Thursday, November 29, 2012

1930 December McCalls Magazine

"Insist on a McCall Pattern - It's the short cut to Paris style"
 I am not a great fan of fur, but don't those 1930 coats look handsome with that large collar? I also love the Santa tucked in the corner, even though he looks a little out of place.
"These new Paris designs achieve a maximum of smartness with a minimum of material"
My favorite is 6329. When I think of the early 30's, I always think of their great collars/necklines. So chic! Or as the magazine says- Paris Style!
And who doesn't need new night wear for Christmas?! You can choose from either the newest French pajamas........
..........Or a more traditional floral silk negligee. Which would you prefer?
 I am definitely a floral silk negligee kind of gal. I love how it wraps over and drapes!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving Holiday! I for one, got tired out! There was cooking and pie making, working on my house, visiting with family, cleaning house, washing dishes ( I am sure everyone washed a lot of dishes, it seemed like an endless chore!), a little yarn shopping, Christmas planning, more work on my house, sewing, knitting Christmas presents and don't forget a bit of relaxing!!
 Finally I got a picture of the hall floor! Not bad for having two layers of linoleum, a half inch of tar paper and being a hundred years old. Just needs a bit of sanding and a coat of varnish. I also got all the staples out of the living/dinning room and the downstairs bedrooms. Now I just have to de-staple the stairs and the upstairs bedroom. I am not sure why carpet installers think they need so many staples to hold a carpet pad down.....
I also got a bit of sewing done! Almost finished with my flannel robe, just a bit more hand finishing and I will be ready to share it.

Now on to Christmas planning!!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A 100 Years of Thanksgiving Dinners

Norman Rockwell's cover for Literary Digest 1919
I was pondering the tradition of the "Thanksgiving Feast" and was rather curious to see how it has changed over the years. I was very surprised how it HAS NOT changed! Here are a few menus from my cookbook collection.
"The Original Fannie Farmer 1896 Cookbook" copyright 1896
Oyster Soup      Crisp Crackers
Celery      Salted Almonds
Roast Turkey
Cranberry Jelly      Mashed Potatoes
Onions in Cream      Chicken Pie
Fruit Pudding and Sterling Sauce
Mince, Apple and Squash Pie
Neapolitan Ice Cream      Fancy Cakes
Fruit      Bonbons
Nuts and Raisins      Crackers and Cheese
Cafe Noir
"White House Cookbook" copyright 1899
Grapes      Oak Flakes
Broiled Porterhouse Steaks
Codfish Balls      Browned Potatoes
Buckwheat Cakes and Maple Syrup
Wheat Bread      Coffee
Oysters on Half Shells
Cream of Chicken Soup
Fried Smelts   Sauce Tartare
Roast Turkey      Cranberry Sauce
Mashed Potatoes      Baked Squash
Boiled Onions      Parsnip Fritters
Chicken Salad      Venison Pastry
    Pumpkin Pie      Mince Pie
Charlotte Russe      Almond Ice Cream
Lemon Jelly       Hickory Nut Cake
Cheese      Fruits
Cold Roast Turkey
Scalloped Oysters      Potato Salad
Cream Short-cake      Eclairs
Preserved Egg Plums
"Good Housekeeping's Book of Meals" copyright 1930
Menu #1
Cream of Mushroom Soup
Roast Turkey      Giblet Gravy
Buttered Spinach      Mashed Potatoes
Cauliflower with Hollandaise Sauce
Cranberry Jelly
Romaine Salad and French Dressing
Individual Pumpkin Pies
Nuts      Whipped Cream
Raisins      Coffee
Menu #2
Halves of Grapefruit
Roast Duck      Apple Stuffing
Baked Sweet Potatoes
Creamed Turnips      Cole-Slaw
Baked Squash
Cider      Ginger Pudding
Foamy Sauce      Coffee
"Betty Crocker's Good and Easy Cookbook" copyright 1954
"American Traditional"
Roast Turkey with Stuffing
Mashed Potatoes      Giblet Gravy
Creamed Onions
Mashed Rutabagas
Cranberry Sauce      Hot Rolls
Celery Hearts
Mince Pie      Pumpkin Pie
Isn't that interesting?! I thought it was fascinating that Turkey, mashed potatoes and cranberries have all stayed consistent. One can also see as the years have gone by how the menu has been simplified. I thought it was very interesting that the updated Fannie Farmer Cookbook (1922) had the same dishes as the earlier edition.
Happy Cooking!!
And don't forget your Apron!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I've got Steam Heat......

This song came to mind on Saturday when I was working on my house.
My entryway floors looked like this when I moved in. Underneath was a second layer of linolum and then a layer of tar paper. If you have done any remodeling you have probably run into this too. It was a very common practice to glue a layer of tar paper on the wood floor for noise reduction and a moisture barrier. Unfortunaly, no one thought about getting it up......
After doing a little research online I found quite a few people who had success with steaming it off with a wallpaper steamer. So on Saturday I set to work with my Mom's floor steamer and a scraper. It works!! To look at them now, one would never know there was ever tar paper on it. It still took time and a lot of elbow grease, but it was worth it! Sorry, I don't have an after picture to share, my sister is up north and took her camera with her.
So that is why I had "I've got steam heat..... I've got steam heat....." stuck in my head!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Cookbook: Our Favorite Recipes

 This is one of my favorite cookbooks. Even though I haven't made a lot of recipes from it yet. Why is it one of my favorites? It was put together by the ladies of St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church in West Bend, WI in 1949. I didn't know one could self-publish a cookbook that early! You can see the personality of each lady jump off the page as each recipe is in her own handwriting! I have never seen anything like it.
 I love just looking through it at all the different handwritings. The little sketches accompanying the recipes are wonderful too.
 Baked Ham by Elsi Ramsthal and Ham Loaf by Mrs. H.C. Bennallack. Such distinctive writing.
 Pecan Pie by Mrs. A. D. Alberecht. The little squirrel makes me laugh!
Rose Cake by Miss Hattie Miller. This recipe looks intriguing, chocolate, rasisins and sour cream....
Now all I need to do is find a little time to try some of them out!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Vintage Flowered Canisters

These canisters are the first thing I bought for my new house!  The plan is to decorate the kitchen in blue with touches of red. The minute I saw these canisters I knew they would be perfect! Don't you think canisters are a great way to add a vintage touch?
I love the flower decal! 1930s-40s?? The canisters are in great condition except for a small spot on the back of the largest canister where the paint is all crackly. They also were a great price! Who can pass up on that!
Because they are tin, I don't feel comfortable about putting flour or sugar in them (the original idea) so I have now decided they will be cookie cutter containers! I also have some tart tins and biscuit cutters that will go in them. Depending on how much room we have left, possibly one will be for raisins and nuts.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Thrill of a Smart Fitting Gown

 I am sure we would all agree with the title of this advertisement! They certainly had a way with words then. This is a beautiful page from The Ladies Home Journal, 1925. Don't you love how colorful it is? Color ads are always such a treat.
I love all the dresses in the ad, but this one really caught my eye. Not sure if it is the bow catching the over skirt up, the subtle polka dots on the fabric or the hat! Just love that hat.
"Pictorial Review Patterns for years have been the choice of women who demand chic and smartness-whether in a simple frock or an elaborate gown."
 This ad is on the reverse side. It just makes me laugh! Don't you love the names they gave products?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


The house renovation has begun!! I let the brothers loose with sledge hammers, which can be quite dangerous! Not that they don't know what they are doing, but sometimes they can get carried away! The entire bathroom is down to the studs, it was amazing how fast that went! All of the horrible carpet is gone and the kitchen is partially dismantled. Which is good, because that is where it needs to be. We are not gutting the kitchen just re-doing the floors, painting cabinets and adding new molding, counter tops and sink.
The bathroom ready for new start. Looks a little scary, doesn't it? Because the house was built in 1923, the bathroom is rather small. It will be a tight squeeze to fit everything in, but it will be cozy!
 This was the treasure we found on Saturday behind a kitchen cabinet. It makes you wonder how they got there.....and what one has left behind in houses for future generation to find..... All the houses we have ripped out, we have found things stuck in cracks and crannies. Coins from the when the house was built, hairpins in the floorboards, letter openers, old newspapers....
Aren't they cute?! Dad says they are Bingo markers. I haven't quite decided what to do with them...... make them into magnets?.. frame them?......

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Yes, indeed! I have joined the ranks of happy home owners! You don't know how hard to was not share the news with you friends. But, it was a HUD house and every week I was sure the whole deal was going to fall through. Thank goodness, I am done with that and it is officially mine!
We call it the "little house". It reminds me so much of a little cottage. Don't you think I should name it? Built in 1923, it is a one and a half story bungalow with three bedrooms.
This little gem hasn't really been updated since the 1950s when the kitchen and bath were done. Of course, that means there is a lot that needs to be done. The floors need to be refinished, carpet pulled up (including some in the kitchen!), walls painted, insulation put in, more walls painted, the bathroom re-done, trim painted, kitchen cabinets painted.
 Please bear with me if my posts get a bit waylaid...... Life is going to be crazy! I am not sure you will hear much about aprons.....I have paint colors, plumbing fixtures, curtains, tile flooring, hardware, sinks, light fixtures and decorating ideas filling my head!
  But I will take you all along on the journey! Are you ready for a lot of do-it-yourselfing and decorating?! I have decided to post the before and afters room by room as I get them done,instead of one massive picture post.
One of my favorite features is the front door. Yes, it is original. Even the door knob!