Good morning gals, no pontificating today, just recipes and household hints. I decided before the new year I needed at least one post with some practical applications, so no rants today. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and your ‘to-do’ list and we can share some fun ideas on food and home for the coming new year. And we are not really that far away from Spring cleaning are we?
First, I know it is a bit late for Christmas recipes, but they can always be filed away for next year, and really cookies are good anytime, right? (As always, click on the image and it should open large enough to read or print.)
Cookies: Here is a wonderful picture of some interesting and very 1950’s candy/sweets. I think many of these would be good for a Valentine’s Day tea as well, so have included them. The recipes follow and again, click and enlarge. If you want you can print them the size of an index card and glue them on for your recipe box!
Here are some tips I have found from the time period:
Bread crusts are ideal for cleaning the meat grinder; then add to the meat dish for flavor and food.
To keep a recipe book or card clean while you’re cooking, place it under an upside-down pie plate. The curved bottom also magnifies the print.
(This tip is good for the holiday season, as I know the bottom of my stocking was teeming with Brazil nuts.)Warm Brazil nuts in the oven before cracking them.
A corner cut from an envelope and pierced at the point makes a good funnel for filling salt and pepper shakers.
(I have not tried this one, but I think I might. I would feel rather dainty going about the house rubbing my gloved hands upon everything, maybe I will wear a hat to boot and make a day of it. Hopefully the neighbor won’t stop by and peek in the window while I am in the middle of it! I think I am considered eccentric enough.)Wear white cotton gloves sprayed with furniture polish to do your dusting
When cleaning windows use one teaspoon vinegar, one teaspoon ammonia and fill small spray bottles with water, use newspapers to wipe windows, makes them shine
When grass stains get on clothes, use molasses, rub in well and leave several minutes to soak before washing.
When your bed sheets wear out, they can be folded in half and used to make pillow cases, cut them desired width and use the original hems.
Remove stains in vases by filling with tea leaves and vinegar, shake or swoosh until stain disappears.
Make mittens from old towels and use to dust blinds.
To remove mildew, 1/2 cup vinegar, douse the item up and down and mildew will disappear.
To remove lipstick stain from cottons and sweaters, use a cloth dabbed in rubbing alcohol. Apply gently to stain and it leaves no tell tale circle.
To keep skirts from sliding off hanger, wrap bar with a strip of bias cut velvet, cut one inch wide.
Cream pitchers will not drip if a little butter or salad oil is put on the end of the lip.
Freezing of clothes on the line during cold weather is prevented by using a little salt in last rinsing water.
A button sewn to the corner of the dish cloth comes in handy to scrape sticky particles from the dishes. ( I have not tried this one, but you bet I am going to use up some of those random single buttons for this purpose.)
Wet a piece of cloth with ammonia, put in warm oven for a few hours; this will loosen any burnt food that is sticking to the surfaces.( I would like to try this one, as I hate the fumes and chemicals in a store bought oven cleaner. Have any of you tried this?)
Save old match boxes and use them for molds when making homemade soap. Simply tear away the box portion when ready to use.
Work shirts that are fraying at the cuffs can be saved from the rag bag with a little bias tape. Trim off the frayed part closely and bind the edge with tape in the closest matching color. It will make a neat mend and strengthen the cuff. (I like this one and even if your cuffs are NOT frayed, it would make a quick personal touch , don’t you think?)
Don’t throw fat away even if it was used for frying fish and has retained the odor, simply fry a slice of potato in the fat and the potato will absorb the odor. (this is good to know, because one thing 1955 has taught me, DONT THROW AWAY YOUR GREASE AND FAT)
Are you just about to throw away that burnt aluminum saucepan? Pour some water in it and add an onion; set it on to boil and you will soon find that all the burnt matter will loosen and come to the top, leaving the saucepan clear and bright again
Okay, one little rant. I know I should not be talking about or knowing who Eva Longoria is (in fact, I did not really until I read this article online. Also, I have never seen Desperate Housewives, but I have a strong feeling it is probably more about sexualizing women’s roles that showing the positive role of the homemaker.) So, here is the picture that burns my casserole. Now, what is odd, is in the article the person interviewing her has said things like, “Eva says she wants to be a 1950’s housewife even though we know that time was, and I quote: “… idealizing a time when women had little rights and respect”. The interviewer also says, and I quote, “Is it possible to take care of one’s husband without glamorizing limiting gender roles? No? Ok”.
What I find very interesting and probably really see it now more due to my time here in 1955 (Okay, I know I am not REALLY in 1955, but my research) is how scary such an image mixed with that attitude cab be. The interviewer is quick to judge ALL women of the time in their ‘limiting’ roles and yet, this image is so overtly sexual it makes me laugh.
So, is our ‘freedom’ and ‘move forward’ only gained by trading the role of the female as someone to be cherished and respected with someone who is only sexual? And, is that ‘freedom’ role only valid when one is young and sexy, or like this actress able to afford personal trainers and plastic surgery? I just find the overtly sexualized image of women as ‘young nymphets’ a very scary role. What other roles are there out there? I see magazines covered with young sexy people or making fun of older actresses love handles and cellulite. Who cares! When we aren’t traipsing about in our underpants or waving our ‘money makers’ at clubs in a stripper fashion, we have no value?
Now, don’t get me wrong, I know there has been and will always be a place for women who choose to ‘dance/strip/ burlesque’, but even that seems to be degraded to some foul practice rather than than the artful forms of Gypsy Rose Lee with the exception of Dita Von Tease, of course.
Yet, regardless of whether a woman should want to choose this role, we are told, rather blatantly, by TV, movies, internet ads and magazines that a woman’s role is not only Decorative, but sexually so. What scares me the most is a militant feminist would be so quick to poo-poo her Foremothers of the past, while embracing a ‘freedom’ that seems to me more ‘prison’ than before. I want the freedom of career and choice and education for women, but I also want them to have the sense and reality of mind to call a spade a spade. Look around you, do you like to be solely regarded by your level of sexuality, or coolness? Do you like being judged by rather you have your low rise jeans low enough or if your rock hard abs are perfect and your exposed body parts free of cellulite. Perhaps if we were not told and viewed only by how ‘pretty we are’ we could actually be judged by our skills and our beauty might come through our choice of fashion and our minds, not merely how tone and hot and young our bodies are! Wouldn’t it be nice for a young girl to see an older woman, comfortable size not model thin, in a fun fashionable outfit with a crazy old hat and gloves who is smart and proud and doesn’t care what others think of how she ‘looks, but is concerned that she is viewed by her intelligence her skills and place she has made for herself in community. When 50 year old women feel the need to emulate a 15 year old girl and whose fixation with her own looks and how ‘cool and hip’ she is, where are our young women suppose to go? For what heights and goals are they to aim? They are already younger and sexier by their youth alone and feel no need to improve for they are the ‘ideal’, they only have to worry and fixate on ‘holding onto that youth’ as they slip into their 30s, 40s, 50s.
I guess it is all really a result of having so much of our world be visual and controlled by advertising. How does one make an older intelligent woman who doesn’t care if she is hot, but cares to look nice and dress for herself sell cars, toothpaste, or be on a reality show. The very visual instant pleasure seeking world in which we dwell seems to have no place for older intelligent women who care more about what is in their head or coming out of their mouths than if they have the ‘coolest tattoo’.
So, with that off my chest, I hope you enjoyed the recipes and tips. Please share more of your own in the comments with all of us. It will be nice to have a forum on my hopeful website to share and discuss such household tips and recipes.