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.


  1. I love the positive posts like this that are full of the fun things you are learning and doing. It's more like the ones from when you started the blog. The ranty negative ones seem to be more the norm lately, which is too bad. I'm glad to see this one and can't wait to try the chocolate sorbet. I've been making it with berries. :)

  2. This finally seems to be accepting my comments. It is so frustrating as I was replying to our first comment and I had writ a large amount and it just vanished.
    Anyway, what I was saying was that I thought people enjoyed the rants more. I also was pointing out that I am always learning and relatively happy with my life, but I usually have to 'speak as I find' and I might be having a good day, but if I sit down and something has 'stuck in my craw' I will usually end up with a rant. I feel this year a dam has opened and there are so many new things I am learning and I am so hungry for more and am always trying and trying, that I feel I cannot keep up with all I am doing on here. I do try and perhaps should simply write smaller posts everyday about one or two things, as I get into so many things and then the post ideas, images etc pile up.
    I think I am, as really anyone is, not always happy but sometimes full of rants and so I do try to have that reflect in the blog, I am somtimes happy and ready to share what I have learned and sometimes frustrated and needing to rant.
    I appreciate all of you who have stuck around this long to still read what I do write. All of you are an inspiration to me all the time and I am so thankful for you. I am never sure if I can say that enough. Now, off to my busy day.

  3. Let me share a trick when commenting: Always make a copy (ctrl+c) of your text before hitting any buttons. I always do that and it is quite often my comment is ruined, and then I can just paste it again.

    Warmer weather - ahem, not in Denmark. I hate this May, it could easily go for being mid October. And I've been looking so much forward to Spring and Summer. Tomorrow is a holiday in Denmark, and my new company is closed Friday, so tomorrow morning we will go to my tiny cottage at the Isle of Moen. DH will ride his bicycle, 130 km, he is training for a bicycle race soon. The weather report says more cold degrees and lots of rain, ough! :(

    Your chickens looks so darling, I cannot wait to see more photos and hear more about them.

    Have a lovely day, dear. :)

  4. Sanne-we have been having unseasonably cold weather as well. Normally, I could have my plants out in the garden (the more delicate like tomatoes etc) but not this year. We had fear of frost last night and today is cold and rainy. For me, I have not minded it (except the rain) as I am doing construction and heavy digging, building, lifting and embrace the cooler weather. It is odd, as it seems to be colder all over this year and this past winter was so cold in Florida (my MIL goes down every winter and she said she had to wear sweaters and coats and the orange crops failed!) Odd, indeed. I hope this won't mean an early and long winter.

  5. It was much colder than usual in Louisiana too. It snowed THREE TIMES in two months! It usually takes 15 years to get snow three times. Here in LA we say it's because the Saints finally won the Super Bowl and hell froze over. That's been the joke for 43 years. We'll have to find a new one now!

  6. 50sgal, I'm still loving EACH and EVERY one of your blog entries, no matter what form they take. Be free to write however you like. I can't get enough. Thanks for all you do! Linda

  7. 50sgal,I think you have a nice balance between "rant" entries and shorter entries. In the end, as I look at it, a blog should be done for pleasure, and reflect your mood at the particular moment of writing. That's how I try to approach my own. Your writing and your topics are always engaging whether they be simple (shorter) or involved(longer)and I think it's pretty fair to say that you will hold your readership...so don't let it worry you too much!
    By the way, I meant to ask if you are familiar with the writings of Gladys Taber? One of my favorite writers, she was a part-time resident of the Cape.


  8. Oh, what a fun post! Your chicks are so adorable. My two cents about your blog?? I love your "rants" and "fun" posts both. I would hate to see either get put on the back burner, unless, of course, you wish to do so, but not because of what anyone else says. The "rants" teach us so much, which adds to the enjoyment of homemaking, which we then get to see in your "fun" posts. Ultimately, it's your blog and you should blog however you wish to do so.

  9. I just found your blog. I had been searching for a blog of someone else who loves the 50's. I am trying to learn to be more of a 50's housewife. I just got married in Feb. I work part time from home. I am looking forward to reading through your old posts.


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