls in smooth curls and white leghorn hats, and little boys in uncomfortable, hot clothes a size too large, and newly polished shoes. I often recall the plentiful Sunday dinners, too!”

“Don’t get your hopes too high!” said Bettina. “Though I will promise you one treat, wild roses on the table. Bob and I walked out into the country last evening and found them.”

“What can I do?” inquired Mrs. Dixon, when she and Bettina were alone in the kitchen.

“You can sit here and talk to me while these potatoes are cooking and the veal birds getting done. You see, the birds have already cooked three-quarters of an hour this morning before I went to church. The waxed beans are in the fireless cooker; I have to make the butter sauce for them. And you see I have the new potatoes all prepared, standing in cold water. I have only to cook them in boiling salted water till they are done. That won’t take long, as they aren’t large. I set the table on the porch this morning. Bob can make the coffee in the percolator in a little while, when we’re ready. He usually starts it when we come to the table, and then it is ready in time to serve last. By the way, if you like the Thousand Island dressing we are to have for the head lettuce, I’d like to give you the recipe. It is a very popular one just now.”

“Oh, I’ve eaten it! Frank is very fond of it, and used to order it every chance he had at the hotel. Will you really tell me how to make it? So many good dinners now end with the salad and cheese and coffee, and I think Thousand Island dressing on head lettuce makes a splendid salad.”

“Of course I’ll show you. Well, the iced cantaloupe, which is our first course, is in the ice-box. Our dessert today is just cake with chocolate cream frosting, and coffee. It is such a simple Sunday dinner, but that’s the kind I believe in!”


Iced Cantaloupe, Veal Birds, Boiled New Potatoes, Gravy, Waxed Beans, Butter Sauce
Bread, Butter, Head Lettuce, Thousand Island Dressing, Salt Wafers, Cake with Chocolate Cream Frosting, Coffee

Susan Wheeler, Illustrator


“AREN’T you a bit timid about driving?” asked Bettina, as she stepped into the car beside Mrs. Dixon.

“Not now. You see, I’ve been practicing every evening with Frank, and he says that I am as good a driver as he is! Oh, Bettina, we are having so much fun these days! The little house is a great success, and I’m really learning to cook! I’ve had some dreadful failures; but Frank doesn’t seem to mind. You see, I know he gets a good meal downtown at noon, and so I don’t worry about him.”

“Look, Charlotte! What lovely goldenrod! We must stop and get some! Don’t you love it?”

“Indeed I do! I have a rough brown waste-paper basket that it looks stunning in. I set the jar of goldenrod right inside! Frank is very fond of it.”

“Charlotte, you’re just like a bride yourself—thinking about Frank’s likes and dislikes.”

“Am I?” laughed Mrs. Dixon as her color rose. “Well, lately Frank seems just like his old self! He appreciates everything so, and is so nice at home! And it seems that he can hardly get home quickly enough! We have enjoyed getting things settled and planning our future. Next year we may build a house of our own, but I don’t care to have it too large to manage easily.”

“Are you going to stop here?” asked Bettina, as Mrs. Dixon slowed down after a peaceful stretch of level road.

“Yes, I want to show you something.”

A short path led to a small house close to the road, but almost hidden in a tangle of flowers and wild grapevines.

“Isn’t this a cunning little rustic place?” asked Charlotte. “Two friends of mine started it. See” (pointing to the sign over the door), “it’s called ‘The Friendly Inn.’ Inside you’ll find that quotation about living in a house at the side of the road and being a friend to every man. You know that one. [Here is a link to the poem she’s talking about.] These girls live on that farm over there. When they came home from college they wanted something to do—some way to earn money—but they didn’t care to leave home. This is such a splendid road that the autos swarm past all summer long. These girls opened this little tea room, and serve luncheons and tea here all summer. Most of their supplies come directly from the farm. It is just a pleasant drive from the city, and many people like to come out here in the afternoon. I’ll introduce you to the girls.”

Bettina found the inn-keepers charming, and after a short conversation, she and Mrs. Dixon ordered: Tomato Cup Salad, Iced Tea, Bread and Butter Sandwiches, Vanilla Ice Cream, Chocolate Sauce, Marshmallow Cakes


“BY the way, Bettina,” said Bob, over the phone, “I saw Harrison and asked him out to dinner tonight. He said he was to call on Alice later, so I suggest that you invite her, too.”

Bettina smiled to herself at Bob’s casual tone. Ought she to ask him not to invite company without consulting her?

“No!” she decided emphatically. “Company or no company, our meals shall be simple, but good enough for anybody. I’ll not change my menu for Alice and Mr. Harrison. I’m sure they’ll like it just as it is.”

“To tell the truth, Bettina,” said Alice’s vivacious voice over the telephone, “I’d love to come, if it weren’t for that—that man!”

“But, Alice, you’re going to see him later.”

“I know; worse luck! He’s the most insufferable person I know! You see, last night we had a little argument, and he was very rude.”

“Maybe he’s coming to apologize.”

“Don’t you imagine it! He couldn’t. He dislikes society girls above all other people.”

“Oh, Alice!”

“Well, he does! He told me so evening before last, out at the park.”

“Seems to me you’re seeing a good deal of him for a man you feel that way about.”

“Well, you started it. You told me that he was a woman-hater, and I thought it would be fun to reform him. At first he thought me fine and sensible, but lately I’ve been showing him how frivolous I really am. I suppose I hoped that by this time he’d approve of everything I said and did. But he won’t. He seems actually to be trying to reform me! And I won’t be reformed! I could never be anything but frivolous Alice if I wanted to! I hate those big, slow, serious men, without any fun in them!”

“Cheer up, my dear!” laughed Bettina. “Come tonight, anyhow. I like the frivolous kind, whether he does or not.”

That evening, much to Bettina’s secret amusement, Mr. Harrison and Alice met on the doorstep.

“Don’t think we came together,” explained Alice, flippantly. “A dinner and an evening of me are about all Mr. Harrison can endure!”

“I couldn’t have spared the time, anyhow, Miss Alice. You see, I’m a busy man, and the people who are doing worth-while things in this world are obliged to overlook some of the amenities.”

It was on Bettina’s tongue to inquire how a busy man found time to make so many calls as he was making now. But she refrained, knowing well that lively Alice could hold her own with any man in the universe, even though she might not be doing the things that Mr. Harrison considered worth while.

“A fine dinner,” said he to Bettina, as they sat down at the table. “I admire a woman who knows how to prepare and serve food. She is paying her way in the most dignified and worth-while profession of all—that of a home-maker.”

“Mr. Harrison,” asked Alice severely, “may I inquire whether or not you know how to drive insects out of cabbage before serving it?”

“I’m afraid I don’t.”

“Well, I’m surprised, for even I know that. Bettina just told me. You place the cabbage, head downward, in cold water, to each quart of which has been added a tablespoonful of vinegar.”

“Silly Alice!” said Bettina. “Don’t tease! Look at my lovely pansies. Alice, I believe you gave me that flower-holder when I announced my engagement.”

“When I announce my engagement——” said Alice.

Bettina saw a strange and startled look come over Mr. Harrison’s face, which immediately departed when Alice added:

“Which will be years hence, no doubt—I hope my friends will give me nothing useful. I love to come here, Bettina, but I’m not a natural-born housekeeper like you. I shall marry an idle millionaire, and we will do nothing but travel aimlessly about from one end of the world to the other. That is my idea of perfect happiness!”

That night for dinner Bettina served: Pork Chops, Potatoes Maitre d’Hotel Butter, Bread, Butter
Cabbage Salad Served in Lemon Halves, Cocoanut Blanc Mange, Custard Sauce, Iced Tea


BOB and Bettina were at breakfast one morning when the telephone rang. “It’s Mrs. Dixon, Bettina,” said Bob, his hand over the mouthpiece. “Much excited. Panicky. House afire. Hurry.”

“Hello, Charlotte!” said Bettina, quickly. “What in the world is the trouble?”

“The worst yet!” came a nervous voice. “Frank’s Aunt Isabel is to be at our house tonight! Oh, I wish you knew her! She never did approve of me!”

“Oh, Charlotte, you just imagine that! She wouldn’t come if she disliked you so!”

“That’s just it! She didn’t approve of me when we lived at the hotel, and now that we’ve taken a house, she wants to see how things are.”

“Well, things are fine! Doesn’t Frank say so?”

“Yes, of course. But the meals! Two company meals to get, and for a critical person like her, too! What on earth shall I do?”

“Now, don’t be nervous, Charlotte! It’s easy! We’ll think up a delicious little dinner that you can prepare mostly beforehand. When does she arrive?”

“Five o’clock, and leaves just after breakfast.”

“Good! Two simple meals and all day in which to get them ready. Let’s see. The weather is warm, so you will prefer a dinner that is partly cold. Watermelon that has been in the refrigerator all day would be a simple dessert, with no cake or anything else to think of. How about cold boiled tongue for your main dish? Sliced thin and garnished with parsley. You might also have a very good salad. Apple, celery and green pepper salad would be delicious and economical also. Then you might have corn on the cob. I’ve had it recently and know how good it is. That would be the only thing you would have to think of at meal time, and it is very easy to cook. You would serve it in a napkin to keep it hot. Then I want to send you some peach butter that I made the other day; that would go beautifully with your dinner. There you have it all! If I were doing it, I should add iced tea to drink, served very daintily, with sliced lemon and mint leaves.”

“Oh, Bettina, how good it sounds! Will you repeat that menu for me?”

Cold Boiled Tongue, Apple, Celery and Green Pepper Salad, Golden Bantam Corn on the Cob
Bread, Butter, Peach Butter, Iced Tea, Lemon, Sliced Watermelon

“Now, if you’ll get a pencil and paper, I will give you some directions about cooking.”

Susan Wheeler, Illustrator


“WHY, Ruth, I didn’t hear you come in!”

“The door was partly open—Bob must have left it that way—and I slipped in quickly to see what you were up to. It’s raining as if it never intended to stop. I called to Bob on his way downtown, and asked what you were doing today. He said that wonderful baking preparations were going on because you expected his sister Polly and her three children tomorrow. That sounded like a deluge—all those lively youngsters, and Polly livelier yet—so, I came over to see if I couldn’t help.”

“Indeed you can, Ruth! That was dear of you! We’ll have a houseful, won’t we? I have planned to put Polly and Dorothy and the baby in the guest room, but Donald will have to sleep on the davenport [sofa]. And I’m planning to do most of the cooking today, so that tomorrow we can visit and see people and show the children the sights. They are coming this afternoon, and will be here Sunday and Monday at least. As soon as I finish filling these salt-shakers, I’ll begin the baking. Goodness, it will certainly be a help to have you here, Ruth! You were such a dear to come in all this rain!”

“Oh, I like it! I always learn so much from you, Bettina. But what on earth are you doing with that rice?”

“Just putting a few grains in the shakers. You know salt gets damp on a rainy day like this, and the rice loosens it and absorbs the moisture. I’m doing it first because I might forget.”

“What are you going to make?”

“Well, I’ll cook some potatoes and beets to warm up or make salad of, and I’ll make a veal loaf and a white cake, I think. Then some salad dressing, and a berry pie and some sour cream cookies. Oh, yes, some nut-bread and some tomato gelatin, too.”

“Goodness! Can you use all those things?”

“Yes, indeed! For tonight’s dinner I’ll have lamb chops, and some of the cooked potatoes, creamed, and tomato gelatin, and the blackberry pie. (You know berry pies ought to be eaten soon after they are made.) If tomorrow is a nice day, we’ll eat our dinner in the park, and in any case, I’ll be prepared, for I’ll have the veal loaf, and the beets to warm up, and the rest of the potatoes to cream or make salad of, and the nut-bread for sandwiches if we need them, and the cake and some sliced peaches for dessert.”

“And the cookies?”

“Well, children always want cookies. I’ll bake these on my big baking sheets just the size of the oven, and I’ll put lots of raisins on top.”

“Bettina, what fun it would be to visit you! But we must get at our work or Polly and family will be here before this big baking is done!”


“WILL you look at the way that child eats her cereal!” ejaculated Polly at the breakfast table. “And I simply can’t get her to eat it at home! In fact, on warm days like this, she won’t eat any breakfast at all.”

“I like Aunt Betty’s cereal; it looks so pretty,” explained little Dorothy gravely, looking down at her plate of moulded cereal surrounded by plump red raspberries.

“I hope you don’t mind my serving it cold today,” said Bettina. “It seemed so warm yesterday that I cooked the cereal and put it in moulds in the refrigerator.”

“No indeed! The change is a regular treat for the children. They like fixed-up things like this, and it certainly does give anyone an appetite.”

“Well, in hot weather, no one feels much like eating, anyhow, so I try to make things as attractive as I can. And I want the children to have just what they like…. You needn’t be afraid of this cream, Polly. We buy it from a neighbor, and I am absolutely sure that it is both clean and good. I’m ashamed to say that we have no certified milk in this town. Isn’t that dreadful? And people keep on buying it of dairies that they don’t know one thing about! Why, I’ve seen women who had just moved to town, and who knew nothing about conditions here, begin housekeeping by cleaning house thoroughly from top to bottom, and at the same time, leave an order for milk with the first dairy wagon that happened to drive down their street! And they buy groceries and meat from the nearest stores without knowing that three blocks away there may be other stores that are better, cleaner and less expensive. Shouldn’t you think that women would insist upon knowing all about the food they are giving their children? It seems to me that much common sense in a housewife is a great deal more important even than knowing how to cook and sew.”

“I think that knowing how to plan and buy is more important than knowing how to do things with your hands,” said Polly. “After all, it’s the result that counts. You’re a wonder, Bettina, because you have a useful head and useful hands, too, but I haven’t. So I try to know as much as possible about every article of food and clothing that I buy, and to be sure that I am getting the very best value from Tom’s money, but I don’t know how to cook or sew or trim hats or embroider. I like friends and babies and outdoor exercise, but I’ll confess that I don’t like housework.”

“Well, Tom and the children seem to be perfectly contented and happy, and so do you. Therefore, you are a successful housekeeper.”

“You are the right kind of a sister-in-law to have, Betty! I quite approve of Bob’s choice!”

The breakfast that morning consisted of: Moulded Cream of Wheat, Raspberries, Sugar, Cream
Poached Eggs on Toast, Coffee

Are your counters and sink 36″? Mine are. I also have the type of icebox refrigerator she described. It’s in my front room full of paper 🙂 I took Bettina’s lead, but, instead of making my silverware cases, I bought this bag for my “company” silver: Hagerty 9×12 zippered bag made from Silversmiths cloth. It was the least expensive, meant for a gravy boat, but I put all of my knives, forks, and spoons into it, instead of buying individual cases. I also bought these silver strips to help keep silver in my hutch and my jewelry box from tarnishing.

May God bless you as you try to find 1,000 ways to please your man!




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