Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Online Bookshelf - Sandman Time

Bed-time poems by Ilsien Gaylord, published 1915 and available on Project Gutenberg.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Patterns of the Past - Ruffles and Flourishes

Dresses for some little and not-so-little girls, as advertised in McCall's Needlework and Crafts, Summer, 1940.

It's Going To Be An Interesting Year

The gods of Federal funding have smiled on me this year and I have not one but two (count 'em, two) Americorps volunteers working for me until next August. They've been here three weeks and so far we are all very impressed; sharp lads, both of them (although one is a bit long in the tooth to be referred to as a lad).

They seem to share a similarly warped sense of humor and have informed me that they want to be referred to as Thing 1 and Thing 2.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Fifty-four young women (and one young man) from the Mennonite College of Nursing volunteered to spend their Saturday morning covered in moulage and lying on cold concrete or wet grass, so that four local fire departments and our two county hospitals could get some realistic mass casualty training. In return, they received pizza and the promise of one day of clinicals cancelled the week before finals, but you know, they didn't have to be there. I have hope for this generation.

Knitting - A Man's Pullover From 1951

From Bernat's Handicrafter magazine, #26, dated 1951. Nice and sporty. Instructions and chart on my Flickr account.

Monday, September 27, 2010

More Health Department Humor

One of the nurses down in the Communicable Diseases division is being recognized by the Illinois Department of Public Health for the innovative program she set up to streamline STD testing, reducing the amount of time clients have to spend in the clinic.

It's called (wait for it)...."Pee and Flee."

Vintage Images - Shirley Temple

From Dover Publications free clip-art samples.

Left-click to enlarge.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

First, Make Your Marshmallow

Marsh-mallow Paste

Dissolve 1 pound of clean white gum-arabic in one quart of water; strain, add 1 pound of refined sugar, and place over the fire. Stir continually until the syrup is dissolved and the mixture has become the consistency of honey. Next add gradually the beaten whites of 8 eggs; stir the mixture all the time until it loses its thickness and does not adhere to the finger. Flavor with vanilla or rose. Pour into a tin slightly dusted with powdered starch, and when cool divide into squares with a sharp knife.

Toasted Marsh-mallows

Tie a string on the end of a cane or stick, fasten a bent pin on the end of the string, and stick the pin into a marsh-mallow drop. Hold the marsh-mallow suspended over an open fire and let it gradually toast. When it begins to melt and run down it is done.

For a small party toasting marsh-mallows will be found quite a merry pastime, and a great many persons consider the candy much better for being thus cooked the second time.

The American Girls’ Handy Book, by Lina and Adelia Beard, 1893.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


funny pictures-Why iz I not part of  your planz today?
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Because my plans today include getting up at 6am so I can help pour fake blood all over fifty-four student nurses as part of our local airport crash response drill.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Quote of the Day

An utterly fearless man is a far more dangerous comrade than a coward. ~ Herman Melville.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Online Bookshelf - The Grey Fairy Book

I remember reading some of these when I was in my early teens -- I came to them late, for some reason. From Project Gutenberg.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

This Is What I Wore

...all day, every day, seven days a week, for the first three months we knew each other. Love is blind.

(Happy Anniversary, babe).

Patterns of the Past - McCall's 838

The theme music for this is obviously Stanley Holloway's classic "Where Did You Get That 'At?"

As advertised in McCall's Needlework and Crafts, Winter 1941-42. I have no idea why the lady on the left has such a red nose.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Knitting - A Fall Jacket from 1943

From Handicrafter (a Bernat house publication), a jacket to knit for your wartime wardrobe. Instructions on my Flickr account.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Images Anciennes - Parfums Weil

One of Patricia's lovely vintage advertisements from Agence Eureka.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Kitchen Encyclopedia

Published in 1911 (and available on Project Gutenberg) as an advertising cookbook for Swift’s Premium Oleomargarine (“The Italian uses olive oil; the Swiss, butter from goat’s milk; and the thrifty American housewife, Swift’s Premium Oleomargarine”). The manufacturers assure us that if you substitute ¾ Swift’s Oleomargarine for butter, no one will be able to taste the difference.

This is an interesting recipe for sugar cookies, with 3 eggs -- my tried and true Joy of Cooking recipe calls for one egg and one egg yolk, so I wonder if these would be a bit more cake-like. Note the use of sour milk. Nowadays we can’t use sour milk because it goes bad immediately. Un-homogenized milk will stay tangy for a day or so before it goes bad. A modern substitute would be buttermilk, or regular whole milk soured with a teaspoon of lemon juice.

Sugar Cookies

1 cupful Swift's Premium Oleomargarine
1 cupful sour milk
1 teaspoonful soda
2 cupfuls sugar
3 eggs, well beaten
Flavoring to taste
Flour enough to roll out thin

Cream the oleomargarine and sugar. Add the eggs, whites and yolks beaten together. Dissolve the soda in the sour milk. Add this and then the flour. Roll out thin. Just before cutting out the cookies sift granulated sugar on top and roll it in slightly, then cut out cookies with cookie-cutter and bake in a moderate oven.

Ginger Bread

½ cupful Swift's Premium Oleomargarine
1 cupful molasses
1 teaspoonful ginger
1 teaspoonful cloves
1 teaspoonful cinnamon
⅛ teaspoonful nutmeg
1 egg, beaten light
½ cupful sugar
1 cupful sour milk
1 teaspoonful baking soda
2 cupfuls flour

Mix into a light dough and bake in a flat pan. Quick oven.

On Baking-Day

When you wish a fine-grained cake, beat the whites of the eggs to a stiff foam with a Dover egg-beater. If something spongy, such as an angel cake, is desired, use a wire egg-beater, which makes a more air-inflated foam.

Recipes in the older, much-prized cook-books often call for a teacupful of yeast. A teacupful liquid yeast is equal to one cake of compressed yeast.

To remove pecan meats whole, pour boiling water over nuts and let them stand until cold. Then stand the nut on end and crack with a hammer, striking the small end of the nut.

If beef or mutton drippings are used in making a pie-crust, beat them to a cream with a teaspoonful of baking-powder and the juice of half a lemon. This effectually removes all taste.

When a cake sticks to a pan, set it for a few minutes on a cloth wrung out of cold water. It will then come out in good shape.

Heat the blade of the bread-knife before cutting a loaf of fresh bread. This prevents the usual breaking and crumbling of the slices. For cutting hot fudge, first dip the blade of the knife in boiling water.

Nothing is better for pudding molds than jelly tumblers with light tin covers. One can readily tell when the puddings are done without removing the covers.

The juice will not boil out of apple or berry pies if you dot bits of Swift's Premium Oleomargarine near the outer edge.

A little salt in the oven under the baking-tins will prevent burning on the bottom.
There is nothing more effective for removing the burned crust from cake or bread than a flat grater. It works evenly and leaves a smooth surface.

Use a wooden potato masher for stirring butter and sugar together for a cake. It is much quicker than a spoon.*

(*I have often wondered how women creamed butter and sugar in the days before electric mixers because trust me, eggbeaters don’t work. Now I know!)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Found Objects

Silver chain, one dollar at the thrift store plus orphan earring, fifty cents at the thrift store plus five minutes with the jewelry pliers. I like it.


(I'm thinking of printing this out and hanging it on the door of my office. Since the county won't let me use claymores or concertina).

Friday, September 17, 2010

Quote of the Day

What will happen to us when our children have no connection with what is wild in the land, its depth, danger, generosity? ~ Susan Hand Shetterly

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Online Bookshelf - Bill The Minder

An odd and charming little story book. Published in 1912 and available at Project Gutenberg.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Overheard Outside the Public Library This Evening

Woman in car (calling through the window to a pink-haired teenaged girl in shredded clothes): “Behave yourself!”

Pink-haired teen (sullenly): It’s the library. It’s not like I have a choice.

Patterns of the Past - Kits From Aunt Ellen

All sorts of lovely things to send away for, from Workbasket magazine, February 1951.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Crochet - A Teacup from 1951

From Workbasket magazine, February 1951, a crocheted teacup, plus a bonus project! A hotpad made of rubber canning rings wound with yarn (my hat is off to anyone who can figure out to make it).

On my Flickr account. Includes instructions on how to stiffen the teacup with sugar syrup, not recommended unless you live in an insect-free environment, like maybe the space station).

Why Don't We Just Buy Stock In The Delmonte Company?

Got an email at work explaining that someone who shall remain nameless is going to be late for supper because Mildred* has another skunk she needs removed.

Why can't Mildred have a rabid coyote or a poisonous snake for a change?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Vintage Images - Animals

Copyright-free, from Dover.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Tale of Two Sundays - September

Our Sunday bill of fare for 1927 includes Beefsteak Pie, Italian Spaghetti, Brussels Sprouts, Celery-Lettuce-Cheese Salad, Raisin Cake and Rice Pudding (two desserts are often on the menu for Sunday dinner in this book). The “Italian Spaghetti” is boiled for fifteen minutes and then baked for another forty, so let’s ignore that and take a look at Beefsteak Pie, a way to dress up the humble round steak.

Beefsteak Pie. “The following ingredients will make a pie sufficient to serve 6 or 7 persons. Have 3 pounds round steak cut in 2-inch lengths. Parboil for 30 minutes in water to cover. While the meat is cooking prepare a nice rich crust with 2 cups flour sifted twice with 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt; rub into this 1 cup lard or any preferred shortening. Some cooks think the crust of a beefsteak pie should always be made with clarified beef drippings. Line baking dish with this crust, rolled thin after being wet with a very little ice water or cold milk. Lay in some of the steak which has been allowed to cool, sprinkle with salt and pepper, repeat until all the meat is used. Slightly thicken the water in which the steak was boiled, with butter and flour and turn into dish. Cover with crust, bake 1 hour in moderate oven. This pie is even nicer for being reheated, so can be made on Saturday.”

In 1953 Mrs. Berolzheimer recommends a hearty meal, as well. On the 1953 menu are Vegetable Soup, Roast Tenderloin of Beef with Mushrooms, Stuffed Baked Potatoes, Baked Eggplant, Waldorf Salad and Pumpkin Chiffon Pie.

Waldorf Salad. ”6 tart red apples, 4 celery hearts, 2 ounces English walnut meats, Whipped Cream Dressing, lettuce. Pare apples, cut into long slender strips and dip into lemon water. Cut celery the same way. Shave walnuts into fine pieces. Combine walnuts, apples and celery with enough dressing to moisten. Heap on lettuce on salad plates. Serves 6.

Whipped Cream Dressing. 2/3 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, 2 eggs, beaten, 2 tablespoons salad oil, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 4 tablespoons orange juice, 1 cup pineapple juice, ½ cup heavy cream, whipped. Combine sugar and flour in top of double boiler; add remaining ingredients except cream and cook until thickened, stirring constantly. When cool fold in whipped cream. Makes 2 cups.

Eliminate the Italian Spaghetti and the Brussels Sprouts, and I would take the 1927 menu. If I indulged in the 1953 meal I think I’d be asleep all afternoon.

Another Conversation I Wish Had Not Happened, or; Why I'm Glad We Have A Shower In The Basement

He: Mildred Gunther* called; she's got a critter in her backyard she wants me to come get (explanatory note: our elderly neighbors frequently call on the spousal unit for this service since he has a state trapping license).

Me: What kind of critter?

He: She doesn't know, it's curled up in a ball.

Thirty-five minutes later, the phone rings.

He: Meet me at the gate with a clean pair of shorts and a t-shirt, wouldja?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Kitty Bliss

Sleeping on printer? Good. Sleeping on knitting? Better.

Sleeping on knitting and printer? Priceless.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Reality Check

Today's sessions were on Port au Prince and Mumbai. There are times I have to sit still and reflect on my good fortune.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I Love My Job

Yesterday the FBI showed us how to build a bomb*. Today the state bomb squad showed us how to detonate it.

(*They also showed us how to manufacture ricin. Nice guys).

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Due To Technical Difficulties...

I'm at a conference for the next three days, so figuring out our configuration issues is going to have to wait until Saturday. Pfui.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Vintage Images - Angels

The assistance of which I badly need since I still can't get the printer/scanner configured. There may be no new pattern on Tuesday if this doesn't resolve itself.

(as always, copyright-free. From Dover).

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Word From Management

I am in the process of setting up our new PC so no posts today other than this one. Regular blogging resumes tomorrow (sorry!).

Saturday, September 4, 2010


I feel the same way when I find a new bookstore.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Quote of the Day

Riches she possessed, but that which enriches them, the participation of affection, was wanting. All that they could purchase for her became indifferent to her, because that which they could not purchase, and which was more valuable than themselves, she had, for their sake, thrown away. She discovered, when it was too late, that she had mistaken the means for the end—that riches, rightly used, are instruments of happiness, but are not in themselves happiness. ~ Thomas Love Peacock

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Online Bookshelf - My Knitting Book

By Mrs. Lambert, dated 1843, and available on Project Gutenberg.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Patterns of the Past - December 1950

From Workbasket magazine. I really like the armscyes on the grey shirtwaist.