—H. G. Wells, The First Men in the Moon
In just twelve machine-hours the brain will do 1,200 cost reports that normally take 1,800 man-hours; in barely two hours it will complete a financial statement that takes a staff of accountants 320 hours. For Monsanto's chemists it will open up new horizons by rapidly working out complex equations to help discover new products, improve old ones, find out which of dozens of technically "correct" answers' to problems are the best.
I am very excited, as well you all should be, as I just got this in the mail today! I couldn't believe it when I found it on ebay. It is even better than I had hoped. It was published 1951. Just to give you a sample of what great things this book will be teaching us, this book goes into detail addressing the construction of rugs and how to make your own rugs! It is very thorough and I am really excited.There are even before and after shots of redecorating a room. This mingled with the previoius book I had posted about from 1908 will be a great comparrison of that time span and will cover all a 1955 woman would know from her grandmothers time to her 'present'. Be excited, as I am!
This is the white sauce recipe you use with the potato dish. I love what is says here: "Learn to make a perfect white sauce, not only for itself but because it is the basis of many sauces."
I am beginning to get to that point where I see cooking not as a bunch of random recipes, but a skill-set that you build up and then build out on. My attempts in the kitchen are beginning to result in my making up my own recipes. Last night I wanted to make a Ham and Cheese Souffle' but only had a recipe for a cheese souffle, so I began to think about what it takes to make a souffle rise and how it works and realized chunks of ham would not cut it. SO, I say my blender and it hit me, puree! So into the blender when the bits of ham I had diced and slices of sharp cheese and I just poured in what seemed the right amount of milk and ta-dah! This went into the other parts of the souffle. I will show pics and more of that tomorrow, now here is a picture of the original Pork Shoulder that I cooked with the above potate dish. It was so good. I slow cooked it for a few hours and basted it with, what else, brown sugar and syrup glaze. This is a bone in pork shoulder and I really prefer it to the precooked smoked boneless pre-cut hams. It cooks nicer and juicer and and you get so much more bang for your buck. I believe this 8 lb pork shoulder cost me around $7.00 on sale. We have had it for this meal. Then it went into two lunches for hubby, last night I used part of it to make my ham and cheese souffle and today the bone and the remainder of the meat will go into a bot to boil. From that I will get some great soup to eat and freeze and before it is a soup, I will take a cup or two of the stock and freeze that for future use. This is the kind of 'freezer' use I like. I really get so much out of one cut of meat. ALso, having the bone in is important. Any good chef will tell you that the meat and a stock and soup are only improved by having the bone in. The marrow and such add greatly to the taste. The skin being left on also really helps seal in the juices and I like scoring it. True, it looks like a pigs skin, because IT IS. I just feel, as I have said before, almost more honest about my food when it is in this form. Almost as if I am respecting the animal in a way by saying, yes you were alive and now you are going to feed my family. But, you know, we homemakers often have a running dialogue in our heads! Also the dogs LOVE this crispy skin. I will cut it up into strips and bake it crispy and the dogs love it AND they are cheaper than dog treats and I know there are no preservatives in.
Aren't these dreamy wallpapers? I know I could never afford them, though I am writing to find out. They are from SecondHandRose in NYC. They are actual vintage papers NOT reproductions. I think if I paid alot for them, I might be scared that I would ruin them, but it is fun to dream. I am sure I can find some things that are similiar new.
Speaking of the dump. I mentioned our dump as a great 'swap shop' where you drop off things you don't want but SHOULDN'T throw out. After all, one mans garbage IS another man's treasure. So, here is my hubby this past Sunday playing with his new free toy. It is a great early 1960s typewriter and it is truly portable. He already has visions of sitting in a chair in the yard, pipe in mouth with this little devil typing away. Free things...how fine, indeed.
I am certainly not in the market to spend on such things, but a gal can dream can't she. AND, if you are going to buy something precious that you don't NEED but just WANT, make it something with some intrinsic value because then you can always 'sell it off to uncle when your in need of some stumpy' as they say. You can find bargains. My 'good china' which is bought mostly due to is having my favorite blue in it, was not expensive, as I got it marked down at a sale in an old antique store, but as a set it could be sold for more than I paid for it, if I needed to.Or, if you have children, the joy of having things that were passed down is priceless. I know I have things that are not terribley costly that were, my grandfathers, but becuase of that, they are all the more precious to me. I think this idea of something you care for and have your whole life and leave to your children, is sort of missing a little today as well. Unless you are really wealthy, most things people buy today are throw-away. Yet, what we pay for computers today would certainly have been an expense our ancestors would have put onto somthing of real value that you could still own. I doubt lil Tommy will be happy to see in the will that he gets Nana's black and white 386 laptop. I know our modern technology can't but help be throw away, but I wonder, if you are not into video games with your computer, could we stop buying new computers now, at the current stage of technology, as they can handle graphics of youtube and Hulu, and are fine for emails, blogging an such. Could we honestly stop at some point. When I say, we, I mean anyone who thinks, you know, this computer is fast enough and cutting edge enough for me. I don't want to stop progress, but I also want to think for my family when is enough technology. Wait until computers are screenless or whatever space-age future they have and then buy a new one.
I really want to take my computer I have now and turn it into a sort of 'vintage look' with wood I can polish etc. There is a movement now of people who do this, called Steampunk. I guess I would want mine to be more Eams meets early american.
I was thinking today, no surprise there, that I really seem to come to this cross-roads everyday: What is ME and what is the character Me in 1955?
When you do your own cooking you realize how meals are actually put together. You can see that if you are low on somthing or you have leftovers you know how to make it stretch and make it into a new meal. I honestly believe this very basic skill of cooking so so important to the money saving of the majority of America and yet there is no push nor need to learn it. Why is it required to read Dickens in school but not learn how to make three basic meals?
After hubby left this morning, I took my pile of scraps and a bucket of water and headed out to the little darlings. At the end of each day there is alwasy something that I won't give the dogs and won't make it for 'leftovers' that goes in a little bowl, "for the chickens'. In this way, not only am I making less garbage, but I am putting it into an animal that then uses it to produce that wonderful perfect ingredient for cooking: THE EGG. There is a feeling of connection when I do this. Again, maybe it is all the time I spend with myself thinking too much, but I stroll out (today it was bitterly cold) with my little bowl. Sometimes the dogs follow me, today they chose to stay bundled up in blankets. I pull open the door to their house and they come rushing out; the cluck cluck of their 'good-morning' and the confidence of the rooster. I open the door to their run and they come up to me, for I am the bringer of wonderful table scraps. Today they had the leftover pancakes (some of which went to the dogs as well) and the end of my romaine lettuce. A few green beans that didn't get eat last night. Then, there is that magical moment, when I go into the chicken house and see, in perfect little circular nests ( I swear they make honest to goodness perfect little nests out of the hay I give them. I don't use straw, I think it is too picky, and the hay smells so wonderful) lay the eggs. Like magic, there they sit waiting to be made into souffles and breakfasts and yummy cakes. How distanced we have come from our food.
Well, that is my rant for today.
Until tomorrow, happy homemaking, and listen to your inner voice, it might be trying to get your attention.