What’s the recipe today, Jim?

I’ve been sharing household hints from a century and a half ago… as I was looking though a selection this evening, a catchphrase popped into my head – ‘What’s the recipe today, Jim?’ This was from teh well-liked Jimmy Young Show on the radio. Jimmy Young was born in 1921, and having been a popular singer in teh 1950’s and 60’s, in later life he became one of the most popular and successful broadcasters, with his JY Prog.

As well as playing music he had recipes from Tony di Angelo, and legal advice from The Legal Beagle ,Bill Thomas and much more. The recipe section always had the funny little clip –  Raymondo

So today, the recipe is for washing fluid… these days we just pick up a squeezy bottle from the shop… in Australia, and probably in the UK too, many people had to make their own… they had a whole chemistry set of ingredients which we would struggle to acquire and no doubt be nervous of using…

.Washing- Fluid.

  • Five pounds sal. soda
  • one pound of borax
  • half a pound unslaked lime,
  • four ounces salts of tartar
  • three ounces liquid ammonia
  1. dissolve the soda and borax in one gallon of boiling water
  2. to which is added, when it is cooled, the ammonia and salts of tartar
  3. put the lime in a kettle, pour over it one gallon of boiling water
  4. boil three minutes and let it settle, thoroughly, then pour off the clear liquid
  5. mix both gallons which have been prepared, and add to them eight gallons of pure soft water
  6. keep well corked
  • when the clothes are soaked the night previous to wash-day, use six spoonfuls of this mixture, to a tub filled with clothes.

To make a soap of this compound

  1. take three quarts of the mixture
  2. slice into it nine pounds of yellow bar soap
  3. put it into nine gallons of boiling water, to which add six pounds of soda
  4. boil it for ten minutes

When cool you will have twelve gallons of a soft soap which will soften any water, cleanse any clothes, wash cloths and flannels without disturbing their colour or shrinking, and which is unequalled for scrubbing tables and wooden ware. Its cost is slight, its value great! In using these recipes for washing, the clothes do not require so much boiling as is usually given. Twenty minutes, or even fifteen, are quite enough. time and labour are both saved by them.


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