Monday, January 18, 2010

18 January 1956 “Blue Suede Shoes, Baked Noodle and Cheese Casserole, and Desegregation”

carl perkins On 1 January 1956, the song “Blue Suede Shoes” was released by Carl Perkins on the Sun Records label. Many consider Perkins the beginning or one of the leaders of the “Rockabilly” movement. Many today use the term ‘Rockabilly’ to denote a fashion sense that mixes 1950’s and modern urban sometimes incorporating tattoos and piercings as among its oeuvre. But, Rockabilly is, in fact, a genuine American Music Genre. Here is a description I found:

The term rockabilly is a portmanteau of rock (from rock 'n' roll) and hillbilly, the latter a reference to the country music (often called hillbilly music in the 1940s and 1950s) that contributed strongly to the style's development. Other important influences on rockabilly include western swing, boogie woogie, and rhythm and blues.

This form of music and dress has its own subculture today.

Here he is performing his 1956 hit:

It seems interesting to note that here, mid decade, we are beginning to see a pattern forming that will lead to our present day of such a varied list of musical styles. While, during the early 1900’s Ragtime (such as Scott Joplin) was really that first movement of ‘youth’ or ‘young peoples’ music that first made the older generation put their hand to their ears and suddenly a divide was born between what the young and old listened to.

Of course, not on the level of today, but there was a time, even in the 1950’s before Rock and Roll, where families might be at a dance together and all share in the joy of a similar kind of music.

Now various genres are beginning to form, rock and roll, rockabilly etc until today the varied ‘sections’ of music is almost staggering from Freak Folk, to Death metal. While hardly wanting to stimey nor restrict the creative act of new music styles and art, it seems the continual ‘separation’ of ‘what type of music you like’ just serves to further separate us into groups so we can know whom to hate and make it easier for the corporate world to sell to us. For example the Goth movement was a subculture which then became a marketing movement with such stores as Hot Topic. But, I digress. We shall always love and want music in our lives.

It is also important to state that here, in the early 20th century, the American movement of new music really begins to form and affect the whole world. Not until the “British” invasion of the 1960’s is there really a contender for the American style of popular music.

But, you can see how this early Joplin piece moves into the 1920’s Jazz then the 30’s Boogie Boogie and 1940’s Big band, and into 1950’s Rock and Roll.

Now, I thought I would throw in a fun recipe for Baked Noodle and Cheese Casserole. This recipe is even MORE homemade and fun if you make your own egg noodles, but of course you do not have to. But, let me tell you, once you make your own noodles you will DEFINITELY have an ‘ah-ha’ moment.

I recieved, as a gift from dear hubby (at my request of course) a hand crank pasta machine. I had wanted to ‘unravel’ the mystery of pasta. It can be eaten and used so many ways, I had dreams of various flavored pasta mixed with herbs and what have you. And, I have tried many varieties and even dried my own for ‘spaghetti’ type italian dishes. However, the indespensible egg noodle is such a versatile creature and is so yummy in homemade soups and casserroles.

Now, ladies, here is how EASY egg noodles are. You can take this recipe and double it as needed to feed more people. This is usally enough for me to do a hearty large pot of soup or I would double it for the following recipe.

You take one cup flour in a bowl. Now make a little hole in the center of the flour ( I always think of it as a little volcano!) next, take one egg and be careful to break the egg fairly evenly in half, and I will tell you why next. So you broke the egg into the flour volcano hole, now take half of your broken egg and fill it with milk (see you don’t have to dirty another measuring cup!) and drop that in the volcano. Now, with a fork, swirl that around in the flour volcano hole until it is blended and then start mixing it with the flour. It should eventually ‘chase itself around’ the bowl, as you do with other doughs. That is it!

Now, as I have a pasta machine, I make three little balls, roll it through the ‘smoothing’ side a few times to get it as thin as I like and then run it through the pasta side, and ta-dah! If you were making soup, you would already have your stock boiling and about an half an hour on a low boil will cook them up lovely.

Now, no pasta machine? No worry! Just roll it out like biscuit dough, get out your trusty pizza cutter ( I know you must have one!) and viola, cut the noodles to your hearts content. Sometimes the uneven quality makes them even prettier, I think.

So, see how that is it: flour, egg, milk mix and noodles. You can add spices to this dough, dried cheese whatever your little heart desires.

Now for the casserole recipe:

1 package (12 oz.) wide egg noodles (or make your own, gals!)

2 cups cottage cheese, large curd

3 cups sour cream

1 clove garlic, minced

6 TBS grated onion

1 TBS chopped pimento (the pimento was THE ingredient in 1950’s cooking. They could not use it enough as garnish, filling, or ingredient! The packaging today, as it happens, is still very similar the 1950’s. They even made Pimento spreads you could buy. See picture below.)

1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce

1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (please don’t call this War-sest-er-shy-err. It offends our New England ears. It is Wor-shis-ter sauce as Worcester Massachusetts is ‘Wooster” Massachusetts.)

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese.

Cook noodles until tender in large amount of boiling salted water. (if homemade noodles about 1/2 an hour girls)Drain. Combine drained noodles, cottage cheese, sour cream, garlic, and seasonings. Turn into buttered 2-quart casserole and sprinkle grated cheese over the top. Bake in moderate oven (375 F) for 25 minutes or until heated thoroughly. Makes 12 servings (that is 1955 servings, most likely 6 modern servings.)

bordens pimento spread

So, let me know if you like this recipe.

Now, as today (in 2010) is MLK day, I thought I would mention the race struggle. In my 1956 copy of American Magazine there is an article entitled, “School Crisis in Dixie” about the impending desegregation to take place in the south come this September (1956).

Again, many people seem to think the race issue was not around until 1960’s but in fact, as you might have seen in one of my earlier posts, as early as the 1940’s the issue was being addressed by the government.

And on 17 May 1954, the court declared racial segregation in public schools unconstitutional and all state segregation laws null and void. Then on 31 May 1955, the same court, without setting a specific deadline date, ruled that the states must act in ‘good faith’ in making prompt and reasonable start in putting desegregation into effect. This coming September (1956) is when many things will occur.

Here, again, I find that pivotal point in 1950’s when we were faced with a problem that has become a part of our modern world, that had the majority of reasonable people stood up, such a different path could have been taken. Yet, we let, as is our case usually, the loudest wheels speak for us and the 'whites’ soon became seen to be all racist idiots who cared little for anyone but themselves. I believe we really suffer, to this day, for out stepping aside in this manner.

Yet, one cannot go back and rewrite the past, but we can learn from our past mistakes. I hope when we see the outcome of the rational people keeping their voice silent we often are left looking the fool in the end. This is, again, the case today concerning such things as the MONSANTO corp. and their ilk. I hope our grandchildren will not look back upon us, while they sit in their world controlled by 2-3 corporations who hold the patent on the very cell structure of humankind, all plants and animals, and wonder, “Why did they do nothing?”

This video is an interesting compilation of the boycotts happening in 1955-56. It finishes up in 63 with MLK, which I thought appropriate today.

It does show our country, since it’s very beginning, has been hard won and hard fought. There are things that we, as most countries have to contend with as well, were not ‘fair’ to others. The misuse of the Native American,Slavery, the fight against the British for unfair taxation when we were just a fledgling colony.

+Yet, in all of the hate, war, and mistrust we are all still individuals. And, if we can only just see ourselves and then others as individual people with feelings, mothers and fathers, as brothers and sisters, then perhaps we can come to judge and treat one another with the shared respect of humanity not race, creed, class. I DO think we have come a long way. And I also think that we need now, more than ever, to have the reasonable people, those of us who would not have shouted in protest AGAINST equality or fair treatment, to finally raise our voice and let the world know that not only the severe people, the ‘squeaky wheel’ with their ill-mannered hate speak for the majority. It is ALL OUR country and I hope we can stand up, not only to ignorance but also to our own inability to think we cannot stop the march forward of the corporation or the buy out of our own government by the corporation. It is, truly all our country now, but for how long.

In the words of MLK, “Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”

And, in a quote that seems pertinent to we homemakers, “All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”


  1. Great Post, and I'll be trying out your recipe tonight!

  2. Great thought provoking post, I love the 50's music (alot of sixties motown as well)-I never get tired of these wonderful songs.

    My Dad was a teen in the late fifties, and would talk about the sock hops he would go to, he sure was able to get away with alot more stuff back then :)

    I think he learned from his own lessons, because he was very much the"Victorian" father with me :)

    Mom in Canada

  3. Great post, i love your blog more and more everyday, everyday i reserve a little time to read it.

  4. During my tenure, a couple of students were chanting in the classroom just before the start of class. To my shock and surprise, they told me they were "singing!" There was no melody--at least to my ears. I was well aware of the diversion that I had taken with popular culture, but was surprised how far that gap really was.

    I read an article once concerning the "family piano." Parents, in the not so distant past, thought of a piano as an investment rather than a luxury. In the early 20th century you could go down to the local music store, pick out the newest sheet music as you would a record or now CD, and have the song-plugger, such as George Gershwin in his youth, play it for you. Party and family gatherings included standing around the piano, singing. Electricity was not needed. Participation was encouraged.

    My grandmother was a voice teacher, and being raised with the popular music from the 20's, on, she almost always played the piano for special occasions. She brought out her sheet music and we would sing, at her direction, around the piano as she played. I remember one special party. My grandmother played until she was tired, then my other grandmother, who was classically trained and played piano for silent movies in her youth, played. When she tired, my great aunt played. My great uncle, who almost always brought his banjo and clarinet, played with them as well.
    They were fond memories of my youth.

    Music evokes strong feelings and can be rather controversial. Music does divide generations and lifestyle. I do not think this is a coincidence. I think the "great divide" in music became evident when the music focused on the beat instead of the melody. We are also seeing the results of this focus in many areas of our culture.

    I play in a local orchestra. The music teachers complain that many instruments are having a slow death in the schools. The vast majority want to play percussion.

    While I enjoy listening to some of the songs of the 30's, 40's and 50's because they really were part of my childhood, not all of the songs were "innocently pure." In fact, some of the lyrics are undesirable. Discernment was needed then, as now.

  5. I made sure my boys took music lessons, and now that they are grown, they are finally appreciating it.

    Oh, I just did a post on the baby-boom generation (my findings) and since you are interested in that era, I thought you'd like to see it. It is my latest post: In Defense of Baby-Boomers.

    BTW, no I did not take offense at anything you said. I think you are cool and your blog is GREAT. I love to look at it. Brings back good memories.

  6. Sorry I have not been 'around' today. I was very busy all of a sudden, and my 'website/blog' list did not get crossed off. Well, it goes to show you, that lists and schedules ARE meant to be elastic!
    I agree with the drum and base movement in music away from melody. Even in the early Joplin (not janice silly! the 1900's version)the music began to be more percussive by the fact that the piano is a percussive instrument. That root almost tribal rythmn has grabbed hold and not let go. Only in the realms of 'classical' music, but then of course even there you have Prokofiev who, in his own way, was rather like a metal drummer in the classical piano composition world. I tend to like jazz from the 20s and then into the 50s. I love the big band and all the popular music like Gershwin etc sung by Ella, and Doris Day. I have never really been 'into' 50's rock and roll. I don't dislike it, but it is not my first choice, which, actually, is rather fitting for my age in mid 1950s woudl have been too late for me to be young enough to get or want to get rock n roll.
    Civilla-I am sorry you said you seem to find sites that 'blame' the baby boomers. My own feeling on the generation was that it seemed, to me, to be the beginning or the FIRST generation (and all since then seem to become worse including my own) to really care more about the ME and 'it's not my fault' and 'I didn't know I was doing it or couldn't help it' sort of atitude which we all seem to care. As if personal responsibility and choices were suddenly no longer their/our provence. I, of course, know not all people in the generation are OF the generation. But, there does still, in my opinion, seem to be a sort of leaving of the 'adults' as the last of the pre baby boomers die off. I am glad that you think me 'cool' and I hope NEVER to offend. I merely speak as I find.

  7. No generation was young as ours was young, it is true.

    Oh, I mentioned that my husband's mother went to Catharine Gibbs Secretarial School. Why don't you do a post about 50's gals studying at that school and becoming secretaries? That would be cool!!

  8. Well! Today, you have raised the patriot strain and we-CAN-do-it fervor in my heart! The seed dilemma you speak of has bothered me for some time. I by organic, which at this point, can still reproduce. The future, however, is a scary question. But…why can’t we stand up? We can!

    I read a tidbit, yea a grand tidbit, to my class this evening; it seems apropos here, so here it is.

    “Mankind are more disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

    Why I was home-schooling, we memorized part of the Declaration of Independence. I think that everyone should be required to do this. Not one person in the class knew where it came from, and these are all adults…sad indeed.

    That one small sentence has stuck in my memory and even my forethoughts ever since. Why should we, as mankind, be lazy and allow ourselves to suffer. Why should we stay in a rut? That is human tendency, but it doesn’t have to be ours! Our forefathers had had enough of the despots of England and rather than staying in the rut they were in “suffer[ing] [the] evils”, they said, “Enough!”

    It IS “All OUR country”!

    Marvelous post, 50sgal, marvelous post!

  9. Oh, 50's gal, I am so thrilled that you decided not to join us in the 21st century. I just love you and was wondering to see what would happen after your 1955 year was up. I am very delighted to see that is 1956, rather than 2010.

  10. Kathie Truitt-What a lovely thing to say. It certianly is lovely to be 'loved'. I may, if I find I cannot help it, refer to the 21st century, but it will be my view through a pair of strong binoculars as I sit comfortable here in 1956.
    Zebu-I am so glad you enjoyed my post. I do so often feel, this is OUR country, why do we, the reasonable people, let the small minded or 'duped' speak for us. I feel so much injustice to the common man and particularly the middle class is done by such things as Fox "NEWS" (and I use that last word with MORE than a grain of salt) owned by one of the top three people who seem to be on a plan to control the entire world! How funny we are so easy and quick to hate a Despot when he blazonly stands before us in uniform shouting from platforms, but let them slowly gain control of the air waves and all media, create a world where in we can sit and be entertained, and then watch us hand over our rights and freedoms left and right. Oh, well. What can a little ole aproned homemaker do?

  11. I am quite curious as to why only those with one particular point of view are, apparently, referred to as "hateful" and "noisy" and "squeaky wheels". Really, now. Particularly when many of them are saying the very same things the founders of this nation did! How very silly. Is one "unreasonable" because they believe people should be self-sufficient, caring for themselves, family & loved ones? That they should be responsible for themselves, & thus by default others? That they should lend a hand where they can, but not be forced to do so? That we should be free, and not nanny-stated to death, that the government should not take from one man & give to another? How is that at all unreasonable?

    Moreover, how can one be a despot when all they do is speak on radio, on television, or write in magazines? How? Can they force you to do or not do something? Can they take your money away from you under penalty of imprisonment or fines? No, but Congress can keep you from doing things; they are already telling us what sort of light bulbs we are allowed to purchase and use, for Pete's sake. In parts of Europe, places we consider 'free', absurd things are already, well, dictated to the people. Is that not despotism? Is that not tyranny, when a government feels it has the right to stick its cloven hooves into every part of the lives of its citizens? That is nowhere in the Constitution I read.

    Look at the laws on the books, then look at the Declaration and Constitution, and the enumeration of powers. Our government has far overstepped its bounds in every direction indeed, you are right, but it seems to me you are pointing at (some of) the wrong people (some are culpable in one way or another). Studying these things is *what I do*. This is not a political point of view speaking, it is what I have learned.

    So far as Fox News, whatever we think of them, any network that plans to broadcast what I suspect they are planning to show this Friday at 5 (I have known many people from formerly communist nations ruled by true despots, so have heard many of the sickening stories of the wonders of communism and socialism)...Well. Even broken clocks are right twice a day.

    For all the wisdom you have put on display here, 50sGal...Hearing you say some of the things you've said here have really disappointed and saddened me. It is like a little tear into my heart, for you've been welcomed into the family, after a fashion.

    What is funny is we would probably love to see the same thing: a free country, a free people living their lives unmolested by men or governments. People to be responsible for themselves, living their own quiet lives, caring for themselves, families, neighbors, being active in their neighborhood, being happy, content, at peace, not in debt to their eyeballs for pointless things.

    It truly is making me sad, reading that you think those (many of them little homemakers) who *are* trying to say something, to bring attention to the overspending, the craziness, the plain absurdity of what has gone on and continues are stupid, duped, small-minded. Is it not possible that they, too, see something is horribly wrong, but they have a different way of expressing it?

    It really does make me sad, in fact it almost makes me want to cry, I have to say; that is because other than that, we might get along quite well. I do so like what I have read of you in the past year.

    Perhaps some are more high-blooded than others about such things, but it is no reason to insult them, particularly as that, too, is heard on the airwaves (and, sadly, from our own legislators as well, that seems worse) daily.

  12. Anon-first off, I want to say THIS is exactly why I have NEVER turned on the option to 'okay a comment before I let it be listed'. I feel in a true democracy and a real world where we can FEEL free, all voices should be heard and here your's has.
    First, I went through this post to try and descern what particualar points you were referring to. I am not sure whom you mean I am calling despotic, other than those people who, in this instance of this post, refused to accept a ruling that came about by a vote of the majority of the people that it was illeagal to separate whites and blacks. When this came about, reasonable people could have got together and even consider gather whites and blacks together to discuss and decide. THAT is the true FOUNDING of this company, that those who have been succumbed to tyranny join and make a new world free of it. However, a truly rational and advanced people will need laws.
    I also agree that today there are insane laws that seem to smell of tyranny, as you mentioned the light bulb. But what I THINK is that because we have progressively ALLOWED (and that is people are not literally coming into our homes grabbing us physcially, but the TV is IN OUR HOMES and it is a TOOL that helps us to DECIDE one way or another. This can, in a sense, make us do things. There are various froms of manipulation).
    The only people I consider small minded people are those who will, without emotional consideration, look at the facts and then gather opinoins based on what is happening in the world at the time without the vehicle of what, say, the newspaper or tv is telling us.
    I am sorry that you feel the need to cry or that I have, in some way, saddened you. But, you must understand, as i just commented on my other post, sometimes we let emotional states cloud the jugement of a problem that could have been considered by ALL THE PEOPLE in a calm way BEFORE it became a part of the SHOUTING.
    I must also say, with no intention on my part, had I meant to insult anyone. And again, I am trying to see, in my post, whom would have been insulted. I see you have been, but I would honestly like to know it what way. I never wish to offend. Again, the whole point of the post was why can we not be rational people with dignity who can discuss rather than shout nor take offense.
    I also am not really familiar with the term' high-blooded' does that mean passionate? I wish I knew.
    When I look at the UK and see the increasing amount of video survelliance going on there, I see that is a scary moment. But, we do not need to succumb to that if we could better get along with one another, but really such 'loss of freedom' is at the hand of the big corporatioin, and I honestly mean that, becasue the more we can be monitored and watched. the more our dna can be legally owned by corporations and the very seeds of the soil owned by corporatations, than the true loss of freedom is eventual.
    I think sometimes cable news and the tv used emotions to keep us on this or that side of the fence so we do not pay attention to the real problem, the real situation. We should care more for one another, yes each other as a person BEFORE we look at their actions. If we could have had this concept then I think alot of the race riots could have been not needed for we could have come togetehr, regardless of race or beliefs and decided what is right for us without violence or hate.

  13. When you mention the outlying laws and considerations of the beginning of our country, I too see that. I also see that the 14th ammendment of this country was that freedome of slaves, so freedome far ALL people is a right in our constitution. THen around 1900 as the industrial revolution really got its hold the coporation began using the 14th ammendment to declare itself a PERSON. To this day, much of the rulings that have allowed corproartioins to rule and even run over and destroy the small buisness, the very backbone of our country, those who should have individual rights, by this twist of the constitution. In 1910 there wer over three hundred cases broguht before the supreme court referring to the 14th and only 3 of them were actual individual people of color. The remainder were coporations using the ammendemnt to our constitution to allow more and more rights to the 'person' of the corporation. This has lead today to the spread of the very thing that has taken MANY of our freedoms away. I am not free, as an individual, to go out and start a local store. Sure no one is stopping me, but how would I comepete with big chain stores. That is not a direct stopping but it is a fact that it cannot be and it has come about because we have allowed emotional cares of the self before the care of all.
    My ancesetors were some of the first people in this country. To think I do not love it nor hold its first rules and tenets dear is indeed a misconception. But, I know that this country was founded AWAY from the tyranny of people telling us what to do. But, then we had to form our own groups of people to help decide what we COULD all do adn that is made up of our votes! Many people act as if the government is a separate entitiy that is trying to 'get them and tell them what to do' but the government is OF AND FOR the people. When it ceases to be it is becasue WE the voters have allowed ourselves to either be swayed to vote one way or to passively accept the spread of the coproartion as it takes OVER the government by its appointments of heads.
    We are even duped in party lines Both The Clintons AND Bush were separately involved and sat on boards for walmart. They were both of varying political parties, but yet the corporatioin was served and helped to put people in power. This was not known because we did not want to bother to know it.
    Freedom, personal as well as public, must be hard won by not only saying 'we are free' but to be mindful of those freedoms, for they are not set in stone. Things can and will be changed and it is our DUTY to be a part of it, for if we fail that then what right have we to complain when it becomes different.

  14. when you wrote:
    It truly is making me sad, reading that you think those (many of them little homemakers) who *are* trying to say something, to bring attention to the overspending, the craziness, the plain absurdity of what has gone on and continues are stupid, duped, small-minded. Is it not possible that they, too, see something is horribly wrong, but they have a different way of expressing it?

    It really does make me sad, in fact it almost makes me want to cry, I have to say; that is because other than that, we might get along quite well. I do so like what I have read of you in the past year.
    I am not sure what you mean, for surely I am one of those 'little homemakers' who are pointing out the overspending and absurdity.
    I am also saddened to think that you would say, "other than that we might get along"
    that is something else that saddeneds me about today. Why is that I could not 'get along' with others who hold different view points? I should find it a very boring world and place to be were everyone around me simply the same. I should think, for my part, I would like to get along with you and DUE TO 1955 I realize, for it says it in all my etiquette books, that despite a difference of race, religion, beliefs or opinoin, manners should still exist. And really we are all just human underneath. I believe it is said, "hate the sin not the sinner' and I feel there is much hate today. Maybe because ther is so much hate and shouting and childish tantrums on the tv and media that is why you mistook my meaning. I am truly sorry that if you were even to decide that we have a difference of opinion, that you could still not call me friend. I, however, would love to hold out the 'olive branch' as it were.
    Politics and other aside, I am a simple little homemaker and a person first and you are too, let us be friends and not 'cry' on either side. There is far more need for love and understanding, particularly amongst we women, than sadness or despair.
    I hope I can call you friend.

  15. Wow, no reason to be so mean. We all have opinions, but sometimes its just classy to keep it to yourself.

    50's gal, I like what you write even if I agree or don't. I say feel free to say what you feel. You did not ask anyone to come and read your blog, we all choose to.

    Thank you for a wonderful blog.

  16. Very well said, indeed. I, too, hope that we may ALL be friends.

  17. Anon posters who offer no name, no link to their blog, no email address - I'd just hit the delete button. If they can't at least give you a name (even if it's fake) then they should be ignored.

  18. Now I finally came to read this famous post (I am a little behind as always, but wants to read every word from you), and simply cannot see what should upset anybody here, except if you are intolerant or racist. Such warm and wise words:
    “if we can only just see ourselves and then others as individual people with feelings, mothers and fathers, as brothers and sisters, then perhaps we can come to judge and treat one another with the shared respect of humanity not race, creed, class.”

    Have you heard from the anon commentor again? Perhaps she had misunderstood a lot and you could clear things out.

    You must NEVER call yourself ”a simple little homemaker” – you have started the Apron Revolution. We are so many who loves your words and gets inspired by you. :)

  19. You obviously struck a chord with Anonymous and provoked an impassioned "self-defense" response. That level of defensiveness implies a person who is usually comfortable with others who share their same opinions and when their particular worldview is challenged by another's perception of reality, things, well, start to fall apart. I personally smelled a bit of racism and lack of charity cloaked as patriotism.

    You handled it well. I've enjoyed your blog immensely! Keep on with the good work!

  20. Pangloss,

    How right on the nose you are when you state that those people are challenged by someone else's perceptions. Oh my goodness. They are so difficult to deal with.


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