Tuesday

May 29, 1950 - My New Finds

   It was a rather long and hot day yesterday that ended with me and the Mr. sitting on the front porch watching movies 1950's drive-in style because it was 81 indoors.  However earlier in the day we went to my favorite antique superstore for a little shopping, and as promised here is what I found:
(all prices are in 1950's money with modern prices in bracket)
    The first thing I'm going to talk about is the additions to my somewhat extensive cookbook collection.  I have a rather large one to date but seeing as most of these cookbooks were 4 cents [25 cents] to 15 cents [$1] the hubby never says anything when I bring a new one home.  Especially since he does benefit form all of those home cooked dinners that come out of them.
   The top left one was a Hershey cookbook from the late 30's.  I am a huge fan of Hershey.  We have been there several times since we live within a pretty close proximity and for those of you who may not know there is a rather large fun park there.  Top right is a Pillsbury baking book.  who couldn't use a new baking book even though with summer coming the thought of having the oven on all day is a bit of a frightening thought.  Maybe I will pick a day and just bake all day with the windows and doors open and freeze it all in the deep freezer downstairs.
   Lower left is a cookbook all about picnic and barbeque foods.  I'm pretty happy to have this one since we bought our grill and are hoping to grill at least once a week throughout the summer, we even picked up a kitchy little cheeseburger shaped condiment container.  Right in the center you will see a very interesting book that is actually available for download through Gutenberg.org I believe, however I found an actual copy.  This is something that I can imagine as being inherited from my Grandmother or something.  It is a book called a calendar of dinners, the story of Crisco.  There is simply a plethora of recipes using vegetable shortening.  Although it may not be the best thing for your waistline in bulk, if you use it the way it is meant to be used it as well as MSG can be valuable tools for making delicious meals.  Last but not least is a Nestle book that is apparently pretty rare because it calls for the nestle bar so it is before the morsel was invented.  There are a bunch of neat little recipes in there that I can't wait to give a go.
   The picture on the right is of the more educational and more singularly directed books.  Staring in the lower left going clockwise, the Hamilton Beach blender cookbook.  I recently read a blog of a woman that was attempting two weeks as a fifties housewife and she said that she put away her blender because it was a modern convenience that she wasn't allowed.  Well that isn't really true.  Pretty much everyone had a blender and an electric mixer.  They were staples in the fifties kitchen.  In fact the first blender was invented as a drink mixer in 1919 by Arnold Electric Company with Hamilton Beach coming out with a commercially available version in 1937 called the Miracle Mixer.
   Next in line is Family Fare, a guide book on family nutrition with menus and serving size suggestions as well as advise on purchasing and storing food which is important just as much today as it was in years past.  There is a large quantity of food that has gone spoiled in my home over the years due to improper storage.  This is followed by the ABC's of Canning.  I have always wanted to can food, my grandmother used to do it when I was little but I don't remember much about what she did.  I just remember always having gooseberry and grape jam from the plants that we had outside.  She would also can tomatoes and pickles herself.  I think this is a skill that would be worth bringing back in our times of tightening the boot straps.  Last as far as cookbooks are concerned we have Cut 20% from Your Food Bill Cookbook.  This one is filled with some great recipes on using leftovers and bulking up dishes to make your meat dollar stretch a little farther.
  The next item that I grabbed was this issue of Household magazine from 1948.  I have a strict rule about not reading a magazine until the month it was intended for and since this one is set for November I won't know for a few more months but I promise that as soon as the pages are open I will let you know all about the subjects it covers.  Right now in fact I am reading a great article about a man writing a detective story called "The Mouse".
    Next is something that I wanted but I'm not sure if my fifties counterpart would have approved of.  I honestly don't know too much about poker and I thought that it might be fun to learn.  However, I know that it was much more proper for women to play bridge than poker.  I would never play for money or anything, but I remember as a child I was a big fan of deuces wild.  Don't worry I would never go so far as to say that I will be the next person playing a rousing game of Texas Hold-em but I would like to know why certain hands beat others so it might be good thing to waste some time in the evening reading.
     Next is the two new additions to the Book Club selections.  The first is "The Boy From Maine" by Katharine Brush and was written in 1945.  It honestly looks like a romance and as is the case in modern times those are very much easier to find than any other subject.
   The other is "He Married a Doctor" by Faith Baldwin.  I have learned that not only was it written in 1943 and at least I know it would be readily available here in 1950, I also found out that it was part of the Nurse Collection.  They have such beautiful illustrations on the front cover.  There are a lot of things that people say have improved over the years.  However, I truly believe that if illustrations were still as intriguing as they were here in my time more people would read them.  In 2012 most books have covers that are wither plain with just the title scrawled across the front or the author holding the book, or smiling like a buffoon.
   My next addition is a somewhat impressive collection of Quick Magazines, they are very small and very informative.  Apparently these came out about every week and covered all of the little important things that you might want to know at that time.  There are issues from May, November and December.
   I will write a part two to this post tomorrow, I didn't know that it was going to be quite so long.  Stay tuned for more on the new stuff I have acquired.


Andrea

Sunday

A Little Opinion Post

As I said in my previous post my husband and I went to the grand re-opening of my favorite antiques store. I suppose that they decided that they were going to make it a 50's theme party which I found soarly dissapointing. For starters at least 80% of the music that they were playing was actually from the early 60's which over the past couple of years I have learned is a common misconseption. The other dissapointment came from the dress that a few of the clerks put on. Where did everyone get the idea that the entire population of teens wore poodle skirts and bobbie socks, hint especially if you are in your mid-50's. Someone needs to tell these people that the "greasers" were seen as the criminals in society not the "cool guys" even if they thought they were. These rolls were simply not played as much as they beleive that they were. I feel better now, thank you my friends for listening to my opionions and I will be back a little bit later to post all about my new finds. Andrea

Saturday

May 26, 1950 - Supplies and Research

   One of the biggest parts of my project is research.  I have spent countless hours pouring over books and this confounded contraption to make my life as authentic as possible and I have found that the hardest thing to do was to find archives of newspapers that are a) free b) have world and local news that are at least reasonably close in location to where I live, well at least the east coast, and c) is a pdf that I can view inside an e-book reader, one of the few tools of the modern world that I do allow myself because it's just to hard to read the morning paper on a computer screen.
   Finally I found one.  Not without a lot of frustration however.  The person that has a newspaper from New York (not one of the city ones) available for download has each page as a separate file and all of them named exactly the same and no matter what you name the file yourself the nook reads it as what the author has named it.  Other than the frustration of figuring out which page is which I can now read the morning headlines at the breakfast table with no trouble at all.  Thank you Auburn NY Citizen Advertiser for making me up-to-date in my own time.
   Today is going to be a fun adventure for the hubby and I, we are going, well what I call supply shopping.  We are going to the grand re-opening of Black Diamond our favorite little (huge) antique spot.  This is the very same place where I got my much sought after, usable glass milk bottle.  Don't get me wrong most of the things that I have for my lovely little collection is from my dearly departed grandmother-in-law but there are many things that I have collected myself and I look forward to expanding that collection.
  I have been working very hard to plan all of our meals ahead of time and so far so good.  It also made me save almost $20 at the grocery store  That would be the equivalent of about $130 or so in 1950's money.  Not to terrible if I do say so myself.  It's nearly time to go and make breakfast for the Hubby and myself.  I hope that everyone has a peachy day.

Andrea