Sunday, October 11, 2009

11 October 1955 “News, Recipes, VICTORY WEEK, and a Question”

I have had company for the past few days, so do please excuse the fewer posts.

I have been a bit lax in news as well, so here we go:

The actor James Dean died on 30 September 1955,  when his Porsche 550 Spyder collides with another automobile at a highway junction near Cholame, California. He's 24 years old.

Though he only really has three major films to his name ( the final movie The Giant, with Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson, was released posthumously in 1956) his death while young, rebellious in a fast car, along with his film “Rebel without a Cause”rebel without a cause cemented his iconography.

To me this really represents what is coming ahead: The youth culture of ‘live fast and leave a beautiful corpse’. The idea of teenagers needing a world away from the rules of the adults. What is scary to me is, now they have that world! Those baby boomers ARE the adults and though there are exceptions to the rule, they often seem to me to want to all be James Dean. Even politicians seem to have the attitude of  “I do want I want without care or responsibility” and sometimes it sends a chill down my spine. But, none the less, the idea of the rebel is born.

What surprises me is so many girls look for the rebel as date material despite their very attitude of self before anyone, moody uncontrollable passions, and really lazy attitudes are the exact opposite to real long term happiness in a relationship.  The very idea that your image and how you are living in terms of perception of ‘cool’ to other people seems to me, now, to be the very cause of so much sadness and misunderstanding in how the real ADULT world really works. Here we have youth living happily in a world their parents struggled to make safe and calm and happy after what they had gone through with the war and everything, but maybe it was too nice. The teens, their children, found the reliability and constancy of warm homemade meals, rules and a clean orderly home stifling, but that is only because they took it for granted. Just think how many young children today would benefit from a parent at home, homemade meals, and the lesson of consequence for action and it doesn’t matter how you look to other people, but what you actually do and how you treat your neighbor is more important. Why does everyone have to be cool? Here is a clip of the argument in the movie with James explaining why he ‘had to do it’ because they called him “chicken”.

Now, obviously James Dean was a good actor, but this role, this niche of the misunderstood teen against the world, really was needed at this time. The sad part is how much it has become a blueprint for the world today. There are reality shows dedicated to people who need to ‘look cool and act how they want without regard to peoples feelings’ etc.

There has to somehow be a happy medium of self-worth, responsibility and equilibrium. It seems today EVERYONE is rebelling, but against what? All the walls and norms have been broken down. In some way I feel like we, the Apron Revolutionaries, are the real real modern day Rebels. When the norm in public is herds of people (teens and adults) tattooed and cool in their jeans and attitude, hip to the core, I feel like when I stroll in with my petticoat and hat and heels, I’m the real rebel, and believe you me sometimes I get the looks the old leather clad youths probably got.

On 3 October 1955, The Mickey Mouse Club premiers. Now, as some of you may know, I have many qualms with Disney. I feel in some way, the company has taken the free open world of imagination and old fairy tales and slapped a price tag on them. They are behind the ridiculous extended 100 year copyright laws in this country, which is ironic, since they are trying to protect stories that they themselves, ‘stole’, which is the old fairy tales, but I digress. This show seems rather sweet.

I can’t get over again the difference between this dance routine and the modern day cheerleaders. One of my hubby’s work associates told him they had gone to a local school show and the 9 and 10 year old ‘dance’ troupe basically did really sexy moves to a Hip Hop song. He, himself only early 30’s, was appalled. I think we do need some innocence back. I don’t understand if why we now have sexual freedom we need to be so focused on it? There are other parts to being a human being than sex and if we are liberated, why go on and on by displaying it? We should now be able to focus on other elements of life, right?

This shows another example of today people caring more about ‘how they appear to others’. If these boys today, clean and groomed in a suit and bowtie showed up, they would get teased. Yet, people are always talking about how conformist the 1950’s were, but how many of the masses of people, including adults, are fixated on how cool they are and how they appear to strangers at the mall and other functions? Just something to think about.

I was amazed by this video that aired this year (1955) on the Mickey Mouse Club.

What a novel idea! Instead of over charging students for education and making it a corporate business, they teach the kids how to both learn and to be responsible with actual physical work in exchange for mental! I wonder if this still exists today. What a great opportunity for those who could not afford an education and still understand the actual physical labor involved in how the world works. What do you think of this? I have a feeling if this was offered today we would have to listen to people say it was SOCIALISM, even though what is more socialism than the government bailing out the poorly run banks and financial institutions? Really, this is the industry of fair trade for work and education. Does anyone know if this college still exists?

Today, 11 October, the new innovation in Film of 70-mm film is introduced with Rodgers and Hammerstein's masterpiece, Oklahoma!

Another aspect I have noticed from the 1950’s to the present is the Horror movie. Really the scary horror film was born in the 1950’s and really for a kids audience. Youths on Saturdays would go see double features of ‘Creature” films etc. Today, the horror film baffles me. The series called SAW which I have not seen but know of seems to be a series of senseless violence and,well, horror. Certainly, I don’t want there to be limits on what is made, but I do want us to look at WHY we do make the movies we make. What is the result in our own society that such movies are so popular? Maybe peoples everyday life of endless work in mindless jobs and easy entertainment at every turn, the tv, the computer music everywhere, we hardly feel anything. So, to really get our attention, to make us FEEL anything,  we need to see bodies dismembered and destroyed. Again, if we use our brains and knowledge to dissect the world around us, we can enjoy ourselves, but also understand WHY we enjoy certain things and decide, is that really entertaining?

woman cooking Now, for the kitchen:

Yesterday Gussie, who works on a local farm with the animals, brought home a wonderful surprise: Bags of veggies. Amongst these were a few heads of cabbage. So, I took out the ole’ cookbooks and found so many ways to use this wonderful vegetable.

I was sad to have to leave mine at the other house as we have rented it, but I am already going to plan a good amount of this wonderful vegetable for my garden next spring. It seems to keep really, well, likes growing in the cool weather and can be preserved rather easily.

The recipe I tried last night was Braised Red Cabbage and Apples. Though our cabbage was not Red, it was so good. Hubby adored it and my head began to swim with all the new ways I could cook and use this wonderful veg. I am sure many of you already cook with cabbage, but for me it is a new introduction to my increasing repertoire of food preparation. Here is the recipe:

Braised Red Cabbage and Apples

Caramelized chopped onion gives this dish its special flavor. IF you like, season more highly with nutmeg and cayenne or with allspice and clove (I actually added a little Tabasco sauce and it was lovely)

4 Tablespoons bacon fat or fat salt pork

2 Tablespoons sugar

1 small onion, chopped

4 cups shredded cabbage

2 tart apples, sliced

3 Tablespoons mild vinegar

1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

Salt and Pepper

Water, stock , or red wine

Melt fat, add sugar, and stir until golden brown. Add onion and cook slowly until golden yellow. Add cabbage, apples, vinegar, and seasonings. Cook slowly until very tender. Add a little water, stock or wine as necessary to keep from sticking. Serves 4 to 6.

Now, I used butter instead of bacon fat, only because I was out of bacon, and believe me I WILL use the fat next time, but the butter was really nice as well. After making this dish, and it was so good, I found this footnote to the recipe:

Braised White cabbage Use 1/4 sugar and only 1 tablespoon vinegar.

That is what I should have done, as I used white cabbage, but honestly, I found it sweet enough and I love vinegar. I also used apple cider vinegar which is a little sweeter. Another thing I noticed was this said it would serve 4 to 6, my hubby and I ate the whole dish full last night at dinner! Another example of modern portions and amounts.

Speaking of this, I am getting ready for my marketing tomorrow which will be for our VICTORY WEEK. I am not sure who is joining me, but the shopping list is in one of my previous blogs, so print it out or write it down and lets make a weeklong move towards Victory over waste, consumption and to better health! I am curious to see how it will end up. We can be thankful it is just a week and not years and years as the UK had it during the war.

I am going to try this recipe tonight with more of our cabbage. (this could be a good one for VICTORY WEEK as well, as it uses very little and you could probably cut down to one egg yolk or use the whites for another dinner and the yolks for this, thus stretching your eggs out.)

Hot Slaw

1/2 cabbage

2 egg yolks, slightly beaten

1/4 cup cold water

1 tablespoon butter

1/4 cup hot vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt.

Shred cabbage. Mix egg yolks, cold water, butter, vinegar, and salt. Cook over hot water, stirring constantly, until thick. Add cabbage. Reheat. Serves 4.

In my last post, one of my faithful followers Zebu posed the following question:

I agree that two-income families can definitely cut back! What do those of you who work say about your husbands? Would they go along with this cutting way back so that you could stay home? Would they WANT you to be able to stay home?

I am also interested in this. How many of you, who are not already single incomers, would like to be? Would your spouse go for it or be open to the discussion. How do you think your family and friends would react or treat you?

Well, until tomorrow and onto VICTORY WEEK!

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