Sunday, June 30, 2013

Invalid Diet

I am trying to find something to tempt the spousal unit's appetite -- he's not eaten enough to keep a bird alive since coming home from the hospital.  I've got a turkey breast in the crockpot (three sprigs of fresh thyme, half a cup of dry white wine, 1 hour on high and 5 on low) and I just made a double batch of banana muffins.  Bisquick is one of those convenience foods I don't feel in the least bit guilty about using.

Bisquick 'Nanna Muffins

2 1/2 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup sugar
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t cardamom
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
2 T butter, melted
2 very ripe bananas, mashed and squirted with juice of half a lemon to keep them from browning

Beat the egg and melted butter into the milk and add to the dry ingredients.  Stir vigorously for about 30 seconds (don't over-do it.  You'll wind up with tough muffins).

Add the mashed banana and fold it into the batter just until blended.  You can add half a cup of chopped walnuts at this point, if you are not married to someone who doesn't eat nuts.

Put paper cupcake liners into a muffin tin and fill each not quite to the brim with the batter.  Bake for 18 minutes in a preheated 350° oven.  Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before you try to take them out of the tin.  Makes 12.

Saturday, June 29, 2013



Friday, June 28, 2013

Quote Of The Day

If you really want to thank the troops for their service, try being the kind of American who's worth fighting for. ~ LtCol Rob Waldman

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Well, Hell

The spousal unit went in for knee surgery today, and I just got a juror summons.

I seem to remember these things come in threes.

Updated 6/27/13:  Okay, the RN who is my team lead and who handles all volunteer training has announced her retirement.  Which takes effect the day before I start jury duty.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sumer is Acumen In

(copyright-free vintage produce labels from Dover).

I ate the first baby tomato yesterday.  By this time next month we will be drowning in them, which prompted a meander through some old recipes.

CHILLI SAUCE. -- Chilli sauce is a well-known relish in which ripe tomatoes, red or green peppers, and onions are combined with spices and vinegar.  Although not so many vegetables are used in this relish as in those which precede, it merits a place among the canned foods prepared for future use.

2 qt medium-sized ripe tomoatoes
2 red or green peppers, finely chopped
2 onions, finely chopped
2 c. vinegar
1/2 c. sugar
1 Tb. salt
1 tsp. ground cloves
2 tsp. ground cinnnamon
2 tsp. celery salt.

Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water until the skins loosen.  then remove the skins and stem ends, chop the tomatoes, and put them into a preserving kettle with the chopped peppers and chopped onions.  Heat gradually to the boiling point, add the vinegar, sugar, salt and spices, and cook slowly until the mixture is quite thick.  This will require from 2 to 3 hours.  then put the hot sauce into sterilized bottles or jars, seal, allow them to cool, and store.

GREEN-TOMATO PICKLE. -- A pleasing relish may be made from green tomatoes after the frost has come in the fall and tomatoes on the vines will not mature.

3 qt green tomatoes, sliced
2 qt onions, sliced
1 qt vinegar
1 pt water
1 Tb salt
1 1/2 lb brown sugar
2 Tb cinnamon
2 tsp cloves
2 tsp allspice
3 Tb celery salt
1 Tb mustard seed

Select firm green tomatoes, wash them, and slice them.  peel the onions, and slice them into slices of the same thickness of the tomatoes,about 1/4 inch being perhaps the most desirable.  Mix the tomatoes and onions, sprinkle them generously with salt, and allow them to stand for 24 hours.  At the end of this time, pour off any excess liquid; then pour a small quantity of fresh water over them, and drain this off, also.  To the vinegar and water, add the salt, sugar and spices.  Heat this mixture to the boiling point, pour it over the mixture of tomatoes and onions, and put into jars.  Seal the jars while hot, allow them to cool, and then store.

TOMATO CATSUP. -- As a condiment to be served with meats, oysters, fish, baked beans, and other foods high in protein, catsup finds considerable use.  This relish, which is also called catchup and ketchup, may be made from both vegetables and fruits, but that made from tomatoes seems to be the most desirable to the majority.

1/2 bu ripe tomatoes
1/2 c salt
1 lb brown sugar
2 qt vinegar
1 Tb ground cinnamon
1 tsp Cayenne pepper
2 Tb celery salt
2 tsp ground cloves

Remove the skins from the tomatoes by blanching and cut out the stem ends.  Then slice the tomatoes, put them into a preserving kettle over the fire, cook them until they are soft, and force them through a sieve to remove the seeds.  Remove the pulp to the preserving kettle, add the salt, sugar, vinegar and spices, and cook the mixture until it is reduced at least half in quantity.  Pour into sterilized bottles, seal, cool and store.

The Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Volume Five.  Published by the Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences, Scranton, PA, probably in the late teens or early twenties, and available as a free download from Project Gutenberg.  If you are tempted to try any of these, read up on home canning safety from a modern resource such as the Ball Blue Book people.

Saturday, June 22, 2013


Monday, June 17, 2013

Life Imitates Art

I am leaving at 0600 tomorrow for a public health emergency preparedness conference which -- coincidentally, I'm sure -- is being held in a town currently experiencing an e coli outbreak.

See you all on Friday.  Perhaps.

There Will Always Be An England

Vintage Magazines -- Wild West, 1936

They don't make pulp magazines they way they used to.  By the way, this one is available online and can be read for free at the Unz site.  Which is a pretty marvelous place to waste time if you're fascinated by early 20th century pop culture.

Saturday, June 15, 2013


For no reason other than I'm tired and the rocker on the front porch is calling me, I'm declaring an Internet-free weekend.  See you Monday.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Notes On An IED Workshop

(I really love my job).

FBI Agent/Instructor:  Home-made explosives tend to be a self-resolving issue.


FBI Agent/Instructor:  Al Qaeda produces an excellent magazine called Inspire.  In terms of layout, artwork and all that, it's very professionally done.

Local Cop:  Is there a swimsuit issue?

FBI Agent/Instructor:  Yes.  The eyes show.


DEA Agent/Instructor:  Of course if you make a mistake with these ingredients, you're going to experience a negative outcome.


Me:  What are you grinning for?
Smitty:  Because I'm a guy and we're blowing shit up!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Knitting - A Jacket from 1935

Sorry for not posting yesterday, I've been having some trouble with my eyes and I just didn't get around to it.

A knitted jacket in "the New Boilfast Cottons," from Fashions Today, put out by the J.P. Coats company in 1935.  Instructions are on my Flickr account.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Party Games


This game will furnish amusement at an evening entertainment, but may also be played after a ladies' luncheon. The questions, on sheets of paper with spaces allowed for the answers, are distributed, and fifteen minutes given for answering them. Each answer is composed of one word ending with the letters c-a-t-e; for instance: Kate is a good pleader (advo-cate). When fifteen minutes have elapsed each player signs her name and passes her paper to the person on her right. The answers are then read, and the player having the most correct answers wins a prize.
  1. Kate is a good pleader. (advocate)
  2. Kate judges judicially. (adjudicate)
  3. Kate is apt to use other people's money wrongfully. (defalcate)
  4. Kate is very frail. (delicate)
  5. Kate sometimes gets out of joint. (dislocate)
  6. Kate makes everything double. (duplicate)
  7. Kate loves to teach. (educate)
  8. Kate takes out ink spots. (eradicate)
  9. Kate helps people out of difficulties. (extricate)
  10. Kate is good at constructing. (fabricate)
  11. Kate gives a pledge of security. (hypothecate)
  12. Kate sometimes invokes evil. (imprecate)
  13. Kate is perplexing; hard to understand. (intricate)
  14. Kate often prays earnestly. (supplicate)
  15. Kate makes wheels run easily. (lubricate)
  16. Kate uses her teeth. (masticate)
  17. Kate is not always truthful. (prevaricate)
  18. Kate can foretell events. (prognosticate)
  19. Kate makes an affirmative. (predicate)
  20. Kate gets smothered. (suffocate)
  21. Kate points out clearly. (indicate)
  22. Kate makes business combinations. (syndicate)
  23. Kate goes into the country. (rusticate)
  24. Kate will now move out. (vacate)
From Bright Ideas for Entertaining, 1905, available as a free download from Project Gutenberg.

I Want These

Light-saber knitting needles.

Saturday, June 8, 2013


Friday, June 7, 2013

Quote of the Day

It is as well that war is so terrible, otherwise we would grow too fond of it. ~ Robert E. Lee

Thursday, June 6, 2013


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Knitting - A Dress from 1935

From a 1935 Columbia Minerva book, "Deldoon," a one-piece dress knitted in a drop-stitch pattern.  Pretty dress but where did they come up with that name?  Instructions on my Flickr account.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Vintage Advertising - Dickies Work Clothes

I was contacted by Stephan, who works for Dickies, with a link to their blog and a dropbox full of vintage Dickies' advertising.  I was familiar with the Dickies brand, as anyone who lives in a rural/agricultural area has to be, but I had no idea they were a popular brand in the UK.

(Selling "ready to dye" clothes; would this concept fly today?)

Lots of fun images, although if you are of a certain age, the photos from the 1970's will make you wince in recognition.  Check them out.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

"On The Subject Of Entertaining" - Part III, Menus and Recipes for Special Occasions


Sometimes the hostess who is entertaining at bridge decides on a luncheon rather than serving refreshments afterward.  this is delightful to the guests, and sometimes easier for the hostess, especially if she serves at the card tables.

Cover each table with a luncheon cloth, place the napkins and arrange the necessary silver, glassware, etc, dispensing with both bread-and-butter plates and floral centerpieces.  Plan your menu so that you can arrange the entire main course on the individual plates before bringing them to the table.  If hot bread is served, butter it before placing it on the plates.  Then after luncheon is over you need only remove the used dishes in a tray or tea wagon, fold up the luncheon cloths, and quickly arrange the necessary "tools" for playing bridge.

But what will you give them to eat?

Hera are a few menus that may help, together with recipes.

Bridge Menus
Tomato Juice Cocktail
Sweetbread and Almond Salad
Cheese Biscuits
Celery, Radishes
Orange Layer Cake
Iced Tea

Jellied Shrimp Salad
Cheese Biscuits
Pickled Peaches       Crisp Celery
Honey Ice Cream Cake

Chicken Timbales
Asparagus Tips with Hollandaise Sauce
Nut Graham Muffins     Currant Jelly
Chocolate Refrigerator Cake
Iced Coffee

Jellied Chicken Soup
Molded Tuna Salad with Cucumber Dressing
New Peas
Brown Bread Fingers
Sponge Cake     Peaches with Sunshine Sauce
Iced Tea 

Sweetbread and Almond Salad.  1 pair sweetbreads, 1 cup blanched almonds, mayonnaise, radishes.  Soak sweetbreads in cold water for one hour, changing the water two or three times.  Then drain and plunge into boiling water to which one teaspoon vinegar has been added and cook for fifteen minutes.  Next drain and place immediately into ice cold water to blanch.  Let stand ten minutes.  Wipe dry and chill.  Dice sweetbreads and mix with almonds, and add just enough mayonnaise to bind.  Garnish with radish roses.  Serves six.

Honey Ice Cream Cake.  Cut slices of Sponge or Angel Food Cake three inches square and one-half inch thick, and arrange on individual dessert plates.  Top each piece of cake with a square of chocolate or vanilla ice cream, and then garnish each with two tablespoons strained honey and one tablespoon salted pecans.

Chicken Timbales.  Melt three tablespoons of butter; add one-half cup soft bread crumbs and one cup of milk; cook for fie minutes, stirring constantly.  Add one-half teasopon of salt, a little pepper and paprika, one tablespoon chopped parsley, one and one half cups cooked chicken cut into dice, and three eggs slightly beaten.  Mix well and turn into individual buttered timbale molds, filling them two-thirds full.  Set molds in pan of hot water, cover with greased paper, and bake at 325° F. for thirty minutes.  Serves six.

Molded Tuna Salad.  To one can of flaked tuna, add one cup stiff mayonnaise, one chopped, hard-cooked egg, one-fourth cup chopped olives, one tablespoon capers and one teaspoon chopped chives.  Soften one-half tablespoon gelatin in one-fourth cup cold wter, place over hot water until dissolved, then add to the fish mixture and stir lightly with a fork, being careful not to break the fish.  Put in cold wet mods and chill.  Six individual molds.

Cucumber Dressing.  To one-half cup thick cream, add one-fourth teaspoon salt, a speck of pepper and two tablespoons vinegar.  Beat until stiff.  Just before serving add one cucumber which has been pared, chopped very fine and drained.

Sunshine Sauce.  Boil one cup sugar with one-third cup water t238°  F. or the soft-ball stage.  Pour this sirup over the stiffly-beaten yolks of two eggs.  Continue beating until creamy.  Add two tablespoons vanilla.  Just before serving, fold in one cup stiffly-beaten cream.

The Detroit Times Cook Book, 1936.

Saturday, June 1, 2013