A good friend of mine from work gave me this awesome little book. It was published in 1914 by the Diamond Crystal Salt Co. of St. Clair Michigan. It has a nice little forward by a woman named Martha Elizabeth Stuart on the essentials of salt. My favorite part is her quote from her "old Aunt Samanthy". "If you forgits that little pinch of salt afore you boils your 'taters they never do taste right - no matter how much you salts 'em arterwards."
I remember my mom saying something very similar when I was a child, only with less of a southern drawl.
This book has the same appeal to me as MFK Fisher's book How To Cook A Wolf in that it has money saving tips and strategies in tough times. There are things in this little booklet that we all take for granted today, things like refrigeration. ("use number 38. To Keep Butter Hard: Butter may be kept hard without ice by setting the dish in which it is contained in cold salt water. Do not allow the water to come above top of dish. Keep butter covered with cold damp cloth. " ) In this time of environmental concern, the numerous laundry uses of salt are spectacular. Did you know that you can remove insects from your garden vegetables with salt water? You can clean sinks and drains with salt, prevent moths, and put out a fire. You can remove tea stains, wine stains, and polish your copper. You can sooth soar throats and take soothing baths in the stuff. You can kill weeds and bugs in your garden and and relieve colic in horses of all things. Who knew sodium chloride was such and amazing element?
In spite of all the negative publicity salt gets, I LOVE the stuff, and this little booklet is a neat little treasure. I especially like the write up at the end of the the little book promoting "Shaker Table Salt - the Salt that flows"
"For your table, then, you want a salt that does not lump or 'stick' in the shakers when your family or guests want it to come out." They recommend first thah your grocer only sends you Shaker Table Salt made by Diamond Crystal Salt Company, and second, on very damp days, keep you salt shakers, between meals, in the warming oven (remember this is 1914, odds are the stove is wood fired) or under an upturned glass or tumbler.
The final paragraph:
"Truly Shaker Salt is the dainty salt for dainty folks, as well as the pleasant salt for pleasant folks. Your husband, or your guest, has no need to rap and pound for salt when Shaker Salt is Used.
Its price, except in the far West, is 10c a box. Good grocers everywhere sell it. Diamond Crystal Cooking Salt - brings out the flavor
Pass the salt please.