A Thumb-Nail Sketch of "Miss Eva" from the Washington Daily News, August 17, 1951

For those who have never seen or met Mrs. Way, she is best described as a woman who has never thrown away a thing.  From childhood days and grandparents, too, buttons and shoes, pictures and baskets, spinning wheels and ivory ear spoons--all of these and thousands of others adorn her walls, fill her shelves, even fill her life--so rich and warm, with human kindness, and all for you. A housewife, snakekiller, curator, trapper, dramatic actress, philosopher, and preserver of all the riches of mankind, inadequately describe the most fascinating person you can imagine. Her home is a real piece of art, filled with an amazing array of items, ranging all the way from a trillion buttons down to the finest china, and all is properly cared for, carefully labeled and displayed for the thousands of her eager visitors. Her feeling, humor, and grace when she reads poetry would put to shame some of the finest Broadway actors and actresses.  Her explanations of items in the museum are gems in themselves. Her philosophy of life is expressed in her original "Vitamins":  "Take a peep every day.  Take a good look on Sundays.  Guaranteed to cure the blues, mental troubles, high blood pressure--all caused by worry.  Take a tip from me--get a hobby.  Find some vitamins to live with.  Hobbies are wonderful cures for all ills." In addition to her collection of buttons, etc., already mentioned, Mrs. Way has thousands of items which include bits of wood from the four corners of the earth, Civil War relics, petrified walrus tusks, a human skull, three-legged pig, whale bones, beaded bags, shoes and dresses from the Gay Nineties, a watch made from the first Atlantic cable, 200-year old pitcher, ten-cent paper money, etc. In the Way home sits a plate by the register in which voluntary contributions are placed.  These contributions go to the Red Cross, to the Salvation Army, the Crippled Children's Fund, and to other worthwhile organizations.

Miss Eva's Favorite Recipes

Lemon Bisque

1 large can Carnation milk 2 lemons, juice and rind
4 eggs, separated 1 c. hot water
1 c. sugar 1 6-cent box vanilla wafers
1 package lemon Jello

Put milk in refrigerator tray to become thoroughly chilled, while preparing the following:  soften Jello in hot water, separate eggs; add sugar to yolks and cook until thick.  Add lemon juice and rind and Jello; add stiffly beaten egg whites, lastly fold in stiffly whipped milk.  Spread crumbled vanilla wafers on bottom of tray; fill with lemon mixture; sprinkle wafers on top and freeze.  This never becomes icy.  Makes two trays.

Perfection Salad

1 pkg. gelatin 1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. cold water 1 pt. boiling water
1/2 c. vinegar 1 c. chopped cabbage
1/2 c. sugar 2 c. chopped celery
Juice of one lemon 1 c. pimento

Cover gelatin with cold water; then add boiling water; set aside to cool. Then add sugar, vinegar, and lemon juice; add chopped ingredients.  Set on ice to congeal; serve on lettuce with mayonnaise.

Plum Pudding

8 eggs 1 pt. milk 1 lb. bread crumbs 1 lb. seeded raisins
1 lb. brown sugar 1 lb. currants
3/4 lb. suet, ground in 1/2 lb. citron, cut fine      meat chopper

Beat eggs well, add sugar, some flour and fruit; add milk and bread crumbs, and then the suet.  Put all this into three bags and drop into boiling water.  Boil at least 6 hours.  Pudding will keep for a month.  Steam and serve with hard sauce.  For sauce:  cream 1/2 lb. butter and 1/2 lb. sugar; add brandy and white of egg.

Mrs. Way's Sausage

21 lb. meat 1 tbsp. red pepper
4 oz. salt 1 tbsp. sage
2 oz. black pepper

Season before grinding.

(Cinnamon Cake)

1 tbsp. butter 1 egg
1 c. sugar 1/3 c. milk
1 c. flour cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder brown sugar
1 c. raisins butter

Cream butter with sugar.  Add egg, beating slightly.  Then add milk, flour, baking powder and raisins.  Spread in a shallow greased and floured pan. Strew thickly with brown sugar and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Dot with bits of butter.  Bake in a rather brisk oven.


Making Soap

1 qt. cold water 1 c. ammonia
1 box lye 2 tbsp borax
2 qts. melted grease

Dissolve borax in one cup of the cold water.  Stir all until it looks like honey.

Cough Syrup

2 tbsp. castor oil 1 lemon juice
2 tbsp. paregoric 1 c. brown sugar

Mix all ingredients; stir thoroughly.

From the Imperial Cookbook, dated 1894:

To remove wrinkles in the skin, melt and stir together the following:  one ounce of white wax, two ounces of strained honey, and two ounces of the juice of lily bulbs.

To remove freckles, put half a pound best Windsor soap scraped fine into half a gallon on boiling water; stir it well until it cools; then add a pint of spirits of wine and half an ounce of rosemary.  Stir well.

Miss Eva's Poems

Kitchen Philosophy

I like to happy,
I like to be gay,
But how can I be that
In the kitchen all day?
I like to write letters,
I like to read a good book,
But how can I do it
When I'm just an old cook?
The pots and the pans
And the dishes, too,
Are always waiting
For the old cook to do.
There are times when this cook,
With a scowl and a frown,
Wishes for a kitchen
Like the cooks have in town.
But when I think
Of the flowers and trees
I can see from my window--
My heart is at ease.
For the cooks in town
Have to look out on walls
Or listen to autos
Screaming cat calls.
When thoughts upset me
And things go wrong,
I turn on the radio
To get music and song.
And my heart, like the heart
Of the wild savage beast
Is soothed, and contentment
Is soon released.
So thanks, dear Lord,
For being a cook
With memories enough
To fill many a book.
Of children, of servants,
Of stories and fun,
That crowd out resentment
Of the work to be done.

My Old Shoes

I love my pitchers, baskets, and gourds
And I love my buttons, too;
But of all the things I love the best
Are my dear old everyday shoes.

They help me bear the burdens of life;
They keep me smiling all day.
They keep my work from being a strife
Till it's time to hit the hay.

So friends of mine, please all forgive
My praising these downtrodden treasures,
But they make my life so easy to live
That my work becomes a pleasure.

So hail to you, my dear old shoes,
You've trod so many miles;
I'm sorry you've had so much abuse
In exchange for just my smiles.

My Christmas Wish

A ball of twine or a paper of pins,
Some good needles or some bobby pins,
A pair of black hose that won't show the dirt
Some black material to make a pettiskirt.

A spool of thread, one black, one white,
A tablet or two to use every night,
No soap, no candy, nothing over a dime,
For Santa, this year, is having a time.

Let's all pull together and make
it simple, with a laugh and a smile
that will please Kris Kringle.

Advice to Farmers' Wives

If the hens don't lay, and the price don't suite,
Can that hen and have her to boot.

If the hens don't lay, and the price is bad,
Can that hen, and have her by gad.

If the hens don't lay, and the price don't reach her,
Can that hen and feed her to the preacher.

If the hens don't lay, and the price has gone to smash,
Can that hen and make her into hash.

If the hens don't lay, and the price "done" fell,
Can that hen and save her in spite of "ell".

Mrs. Mary Eva Blount Way

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