Friday, February 28, 2014

Quote of the Day

A leader is a dealer in hope. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

1940's Sewing - Some Winter Hoods

Left-click to enlarge.  My notes say I pinned this from a website called, but when I trace the link back I can't find the pattern. #555 looks like it would be easy to recreate from a square of jersey or (unauthentically) polar fleece.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Vintage Advertising - Orange Crush

From Woman's Home Companion, August 1921.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

When Lunches Were Lunches, Part II

(FYI: Posting has been problematic as our internet connection was iffy for a couple of days.  Bad weather tends to either knock it out completely or slow it way down).

Continued from The American Woman's Cook Book, 1948.

"Be sure to include crisp, crunchy vegetables that will give the meal some contrast.  In a packed sandwich lunch, texture and flavor are of great importance.  Sandwiches have a tendency to be soft and too easily become soggy.  Pack lettuce separately, to be added just before eating.

The men in the family will prefer spicy condiments and sauces on their sandwiches, while the school child will like a mild, more delicate flavor.

Plan for milk in every lunch box you pack.  If in doubt whether milk can be bought or will be bought at work or school, send milk along in some form in food or just cold or hot milk in the thermos bottle.  Use evaporated milk in cooking if at any time fresh milk is scarce.

All too easily lunch box meals fall into a set pattern.  it is only by the most careful planning that a lunch box is appetizing and has variety and balance each day.


Cream of Spinach Soup
Egg Salad Sandwiches with Lettuce
Raw Vegetable Strips
Apple     Cup Cake

Peanut Butter, Bacon and Lettuce Sandwiches
Cauliflowerets     Carrot Sticks
Hard Cooked Egg
Gingerbread      Grapes

Cream of Tomato Soup
Ham Sandwich with Mustard and Lettuce on a Bun
Celery       Olives
Fresh Pear        Cookies

Oven Baked Beans    Catchup
Boston Brown Bread Sandwiches
with Cream Cheese Filling
Cole Slaw

American Cheese Sandwich with Catchup and Lettuce
Tossed Vegetable Salad
Dressing (in container)
Cake       Orange

Beef Stew       Pickle Relish
Bread and Butter Sandwiches with Lettuce
Whole Tomato       Crisp Radishes
Fruit Cup (in container)
Hot Coffee

Mrs. Berolzheimer directs her readers to the sandwich recipes found on page 131.  Some of them are lulus, and I'll print them next week.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Knitting - A Doily Edging from 1916

From Woman's Home Companion, May 1916.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Vintage Advertising - Palmolive

I wonder when their advertising staff decided to drop Cleopatra as celebrity spokeswoman in favor of a middle-aged manicurist named Madge.  From Woman's Home Companion, April 1914.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

When Lunches Were Lunches and Giants Walked The Land


“As much care is needed in selecting and preparing the food for the lunch box as for the other meals served to the family.  If the lunch is inadequate or lacking in food essentials throughout the year, the individual’s whole nutrition will be seriously affected, and his work will suffer.  The lunch box is one of three meals, not just a “snack,” and should possess the following characteristics:

1. It should be abundant in amount for a hungry, healthy individual.  A little too much is better than too little.
2. It should be chosen with regard to nutritive needs of the individual, and in relation to the whole day’s food.
3. It should be clean, appetizing, wholesome and attractive.

Food Selection Plan

Plan it the day before.  Select from the following one food from each group.  Make the lunch box bear its full share of responsibility for liquid as well as solid nourishment.

MILK, in food or drink.
BREAD, enriched or whole grain in sandwiches.
MEAT or cheese or eggs or fish.  In sandwich fillings, salads or hearty main dishes.
FRUIT, at least one.  Whole or in salads or desserts.
VEGETABLES, at least one, in sandwich filling, salads or in hearty main dishes.  Use leafy green and yellow vegetables, and use them crisp and uncooked often.

Plan to have leftovers for the lunch box.  Meat loaf or pot roast that will make good sandwiches, sliced cold.  Gingerbread or stewed fruits.  Don’t specialize in starchy foods.  Always include some kind of surprise such as; Whole tomatoes in season, radishes, celery, carrot or green pepper sticks, pickles, olives, dried fruits, nut meats, or cookies.

Keep in mind the season of the year in planning menus.  In winter have something hot and invigorating in the thermos bottle: Hot soup, coffee, tea, baked beans, hot chocolate, or stew.  Something cool and refreshing in the summertime, such as lemonade, tomato juice, fruit juices, chocolate milk shake, milk, iced tea or iced coffee, canned fruit juices.  And do not forget the straws.”

Ruth Berolzheimer, The American Woman’s Cook Book, 1948.  Next week:  suggested menus.

Saturday, February 15, 2014


He's obviously pondering string theory.  I just wish he'd done it with the cheap Coats & Clark polyester sewing thread and not the DMC tatting cotton.

Thursday, February 13, 2014


Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

We are still not Kühlschrankfähig and the water was not hooked up as promised on Friday (which is why dinner, right now, looks as though it's going to be tuna fish sandwiches) but progress is being made.  About 60% of the old kitchen stuff is back in the cupboards. Tomorrow night, and all shall be well. Supposedly.

Except the glass cupboard doors which apparently have fallen off a truck.  Our contractor is on the hunt and I wouldn't want to be in the guilty party's shoes -- the guy's muscles have muscles.

This was taken standing in the living room, looking through the dining room into the new, open kitchen.  And yes, it has occurred to me that I can no longer shut the door on any mess.

Thursday, February 6, 2014


You Will Notice Something's Missing

Viz., the new refrigerator that was supposed to be delivered today.  We came home to a cheerful voice on the answering machine telling us that he was calling to confirm delivery.  This, after Brian made it clear to the store that a) the contractor would be there today and b) if there were any questions, not to call the home # but  rather my cell phone.  

Do people even listen anymore?  Because we had the same experience when dealing with my credit union, leaving voice mails giving explicit instructions not to call the number listed on the account, because it was the home # and one is there during the day.  It took three phone calls and my nastiest lissen-up-yew-maggots voice before it got through to them.

On the plus side of the ledger, the backsplash on the built-in cabinet and the countertops are gorgeous. I'll have to try for a better shot during daylight.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Poulet à la Réaménagement

A shout out to the Presto people.  Without this, we probably would have starved.

Assemble your batterie de cuisine --  electric skillet, one dinner fork, one spatula, one heavy coffee mug, one gallon sized freezer bag, one cardboard plate that is deep enough to hold a couple of fistfuls of flour (it would be a good idea before starting any of this to go upstairs and look for the flour).

Put a coffee-mugful of water and a tablespoon of butter in the electric skillet.  Turn it to 400° until it bubbles.  Pour in a bag of red potatoes, cut all to one size if necessary.  Sprinkle with salt, put the lid on the skillet, and turn it down to 200°.  Keep an eye on it for an hour or so, prodding the potatoes with the fork occasionally.  When they are done but still have a little firmness at the core, scoop them up and put into whatever microwave-proof bowl you can find in the disorder.

Freeze in place when power goes out to half the basement and wait for spousal unit to put down the power tools and descend to the basement to flip the circuit breaker. Agree that it would probably be a good idea to postpone the rest of the dinner prep until he's done.

Take two chicken breasts and while they are still partly frozen, slice them into two cutlets each.  Put them in the freezer bag, one at a time, and pound them to an even thickness with the coffee mug which you are using because the mallet is still in one of the old cabinets that have been pushed into the spare bedroom.  

Don’t break the mug.

Put a three quarters of a mug or so of flour – assuming you have found it -- in the cardboard plate and season with salt and pepper.  If you managed to locate the spice rack while you were looking for the flour, add a half teaspoon of dried and pulverized thyme.  Dredge the chicken cutlets in the seasoned flour.

Dump the water out of the electric skillet, wipe it out, and heat it to 350°.  Pour in a couple of dribbles of cooking oil.  Add a tablespoonful of butter.  When the butter foams, brown the chicken cutlets on both sides.  Turn the skillet down to 250°, push the cutlets to one side, add a jar of drained green beans (the can opener is still missing), cover and let cook for about five minutes, until the chicken is done and the beans are heated through.

Walk out to the other room and pop a few of the potatoes in the microwave that’s sitting on the table there, just long enough to reheat them.  Serve with the chicken and the green beans.  Save the rest of the potatoes and two of the chicken cutlets for tomorrow night so that you won’t have to go through all of this again.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Happy Belated Lunar New Year

Xinnian hao, y'all.  Best wishes for the Year of the Horse.