Monday, November 2, 2009

2 November 1955 “Happy Birthday To Me”

50s birthday Well, today is my birthday. Being a lady it is my prerogative to not say WHICH birthday it is.

tea party 50s Although I am celebrating this evening at a restaurant with a group of friends and family, yesterday I was lucky to have a lovely Ladies Vintage Birthday Tea! Though my hubby was there and my friends fiancé  showed up later to keep him company, we were mostly ladies.child tea party

When I first had the idea my friends mentioned to me if I would rather go out to tea, instead of my having to plan and prepare the majority of it myself. I considered this and realized, much of the fun for me is the planning and preparing. I love to try new recipes and of course to entertain in my home, so why not throw my own tea for my birthday.

I had such fun! It was a High Tea in the sense that we had it at 4:00. I made a spread that consisted of both sweet and savory. Here I am, happily aproned showing off my spread.birthday teaparty5I had my first go at Petits fours and was quite pleased with the result. It was white cake baked in a sheet pan. Then I sliced it into long strips splitting those in half. In between the layers I put a butter cream frosting with almond flavoring and then they were individually drizzled with the icing of confectioners sugar, almond flavoring and cream. I had to drizzle it three times, but could have done many layers to give it a more ‘finished look’. I was happy with them and they were wonderful with the tea. Sweet and melt in your mouth goodness. My friends fiancé said, when he showed up later for ‘cocktail hour’ that they were like eating sweet snow, in that they melted in your mouth. I took this to be a compliment. petite forsHere is a close up of them. One of my gifts from Gussie, besides a lovely pair of new gloves ( a gal can never have enough!) was the last of the fresh raspberries from the farm where she works. They were a perfect touch. I also used a single chocolate square and coconut to garnish the rest.

I also tried my hand at coconut macaroons, which were so easy, and I dipped them in Lindt Chocolate melted with sweetened condensed milk. Really good.coconut macaroonsHere is the recipe if you would like to try them.

Quick Coconut Macaroons

1 1/2 cups flaked coconut

1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

Dash of salt

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp almond extract

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Drop from teaspoon 1 inch apart on greased baking sheet and press down ends of coconut with back of spoon. Bake in moderate oven (350 degrees F) for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. (I had to bake mine longer, as I like them golden with  a crisp outside and soft inside. These are also wonderful with chopped almonds or an almond on top covered in chocolate. Easy AND a crowd pleaser!

There was also my now famous chocolate chip cookies with coconut (coconut themed, as you can see). I had a bread pudding I made with the leftover white cake form my petit for and leftover icing. I just broke up the cake, spooned in the leftover confectioners sugar icing, mixed in the leftover egg yolks from my white cake (I only needed the whites as it was a ‘true’ white cake) and sprinkled it with cinnamon and nutmeg. Very sweet, but a great pudding with a strong black tea.

Then for savories, I made little tea sandwiches. There were cucumber and butter, cucumber and dill mayonnaise. I also had deviled ham with sweet relish and chicken salad with sweet relish sandwiches and smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwiches. And various relish and pickles and olives and a cheese ball mixed with wine and coated in walnuts. Such a spread of little finger foods is really quite filling, and we merely used little dessert plates and then could mingle and nibble throughout the night as it went from dainty tea party to cocktail hour.

One of my friends gave as a gift a darling little pair of gold needlepoint scissors and a needlepoint set containing a threader, a magnetic needle case and an ingenius little pin you wear that is magnetic to keep track of your needles. Another friend gave me four jars of her homemade jam (Cranberry chutney, pineapple honey, blueberry, and strawberry).

We had such a lovely time.birthday teaparty9Here are some friends laughing over tea. birthday teaparty11I am not sure if you can see my hat in this picture, but it has a darling little veil which I wore early on, but raise later.birthday teaparty12Sandwiches and fun! My table clothes are both vintage. The white linen cloth was my mothers and the flowered one over that is also vintage. I love the colors of this cloth as it mingles the red and the aqua I love and felt it complimented my everyday china and plate. I could have used my fine china, but since it was a casual affair for the most part and I liked the color combination with my table cloth, I went with my everyday. It does get much love.

birthday teaparty6We took time to enjoy the warmer fall weather outside. Here we are in the grips of a funny story. The dress I am wearing (I am on the far left) I had just finished the day before. It is of a darling little plaid of black, navy, and green. I am well petticoated as you can see. I have one very FULL petticoat that I can only really wear with a heavier material skirt and it worked great with the weight of this wool. Very comfortable dress. The waistline was individually pleated and took some time, but was well worth it.

 birthday teaparty1   We took time to be silly, too, of course.birthday teaparty4

birthday teaparty2Here I am playing the chanteuse by the piano. I adore these shoes, they are one of my favorite pair and though they have a high heel, are so comfortable. They are truly a mid 50’s shoe as they have a rounded tow and a thicker heel, the stiletto and point will not be truly around until the end of the decade. 

Now, my tea party was yesterday, but today, the 2nd, is my actual birthday. I was awoken by hubby this morning with hot coffee in bed and some gifts. I recieved an old first edition of a fiction book taking place on Cape Cod. A vintage 1950’s edition on how to repair, build, maintain historic homes from the 1700’s New England. I was very excited about this because in the sections on ‘modern kitchens’ that can fit with your antique home, it has 1950’s versions of colonial/modern. I got various assortments of teas to restock the tea cabinet and my favorite gift was this wonderful vintage mixer.birthday giftThis is it in my kitchen here in our ‘new’ house just taken this morning. I just mentioned, maybe once, that I really needed a good vintage stand mixer but I wanted one that did juice AND had an attachment for meat grinding. I had no idea my hubby would have thought of this nor been able to find such a great condition one with all the original parts. And the color looks lovely with the red in my kitchen. Look how it sets off the curtains! All in all, a great birthday in a great year.

We had planned on going out to breakfast this morning, but I thought about it and considered our leftover salmon and homemade bread and thought I would rather eat at home, in comfort. I told hubby, no thanks, I think I would rather make our breakfast.

So, as I watched the eggs scramble and prepared the smoked salmon I really got to thinking. Here it was my birthday and normally it would see the thing to do was to go out and celebrate. A day OUT of the kitchen and yet I really wanted to be in there. I really felt, why spend the money and do something because it seems like I should, when I honestly would rather be in here doing it myself, eating of my own china in my dining room in comfort. This really made me realize how this year has shown the simplicity of life and its inherent luxury. The joy in my own creation and skill. Why take a break from what you really love because it is your birthday? And, here I am, at the end of this year 1955, genuinely in love with my ‘career’ and overall my life.

This made me feel very good, to say the least and of course more charged to continue learning and growing and to hopefully inspire maybe others who would never think they COULD enjoy such a life, but may find out it is the perfect fit for them.

This has been a good year and today a good birthday. I am so happy to have shared it thus far with all of you, my readers. Thank you so much for coming along for the ride with me. I truly feel we ARE a community and look forward to all your comments, opinions, thoughts, and ideas. I hope we can continue to grow and learn together.

Oh, and for fun, I wanted to share black and white versions of the above photos, as I thought they really do look vintage. I wanted some to have color so you could see our dresses and hats, but in black and white, I am amazed at how ‘authentic’ they look.birthday teaparty9 black and white birthday teaparty7birthday teaparty5 black and whitebirthday teaparty11 black and white

birthday teaparty12 black and white

Have a wonderful day, Apron Revolutionaries!


  1. oh happy happy birthday!!! you all look adorable and so very thrilled to be in each other's company!! i wish you a glorious rest of the day with your jewel of a hub! many happy returns and best wishes for a fabulous year. xo

  2. OK, I still have to finish reading the whole post, but I just had to comment on the pictures. First, Happy Birthday! You and all of your friends look just fabulous. Your hair is adorable, and whatever birthday it is, you don't look a day over 25. I am also very impressed with your dressmaking skills. Nicely done! And what a beautiful tea party spread! I particularly love that close up photo of the petit fours focused on the raspberry. It looks like a photo out of a (modern) food magazine. And my mouth was watering as soon as almond flavoring was mentioned. I pretty much adore anything almondy. If you feel like posting the recipe (after you've finished celebrating & resting up from celebrating), I'd love to have it. And again, Happy Birthday!

  3. Thank you so much both of you for my birthday wishes. I will post the recipe for the petite fours on my next post. I was rather proud of the closeup as well. It is due to my very UN-vintage digital camera with a Macro setting!
    I was proud of my dress and am going to be doing more this week and will post my outcome.

  4. Oh, and thanks for the lie of "looking" 25, if only! Much appreciated on a birthday!

  5. Happy Birthday! I loved seeing all the pictures, you looked wonderful. The dress you made is fabulous - you should be proud. The party looked lovely and everyone certainly seems to be having fun. Enjoy the rest of your day!

  6. HAPPY BIRTHDAY my dear. I'd imagine on this day last year you would never have guessed you would have 'grown-up' so much in such a short time. Do you even recognise yourself?! :)

    The black and white photos do make everything look even more authentic. You look great and the food fabulous... and what lovely presents. Eating at home is a joy and to know you'd mostly rather be at home doing the work to prepare for the meal shows how much you love it. You must feel so pleased with your productive ways and the money saved is substantial. (We have eaten out twice recently after a very long time of not, and we're amazed at how very expensive it is to just have a light meal at a cafe and that's without buying a cool drink or coffee. The choice of not buying takeaway or meals out has enabled us to progress financially and to be able to buy things we find important.)

    Again Happy Birthday!! Thanks for sharing your life. It is such fun to read your blog. Linda

  7. Happy Birthday! It looks like such a lovely tea party. And with such an auspicious start, your year is going to be fabulous. :)

  8. Happy Birthday!!!!
    Your Tea Party looked fabulous!
    Greetings from Holland

  9. Happy Birthday! What fun. I love a tea party. I love the picture of all you girls by the door .A nice fall picture. I'm lucky to have a sister who join's me when she's in town. I try to have a tea on christmas eve every year, with family members. Hope you have a great birthday.

  10. Happy birthday! Your dress looks wonderful, and your friends looked so pretty too. Sooo jealous of the mixer, though... give that hubby a pat on the back for being such a good gift-buyer, and I'll hope that my hubby does as well as yours did. My birthday is November 23, so we'll see! :)

  11. Happy Birthday! I'm a November gal myself, on the 28th. That mixer looks fabulous - I hope it works great for you!

  12. Happy Birthday!
    I am glad that you had such a wonderful celebration =)


  13. Looks like you had a wonderful time. Have a fabulous Birthday!

  14. Happy birthday to you. I am glad you had a great time celebrating :)
    Love the outfit. I plain to find some vintage patterns and sew a few outfits for myself as well. Good job!

  15. Happy Birthday! I just celebrated mine 15 days earlier. Your celebration, however, was wonderful! You did a great job! It IS better to eat "in" rather than eating "out." I love your outfits. They, of course, remind me of the outfits women wore when I was young. Good memories. Congratualtions!

    Your mixer reminds me sooo much of the one my mother had; the one I learned to bake with. Very nice.

    No Idle Hands

  16. Happiest birthday wishes to you, wonderful dear! I hope that the year ahead brings you great joy, tons of wonderful memories, and endless sources of vintage inspiration!

    Big hugs & best wishes,
    ♥ Jessica

  17. Happy Birthday 50s Gal!!!!

    Best wishes to you for a most wonderful year!!

    ~Mrs. J~

  18. Happy birthday! I LOVE that you had a party for yourself. It seems that few adults do. What a fun celebration.

    The mixer is wonderful. I love that 40's (or is it 50's?) red. Enjoy using it!!!


  19. Thank you so much everyone! What lovely birthday wishes, I am so blessed! I think the mixer might be 40's but the red looks wonderful with my collection of vintage kitchen items. I like that it might be 40's as I can imagaine it was a wedding present, as my 55 counterpart would have been a war bride!

  20. Happy Happy Birthday!!

    Loved this post--it's so personal.

    You have really got homemaker skills down pat...sewing, cooking, decorating. You certainly have the knack!! Your dress is so lovely and your friends look like lots of fun.

    What is it about November?? Me, too!! Nov. 29.

    Working hard at

  21. Happy Birthday! I love love love your dress and your tea set. Looks like a good time was had by all.

  22. Belated birthday wishes to you!
    your party looks like it was so much fun, thank you for sharing it with all of us.

  23. I had so much fun and was sad to have to be the first to leave. I am glad you had a 'Happy Birthday' though.
    great mixer, btw.
    and, I can email you some of my pictures if you like. for instance, the one of 'Crazy Eyes'! Just let me know.

  24. Happy Birthday 50's gal! Your party looks like such fun and I love the dresses :)

    Mom in Canada

  25. I feel like we just got to be guests at your birthday party, too! What fun!!! And your hubby outdid himself - he's such a gem. Happy belated birthday to you!

  26. Happy Birthday and many happy returns of the day! My daughter's birthday was the November 2nd as well(she's 14). My daughter is very clever with her hands. Lucky girl! We purchased a quality pair of dressmaker's shears for her to use in her many sewing projects. With proper care, she shouldn't need to replace them ever.

    Michele in MN
    I should also say that I love the B&W photo of all you girls standing outside laughing at the funny story. If it could be printed out in a square shape,instead of rectangular,and with a white border, one really could be fooled into thinking it was old.

  27. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, dear! :) :) :)
    tillykke med fodselsdagen - as we say in Denmark.

    Wishing you everything nice.

  28. Happy belated birthday!!
    Looks like you girls had a blast!

  29. off topic~but did everyone (who can) remember to VOTE?? the apron revolutionaries can change things by voting too :)

  30. Kelly-good point, voting and getting involved in local politics is a great way to spread the revolution!
    Thank you again everyone for your lovely birthday wishes, I feel truly loved!

  31. Happy Birthday!

    And what a totally wonderful one, you had. All round wonderful.

    The photos are so cute. Your tea spread is fantastic. And your husband is so, so, so wonderfully thoughtful.

    And thank you for taking us along, for the celebrations.


  32. You look absolutely stunning and it seems that everybody had a lovely time! Happy Birthday!

  33. Yes, Happy Birthday from me, as well.

    LOVE the pictures of you. I'm glad you have finally posted some.

    Now we want more!

  34. Texas Accent In SydneyNovember 3, 2009 at 5:47 PM

    Happy Birthday, 50s Gal! ... you're happy at home in 1955 with a lovely table set for like-minded friends ... and you wouldn't have been rushed out of a restaurant before you were ready ... no wonder you look so happy in the pictures ... am pleased to say I have finished reading the whole year, all posts, comments, clips, have now caught up with you.

  35. oh, nothing to do with this post, but thanks for commenting on my blog...and, I think I am going to take advantage of already getting Saturday off to 'tie up loose ends' so that I'm not scrambling to get stuff done last last year. But I do hope you are able to get a few things for Sunday?

  36. Happy Belated Birthday!

    Thank you for sharing all of the lovely photos and you are right, the black and white ones look like they are from 1955!

    I also have to say that I *love* your kitchen curtains! (o:

    I have really enjoyed following along in your 1955 year.--I can't believe there are only 2 months left!

    Many Blessings,

  37. Thank you, my dear friend made these curtains for this house when we had my mother and father living here, so they are special to me now. They are red gingham and have a valance/pelmet and tie-backs in cherry fabric. We have a half curtain on the door with a matcing valance/pelmet.
    Thank you again, everyone, for all the lovely birthday wishes. If only I could have had ALL of you here with me, imagine just the sound of all of our petticoats! What a joyful noise!

  38. Why wasn't I invited to that great party? :)
    Such a bunch of fabulous women! :) I've studied all the details and adore your dress and the tiny hat with the veil. The table looks lovely and all that cakes - yummi!
    And even more important - congratulations on loving your career. You are a lucky woman.

    xoxoxo from Denmark

  39. Wow! What a party! I'm glad you enjoyed. Happy Belated Birthday!


 Search The Apron Revolution