Thursday, November 12, 2009

12 November 1955 “The Misunderstood Decade and Thanksgiving Preparation?”

This is apropos of nothing, but I just thought it a darling ad. I guess the illustrative style, the interior of the house, the party atmosphere, it just seemed very evocative of the age. There is something almost innocent about this ad, where it simply shows people gathering and enjoying the product. NO hidden message or ‘sex sells’ undertone. Just cute animation, simple message, and fun music.

A bit of news:

NAACP Protest At City Hall After Black Woman Attacked in A Church - Jet Magazine, November 10, 1955. Again, we see white and black people in this protest. I honestly feel that the 1950s always gets the rap for being racist. And then, suddenly sometime in 1960’s, magically everyone was aware and being more ‘cool about it’. While, really, the laws and law makers were speaking for our country as a whole and it was in the 1950’s post war time that racism and unfair treatment was being questioned. There were many Japanese war brides who also faced much hatred and unfairness, but our hatred of the Japanese had to be questioned when the next door neighbor was married to a Japanese woman who turned out to be your friend.

I guess, as I have said before, since starting my project I want to make clear more about the 1950’s. It seems to be a period in which so many are fascinated and yet it is so misunderstood. In many ways it is stereotyped as Poodle skirts, malt shops, and everyone mindlessly doing the same thing, that seems to be the idea. A decade of repression and oppression. And then here comes along the 1960’s to save us all from the horrible ‘rules of the man’.

I no longer buy into this stereo-type of the two decades. Really, in the 1950’s there was so much innovation, free thinking, freedoms and experimentation in art and architecture. It was such a pivotal time and, as I have said, it seems to be that pinpoint in modern technological time that was on the brink of getting it right.

Somehow, even though the 1960’s were suppose to be anti-establishment, we now are so all encompassed into a system that exists solely to provide for the establishment of large corporations which basically supply the government with its politicians. I guess that is why I really like to use the 1950’s now as a modern time frame in which to borrow and look back to try and think, how can I copy it in ways and then tweak it as if we are making a very different choice back then to end on a happier healthier future now!  Well, enough of that…

Fun ad for this metal stool.

stool adI have this very same stool and I love it. There is just something so evocative about it. I did not know that they also made little tea carts, as you can see on the bottom of the ad. That would be a handy addition to my kitchen. I will have to keep my eyes peeled at local thrift sales.

I promised to list my petite fours recipe, so here it is:

petits fours petite fours 2

As Thanksgiving approaches for we Americans, I wonder how many of you might try Vintage recipes? Probably, in America, Thanksgiving and Christmas are probably the times when many vintage recipes resurface in the form of ‘classic food’.

This is such a sweet movie and I was going to wait until Thanksgiving to post it, but thought it might be nice to get our ideas going for the up coming holiday.

You can see how the bird in this movie is definitely pre-hormone/genetically altered as today mass market poultry farms produce. I wonder if the taste was different?

I like how they have a pudding for dessert. We sometimes have a Christmas pudding, but usually have pies and such for Thanksgiving. What I really noticed was the portions. Another aspect of today’s Thanksgiving is overeating and having too much food! Here, we see a small dessert that would be considered one serving for today and yet, here it serves the whole family. Interesting, don’t you think? Do you overeat on Thanksgiving? I might rethink the amount of desserts for this year’s festivities.

 

 

 

 

32 comments:

  1. Great post girlie! Have a great day! Kori xoxo

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  2. My grandmother had one of those chairs and I loved playing with the step stool! I remember it kept in the kitchen near the wall mounted telephone I'm guessing for a place to sit during longer conversations. But the step stool was really used all around the kitchen and house to reach high objects. I had forgotten all about it. Thanks for the lovely reminder.

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  3. What cute clips! And now I REALLY want one of those chair/stepstool awesome things, especially since I'm only 4'11". Clever!

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  4. I remember my grandmother having one of those stools also, I'd love to find one sometime! And yes, I do think that freshly butchered free-range turkey from a local farmer tastes much better than hormone-injected turkeys from the big corporate groceries carry. In fact, Thanksgiving is a GREAT time to support local farmers in your area by looking for local, farm-fresh meat and produce for your table. Definitely one way to get closer to the 50's. :)

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  5. I adore my kitchen step stool. I have seen them for quite a bit of money in local antique shops, but found my at an out of the way summer 'junk shop' off cape for I belive about 10 dollars. I remember talking about it in a very early blog in spring I think.
    I need to find a place I could get a free range unfrozen turkey. I will ask around.

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  6. I agree that the 50s are very much so misunderstood, and I don't think all women were treated unfairly by their husbands, nor do I think all women hated being at home. Of course we have more rights now, and I wouldn't want them taken from me, but I can never seem to discuss the 50s without some negativity in real life...And what many people don't get about their wonderful 60s is that hippies were more into themselves than others...

    It was a simpler time that was more family oriented, less self oriented like today's materialistic world. I so would love to be part of a homemaker's circle, but it would be rare to find in North Anerica nowadays...Most online forums I have read are "stay at home moms", meaning they stay at home for their kids and couldn't dream of staying home without kids...I read a lot of negativity on those forums unfortunately since they have peer and society pressure to have a job...It's sad really when the women that do want to stay home feel guilty about it!

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  7. All our recipes for Thanksgiving are vintage - but back [waaaaaaay back] before the 1950's - I made the alongside my grandmother and she did besider her grandmother, etc. etc.

    Some of our recipes are over 100 years old and no one ever tires of them. Especially the oyster dressing. And milk gravy. And the cherry pie made from homecanned cherries...etc.

    Not everything was thrown out because the 50's ended and the 60's began. Eventhough we don't live in vintage clothing and use vintage dishes [as you do] we still eat breakfast and dinner, together everyday and I am a stay at home Mom who actually knows what/where my kids are. [NOT knocking working Moms at all - that is the toughest job of all :) - honest.]

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  8. fun post! ...did you realize you put december??? ;) someone must want christmas to come faster!!

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  9. What adorable ads! Does anyone know if that particular beer is still made?

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  10. Texas Accent In SydneyNovember 12, 2009 at 6:48 PM

    Put me down as one more person whose grandmother had that chair, hers was white ... in the tiny town of Cumby, Texas ... a good way to fit another person around the "dinette set" and a stepstool both ... we kids would move the step part up and down until told to cease and desist.

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  11. How funny that I put December, silly me. I will change that, not quiet ready for December yet!

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  12. My step-mother gave me a stool similar to that one. It's pretty rough right now. I want to re-paint it--maybe decoupage it.

    About local meat...I find myself in the neighborhood of a local meat market on Monday nights. The meat there is really fresh. They also get their produce fresh from St. Louis every morning. I'm thoroughly enjoying stocking up on Mondays and feeling great to support a locally-owned market.

    "Do you overeat on Thanksgiving?" LOL--that's rhetorical, right?

    Kris7
    Working hard at www.sccworlds.com

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  13. Fun post today. I love the videos and the recipes. I will have to give them a try.

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  14. I remember my mother mentioning that turkey was very expensive "years ago." That accounted for turkey being very special. The cost determined the size. The turkeys today have a lot of breast meat. Maybe today they are genetically modified, but they were most probably hybrids to meet consumer demand in my youth. We have raised broad breasted whites and they get really huge. As far back as I am able to remember, Thanksgiving always had a lot of food. It was the only time of year that we did. It was not uncommon for relatives or family, either. Over the years I have cut down. A family of eight, in addition to my parents at the table, meant there needed to be a lot of food. The leftovers, should there be any with a large family, were meant to be saved and eaten over the weekend. We wanted the good times to last.

    We have always had our "traditional" family dinner. I cook from scratch. So did my mother. Only one recipe was carried down through the generations, the potato/sausage stuffing. It isn't Thanksgiving without it, and a discussion of the merits of "this year's batch" always takes place at the table. In fact, the stuffing (that has a special name) IS Thanksgiving. The only recipe that was probably from the 50's was the bananan tapioca pie my mother always made my father.

    The food of my youth tasted better than the food today. At first I thought it was the innocence of youth, but it is not. We have raised our own chickens and turkeys. The meat may have a bit more chew (we consider this a good thing), but the flavor is obviously better. This has happened with other foods as well. The quality of our food is not what it should be.

    It is only a cliche to say that women, or anyone else, has it better now than "back then." I don't think women have it "better" now. Some of the "problems" got better, but other "problems" got worse. This is based on a lifetime of situations from my grandparents to my parents to my observations and first hand experiences. In addition, "better" is relative.

    The sixties were supposed to result in societal change, and it did. The large corporations were active during World WarII, and were established long before then. What was removed from our lives were the Mom and Pop businesses. A great loss. I remember those sixties well. I have no fond memories of them.

    I remember seeing those step stools in many houses, including our own. Warm memories.

    I noticed that everyone was dressed up for Thanksgiving in the film. We did as well.

    No Idle Hands

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  15. Texas Accent In SydneyNovember 12, 2009 at 11:30 PM

    The Thanksgiving film showed up how portion sizes have changed in the past fifty years ... I thought the bird was a chicken until I saw the drumstick ... there weren't a lot of side dishes and they wouldn't have much left over ... I buy a big turkey, not the biggest, but too big and we have leftovers for days (and days and days), have sometimes even had turkey tacos on Day Five.

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  16. Hey 50's Gal,

    My dad's mom up north had one of those stools and when I was a little girl that was my chair to sit on at the supper table.

    Thank you for bringing back some wonderful memories, the chair was not bright read like that but was beige, but my retro 50's chair in my kitchen are of the same colour as the ad for the stool and boy do they look pretty in there :)

    Mom in Canada

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  17. No Idle Hands-I agree with the relative merits of 'better'. What I am coming to find is that we live in a time when we honestly can pick and choose, yet due to the media, we often are 'lead'. We can take advantage of modern medicine and tools such as the computer, but with common sense and determination, we can try to hold on, bring back and reinvent the good of the past. Food is a great example of this. We need to honestly support and try to work towards less genetically modified foods and over processed livestock. If we cannot raise it ourselves, then we need to try and support someone locally who is or try to find a way to start ourselves locally.
    We will most likely have leftovers for this Thanksgiving, but thanks to my birthday gift of my mixer with the meat grinder attachement, I will be able to grind up some of the leftover meat.
    The chair is very evocative of this age. I have one in its original red. It still needs to be done over, as there are some scuffs and paint stains on the red, but I want to match the color as close as possible when I redo it.
    Texas accent-mmmm turkey tacos! I want to make a nice big 'leftover' pot pie with layers of various things, turkey, yams, veg, topped with mashed potatoes and then when served, topped with cranberry chutney. Sounds, yummy, doesn't it?!
    Mom in canada-what a fine memeory. Don't you love that red, it is a main accent in my kitchen as well!

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  18. Thank you, I had forgotten that commercial! We didn't have that exact stool, but one similar. I didn't get to watch the whole Thanksgiving video, but we had a swinging door between the kitchen and the dining room - just like that one. I also like how the mom is having the boys help her! We always had to polish the silver and set the table and...

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  19. Well my walls are taupe in my raised ranch and I love my maroon red, I also rescued out of someone else's trash light beige actual 50's chairs, my mom figures mid fifties, dh and I spruced'em up and they look pretty good.

    Next time though when I go to redo those 50's chairs, I'm thinking bright candy apple red :)

    I almost picked that out the first time.

    What I wouldn't give for a stool like that :)

    Mom in Canada

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  20. I think what you called a "tea cart" is more what we have called a "utility cart." The held small appliances or were an place to put either the dirty or clean dishes after a meal during clean up. Some I've seen from the 70s had an electrical outlet built in, so were definitely to be used to house the small appliances.

    I used to have one and it held our breads & cracker containers on the top; cookbooks that I planned to use soon, on the second shelf and the boys, being toddlers then, crawled on the bottom shelf. They thought they were hot-stuff being able to get on it and sit there. :oD

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  21. The beer commercial is just darling. And the Thanksgiving video too. I had the same thought, Texas Accent, about the turkey being a big chicken. It's sad now how buying a turkey is all about using the coupon for free Jello when you buy a turkey. Massed farmed, genetically modified, chemically grown turkey. Blah!

    What I think is so wholesome about Thanksgivings past is it's about THANKSGIVING- not about Black Friday deals and commercials promising 50% off if you shop from 5am to 8 am. It also wasn't about stuffing your face. It's like now Thanksgiving is the only time people sit together and eat a meal. And to make it a "real" holiday you have to overeat to the point of stomach pain, but not to worry, there will be an Alka Seltzer or Tums commercial reminding you what you need to feel better. It's all about SHOPPING, not about giving thanks.

    I remember my dad having to go to work the Friday after Thanksgiving, being in the retail industry, but I never remember my mother planning her Black Friday shopping and dragging us to the mall to get the "deals". I don't remember my friend's parents going hog wild at the mall either.

    Everyone wants the "traditional" holiday but the food companies use this to sell "homemade" deserts from a box, bottled gravy, and boxed mashed potatoes. If the majority of households can't make a home made Thanksgiving then we are really in bad shape. sigh.

    S

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  22. Gosh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to sound so negative and depressing in my above post.

    S

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  23. sarah-don't worry, we love rants here! And I agree with you. Isn't it interesting that Thanksgiving is most likely one of the few days people actually, as a family or a couple, eat at a table? It's like we are a nation of college students or latch key kids, why use a table when you can balance food on your lap or coffee table in front of the TV? If we sit at a table we might have to TALK to one another about something other than what is on tv. Having been on the other side of the homemade world before, I can definitely say, once you learn to make your own, it is surprisingly fast and easy. Last night I had a craving for cheese crackers and did not want to go out nor to buy 'store bought'. I found a recipe and couldn't believe how easy they were. They, of course, tasted 1000 x's better than 'cheezits' and were so easy. It was butter and grated cheese spices and flour and that was it! Next time I am going to make a large batch and run the dough (which is very pliable being butter based dough) through my hand crank pasta machine and get a nice thin dough and then cut it more uniformly. I love finding other ways to have 'comfort' foods made from scratch.
    Kay-that makes sense that it is a utility cart not a tea cart (meaning that which I could 'serve' from) as it would be a great way to store things in the kitchen and then be able to wheel it out to use it and then wheel it away. I like it!
    YEah, I wonder if we could pinpoint exactly the year it became "black Friday"? It is another example, if we bother to dissect the situation, that a tradition is being used as a means to sell us things. We have a warm family time, but why bother cooking together when you can 'just add water and stir'? I really like Thanksgiving and this year we are having a few guests so I am excited to try out some new recipes.

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  24. instead of "black friday"(hurl), the whole family gets together all over again at my house that evening. we make hot turkey sandwiches w/gravy, eat leftover pie and watch old christmas movies to have a sort of kick off to the christmas season. we might let the kids watch "white christmas" or "charlie brown" and then one more for the grownups. they get to have hot chocolate and homemade marshmallows too. yum!! we build a fire in the fireplace and it's just so nice and cozy. oh, and homemade marshmallows are one more thing that is thousands of times better than store bought. they are absolute heaven!! i loved the "shopping rant". our consumerist society just is so sad. the fact that most stores are now open ON THANKSGIVING is just more than i can bear. you get an EVEN BETTER deal if you forego being thankful for even one day and succumb to the greed....ugh.

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  25. Kelly-so true about the shopping/greed AND the marshmallows! I made a wonderful batch of peppermint marshmallows once, as I adore peppermint hot chocolate. You just reminded my of that recipe, so I need to dig it out. I am also starting to pay attention to corn syrup and it is in EVERYTHING! That is why I want to make my own soda/pop. Even store bought bread has corn syrup in it! Now, I had better get back to my apron making!

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  26. Also, that sounds like a lovely tradition, much better than sitting in traffic and standing in lines so we can hand our paychecks over to retailers to buy stuff we don't need to give to people who also don't need it!

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  27. I just looked up Black Friday and it seems is was coined in the 1960's and at first was due to heavy traffic and then in the 1980s retailers called it that as they were in the 'black' in their account books and making a profit.

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  28. I hope you might think about making and putting your aprons for sale here on your site, just something to think about.

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  29. We'll see how they turn out. I did think that might be a fun way to make my 'homemaker' pin money. If they look good and I like their quality I will indeed try it out. Thanks for the advice.

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  30. Thanks for understanding my rant, ladies. (Do we have any men here? We should, I mean a wholesome and fulfilling home life should be available to everyone regardless of gender. We just have different traditional roles.)

    Donna- I'd love to see your aprons for sale. The idea of supporting your pin money means so much more than buying from those awful corporations who abuse their power.

    S

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  31. Thank you sarah, I will, indeed, show my aprons soon. A gal does need her pin money!

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