Monday, October 31, 2011

There's One In Every Crowd

(copyright-free clipart from Dover).

As part of the mid-1990’s force draw-down, we were bringing boatloads of stuff back from military bases in Europe and a lot of it was being off-loaded at Camp Lejeune. For reasons I don’t remember I was part of the planning team for that goat-rope and that meant hauling myself down to the pier several times a week to attend meetings. At one of them we got the extremely unwelcome news that a gypsy moth had been found among the equipment. This was the sort of information that, if substantiated, was going to send the State of North Carolina into conniptions. The atmosphere in the briefing room was a little tense.

An army colonel was sitting next to me. I dunno, maybe he thought I looked like an entomologist.

He: How the *(&#$ do they know it was a gypsy moth?

Me: The tambourines and the tiny gold earrings were a dead giveaway.

He (after a few moments of silence): You little pissant.

Me: Yes, sir.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Just In Time For Hallowe'en

From the General Foods Cook Book, published 1932.

Hearts With Grape Nuts

2 veal or lamb hearts
1 t. salt
2 T. Grape-nuts, finely crushed
2 T. flour
¼ t. pepper
2 T. butter or other fat
4 large onions, sliced
2 whole cloves
¼ cup celery, finely chopped
Few drops Tabasco

“Wash hearts thoroughly. Remove veins and arteries. Simmer in salted water until tender (about 30 minutes). Combine Grape-nuts, flour, salt and pepper. When hearts are cold, cut in ¼ inch slices and roll each slice in Grape-nuts mixture, coating well. Melt butter in iron skillet, add onions, cover, and simmer until tender. Add cloves, celery, Tabasco, meat, and enough stock in which hearts were cooked to half cover. Continue cooking, covered, until meat is tender (about 1 hour). Serves 4.”

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

Quote of the Day

He was fond of books, which was a fatal weakness. ~ Ada Cambridge

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Online Bookshelf - West Country PIlgramage

Lovely watercolors by Eden Philpotts. From Project Gutenberg.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Knitting - The Swinging 60s

Purple Kitty has a new repro up, knitwear from 1963. Eye-poppingly mod, some of it!


The following is an email exchange between me and my buddy Ski, who is fairly high up the food chain at our local Big National Corporation. As I may have mentioned before, he was a corporal in the same air group and I was a captain back in the mid-80’s, but we first met two years ago during H1N1 when we were both serving on our county emergency planning committee.

He: Hey, got a question for you. What was your last name when you were in the Corps?

Me: "Ma’am."

He: Oh, funny. VERY funny.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Vintage Images - Hallowe'en

Copyright-free, from Dover.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Hints For Housekeepers

To Stop The Hair From Falling Out. Wash the hair in just as hot water as it is possible for the person to endure, then take the scalp and gently pinch all over. This is excellent. L.M.P.

A Little Ironing Suggestion. When the top of the stove is full and it is time to get dinner with still some ironing to be accomplished, the irons can be heated very nicely in the oven. E.M.S.

New Ironware. New ironware cannot be used for cooking unless it is first boiled. I have found that the addition of potato parings and a little lye to the water is the best means of getting the new vessels ready to use. I recently purchased a set of waffle irons and tried several ways to get them in condition to use and at last tried putting them in a clothes boiler with potato parings, lye and cold water and allowed them to come to a boil and remain boiling two hours. The irons were ready to use and have given no trouble. Mrs. L.A.

Modern Priscilla, 1915.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Right Grid-Square, Wrong Century

I have the memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant loaded to my Nook. The language is old-fashioned but very readable and he writes with a tongue-in-cheek, self-deprecating humor that is quite engaging. I have very few heroes but he is one of them, and I would have liked to have known this man.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Quote of the Day

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.

“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”

“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.

“You must be,” said the Cat, “otherwise you wouldn’t have come here.” ~ Lewis Carroll.

God Is Not Mocked

So I didn't rehearse. And the facilitator introduced me as a retired member of the United States Army.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Decisions, Decisions

If the world really is going to end tomorrow, should I bother rehearsing the speech I'm supposed to give at the community college to the graduating class of new CNA's?


Monday, October 17, 2011

Vintage Images - 1920's Advertising

Copyright-free, from Dover.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Beautiful Soup

From The General Foods Cookbook, (“General Foods offers over twenty famous products for your well-stocked pantry shelf”), copyright 1932.

Black Bean Soup

2 c. black beans
1 small onion, sliced
3 T. butter
2 quarts cold water
2 stalks celery, diced
1 ½ T. flour
¾ t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
¼ t. mustard
Dash of Cayenne
1 T. lemon juice
2 hard-cooked eggs, finely diced
1 lemon, thinly sliced

Wash beans and soak overnight. Saute onion in 1 ½ tablesoons butter 5 minutes. Drain beans. Add cold water, onion, and celery. Simmer 3 to 4 hours, or until beans are tender, adding water as needed. Remove from fire and force through fine sieve. Melt remaining 1 ½ tablespoons butter, add flour, and stir until smooth. Add a small amount soup mixture, stirring well. Combine with remaining soup mixture. Reheat to boiling, stirring frequently, and add seasonings. Serve soup, garnishing each portion with a small amount of egg and a slice of lemon. Serves 8.

And since man does not live by bread alone (as the cookbook editors thoughtfully pointed out), here’s a recipe for some biscuits to go with the soup.

Pimiento Cheese Biscuits

1 c. sifted flour
1 t. Calumet Baking Powder
¼ t. salt
2 T. butter or other shortening
1/3 c. milk (about)
2 ounces pimiento cheese
2 T. butter

Sift , measure, add baking powder and salt, and sift again. Cut in shortening; add milk gradually until soft dough is formed. Combine cheese and butter and melt over hot water, stirring until blended. Roll biscuit dough ¼ inch thick on slightly floured board, cut with small floured cutter, and place on greased baking sheet. Place one teaspoon of cheese mixture on each biscuit. Bake in hot oven (450⁰ F) 10 minutes or until done. Makes 12 biscuits.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Of Course, The Cat Can't Read

This is what happens when the spousal unit tips the last few spoonfuls of his breakfast cereal-and-milk into Babyface's dish.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Quote of the Day

Some people say man is the most dangerous animal on the planet. Obviously those people have never met an angry cat. ~ Lillian Johnson.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I'll Never Look At Dust Mites The Same Way Again

Poussière from Poussiere LeFilm on Vimeo.

(h/t to Drawn).

The Online Bookshelf -- The Bradys' Chinese Clew

Implausible and incorrect and available for free download from Project Gutenberg.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Knitting - 1949 Bernat Handicrafter from Purple Kitty

The ladies at Purple Kitty are really churning out the reprints. This one is a Bernat Handicrafter magazine from 1949 -- knitted suits, dresses, sweaters and accessories for women. Check out the swing jacket.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Vintage Images - Produce Crate Labels

Copyright-free, from Dover.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Way To Start Your Day, 1908

(Vintage kitchenware catalog images from Dover).

Sunday. “Grapefruit, oatmeal jelly and cream, broiled chicken, corn bread, toast, tea and coffee.”

Monday. “Oranges, cereal and cream, bacon and apples, French rolls (warmed over), toast, tea and coffee.”

Tuesday. “Baked apples and cereal with cream over all, scrambled eggs and ham (partly a left-over), graham and white bread toast, tea and coffee.”

Wednesday. “Oranges, wheaten grits and cream, bacon and fried sweet peppers, quick biscuits, toast, tea and coffee.”

Thursday. “Grapes, cereal and cream, codfish balls, muffins, toast, tea and coffee.”

Friday. “Oranges, cereal and cream,eggs and bacon, sally lunn, toast, tea and coffee.”

Saturday. “Baked sweet apples and cream, fricasseed eggs, hot rolls, toast, tea and coffee.”

From Family Meals For A Week by Mrs. Marion Harland, L.A. Sunday Times, November 22nd, 1908.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Alarums and Diversions

(photo from the Pantagraph)

The all-county drill was this morning – we simulated setting off a bomb at a campus concert venue. Eighty victims, police, the Red Cross, and hot and cold running firefighters and EMT’s. We started setting up at 0630 and I got home seven hours later.

The spousal unit really had an exciting morning, though. He got to take Her Majesty to the vet.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Quote of the Day

I think a man ought to get drunk at least twice a year just on principle, so he won't let himself get snotty about it. ~ Raymond Chandler

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I Can Live Without Ever Seeing That Again

As my carpool partner and I were walking across the employee parking lot this evening, a county K9 dog jumped from the roof of the four-story parking garage and landed across the windshield of somebody's car.

He got up and walked away from it but I'm still a little shaken up.

Update: It was five stories and he's fine. My hat's off to the car owner; that's the way I hope I'd take it.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Good For What Ails You

"Lime-Flower Tea. To half an ounce of lime-flowers, placed in a tea-pot or jug, pour a pint of boiling water, and when the infusion has stood for ten minutes, sweeten with honey or sugar, and drink the tea hot, to assuage the pains in the stomach and chest, arising from indigestion.

This beverage may also be successfully administered in attacks of hysteria."

A Plain Cookery Book For The Working Classes, 1852, by Charles Francatelli. If I had to produce three meals a day in a kitchen like that, I'd probably have hysterics, myself.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


funny pictures - Aye, Captain  Engaging warp drive!