March 29, 1952 - Quickest Bread Pudding Ever

Lately everything has been very crazy.  Because I have had such a sweet tooth, before I sat down to write out a few of my favorite recipes into the box, I threw together a wonderful smelling banana bread pudding.  I love bread puddings because they are really just a few ingredients that pretty much everyone has laying around the house.  I had a banana that was about to go bad so that was thrown in with an egg, a little sugar, a few pieces of stale bread some half & half (I use half & half because it's lower in fat and calories than cream) and a teeny tiny bit of vanilla.  You bake it until it's just a little brown and crispy.  Amazing!
For dinner I made Hungarian Goulash.  This is a family recipe, but it's basically a beef stew with stewed tomatoes.  A friend recently told me about a movie that they just saw called Julie & Julia about a woman that took on the challenge of making every recipe in a cookbook in the course of a year.  I have thought about doing a project along these lines for some time and I wonder if it's even REALLY possible.  I don't think that I would want to make every recipe in one year but it might be nice to make every recipe over the course of a few years.  Even the cookbook made me question.  I mean I have about 20 or 30 different cookbooks covering everything from casseroles to milkshakes.  I even have a very old edition of the Fanny Farmer cookbook, however I am in possession of a 1964 copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I even have all 5 volumes of Woman's Institute of Cooking originally published in 1918.  If I do decide to go through with this 'mini-project' on top of my big project I hope that you will all forgive me for using a book that won't officially be published for another 9 years.
I spent the last few minutes looking over all of the different recipes and I must say, wow.  It touches on pretty much everything.  I love it!  Perhaps this is an undertaking that I will follow.  I honestly can't wait.
Till Later!


March 25, 1952 - Please Forgive

If everyone will please forgive me.  I know that it has been nearly a week since my last post but I have simply not been in the mood to write lately.  I'm sure that you have all been there from time to time.  My house is in absolute upheaval.  We are starting to prepare for my hubby-to-be's moving in sometime in July and that involves a lot of new storage furniture.  There are just boxes and boxes of things everywhere and honestly when your home is this disorganized it's very depressing.  I can't seem to get into the swing of things.
I also had a bad experience on E-Bay lately.  I ordered a magazine, a 1952 family circle to be exact and when it arrived it was missing about 10 pages from near the back and to anyone that collects vintage magazines will tell you only the first page or two of each article is in the front and the continuations are in the back.  This meant that there were at least two or three stories that were unreadable.  I sent them an e-mail letting them know that I was upset and they sent me a reply that had tons of attitude that told me basically to pay to have it sent back.  Well due to their attitude problem and the fact that they lied in the description I left them negative feedback and they then posted that I wanted it for free.  I never wanted it for free, I told them in the first e-mail that I was going to keep it, besides it was only 10 cents I wasn't going to pay for shipping again over a 10 cent magazine.  Why do people have to be so rude.
Anywho, the main reason I started this post was just to pop in and say hello and thank you for staying out there even though I have been a most terrible poster as of late.
Till Later!

March 18, 1952 - The Recipe Club

Hi everyone and welcome to the second monthly meeting of the Recipe Club.  I would be lying if I didn't share that I was a little disappointing that no one else shared any of their favorite recipes but hopefully that will be different this time.  I thought for this month that we might have a theme.  In honor of St. Patrick's day we are going to go with Irish foods.  Namely those recipes that made my St. Patrick's day special this year.

Honeyed Ham Slice
Serves 8
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup vermouth
1/4 tsp ginger
2" thick slice uncooked ham
Whole cloves
1 or 2 tbs prepared mustard
8 canned pear halves
8 canned apricot halves

Start heating oven to 325.  Combine honey, vermouth and cinnamon.
With kitchen scissors, snip fat edge of ham in several places to keep it from curling.  Then stud the fat with cloves.  Place ham in baking dish.  Spread with mustard then pour honey mixture over ham.  Cover dish with foil.  Bake 1 hr 15 mins.  Uncover and add pears and apricots.  Cover and bake thirty minutes covered and 15 mins uncovered basting frequently with sauce from the dish.

Irish Soda Bread
Makes 1 small loaf

4 cups white flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk or 1 cup milk + 1/2 tsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 425.  Mix all the dry ingredients then add buttermilk as you are mixing.  It may not take all of the buttermilk to get the dough to the correct consistency.
Turn out onto a lightly floured board then knead lightly.  Butter the bottom of a baking pan and shape the dough into a loaf inside and place inside baking pan.  With a knife carefully cut a cross or X into the top bake 20-25 mins.

Irish Rice Pudding
Serves 8
2 cups milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup rice
1/4 cup raisins

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tbs vanilla
1 - 12 oz can evaporated milk
2 lg eggs
pinch ground cinnamon

 In a saucepan heat on medium salt and milk to a simmer then stir in rice.  Reduce heat to low and continue to simmer for 45 minutes until mixture is very thick and rice is super tender.  Stir in the raisins.  Preheat oven to 350.  Grease baking dish set in a larger pan.
In a bowl beat evaporated milk, sugar, eggs and vanilla.  Gradually add hot rice mixture mix thoroughly and pour into baking dish fill larger pan with boiling water to be about halfway up the sides of the baking dish (hot water bath).  Bake 40-45 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.  Sprinkle with cinnamon, good warm or cold especially with a dollop of fresh whip cream.

I hope that everyone enjoys my contribution and experiments with them successfully.  I also hope that you too share some of your favorite Irish recipes or even recipes that make you think Irish.
Till Later!


March 17, 1952 - A Lucrative Shopping Trip [Part 3]

First I would like to say happy St. Patrick's day to all of my fellow Irishmen and Women as well as those who just feel Irish.  I don't drink but I do have a very nice traditional Irish meal planned so please stop by tomorrow evening around 7pm for the recipe club where I will share all of the recipes that I made.
This is the final installment of my shopping excursion.  I believe that I saved the best for last with this trip.  I of course showed your my transfer patterns which were a real find and I showed you all of my new cookbooks which I am more then happy to add to my burgeoning collection but the creme de la creme of finds comes in the form of two 'new' sewing books.
Before I show you those however, I'm going to start by showing you a real steal.  I got this Family Circle September 1957 and in impeccable condition for a mere $1.  I have never paid less than $5 for a magazine in this condition.  The man pretty much had no idea what he had because I got the sewing books from him as well and they were just the most interesting finds that I had gotten there.
The first was the Dressmaking Made easy book copyrighted to 1948 by McCall's pattern company.  Inside was something interesting as well to the local crowd.  It was a ballot listing of all of the candidates in the local election in 1948.  What a piece of local history.  Now, I don't really have any use for it but hubby-to-be and I were talking about seeing if the local historical society would be interested in having it.
Come to think of it, I have to remember to give them a call and see what they think.  I mean it's not from the 1800's which it seems is mostly what they go for but I still think that it would be interesting to see in a museum if I went.  Especially since it looks like they never even bothered to look at it.
The second book is a book that I had been searching for on E-Bay for quite some time and it always went for way more than I was willing to pay.  It is the Simplicity sewing book.  I have heard from many different sources that this is an excellent primer on how to sew with or without a pattern.  I enjoy sewing but I took a break from it for almost a decade.  I took me a few months to realize that my biggest problem is that I am still sewing for my teenage body and not taking my more matured figure into consideration when making alterations to the patterns.  I think once I become reacquainted with my figure I will have a much easier time sewing for myself. 
Well I am off to start preparations for dinner.  Ham, cabbage and bacon, Potatoes, Irish Soda Bread and Irish Rice Pudding.
Till Later!


March 16, 1952 - A Lucrative Shopping Trip [Part 2]

Cook Book Additions:
In the second installment of the lucrative shopping trip I will be sharing all of the new cookbooks that I picked up.  I think that cookbooks are becoming a sick addiction with me and the best part is I use them . . . a lot!  At least two or three times a week I try some new things.Like this week so far I have made a breakfast berry shake from my General Foods book and this afternoon I made a delicious sandwich spread made with eggs, tuna and a few spices from my low cal cookbook.
The first book that I picked up was the Home Baking book ©1953 a promotional tool from Spry shortening.  It covers everything from cakes and cookies to biscuits and pies.
The second one that I picked up was this Year Round Recipes book brought to you by Dairylea Dairy Products.  It doesn't have a copyright date but it also doesn't carry a zip code in the editors address and they were instituted in 1963 so I know that it's from before that.  The pictures on the inside make me think mid to late 1950's.   The recipes inside are a little bit of everything.  There are desserts and soups even something called pot luck loaf that uses all of your leftover meat ground up and made into a meatloaf.  That is honestly a really good idea. 
Next is Amana Home Economist Food Freezing book.  This is probably one of my favorite new acquisitions as far as cookbooks are concerned.  Every time I pick up some new kind of fruit or vegetable I wonder, 'Hey can I freeze this?'  See at least 4 nights a week I cook only for myself and I love variety.  I can't stand eating the same thing night after night so freezing things is a really great way to extend my food dollar and this book covers all of the bases on how to easily freeze nearly every kind of food.  They also give you charts on how to organize small and large freezers for best results.
Lastly the newest addition to the Culinary Arts Institute book. ©1956  This set was something around 40 books when it came out.  I have I think eleven of them right now.  Everything from Casseroles to Meat to this wonderful low-calorie cookbook.  There is even one (mind you I don't have it yet) that gives you 250 recipes for sandwiches and another that is just kid friendly recipes.  The dates range from 1952-1959 so far as I've seen so far and I'm not sure but they may have been released on a monthly basis. 
I have a couple more things to show you but I think that I'm going to just keep those secret for one more day.  I can't wait to share them.
Till Later!


March 15, 1952 - A Lucrative Shopping Trip [Part 1]

It has been a little while since I have gone on one of my shopping trips to the flea market.  Money has been tight and time even tighter so it just wasn't feasible over the last couple of months to go.  My favorite flea market is an outdoor number that takes place at the local drive-in.  Yes we still have a drive-in, actually two of them within reasonable driving distance, and they does very good business.  I see most of the movies that I see during the year at the drive in.  It's $6 a person for two brand new movies and on Halloween one of them shows vintage horror movies.  It's so much fun. But, back to the flea market.  The one at the drive-in doesn't open for another month or so, therefore, we are stuck with out two indoor "vendors markets".  This is pretty much a flea market that has most of the same people every week.
Although, most of the things don't change from week to week they do bring in new things from time to time so if you go once every few weeks you should find a few things that you may want to pick up.  This week I found a few vintage treasures.
First, I have looked for vintage transfers online and if you include shipping they can actually run you a pretty penny.  However there is a woman that owns a permanent stand at one of the vendors markets that has everything from the 40's to present day and everything is pretty much the same price.  In fact I got all of the vintage transfer items for between $0.75 and $1.00.  They are all in great condition, complete and ready to use.  The one on the left is a sheet of monograms.  Even included are Mr. and Mrs. for towels and things of that nature.  Perhaps for the wedding I will make us matching robes.  How cute would that be, or maybe that's too 70s/80s.   The one on the right is a reasonably local treasure found at the same stand.  It has 48 out of the 50 designs, so you will not see me complaining.  They are copyrighted to 1948 and seeing as I live right here in Pennsylvania I thought that at least a few things should represent my heritage.  I know that colonial was huge back in the 50's but to be honest I have seen quite a few pieces of vintage decor from all over PA that show this sort of design. 
Lastly is this little gem of a transfer.  They are for beading but can be used for embroidery as well.  I can't wait to see what this looks like in pink on a pink heavy flowered dress.  How pretty would that be.  Even the picture on the front shows a pink shirt with the design on it.  Honestly, can you imagine how long it would take to sit there and painstakingly sew each and every one of those beads on.  I think that I might just go crazy before I finished.  I just have to wonder how well a sixty year old transfer will work.  We shall see.
The final thing that I am going to share this evening is something that I just came upon even though I have been looking on and off for the last few months for something like this.  They are two 'like new' full decks of playing cards complete with card playing instructions that have the amazing copyright date of 1952.  The best part is that it only cost me two dollars.  I love flea markets and I think that they should make them easier to have a stand at.
If you want me to be honest I think that they should not cost people $75-$100 a month for a table or two.  That means that only those that want to do this as a living are going to be able to have a stand.  The drive-in flea market is only $10 per spot.  That is way more affordable which is why it's different people all the time that charge VERY affordable prices because they are more just trying to get things out of their house instead of trying to make a living.  This makes it so that people want to get out there every week and see what's available.  I can't wait until the drive-in opens in a few weeks.
I'm going to go make dinner now.  Have a good day everyone.
Till Later!


March 10, 1952 - Sewing Project Update!

I should be done today.  After a long struggle I am almost through with the Christmas skirt project.  I know that this should not been nearly as hard as it was.  This was one of the most difficult materials that I have ever worked with.  There is a plastic line woven into the fabric and when you would hit one of these line the machine would just lock up.  One of my needles perished because of this.  There was also a problem with the grain.  It did not run left to right, it ran diagonal.  Who in the world makes THAT an option.  This meant that when I made the waistband, it twisted.  After taking it apart twice and redoing it I just ironed it as flat as I could and left it as is.  I don't have enough left over material to make a diagonal waistband to try and get it straight.
My talent for sewing seems to have been lost over the last couple of years.  I never used to have this many problems.  However, that may be because I never really worked with anything that wasn't a linen or cotton blend back then.
I'm hoping that my next project, a dress will come out more smoothly, otherwise I might start looking into classes, maybe I'm doing something wrong.


March 6, 1952 - Tonight Was the Night

A couple of weeks ago I read an article in Good Housekeeping that was all about suggesting ways for you and your hubby to spend more quality time together. One of the suggestions really caught my attention. You see I love to cook and my fiance is always asking if there is anyway that he could help. Two thoughts have always crossed my mind. One was that I had no idea what I would have him do, the other was that I would have felt guilty telling him what to do. This suggestion however was to plan a meal together and cook it as a couple.
That same night I sat down with my hunny and we looked through six of my favorite cookbooks and each wrote down on our own lists some of the recipes that we had never had before and would like to try. Then we compared list and saw which ones we had both listed. On the top of both of our lists was Quiche Lorraine. The version in one of the books called who's who in cooks was written by Alfred Hitchcock one of my movie directing heroes. I shared this recipe in a previous post. However, I hadn't had the chance to make it until tonight.
Sunday is our lazy day together so we planned a beautiful full dinner of a chef's salad, Quiche and Veggies. Everything was amazing.  Normally I post all of my pictures 50's style and in black and white but really that wouldn't do the beauty of this meal justice.
Hubby to be is the one that took most of the pictures which is probably the reason that they are really pretty.  He took photography in college and can manage to frame the most beautiful images while capturing the light perfectly.  I should make him take all my pictures from now on.
As for dinner itself, we shared the responsibility of the salad and he cut everything up while I arranged.  With the quiche I made the dough earlier because it had to chill and he made the bacon and made the egg creme mixture while he cooked and cooled the bacon.  The only thing that I had to change about the recipe is that it called for 15 mins at 425 and then 20 mins at 300.  I had to leave it in an additional 10 minutes and even though it says to serve immediately, personally, I would let it cool for a good 10 - 15 minutes on the stove top.  It stiffens up the consistency of the quiche and it comes out so hot that it's really unbearable.
Other than that however I would suggest this recipe to anyone that is willing to try it.  The mixture of the nutmeg and sugar along with the cayenne was perfect and not even slightly overpowering.  This recipe was perfection.
Just had to add one of his fancy, artsy shots because it
really was beautiful. 
Till Later!


March 3, 1952 - A Re-dedication

It is hard for me to admit but I had lost quite a bit of my motivation to keep doing what it is that I have been doing over the last two months. I am not a stay at home woman so I have the modern world in my face everyday. I have modern entertainment thrust in my vision everywhere I look. Although it's inside a very respectable higher end grocer that I work for there are still three TV's in the store streaming national news on a constant basis. It is hard to tune this out sometimes. There is also a very large TV in our outer break room, this one is easier to avoid seeing as we have a 'relaxation room' or the quiet room where you can go and read or eat in piece. I just sit back there with my little cookbook and read all of the tricks of the trade while eating my tuna salad on rye.
On this note however, I am inundated with current fashion, current music and current affairs. The days that I am happiest and most at piece are those that I am at home alone and can escape into my own happy little fifties world. This is the day when I plan next weeks menu, decide what new recipe or recipes that I would like to try this week and list all of the things around the house that I would like to accomplish in the new week.
My lack of motivation I think can be partially blamed on a slight bout of depression. I was depressed about all of the things that I was learning and seeing of modern society. I was depressed by feeling out of place and odd pretty much everywhere I go and everything that I do. I have a great fear of negative judgment if everyone knew the extent of my project. I wish that I didn't feel that way but I do. Even my fiance has told me that he doesn't approve of me taking it this far but he doesn't seem to understand how it makes me extremely happy. I feel like being more responsible, more adult and honestly more sexy than during any time when I'm supposed to act like the modern 'me'. I love the collection that we have together, I love all of the things that we do together and most of all I love him with all of my soul but this lifestyle makes me so insanely happy.

That being said I have vowed to re-dedicate myself to this project. I promise to post at least three times a week, I promise to work much harder to finish all of the things that I list for myself to do every month. I vow to be more organized and finish everything I start. I vow to be happy in my own reality regardless of what anyone else thinks or says. I love the music, I love the clothes, I love the home decor, I love the cooking, I love the family values and I love the entertainment. After all of that there is no good reason not to.
Till Later!