Saturday, November 7, 2009

7 November 1955 “Touching Base”

coffee klatch Hi gals! Just touching base with you for a quick Coffee Klatch.

I have been very busy these past few days and have been battling a UTI. I know it isn’t polite to talk of such things in mixed company, but over coffee and a visit, we gals understand.

Some women are just more prone to UTI/Kidney Infections and unfortunately, I am one of those. I started researching when antibiotics were readily available from your doctor, and it looks as those I would have been able to get some form of them from my doctor. I am, now, currently on two kinds as I put it off a bit too long, but you know how a gal gets so busy!

Tonight I am trying out my new birthday mixer and baking up a double batch of my feather fudge cake. I have been asked to supply desserts for hubby for another meeting/celebration for someone at work. I am also going to make some of my chocolate dipped coconut macaroons. Always a crowd pleaser and so easy (See my birthday tea for recipe!)

I also have told a couple of my friends that I would get some things ready for a ‘craft fair’ they are going to be involved in at our local farm next Sunday. Normally, I would look to my paintings etc, but I am going to, instead, sew up some aprons and decorate them with embroidery and other things. If they work out, I will post picks. I cannot find a pattern for a type I would like to try, so may have to make one up. Tomorrow I am going to get some fabric to try these out.

So, with the sickness, baking, and preparing for a craft fair, I have been unable to really focus on a post. I will do so, soon, though I promise.

How are all of you and what have you been up to? Any good recipes or tips to share?


  1. Oh dear! I hope you are feeling better soon! Do you take bubble baths? I was prone to UTI's until I found out I was allergic to bubble bath soap!

    Happy Belated Birthday!

    A question about your clothing. What do you wear now that the weather has gotten cooler? I have some lovely vintage summer dresses, but I'm clueless to cool weather fashion!

    And I just wanted to share my wonderful find with you. I was at our library's little used book store and picked up The Fannie Farmer Cookbook for $1.50!

    Drink lots of fluids and get plenty of rest!

  2. Thank you 50sgal for taking the time to say hello. It's always thrilling to see a new blog entry!

    My daughter-in-law has recently had a UTI and along with and after completing her antibiotics she was encouraged by her doctor to drink cranberry juice (which I had found recommended on the web too). It's great to see you so productive even if you haven't been 'well'. Please take care to get plenty of time to rest. Just YOU being IN your home is blessing enough for it. :)(And I feel these type of things are perfectly fine to discuss tactfully between us ladies as there's opportunity to find insights, help, advice or support.)Our health is important and I appreciate learning as much as I can on health/nutrition/nursing/nuturing/caring/medication etc so I continue to improve my caring of myself and family. So thanks for feeling free to broach the subject.

    Over the past couple of years I've been unfortunate to have some health issues but being free to construct my day as I see fit is always a wonderful help, joy and freedom.

    You would be giving housewives everywhere a good name with your reputation at your husband's work. His colleagues must admiringly notice his lunches and loving care heaped upon him and then they get to taste your baking at the meeting/celebrations. I'm sure they look forward to that and your hubby must feel so proud. :) Linda

  3. 50s Gal,

    I’m sorry to hear about your UTI—Not fun. I hope that you recover quickly.

    Your desserts sound yummy!

    How much are you selling your aprons for, and are they full or half?

    With the cooler weather, I have been craving soups. I made up a batch of beef potato the other night. We had fresh potatoes and a top round that I used. It turned out quite good, if I do say so myself. :)

  4. I am sorry about the UTI. They are awful. Be careful, however. I found that when on heavy antibiotics, it can cause a yeast infection, which is evil.

    We are having our church Harvest Supper on wednesday, and I am providing green bean cassarole (as requested), but I am also going to make some cookies, I think. I made meatballs for the baby shower we had last weekend and got several requests for the recipe. It is so funny, for there is one woman who is a teacher and she NEVER cooks. Her hubby does all the cooking at home or they eat out. She just went nuts over my meatballs and made comments like "I wish I had time to make stuff like these." I told her, they take about 20 minutes prep and 45 minutes to bake. EASY. In one ear and out the other....

    Take care of yourself. I look forward to seeing the aprons.

  5. I hope you will feel better soon!

    Making aprons for the craft fair sounds wonderful. I remember the church craft fairs in the early 60's. The women would sew, knit, and crochet many useful, cute items. In our consumer driven society, those items probably wouldn't be as popular today.

    I have a small collection of the "WorkBasket" magazine that includes some from the 1950's. This publication had a humble start in 1935 and continued many years. It has an interesting history. They are very popluar with some for collecting. It encouraged the homemaker to do crafts, such as sewing, knitting, crochet, tatting, as well non-needlework craft, for enjoyment as well as profit. They have many small projects that would have been good for a craft fair.

    I would love to see some of your paintings. I, too, am an artist. Currently, I am focusing on portraits of the grandchildren. Painting has a long history in a women's education, as of course, needlework.

    During the 1950's, paint by number became very popular. In my childhood home, a "Chinese" themed paint by number painting graced the hallway for many years. It was painted by a close family friend in the early years of their marriage. Not only did paint by number give artists and entrepreneurs opportunity, but it allowed those who never would have picked up a paint brush, to have an artistic experience. With the end of the war, a stable economy, and modern appliances, hobbies had a new place in people's lives. My parents bought me many sets over the years, due to my early propensity for art. It never stunted by artistic development. :-) I think of these sets, fondly.

    Earlier this week, my husband came home with a toaster that looks very 1950's! It has a cloth covered electric cord. It was found by someone at work who showed it to everyone as a joke. He was going to throw it out! I haven't had time to check it out, but I will. We think it works.

    No Idle Hands

  6. Lori left a comment on yeast infection, while taking antibiotics, which is VERY true. Also, they can cause constipation.

    As always, 50s gal, I love your posts and thought of you today when we were out shopping and saw the mass-produced everything that is everywhere--very run-of-the mill indeed.

    We have a new bookstore here that is allowing hand-crafted items to be sold to help women earn money while staying home. Although I am not a stay-at-home housewife, I am going to make some hand-made cards to sell. This is a wonderful opportunity that this lady is giving to other women. Let the apron revolution continue!

  7. P.S. I found this paragraph interesting from a book by Laura Doyle that I've just read. She also wrote The Surrendered Wife. The quote below followed her recommendation for allowing your man to provide for you, learning to receive - "If you feel that you must accomplish and be productive, perhaps you don't recognize the value of femininity. Feeling that you don't have worth unless you accomplish is like thinking the flowers in the yard ought to do something to earn their keep. Just being a woman is valuable and important." Love that last sentence. :) Linda

  8. Jenn-thank you for the birthday wishes. Myself, for winter wear, I have and made wool skirts and dresses. Of course, the stockings come back out and for me, they keep my legs warm enough. If I were to do any extended work out in the cold, I would wear wool trousers. A project for our future, is how to come up with a darling 1950's ski costume. Hubby and I love to ski and though we are not sure if we will make it this year, it would be nice to have something along those lines. But I love coats and have a few nice wool winter vintage coats. FOr shopping I use my wool swing coat, it gives much freedom of movement and though it is three quarter length sleeve, I lave a longer wool glove I wear with it and of course, simply wearing a hat and warm gloves warms you. I found, at the beginning of the project in the cold weather, no problem with my stockinged legs being exposed for the time it took to go marketing etc and then, as I said, long walks or working, wool pants. ALthough, I did walk sometimes in skirts with a longer wool coat that covers you legs a bit. I don't know, I see in old photos and movies, ladies in deep snow standing in skirts, I think it was done fairly often and it was not uncomfortable for me, but I also prefer cooler weather. I think in the country, too, women and girls had woolen stocking they could wear over their nylons. I am still on the lookout for rubber shoe cover/ boots for high heels, They had them back then but I have large feet so can never find a vintage pair that fit. But, at the beginning of my project, I kept my sensible heels on for marketing, even in the snow and ice, you must just be careful. I never feel, so common sense and caution. I will try to research more about cold winter clothes in the 1950s for all of us!
    Zebu-I am not certain what I am going to sell them for. I am going to make a traditional half apron with one pocket or two and I also want to try and make a whole apron that slips over your head both with ruffled caps for the top like sleeves and a more plain version. If I get the second design down, I will be happy to be able to make a few for me to wear about while 'at home'. As I have said, I have a couple of housedresses, but for the most part I like to wear my 'nice clothes' more often and to be able to protect them while at home is always good. I though how appropriate to make aprons (Apron Revolution of course!) and it gives me a place to display and use my new obsession with the vintage images used for needle point from the 30s-60s. I have really begun an affinity for these and have found quite a few original pieces both locally and on ebay. I will share the results and let you know what I eventually charged for them.
    Lori-oddly enough, my doctor cautioned against yeast infections and gave me a mild three day dose of an antibiotic for that as well! This is a new doctor for me. ( I Liked him the minute he walked into the room wearing a bow tie!)It is funny when you try to explain to someone how 'easy' homemade is. But, since I have been on both sides of this coin, I sort of see both pictures. When you are easily enmeshed in our consumer culture where anything is so cheap and easy, the thought of homemade seems expensive and time consumming, which of course I now find is NOT true. Also, once you make anything homemade you wonder, "how on earth did I ever think the store bought equivalent was any good?" It sort of ruins you for the commercial grade product. But, perhaps, you inspired her to try one thing homemade at home and she will have that 'ah-ha' moment. I have had many of those, where I realize how most of the things we eat/consume can be homemade with basic ingredients. I have even been researching basic homemade cheese making and soda making. I don't want any more corn syrup than is needed and diet cola has all that chemical in it, so I thought, why not try my hand at rootbeer. That is my next 'crazy' project. I will let you know how it goes and tastes!

  9. no idle hands-I forgot, I think I may have a few issues of work basket! I also remember seeing something about tatting. As far as paintings go, when I actually get down what I have been thinking about for my 'new paintings' I will share. I have just been digesting all the things from this year and have lately been thinking of it in terms of pictoral representation on a canvas. I will get to it, but not quite sure yet. I know many people now collect old paint by numbers. I have to say, I don't know if I have ever done one, but I bet they would be fun. I had a friend, back when I was at university for art history, who was in grad school for art history and she collected them. Her house at campus was covered in old paint by numbers she had collected up at yard sales and such. Now, I want to get an old 1950's one and try it out, it really is a good exercise for an artist to get back to painting. I bet it really frees you up and gives you some focus. You should try the toaster. My waffle iron has a cloth covered cord and is from the late 30s early 40's so is even a bit of a dinosaur with my 50's appliances. It works wonderful and I paid very little for it at a yard sale at the beginning of the year. I was in William Sonoma the other day (whilst waiting for my prescription to be filled) and was shocked at the cost of waffle irons. But, then I though, well if you buy a good one that is built to last, as they were back then, then you could have it forever. Luckily, for those of us who want to save, there are endless greatly made appliances from the past that we can buy very cheap even cheaper than walmart! And they will last AND look good.
    Zebu-I am glad to be thoguht of! I notice more and more the endless piles of 'crap' (excuse me ladies but sometimes you have to call is as you see it!) and wonder. I know everyone is gearing up for the christmas season which I love, but even more this year I feel like Charlie Brown wondering at all the 'superficial' quality of christmas. Even if you are not a christian, christmas can have a meaning of giving and sharing more than spending. Hopefully we apron revolutionaries can help bring the real joy of christmas back: baked goods shared with friends and neighbors, being with family and friends, helping out and giving to those less fortunate etc. It will be fun to share vintage christmas ideas with one another!
    Linda-what a great quote and how true. We have this incessant need to be productive and yet, it has turned into the production of things for US to buy while we merely become lazier. It is true that to be and enjoy is very important.

  10. I just made the most wonderful chicken caeser salad, I'll be posting the recipe on my blog quite soon!

    I'm very sorry to hear that UTIs are a problem for you - they're so uncomfortable! I had a problem with them until I switched to a low-carb diet: it seems like the sugars and starches in wheat products leave people more disease prone overall, and in women can lead to UTI infections. It certainly worked for me!

  11. Sorry to hear about your infection. It makes feeling "normal" all the more appreciated.

    My mil has a root beer story--probably from the 40's. Her sister tried her hand at it and had a bunch of bottles in their basement (fermenting? aging?) when they heard POP POP POP. They went to investigate and all the tops had popped off of the bottles from too much pressure. There was root beer everywhere. I'm not a root beer maker, but I'm sure instructions have improved since the 40's and you'll be just made me remember that story!

    A few years ago, I was into skirts and dresses and thought they were much warmer than pants during the winter. I wore cotton biker pants underneath (modern, I know), but the skirt was almost like a blanket atop a pair of pants.

    Working hard at

  12. Sorry to hear you are in pain, 50s gal! I wish you a speedy recovery!! I bet everybody at your hubby's work will appreciate homemade baked goods, yum! :)

  13. Oh and by the way, I talked with a 94-year old woman the other day and she told me that before the invention of television, people used to gather around for hours and entertain each other with piano and violin. I used to entertain guests as a kid while playing those two instruments!

  14. i'm sure your doctor told you, but while on antibiotics, your body loses those fabulous helpful bacterias in your intestines...probably the reason for the increased risk of yeast infection. You'll need to replenish your yogurt.
    hope you're feeling better soon, and you COULD just keep us company at the craft fair per the original plan, if you are pressed for time to make stuff. ;)

  15. I'd imagine root beer is much the same as ginger beer of which Rhonda Jean at has a tutorial, I believe. Linda

  16. oooh, sorry about your infection!! hope you feel better fast. i am also a fan of cranberry juice and probiotics! i know yogurt was not as popular in the '50's as a prepared item, but do you know how to make your own?? it's very yummy!! you can also take a warm bath with epsom salts and baking soda in it. it is very soothing.
    good luck w/all your projects this week. xo

  17. thanks for the tips, gals. Just checking in again, on this busy day. I finished my cake for my hubby and did some fabric shopping with the gals, now I am home to hubby practising his Bach "two part invetions".
    The root beer story is funny, I know that if you do not refrigerate it the yeast will keep fermenting and lead to such an exlposion. I found a site that has you make it in plastic 2 liter soda bottles, but another reason for making my own soda is to have it in glass instead of plastic or metal, to have real sugar NOT corn syrup and to not have any odd preservatives or colors added. I also LOVE Ginger beer and would like to try that as well.
    I am feeling better with my antibiotics as well, so thanks for your concern. I feel better just knowing I am GETTING better. I did a very un-1955 thing (although maybe it is very 1955 when I think about it!) the doctor asked if I wante H1N1 vaccine and after I said, "well, am I going to be taking it away from some child getting to have it?" To which he replied no, I did get it, per his request. I actually felt a little nauseous yesterday, which I think was a side effect, but feel fine now. I wasn't really certain what to do. I have heard talk of h1n1, but honestly I don't know that much about modern news and such. It is funny, how not being plugged into the fear mongering I guess that is going on with this flu, I wasn't really worried about. Honestly, I don't know what real fear I should have with it. I told the doctor I was a homemaker and don't have much contact with others, say as at an office or school, but he said the grocery store. So, I took the shot. I figure, actually, that my 1955 counterpart probably would have wanted any new medicines, as this is the time of the polio vaccines and etc. What do any of you think? Silly to have had the shot?

  18. personally, I don't listen to it much but I have not been to a doctor since my senior year of high school, am in contact with TONS of people AND animals and find that taking care of myself is the best medicine. I 'hear talk' of the h1n1 stuff, but truly believe that it is blown way out of perportion. I don't trust vaccines/doctors much, though so my opinion is probably not the norm! however, if you're already at the doctor's office, he says 'take it' and you don't much care...then it's not silly to have gotten it.

  19. Hello 50sgal! I had a chance this evening to drop by and see what you've doing. A belated Happy Birthday. It looked like a wonderful party.

    On the prairie-farm, we've been busy harvesting. The soybeans are all combined and my Farmer is in the midst of cutting the corn. It is a late harvest this year due to some early chill and a lot of rain.

    As for me, I've been helping him as much as I can. Mostly I'm keeping the home-fires burning. I've decorated our home for the Autumn season and to celebrate the harvest and upcoming Thanksgiving. I took a walk around our pond and brought home some hedge apples and blue-berried cedar branches. I combined those with the some volunteer gourds that grew in the pasture. Also included in the decorations were some vintage canning jars. Some are filled with canned product (jelly, pickles) and others are filled with dried foodstuff.

    In the prairie kitchen, I'm still harvesting Swiss Chard from my garden and the very last of the tomatoes. My cooking benefits from the herbs I potted and brought inside before the killing frost.
    This week I will be making an apple pie for my boss' birthday. I've started watching sales at the store for holiday baking supplies. Here on the farm, I need to have a well-supplied pantry. I don't shop every day and will not run to town for a missing ingredient, mid-recipe.

    For fun I've been doing a little hand-quilting, some machine piecing (on my vintage Singer 99K) and reading some vintage magazines from the 1920s-1950s.

    It's a quiet life but suits me well.

  20. Kay-that sounds so wonderful. You reminded me I need to go and collect bittersweet tomorrow for fall wreaths and Thanksgiving centerpiece. We have had such lovely weather this fall so far (knock and wood) and today was sunny and mid 60's. I forgot a few of my houseplants outside here after the move and discovered yesterday that they are still okay!
    Thanks for dropping by!

  21. Sorry you're not feeling well. The aprons sound interesting -- no one wears an apron anymore! I remember my mother wasn't dressed inside unless she had one on (when I was a child) -- now everything is wash and wear so we don't worry about getting a mess on our clothes!

  22. Martha-that is so true, but now that I am a homemaker and do wear things that I have made and nice cotton or vintage things, I like to protect them, so I always wear an apron. I want to make a fuller coverage apron to serve as my 'cleaning the house' apron as opposed to my cooking apron. Even though things ARE wash and wear, I think many people are not cooking like they used to so I guess they don't need it, but like yesterday when I was making cakes and frosting from scratch, it is a messy business and could not have imagined doing so without my apron. I am also coming to see the apron as a sort of uniform or badge of courage for our Apron Revolution!

  23. Aprons- I have both the half-apron style and the full over-the-neck style. I use them all the time, as I dont' have the time to mess with spot & stain removal if I am extra messy while cooking. I'd rather launder aprons and dish towels and terry towels than ruin my clothing.

    Aprons take all the worry out of cooking. :o)

  24. Actually, I think a lot of people are cooking a lot more, especially with the economy the way it is. I have old restaurant aprons from back in the day that I wear when I cook and I have seen loads of people selling handmade aprons on etsy, also lots of really cute ones in boutique-type stores. What with all the cooking shows on and everyone trying to be more 'green' and live more naturally, I think there are more people doing what's 'right' than you might think.

  25. oh jen, what stores?! I want to go check them out.

  26. most 'knick knack' type 'toursits stop here' type shops. specifically i've seen them at a couple shops in chatham, home goods (of course), lots of etsy shops (you can search them), one of the local stores (grocery-liquor combo shop) had some really cute ones recently...i guess i'll just talk to you sunday??!! :)

  27. Now DH has come home, and I’ve spend all day reading your lovely blog. Here I am, almost there and it has been all pleasure. Have a great weekend, both of you. :)


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