Friday, October 23, 2015

Frozen Food and One Pot Ravioli

Since leaving the 1950's I have become rather lazy sometimes with my meals. I realized, however, that the cooking skills I gained there has given me the license to fairly good meals with ease. When I was disparaging how easily I threw something together the other day to a friend, thinking as I spoke,"Oh what a lazy cook am I", she responded. You make it sound so easy, but I just can't put any meals together. It's too hard.

I am sure even in the 1950's new wives often felt a bit overwhelmed. Although many were taught cooking and baking skills either at home or in school. Today, in my post 1950's life, I often opt for simple and easy meals. As good fresh veg as possible (either my own or from local farmers market or what's in season the rest of the time), simple cuts of meat, and fruit. Makes life easy.

Yet, I too am want to make things easier and I admit to buying some frozen things as well. When I lived in the '1950s' in our other dear little house I had a vintage fridge (it is still there now, I just don't use it but I wonder what my tenants think of it) whose freezer was exactly like this. It's size dictated the few things I could choose to have in there. It was never prepared TV dinners, though, I can tell you that.

Now, at Toad Hall, we inherited a large double door refrigerator with an entire half that is just freezer. It is a monstrosity I would never buy myself. The first few months here it sat rather empty save occasional ice cream and of course some bought ahead, cut up and marinated meats. As I have got used to it, it has become fuller. Yet I only really realized the other day that there is also storage on the door of the freezer. It still is sitting empty. I just don't buy that much or keep that much food in the house in the freezer.

However, I did buy some lovely cheese ravioli and had it in there. The other night I wanted a quick meal and so I thought of it. I am sure this is no revelation to any of you who already cook with frozen, but for me, who used to make the dough, roll it out and fill them (which I will still do and freeze them myself, but not as often) it is a breeze to just grab a ready made bag of food. I boiled them per directions and them added simple jar tomato sauce. To this, of course, I revelled in the lovely tomatoes I am still getting from our little green house and cut them in as well as placed a few on top. We both love cheese, so I cut Parmesan and Romano and mixed it in. And then I placed on top crumbled blue cheese. I had a few croutons in the bottom of a bag, I am loathe to toss things since my sojourn in the 1950's, and I crumbled those in as well. The whole thing took very little time, the longest being the 6 minutes to boil the frozen pasta. I baked it all at 350F for 30 minutes and it was delicious and traveled well in Hubby's lunch box the next day. It was delicious and I served it with fresh cut basil on top. It couldn't be easier but would have been almost cheating in my 1950's time.

The 1950's did have its share of frozen. And really post war American, with its over abundance of energy, electricity, and factories wanting to pump out something to replace all the weapons they had been making, certainly provided the 1950's housewife with a great selection of freezers and food to go in it. Any way you slice it, the ease of frozen and ready made foods can make dinner time pretty simple and you can 'add in' as much high end or local grown items as you choose. I still prefer homemade, as I am not a fan of GMO foods nor the unknown put into processed eating, sometimes a gal is just lazy. I hope, however, to never be so lazy as to need a frozen Thanksgiving TV dinner.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Enjoying the moment

I can recall days in my twenties when I lived with a dear friend. Though we lived by the sea, it was a walk to get there. Yet, we gave up a lot to be there. We lived in a small converted one room garage that was often visited by nightly cricket song. And not in an endearing way, but in that the crickets, seeing it was a garage, felt obliged to move right in and sing us to sleep.

Another quiet day. I seem to have many such quiet days strung together. For me, an introvert, it is simply how I choose to live. I realize, for some, it would be hard to go days of self reflection. Though other, I believe, would love a break into such a stream of days.

On my walk today, from which these pictures are from, I thought about happiness in the context of the moment. Some may say now I am in a position to enjoy such moments being on the sea, with leisure time, and days left to orchestrate as I see fit. However, I have always tried to cherish that moment and I certainly have not always lived thus.

 We enjoyed the moments though. We had hot tea and donuts on upturned cardboard boxes for tables, and rations of hand rolled drum cigarettes. There were evenings of reading or solitaire (by hand not computer). Was I any less or more happy then, than now? I don't know I don't think so. I felt a need to be where I was and to have the time to do what I wanted with my days.

Even when I worked I always made sure that my schedule was arranged for my free time. Certainly climbing ladders and careers were attained and achieved by friends and others. For me, however, the moments was always the thing. Perhaps, in many ways, this was the lazy person's way. It may indeed be, I certainly would not run from the moniker 'lazy'. It is best to know one's limits I suppose.

Yet, on this sunny Autumn day, after my long 2 hour walk followed by tea and books by the sea, I have to think, for me at least, I trod the path of the quiet and the moment. It is not for all, but for those of you whomever feel like you are not on the right path, why not give it a try. Take specific moments of your day to be in that moment. If you are at work, make a little ritual of your favorite tea and tea cup and make sure you take that break and savor that moment. If you feel the rat race of hectic family life, maybe make a game of 'the moment' at least once a week. Each family member take that time to really just be for a certain amount of time. If it is for you and you enjoy it, then you can begin stringing those moments together more and more each week. We often make time for exercise or bill paying or even tv, but maybe a time just to be alive and awake in the moment might be a boon to the hectic pace of modern life.

I know, of course, that so many women are mothers or full time business people, and such moments are rare or hard found. Or perhaps, having chosen your path, such moments would seem too quiet or even wasteful. To each their own, I say. I learned a long time ago the world is made up of different people who like different things. I can share what I like and why but I would never presume to prescribe it or dictate to another.

Sometimes, thought, there might be that odd introvert or quiet seeker who might need the little reminder to remember to live in the moment in a quiet way now and again. You can be as happy as the queen of England at High tea in a Palace with percolator coffee and a donut on an upturned box, I know, I have done. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

A quiet Sunday at Toad Hall

As a friend asked what we were doing today, I thought I'd might share my answer here as well. I am sitting with woolens on my lap on the lawn at Toad Hall. There is cinnamon black tea and the letters of Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh to accompany me. The sky, though bright and shiny as a blue button this morning has come over grey and dramatic. And I just watched a fox ramble over our beach. Over all a rather fine Sunday, indeed.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Autumn Leaves

 Though it is not quite that time yet, here in my part of New England, soon enough leaves and their outcome will be upon us. Their beauty every Autumn also ushers in their maintenace shorty there after.

Today let's just view some lovely images of the past and Autumnal leaves. And of course a little hint on what one can do with the pesky things. Though, in all honesty, leaf mold is a wonderful garden resource available free in our own yards. Using Shredded leaves and the joy of Making Leaf Mold.

Friday, October 16, 2015

The 1950's Version of a Facebook Quiz and French Onion Soup

During my sojourn in the 1950’s my daily dose of information included not only books and magazines of the time, but the education films, made for school children, were often helpful. They gave an insight into the thoughts and ideals of the adult population of the day and of what they wished to impart to the next generation.
Yesterday I was going though them and found this one, “Act your Age” from 1949. The title made me laugh and of course think of Facebook. How many times do I see in my feed various ‘tests’: “What tea kettle are you?” What national brand sponge cake would you be? How much like this or that movie star is your dog?” I watched it.
Surprisingly, or actually not so as I often found in my year in the past, the film actually pointed out some rather sound advice and held a mirror to our own modern society. I was happy to see, once fully viewed, that in no one did the ‘bad or childish’ behaviour we were meant to not emulate if we were older include happiness or wonder. Those actions we often associate with child-like attitude of joy from simple things and pleasure in the moment were not looked down upon.
The actions it did associate as child-like made me really take note. These over reactions to things I have viewed on adults in front of children in department stores. A rash quick response which, if we really thought about it, might be better for our mental health were we to stop, assess the moment and then think, “Well, I should act a bit more calm and rational” Which, honestly, is all this film is asking of the young gentleman and ladies of the day.
In the film the main young man on his own makes a list that I thought would be fun to share. Because we could make it and ask friends, family, children, parents, what they think. It could easily be posted on Facebook to get laughs I am sure. Here is the list he made:


You will have to excuse the quality as I had to do a screen capture of the film. The idea was, if you can’t make it through the film, was that he made this list then rated himself and then asked others what they thought. You might think you act 10 when someone disagrees with you, but you friend might think you act like a toddler. That sort of thing. With the idea that one would monitor their reactions and hope for improvement.
In today’s instant world and endless stuff, we often can seem like a creche’ of spoiled children. We want what we want and we want it now and if we don’t get it you bet you are gonna get an ear full or a tantrum. One has to only ask the poor tired Retail sales person about adults ‘child-like’ behaviour.
Enjoy the film for what it is and let me know if you agree disagree or even care about reactions to situations by adults in our modern world.
And to close on a yummy note, here is last nights home-made French onion soup.

 I just use this recipe:

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A new place for the Apron Revolution

I am trying to post now on FB more like a blog and then cut and paste it here, but it is not working. I am out and about today so I will look at this tonight and see what I can see. Here is a link to the post that was unreadable but not sure if it works if you are not on FB if not and you make a page just request friend me and then it would show up I believe...1955 Take me away! HERE is post.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

My Morning Walk.

A lovely morning ramble. The leaves are just hinting at their Autumn intentions. The scent of the sea has a poignancy quite particular to this time of year. It makes me think of certain Septembers with an old friend, when our lives stretch unfettered before us. The sky is big and blue and dappled with painterly clouds. Oh, October, you charming companion.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Flats at the September Blood Moon

I forgot to share my September blood Moon flat photos. Because of the full moon, the conditions created a severe high and low tide. When this occurs here, at Toad Hall, we get flats out front and can walk across the bay. It is just a magical experience, though we have done it before many times. This time it also coincided with Ria's birthday weekend. Enjoy the pictures as we enjoyed the day.

Here are some of our counterparts of the past enjoying low tides. These are from Botany Bay in New South Wales Australia. Link Here.

Here is low tide on the Isle of Wight.

Claming at Low tide in California with Gertrude Southwork photographs.

Friday, October 9, 2015

The "Bogie" man

I am not sure when American's stopped saying Bogie and Bogie-man and started Boogeyman, but from 1912-1925 we at least were still using the English "Bogie" vernacular as is apparent in Dennison's Bogie Book. A lovely Halloween tradition before and between the World Wars.
It seems Bogie, too, was once termed differently. It was from the 16th century Scottish word "Bogle" which meant Goblin, Phantom, or Scarecrow.
Anyway you slice you, the Bogie/boogie man will be about this month and hopefully invited to your Hallow'en festivities.

Donna Davis's photo.Donna Davis's photo.

Donna Davis's photo.
Donna Davis's photo.

 Search The Apron Revolution