Thursday, April 1, 2010

1 April 1956 “Dress Form, Recipes, Fitted Sheets, Flowers, and Eggbert”

I come to you on bended knee to forgive me, I have NOT finished my March dress. It is very vexing, as I have (since my 1955 year) been getting much better at time management and ticking off my lists. I could give a slew of reasons why, but I have come to realize that excuses are just that, so why bother. I did, however, manage (as I had promised myself) get my dress form made as part of this month’s challenge. Here it is with my pattern pinned to it:dressform1 It was easy to make, but definitely required help. It is three layers of duct tape (the last layer was white duct tape, as I thought it gave it a more ‘dress form’  look).
So, my dress is still in this state.dressform2 Isn’t the fabric fabulous, though? I am not sure if I have shown this fabric, but it is in the same color family as my other material so my spring/summer palette will be the blues and greens. It is going to have a little folded raised neckline as well.
Having my dress form has been MORE incentive to me to continue to lose weight. Everytime I pass by it I think, ‘Jeesh, is that what I look like from the side?” So, when I saw this, I had to laugh:fatlady coverEspecially since that is pretty much me at the market now! Although I would just go home and bake a batch of éclairs and want to eat them all!
Speaking of baked goods, here is the spread I made for hubby the other day to take to work.bakedgoods There are my homemade oreos, macaroons plain and half dipped in dark chocolate and white cupcakes with white frosting. This is my latest white cupcake and frosting recipe and I LOVE it. They are so moist and dense. My friend had one and said, “Okay, you are making my wedding cake”. I am not sure if I have shared this recipe before, so here it is:
50’s Gal Wedding Cake Cupcakes
-4 egg whites
- 1/2 cup milk
-1/2 cup cream

- 2 tablespoons vanilla

- 3 cups sifted cake flour ( I make my own cake flour, but it is worth using it in these cupcakes. To make your own you just take one cup regular flour and remove 2 TBS of the flour and replace it with 2 TBS cornstarch. S0 in this case, I put in three cups regular flour, took out 6 TBS of the flour and then measured in 6 TBS cornstarch)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar

- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder

- 1/2 teaspoon salt

- 12 tablespoons softened butter
Preheat oven to 350F
Mix egg whites, vanilla and 1/4 cup milk.
In a large mixing bowl, combine cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and mix together to blend. Add the butter and remaining 3/4 cup milk mixing on low speed until dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed for a couple of minutes,  then add the egg, vanilla and milk mixture in two equal parts, mixing until blended.
Pour the batter into prepared cupcake trays.Bake for about  15-20 minutes, remove when almost golden yellow and a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean. ( I let mine stay a little white on top, as things continue to cook after you remove them from the oven and I find they stay more moist that way) Let cool and Ice them
Frosting Recipe
- two sticks butter (room temperature)
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoon cream
Frosting Directions
Mix all the ingredients until spreadable consistency. Too runny? add more sugar. Too stiff? add more cream TBS at a time. I like to use a pastry bag to ice the cupcakes and then I sprinkle sugar on top for a little sweet surprise crunch! Here is a close up of the lovely buttery frosting.whitecupcakes
Having egg yolks left from these desserts and also leftover ham, I decided to make a crust-less quiche.
 quiche I didn’t feel like making a crust and so devised this crust less version of  a quiche. I had found one recipe for one but it called for Bisquick (which I never have as I make pancakes, biscuits etc from scratch). So, I got to thinking, “what is in Bisquick? It must just be the dry ingredients of flour, baking powder and salt.”
So, here is how I made the above. It was so moist and delicious and easy and could easily be vegetarian. I had cooked a ham earlier in the week and we had been eating off of it all week. So, before the bone went into the stock pot, I cut off most of the remaining meat and cubed it for this recipe.
50’s Gal Leftover Crust-less Quiche
4 eggs (plus I added the two leftover egg yolks so about 5 total)
3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 TBS Baking Powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup grated aged cheddar
1/4 softened butter
various veg ( I used tomatoes  and leftover asparagus and green beans)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Mix all together except veg and meat, batter will be a little lumpy, like pancake batter. Then toss in veg and meat (really this anything you want). Grease a 10” pie plate and pour in. Bake for 50 minutes or until golden brown. This is a lovely melt in your mouth dinner. It is a cross between a frittata and a quiche and it couldn’t be easier!

  • In a large bowl, beat together milk, eggs, baking mix, butter and parmesan cheese. Batter will be lumpy. Stir in broccoli, ham and Cheddar cheese. Pour into prepared quiche dish.

  • Bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes, until eggs are set and top is golden brown.

  • Someone asked me the other day on a post about my sheets. They wanted to know if I used only fitted sheets, it being 1956 and all. Well, I actually have both fitted and flat sheets. Many may not know it, but  fitted sheets have been around since the early 50’s. I have ads in my magazines from the mid 1950’s showing such sheets. This is from a 1955 magazine.fittedsheets1 Here is a close up of the text:fittedsheets2 This is from a 1951 fittedsheets3 So, I am not sure how expensive they were or how common, but I definitely felt if they were in magazines in 1951,then by 56 they’d be pretty common.
    And just because they were pretty, I thought I’d share some more pictures of our Crocus before they are all gone. These are in my front yard.
    crocus5 crocus8
    And, as Easter is coming, here is a fun song sung by Rosemary Clooney.


    1. Great post! The recipes sound great! Especially the cupcakes! ; ) Your pics of the flowers are beautiful! I wish my front yard was filled with those! Have a great weekend & Happy Easter!

    2. Your comment about your dress form is the biggest reason why I haven't taken that plunge to make myself one. I will get mad at myself for not trying harder to lose the weight I put on with baby four. (two years ago, haha)

      Thanks for the cake and frosting recipe. I have been looking for a good white cake recipe and I am ALWAYS on the lookout for a new frosting recipe. Will have to give that one a whirl.

    3. As a young child, I was aware of flat bottom sheets, but I only remember fitted bottom sheets. When I had nursing training in the mid 70's, the hospitals, at least in our area, only used flat sheets for both top and bottom. It was probably due to them being more efficient. Making a mitered cornered sheet, both top and bottom, was one of the first lessons in nursing training. My kids never learned the value of a good mitered corner for their beds. Sigh.

      We had wool blankets in 1956. My mother, being modern, had a dryer by that year. She shrunk a beautiful maroon wool blanket by trying to dry it in the dryer. Because I was little, I got that blanket. Shrunk or not, I loved it.

      Dorothy's daughter

    4. Gorgeous fabric! I can't wait to see the finished dress.

      Ahh, Rosemary Clooney--my favorite!

    5. I was curious about bisquick as we don't have it here but apparently it can be substituted with a mix of the following ingredients: 1 c flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tbsp oil or melted butter.

    6. Oh my goodness, 50s gal, I am so impressed with you! That dress form is great! Maybe you already told, but if not, can you give more details on how you made it?

      And, the baked goods and quiche look divine! Good job!

      P.S. I used a cable, which we had strung up for the dog, for a clothes line the other day. It felt so good to hang sheets again. However...Since it has been so long since I have had a clothes line, I no longer have pins. I just hung them without, tucking the two sheet ends under the blanket. Well, we had such a wind that day, that when I went out that evening to get my goods off of the line, there was only one sheet. The other flew off never to be found! Ha! (Next stop...Store to buy clothes pins)

    7. I was born in '79 and I learned how to put on flat sheets as a child. My granny finally got some fitted sheets in the late 80's but she never used them exclusively. My MIL uses fitted sheets but she uses layers of blankets too. I hate sleeping with layers of blankets so we have a nice fluffy comforter. I know it's easier to make the bed neatly with blankets but I'd rather have a slightly scruffy bed than an uncomfortable one.

      It drives me crazy that so few people can fold them properly. It takes a few seconds longer to do it neatly but so few people bother. I hate looking in my MIL or mother's linen closet because it looks so messy.

    8. I am motivated to make the dress form now! I would love detailed instructions also :o)
      I use a queen size flat sheet on my double bed-I find it stays on better than a fitted and I can pull it nice and tight! My mom was a nurse in the 50's and boy, did she know how to make a bed fast! She always amazed me by putting fresh sheets on my bed with me in it when I was sick- I thought that was the greatest :o) dee

    9. I follow your blog for a while now and I think it's a great idea and very impressive how you bring back the fab 50s in your life! That's why I have nominated your blog for an Award: -- Greetings (:

    10. Like the dress form, I am curious on how much it cost with needing 3 layers of duct tape. How did you get it to form the measurements you needed?
      Also, thank you for posting Rosemary's beautiful music, that happens to be my husband's Aunt. :)

    11. Ezymatic sheet corners! What a riot! We did live in the sticks, so maybe they just didn't get to us until years later, which was the case with dress fashions. My mother and her friends looked down on them, maybe that's why I remember them as being new-fangled. They felt was lowering your standards to use them. Thanks for posting the ads. Morag

    12. Melissa-I will do a tutorial next post about it. It actually was cheaper than the tutorial I followed, because (of course) I had to find my own way of doing it ( I always do that with recipes now too!). One roll of duct tape was about 9 dollars at our local hardware store, the white roll, I already had (for some odd art project but can't remember what) and a garbage bag, a friend and an afternoon of laughter and feeling like a cross between a robot and a medieval knight! Oh, lucky you, to have such a relative. Do you ever find yourself trying to get her to 'sing' at parties? I know I would, casually lead her towards the piano, "Oh, Auntie, would you?" and all that.
      Morag-Yes, I am not sure would I have them? I do have both flat and fitted and the strict economy of my 55 self forces me to continue to tuse the fitted I do have, as opposed to buying more flat. I find now my sensibilities are more about being true to my economy rather than just 'buying to look the part'. So, hope I am not 'cheating'.
      Well, I am off gals, my garden awaits. I am going to be doing some fencing today.

    13. My niece and nephew made me play the Eggbert song:). They loved it...Thanks.

    14. Oh, my! What a delightful collection of goodies your hubby got to bring into the office. I'm sure he bragged, politely of course.


    15. I think what you're doing is great and sorry if I came off as holding you to task for not being "authentic". All these little details of daily life like when did people start using fitted sheets, or plastic garbage bags, or switch from stockings to pantyhose just fascinate me. They're windows not just into a different time, but a different culture.

      Remembering how my mom "looked down" on women who used fitted sheets (shocking!) made me remember one not so great thing about the time when most women's primary job was in the home: justified pride in homemaking could often be perverted into gossipy judgementalism about how other women kept house. I don't miss that; I think there's less of it now. Thanks for stimulating my memories and helping me reassess them! Morag

    16. When I was little the vast majority of women were housewives. I knew a few who worked part time but usually not until their kids were in school or they might work in a pub at night once the kids were in bed and their hubbies were home. I didn't see much gossip or judgmental stuff. Women who really did nothing were judged (and rightly so IMO) for not parenting their kids and living in filth but the standard wasn't all the high, clean and safe but not obsessive.

      The only woman I knew who judged others was my friends mother and everyone judged her back really. She had two kids and used to send them to her mother's house every day so she could clean and they wouldn't mess the house up again. She judged other women who didn't have perfect houses, god forbid you have a dish in the sink or a toy on the floor when she came round and she refused to hang laundry outside because it looked bad despite the fact she was the only one I knew who used a dryer. Other women judged her for her attitude and her unwillingness to actually raise her own children. I believe she was mentally ill though, I know she's been treated for depression a number of times and she definitely showed signs of OCD in that she'd basically panic over any little mess. A houseproud woman would clean up a finger print or spill quickly but she would freak out and often tremble until the mess was clean again. Not normal behavior.

    17. Oh, I didn't feel you were 'calling me out' on being true to the year, I use the computer for crying out loud! But, as you brought it up, I thought it interesting to show they were available. If they were widely used, I don't know. As you said, a flat sheet makes a much nicer bed and corner. I suppose if you were younger you might try it, older you would just be used to the flat. As I had the fitted sheets already, I had intended, in the beginning of 1955, to just get some new flat sheets. At that point I was still very 'modern' in my consumer role in modern society. To me, as to many today, what we buy represents who we are. We want to change ourselves or feel better, we shop! But after finding the fitted still existed, I only bought two sets of flat sheets. Today, the spirit of the 'ole days' lives in me in doing things as saving aluminum foil to use over and over again. When I do use paper towel, I will dry it out to use again, so to use what I have is just part of who I have become and I feel it more 'vintage' than 'modern' only because the 'modern' me just bought and bought and threw away and didn't think about it.

    18. No, she passed away uite a few years ago. Her brother, we still visit each year.

    19. How on earth have you made that dress form? Please share since I want one too. :)

      I have to try those white cupcakes, looks very delish!

    20. Great job on that dress form. Yes when I made mine I said the same thing, do I realy look like that? yep I guess I do. It has been such a help. If you need the info again just email me for the dress form instructions. best wishes


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