Friday, March 20, 2009

23 March 1955 "Middle East, a New Bread Pudding, Kedgeree, and a challange!"

Convertible Boat. A steel, all-purpose boat that looks like a shallow square box on pontoons has been developed by Trail-Craft Corp. of Clarksburg, W. Va. Designed for use with an outboard motor, the boat weighs 230 lbs., can carry 750 Ibs. as a trailer, and also converts into a tent for four, a duck blind, a wading pool, a swimming raft. Price (including tent top and four cots): $324.50. (I love that this one even has fins!)

The Central Treaty Organization (also referred to as CENTO, original name was Middle East Treaty Organization or METO, also known as the Baghdad Pact) was adopted in 1955 by Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. It was formed in 1955, at the urging of the U.S. and Britain, to counter the threat of Soviet expansion into the Middle East. CENTO was never very effective. Iraq withdrew after its anti-Soviet monarchy was overthrown in 1959.(It was dissolved in 1979.) [We see the beginning of that middle east rumble. Also the Saudi Arabian Rulers are gaining in power and money as their hold of oil begins to become the shinning beacon of power for our countries production of everything from gas to all the increasing plastics and other pertroleum products. It is amazing to me how so much of EVERY aspect of our daily life is somehow connected to petroleum. The plastics in just the computer I am now using are all possible due to it. We are so deeply entrenched, it can sometimes be rather scary to me.]

Now, let's hop right into the kitchen:

Here is the recipe I used as the base for my 'leftover cake pudding'. I had a yellow cake mix in my pantry from pre 1955 that I had forgot about and decided to make early this week. I wanted to 'jazz it up' so I added coconut and chocolate chips to the mix and then coconut on top so it would toast as it baked. It was good but hardly a contender with my other homemade goodies about (see cherry pie recipe in previous blog!) so for tonights dinner I thought, hey that leftover cake would make an interesting 'bread pudding'. I used only 1/4 cup brown sugar, as it is already sweet as it is cake. I put less raisins in and sprinkled extra cinnamon on top. I also whisked all the ingredients save the cake and then cut the cake into little squares and lined my casserole dish. Then I poured in the mixture over that and sort of mixed it and setteled it until it looked pretty, topped it with a sprinkle of cinnamon and popped it in the oven. Oh, and I (surprise surprise) drizzled maple syrop on the top half way through baking. I think if I had to go to a desert island I would need to take bacon and maple syrup, they seem to play a large role in my life.

It was funny, though, as we really didn't like or eat up the box cake, it just wasn't up to snuff compared to what I make homemade (if I can toot my own horn) but taking it and using it in a new form of a homemade recipe was such a hit. My hubby isn't really a fan of sweet, but he loved this! He said it was the best, cold in the morning as a snack as he waited for our Saturday breakfast. I am definitely going to grab some cake mixes the next time they are on sale to experiment with some various versions of this 'busy gal bread pudding' as I am calling it! Vintage friend and I were already dreaming up a version with carrot cake as the base! I think I feel a challange coming on to perfect a cream cheese/whipped cream for that one!

Ahh, the smell of my chicken boling for the homemade stock and the warm fragrance of this pudding in the kitchen was heaven. This is why I don't think I would want to do the cook for a month that hairball had mentioned some people do. I would miss that daily cooking smell. Honestly, I don't know how I lived without it before. It does make a gal want to 'feather her nest'.

Now, back to the smell of chicken boiling away. I had this recipe I wanted to try.
It is from my Boston Cooking School vintage cook book. I love the name, as if you know french, poulette translates to pullet which is a female chicken or a hen. So this is basically chicken chicken. Anyhoo, I am a jeune poulette (spring chicken) when it comes to cooking. I had some chicken thighs, which I really love. They are always so expensive as most people prefer the white meat. The juicyness AND the cost of thighs make them a favorite for me to use.
This is the sauce that goes with this recipe. Simple to make and I like adding another sauce to my repetoire. My French is a little shaky, but I think Veloute means 'to soften' not sure. (Any french speakers want to help me out with that translation?)

This presentation is not the best, I actually dressed it up with some greens, but it was really delicious. I squeezed fresh lemon on it just before serving it and though I had intended the leftovers to go into hubby's lunch come monday, he squirreled this away to his den on Saturday for a snack. I think he is really getting into my cooking! I would defnitely recommend it and plan on trying many of the other chicken/sauce dishes in that cook book.

Now, if any of you have had a good English breakfast you will have had Kedgeree. It is actually scottish. It is usually made with curry powder and I think that is because the scottish took it with them to India and it became what it is today due to that. Any English/Scottish readers can correct me on any of this. Anyway, I love eating it and found this recipe for it in the same Boston Cooking School cook book from early 1950's. I did not have any curry, so it did not have that taste, so I suppose it was sort of pre-Anglo/Indian. It was good none-the-less. It would be wonderful with fresh salmon, but I had a can of Mackeral that I wanted to try. I have to say, for canned fish, it was rather yummy. And served warm with the rice and boiled eggs on toast with fresh grilled tomatos (another English breakfast treat) it was quite fine. My hubby loved it. (do excuse the wrinkles in my linen. I put it on fresh that day and had not got to it in my ironing pile.) I have to say, fish and tomatos are really good at breakfast time. If you have not tried it, go for it. It is a nice filling start to a busy day, or a lazy day off too!

Here is what I wore this Saturday to our Vintage Dinner. It was vintage friends turn to cook, so I enjoyed having saturday off from making dinner. She made a wonderful roast and a great vegetable dish from my new campbells soup recipe book I illustrated on an earlier post. She did the eggplant dish (recipe is on previous post) and I loved it. She also made a lovely banana cream pie in her first made from scratch pie crust. It was delicious and I KNOW she loved making it. We had our usual fun and watched a Vincet Price movie 'The Tingler'. It was rather silly, though meant to be scary. I love Vincent Price films, and though this was from 1958, I still watched it. The womens dresses were wonderful and there is a dressing gown in it that I have to copy for myself.

I often come across many fun little ads when perusing my magazines. They are the intersting little black and white ads, with say 10 to a page. They often show an interesting element of the time. They offer up another level, or layer of you will, of the time. I somtimes feel like an archaeoligist of pop culture, combing through my old mags and peeling back another layer of society through what they may have sent for with their pin money from the 'kitchen money jar'.
Here is a great one, for a 'phony phone' which is in fact a usuable flashlight for safety, but disguised as a car phone. I would imagine to have a car phone in 1950s you would need to be quite wealthy or high up in the government. I wonder how many people had these? I bet they were recieved as fun 'dad' Christmas gifts with a laugh!
I am not sure if visors do not yet exist, or if this is just another attempt at one. I makes me think of the invention in the Steve Martin movie ( I know, it doesn't exist for me yet!) The Jerk, when he invents that eye glass holder that makes you cross-eyed (boss-eyed). I wonder how many stockings recieved these little lovlies for mummy on the course love Johnny and Susie, or somthing along those lines.
I like this ad for both pointing out another piece of evidence of women working in trousers, as well as showing how tight women wore their trousers then. Though, I suppose, many women recalling the 1940's would still have and wear loose trousers. I think these were more for work, biking, gardening etc. I love that the ad encourages you to buy and wear these toreador pants because it is safe, it reads:

"safe, yes, because so many home accidents are caused by tripping over a skirt hem! Save your skirts for streetwear!"

Sometimes these little ads speak volumes. They give a segment of the times that is sometimes telling of our own. This ad, for example, for this board to make it safe for your child in the back seat. I am sure at first viewing of it, as I did, you almost gasp! You think, "How could they just leave their children to sit freely in the cars". It does make you realize how much legislation has gone thru for 'safety'. Now, I am not saying it is safer to not have a child in a car seat, but how did the people back then survive? We often act as if we, in the present, have a monopoly on how things should be done or the right way to do a thing. Certainly, there are more cars today, maybe driving faster etc, but I wonder how many accidents their were with children in cars then? It would be interesting to find out.

These ads also sort of confront us with another current issue: our garbage and waste. In this little snippet about various labor saving deviced for the home, it states "doesn't it seem we have more garbage to dispose of today then we used to?" Simply stated to promote this new type of garbage burner. Yet, how loaded is that statement! In is then that so many pre-packaged goods are coming out. And boy, oh boy, hold on, because the level of packaging you will have in the future kids, you would not believe. I don't know if these are still legal today. I imagine if you are just burning trash that is animal, vegetable and packaging that is just paper, it wouldn't matter. But, did they burn plastic? I imagine it was starting to show up on some products. Then, there is this ad. I am not sure, but I think this might actually be a precurser to the composting bin. I do recall that in the 'old days' people used to bury their garbage. But, what did they have for garbage in say 1900? Old clothes that were beyond reuse, maybe old shoes beyond repair, tin cans and bones? Isn't it amazing the amount of throw away we actually have today. Just the junk mail in my mailbox is insane! Does anyone remember what sort of garbage you had if you were around in the 1950s? Did you have a dump you went to, or garbage pick up? It is all very telling and interesting

Finally, I keep badgering on and on about shopping local etc, so I thought, maybe I could prepose a project for any of you who would like to participate. What if for one week we said, only buy local? JUST for one week. When you need anything (even gas or oil change) try to go to a local place. It might be intersting don't you think? We can see what has been completely removed from our communities, like perhaps you no longer have a butcher or a baker locally, only in your chain grcoery store, if you do have one or try looking one up, go try it out and see what it was like. Did you like it? was it too expensive? How did it feel compared to just popping in and getting everything in one place etc. So, what do you think? Should we try it? Let me know. I prepose we start next monday if anyone is game.

I often feel as if I am at the university of Home and so, if we are learning, then let us make this an assignement. Let me know if you want to try it out. Next monday we will start. It will be hard, I know, as I will not be doing my weekly grocery shopping at my local Stop and Shop, but we do have a new place that just reopenend that has some groceries etc. Even for an oil change, no jiffy lube but the local guys garage. Let me know if anyone wants to try this challange with me. I think it could be fun and a great learning experience.

Until tomorrow: Happy Homemaking.

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