Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Instant Lounge Lizard

Isn't this a tempting offer? With 850,000 students how can they be wrong? I'd have been sold instantly if they were advertising drums. I've always envisioned myself pounding away on a drum set with skill. Admittedly, I have no musical talent. Alas, one can dream.

Monday, January 26, 2009

So THAT'S What's Wrong!

Coffee nerves! Who knew?

When I look at ads like these it makes me think about the women of the 50's and how much the home depended on her. The housewife was the backbone of the American home during that post-war era. And you know the saying: if mama's not happy, nobody's happy!

Personally, I don't get the jitters when I drink coffee. I can even go back to sleep after having it. This poor lady here better give up coffee altogether!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Plastic and Iron

Raise your hand if you've got some
Lustro-Ware in your kitchen. Uh, huh. And how about a cast iron skillet? Uh, huh, uh, huh. Very good.

I have a red Lustro-Ware recipe box that belonged to Mrs. Gulau which contains retro recipes along with some modern ones.

I confess that I do not own a cast iron skillet...yet. I'm waiting for the right one to come along. I'm hoping for an exceptional skillet that used to belong to someone's great-granny. One that has a patina like that of shiny coal. One that is perfectly seasoned and more nonstick than Teflon. It's out there. I can feel it.

You don't hear much about Lustro-Ware these days. It seems Bakelite gets more attention. I'm not sure why that's so, but it's interesting. I'm glad to have Mrs. Gulau's recipe box. It's a real treasure to me. And I know that, some day, my skillet will come.

Ad was published in February, 1952.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

57 Year Old Bread

Funny, it doesn't taste that old! I found this recipe for "Oatmeal Molasses Bread" in Mrs. Gulau's stack of recipes that I "inherited" from Lene's Web. This one was published in the February, 1952 edition of "Household" magazine. It was folded and kept in a red Lustro-Ware recipe box along with many, many other bread recipes, most of which I didn't keep.

I replaced the 1/4 cup of molasses with honey and the shortening with butter. I added 1/8 cup of water to the recipe too, since it's very dry this time of year. The bread came out delicious! We enjoyed some warm slices with honey drizzled on them. Tasty!

I didn't follow the pictorial series of shenanigans used to form the loaves (below). My approach to loaf-forming is very straightforward. I let the bread maker mix and knead the dough. When the dough is finished proofing, I roll it out into a rectangle close to the recommended size, roll it up gently (not too tight) with my hands, tuck in the ends and place it in the loaf pans for the second rise. Easy!

And now that I've indulged in two slices of this wonderful, honeyed bread I'm afraid I'm going to have to order some clothes from Roaman's catalog for "stout women". Is that a nice way of saying "plump"? Roaman's is still in business today and caters to "plump" women. What I really want to know is why does Roaman's send me catalogs? (If you click the photo and enlarge it, you'll notice that the clothing sizes range from 38-52.)

Here are the loaf-forming shenanigans I referred to earlier, in case you wanted to know. Click to biggify.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Mystery Utensil

Sunny sent me these photos of a mystery utensil in her kitchen. She asked me if I could help her identify it so that she can sleep tonight. She suggested that it might be used in the cheese making process when the curd is cut. Here's what she had to say about it:

"The main boby of this utensil is 9" long and 5 1/4 " wide. The interesting thing is that the wires going across are flat on one side and wedge shaped on the other, so as to make one think it is used for some kind of cutting."

I have never seen anything like this before and I don't know the first thing about cheesemaking. Can you help Sunny?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Well-Hung Furniture

Got your attention, didn't I?

Check out the furniture in this article. Those skinny-legged, low-backed chairs are so retro! The concept of hanging furniture on the wall so that it can be moved up out of the way is a bit strange, but practical. I have to admit, I've never seen it done. The only drawback I can see is the inability to rearrange the furniture once it's installed.

The retro colors in the drawings are nice and make me think of the colors my grandma used in her house. Remember avocado green? Mustard yellow? Aqua blue? Yeah, I knew you would.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness

I'm a big fan of a super-clean kitchen. I even clean my kitchen sink after each use. So this ad for Clorox bleach is right up my alley (click to bigify). Note that it's:

  1. Gentler
  2. Greater

I don't know about that clown looking bottle guy though. He's kinda scary.

While looking at this page of ads from the February, 1950 edition of Farm Journal, I couldn't ignore the image of the coughing man in the Foley's ad. Now, it might be just me, but wouldn't you look that bad if you took a honey and tar cough compound? I'll have a cough drop, thank you.

It's interesting to note how our cleaners and medicines have changed since 1950. I'm so grateful for the improvements! We certainly know a lot more about what makes us sick and ways to prevent food-borne illnesses.

I'll also take one of those cut-to-fit homes for $1885! What a bargain!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Mrs. Friedrichs

I feel like Mrs. Friendrichs lately with all the cleaning and cooking I've been doing because of the holidays. But she looks much better with those cat's eyes glasses. And check out the wide collar on her dress. Back then women dressed to the nines, even for housework. I certainly don't put that much effort into my daily appearance. I've even been known to leave the house with a case of bed head. Shameful, I know.

Check out her nifty washer/dryer setup. How nice that she doesn't have to bend over to load and unload the machines! I also like the built-in kitchen radio above the fridge. They really knew how to build things back then, didn't they?