Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Unsung Sewing Patterns

Poking around on the internet, I always keep an eye open for new and interesting apron pictures or patterns. When I found Unsung Sewing Patterns I hit the jackpot! This website is all about the everyday ordinary patterns, the pajamas, nightgowns, aprons, uniforms, smocks and costumes. The patterns that often get overlooked by fashion enthusiasts. Did you catch that? She has aprons!! And very early apron patterns, at that. Here are a few favorites.

Her hair just makes me laugh! Very 1910s, a little Greek revival there. I like the window pane plaid it is made out of.

 Very flowy, the back is very interesting too. I would put this at 1906ish.

 I love the dusting hat with this one. Doesn't everyone need one?

Early 1920s. Bungalow apron? I haven't heard of one before. It looks like a predecessor of the 60s house dress.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving !

I hope everyone has a blessed holiday! Aren't these little pilgrims cute? They were made by the Gurley Candle Co. You could buy them at the five and dime stores between 1940 and 1970.  They are well known for their Christmas candles, santas, carolers, snowmen, angels, reindeer etc. Mom remembers having carolers when she was growing up. Now she has a collection!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Dresses and Aprons for Work in the Home

 I recently ran across these aprons in a book in the North Texas University Digital Archives click on the link to view the whole book. The booklet is entitled Dresses and Aprons for Work in the Home, copyright 1952. This was put together by the United States Bureau of Human Nutrition and Home Economics to "Discusses the importance of functional features when selecting patterns or ready-made dresses and aprons." Quite an interesting little book.
Notice the sturdiness of the aprons. These were designed to work! I love the different configurations of the shoulder straps, trying to solve the ever present problem of them falling off the shoulder. And of course, large pockets!
Isn't this clever? I am not sure why you just can't bring a basket if you are going to pick apples. But I think it would come in handy for other things. It is now on my to-make-list!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Home for the Holidays!

This song always remindes me of Thanksgiving. On Pie Day (day before Thanksgiving) the sisters and I would drag out the old boom box and crank up the christmas music while we baked!
 My grandmother loved Perry Como. I am just beginning to apprecited him.

A fun song to sing along with!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Lesson in Pie Making

I can't believe that it is only a week until Thanksgiving! What happened to November?? Life sometimes just takes you by the arm and whirls you around.
 In honor of all the holiday festivities I have put together a tutorial on pie making. Get out your supplies, grab a sister, daughter or friend and crank up the Christmas music! Let the baking begin!!

The hardest part of making a pie? The crust!
I have decided to share my method of making pie crust. I don't want to boast, but everyone says I make a mean pie! With Thanksgiving right around the corner, maybe this will inspire you. I like to make my pies the day before, as it doesn't usually work for pies and turkey to compete in the oven. Besides you want the pies to be completely cooled, no melting whipped cream! 

Perfect Pie Crust
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 cups flour
dash of salt
About 1/3 cup cold water 
(depending on your weather, you might need more or less) 
Makes one top and bottom crust or two open faced pies.

1. Measure flour and salt into bowl. Add shortening and cut into flour in pea sized pieces.
*Tip* Pie crust works on the principle of melting shortening or butter creating steam, thus making flaky layers. Shortening or butter does not have to be mixed into the flour in teeny tiny pieces.

2.Add butter in chunks....

....Cut into flour in flake size pieces.

*Tip*You will know your crust is rightly proportioned when a handful of your mixture sticks together when you squeeze it in your hand and then crumbles apart again.

3. Start with half your amount of water, then add more in small amounts if needed. Depending on your weather and the humidity level, you could use more or less.

 For the perfect amount, you should have a little flour left on the bottom. It should form a ball but still look craggy.

4.Turn dough out on lightly floured surface.
*Tip*Flour your surface sparingly. I little goes a long way. Too much can reduce the flour to shortening ratio and ruin your crust.
5. Knead gently three times. Really more of just squeezing the dough together and rolling.
*Tip* If you tend to have warm hands, touch the dough as little as possible. Maybe even run them under cold water before you handle it.

6.Divide dough in half and roll one section out 1/8 inch thick.
*Tip*When rolling crust only a slight pressure is needed. Don't mash your dough.

Your dough should have faint swirls of shortening and butter in it.

7.When dough is thin enough place in greased pie plate.

 8. Trim dough with sharp knife.

 9. Pleat edges.

 10. Refrigerate until ready to fill and bake.
*Tip*Refrigerate your crust a few minutes before going into the oven. I usually make the crust, fit it in the pie plate and put it in the refrigerator. Then make the filling.

Pumpkin Pie Filling
1 egg
1 1/2 cups pumpkin (16oz can)
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1 1/8 cups evaporated milk

 Pouring in the filling.
 Making leaves to decorate the top.
Ready for the oven!

 Making a lattice top.

Sealing the strips.

Fresh out of the oven

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I am back...

Sorry friends for just dropping of the earth like that. I went to visit my sister last week. I meant to have a few posts all ready to go, but that just didn't happen. Anyway I am back and had a wonderful time! Even though it was a working holiday, it was fun. I went up to help a friend of my sister's with her wedding, as coordinator. Such a fun job! I have some really fun things to share, if I can find a camera.

 I have a very small blue glass collection, Very small, as it is so pricey! This is the newest addition.
Made by the Hazel Atlas Glass Company between 1940-1950, the pattern is called "Moderntone". It is in beautiful condition! A great piece for my collection. besides, I really love pitchers!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tea for Two

I found this cute little 1954 apron pattern the other day, with tea cup pockets!
 It reminded me of the movie Tea for Two with Doris Day and Gordon MacRay. Of course they also sing the title song!


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies are a great way to celebrate fall! Over the weekend I made these and wasn't quite fast enough to get a photo! Sorry!
 Though they are not a sweet cookie, the chocolate chips perk it up and a secret ingredient adds a third dimension. What?? you ask, secret ingredient? Yes! Orange Peel! It is such a great combination. At first I thought it sounded like too much bother to grate orange peel for cookies, but they tasted like they were missing something. So I found a tangerine to use. Then I wished I had put it in all the cookies! Enjoy!
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies
2 cups sugar
2 cups canned pumpkin
1 cup shortening
2 tablespoons grated orange peel
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375.  Mix sugar, pumpkin, orange peel and shortening together. Combine all dry ingredients, stir into pumpkin mixture. Add chocolate chips. The dough will still be sticky. Drop by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet. Flour fingers lightly and smooth dough into balls. (You can just leave them, but they will look very craggy. These cookies don't do anything in the oven, just bake!) Bake 8-10 mins. Until nicely brown on outside.