Wednesday, August 4, 2010

4 August 1956 “Summer Recipes and a Gentle Warning of Things to Come.”

First off, some fun summer recipes:
gardenfreshmeals This month I am going to be sharing the recipes from this article with you. Each section is broken down into a specific summer time meal. Today we are going to be looking at Simple Meals Done Fancy. (Click to see images larger)simplemeals
hawaiianhamrolls citrusfrenchdressing bowknotrolls chocsundae And while you are making your fun summer meal, why not make an attractive place in which to eat it. I love that in this setting they took the color cues from the marigolds (which you could plant flowers near your outdoor seating it flowers to match your dishes you may already have) and the color of the birch trees. And yellow and gray is such a fun and yet sophisticated color palette.
Living in 1956 has become rather normal to me. Thumbing through my old magazines, I am always jotting down recipes or earmarking pages for future plans or posts. Sometimes I will see an ad and it will strike me first as a 56 woman. This ad did that.dixieadIt seems innocent enough (Click to enlarge) but when I read the caption under the smiling girl I thought, “Oh no, that is not a good lesson to teach”. It reads: “Little girls are learning from their mothers that Dixie cups eliminate between meal dish washing. Used for after school snacks, juices, lunches, and bedtime drinks, inexpensive Dixie cups saves hours of work in the kitchen.”
Now, the 1956 me thought, that is sad. That little girl will learn to waste and how can it be Less expensive to buy more of a product you don’t need, when you can simply wash a glass? My older woman 50’s mentality kicked in and my War Time Thrift dander was up.
“That’s a shame” my 50’s persona said, ‘That young girls today shall learn it is easier to be wasteful and lazy than to merely rinse a glass or two until evening dishwashing time. And, they have dishwashers, which we never had in my day” Sometimes my 50’s persona can sound like a curmudgeonly old grandma, but it is true.
Then, of course, the ‘modern me’ poked her two cents in. “Ah, ha! They are already beginning to train the boomer generation to naturally shop and buy things to make life ‘easier’ without considering consequence to pocketbook or their grandchildren’s world. (It can be hard to keep the modern me quiet as well)
So, really not even a rant, gals, just a gentle warning sign. Here it is, mid 50’s, and we are training ourselves that it is easier to buy and spend more and have more garbage than to just take a second to wash out a glass. Did it start this way? Easier? : Okay, a few more dollars in the budget for this and that and though I am still ‘at home’ and could wash it out quickly, why bother. Now I have more time and oh, the tv to watch… Generations later: I can’t afford all these bills and I need to charge products I need and then work two jobs to pay for them. Now my dixie cups that cost one dollar cost me 50 with all the credit card interest. But, it’s so easy!
Is this an over exaggeration or did we start out innocently enough like this, a simple little ad for paper cups you throw away with a smiling little girl happy to ‘learn the ease of disposable living’?
Lately my need to rant has somewhat left me. I can feel overwhelmed when I spot such things creeping into our culture through my magazines, but what can I do? I know, we can just pay attention and be cautious of what we buy. Yet, I feel so bad for the countless seeming masses of people who will never even realize that they could lead a different easier more fulfilling life. What can one do? So, we smile and make our lives as rich as we can. I know my life is still better for having opened my eyes to my own modern world and the new generations. Overall I still feel rather positive about our future because then I think of all of you. How many wonderful people seem to be out there in Blog land with good common sense and the ability to ask, “WHY” and not just take their world at face value. To evaluate their lives and their decisions and make real choices to improve themselves and their children’s futures. So Brava and Bravo to all of you who do make a difference in the modern world.
Now, go make some of these lovely fun summer recipes and enjoy yourself! Happy Homemaking.


  1. We do use Dixie cups in the bathroom, but the boy's use the same cup all day so we are not wasting that much :) It was more of to encourage independence on my youngest part, because although he is tall he likes to do for himself and reaching into kitchen cupboards for a glass is beyond his ability.

    Some months we go without Dixie cups and keep plastic cups (clean of course) in the bathroom, I have also eliminated antibacterial soap in the upstairs bathroom, since that is the one the boys use the most..........I found one bar of good oldfashioned soap lasts longer than one small container of liquid soap (I would have to refill one every week upstairs)......

    Downstairs bathroom and the kitchen does have liquid soap for convenience, but I refill those once a month.

    So waste can come about in different ways, and imagine that my boy's actually enjoy using the bar of soap :) and I'm saving a little pin money to boot.

    I wish I could go cloth for kitchen cleaning but I love my paper towels too much, but perhaps I will be forgiven as I love to hang up my laundry in the basement rather than using my dryer :)

    Mom in Canada

  2. mom in canada-You sound like a very sound individual who thinks about what and why she is using a product. I think for me those moments when I see an ad like that, it just peels back the corner a bit of the current mess we are in. Our individual actions with paper towels and cups do make a small difference, but our overall dependence upon credit cards and the 'need' for things I think many of us don't really need but end up working hard for was what really struck me. Again, I never want to seem to be pointing fingers, for I am sure I do many wasteful things and certainly lived very foolishly and was a spendthrift before. But, I think it is good every now and again for me to throw these little bones from the past to those of you in 2010, just so we can keep an eye on our lives for the good. I think living a true vintage life means being mindful of our ways and our actions and the way we treat others as well as ourselves no matter what time we live in.
    You need no forgiveness, for you have done no wrong. You sound a very good and kind mother and a smart and frugal homemaker.

  3. Yes please 50sgal 'throw those little bones from the past to those of us in 2010' because we do want to keep an 'eye on our lives for the good.' Thanks! Linda

  4. It's true; since this blog's creation, I've been learning more about my world and myself. The most important lesson I've learned is to think before I buy. Thank you, 50's Gal! *~_^*

  5. 50's Gal, thanks for the compliment, it means more than you know :)

    I find it so frustrating as a present day mom, I am in a constant struggle against the permissive modern culture...........I am trying to raise my boys the old fashioned way and sadly, that conflicts with what goes on in the school system.

    I find summer to be a tad bit better in this regard, as the "influences" are kept to a minimum at times I do worry where this society is headed.......

    Mom in Canada

  6. 50s Gal, I think it does/did start as simply as that. A few advertisements about how simple, and labor free thinsg were tempted us, and led us down the path to the way things are in 2010.

    Fortunately, I think it can be undone, and if everyone stopped just one or two wasteful actions, we'd see a much healthier, happier environement, too.

  7. Thank you for your bravo. I do feel I think about every habit in my daily life, so I do think I make a (tiny) different. Perhaps it is tiny, but if we all made a tiny difference it would be HUGE. E.g. I’ve used the Keeper and washable pads for my period for almost 20 years, and I know NO ONE else who does so. I’ve even sold the Keeper in Denmark, not to earn extra money, but to let women know they had an alternative from expensive flushable products – expensive due to very expensive commercials. We also reuse our mugs and glasses through the day, you can easily drink tea from the same mug or juice/soda from the same glass all day, before placing it in the dishwasher. It is a little hard for son to understand though. Teenagers! ;) I would never use paper tablecloths, and rarely use paper napkins, they have to be very pretty if I should buy them. And I think I have many more examples like these, it is just normal for me, so I don’t think about it.

    Yes, I think it all started this innocent way, homemakers being seduced by such innocent ads. I think it will take our Apron Revolution a long time to change this. But common sense is always a good thing.


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