Tuesday, November 24, 2009

24 November 1955 “ Thanksgiving Menu and My Role of Homemaker”

turkey card I have been rather busy today with much holiday to-doing. Having had a fun ladies afternoon yesterday did mean my having to push a few things to today, but a homemaker’s schedule is rather elastic and needs to be. When your place of work is also a dwelling for you and your family, a restaurant, a laundry, a bookstore, an entertainment lounge, and of course an Inn, there has to be some give and take. I can only imagine adding young ones to the mix increases the need for some flexibility to the schedule, of course trying to hold to some structure for the sake of your own sanity as well as the little ones. But, I digress, perhaps I spend too much time picking through chestnuts at the market today, or considered the fresh cranberries too deeply, none the less, this post will be not as involved as I had originally planned.

I have finally decided the finalized menu for my Thanksgiving and it is as follows

                                                        Shrimp cocktail

                                                                ~--------~

                                                         Lobster Bisque

                                                                ~---------~

                        Roast Turkey in a cranberry orange glaze       stuffed with ‘Johnny Cake and Chestnut Stuffing’ (in other words cornbread). Mashed potatoes with garlic chives, roasted Acorn squash, Yams, and Apple in Maple Butter. Creamed Onions. Cranberries and green beans with orange zest and slivered almonds.

                                                               ~------------~

                                     Grapes, various cheese, Cheese wafers and Parker House Rolls.

                                                             ~-------------~

                                   Godiva Cheesecake (guests contribution) served with homemade chestnut maple syrup vanilla ice cream.   Roasted Chestnuts and Coffee.  

                                                             

I might actually make little Meal cards to place at each setting.

Now, one or our lovely fellow Apron Revolutionaries, Linda,  asked me the following questions yesterday:

I hope you don't mind me asking here 50'sgal but I have some questions for your dear hubby the answers to which you might be able to relay. Seeing he's on holidays I thought he might have time to answer them via you if they're not too intrusive.

Does he love the new lifestyle with his precious housewife? Does he think it'll last? Does he HOPE it will last? Does he mind the 'perceived' financial loss without you not bringing home a pay-check? Is he proud to say 'a homemaker' when asked what his wife does or does he feel himself needing to expound on how intelligent, artistic, talented you are? (My husband is proud of the fact that he provides for me, that he gets special treatment and we have a smooth-running, peaceful home.)What are some of his favourite 'changes' from this year? Is he surprised at how skilled you've become so quickly and how well you've adapted to this 50's lifestyle? Does he have any advice for us ladies? Please excuse my boldness in asking these questions... Linda

pepsi thanksgiving ad He does, indeed, love our current lifestyle. He has seen me ‘go through’ many phases and crazy ideas before, but this project, being now almost a year old, seems to have a staying power he feels confident in. He sort of thought, in the beginning, it was just another idea I had. Though, even when my schemes peter out, he usually enjoys the ride and they are often over due to their not really applying to our life any longer. I think if I told him I wanted to go out and work, he would not think twice about it and probably would like the extra money, who wouldn’t? But, he sees that I am happy and knows that I have a genuine role and occupation in Homemaker.woman and man pipe

Actually, concerning telling people what his wife does, he is indeed proud of it. He often comments with proud about his packed lunches when people see him take out his linen napkin and knife and fork and eat a full home cooked meal with a homemade dessert. He told me once, a co-worker asked if his wife, “since she is just a housewife” minded those calenders (those horrid ones I dislike where they take old adverts and then slap on things like “Housework is pointless” or some such) to which my hubby replied, she does not like them, but she doesn’t mind, she is, after all, a homemaker guru and many other people have been inspired by her ‘housework’. I laughed at that, as I am so very in the learning phase I thought the term guru funny, but was proud that he ‘stood up for me’ and said I was a homemaker without feeling the need to explain.

I think his number one favorite change is the food. We eat really good in this house, if I do say so myself and I DO! He also likes the smooth running of the home, as it allows him to focus on his work at work and when he comes home he can honestly enjoy his ‘free time’. He can write (he also loves writing and I can often hear him tapping away on his vintage typewriters upstairs in his little study) read and practice the piano without worrying about food, clean clothes, or a messy house. He also likes the money we save on eating out, as when we lived in the city we ate out almost all the time and it does add up! He appreciates the separate roles we have, as it allows our time together to be about what we like to discuss or find interesting and not, ‘Oh, will you clean out that, or oh did  you think of anything for dinner, or what should we do about this or that?” As any of you know, who are homemakers, when you treat making a home as a job, you do your best to keep it smooth running as you would at any work. But, I know he LOVES the food and always gets excited when I present some new creation or recipe. He most anytime can pop in the kitchen and have some homemade snack available. He also told me he likes my wardrobe as he often, even now almost a year later, will say when he gets home, “Oh, you look so nice” or “You look cute today” something along those lines.

He is not surprised at my skill level, as he says I can do anything, which of course is not true but darling of him to say so. I have always been the one to go full steam ahead into things and often surprise him at my results so he said, when I told him I was going to live in 1955 for a year, he just sort of took it in stride.

His advice, and I think it quite good, to the ladies is to have confidence and pride in the role of Homemaker. If you want your husband or significant other to take it seriously and to see it as an actual career, you have to believe it yourself and believe in it. I can see how much work it is to run a home and I applaud any who want to do it. If you want it and take the time to discuss it logically, showing the financial benefits, your husband would have to be nuts to disagree with it. The separate roles of breadwinner and homemaker are not just that roles, not labels. One is not oppressed or put upon if the roles are clearly defined and agreed upon by both involved, so don’t fall prey to the modern concept that having a two income family somehow makes you more liberated. Your quality of life is better because you CAN’T overspend, so you end up spending more time together and after all, isn’t that one of the best parts of being married, getting to be with and make happy the one you love?

So those were his answers and I hope you enjoyed them. You can see what a treasure of a hubby I do have. I think really a marriage really does need to have mutual respect and understanding. If one partner thinks what they do is not worthy or not enough or not a ‘real occupation’ it is true, how will the other partner feel that way? A marriage is a partnership, a chance in this world of ups and downs to have a partner there along for the ride, to laugh and cry and share and even get angry with, when you’d rather blame someone other than yourself, even if you know it is your fault, because you know you will do the same for them. I am proud of my husband and myself. I am proud of the role of homemaker and all it entails. As with anything we do in love from being a bagger at a grocery store to president of the united states, if we believe in doing a good job and trying to do the best we can where we are, make our self and others around us happy, then anything can be a rewarding career. Somehow we seem to have lost the sense of pride of place and worth in ourselves that says, ‘I am defined by my actions and reactions to others and not by the sign on my office door.’

Well, that is enough philosophizing for me today. I have chestnuts to roast (in the oven, I will share the results don’t worry), cornbread to make, cranberries to boil down and just to throw a little extra in, I might sew together a new dress for Thanksgiving, and who said being a homemaker was boring or lazy work?!

12 comments:

  1. You and your hubby were very kind to answer my questions; and so comprehensively as usual. You certainly do have a wise, supportive and caring husband and it was so encouraging to read his thoughts. How blessed we are to have such treasures.(and vice versa) :)

    I hope everything goes smoothly with your Thanksgiving preparations and that you have a wonderful time on the day. Thanks for sharing your life as it's such an inspiration to us homemakers. You give us a good reputation and people reading your words would surely understand that housewives and their work generally aren't 'boring or lazy'.. This truly is a vital and charming occupation.:) Well I'm off to tidy up. Many thanks. Linda

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  2. Your welcome, I felt bad putting my husbands answers into my words, and I might have him type up his response and scan it for a post, as he loves using his vintage typewriters and it would be good to see it in his exact words. I hope all are excited for the coming holidays!

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  3. What a lovely menu. It sounds fun- all the hustle and bustle in the kitchen.

    In the last post someone mentioned "Oreo crack". You got the idea of making it, if the recipe were shared, with a homemade rendition of Oreos. I was just reading one of my vintage magazines from the 1940's and there was an ad for Oreos so you certaintly could have bought them
    in 1955. Interesting observation- the "large" box in the as was what we now call the small package found in convience stores. Just one sleeve of about 10 or 12 cookies. Can you imagine if someone from 1947 were transported to Costco and saw the nix box of Oreos with 12 of those sleeves?

    Your hubby sounds sweet, noticing how good you look after almost a year of fifties clothes. Did he make those kind remarks when you wore low cut jeans and Old Navy tee shirts? Just wondering.

    S

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  4. Sarah-I forgot, that oreo's were already around, as were ritz crackers etc. Most of the 'interesting' foods we do associate with Thanksgiving did come out of the 1950's the marshmallows on yams, the green bean casserole with those onion things and cream of mushroom soup (which is quite good) and other various things. I know! I have thought about what a 1955 homemaker would think. At first she would be excited to see all they have, but probably then wonder why so much?! After the Depression and the Wars, obviously having more would seem a blessing, but I think once she tried to go downtown to find it a barren wasteland, and find that the local drug store, where she could visit with locals, have an ice cream and wait for Johnny to buy some penny candy, would be sad to see it gone and eaten up by CVS and their ilk. I need to be thankful for so many things but I am NOT thankful for the basic destruction of the American landscape just so people can buy lawnchairs, cereal, 50 gallon jars of mayonaise all at a deal in a store the size of a city block! Goodbye, little business, we loved you dearly. It is odd, that now you almost have to go to the big cities to found small business flourishing again. I know that is not true for all things, but on our trip to one of the towns here on cape, that has a very lively downtown area, I realized almost all the stores are now 'gift/tourist stores'. No dress shop. No local drug store, etc. Oh, well, it is a time for thanks not complaints, right?
    Well, today is a busy day, I had better get started.

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  5. Dear 50s Gal, I hope that you and yours are having a wonderful Thanksgiving! Today is my big clean and prepare day so I am cooking, laundering, and cleaning up a storm. I am so blessed to have a local butcher, dairy, and fruit orchards within a 15 mile radius of my home. I live in a predominantly rural part of the state and we still have farms surrounding my home.
    ~Mrs.J~

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  6. Mrs. J-You are lucky indeed. I actually just found out the other day while visiting a friend who lives in plymouth (yes the Thanksgiving plymouth rock plymouth)that they have a full service butcher shop. We have a local place that sells some cuts of meat and deli products, but was excited to have found it. It is an half an hour drive away, but I might try to make a 'meat trip' once a month. We are not fortunate enough to have a diary any where near by.
    Today is a busy day, for sure. I think I have to put off my plans for dressmaking today, oh, well, I will simply wear my wool birthday dress!
    Happy holiday prep to all you homemakers out there.

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  7. I'm going to make my husband read this post in regards to your husband's answers. I'm going to keep quietly but persistently addressing the issue of homemaking until his mind is changed, hahaha! Not that it will be a reality anytime soon as I'm currently the main breadwinner, but maybe, just maybe in a few years when he's done with school and has a full time job... ;)

    Your cranberry/orange turkey glaze sounds similar to one I'm doing....share the recipie later on?

    Have a great holiday!

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  8. Happy Thanksgiving to all!
    We certainly have a lot to be grateful for!

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  9. Lovely post! Lobster bisque sounds delicious!

    You do indeed have a great husband. =)

    Maybe I'll post my pics from last year at Christmas. I am planning on dressing up again tomorrow to have our day together, even if it is just the two of us. Small steps in dress.
    Have a lovely Thanksgiving!!

    LPM

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  10. I hope everyone from the coffee klatch has a wonderful Thanksgiving (for those who celebrate). And those who do not, I hope you have a wonderful weekend as well.

    I talked with my mother, and we are not having turkey. None of us are very fond, so we are going to have my mom's meatloaf instead. That is good, for it is one thing she makes well.

    Happy Holidays, everyone. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't get caught up in the "black friday" rush...I think it should be outlawed.

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  11. You should also be proud of being such a great inspiration for so many women around the world! :)

    Looking forward to seeing that new dress.

    Say hello to your darling hubby from your Danish penpal. Funny how our husbands like the vintage style most, my DH loves me dressing vintage style.

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