Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cookbook Project- Exquisite Coconut Cake

I am just squeaking by with my goal of posting two cookbook project recipes a month. Lol! Somehow, coconut always makes us think spring. So feeling the need for a little springy-ness, this is what came out of the kitchen!
 Exquisite Coconut Cake from Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook.

Rich Yellow Cake
Cream together until fluffy....1/3 cup shortening....1/3 cup butter...1 1/2 cups sugar....Beat in thoroughly.....3 eggs.....Sift together.... 2 1/2 cups cake flour....2 1/2 tsp baking powder....1 tsp salt....Stir in alternately with....1 cup milk....1 1/2 tsp vanilla
Pour into 2 greased and floured 9" round layer pans. Bake 25-30 minutes at 350.
In my new Pyrex bowl!

Fluffy White Frosting
Bring to a boil in saucepan....1 cup sugar....1/3 cup water....1/3 tsp cream of tarter. Do Not stir! Bring to 242 degrees. While syrup is cooking, beat....2 egg bowl until stiff peaks form. Pour hot syrup very slowly in a thin stream into stiffly beaten egg whites, beating constantly. Add....1 1/2 tsp vanilla...Beat until frosting holds its shape. (it is handy to have an assistant to pour while you beat, or have a Kitchen-Aid)
I really liked this reciepe. It was not a sweet cake. Only one cup of sugar in the frosting and one and a half in the cake. I also added a bit of almond extract!


Monday, February 27, 2012

Campell's Soup Ads

Here are a few of my new advertisements. I was so excited to happen across a huge box of them at a local shop! I love old ads, they are a glimpse into the past. Here are two from Campbell's Soup.
 From 1936 Good Housekeeping
 Close ups of the ladies in there lovely aprons!
 Everyone wearing a different style too! Aren't they cute?
1947 Good Housekeeping, Love the dishes too!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

New Pattern in the Collection

 Thanks to my brother-in-law's Mother I now have a new pattern in the collection! It is from the early 1920s, very early, like 1920 or 23. I think the name describes it very aptly, the Sack Apron. It covers everything! I guess you could almost wear it as a dress, maybe it is a predecessor of the 50s house coat?

Can't you see the lady of the house ready to give her bungelow a thorough spring cleaning? Perhaps she lives in one similar to this? Cute isn't it!

I did a bit of antiquing yesterday. I am so excited to share my newest finds with you, hopefully soon!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Antique Record Cabinet

Last week I succumbed. I couldn't resist any longer, I bought a 1920s record cabinet! It had been calling my name for a month, then last week I stopped in at the antique store on a totally different errand, and the price had been reduced!! Who can resist that!!
 My pictures are not the best. But you can see it is a beauty. The tag said it was a record cabinet, for phonograph records. But to me it looks like a side board for the dinning room. Currently, I think it is going to be used it the living room as a side table. I can just see it with a lacy scarf and a lamp with a pretty glass shade.

 It looks like it would have been the perfect size to store records. I am thinking it is from 1920-30 era.
A close up of the lovely detail.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

History of the Clothes Dryer

I was recently asked if I knew when the clothes dryers became popular. Not a question I had thought about much, the dryer tends to get overlooked. After doing a bit of research here is what I found out. Quite facinating!

From far back people have always wanted a better, faster way to dry clothes then using nature. In the 1700s a "ventilator" was invented, a drum with holes that was turned over a fire by hand. It was never really practicul as the clothes smelled like smoke and soot, and there was always the risk of catching fire.
In 1892 a patent was granted to George Sampson of Ohio for a ventilator type dryer that used the hot air from a stove. This method was not too efficient as the clothes were laid out on racks and only a small amount could be dried at a time.

Finally J. Ross Moore, a North Dakota farmer who was tired of hanging clothes out in the freezing winter weather, came up with the idea of a drum type dryer. After 30 years of perfecting it, Mr. Moore persuaded the Hamilton Manufacturing Company of Two Rivers, WI to  manufacture his dryer. The "June Day" automatic clothes dryer was introduced in 1938. During WWII production had to be halted but started again in the late 40s. According to an article on the internet "In 1955, only 10 percent of U.S. households had dryers". But that soon changed! The automatic clothes dryer steadily gained popularity until now every household has one. Source: ehow-The History of the Dryer

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

February Heart Aprons

A few aprons with hearts to celebrate February! In the 1940s you will notice a heart theme in a lot of aprons. Not sure why.... Maybe because the sweetheart neckline was so popular.... Or because a heart would of symbolized support for all the men away at war?

In the 1950s themed aprons were in vogue. For every holiday you can find an apron..... Valentine's, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, New Year's, Summer, Spring...... As you can see from the pattern above.  

Happy St. Valentine's Day!

I picked up this little cutie last year. Love the sheep!
In our house Valentine's is usually overlooked because we have so much going on in February. Sometimes we do manage to make a batch of cookies though. ;-)
Happy St. Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Cookbook Project-Ginger Snaps

 Ginger Snaps from "Good Housekeeping's Book of Recipes and Household Discoveries" copyright 1930.
As you can see the original recipe is a little vague in directions and oven temperature. But I didn't let that stop me! Beware though! This makes about 10 dozen cookies! I ended up freezing about three quarters of them. Another interesting aspect of this recipe is the strong tea. I have never seen this before and am not quite sure what the purpose of it is. In the finished cookies you can't tasted it, but in the dough I could. I hadn't heard of boiling molasses before either. As most of you know, molasses and baking soda create a reaction! I didn't really think about this and used a small saucepan to boil the molasses. So when the baking soda went in, I almost had an overflow and had to quickly dump it in the bowl!! Word to the wise-use a regular size saucepan.
 Ginger Snaps-Updated Recipe
1 cupful sugar
7/8 cupful shortening (weird huh? I just eyeballed it.)
2/3 cupful cold strong tea (I used two black tea bags to make it strong)
1 teaspoonful ginger (the family thought there could be more)
1/2 teaspoonful cinnamon
1/2 teaspoonful cloves
1 cupful molasses
2 teaspoonful baking soda
5 1/2 cupfuls flour
In a bowl cream together sugar and shortening; add spices. Put molasses in medium size saucepan and bring to a boil. Carefully add baking soda, stir in. Combine molasses/baking soda mixture with sugar/shortening mixture in bowl. Stir in flour one cupful at a time, remembering "too much flour makes tough ginger snaps"! Let sit for an hour or more. Roll thin (about 1/8"). Bake in 350 degree oven for about eight minutes. (You can't really burn ginger snaps, the more they are cooked the more crispy they will be.)
Makes about 10 dozen crispy crunchy cookies!
Very comparable to Swedish ones bought in the store. If you notice I even cut them out in a flower shape!

And don't forget to wear an Apron!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Cookbook Project!

Tomorrow I will embark on the great Cookbook Project! As you can see I have a nice collection of old cookbooks, but sometimes they get forgotten. When one feel the need to bake something, one usually reaches for the tried and true recipes. But there are so many unusual and great recipes in those cookbooks, I can't stand letting them get forgotten! So I am going to cook two recipes from one of my cookbooks a month and share them with you! Most of my books I have had for years and not tried five recipes out of each one!
A few cookbooks are going to be challenging as they aren't always clear in their directions, as you will see. Come back tomorrow and read about Ginger Snaps!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

McCall's Party Apron

My great aunt gave me the pattern for this apron years ago. Not until recently did I discover this ad on the internet. Designer Luis Estevez and the Quaker Oat Company teamed up to put out this promotional in 1967. It came free in your box of Quaker Oats cereal.
I love the poka-dots, would love to make one with fabric like it!

My version, not the best of pictures and not the best of fabric choices. What one doesn't see clearly in the advertisement above, is the waist ruffle is actually shaped on the ends to merge into the waistband, which I think is a charming feature. And it also adds more coverage to the waist area.
An interesting piece of history, don't you think?