Kringles, lip salve and nectar

It intrigues me that in newspapers of old, handy hints, remedies, recipes and ways of poisoning pests all appear in the same column. I was looking at a newspaper from the 1860’s, and under a heading, ‘The House, was the following

  • To Purify Bottles
  • Kringles
  • Carnation Lip Salve
  • Mixture For Destroying Flies
  • Freckles On The Face Or Hands
  • Eve’s Pudding
  • Velvet Cream.
  • Nectar
  • Dust-Bins and Disease

… four recipes (one for a drink, three desserts) two cosmetics, fly-killer, cleaner and a diatribe about lazy servants!

Here is what the writer – named simply ‘Builder’ has to say about dustbins:


 It would be well if it could be made one of the duties of the sanitary inspector in each locality to visit the basement of every dwelling house occasionally, for the purpose of ascertaining the condition of the dustbins, drainpipes, and other matters, which are so generally neglected, even in the houses situated in the best localities.
But my special suggestion with regard to dustbins is intended to prevent the admixture of vegetable and animal matter with the cinder ash, a very prolific source of fever and diarrhoea at this season of the year.
My plan is, for an iron grating to be made to fit the top of the dust-bin. It should be affixed as a lid, and have a padlock, to prevent servants from removing it, excepting at stated times, for the dust to be taken away by the carts.
This would be found by house holders to promote both health and economy, and the grating being small, or, rather, fine enough to allow the  dust only to pass through, the cinders would remain on the top, and could be collected and replaced in the cinder-scuttle for household purposes; thus, the lazy,  extravagant habit of servants, who rarely sift cinders, would be obviated.

It’s a different world, isn’t it? When I think how are dustbin men – no doubt called something like sanitation and waste disposal operatives work! There are still dustbins produced with are made from plastic and have a message ‘no hot ashes’ inscribed on the top.

Kringles here are a type of biscuit, not the yeasted Scandinavian pastry which are popular now… here is the 160 year-old recipe:


  • 8 egg yolks
  • 2 egg whites
  • 5 oz soft butter
  • 5 oz caster sugar
  • 16 oz plain flour
  1. beat the yolks and eggs together really well
  2. beat the butter until creamy
  3. mix in the eggs
  4. add the sugar and flour and bring together into a paste
  5. knead lightly
  6. roll out and cut into biscuits
  7. put onto baking tray and rick all over with a fork
  8. bake for 12-15 mins gas mark 4, 180° C, 350° F

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