Friday, March 20, 2009

23 March 1955 "Middle East, a New Bread Pudding, Kedgeree, and a challange!"

Convertible Boat. A steel, all-purpose boat that looks like a shallow square box on pontoons has been developed by Trail-Craft Corp. of Clarksburg, W. Va. Designed for use with an outboard motor, the boat weighs 230 lbs., can carry 750 Ibs. as a trailer, and also converts into a tent for four, a duck blind, a wading pool, a swimming raft. Price (including tent top and four cots): $324.50. (I love that this one even has fins!)

The Central Treaty Organization (also referred to as CENTO, original name was Middle East Treaty Organization or METO, also known as the Baghdad Pact) was adopted in 1955 by Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. It was formed in 1955, at the urging of the U.S. and Britain, to counter the threat of Soviet expansion into the Middle East. CENTO was never very effective. Iraq withdrew after its anti-Soviet monarchy was overthrown in 1959.(It was dissolved in 1979.) [We see the beginning of that middle east rumble. Also the Saudi Arabian Rulers are gaining in power and money as their hold of oil begins to become the shinning beacon of power for our countries production of everything from gas to all the increasing plastics and other pertroleum products. It is amazing to me how so much of EVERY aspect of our daily life is somehow connected to petroleum. The plastics in just the computer I am now using are all possible due to it. We are so deeply entrenched, it can sometimes be rather scary to me.]

Now, let's hop right into the kitchen:

Here is the recipe I used as the base for my 'leftover cake pudding'. I had a yellow cake mix in my pantry from pre 1955 that I had forgot about and decided to make early this week. I wanted to 'jazz it up' so I added coconut and chocolate chips to the mix and then coconut on top so it would toast as it baked. It was good but hardly a contender with my other homemade goodies about (see cherry pie recipe in previous blog!) so for tonights dinner I thought, hey that leftover cake would make an interesting 'bread pudding'. I used only 1/4 cup brown sugar, as it is already sweet as it is cake. I put less raisins in and sprinkled extra cinnamon on top. I also whisked all the ingredients save the cake and then cut the cake into little squares and lined my casserole dish. Then I poured in the mixture over that and sort of mixed it and setteled it until it looked pretty, topped it with a sprinkle of cinnamon and popped it in the oven. Oh, and I (surprise surprise) drizzled maple syrop on the top half way through baking. I think if I had to go to a desert island I would need to take bacon and maple syrup, they seem to play a large role in my life.

It was funny, though, as we really didn't like or eat up the box cake, it just wasn't up to snuff compared to what I make homemade (if I can toot my own horn) but taking it and using it in a new form of a homemade recipe was such a hit. My hubby isn't really a fan of sweet, but he loved this! He said it was the best, cold in the morning as a snack as he waited for our Saturday breakfast. I am definitely going to grab some cake mixes the next time they are on sale to experiment with some various versions of this 'busy gal bread pudding' as I am calling it! Vintage friend and I were already dreaming up a version with carrot cake as the base! I think I feel a challange coming on to perfect a cream cheese/whipped cream for that one!

Ahh, the smell of my chicken boling for the homemade stock and the warm fragrance of this pudding in the kitchen was heaven. This is why I don't think I would want to do the cook for a month that hairball had mentioned some people do. I would miss that daily cooking smell. Honestly, I don't know how I lived without it before. It does make a gal want to 'feather her nest'.

Now, back to the smell of chicken boiling away. I had this recipe I wanted to try.
It is from my Boston Cooking School vintage cook book. I love the name, as if you know french, poulette translates to pullet which is a female chicken or a hen. So this is basically chicken chicken. Anyhoo, I am a jeune poulette (spring chicken) when it comes to cooking. I had some chicken thighs, which I really love. They are always so expensive as most people prefer the white meat. The juicyness AND the cost of thighs make them a favorite for me to use.
This is the sauce that goes with this recipe. Simple to make and I like adding another sauce to my repetoire. My French is a little shaky, but I think Veloute means 'to soften' not sure. (Any french speakers want to help me out with that translation?)

This presentation is not the best, I actually dressed it up with some greens, but it was really delicious. I squeezed fresh lemon on it just before serving it and though I had intended the leftovers to go into hubby's lunch come monday, he squirreled this away to his den on Saturday for a snack. I think he is really getting into my cooking! I would defnitely recommend it and plan on trying many of the other chicken/sauce dishes in that cook book.

Now, if any of you have had a good English breakfast you will have had Kedgeree. It is actually scottish. It is usually made with curry powder and I think that is because the scottish took it with them to India and it became what it is today due to that. Any English/Scottish readers can correct me on any of this. Anyway, I love eating it and found this recipe for it in the same Boston Cooking School cook book from early 1950's. I did not have any curry, so it did not have that taste, so I suppose it was sort of pre-Anglo/Indian. It was good none-the-less. It would be wonderful with fresh salmon, but I had a can of Mackeral that I wanted to try. I have to say, for canned fish, it was rather yummy. And served warm with the rice and boiled eggs on toast with fresh grilled tomatos (another English breakfast treat) it was quite fine. My hubby loved it. (do excuse the wrinkles in my linen. I put it on fresh that day and had not got to it in my ironing pile.) I have to say, fish and tomatos are really good at breakfast time. If you have not tried it, go for it. It is a nice filling start to a busy day, or a lazy day off too!

Here is what I wore this Saturday to our Vintage Dinner. It was vintage friends turn to cook, so I enjoyed having saturday off from making dinner. She made a wonderful roast and a great vegetable dish from my new campbells soup recipe book I illustrated on an earlier post. She did the eggplant dish (recipe is on previous post) and I loved it. She also made a lovely banana cream pie in her first made from scratch pie crust. It was delicious and I KNOW she loved making it. We had our usual fun and watched a Vincet Price movie 'The Tingler'. It was rather silly, though meant to be scary. I love Vincent Price films, and though this was from 1958, I still watched it. The womens dresses were wonderful and there is a dressing gown in it that I have to copy for myself.

I often come across many fun little ads when perusing my magazines. They are the intersting little black and white ads, with say 10 to a page. They often show an interesting element of the time. They offer up another level, or layer of you will, of the time. I somtimes feel like an archaeoligist of pop culture, combing through my old mags and peeling back another layer of society through what they may have sent for with their pin money from the 'kitchen money jar'.
Here is a great one, for a 'phony phone' which is in fact a usuable flashlight for safety, but disguised as a car phone. I would imagine to have a car phone in 1950s you would need to be quite wealthy or high up in the government. I wonder how many people had these? I bet they were recieved as fun 'dad' Christmas gifts with a laugh!
I am not sure if visors do not yet exist, or if this is just another attempt at one. I makes me think of the invention in the Steve Martin movie ( I know, it doesn't exist for me yet!) The Jerk, when he invents that eye glass holder that makes you cross-eyed (boss-eyed). I wonder how many stockings recieved these little lovlies for mummy on the course love Johnny and Susie, or somthing along those lines.
I like this ad for both pointing out another piece of evidence of women working in trousers, as well as showing how tight women wore their trousers then. Though, I suppose, many women recalling the 1940's would still have and wear loose trousers. I think these were more for work, biking, gardening etc. I love that the ad encourages you to buy and wear these toreador pants because it is safe, it reads:

"safe, yes, because so many home accidents are caused by tripping over a skirt hem! Save your skirts for streetwear!"

Sometimes these little ads speak volumes. They give a segment of the times that is sometimes telling of our own. This ad, for example, for this board to make it safe for your child in the back seat. I am sure at first viewing of it, as I did, you almost gasp! You think, "How could they just leave their children to sit freely in the cars". It does make you realize how much legislation has gone thru for 'safety'. Now, I am not saying it is safer to not have a child in a car seat, but how did the people back then survive? We often act as if we, in the present, have a monopoly on how things should be done or the right way to do a thing. Certainly, there are more cars today, maybe driving faster etc, but I wonder how many accidents their were with children in cars then? It would be interesting to find out.

These ads also sort of confront us with another current issue: our garbage and waste. In this little snippet about various labor saving deviced for the home, it states "doesn't it seem we have more garbage to dispose of today then we used to?" Simply stated to promote this new type of garbage burner. Yet, how loaded is that statement! In is then that so many pre-packaged goods are coming out. And boy, oh boy, hold on, because the level of packaging you will have in the future kids, you would not believe. I don't know if these are still legal today. I imagine if you are just burning trash that is animal, vegetable and packaging that is just paper, it wouldn't matter. But, did they burn plastic? I imagine it was starting to show up on some products. Then, there is this ad. I am not sure, but I think this might actually be a precurser to the composting bin. I do recall that in the 'old days' people used to bury their garbage. But, what did they have for garbage in say 1900? Old clothes that were beyond reuse, maybe old shoes beyond repair, tin cans and bones? Isn't it amazing the amount of throw away we actually have today. Just the junk mail in my mailbox is insane! Does anyone remember what sort of garbage you had if you were around in the 1950s? Did you have a dump you went to, or garbage pick up? It is all very telling and interesting

Finally, I keep badgering on and on about shopping local etc, so I thought, maybe I could prepose a project for any of you who would like to participate. What if for one week we said, only buy local? JUST for one week. When you need anything (even gas or oil change) try to go to a local place. It might be intersting don't you think? We can see what has been completely removed from our communities, like perhaps you no longer have a butcher or a baker locally, only in your chain grcoery store, if you do have one or try looking one up, go try it out and see what it was like. Did you like it? was it too expensive? How did it feel compared to just popping in and getting everything in one place etc. So, what do you think? Should we try it? Let me know. I prepose we start next monday if anyone is game.

I often feel as if I am at the university of Home and so, if we are learning, then let us make this an assignement. Let me know if you want to try it out. Next monday we will start. It will be hard, I know, as I will not be doing my weekly grocery shopping at my local Stop and Shop, but we do have a new place that just reopenend that has some groceries etc. Even for an oil change, no jiffy lube but the local guys garage. Let me know if anyone wants to try this challange with me. I think it could be fun and a great learning experience.

Until tomorrow: Happy Homemaking.


  1. Does all of this adventure make you wonder why most schools took Home Economics out of the curriculum? Properly taught, students learned budgeting, basic decorating, how to best clean and mend and maintain household items, shopping (how to tell if a garment or furniture was properly made) how to cook, and safely store food, manage basic household repairs, understand basic family relations and know...LIFE!

    I can promise you that what I learned in Home Ec was far more useful to me than Geometry ever was...

  2. I thought of you last week (hi, you don't know me; I follow the blog through Google Reader) when I saw an entry about "The Secrets of 'Leave it to Beaver'" on Mental Floss last week. Part of the cliche of doing housework with heels and pearls (and of course a skirt) came from the producers' insistence (after the first season) that Barbara Billingsley wear heels in every scene so she would tower over her growing "sons." And Miss Billingsley wore the pearls to cover a scar on her neck. And where there are heels and pearls, there must needs be a skirt (at least at that time!).

  3. In Israel we still have butchers, greengrocers, deli's (cheese and salami basically) and proper bakeries. Unfortunately because of the competition from the supermarkets the greengrocers don't use local farms, and the butchers are very expensive because it's fresh meat.

    It's getting to the point where I prefer to go to the supermarket and get the organic local stuff they have, although all my meat is from the butchers... I can't give that up.

  4. 50'sgal- This exactly what I've been trying to do since January. (Buy locally, that is.) I had one too many trips to Target where I spent too much on things because they were a "good deal" and decided it's time to just get what I need. So no more Target and chain stores are ok only if they're in my little town.

    It's been nice. I've always shopped at a few local children's clothing stores because the service and selection is great. And I prefer my local grocery store (the one I mentioned in my last comment). But I do go to Whole Foods, when I'm near there for the meat and local produce because it's just better. I go to Costco every month or less because there's just some things we need to get there. (Like what? We loce Illy coffee and while the local grocery store has it it sits for a long time and even though it's in a sealed can it didn't taste good when we bought it there. Costco carries it now so I get there or at Whole Foods.)

    I was disappointed when I went to the local gas station who also sells tires. They couldn't replace my tires because Honda has them replaceable only by the dealers by selling the special machine to do it only to their dealers. Blah! This station is wonderful- pumps the gas for you at the same price they charge for self serve, checks the fluids, etc. And they won't take tips. So I bring them Christmas cookies every year. These are the people I want to put on my really expensive new tires! But I can't. ...sigh...

    I tried our local butcher and the meat was good but they can't get grass fed beef, except Kobe that's like $50 a pound! There's another local grocery store with a full butcher in it and they have great meat- talked to the butcher and all but they're more pricey than Whole Foods, if you can believe that's possible.

    I think our society has become way too casual in their choice of dress. While I don't think all women must wear skirts I think the velour sweatsuit is a bit too much to wear to Neiman Marcus for lunch. (I honestly saw a woman wearing one. I don't care if it's that Juicy brand! Save them for lounging around the house.) I can see in the ad for the "safe" pants that this is where it perhaps started. But the woman in the ad showed concern about her look, even if she was just cleaning the house. It's just sad that undergarments are for fashion and not support. At the current size of most people in our country some good quality shapers would do us some good. But then who would bother in Juicy sweats??

    Looks like I'm off on my own little rant now. :)


  5. I love it! We all can rant now, can't we?! I agree and don't even get me started about juicy 'trak suites'. ICK. And why oh why is everything low rise? Honestly, unless you are a size 0 you get a muffin top. I know I feel more comortable and look better with clothes at my natural waist. It is almost as if low-rise is another means to make us lazy, I know I never want to bend too much in them! The other day my vintage high-waisted jeans were dirty and I saw my old gap low rise in the back of my closet. I thought, "Well, I am just working around the house", so I put them on and away I went. I can tell you that lasted all of five minutes and they are now in the rag bag, GOOD RIDDANCE! Every time I would bend to clean and reach, down they would go and if I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, eek the muffin top I had not seen for the past few months! NO, thank you. At the end of this project, my clothes are staying just as they are, nice and vintage. I don't care if I dress 1955 for the rest of my life, at least then I can collect up and keep a nice complete set of clothes, spend less and have everything I need for every occasion and there are NO occasions for trak suits except one: running!
    Wow, another rant.
    Next week I am going to really try my little mini project of only going local. That means no more stop and shop next week. Once the farm is open where I go and my own veg are growing, then it will be easier. I wonder if you live in CA, can you grow your own produce year round and if so, why wouldn't you?

  6. Your challenge is interesting. I was just thinking about your blog about buying local over the weekend.
    I do try to shop or do business with locally owned shops and resturants as much a possible. In the summer, I use a farmer's market. There are some things that I have no ideas on how to find a localy owned store - such a grocery store. I do use regional stores - they are chain, but only in my part of the country. When picking a national chain or phone carrier, I do try to use companys that make an impact in the community through charitable giving. I also find that the regional stores are more involved in the community than national chains.
    It will be interesting to see what other have to say.


  7. Hi Donna,

    Mrs Beeton claims that kedgeree (also spelled Kadgiori, Kitchri or Kegeree) is actually an Indian dish of fish and rice curried.

    It's also supposed to be served in a pyramid shape, decorated with the yolk of an egg...

    Apparently it's a good way to use up cold fish from the night before.

    Anyway, keep up the great blogging

  8. Kedgeree is a corruption of kitchri, an Indian rice and mung bean dish that doesn't resemble kedgeree at all (except that it includes rice). Creamed fish was a breakfast staple in England and the U.S. (and probably Canada and Australia and South Africa and New Zealand). Indian cooks working for British families stationed in India added the spices to tempt appetites dulled by the climate (and also to disguise the taste of ingredients that had gone slightly "off" in the heat).

  9. Oh, and veloute is derived from the word velours, velvet.

    (sorry, hit "post" too soon!)

  10. Thanks Shay, well I was sort of close, creamy, velvet, sort of, right? Interesting. I do know that Kedgeree used to be eaten in England and I think it still is today, isn't it? I know it was definitely a staple at Edwardian breakfast spreads with kidneys (yum) and etc.
    I need to make it with some curry. I am going to grow some this year, it is a lovely ornamental plant that will spread nicely and is an easy perrenial, and has beautiful dusty leaves, not unlike dusty miller.
    Any takers for the challange next week?

  11. We have our specific reasons for shopping at Costco as well, including the fact that my husband does not want to stop our membership, so I make the best of our membership.

    No matter what stores we shop in, we can do our best to avoid buying products from China. I still believe that shopping at bigger/chain stores is fine as long as it's balanced with the majority of our shopping being done at smaller, local stores. If everyone did this, the bigger stores wouldn't be as big and there would be more balance. Who knows, maybe I'm wrong and in time I'll change my mind.

    Good luck with your challenge.

  12. Thanks PL-I know the challenge will be the hardest with groceries, but like I said, we have a great little store in the small seaside town here (which is a library and the store that's it) that just went under new management. I and others were sad, as this shop is in an old house and has been the same for years. It was the place for to grab your coffee and sit in the window and meet etc, know much of where the sitting went on has been turned into space for groceries but still in a very small town way, it has to. I mean there are say three cans of tomato soup and that's it. So, obviously it is more expensive and really is there for summer sailors. However, I am going to try them next week and they also have a pretty good butcher area in there now. I will most likely get less for my usual budget, but then I will have to see what I can do with what I have. It will sort of be a sample of my 'ealier life' in the 1940s where I had to make do with what was available. I am certainly not hating people for their reasons to shop at Costco. We all have to do what we have to do, only love and understanding here. I used to shop at many chains. The hardest part for me, too, this summer, will be when I want to do some of my building gardening I cannot go to lowes and home depot. They obvioulsy have cheaper prices, but we have a local lumber yard that I can use and TONS of local nursereys that I need to support. So, it is really just a learning curve for me. I don't expect everyone to do what I do, it'd be boring then, right? I am just glad I can bring you all along with me on my journey, in fact you can laugh at me when I have to pay three times as much for my whatever from the local shop while you save more at costco, then who is the sucker, right?
    So, again, I just want everyone who reads this to know that I am not a militant homemaker trying to convert you all to my ways. I am excited by much of what I am finding, as it is all new to me. I am beginning to feel as if I see the reality of the world more, and instead of feeling powerless, I feel more empowered, if that makes any sense.
    Well, off to work on todays blog.

  13. I'll join your buy local club! :) In fact I'm already a member, but since I live in Denmark, then perhaps I don't count.

    In Denmark we sort our waste, we deliver glass and all kinds of paper and cardboard for recycling and reuse. All kinds of vegetables are composted, the remaining waste goes into the bin which is collected once a week. If we go to the dumpsite, which in fact is a recycling station, we have to sort everything in the right containers. DH drives iron to the dumpsite too. I know from my holidays in Austria that they sort their daily waste in 7 or 8 categories, so we Danes don't have to complain. The remaining waste which is collected once a week are burned in special furnaces using special high-technological filters. I've worked at an environmental department engineering and designing all the mentioned stuff. So we don't have much waste left here in Denmark.

    My parents bought a house from 1911 and we found a lot of funny things digged into the garden, mostly potsherd and smaller metal items. You didn't get much packaging back then, because you took your own pots and boxes with you to the grocery. And everything else was composted.

    I envy her waist in that toreador pants ad! ;)

  14. I really love your blog and your lifestyle experiment and the findings you've made from living in an alternative way.

    The comments you made about children riding in cars in car seats and other safety measure parents are now required or recommended to follow are ones that I've heard many times before. That we all survived, etc. and the safety measures are too stringent. It just isn't true. Infant and child mortality rates have steadily declined in the last 50 years. The United States could do a better job, but a lot of our child mortality problems lie in lack of education on the part of the parents and substandard prenatal care for women who do not have health care access.

    Children are safer in all areas now due to recommendations for car safety, back sleeping as infants to help prevent SIDS, vaccinations, and general safety like wearing bike helmets. It can seem excessive until you are holding your own baby and wanting to do all in your power to keep them safe and healthy. Car seats especially have come a long, long way and the ability to keep small infants and young toddler rear facing in cars has dramatically reduced serious injuries. Infants are very top heavy with huge heads compared to their body size and can actually become internally decapitated if their body is thrown forward forcefully in an impact.

    Here is a link to a table showing the decline in infant and child mortality rates:

    OK, so clearly this is a soap box issue for me. ;-)

  15. Oh no, not at all. I wasn't feeling like you were pointing a finger. I know that how we see and understand things will be different, especially according to where we live and the need for each family to make exceptions, doing so in the best way possible. I just know for me, even though I live near a big city, it isn't very much help. In order to get the things we need, I have to adjust our shopping style, but still keep my focus on giving as much support to local stores as possible, and being picky about which bigger stores I do shop at. Our nearest farmer's market is a joke. They sell more "stuff" than produce, so I don't even bother going. The only coffee shop in town now, because of the recession, is Starbucks, and even they are closing some of their stores. There used to be a great coffee shop that we would go to, run by a wonderful family who was so happy to see us every time we came in. They had to close down because they just couldn't compete with Starbucks and the recession. I bought more coffee from them than I normally would just because I wanted to help support them, and I loved the "family" connection we had made with them…that close knit community that we have been talking about. Anyhow, most of the stores in my area (I'm just outside of the big city) are newer chain stores. There are only a few Mom and Pop stores left in our direct area. I think the reason for this is that smaller towns around big cities are trying to compete for business and in order to do so the town brings in the bigger companies. It's sad, but I'm finding that that's the reality of living just outside of a big city. It makes buying local harder, but it's still doable...with adjustments. I’ve had more than enough of big city life. I don’t feel myself here. I’m ready to move back home.

    In contrast, the last place we lived, “home”, had a lot of Mom and Pop type of stores and businesses, life in general had more options. I had access to a fabulous farmer’s market that sold mostly produce, and a lot of the farmers grew their produce organically. There were also quite a few produce stands where the local farmers grew their own fruits and vegetables and sold them from stands. We also had a number of you pick farms that we could pick our own food if we wanted to. For a time, I was part of a produce co-op run by a self sustaining family run farm. We had several local butcher shops, one that sold grass fed meats, many locally owned coffee shops, boutiques, family owned and run grocery stores, family owned and run restaurants…the list goes on and on. It really was a great mix of privately owned, small, local shops and some big businesses, but with a heavy lean towards Mom and Pop businesses. I MISS having that. I miss the sense of community and smaller town living that that type of economic landscape provides. I’m really like a fish out of water where we live now, and have felt discouraged, but not without hope. We have every intention of moving back home, and my experience here will only help me to appreciate even more what I will have when I have it again. Really, your talking about all of this has helped me not to feel so alone and discouraged.

  16. Sanne-I, too, am envious of that waist! Wow, it sounds like Denmark definitely has a few decades ahead of us on recylcing and dealing with garbage. I think the sheer size of our country really plays a big role in not really being 'aware' of it until now. Luckily, and odd that the world luck she be joined with recession, but we have a recession. I think it can be like a war in that it can bring people and a country together. We begin looking to one another and HAVE to look at what we spend, buy, and throw out. Maybe the new Millenium reall will be a return to 'old ways' but in a new light. Wow, Austria sounds very strict. I have never been to Austria, but would love to go. Is it beauftiful? I remember we used to ski in Stowe Vermont and they have the Trapps Family lodge there, run by the real von-trapp family from the Sound of Music, it was the best cross country skiing I have ever had. They said that that bit of Vermont reminded them most of Austria, so if Austria as at all like the beauty of the mountains of Vermont, than it must be breathtaking indeed.
    Jess-thank you so much for that info. I certainly knew that it must be safer now and we certainly need to protect our young children. I do think it funny, though, that such legislation exists to protect infants from car accidents and yet, we have no unified health care for all. I think health care should also be as important as rather or not we put our child in a car seat and I am sure there are many families in our country without health care for their children. I am sure there are gov. money that kicks in in an emergency, but how many families wait on things because they don't have it or how many mothers have to go to work to help pay the high cost of having it in the first place. I have never felt so much for a national health care as I now do after this experiment. Children ARE our future, and they should have good health care and free college. Again, here is MY soapbox ;). I am glad to have that info, as I really don't know that much about it. I need to do more child-rearing research for this project.
    PL-good, I am glad you were not offended. I am sorry that it sounds as if you are not happy where you currently live. I am not sure where 'home' is for you, but I hope your family can get back there. I wonder if many people will return to smaller areas, especially now that the housing market forced so many people into the false idea of house values and now have to lose their homes, if they need to start over they will need to go to where the houses are the cheapest and where there is, unfortunately, most of the foreclosures, but maybe that will start a sort of 're-building of small america'. NOw, that would be a wonderful project. You would need some people on board for that and a group could chose a small town somewhere that was economically depressed and hurting, not too many big chain stores (or only one) and go there en masse and work to bring back the town. How wonderful and fulfilling would that project be!? And you aren't alone, look at all the crazy vintage gals out there, we are all with you, right everyone!

  17. Those ads are fun! Lucky girl that you get to enjoy them and lucky us that you share them!

  18. When I was a kid I was born in 1964) we had a garbage man and a trash man. Everyone I knew had a garbage pail sunk into the ground with a heavy iron lid that lifted with a foot pedal you stepped on. Garbage--things that now go in the compost heap or garbage disposal, was put in the garbage pail in the yard and a garbage man came to your yard every week and emptied the pail. I remember hating that garbage pail. It was always filled with maggots in the summer (EEEWWW I know) and, it was located in a place in our yard that was like a magnet for us to rip over the pedal when running. Also, the SMELL of the garbage truck!

    Did anyone else have a ragman? Or was it just my neighborhood in Boston? There was a man who would drive around the neighborhood every week n his big truck singsong yell "Any old rags? Annny oooold raaaags!! And you could wave him down to give him old clothing or rags. I really don't remember seeing anyone give rags to him though, so I don't know if it was a donation thing or he paid you for the rags.

    I remember riding in cars as a kid w/out seatbelts, and car seats were unheard of back in my day. I lived in a 2 family house until I was nine and I remember my sisters and I (3 of us) along with our upstairs neighbors all riding in the back of the station wagon--in the "way bacK'--fighting over who could sit at the back window, which rolled down then, the rear opened like a pick up truck, not up like they do now. I also remember as a teen squishing 3 guys in the back seat, all with girls on their laps, with 3 in the front. Not saying any of this was safe, just remembering how it used to be.

    I try to shop local, use my local bakery, lumber yard, small market in my town, but I do use chain stores as well. I wold use more local if they were more abundant. I was just talking about this to my sis today. With the way the economy is and war and all the worries many of us have, it can all be very scary and overwhelming, leading many to have a sense of dispair and helplessness. Sure, we can try to fight the good and big fight. But I find that when I focus locally, it can squelch some of that overwhelmined feeling. So I shop local, support my church, help in my community, support local charities. And really, if everyone did this, wouldn't things be so much more better as we would all be invested where we live, know our neighbors and community.


  19. Wow Tracy, that was a great comment. I have heard of the ragman from old days, though I myself never experienced it. Perhaps living in a city when you were younger more local things remained possible while the suburbs succumbed to the corp. chain-store sprawl.
    I am really finding that out, the shop local. I do think, though, that anyone who wants to try for a week it would be fun. Even if you don't follow thru or don't WANT to do it, if for next week when you ARE at the big chain you just think, "Hmmm, I wonder where I could buy this(whatever you are buying)locally? If not, could I once and now they do not exist?" Just out of curiosity.

  20. We had a knife sharpener man who would walk up and down the streets of our neighborhood ringing a bell. He pushed a big round stone (on wheels) that turned by a foot pedal to sharpen the knives. I haven't seen him the past few summers. It's sad because when we first moved here from the city it was nice to have someone selling an honest service door to door. Now we get a lot of teenagers selling magazines or collecting for charity. Not a bad thing, just not as charming as the knife sharpener.


  21. Where do you live S? In the us? That sounds lovely and old fashioned.

  22. Donna- I live in a suburb of Chicago. Many of the North Shore suburbs started as vacation towns along Lake Michigan so they all have real downtowns. There's also an extensive train system so people can get downtown easily. (If you watched the show Swingtown last summer, where the wives drop off their husbands in the morning and pick them up at night it's like that, but I've never seen any hanky-panky. LOL) It's a fun family outing to take the train to another town, have lunch and go back. The kids love it. The conductor even lets us bring our children's wagon on the train.

    Because our town was developed so long ago there are many sidewalks and walk to attractions. The kids can't always keep up so we ride bikes a lot with a trailer bike and Burley. It's so nice to be able to bike to the Farmers Market, ice cream store, beach, coffee shop, library, 4th of July and Memorial Day parades. (And we still have local parades- they are becoming more rare. Last year I started talking to this elderly woman who had been to the parade every year for the past 50 years.) It's not unusual for families to have just one car although the winters can be a challenge. We were a one car family for a long time but as the kids got older and had conflicting activities and birthday parties out of our immediate area we saw the need to add a vehicle.

    We still have some local stores that deliver but now they charge a fee. It's a nice option if you need it though.

    We definitely have a small town feel here. Everywhere I go there are people I recognize. And if you get to talking you either know their kids or someone who knows them, or they've heard of you- in a good way, of course. :)

    The only downside is the cost of living and housing prices. Every child deserves to live in a solid community with public services, family events, and safe neighborhoods. It's sad that it's children of more affluent areas that get these benefits.

    Gotta scoot! It's time to start dinner.


  23. Well, I can see I have a lot of reading to do here! Just love your outfit for your Vintage Day with friends. Thank you for your visit to my blog and I am looking forward to following you on this mission! I think it's great (but must admit I am writing this in an ugly cotton tracksuit~~but have sinus infection so I think I'm off the fashion hook?) I love to dress vintage and think it's great you've made the decision!

  24. We lived in a small town and composted what we could and burned what we couldn't. Most people had iron barrels in their back yards to burn their trash in. It was one of my nightly chores when I was 10 or so. It was stinky and it was smoky and it was legal til the early 70s. My father took big stuff to the town dump, which was just a huge, open hill of burning smoldering garbage (before landfills). BTW, going to the dump to shoot rats was a common activity for older kids. Really!

  25. lynn-what I notice the most is the amount of responsibility given to children you just described. A 10 year old allowed to handle a fire, and why not. You lived and did not burn yourself. Today a 10 year old is probably not even allowed to TOUCH matches, also the other kids got to go use a gun. Now, I am not a gun freak and I don't hunt but I have shot skeet and rather enjoyed it. Why not have responsibility with things that will NOT go away instead of pretending they are only bad and we need to make laws that seem as if they are not there, then they are all the more enticing to children who don't know how to handle things and hurt themselves and others. I don't have kids so I almost never try to say anything about child rearing, but hubby and I have often talked about what little responsibility is give to kids even into high school and then they are sent to college and expected to suddenly 'be grownups', but how? SO, I think it is great that you, at 10, got to handle the fire.

  26. i'm 22 but i still remember as a small child in the late 80's to early 90's that my father used to put down the seats in the back of our station wagon and lay a mattress in there for us to sleep in and i don't remember it ever really being a problem it's amazing how many of the changes too road rules have been in the last 15-20 years

  27. It does seem as if we want to increasingly let go of our own accountability and leave it to the government to make the rules for us to live by, "Now, buckle up or you're getting a ticket". It is an odd time, indeed. I, too, remember 1980's rides in the backs of station wagons and the fun of waving at passers by.

  28. you can see I am catching up on reading your past posts!
    Just wanted to add that as a child who grew up in the 50's (shameless about revealing my age) we of course had never heard the word "seatbelt." There certainly was not the heavy traffic that there is today—but I think sometimes our parents thought we were "safer" than we actually were.
    I wrote a little story about riding in my mom's humongous '53 can see what I mean! : )

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