Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dogs Have Owners, Cats Have Staff

I was loading the dishwasher tonight and heard a rumbledy-thumpy sort of noise from the other side of the kitchen island.  I looked around the corner and Her Majesty was playing with a raw potato.

I don't ask.  I just don't ask.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Knitting and Crochet - Hats, Bags and Bulky Sweaters

Another vintage pattern book from Purple Kitty.  Undated but mid to late 50's from the looks of those hats.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Vintage Images - 1930's Ad Cuts

Copyright-free, from Dover.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

O tempora! O mores!


"This popular Mexican treat is called by many names in different parts of the country.  They are toasted tortillas cut into thirds and filled with hot or mildly seasoned ingredients.  This one is fairly mild.

Saute until golden brown:

1 finely chopped onion


2 tablespoons butter

Add and simmer for about 3 minutes:

1/2 cup tomato juice
3 peeled minced green chilis
1 cup shredded cooked chicken or pork sausage meat
1/8 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon salt
Dash of cayenne

Set this filling aside.  Now fry in deep fat at 380 degrees until crisp:

1 can tortillas: about 18

Remove them from the fat and drain.  Cut into thirds.  Place 1 teaspoon of the above filling on each piece.  Fold in half, secure with a toothpick and bake until crisp in a 450 degree oven."

From The Joy Of Cooking, by Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker, 1964.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Friday, February 24, 2012

Quote of the Day

It isn't so much what's on the table that matters, as what's on the chairs. ~ W. S. Gilbert

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Things Are Looking Up

Maybe February isn't going to be a total loss; my car-pool buddy gave me a shoebox full of her late mother-in-law's costume jewelry.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

This Is Getting Old, Dammit

I walked into the office this morning and immediately two colleagues helpfully pointed out that my face and neck were covered with red blotches.

I'm still trying to figure out what I had a reaction to.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Vintage Images -- Scrolls and Banners for Presidents' Day

Left-click to enlarge, right-click to save.  Copyright-free from Dover.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

"Simple and Safe Remedies for Common Diseases and Accidents"

Chilblains.  These sores are caused by frost, and are very troublesome, and often painful.  Where the skin is not broken, bathe the part in strong alum water.  This will cure, if continued a week or two.

Bleeding at the Nose.  Grate dried salt beef, and take two or three pinches as snuff.  This is said always to cure.  Other remedies will often suppress it --- such as the following; Raise the left arm, and keep it up some time.  Bathe the back of the head and neck in cold water.  Tie a thread very tight around the little finger.

Warts.  Wet them with tobacco juice, and rub them with chalk.  Another – Rub them with fresh beef every day until they begin to disappear.  This last is simple and effectual.

Corns.  Take half an ounce of Verdigris, two ounces of beeswax, two ounces of ammonia; melt the two last ingredients together, and just before they are cold, add the verdigris.  Spread on small pieces of linen, and apply it, after paring the corn.  This has cured inveterate corns.

For a Sting.  Bind on he place a thick plaster of common salt, or saleratus moistened – it will soon extract the venom.

Ring Worms.  Take tobacco and boil it well – add vinegar and lye, and wash often.  Gunpowder and vinegar is also good.  Another; lay a penny in a spoonful of vinegar, and after standing a few hours, wash it frequently.  This will cure.

From The Skillful Housewife’s Book, or Complete Guideto Domestic Cookery; Taste, Comfort and Economy, by Mrs. L.G. Abell, 1852.  Available as a pdf from Google Books.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Friday, February 17, 2012

Quote of the Day long as we do not know exactly what makes men get up out of a hole in the ground and go forward in the face of death at a word from another man, then leadership will remain one of the highest and most elusive of qualities. ~ James Stokesbury

(photograph by David Guttenfelder)

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Knitting - Quick Knits from 1953

From 1953, Columbia Minerva's Fashions in Quick Knits and Quick Crochets (why the plural, I don't know).  From the nice people at Purple Kitty.

Monday, February 13, 2012

If You've Got The Money, Honey

Copyright-free, from Dover.

Butter and Buttermaking

This should have been posted yesterday but our intrawebz was down. From Clayton's Quaker Cookbook, 1883.

"With the exception of bread, which has been appropriately termed "the staff of life," there is, perhaps, no other article of food more universally used by mankind than butter. Notwithstanding this well established fact, it is a lamentable reflection, that really good butter is one of the rarest and most difficult articles to be procured. Although the adulterations of this staple article of food are numerous, the main cause of the quantities of bad butter with which the community is burdened, is ignorance of the true methods, and slovenliness in the preparation of this staple article, for which no reasonable excuse can be urged. In the making of good butter, no process is more simple or easily accomplished. The Quakers, living in the vicinity of Philadelphia, more than a century ago, so thoroughly understood and practised the art of making the best butter, that the products of their dairies sold readily in that city for from five to eight cents per pound more than that produced by any other class.
With these thrifty people, cleanliness was really regarded as "akin to godliness," and the principal was thoroughly and practically carried out in all their every day affairs. The most scrupulous attention being paid to the keeping of all the utensils used scrupulously clean, and so thoroughly work the mass, that every particle of milk is expelled. The greatest evil to be guarded against, is the too free use of salt, which for this purpose should be of the utmost purity and refined quality. I am satisfied, from personal observation, that the butter made at the Jersey Farm, at San Bruno, in the vicinity of San Francisco, in every respect equals in quality the celebrated Darlington, Philadelphia.
For the keeping milk fresh and sweet, and the proper setting of the rich cream, an old style spring-house is essentially requisite. Who that has ever visited one of these clean, cool and inviting appendages of a well conducted farm and well ordered household, at some home-farm of the olden time, does not recall it in the mind's-eye, as vividly as did the poet Woodworth when he penned that undying poem of ancient home-life, "The Old Oaken Bucket that Hung in the Well."
Properly constructed, a spring-house should be built of stone, which is regarded as the coolest—brick or concrete—with walls at least twelve inches in thickness. The floor should be of brick, and not more than two feet below the surface of the ground. The roof should be of some material best adapted to warding off the heat, and keeping the interior perfectly cool, while due attention should be paid to the allowance of a free circulation of air, and provision be made for thorough ventilation; only as much light as is actually necessary should be admitted, and where glass is used for this purpose, it should[Pg 51] invariably be shielded from the sun. Walled trenches being constructed for this purpose, a constant stream of cool running water should pass around the pans containing the milk and cream, which, for the making of good butter, should never be permitted to become sour. The shelving and other furniture, and all wooden utensils used, should be of white ash, maple or white wood, in order to avoid all danger of communicating distasteful or deleterious flavors. As there is no liquid more sensitive to its surroundings, or which more readily absorbs the flavor of articles coming in contact with it, than pure milk, everything that has a tendency to produce this deleterious result should be carefully excluded. Neither paints or varnish should be used about the structure, and the entire concern should be as utterly free from paint as the inside of an old time Quaker meeting-house.
In making butter, the cream should be churned at a temperature of about 65 degrees. When the churning is finished, take up the lump and carefully work out every particle of milk. Never wash or put your hands in the mass. To each pound of butter work in a little less than an ounce of the purest dairy salt. Set the butter away, and at the proper time work the mass over until not a particle of milk remains."

Saturday, February 11, 2012


I've Got Dog Tags Older'n You Are, Son

Worked a Yellow Ribbon event this morning for two returning National Guard units.  Is it me, or are they making second lieutenants younger-looking all the time?

Friday, February 10, 2012

I Love My Job

Just finished a grant proposal that included a line item for snake tongs (that's going to have me giggling every time I think of the look on the State grants administrator's face).

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Still Among The Living (But Just Barely)

My first full day back at work since a week ago Tuesday, and of course I had to spend two hours with the coroner going over our mass fatality plan.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Still Sick

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Caught some kind of creeping crud (the spousal unit probably brought it home from one of his ankle-biters) and have been out for the count for 48 hours.