Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » She Had a Question, 1916 (2)

She Had a Question, 1916 (2)

By: Ardis E. Parshall - October 18, 2011

This installment of “She Had a Question” comes from the Relief Society Magazine rather than the Young Woman’s Journal. For a few months during 1916, (Eleanor) Hazel Love Dunford (1884-1937) responded to queries sent in to the Magazine. Hazel was the oldest of 12 children in a fairly well-to-do Salt Lake family. She began her university studies at the University of Utah but soon transferred to the Utah Agricultural College in Logan because the U didn’t have the kind of home economics training she wanted; she graduated from UAC in 1915. Following a three-months’ mission to Denver in 1907, she returned to UAC where she served as the assistant instructor of domestic science for two years. She met her husband there – Carlos Leroy Dunford, half-brother to Leah Dunford Widtsoe [i.e., Mrs. Apostle John A. Widtsoe], and they had three sons before her husband died in his mid-30s after a series of strokes. Hazel raised her boys alone, sending them on missions, teaching domestic science at the LDS University, and, after the close of that school, opening and operating Dunford Bakery of Salt Lake City.

Mrs. C., Richfield – Latter-day Saint women who have been through the temple know the rules of this Church regarding the wearing of low-necked and short-sleeved dresses. When they break those rules, they must suffer the certain consequences of disobedience. But you and I will not be blamed for other people’s faults and sins. Let us watch our own lives carefully that we may not become stumbling blocks.


Can you tell me where we get the letters P.S., as used at the bottom of a letter? – C.R.D.

These letters are an abbreviation of the Latin phrase post scriptum, written afterwards in English. The words postscript has become a noun, the words written at the bottom of a letter, with the prefix P./S., being spoken of as the postscript.


A young writer wants to know our ideas on teasing and playing with children before they are put to bed.

In my opinion it is a selfish form of amusement and should never be allowed. It is practiced many times by cruel, thoughtless persons, early in the evening. A child becomes nervous and excited, and it is almost impossible for a good, peaceful night’s rest to follow. Many a mother has lost hours of sleep because some senseless adult tossed and bounded her baby before he took his bottle and went to bed. The hour before bed-time should be quiet and happy. A good plan is to tell the babies a simple story, let them hear some soft music, or look at some good pictures, and generally this will put the child in a condition for sleep.


I know that milk is a very valuable food, but my children do not care for it. Can you suggest any way that I might use to induce them to like it? – R.F.

It is indeed unfortunate if your children, as you say, do not like the taste of milk, but this is very often the case. Milk is one of the best foods for young children, because it contains all the food elements required to meet the body demands. Try offering a little reward for a cup of milk. Often a dislike is merely a whim, and can be overcome in some such way. You might add a little spice as nutmeg, cinnamon, etc., or make with a little weak cream; use milk for the liquid. You may find that your children will enjoy buttermilk where they will not taste sweet milk.


My young daughter insists on wearing low-neck dresses and short sleeves to school. All that I can say or do seems to have no effect. “Other girls do, why should I not be allowed to do so?” is what she always ends up with. – A.B.C.

There is an alarming number of our latter-day Saint girls appearing at school and elsewhere in ridiculously low-cut dresses. It seems to me that parents and school authorities are the only ones to handle this problem. It is largely a question of “doing as the other fellow does.” If a leader in a crowd could be made to see that it were not the right thing and she were converted, there would soon be a change.


Children will be delighted with a variation of the old colored Easter eggs. When the eggs have been boiled and cooled, draw flowers, names, bunnies, etc., by using slit pen dipped in melted wax for ink, drop in dye, and the result – white figures with colored back-ground.


Mrs. Marvine Brown from Manassa, Colorado, writes to know if we can tell her what to do for her gums and teeth. She says, “My gums are falling away from my teeth and at times are a fiery red and very sore.”

From your description I am almost sure you are suffering from pyorrhea. I know of no better thing to use than ipecac. Get a small quantity and rub it over your gums and they will soon harden up again unless your case is too far gone. In that case we advise you to consult a first class dentist. Keep the teeth very clean. Salt and water is a very poor cure for this disease. It has a tendency to contract the gums. You need more acid in your system and less salt and soda. Try lemons once a day.


Can you tell me how to wash colored embroidery so there will be no danger of the color running? – Miss A.B., Richfield, Utah.

To wash pieces of colored embroidery so that there will be less danger of colors running, put a tablespoon of powdered alum in the water and use only the purest white soap to make light lather, but do not apply it directly to the silk. if the lather is of good make, it will come out bright and clear, with no fading or injury whatever, but when the color runs or blurs in the ground material, the alum will usually make the washing safe. A tablespoon of salt is also good for setting most bright colors and in any case tends to brighten and clear the color with no harm to the fabric.


My child has lost her appetite, with apparently no cause. She seems well, but just does not want to eat. Can you suggest a remedy? – Mrs. A.V.J., Manti, Utah.

This is often the result of a long period over-feeding or the use of milk too rich in fat. If in all other respects the child seems well and simply does not want her food, give the food at regular hours. Never in between periods. On no account coax a child to eat, much less force her. No greater mistake can be made. Weaken the food given and lengthen the intervals.


What points should guide one in selecting toys and playthings for an infant? – Mother.

The instinct in a baby to put everything in its mouth is so strong that one should be very careful not to give things that cannot be safely treated in this way. Hence, things that can be washed easily and things that are not sharp and that have no loose parts that might be swallowed should be chosen.


Please give through the Relief Society Magazine a recipe for carrot pudding. – Mrs. G.R.D., Salt Lake.

Carrot Pudding

1 cc. suet creamed well; add 2-1/4 c. stale bread crumbs, 1 c. grated carrot.

Beat yolks of 4 eggs, add gradually 1-1/3 c. brown sugar. Combine mixtures. Add grated rind of 1 lemon and 1 tb. vinegar. Mix 1 c. raisins, cut fine; 3/4 c. carrots dredged with 1/3 c. flour, 1/2 T. salt, 1 T. cinnamon, 1/4 T. nutmeg, 1/4 T. cloves, whites of 4 eggs beaten stiff. Steam 3 hours in buttered mold.


The question has been asked, “How can children best be taught not to be wasteful? – Mrs. E.C., Salt Lake City.

When children are very small they should be taught not to leave food on their plates; if they do not want it, do not force them toe at it, but see that the next meal brings the left-over food before them. If one is persistent in this particular, soon the child will learn to judge just the exact amount that will be eaten. A child should be taught to take care of his toys and not be wasteful with them. Arrange to have a place for his playthings and then require him to put his many things in order. There is no better way to teach this important thing than by example.


Will you please tell me what the ‘citrus fruits” are and name some of them? – L.M.T., Ephraim, Utah.

These fruits belong to the same family as the citron and are especially useful in the diet. In the group there is the pomelo or grapefruit, the orange, lemon, lime and kumquats.


It is perfectly astonishing to me that some parents, teachers and periodicals, make the claim that it is old-fashioned and should be done away with, for children to say: Sir! Ma’am! yes, sir! No, sir! Yes, Ma’am! No, Ma’am! (the latter pronounced as Madam, leaving the “d” out.) Can it be called a fashion at all? Is it not one of the most important civilities in life, which all children should observe, and which should continue in use as long as the world stands? What will more quickly, and effectually make heathens of our children, and destroy int hem proper respect for all grown people, than if they are allowed to answer parents, white-haired grandparents, the Bishop, the Governor – with: What! Huh! Yep! Nope! You bet! I did not! Now you’re whistlin’! etc., etc. It gives me a shudder of horror and apprehension. – Anxious, Mesa, Arizona.

From early infancy children should be taught to be polite and courteous, and this can be taught in no better way than in requiring them to speak properly to their elders. It is not always necessary that they say, “yes, Ma’am,” and “No, Sir,” but by all means they should be taught to say something besides “Yes,” and “No,” and their equivalents. Yes, Mother, No, Lady, or What, sir, yes, Brother Jones, etc. These little civilities once thoroughly learned in youth will be of benefit to a child all his life, and is always a mark of good breeding.


I am building a new house and would like your opinion on wall finishing for the kitchen. – Mrs. C.O., Salt Lake City.

Be sure that your ceilings are not made too high. Eight feet six inches is high enough. Paint walls white or cream, giving four coats. Finish with enamel paint. This is rather expensive in the beginning, but as the years pass one soon realizes the economy of it, for the walls can be washed and cleaned so easily and never need re-painting.


I have four children between the ages of twelve and three. How can I best get and keep their confidence. – Mrs. E.G.w., Sugar City, Idaho.

From the very infancy a mother must interest herself in the child’s affairs. She must be a real chum to every one of her children. I know one mother who has a knack of making each one of her children (and she has five) feel that he is her special favorite. This, I believe, is one great secret in keeping their confidence.




  1. I like the implication in her answer about the kids who don’t like milk: try some cream, with spices, with some milk added for liquid. Let’s hear it for real cream–not this weak runny stuff that masquerades under the name “Heavy Cream” in the dairy case!

    And, just how low-cut must a dress be in order to be “ridiculously low-cut”? Inquiring minds want to know.

    Comment by Mark B. — October 18, 2011 @ 10:38 am

  2. Is it better to be ridiculously low-cut, or seriously low-cut?

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 18, 2011 @ 11:01 am

  3. How much is 1 cc. suet? I doubt it means cubic centimetre. (I hope it doesn’t mean cup.) I’d like to try that recipe.

    Can I use shortening for suet? Or lard?

    I’m surprised that the abbreviations are T. and t. My grandmother’s 1910 cookbook says “tablespoonfuls” and “teasponfuls”. And “cupfuls”.

    Comment by Carol — October 18, 2011 @ 11:05 am

  4. Now you’re whistlin’!

    Comment by -MMM- — October 18, 2011 @ 11:41 am

  5. Carol, I’ll have to pull the magazines again and see if that was a typo for “c.”

    My great-grandmother’s recipe calls for 1/2 cup butter to go with 1 cup grated carrots and 1 cup grated potatoes and 1-1/2 cup breadcrumbs. A full cup of fat (whether suet, shortening, or butter) seems a little richer than my recipe, but not grossly so, so that (1 cup) is probably the amount meant.

    (If you want my great-grandmother’s recipe, which I can vouch for — until you try it you’ll never believe that grated vegetables can be turned into spun sugar the way this recipe does it — here it is:)

    1 cup grated carrots
    1 cup grated potatoes
    1 cup sugar
    1-1/2 cups bread crumbs
    1/2 cup raisins
    1/2 cup currants
    1/2 cup butter
    1/2 tsp. cinnamon
    1/2 tsp. cloves
    1/2 tsp. nutmeg
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. baking soda

    Dissolve baking soda in spoonful of water and stir into potatoes. Add all other ingredients and steam 3 hours. For pressure cooker, 45 minutes at 15 lbs.

    Serve warm or cold with lemon or vanilla sauce.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 18, 2011 @ 11:47 am

  6. Is it better to be ridiculously low-cut, or seriously low-cut?

    As Socrates might have said, Define your terms.

    Comment by Mark B. — October 18, 2011 @ 12:01 pm

  7. Not bad, though citric acid on teeth, most certainly didn’t turn out well in the end.

    Comment by J. Stapley — October 18, 2011 @ 12:19 pm

  8. To Anxious in Arizona: Whatever…

    I also had to chuckle about keeping the confidence of your children, as I thought about friending them on Facebook to serve the same purpose these days. If your kids will let you.

    Comment by kevinf — October 18, 2011 @ 1:05 pm

  9. Hmm… Back in the days when they thought that nothing would destroy children faster “than if they are allowed to answer parents, white-haired grandparents, the Bishop, with: What! Huh! Yep! Nope! You bet!

    “It gives me a shudder of horror and apprehension” to think what poor Sis. Dunford would think of my scout troop.

    Comment by The Other Clark — October 18, 2011 @ 1:29 pm

  10. I’ll try your recipe, Ardis, but what does “steam” it mean? I’ve heard of different ways to do that with a double boiler or a wet towel or a special steaming pan. I don’t know how to do any of them, though. How did grandma do it?

    (While you’re at it, before cucumber season comes again I want your mother’s recipe for bread and butter pickles again. I lost it and haven’t found one as good.)

    Comment by Carol — October 18, 2011 @ 2:47 pm

  11. This column highlights some of the problems with offering medical advice without being a doctor, seeing the patient, etc. A child who has suddenly stopped eating could simply be through a growth spurt, but on the other hand could be in heart failure or have another serious medical condition.

    Perhaps the original letter to the magazine was longer than the short summary given in the column, but offering medical advice like this is a dangerous business to be in.

    Comment by Researcher — October 18, 2011 @ 2:53 pm

  12. Carol, the easiest way is with a special pan — a steamer. Do you have a double boiler where the top half is perforated to let steam rise from the boiling water beneath? Or perhaps an insert for a pasta pot, or some other insert for steaming vegetables above boiling water?

    If you don’t have such a thing, you can sort of improvise. Use a can large enough to hold the pudding, and cut off both ends of it so that you have a tube. Put aluminum foil on both ends (duct tape it down, although that won’t hold for long in the steam) and perforate the aluminum foil in a lot of places. If you can punch some holes in the tube, so much the better. Put a rack or small bowl in the bottom of a large pot; put the can of pudding on it — on its side rather than on its end where the perforations would be covered up — and add water up to a point just below the perforations.

    Boil (it doesn’t have to be a hard boil — simmering is fine, as long as it’s generating a lot of steam), checking every once in a while to add more water so that the pot doesn’t boil dry.

    A damp towel won’t generate enough steam for this.

    A little of the juice and spices runs out no matter what you do, but it sure makes your kitchen smell good. Don’t worry about it.

    The idea is that steam passes through the batter and cooks the pudding, keeping it moist at the same time. If you can picture that cooking process, then you’ll be able to figure out something, even if it’s improvised.


    25 or 30 medium-sized cucumbers
    8 large white onions
    2 large sweet green peppers
    1/2 cup salt
    5 cups cider vinegar
    5 cups sugar
    2 tblsp. mustard seeds
    1 tsp. turmeric
    1/2 tsp. cloves

    Slice cucumbers and onions thin. Chop peppers. Cover with salt and let stand 3 hours. Drain. Bring vinegar, sugar and spices to a boil. Add drained vegetables. Heat thoroughly, but do not boil. Put in hot, sterilized jars and seal.

    Yield: 14 pints

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 18, 2011 @ 3:01 pm

  13. Wow, thanks, Ardis. I appreciate the details about steaming. I’m going to try it.

    And, everyone show up at my house with bread and butter next fall.

    Comment by Carol — October 18, 2011 @ 3:19 pm

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