Thursday, May 27, 2010

27 May 1956 “1950’s Nutrition and Recipes”

I thought we should continue our discussions of food, proportion, portion servings and nutrition both vintage and modern.
I really feel I have struck upon something worth delving into more deeply and have already begun ear-marking and notating pages and compiling some information. To cook vintage can be fun and have a certain compelling nature that might help lead us down the path to ease, health, weight loss, and returning to the basic connection with our food. It is not all Ambrosia salad and Bacon covered butter.
50snutrtionbetterhomes This is the insert from my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook is the Daily Dietary Allowances.(You can click on image to see full size ) It lays out child’s age and caloric intake. So, a homemaker at the time would see and be aware of diet on levels we are not. Also, most girls and some boys were required to take Home Ec and it would have involved detailed information of diet and even such things as how to determine good fabric to make clothing etc. A skill set to help one be independent. Today we are schooled as if we are all independently wealthy and have no need to worry about it, because we can just buy it or someone else will do it for us. Unfortunately for most of us that ‘other person’ is often the corporate world making things fatter and more chemicals so you want more and therefore  buy more.
It’s interesting to note that for a woman 64 inches tall and 128 lbs at 25 should be eating 2300 calories. That might seem a lot, but when you see how it is divided and also figure an increased routine of running about and no ‘sitting at the computer or tv’ time. A homemaker in 1955 maybe watched some television. There was perhaps the ‘bad’ housewife who would watch her ‘soap opera’s (so called because of the soap advertising) but for the most part, tv was an event shared by family in the evening except the new generation of children who were growing up with it watched much more than their parents or older siblings.
The 2006 figure increased by an average one hour per person per week compared to the previous year. People in the North East watched the most television last year at an average 4.2 hours per day. But, I digress, back to nutrition.
In this same book it goes into great detail breaking down all the foods and their caloric equivalents. Under Main Dishes and Meats such things as:
Calories     Meat
95                Bacon, two strips
140             Beef Pot roast (2 thin slices 4 x 2 inches)
245             1 patty (about 4 patties per pound raw meat)
You can see that some of these ‘bad things’ are actually not high in calorie, no sugars and the fat content is minimal when one eats a realistic portion. For example, 4 hamburgers from one pound of ground meat is a much smaller portion than you would find or be instructed to make today. Before 1955, when I did make my own patties (usually bought them pre patties-how lazy is that!) one pound would be more like 2 patties so already that is two servings per one person.
Under BREADS in this same section they have one baking powder biscuit as 130 calories. Now the recipe in this book for biscuits (which I have used and do like) is as follows
Baking-Powder Biscuits
2 cups flour
3 ts[ baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 shortening (I use butter-shortening was one of those war time foods that became cheap and easy to make and therefore was part of the ‘easy’ way we were beginning to see such changes. Butter is MUCH better for you)
2/3 to 3/4 cup milk
Makes 16 biscuits. (If I use my vintage biscuit cutter that is true, but if I made a ‘modern sized’ biscuit it would probably make 6-8 again portion sizes!)
dailyfooddietary2 Here we see some examples of Daily food plans (click to view full size). It goes on to discuss deep yellow veg compared to dark green and you are aware of the need for the various varieties for health and vitamins.
Now, many of us like the nostalgia of the 50’s. And to some of us that might be the kitsch of the odd foods. Well, here are some sample recipes from my 1954 Better Homes and Gardens in a pull out ad (they are cut-able index card sized recipes to put in your recipe box) for Miracle Whip. Now, these recipes are not bad and yet are very ‘50’s fun’. Another way to make them even healthier (besides simply eating the smaller portions you would have) is simply making your own mayonnaise. It is not hard and once you taste it you will not want to go back. Again, before the 50’s homemakers would have made their own mayonnaise. It would not have been used as prevalently as it was to be in the 1950’s but that was because it was now a product they wanted you to buy so the more offers and free recipes they gave, the more you would buy and use it. Nothing wrong with that, but you also have the power to take the fun 50’s food and make it healthier with that easy choice of home-made mayonnaise.
There are endless mayonnaise recipes out there. Simply look them up, even Youtube videos on ‘how-to's’ and with that any variation you like. Use olive oil, use different types of mustard etc. You decide, but that is one of the wonderful things about getting  more involved with your food YOU get to choose. It isn’t or shouldn’t be scary or upsetting to have choice and control over one’s life.
This is the recipe I use. It is from my Fannie Farmer Boston School cookbook from 1951 that actually belonged to a family member. I use this book often because it does show that indeed we ate ‘gourmet’ in the 1950’s.
mayorecipe I have made both the whole egg and the traditional egg yolk only. I usually always have a need for egg whites (white cake etc.) so make the traditional.
Now, for some of those very 50’s recipes. (click to enlarge)
confettimold cantonesetunarecipe worldsbestmeatloaf Now, these would really dress up any vintage table. If you wanted authenticity and again use your own mayonnaise, and small portions and follow the guidelines for the amount of various fruit and veg and protein and milk per day. I think it would be fun to even do ‘more gourmet’ versions of this, for example, the Cantonese Tuna could use real tuna steaks from your fishmonger, Use real onions and caramelize them and maybe instead of just sweet pickles, a nice hot pepper jam or chutney and either make homemade egg noodles, adding some fun spice, and bake them to add for crunch or use strips of colored dried tortillas as the crunch. Have fun, mix it up, but don’t think it is all bad mayonnaise and bacon.
I think as I continue to research this book idea, I might even like the thought of their being a traditional or fun kitschy dish such as these that would also have a more modern ‘gourmet’ version as well, and including the caloric amounts and how it fits into the various 50’s food schemes (the five food groups as the video, the four as the Better Homes or the Basic Seven as is covered in the Betty Crocker Book).
I think we can discuss this more next post and get into the Betty Crocker 7 version.
I found this study done in the U.K. in the 1990’s that showed that the diets of children in the 1950’s was actually much better than 90’s (and I am sure it is much worse now than the 1990s).
The article in its entirety can be found HERE. But, here are some of the stats:
The project looked at the diet records of 4,600 children aged four in 1950, and compared them with similar records taken in 1992.
The researchers discovered that 1950s children:

  • Ate more bread and milk, increasing their fiber and calcium intake
  • Drank few soft drinks, deriving less of their energy from sugar
  • Got most of their vitamin C from vegetables rather than juices and drinks
  • Ate more red meat, giving them more iron
  • Had more fat in their diet
In fact, the 1950s diet was almost in line with current recommendations on healthy eating for children.
Professor Michael Wadsworth, Director of the Medical Research Council National Survey of Health and Development, said that, although the fat and overall calorie intake of the 1950s child was higher, generally children were more active than their 1990s counterparts.
It is only in recent years that the problem of childhood obesity has emerged as a major public health threat.

And I am certain it is higher today, but here are the 1990 numbers:
Estimates in 1990 suggested that one in 20 children aged nine to 11 could be classified as clinically obese.
However, a string of recent smaller studies is suggesting the true rate could now be well in excess of this.

This is a new finding for today:
• Nearly 30 percent of an average American child's calories are consumed during snacks between meals, largely due to eating high-calorie junk food, says a new study reported by CBS News today.
Without the structure of home life, with meals at certain times, schedules being lessened so that there is definite family time, meals AT table, no unsupervised in between meal snacking how can any of us, even those without children, hope to get to the grips of our food our diet where our food comes from and really our role as human to food. I think much as learning to clean and sew and organize, learning to cook and understand your food is just another element in the move towards the new ‘Responsibility’ that needs to happen among modern people. And I really do feel that using much of the 1950’s as a model is helpful because they are the closest to us in the past that were truly living a modern life we can understand and in their basic beginnings we can learn to emulate and adjust to have more control over our own use of technology and foods and money and quality time. This time travel trip still continues to open more doors and show me more of the reality of our world. For the most part, I feel, though sometimes disgusted or shocked or feeling helpless, that we are still on the threshold enough to take hold and say, “Stop, we need to try to control our future more”. I hope you are all willing to come along for that ride.
Well, until next time, Happy Homemaking and hopefully, Happy Cooking!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

25 May 1956 “Food, Glorious Food”

family at dinner We started this way.
family at dinner with tv Gradually moved to this.
swansondinner It started out innocent enough.tveating maybe one night a week as a special treat. kidtv To the normal way of life.
On the Forum today, someone asked this question:
“I really like the 50's version of homemaking but I sometimes get wrapped up in the idea of pot roast and potato and cake for dessert type meals.
From what I can tell from my 50's cookbooks they didnt eat a lot of main dish salads or baked chicken, etc.
I guess it's kind of silly but I want to feel "50's" while still eating healthy. Any ideas?
I know food is just one part... but its my favorite! (which is probably why we both have so much weight to lose)”

I thought about this a lot in the beginning of my project and I have come to realize two major things from the 1950’s to today
  1. The proportions were much smaller than today.
  2. Processed Food was just really beginning to be offered.
Though we are often given this image of plates piled with bacon and sticks of butter, the opposite is actually true. In all of my 50’s cookbooks, even the better known Better Homes and Betty Crocker, if you actually look at serving size and also at what was a normal serving size you will see a marked difference. Though the idea for the New World we were making after the war was of plenty, that did not mean that every plate every night was filled with steak. When asking anyone of that generation what a good meal would be, they would probably answer steak, but that was because it was special. People were still eating on some level as they had before the war, with a big dinner on Sunday (Pot Roast or Chicken) and then throughout the week leftovers or smaller versions of food ‘stretched’ with rice or oatmeal (the ever comforting meat loaf.
I know when I started my project I had lovely visions of bacon piled high and mountains of mashed potatoes, and  in the beginning I did do so. But, as I began to pay more attention to the cookbooks and magazines and looking at old photos and reading old articles, I began to see proportion. A child in 1955 may have had a glass of soda or Kool-aid, but it was a 6 oz. glass. That is not even a full cup, compare that with children today drinking endless soda’s or even modern glasses of juice. Most juice is corn syrup and chemicals and rather than a 6 oz glass at breakfast, children may be guzzling 20 oz. tumblers full throughout the day.

A breakfast of one to two slices of bacon (35 calories each and not that much fat because it is only 2 slices) one egg, one toast and 6 oz of juice and coffee is actually not as bad as two bowls of prepared cereal. We seem to have replaced most of our nutrition with sugar and even that isn’t really sugar but corn syrup. We have increasingly took farming in our country from the small guy who farmed many things for market and his family and now have more corn grown than we can even use, which is amazing when you think of ethanol, corn syrups, fillers in most foods and pet foods etc. IT is all corn and as it is bad for our bodies to only give it one thing, it is equally bad for the land to have the same thing grown over and over. This also increases the strain of damaging insects that feed on that crop and all of that lead to needing to make chemicals to supplement the soil and kill the bugs.
The single most damaging modern dilemma seems to be over doing it. We can’t eat one small hamburger and 6 oz soda as an occasional treat, we have to have a 4 patty burger with bacon, cheese, fries and malts. A simple order of what we would eat of French fries today would be an entire serving for a family of four in 1950s. The fact that parent’s were telling children to ‘clean their plate’ meant it wasn’t just full of fried fish sticks and ‘chicken nuggets’ there were vegetables and other things which they needed to have some nutrition. They could not simply later go to the pantry and grab a bunch of junk food.
Junk food was really beginning after the war. With the increase in production and the vast market of people wanting ease it was a goldmine for such products. But, at first, these would have been supplemented a homemakers work load. When they first introduced box cake mixes they were poorly received because they were so easy. So, marketing had them add to the ingredients, add an egg and oil and people felt more like they were not ‘cheating’. The very concept of how we felt about what was our duty to prepare good food for our family was so ingrained that the ‘ease’ of quick food had to be slowly feed to us (A very interesting BBC documentary on the marketing world basically started by Freud's’ American cousin who invented marketing and P.R.).
Today we seem to want to be on some endless wheel of diets because we no nothing else. Most of these always involve our depriving ourselves of some element while we then overdo another. I know for many vegetarians who hadn’t the time to use and make fresh vegetables all the time, they simply fell into the pattern of buying ‘vegetarian’ premade foods and in fact eating very little vegetables when it came down to it. Processed food, rather it has meat or not, is still that. And the over eating of Soy as the main elements of those diets are now showing up as health problems. Because, again, we over do one thing! Variety is the spice of life and also seems to be the major element in eating properly.
If one really wanted to eat an American 50’s family diet, they would reduce their proportions by more than half. Right there, less calories would lead to weight loss. And many older wives in the 50’s were still making their own bread. When we control our food by preparing it our self, we know how much salt goes in and we are not injecting it with chemicals (other than what is already in the meat and such we buy today anyway).
Even dessert servings are so small. This will still surprise me sometimes. The other day I made a sugar cookie recipe I had not tried before in my Betty Crocker book and was surprised by the small amount and the suggested amount of cookies. While it told me to expect 3 dozen, if I made a modern day size sugar cookie (think Starbucks, grocery store baker, any cafe’) I would have probably made about a dozen. A child having that second cookie in 1950 was not like today. One cookie today at most bakery/cafe’s/stores are about 3 50’s size cookies.
There was also not endless snacking. Though 1950’s was the Golden Age of TV, it was also in its infancy. It was not on all day long and there were not even that many programs. My magazines and books are filled with ideas for having friends over for a TV night. It was a special occasion where you prepared certain food and gathered r0und, like playing cards or scrabble. Even the commercials would be discussed and shared, while today advertising is such a part of us we just sit there, chips in our lap, 32 oz of soda and watch and watch and watch.
So the daily exercise of a 1950’s family is also different from ours. You may have had pot roast, but you didn’t eat it all up and there would be small proportions and your cake for dessert would be small as well. Even coffee cups were tiny compared to modern versions. So take that element of less food being served and mix it with more exercise.
We were just starting to get more cars and become two car families after the war. But many households had one car. That meant the wife had it when she needed to do her errands or had to drop father off at the train station. Walking had been a major part of our lives pre-suburbia, but once we moved out of the cities and into the ‘burbs we had to drive to stores. But, at first, we did not. you either went without or you walked.  Children played outside, there were not video games. They may have all lay mindlessly on the floor to watch Howdy Doody and drink a 6 oz bottle of Coke, but then they were up again and racing around their neighborhood, riding bikes, climbing, jumping ropes. Today the homemaker, the father and the children are so much more sedentary.
That is why one of the main things I have really learned with this project is that many of our ailments of the modern world began in the 1950’s, but still within that time we had not learned them all yet. They were just beginning to show up. If we could have somehow held onto the good neighborliness, and the smaller proportions, but it was too hard .The ease of prepared foods and the power of advertising mingled with the vast increase in passive entertainment has come to be our downfall in weight, food health and exercise.
In some way I am now afraid of the increase in the popularity of the 1950’s because I know it is just going to become another marketing ploy to make us buy more of whatever they want to sell as that image. Here buy more things, eat this new version of bad foods, its from the 50’s but its serving size is quadrupled. We really need to start looking at the whole picture of our lives and how we live. We need to see that transportation and the endless need to always be driving does not have to be. One has to get to work, but maybe if we lived places where we could walk more or if towns and burbs could be laid out more to encourage that, as they once naturally did. But, with Wal-Mart and the Malls, we are only getting further away from the old way of living. Now we drive to a place (using up gas and our money) to walk around inside a place that has to use SO MUCH energy to run all the lights to heat or cook vast spaces large as small towns so we can walk around and wonder if we can get a bargain on another 5 dollar shirt to throw on the increasing pile in our closet. Then we can go home because we don’t ‘have time to cook’ and pop some chicken patties in the micro, open a flavored water full of sugar and veg in front of the tv watching the endless shows or catching up on Tivo. Then, when we are so tire, “I don’t know why I am so tired, I can’t get anything done” even though we have filled our bodies with sugars which give us charges and then exhaust us, sit in cars or in front of the tv and wonder why the housework won’t do itself. Instead of trying to invent robots to clean for us, why can’t we get off our lazy bums and get to work. The only REAL solution to any housework problems is laziness and procrastination. The modern world is a pitfall of such things. Endless entertainment, the computer, the malls, easy to hop in your car and go shopping. It is odd that since the 1950’s food and luxury items are VERY cheap in comparison but housing and healthcare and education is quadrupled. We are somehow lulled into a state of endlessly working to try to keep up with the basics of what is needed, shelter food education, and then to feel better spend more on all the items at the big box store because it is all so cheap! It is a veritable trap to keep us consumers. It is very sad.
People get mad about the BP oil spill, which they should, but then feel no personal responsibility as they drive needlessly around in huge cars using up gas to go and buy products at places that use up petroleum to heat and electrify. Our entire world, all its excesses is run on oil. We put oil on all those birds and sea creatures as much as did they big companies (well not as much, but we are all part of the problem) but it is easier to just have occasional scape-goats then to try and live our own lives differently. To use the car less. Use less electricity. Buy more ingredients and make our own. Try to buy as much local as we can. It is all harder but if we don’t do it we may never even have the choice anymore to try.
Wow, all of this from a 1950’s dinner. You know me, though, I cannot help but rant. But, while on the subject of food here are some interesting finds hubby showed me on a site that I guess is part of some new book (another example of having to make a book of simple common sense of ‘hey don’t eat that entire turkey, just have one piece’ mentality.) It is very interesting. Here are some of the finds of how much food we simply drink!
The link to the 20 worst offenders is HERE. But, some examples.
worstwater This simple SoBe green tea water, which seems a ‘healthy drink’ is equivalent to half an entire cherry pie!
worstsoda This simple 20 oz bottle of soda, which I am sure kids drink more than one of a day, is the same fat and calories as eating 6 breyers ice cream oreo pies. Those are not little oreo cookies.
worstea This ‘energy’ drink is equivalent to 6 pop-tarts.
worst-espresso-drink This Venti Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha with Whipped Cream is the same as 8½ scoops Edy’s Slow Churned Rich and Creamy Coffee Ice Cream. I mean this simple drink, which I certainly had the equivalent of before 1955 is 660 calories 22 g fat (15 g saturated) and 95 g sugars!
worst-margarita This margarita from a chain restaurant is the same as eating 7 almond joy bars!
And the WORST drink ever is this
worst-drink-america Cold Stone PB&C 24 oz ice cream shake is the same as 30 chewy chips ahoy cookies. This one drink has 2,010 calories 131 g fat (68 g saturated) and 153 g sugars
When you consider these are just drinks, it is no wonder we have so much obesity and diabetes today!
So, I really think to honestly cook 1950’s is not bad at all. Many of my cookbooks discuss the importance of a well balanced meal (including breakfast) wherein vegetables and protein are discussed. If one ate 4 oz of meat (normal 50’s serving) and veg and even a starch, a slice of bread and had water and then a simple slice of homemade cake or fruit with whipped cream, that is not bad at all. It is nostalgic and it is also Easier and Cheaper than buying everything made up or at restaurants, take-away, fast food.
I think maybe we should really start discussing on the forum realistic 50’s dinners and their appropriate servings. I almost want to write a cookbook “Cooking 1955 and Healthy” or some such.
Well, that is enough for me today, I have to get to my garden and work on my chicken house. I hope all of you are well and happy homemaking.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

23 May 1956 “Fashion, Plants and Natural Fertilizer, Chickens, Good ole’ Music and A Night with A Boomer”

There is something fun about these men’s shorts, knee socks and loafers. My hubby has often been called ‘old man’ by his friends when he wears his Bermuda's with socks and loafers in the summer. I just laugh, because quite honestly, for me, I found a man’s ability to simply do the sensible thing a true style. Rather than fall to the dictums of slouchy pants, underpants showing and endless sockless sandals ( I have to say, men’s hairy feet sticking out of flip flops and ‘wife beaters’ with hair jutting all sorts of places is the fastest way to turn me off. Even when I was a young thing, it was always the individual who cared more about the practical or simply ‘old man’ dressing that turned my head. In my day, grunge ruled and I couldn’t stand to see another hairy bony knee jutting pale from the hole of purposely torn jeans or the loose swing of an un-tucked flannel shirt. So, for me, the old man socks and shorts, I rather like.
For the most part, my hubby is usually in trousers even in summer. Shorts (and socks and shoes) are really only for really hot days. Of course, when we are sailing, deck shoes without socks is just practical, not a fashion statement. The shoes were made for the decks of boats to not mar and sockless is the rational move, when one is in and out of water. Practical and really this very valid way of living has simply become a ‘way of dressing’. There is nothing wrong with it and I am not complaining, but I do think it funny (or I laugh to myself) if someone in say Kansas in the middle of winter who has never stepped onto the deck of a boat revels in his sockless loafers as a particular cache’. Again, image and presentation takes precedence over practicality or reason.In some cases, the clothes do not make the man, but the man makes the clothes. Not bad, so please don’t become angry at me, as I know there is much ‘Prep style’ out there. I ,myself, was rather preppie and I suppose could still be considered leaning that way (I wore loafers with my dress and cardigan last night), I just find it interesting how things which start with a particular reason or purpose will simply become the ‘fashion’. Or as if dressing a particular way is meant to represent your political leanings and status in life. Therefore, simply ‘buy the image’ and ta-dah, there you are.  Just an interesting notion is all and I really like fashion and myself wear 50’s clothes, so please don’t think I am making fun or not being kind, really. It’s just my hubby wears deck shoes, no socks and Nantucket reds, because he is going to be ON a boat, bought the trousers on Nantucket as a matter of course and will be getting his feet wet. No pre-conceived notion of ‘how he looks’ while others may do the same for the reason of the perception. It isn’t bad, it just is an interesting point, I think. And goes to show how the power of advertising to groups of people work. If one wants to feel affiliated with that group, simply come to our store we sell that image. And, in my own modern beginnings with this project, it was a natural matter of course for me to think, “Oh, 1950’s well I had better get all the clothes and the dishes etc” because being OF the modern world it is second nature to think first of purchasing and how we represent ourselves than to honestly focus on what is ‘behind’ that or how one may take or simply have had a lifetime of something to make it that way by association but not by pre-meditated choice. If any of that makes any sense. But, I digress…
1956simplicity This 1956 Spring suit is so crist and trim. How could one not feel a million bucks in this. There is just such a sense of purpose without an air of ‘I am so cool’ about this sort of dressing. You love clean lines and the finished look of gloves and hat and jewels and are confident in yourself and could care less rather the group of 14 year olds at the Mall think you are ‘wack’. Fun. And although this model is modern day thin, I think a fitted suit with a thin belt at the natural waist (maybe a bit thicker for we heavier gals) is rather flattering and does more wonders for a fuller figure than the muffin top of low rise jeans or the horrid ‘jiggle’ one is witness to in velour workout pants.
Now, for the garden. My seedlings are still coming along nicely and I will not be putting them out until after Labor Day. Every day they go outside an hour or so longer to get adjusted to the direct sun and the cooler evening. Trying to take an indoor started seedling (especially a hot plant such as tomatoes or peppers) usually leads to their demise. They burn in the sun or wilt in the first cool night.
tomatoeseedlings3 This shot of my tomato seedlings looks rather like an enchanted forest, I think. They are still happy inside, though I have started them on a natural food, as they are not getting the nutrients from the ground. I used dried Kelp which you mix just as a traditional chemical feed (but don’t use that because it is bad for you, the ground, your pets and you!) There is also a great food called “Garret Juice” which is an invention of the well known organic gardening expert whose books, radio show and television segments provide a wealth of organic gardening information. But, you can also make your own. Here is the recipe from Garret himself:
To make your own, here are the instructions:
Mix the following in a gallon of water.
Garrett Juice (ready to spray):
1 cup compost tea
1 ounce molasses
1 ounce natural apple cider vinegar
1 ounce liquid seaweed
For Garrett Juice Plus and more fertilizer value add: 
1- 2 ounces of liquid fish (fish hydrolysate) per gallon of spray.

For disease and insect control add:
¼ cup garlic tea or
¼ cup garlic/pepper tea
or 1 - 2 ounce of orange oil
Check out his site for many valuable homemade natural plant solutions even a homemade fire ant killer. His site is HERE.
Something else I do for my indoor seedlings is use my aquarium water. I am not sure if any of you keep fish, but I have a 30 gallon aquarium in my little sitting room which contains a variety of tropical and goldfish. Really, you should not mix the two, as goldfish prefer colder water, but I have always kept the tow successfully. I also have real plants in there as part of the overall aquaculture, so occasionally, I will scoop out some of that water and it is like Mother’s milk to plants. In fact hydroponics (the growing of plants in water rather than soil) almost always has a part of the system going through water in which fish and vegetation live. Some do this to the point that the fish being reared are also food, a very full system. I have no room for such grand schemes, but why not let your pet fish help out in the garden? Or give you an excuse to get a small aquarium full of gold fish. The simple 10 cent feeder goldfish make fine pets and wonderful natural fertilizer! And what child doesn’t like to watch fish swim, including ‘grownup children’?
Well, here are more pictures of my seedlings.cucumberseedling I am rather proud of my cucumbers. You can see here the little fruit already forming. And these are still living inside, but they get daily trips outside and I have witnessed the bees pollinated the buds obviously successfully. I think this picture, as with some of my other seedlings, would really make great art blown up and mounted on a wall, don’t you. And what a fun way to get color inspiration for decor.
Now, for my outdoor plants. my grapes have started budding out. grapes1 I am very happy with these vines I purchased. I was able to find at a local wholesaler 6 year old root stock. Grapes will not begin to bear their fruit until their third year, so if you plan on grapes and want fruit your first year, you will need 3 year old stock or later. If the seller doesn’t know then go to someone who does or buy online from a small affair.
radishes My radishes are getting close to being ready to eat. You can also grow radish seeds and pick the greens early, as they are also yummy, good on salads and full of vitamins. And a great ‘instant gratification’.carrots My carrots.snowpeas My snow peas are doing very well and I will soon be sticking in cut branches for them to climb on. It looks so pretty when the old branches get covered with the vines and then you are using up what you pruned from early spring.
Now, for my chickens. I can’t believe how quickly they grown. This little one day old darling.chick5 have become this.chicks6 They have little wings and feathers everywhere. They really like listening to my old music and often perk up when I put it on for them in the morning after they get their feed and water.
Speaking of music, here is some modern musicians swinging it ole’ school. I love Ruby Turner.
Another interesting modern expression of good orchestrated big band, is Jools Holland. He was the founder of the Squeeze, one of the early ‘new wave’ bands back in the late 70s. He was their keyboardist and is brilliant. Today (and really since the 80’s) his music is much more big band. Here he is:
Now, nothing against New Wave or ‘Cool for cats’ (one of the squeeze’s big hits) but the simplicity of the orchestration of that form of modern music to this level here is eons apart. Just simply fun and brilliant.
Last night we were visiting an old friend who is in from DC visiting his family here on the Cape. With some wine we ended up discussing the ‘modern world’ until the small hours. Our friends father is, to me, the epitome of the ‘it’s all about me’ Baby Boomer generation. First, let me state I am not nor do I believe that all Baby Boomers are selfish or what have you, but merely I have found, through my year long study, a certain element of ‘entitlement’ that really began with the Baby Boomers. Most likely due to their being that first generation in the modern world with so much of the New world. But, I digress. He has a very specific view point that seems to not be able to vary from only how things directly affect him. For example, we were discussing how insane the level of not only pornography, but really harmful severe twisted forms of brutality and sexuality one can so easily find online today and how that would be to young children. Both my hubby and our friend recounting that first timid realization of a ‘girlie magazine’ found hidden in the bathroom as the innocence to their view of ‘porn’ as a young teen. We were saying that it must have some damaging affects on a young mind to come across, while young and very curious, the things one CAN find online. His father’s response was, “Well, I don’t think it is that bad. I never really get accosted by pornography. I don’t think it is as bad today. It doesn’t happen to me on my computer.” To which we replied, “Well, we are talking about if anyone is curious and wants to find it, it could not be easier”  “Well,” he went on, spoken like a true self-involved person, “I think you’re wrong because I don’t find it on my computer”. Yes, we all thought and later discussed, but if you wanted to look it up, merely type anything in Google and there you go. But, because it was not an assault on him personally, he felt the problem did not exist.
Both our friend (he is an E.R. physician) and we are childless. And we were discussing if shall always remain that way or one day ‘dive into children’. We honestly were and are concerned about raising children in the modern world. His father was also upset with me, or rather ‘disappointed’ when I said our education plan for our child, (if he were to exist) involved homeschooling until high school and limiting severely technology until say8-10 as we felt that would then allow them to have built up the ability to self-amuse and study with books and basics before learning of the simple pleasure of video games and computers. He told us we were bad to not want to put more ‘smart children’ into the public school system to help bring the overall level up. I laughed and said, “I feel a social conscience, surely, but not to the point that I would wish to sacrifice my own child for the sake of ‘bringing up’ an average of the local grammar”. There are most likely many good public schools, I am sure, and I am not saying they are all bad. But, I am also concerned about the socialization that happens at them and I think the best way to get that ‘annoying teen’ who is texting, sexting, not doing his studies and irate towards adults is to send him out into a sea of his peers doing just that. But, at the end of the day, we are NOT parents and therefore really know nothing about it, so again I say, “what do I know?”
Well, here I am trying to get back into the swing of my usual longer posts. I have many projects I am working and and will share the complete construction of my Chicken house when it is finished. Have a wonderful day and Happy Homemaking.

Friday, May 21, 2010

21 May 1956 “Apologies, Hairstyles, Lanolin, and Pastry.”

First off, again I am sorry. I have been a wretch about keeping up with my blog. I had intended to just write a quick little ‘what am I up to today’ post, but when I begin to do that, it seems unfinished or not per my usual and I feel it not worth posting.
Today a few errands turned into my being in the car for 10 hours. As I drive very rarely now, except to do my marketing once a week, it was rather hellish. We finally sold our second car and our now down officially to one. I had to turn in my plates and cancel the insurance and also get the other car inspected. What I thought was to be a standard routine became my getting failed because the parking brake didn’t work and having to drive off cape to our mechanic to get it fixed, sitting in a grimy waiting room for an hour an a half, etc and so on et al.
But, excuses do no good to anyone, so here is somewhat of a post to try and get myself back into the swing of things. I am still just as busy if not more than last year, only I find myself not documenting it all and remembering to get it all down. In some ways, I feel so much of last years post has been like writing a year long actual book, that sometimes I feel ‘wrote out’ and need a little break. But, I also learned last year, that to get anything done, one needs to just make time each day and make yourself do it. While enjoying all the gardening and other increasing projects, I forgot that.
In addition to that a few days ago, I lifted an 80 lb bag of cement incorrectly and felt my back go. Hoped for the best, but by the time I had got home, I was in some serious pain and spent three days laying down in bed or on the sofa slathered in Ben-gay and full of aspirin and self-pity. What is a busy homemaker to do? You would think I could have written endless posts then, but found typing and the position to do so almost unbearable so managed a few peek-ins at the Forum.
So, here it is late Friday night and I am exhausted and I cannot let another day go by without posting.
I figured I would start with some good advice and images on choosing the proper vintage hairstyle from my 1955 copy the Handbook of Beauty.
Here is some of their sage advice:
“I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts that the question of how best to wear your hair has bothered you very much. More advice has been ladled out on this than on almost any other beauty question…The fact is we were not cast into rigid molds, and you ought to be thankful. You don’t want to be a carbon copy of everyone else, do you?
Above all. keep in mind that the chief object of a good hair-do is to draw attention away from your less attractive facial features.I can do so in two different ways: It can partially conceal such a feature, like a foread that’s too broad or cheeks that are too plump. And it can counteract such a feature, by being arranged to flow in the opposite direction. For instance, if your chin is receding, you don’t want a hair-do that emphasizes it by also sweeping back. If your nose is large, you don’t want bangs hanging low over your forehead, pointing to the nose like an arrow.”
  1. Low: keep the top front of your hair off it. Sweep that part of your hair up. If you like bangs, wear them high and don’t let them suggest any more than a slight fringe at the hairline.
  2. High: cover part of the forehead with bangs, fulff, or partial wave.
  3. Narrow: Sweep hair back from sides of forehead. If you have any curls, waves, or fluff at the sides, don’t let them extend beyond the hairline; strive for a wide, full effect at the top of the temples.
  4. Broad: cover the sides of the forehead with a fluff, curl or wave, but make it close to the head, not flung out.
  1. Long: Don’t let the top front of your hair droop down. Sweep it high or back’ keep any bangs or fluff above the hairline. Avoid middle parts, which accentuate a large nose.
  2. Short: avoid an exaggerated upsweep. Bangs below the hairline are fine, but don’t let them grow too long.
  1. Plump: pull sides of hair forward beyond hairline, so that a slight fringe covers outside of cheeks. avoid a middle part.
  2. Thin: pull side hair back, or at least do not let it etend beyond hairline. Side hair can also be worn fluffed out wide.
Here are the images with info. Simply click on the image and it will enlarge it. If it takes you out of the website, when you are done, you may have to reload the webpage, as sometimes happens with me.
 hairdo1 hairdo2 hairdo3

I found this ad for lanolin for this skin. I know we have often discussed cold cream and vintage lotion and skin care. Here it seems that the lanolin was used much like the cold cream, both as a cleanser as well as moisturizer. lanolinad (click to see full size) Lanolin, which I know comes from sheep, is still used today and I found out it is gathered without harm to the animal. Here is some modern info on lanolin.
Lanolin softens and protects. It's harvested without harming animals. It's quickly absorbed by the skin without clogging pores. So why are people avoiding it?
What Is Lanolin?
A pure, natural product, lanolin is simply the wax taken from sheep's wool, after the sheep has been shorn. The sheep is not hurt. He probably does not enjoy having his fur cut off, but the people who do this are highly trained, they do it quickly, and the sheep joins his herd again in a matter of minutes.
The clipped wool is naturally covered with a pale-yellow, water repellent wax. Also known as wool fat, it's purpose is to keep the sheep healthy and dry. It's extracted from the wool by a boiling process. This is crude lanolin.
Refining - the Key to Safety
The next step is to refine this wax, and remove impurities. PBS recently made a documentary on lanolin, and they purified it by mixing it with olive oil and water. The impurities dissolved into the water and oil, leaving the lanolin as an off-white wax which could be gathered up.
In commercial lanolin processing, refining is done in sterile environments and through many stages. This refining process is the key to the safety of the lanolin. Depending on the needs of the manufacturer, the lanolin can be refined crudely, in which case it may still contain impurities. Or it can be refined to medical grade - safe enough for nursing mothers to use on cracked nipples.
So Why the Bad Press?
There are two potential problems with lanolin.
1. It can be refined to acceptable cosmetic grade and still contain impurities, some of which can be allergens. People who are allergic to lanolin are probably allergic to unrelated ingredients that were not removed in the refining process. Also, some manufacturers use a chemical bleach to whiten the color. And the finished product may have been mixed with vegetable oils or soft paraffin that comes from other sources. There could be impurities in these additives.
2. Some lanolin can be tainted with DDT, dieldrin, lindane, or other toxic pesticides. It's possible for these carcinogens to make their way into our skincare products. This is because the sheep may be eating food that has been treated with these or other insecticides.
How to Make Sure Your Lanolin Is Safe
Both problems are solved by buying your lanolin-based products from a reputable company; a company you know and trust; a company with visibility - a website with contact information; a detailed label on their product. Make sure the lanolin in your lotion is labeled as pure grade, fine grade, highly refined, or medical grade. If you're unsure about the grade, email the company through their website. The well-refined lanolins will be free of pesticides and impurities.
When purchasing a finished skincare product, make sure, too, that it has not been tested on animals.
lanolin This seems to be one of the best pure forms of the stuff. I put it in the store HERE. I am probably going to close the store down, though, as I am not sure how I feel about Amazon at this point. My plan was to get up my Etsy store, or just make a simple store on the website that can accept Paypal and sell some of my vintage things and then see if I can find items like this to sell, so I could feel I am getting it direct from the manufacturer and then to you. Then I would feel like a small business, be able to research and find old time or also well made products etc. But, for now, the link will take you to the store if you would like to try the lanolin. I know sheep farmers are suppose to have the softest hands around from all the lanolin while shearing.
I wanted to share this recipe from one of my 1950’s magazines for Orange pastry.orangepastry Again, click on it to get full size. I used, however, cold butter rather than shortening. If you keep your butter in your freezer an hour or so before you make your pastry and try to make it on marble and not handle it too greatly, it will be nice and flaky. This crust is Great with rhubarb pie!
Well, that is enough for tonight. I shall endeavor to post more often. I hope all are well and preparing for the coming summer. I will share some garden pictures, chick pictures in my next post.

Monday, May 17, 2010

17 May 1956 "A quick update" have been rather busy in my yard. I have my chicken house to build, fences to erect, vegetables to plant. My grapes are beginning to bud out. The chicks are getting big FAST. So, no excuses, just sorry I have not done a proper post, but I shall, I promise.
Some quick history from May 1956:
This is the month when Salk's polio vaccine is first really available to the public. It really begins to change the face of health care and how we look at preventing disease. Many were scared of it as well and I feel bad for those parents who opted out of it and their children suffered the disease.
This month Nuclear testing: In the Pacific Ocean, Bikini Atoll is nearly obliterated by the first airborne explosion of a hydrogen bomb. We are moving towards the scary aspects of the modern world. I do wish we had put as much thought into education and healthcare as we did making more bombs. While our European neighbors were faced with rebuilding their world, health and education became an important factor in their new world, we, seculded in the USA, found it easier to make our shiny new world of shopping and plastics. I love the enthusiasm and the good intent of our country after the war, but in retrospect, I wish we could have had more overall planning. Yet, we can make changes now, I believe, that can really make us have a wonderful new world and not Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" which I am afraid we are now heading towards. Particularly the 'feelies' in that novel and the numb over entertained bored controlled masses. This is a great LINK to a breakdown of Huxley's novel, which has some eerily right on predictions, though it was a work of fiction, though it was written before WWII in 1931. Here, for example, is the breakdown of how 'sexual freedom' is seen:
Sex is a primary source of happiness. The brave new world makes promiscuity a virtue: you have sex with any partner you want, who wants you- and sooner or later every partner will want you. (As a child, you learn in your sleep that "everyone belongs to everyone else.") In this Utopia, what we think of as true love for one person would lead to neurotic passions and the establishment of family life, both of which would interfere with community and stability. Nobody is allowed to become pregnant because nobody is born, only decanted from a bottle. Many females are born sterile by design; those who are not are trained by "Malthusian drill" to use contraceptives properly.
Any way, I am off and busy again today. I just wanted to check in with all of you and let you know I have not forgot about you nor our wonderful community. If any of you are new, don't forget to go to the website and join the FORUM, we are always having such wonderful discussions there.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

11 May 1956 “Mother’s Day, Recipes, Chicks, and Seedlings”

 1956mothersday This was an image I found online from someone’s Mother’s Day 1956. I love the dresses. I see a few dropped but fitted waists and you can see that the waistline has come up from the “New Look” earlier in the decade.
We celebrated with my mother in law and I decided to try and make some nice things without spending too much. My MIL is the type of person that has everything. Though, I often enjoy giving gifts to her, because she appreciates gifts well thought. So, this year here was what we presented. First, she was greeted at her door with these lovely flowers carried by me.mothersday1These are Lilacs and Viburnum from the bushes in my yard. I love Viburnum and the chartreuse and purple look so lovely together. I put then in a simple coffee can ( I save these for crafts and also canisters). The trick to keeping woody stemmed flowers like these to last longer is to hammer the ends so they are sort of shredded as opposed to an angled cut like a softer stemmed flower. The woody stem then has more area to ‘drink’ and therefore last longer.
Next, rather than buy her any more plants, I thought she would appreciate one of my tomato seedlings I had nursed into life myself. She did.mothersday2I made a copy of the seed packet, punched a hole in it and tied it to the pot with garden twine. Then I made a little packet out of waxed paper and included more seeds for this variety in case she wanted to start some straight into another pot or in the garden. My MIL has an amazing green thumb and I love talking gardening with her.
 mothersday3I never buy cards. I always make my own, as they say so much more about how much effort and love you have put into something. I make a copy of a photo of her mother, my hubby’s grandmother, that she does not have a copy of. I used old-fashioned photo corners to attach it to the card, so she can frame it later. The rest i hand wrote. Here is the original image.gree2My MIL’s mother was really something. She had rather a tragic life in that when she was young her only brother was in a ‘home’ as he was slow. When he was 14 the home burned and he perished. I love this shot of her, as this is shortly after her marriage and in her new home. My MIL said she was rather upset, because her (the grandmother) MIL had insisted on designing the house and she wanted more say in it. She did have free reign in decorating, though, and we have all the little wall paper samples and paint chips as she laid it all out to have rooms painted. I always think of “Mr. Blandings Builds his Dream House” when I look through it. I love her shoes in this picture and would kill for those drapes. Though, I do have that pot that you can just make out on the top of the built in cabinet. It is my favorite blue. My MIL has the paintings, the boat etc in her home now. Our families keep everything.
My MIL is not big on sweets and that is because she is smart enough to always watch her waistline. So, rather than a cake or something like that, I made Chocolate Sorbet and Shortbread. This was my first attempt at Sorbet and as I have no ice cream maker, had to make it in the freezer. It took longer to set, but was so delicious and rich and was a nice contrast to the more mellow but full taste of the shortbread.mothersday4 Now that I see how easy it is to make, I will be making so many varieties. I want to make a lime/basil and also a vanilla lavender would be lovely, don’t you think. Here is the recipe I used:
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
Whisk ingredients together until sugar is dissolved and ingredients are well blended and smooth. Chill for 1 hour. Freeze in an ice cream freezer following manufacturer's directions.
Now, I used 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup instead of corn syrup and I don’t have an ice cream freezer, so I put it in two large bowls so it was more exposed and froze it for two hours. Then I took it out and whipped it my hand until it got thick and frothy and refroze it for 2 more hours. It was lovely and scooped nicely. It was fine in my car for the 20 minute drive to my MIL and then I put it in her freezer while we had dinner. I would recommend trying this as it is another item you can make yourself easily and no preservatives and you can certainly make ahead. I imagine it would last a few weeks in the freezer. I think they would  also make wonderful homemade Fudgecicles.
1 1/4 butter ( 2 and 1/2 sticks) softened
1/4 powdered sugar
1/4 granulated sugar
3 cups flower.
Whisk sugars. cut in butter and then with mixer add flower in two parts until it chases itself around bowl. Take the dough and divide into two balls. Press into two 8” cake tins. With form press triangle shapes (like cutting a pizza) and then prick each of those triangles. Bake at 275 F for about 60-70 minutes (watch for it to be just lightly brown on edges.)
I suppose I have my new ‘children’ this year, though they did not get me a Mother’s Day card, they are happily chirrping away on my desk as I type this post.
Here are some shots of the little darlings as they break free from their eggs.
chicks2You can see them damp and tired from the struggle. Here you see one resting while two of its new siblings peck little openings to free themselves.    chicks3It is always so amazing to me that I simply recieved some eggs in the mail, set them under 99F heat for 21 days and now I will have a source of eggs and meat. (the meat coming from the unfortunate roosters we will get. Of course I will keep one and will most likely sell them rather than eat them, as they are all from breeders who raise show birds, so they would be good show chickens.)
chicks4  This is one of the little Brahma’s that is so friendly. He sits like this at the edge of the pen whenever I am at my desk, interested in my typing. My little Chihuahua, Monty, always loves other animals and is so gentle with them that they are never scared.montynchick He he is quietly sitting on a silk pillow on my desk keeping an eye on his new little ‘friends’.
I spent this afternoon out building the base for my new chicken house. Pictures will follow after I have completed the whole structure. Right now I simply have the base in.
Tomorrow is suppose to be a rainy day, so I might get a chance to catch up on the Website and perhaps do a more ‘rant-filled’ blog. I have quite a few topics jotted down in my book for such that I have encountered this past week, but have been selfishly using my time in the yard while we are contiuing to have cool weather. I want to get as much of the heavy physical labor done before we get to our warmer Summer weather.
Speaking of warmer weather, my Tomatoes and Cucumbers are still patiently waiting to be transplanted. They have been having daily trips out in the sun to acclimate to the outside, but it has still been too cold to transplant these heat loving plants. My cucumbers are amazingly FULL of flowers. Here are some pictures.
cukeflower1 cukeflower2 I just this the color and pattern so beautiful and I love how sculptural the stems are up close. Here you can see the little tendrils grasping onto anything. cukeflower3It almost looks like a little fist holding fast to a line. These will not only provide wonderful fodder for canning and salads this summer, but as they trail up the side of my house in my vegetable garden, they will be a feast for the eyes too! Ahh, gardening and Spring, so much promise.
Until later, then, Happy Homemaking.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

8 May 1956 “ The Secrets of Baking Powder and Soda Revealed and Homemade Cake and Brownie Mixes.”

 woman in kitchen bw My increasing obsession with food and it’s origins keeps leading me down various paths of wanting to both find myself closer to food origins and to find ways to make it easier for any of you.
Case in point, there may be some ladies out there that don’t mind making a cake from a mix. It’s easy. You grab it at the store, add some water oil and eggs and bake. However, if you read the ingredients, you can see it is just the dry ingredients of a cake mix, but with lovely added preservatives. Also, more packaging to throw out!
Making a cake from scratch is not hard. Especially when you think of it as a cake mix: You put the dry ingredients together and then the wet and then you add the dry to the wet. When you make a box mix, you just dump it all in and it works. So, I figured, there has to be a way to just make some mix yourself and store it. Then you can also store it in darling containers in your pantry or cupboards. Another excuse to do more “nesting” is always good. I have actually saved a bunch of old coffee cans and then I either paint them or cover them with paper. I even make cute ‘vintage’ labels by using images of old wallpaper etc. But I digress, back to the cake mix.
womanwithtesttube So, in trying to come up with a good easy dry mix that one could store and use when they liked, I began to research more about baking soda and baking powder. Again, the more I look at something the more I want to keep unfolding the layers, like an onion or rose, petal by petal. Here are these two ingredients, Baking Powder and Baking Soda, that I use all the time. What is it? How does it work? I need to know in order to make the cake mix effective.
So, here is probably more info on both soda and powder than you ever wanted to know:
Baking powder consists of baking soda, one or more acid salts (cream of tartar and sodium aluminum sulfate) plus cornstarch to absorb any moisture so a reaction does not take place until a liquid is added to the batter. Most baking powder used today is double-acting which means it reacts to liquid and heat and happens in two stages. The first reaction takes place when you add the baking powder to the batter and it is moistened. One of the acid salts reacts with the baking soda and produces carbon dioxide gas. The second reaction takes place when the batter is placed in the oven. The gas cells expand causing the batter to rise. Because of the two stages, baking of the batter can be delayed for about 15-20 minutes without it losing its leavening power.
Too much baking powder can cause the batter to be bitter tasting. It can also cause the batter to rise rapidly and then collapse. (i.e. The air bubbles in the batter grow too large and break causing the batter to fall.) Cakes will have a coarse, fragile crumb with a fallen center. Too little baking powder results in a tough cake that has poor volume and a compact crumb.
Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate or bicarbonate of soda (alkali) is about four times as strong as baking powder.  It is used in recipes that contain an acidic ingredient (e.g. vinegar, citrus juice, sour cream, yogurt, buttermilk, chocolate, cocoa (not Dutch-processed), honey, molasses (also brown sugar), fruits and maple syrup). Baking soda starts to react and release carbon dioxide gas as soon as it is added to the batter and moistened. Make sure to bake the batter immediately.
Baking soda has an indefinite shelf life if stored in a sealed container in a cool dry place. Too much baking soda will result in a soapy taste with a coarse, open crumb. Baking soda causes reddening of cocoa powder when baked, hence the name Devil's Food Cake.
  • The general rule of thumb for amount of baking powder in recipes: 1 to 2 teaspoons (5-10 grams) of baking powder leavens 1 cup (140 grams) of flour.  The amount will depend on the ingredients and how they are mixed.
  • Substitution for 1 teaspoon commercial baking powder: 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 grams) baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar plus 1/4 teaspoon of cornstarch or 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 grams) baking soda plus 1/2 cup (120 ml) of an acidic ingredient (buttermilk, sour milk or yogurt). Since homemade baking powder immediately releases its carbon dioxide gas when it is added and then moistened by the batter, it is important to bake the batter right away
  • To test baking powder's effectiveness: mix 1 teaspoon (5 grams)  baking powder with 1/2 cup (120 ml) hot water and the mixture should bubble immediately. Store in a cool dry place and it should be replaced every 6-12 months.
  • To test baking soda's effectiveness: mix 1/4 teaspoon baking soda with 2 teaspoons of vinegar and the mixture should bubble immediately.
So, here is a make ahead cake mix. You could mix it up during a few free moments and have it on hand. Then, even when you want to try some of the recipes they have out there for, say, Box cake mix cookies, you could make it with your homemade mix.

6 cups flour
4-1/2 cups sugar
3-3/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup powdered milk
1-1/2 cup cocoa
3 tsp salt
Use four cups mix for one cake. To this mix add ½ cup melted butter (or salad oil as most mixes have you use), 1 cup water, 2 beaten eggs, and 1 tsp vanilla.
I also like it like this without the powdered milk (not a huge fan) and then you add the fresh milk at the time. You can also do 1/2 milk 1/2 cream for a richer cake.
6 cups flour
4-1/2 cups sugar
3-3/4 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 cup cocoa
3 tsp salt
Use four cups mix for one cake. To this mix add ½ cup melted butter, 1 cup milk, 2 beaten eggs, and 1 tsp vanilla.
Here is an easy to make and store (good for 6 months) Brownie mix. Really just a slight variation of cake mix

  • 6 c. all purpose flour

  • 4 tsp. baking powder

  • 8 c. sugar

  • 8 oz. unsweetened cocoa powder

  • To make the brownies:
    1. 1/4 c. melted butter, 2 eggs, beaten well, 1 tsp. vanilla 1/2 . chopped nuts (optional)
    2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Beat ingredients until smooth. If you are using nuts, you can stir them in now.
    3. Pour your brownie batter into your greased pan and pop it in the oven for about 30-35 minutes.
    I was going to show some chicken pictures and also talk about meat in conjunction with my continuing study of modern man and his distance from food, but I will do that next. I think if I start posting smaller posts, I will get back to posting more often. So, next time: Chicks and the Chicken Industry and some more on gardening. I need to post and discuss my April Dress Challenge as well. So much to-doing.
    Happy Homemaking.
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