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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
bo; sSkeepers ' chat
Wednesday, January 6, 1932
(NOT FOR PUBLIC AT I Oil)
Subject: "Play Suits for Cold Days." Information from the Bureau, of Home
Bulletins available: "Play Suits for Winter! 11
• ooOoo —
"Over the river and through the woods,
To grandfather's house we go;
The horse knows the way
To carry the sleigh
gh white and drifted snow.
Over the river and through the woods,
Ch, how the wind does Mow.
It stings the toes,
And bites the nose,
As over the fields we go."
lots of fun "back in those old«f ashioned winter times. And some
things that weren't so much fun and not mentioned in this old song. Winter
clothes, for example. The clothing specialists hadn't come on the scene in
those days and no one had thought of taking the subject of dressing for the
weather seriously. The main idea in everybody's mind was to bundle up in
winter, to put on all the clothes possible and the heavier they were, the bet-
"Wha/t did you wear to play in on cold winter days when you were small?"
I asked Uncle Ebenezer.
Uncle Ebenezer smiled as he looked back into his memory. "I wore nay
father's old clothes cut down to fit me. Instead of a cap, I wore a 'comforter"
a long scarf which wrapped around my head, crossed in front, and tied in back
so that the ends hung down. Warm, but not comfortable. One thing I was parti-
cularly proud of was- a pair of red-top boots with copper toes. Of course, we
wore red flannel underwear all winter. Flannel, especially red , was supposed
to ward off rheumatism. When I went out to play I was bundled u:o in many wraps-
coats and shawls — entirely too many for comfort. It was difficult business
to play winter games, especially running games like duck and geese, which was
a great favorite with the hoys in our neighborhood. So many clothes made it
hard work to move comfortably . Yes, it was even an effort to build a snow
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fort with all those heavy awkward clothes on. Bxit my mother was a "busy woman
with six boys and two daughters to sew for, and she didn't have tine to figure
o.t the hind of clothes which would "be best for us. She didn't have the ad-
vantages of the present day women, who can profit by all these studies on the
right clothes for children done by the clothing specialists."
Modern mothers know that the right midwinter clothes for the youngsters
are warm yet light weight and comfortable. Cold outside need not bring colds.
And children may go out to ploy in the snow protected against the cold and
damp, yet dressed for activity. A well-known child specialist has recently
listed six points for children's health in winter. First, warm, light-weight
inside clothing and windproof outer garments. Second, a warm, bet not hot in-
door atmosphere with plenty of moisture in the air. Third, a normal diet,
fourth, as much sunlight as he can get, with cod liver oil to supplement. Five,
protection against contagion. And, six, mental health, harmony and pea.ee at
The right clothes, I might say, have their influence on this last point-
mentcl health, harmony and peace, especially if you are trying to get that snow
mesa built before mother calls that it's time to come in for lunch. Tight
sleeves, neck lines that choke and bind, heavy wraps that pull down small
shoulders, caps that keep falling off and sca,rves that keep unwinding — nobody
can be happy and do efficient work out in the snow with such trappings. And
such clothes aren't necessary either. Over at the Bureau of Home Economics
there is an exhibit of modern winter pi ay suits that ought to please any
Lgster and any mother. But since you can't all come to Washington to see
fchese suits, the next best thing is to send for the leaflet written about
then, which is illustrated with pictures of the suits on real children.
All children's garments, but especially play suits, should allow free-
and natural movement of the body. U w that outdoor exercise is being em-
phasized more and more, clothes which will keep the youngster warm on a. cold
day and still allow freedom in play are in great demand.
What should play suits be made of? The most desirable fabrics are warm,
light in weight, pliable, moisture-proof, and closely woven or knitted. A soft,
closely woven, fuzzy cloth may be much warmer than a harsh, smooth, leathery
fabric. Wha,t about knitted materials, and sweater suits? T^ey are elastic,
and fit snugly, but they are less warm than woven materials, because the stiches
are far apart and the wind can blow through.
For many years wool fabrics were considered the only ones that would
really no Id in heat. Recently however, cotton materials that compare favorably
with the wools are appearing on the market.
'.".hen the children play out of doors, they must be kept dry. Cloth may
be woven so tightly that it sheds moisture, or it may be tr eated so that it
will turn off water, and slushy snow, like a ducks back.
Children love bright colors. Their delight in bright reds and blues and
greens can be used to advantage when selecting outside garments. You know how
i ton children dart across the street, in the path of motorists? Out side wraps
of Srey, tan, brown, navy blue and black blend in with the background. Put a
brigut blue or green or red or orange provides a safety zone around the
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When Johnny Junior goes out to play, shall he wear a one-piece play
suit or a two piece play suit? Remember that Johnny is a modern youngster.
Eis mother wants him to learn to help himself, she knows that "by learning to
dress himself he will not only grow self-reliant and independent, hut that his
small fingers will he trained to perform correctly the many tasks that will
follow in later years. So Johnny wears a one-piece play suit.
And, by the way, of course you know that front openings encourage
self-help. Arrange these openings without complicated plackets and they will
be easy for youngsters to handle. T^is is true both for the body of the suit
and the leg openings as well. When at play, children often sit with one foot
under them. Sand, dirt and snow can then sift in through a side opening.
Furthermore, a small child can reach a closing on top of his leg much more
easily than he can reach a placket on the side.
I won't have time to describe all the good ideas about winter play
suits in this leaflet. I know you'll want to see the leaflet yourself anyway.
We have a nice new pile of them on our shelves. To get one all you have to
do is to write me a postcard saying that you would like Leaflet Number 54,
colled "Play Suits for Winter" and you will wake up some morning and find one
in your mail box.
Let's see. That lady who wrote for an oyster dinner. I hope she's
listening in today, for I have one all ready for her.
This meal, I'd like to suggest, as ideal for one of these very chill
winter ngiths, when nothing feels as good as a crackling fire and when fingers
and toes grow cold unless the furnace is very active. HeYcr-nind.df G-r an dmother
does come to the table wearing her knitted hug-me- tight and complaining that
she can't remember any such weather for years aid years. After she has eaten
this meal, she'll feel better.
An oyster meal, I said. Scalloped oysters; Hashed browned potatoes
to go with them; and carrots in parsley butter. Then a salad made with orange
sections and rings of mild white Bermuda, onions served on lettuce. French
dressing, of course. For dessert, let 1 s have baked cup custard, served hot,
and garnished with red jelly. Crisp, sweet wafers to go with it.
I think I'd better repeat that menu. Scalloped oysters; Hashed browned
potatoes; Carrots in parsley butter; Orange and Bermuda onion salad; Cup cus-
tards served hot with red jelly; and Wafers.
Oysters may be scalloped with or without rice. See the green cookbook
pages 34 and 35. Since we're havi ng potatoes for this meal, however, let's
make the scallop without rice. Six ingredients for plain scalloped oysters.
If you're ready, I'll list them.
1 and l/2 quarts of oysters.
(You can use canned oysters, if you can't buy them fresh.)
3 cups of dry bread crumbs
l/4 cup of melted butter
Did you get all those? I'll repeat them. (Repeat.)
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Drain the oysters from their liquor and pick out any pieces of shell.
Ilix the crumbs and melted fat. Grease the baking dish. ll w spread a thin
layer of crur.ibs on the bottom. Cover this with a layer of oysters and sea-
son with salt and pepper. Now add another layer of crumbs and continue until
all the oysters are used. Four on the oyster liquor, and, if needed, enough
milk to moisten the mixture thoroughly. Cover the top with the remaining
crumbs. Bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees F.) for 25 to 35 minutes.
Serve from the bailing dish. Scalloped oysters are particularly attractive
rnd easy to serve if baked in ramekins or large scallop shells.
ns row: "Canned Versus Fresh Foods.