Friday, June 5, 2009

5 June 1955 “The Tonight Show, Women’s Golf, Cakes and Recipes, and Far Too MANY Things To DO!”

Tonight on the Tonight show, which started with Steve Allen before Johnny Carson’s time, Steve will interview Joan Crawford. I could not find a video of that, but here is an odd video of the show form this year.


new yorker june 4 1955 Here is the cover for the June 4 1955 New Yorker. This cover is very evocative. I love the perspective of the solitary figure making the gravel free of footprints in the shadow of the great cathedral.

 louise sluggs Louise Suggs wins LPGA Eastern Golf Open today in 1955. She was one of the founders of the LPGA Tour and thus modern ladies' golf. She turned professional in 1948 and went on to win 55 professional tournaments, including 11 majors. Women, it seems, were making names for themselves all over.

Last night was my hubby’s work party and here is the cake I made for it. It was  a goodbye party for a co-worker. I made my old reliable chocolate fudge cake and fudge frosting. They will always please and will be moist. The icing is easy to spread. The decorating icing was confectioners sugar a little melted butter and milk to the right consistency. Really, I just mixed them together until they were thick enough to handle. I could have done something more dramatic, but wanted to make it rather simple and twee, very 1950’s I think.

Here is the recipe:

feathery fudge cake chocolate satin frosting

katherine cake 1 I made a double batch of cake batter and frosting so I could make cupcakes as well. chocolate cupcakes 1 cupcakes 2  Here are the two cake tins I used to take my delights to the party. yellow cake tinThis yellow one is a ‘new’ one. The local antique shop owner, who I have come to know, was renting out a space and had set out some things with a ‘free’ sign. That is how this little lovely came into my life. In the rear you can see the silver 1950’s cake tin I have shown before. It was nice to have the two , one for the cake, the other cupcakes.

I would say the party was fun and the cake was a smash hit. Hubby says I may become the ‘baker’ for work now, so that may be good or bad. I suppose at the next work function they will be asking hubby to ask me to whip something up. Really, it is a great compliment, and to be on the ready for just such a last minute creation is certainly something a genuine 1955 housewife would have had to do. Therefore, I shall be always on the ready for any unexpected last minute cakes or dinners that need to be whipped up. “Have stocked panty and stocked cook book shelves, will create” should be my credo over my pantry door.

Now, today I have much to do. I have a house full of guests coming tomorrow to celebrate my hubby’s birthday. Today, in the rain, I have to finish laying some sod. Finish my little deck I started (part of a larger project on the side of my house by my chicken yard) bake my homemade cheese cake, prepare homemade potato salad and sides. Then tomorrow give the house an extra thorough cleaning and set out the table, cut flowers for the house etc. This is a very busy week. I have definitely over scheduled.

I have come to realize that over scheduling, though good for the challenge, does not always make for happy outcomes. Perhaps it is a layover from the 2008 me, where I would find myself rather lazy and then when it was time to ‘get to it’ I would pile an incredible amount of things upon my plate and plough through them, leaving a trail of mess and tears in my wake. I think this is not the way to go about it, but one does need to grow. Old habits and all that.

One of the main elements 1955 has taught me is self-evaluation. It is odd, as I have said before, this was a time where we were really told to ‘lump it and get on with it’ and odd that such behavior and attitude should be the very thing I need to move ahead emotionally. The idea now, when I get blue or upset with a task I am trying, is rather than have my ‘modern me’ reaction of anger and sulkiness, not unlike a spoilt child, I am then faced with looking at what I have done and what needs to be done. I then look to my past women, put my ‘perspective goggles’ on and think, “Well, had I just come out of a war…” or “what would I have had in the Depression…” and “The constant fear of nuclear attack would make me wonder…” Such large ideas and fears mingled with what I see as doable in my homemaking manuals, forces me to stand up, stop eating (another bad habit, guilt or sad eating, from the ‘future me’) and get on with it. There is not time to wallow. You can worry about things later, right now you have laundry to do. If you want vegetables to can this fall, get out to the garden and weed, mulch and water. That fence is not going to put itself in. If you want a deck for your family to enjoy, and you want the skills to make it, get to it already and stop moping about.

So, with this ability that has sort of just come to me, I need to now apply that same element to my ‘over scheduling’. I need to see now that I do indeed make a normal realistic daily schedule and that when I want to do more, I need to work it into the schedule in a way that is fitting with the new me, and not the old lazy me, who would sit about and then rush last minute. I have to break that habit of piling too many things together because in the past (which was ironically the future) I would put things off until last minute. Now, I really do not do this, but yet then feel the need to have that last minute rush, which is silly and no longer necessary. But, growth is perpetual. I should not like to think I have reached a point where I can not grow more (except my waistline of course!). So, there it seems, another lesson learned from 1955.

It is odd that I should do it now, overschedule,  as I already have really busy days everyday. I literally am, it seems, always ‘working’ though it is work I love so there is very little ‘toil’ in it. However, now when I want to re sod and build a deck BEFORE a party, I find myself lumping it all in at the end which results in my normal schedule suffering, when really it needn’t. I think part of this project for me has become, trial and error. I am not superwoman and I am not infallible, so I stop, assess, readdress, and change. But, I don’t wallow in it. I just think, “Well, ole gal, this didn’t work this time, better try a new track” and off I go.

It is good feeling accountable to others as well. Not only to myself and my hubby and Gussie (who shares our home) but to you readers. I often feel I need to ‘live up to something’. And that, it seems, is a great boon. The more one can get out of oneself the better for Action. And with the proper balance of introspection, it seems a rather well-adjusted psyche is the result.

See what dears you all are to me, even those of you who do not comment, but read, you push me forward! I sometimes think, “well, the readers wouldn’t expect me to feel conquered by this, so go ahead with it!” Some of you have told me that I have sometimes inspired you and I would like you to know that you certainly inspire me. It is a fine thing, this community. Though we are not face to face, it is very valid that we spur one another on.

So, that got me thinking about how this blogging is obviously quite a modern concept, but really , in a way, it is the modern ‘letter writing’. There has not been something for awhile that compares with it. Certainly, emails made it easier to communicate, but then it seems communication was replaced with quick little “hi's” and ;) and so on, but now, in the form of blogging, one feels the need to delve and express oneself, much the way our ancestors did in letters.

It has also had me come to see that element of community that exists in the written word. Certainly, we do wish we could all live closer to one another, sharing coffee, recipes etc, but think how our forebears shared the same frustration. Certainly they had friends and relatives they shared with through the written word and though they could not be always together, they lived, in a way, in the written word.

Language has always been elastic. Usage, spelling, context, slang, it changes with time, but the ability to communicate, to express emotions and feelings with some slashes to the page (or the computer screen) has been around for quite sometime. What a lovely thing it is. And what a community it can create. It has come to make me realize that community does not have to always be going out to your neighbors, but sharing and helping and being helped by those that are a part of your world through the written word.

I am proud of our community we have begun to build and I feel honored to be a part of it. Though I may not be as quick as I would like in answering letters from you on actual paper (Next Wednesday my letter writing returns to normal schedule) is is such a joy to receive them. It does make one feel good and excited to get an actual letter. It becomes a little ritual: collecting them up at the post, the joy in seeing the handwriting and checking the stamp for its source. Then, boil the water, tea is on, curl up with them and delve in, as reward for a long days hard work. That is something that is not comparable to just ‘reading emails’. Though, I do love that too, so don’t feel you cannot still email me, but the actual letter reading, it has such an antiquated feel to it now. You can sometimes imagine yourself a heroine in a Jane Austen novel, where the letter was the end all be all of communication, they not even having railroads as of yet!

So, thank you all for being and making our community here. Now, however, I have made this mess of far too many things to do for this week, so I had better get back to it. Sunday I will post pictures of food and such of the party as well as recipes. Have a good weekend ahead and Happy Homemaking!


  1. I've just found your blog and have spent the past several days "catching up". I'm quite excited about your "project" and really do think there ought to be a club. I'd certainly join in!

    Good luck with your party! I'll be waiting to see the pictures. Happy Birthday (belatedly) to your DH!

  2. Good luck with the party, and don't forget a schedule can be reorganised. Get things ready for the party first and then work on the garden and fence and deck.

    I have a pair of vintage black mesh gloves that I'll send with my next letter, but I was wondering if you had thin fingers since it's a rather small pair of gloves. If not I have a back up planned.

    Those cupcakes look absolutely fantastic. Is it really the same batter as the cake? did they come out moist and yummy?

    I'm making cheesecake next weekend for my boyfriend, he did something really nice for me so I thought I'd repay the favour with his favourite cake, even though I don't eat cheesecake.

    Anyway, you do inspire me at least and I can't wait to see how things progress over your year.

  3. Your cake looks great! You are really an artist. I bet your husband was very proud of you. Also my vintage homemaking manual says you need to plan periods of rest into your schedule, when you just drink a cup of tea and take a nap.

    Have you thought of taking up a creative hobby, such as knitting or crocheting? After the housework is done I really enjoy sitting in the sun with my knitting or just reading a book. Being a housewife doesn't mean we can't have some fun time.

    Also your blos is a great inspiration and I sure love all the vintage clips you post.

    Greetings from Holland

  4. Sorry I meant "blog" not blos:)

  5. your cake and cupcakes turned out lovely!! best of luck with your party! i hope everything goes off without a hitch. i am sending you tranquility dust for your preparations! i am hosting the in-laws sunday for my daughter's bday party. i hope my goodies look as nice! i have half a kitchen, as my dh is remodeling on his own~he can do just about anything! anyway, i have found one thing i do NOT love about the past, and that is the original linoleum we have discovered under our tile floor! IT'S HIDEOUS! but my vintage self is forging ahead and i will entertain in the midst of the project, making do and making nice! :) have a beautiful weekend!

  6. Hi 50sgal and Everyone,

    I thought you'd like this quote I came across, so I'm passing it along to you.

    "Do the best you can in the time available to you."

    Also, I've been thinking about how our time is spent and wanted to just throw out a question for thought. This question is not directed ay anyone, just something to thing about for whoever it might help. Who gets the best of you and your time, your family/home or the world?

    I have a friend who gives the best of herself to everyone and everything outside of her family/home and she gets overwhelmed by all of it because she has a hard time prioritizing her life. Anyhow, as I was pondering her quandary, I thought that by asking herself this question she might better be able to clearly see who/what should be getting the best of her and her time, and it would help her to limit herself to things outside of her family and home, instead of family and home getting what's leftover of herself. Just a thought to help all of us prioritize our lives better.

    50sgal, I hope your week is going well, and that the b-day party for your husband was loads of fun (happy b-day to your hubby). Your cake and cupcakes look beautiful, and that icing looks so yummy!

  7. PL- I like your quote. Prioritizing my day is essential. So is being flexible. It's too nerve wracking otherwise.

    The cake is beautiful. I bet it was absolutely yummy too.

    Happy Birthday to your DH. :)


  8. Thank you everyone for the happy birthdays. We had a lovely time last night and I had planned dinner outside and we have had so much rain. What do you know, but an hour or so before everyone arrived, the sun came out and I was able to set up outside and we ate alfresco after all! It was a nice evening.
    PL-I think I have in the past and now even more so, lived by that adage. It is true to do what we can the best we can in the time we have. When I thought about your question "who gets the best of my time" it was tough to answer. My home certainly gets more of my time lately, but I think that allows me to have more 'best time' with my family and friends. I am not sure if that is a fair answer.

  9. You bet right, S! It was marvelous, as usual with 50's Gal's bakery wonders.

  10. I just enjoy your blog so much. I left a little something for you on my blog.

  11. Love, Love Love that Steve Allen. so few remember that Allen was once the coolest thing on television. What an amazing talent. Thanks for the clip. Great Blog! -- Mykal

  12. I just found your blog and am loving it! I have so many thoughts as I read along. I am early on in your endeavor having just finished with January’s posts. I often feel as though I am a denizen of another time—even another century—and bemoan my existence in such a derelict world of pornographic rap, vulgarity on the TV, and all of the other insults we face.

    I don’t remember if I posted on your blog the other night (while under the influence of a sleeping pill), so if I did forgive the repeat. If I had my druthers, I would recreate the 1800s, 1940s, 1950s, and maybe more. I work outside the home, unfortunately, and so this wouldn’t work for me. Also, I think that it would be really a strange thing for my children, who are grown, and for my parents, neighbors, etc. and, I am not honored to have vintage-loving friends, which would make it REALLY trying for me to do. I don’t think that I am as brave as you. :)

    How has your family (parents, etc.) taken to this? Neighbors? Friends not of the vintage mind?

    Do you know of woman working outside of the home who is living successfully under another year?

    I have been searching for white cotton gloves like yours and have been unsuccessful. What is your source?

  13. I would say that's a fair answer, 50sgal. I tend to lump family and home together, as the two are really intertwined, as long as the home is not taking priority over the family; your time spent on the home is spent for the family as well. There's definitely a difference though. There are many women who spend time on the home but it doesn't translate to time being spent for the family in a way that enriches the family. Instead, the family feels neglected, ignored, in the way, etc.

  14. “I am not superwoman and I am not infallible, so I stop, assess, readdress, and change.”
    Thanks for reminding us all that none of us are! :)

    Now you mention written letters – I wonder if you have received my letter and my little fifties gift for you? I hope so. I’ve got lots to share with you in a new letter, but no energy nor time to write it. I hope to be able to do it soon, since I enjoy it so much. My pc broke down, completely dead, so I’ve spend several evenings giving it “first aid” and now it’s up and running even better than before. But I would like to write you a handwritten letter since it suits your lifestyle better.

    I also love being part of your community and have thought about if you are going to make a network on someday? It is great in the way that you can sort everything in categories, e.g. recipes and household tips, and start discussions and keep the thread in them. It could be an “add-on” to your lovely blog – in fact you also have a blog function on ning-networks – but pls never stop blogging, I truly love reading your blogposts.

    Have a lovely day, dear. :)

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