Sunday, June 29, 2008

Vintage Book Covers - Tam O' Shanter

(From Project Gutenberg).

Cucumber Sandwiches

I attended a family wedding this weekend (and more about that later), which got me thinking about the kind of food that used to be served at post-wedding gatherings. Tea sandwiches and chicken croquettes and that sort of thing, which is fine when people are standing around being polite for half an hour and then get to go home and take their shoes off, which is how wedding receptions used to be. Nowadays with all the bouquet-tossing and garter-removing and dancing and other strenuous exercise, a full meal has become the norm.

Checking my copy of Joy of Cooking (the 1964 version and my favorite because opera creams and opossum are next to each other in the index), I found this take on cucumber sandwiches. I am going to have to try it in about three weeks, when the cucumber population in our vegetable garden really gets going, but with horseradish instead of hot pepper sauce. The recipe style is Mrs Rombauer's own.

Mash with a fork:
2 packages cream cheese, 6 oz.

Into a fine sieve or cheesecloth bag, grate:
1 medium-sized cucumber
1 onion

Press out the juice and combine with the cream cheese. Add:
Salt to taste
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce.

Now add until of spreading consistency:

Friday, June 27, 2008


worth a thousand words
see more crazy cat pics

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Quote of the Day

"There they stood in a row, sleek as if they had been curried—and I have heard that she did curry them herself—all switching natural tails except one. And, as sure as you live, that cow had a false tail that Mrs. Gunning had made for her!

She took hold of it and showed it to us. It did not seem very funny to Dr. McCurdy, but he had to listen to what she said.

"Spotty was a fine cow, but by some accident she had lost her tail, and I got her cheaper on that account," says Mrs. Gunning. "You don't know how distressing it was to see her switching a stump. So I made her a tail of whalebone and India-rubber and yarn. I knit it myself."

The poor fellow looked up at the fort and said: "Yes. It is very interesting, Mrs. Gunning."

"I am aware," says she, "that the expedient was never hit upon before. But Spotty's brush is a great success. It used to make me unhappy to think of leaving this post. All the other cows might find good homes with new owners; but who would care for Spotty? Since I have supplied her deficiency, however, and know that the supply can constantly be renewed, my mind is easy about her. If you ever have to knit a cow's tail, doctor, remember the foundations are whalebone and India-rubber; and I would advise you to use the coarsest yarn you can find for the brush."

"I will, Mrs. Gunning," he says, like a man who wanted to lie down in the straw and die."

A British Islander by Mary Hartwell Catherwood

(cow mask courtesy Patrice at Agence Eureka)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Happiness is a Warm Puppy

...who has slept until 0630 for five days in a row!

(There's something about being waked up at 0545 that prevents me from being able to fall asleep again).

Monday, June 23, 2008

Knitting-Pattern for A Doily

This is from a 1953 Smart Knitting magazine, and a few more rows could be added to make it a tablecloth. Instructions are here.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Vintage Advertising-Nescafe

(image courtesy of Patricia at Agence Eureka).

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Oh, to be in England

From the May, 1955 Woman and Home, a British magazine that I just bought on eBay. Left click to get a larger picture or go to my Flickr account for a download.

And because someone asked for it, here are several cherry gelatin recipes from a 60's-70's advertising cookbook called The Joy of Jello.


(Image courtesy of the LOLCats).

Friday, June 20, 2008

Quote of the Day

"There is not in all America a more dangerous trait than the deification of mere smartness unaccompanied by any sense of moral responsibility." Theodore Roosevelt

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Things You Don't Want to Hear as You're Walking Into The House

"Before you hear about it from somebody else, I have to tell you that I fell off the ladder today."

Monday, June 16, 2008

Knitting-A 1914 Coat Set

This knitted set, consisting of collar, cuffs, and bag, is from one of my 1914 Home Needlework magazines. In addition to adding a little variety to one's best Sunday coat (which, in those days, was usually one's only coat), the collar and cuffs helped protect the coat fabric from dirt and wear.

The scan did not come out as well as I would have liked, but if you download the three pages of instructions from my Flickr account, you can save it in the largest size, at which it is perfectly legible.

"May you live in interesting times"

Yesterday was interesting.

(edited to add).

We were not harmed, unless you count about fifty cents' worth of molding that blew off the garage window.

"At the corners of North and Center Streets, a tin roof was peeled back on a building. It looked like a tin can lid peeled off with a can opener."

This was one block away. Half a block away, a 75 year old oak tree snapped in half and took out the power line.

"It may have been the happiest Father's Day yet for Scott Tongate who hugged his son, Alexander, 8, after an apparent tornado ripped about one-third the roof off their home.."

To add insult to injury, after the wind tore the roof off, it dropped what was left on his pickup.

We were very... very... very... lucky.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Vintage Sheet Music-Only Make Believe

Another recipe from those nice folks at Knox Gelatin

The rather unappetizing title of the cookbook whence comes this gelatin salad is "On Camera Gel-Cookery from Knox." The recipes are laid out in a series of photographs, as though taken during a cooking show and although there are a number of monstrosities (including the ever-popular canned tomato soup aspic), the cold desserts are quite nice. I'll post the recipe for the Chocolate Bavarian one of these days.

This salad is one I ate as a child and although I'm not sure I would touch it today (oh hell, yes I would, I love Jello salads), it got me to eat carrots without whining. There is no date on the cookbook but the full-skirted shirtwaist dress that the cook is wearing places it in the last half of the 1950's. Left-click to get a larger image or go to my Flickr account.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I don't like surprises, and even if I did, I wouldn't like these surprises

After making great progress on the house-breaking front, someone has had a relapse. She is now being referred to as the Stealth Pooper.


(although I forgot to add this yesterday, image courtesy of those funny people at LOLCATS)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Quote of the Day

"I have always a sacred veneration for anyone I observe to be a little out of repair in his person, as supposing him either a poet or a philosopher." Jonathan Swift

More Sewing - Pattern for a "Swedish Bonnet"

This hat pattern is supposedly suitable for summer wear when made in white pique. It is part of a marvellous photo stream for Better Living magazine August 1951, and Millie Motts has given me permission to post her link for it. Lots of ads, lots of vintage recipes (Lidian, are you listening?), and Advice For New Fathers.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Learning Curve

She has been in the house for just over one week. I am not imagining things; her feet have doubled in size. This evening she cornered Reserve Cat in the front flowerbed and my hostas will never be the same.

(Reserve Cat was pretty cheesed off, too. No matter how often he slaps her, she keeps coming back for more and it’s getting to him. Jean Valjean couldn't look more hunted).

She is a smart little girl and the upside is that she is almost housebroken and has learned not to bite the big male human in the Achilles tendon. The downside is that she has figured out, among other things, how to throw herself against the front screen door until it pops open.

Also, if she smells good things coming from the computer desk where one of the humans is enjoying a snack and focusing on that strange big silver thing, she now knows that she can stand up and put her paws on the plate that is peeping so temptingly over the edge of the desk, causing it to assume the more spectacular characteristics of a lever, a trebuchet, or possibly a Napoleon six-pounder loaded with grapeshot.

Particularly if the snack is something like beanie-weenies.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Sewing-Pattern for a child's apron, 1953

This little apron is from Smart Sewing, 7th Edition, 1953. Instructions are also included for the little clothespin dolls that ride in the pocket, here.

Vintage Magazines - The Country Gentleman

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Dinner Menu for a June Sunday

Recommended by Fifty-Two Sunday Dinners, 1927 (left-click on the image to enlarge it). A meal sure to be enjoyed by everyone except possibly Ma, who had to cook the darn thing.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

What's Wrong With This Picture?

This is the puppy crate. You will note that it is empty.

This is the people bed. You will note that it is full (one very large human, one full-grown German Shepherd, one German Shepherd puppy, and an orange-sherbet colored stuffed pig that keeps the puppy from chewing on the bedspread).

In fact it is so full that there is no room for a second human, is there?


(photo and caption courtesy of the LOLcats).

Friday, June 6, 2008

Quote of the Day

Here dead we lie
Because we did not choose
To live and shame the land
From which we sprung.

Life, to be sure,
Is nothing much to lose,
But young men think it is,
And we were young. A.E. Housman

(note: I changed the original quote chosen for today when I realized the date).

Monday, June 2, 2008

Sewing-Pattern for a 1950 Summer Dress

"Pick a color that sings for this pretty cotton coquette." (From Smart Sewing, 2d Edition, 1950).

The instructions can be downloaded from my Flickr account. This includes directions for gathering the fabric using elastic thread, but I'm thinking that the pre-gathered cotton sundress fabric that the big fabric chains are carrying right about now, would work very well for this. The two-tier skirt looks so cool and flattering.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Vintage Book Covers - The Opal Serpent

(book cover courtesy of Project Gutenberg).

Mrs. Dewey's Discovery

What is it, you ask? Why, Jello, of course!

(a partial scan of a 1933 promotional cookbook from General Foods).

She's prettier in person

Adorable, in fact. She is in other respects living up to advance billing, however. In one 24 hour period she has upended the bedroom wastebasket, dragged the bathroom rug out into the hall, tried to eat a mechanical pencil, and chased the Drama Queen up on to the bookshelf.


Funnyface is alternately delighted and annoyed.

Particularly since the little madam has learned she can sneak up on him, give his tail a yank, and then escape under the bed or the sofa.