Friday, January 7, 2011

7 January 1957 “Elvis on Ed Sullivan, Chocolate Pie, Chocolate Eggs and Thought’s of Spring”

Last night, the 6th of January 1957, was Elvis’ third and final appearence on Ed Sullivan.
He did a number of songs including “Hound Dog,” “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Too Much,” “When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again,”
but ended with this gospel favorite, “Peace in the Valley”:
I found this interesting little video on 1957. What we must remember, when we look at the prices they list, such as milk for $1, is that to make it equivalent to our time we have to multiply it by $7 dollars. So, though it sounds inexpensive, milk was actually $7.00 a gallon. Again, we see that small farms are still a part of the overall production of foods for our country and it is only 3 a gallon now because of the over production and corporate farming of today.
Also, the average home price they mention does not coincide with my findings, as 20,000 would make it about 140,000 for today. Still, a fun little video though. But, as with anything made for a quick browse, the details behind and the accuracy is going to be a little off.
chocolatecreampie I made a chocolate cream pie the other day for one of my desserts this week. It is really a rather simple pie to make, especially if you use the easy ‘mix in the pan pie crust’.
50’s gal Chocolate Cream Pie in Chocolate Crust
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  1. cream egg yolks and sugar. Add in cornstarch, cocoa powder, salt, and milk, stirring gently.
  2. cook over medium heat in a saucepan, stirring constantly, until mixture just begins to boil. Then, remove from heat and stir in butter and extracts. Cool slightly before pouring  into pastry shell. Chill before serving.
Now, for the chocolate crust:
I use my Pat a Pan recipe for a single layer easy pie crust:
1 1/2 C Flour
1 1/2 tsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 C  Salad Oil
2 Tbs milk
patapie recipe
But to it, I added 3 TBS unsweetened bakers powdered chocolate. and one extra tablespoon (making 3 total) oil. This makes a nice chocolaty pie crust as well.
maraneggs1 These arrived in the mail yesterday. They are the latest addition to my little ‘suburban farm’ life. They are called chocolate eggs because of the beautiful rich deep brown shade. The are the eggs of a French breed of chickens known as Black Copper Maran’s. maraneggs2 This close up still doesn’t really do the color and pigmentation and speckles justice, they are just a beautiful egg. To see how dark they are compared to a traditional brown egg, look at this:3eggs Here you can see what my Ameracauna’s blue eggs look like, then the copper maran and then a traditional brown, such as my Orpingtons and Cochins lay. Though this is not a picture of my eggs, it shows the variance.
coppermaransHere is what a rooster and hens look like. They are a currently very sought after breed and their eggs are suppose to be delicacy. Many French chef’s pay through the nose for these deep brown eggs. I hope to get enough laying hens to supply our local farm for some pin money and to help pay the cost of keeping the chickens for myself.
Although I love our current rooster, I am hoping to keep a maran rooster so I can get pure bred eggs, as the fertilized eggs sell for as much as 50 dollars a dozen on ebay!
I purchased one dozen (though I did not pay that much) and I placed 4 under a broody hen in my chicken house and the other 8 our in an incubator in my little sitting room.
A broody hen, for those that don’t know, is a hen which wants to sit and hatch her eggs. Many modern production breeds have had this bred out of them, but heritage breeds and older breeds like I have, such as the chochin and Orpington, often will go broody. This is what I wanted, as this is a more natural way to hatch out your chickens. And the joy of watching a hen with chicks is wonderful.
This is the first time my hen has gone broody, so I hope she will continue to sit. The plan is she will stay on the eggs and when they hatch in the incubator, you quietly introduce them to her under her and she accepts them as if she has hatched them and then raises them for you. I have a special broody pen inside the chicken house, so she is still with all her hen friends, but they cannot get to her or knock her off the nest. Or, when the chicks hatch, attack the little babies. If it all works there will be pictures to share, of course.
 HERE is a site about the breed, if anyone is interested. Their eggs are highly sought after and they are a great dual purpose bird. This means they are great egg layers as well as meat birds. I have been trying to decide, since last year’s hatching, what breed to have as a possible meat bird. These may do the trick, we shall see. And, hatching them now means I will have laying hens by June or July.
Since the very first of January I have had the “Spring Bug” of wanting to hatch chicks, order eggs, sketch out this year’s garden ideas. I really honestly love all four of the seasons, and just when I think I love one season, then next arrives and I get excited for that one. Though, Spring has to be a favorite. The potential and the hope it brings. The joy of setting the seeds, planning, dreaming of the summer bounty. I am not sure if I would enjoy Summer as much if I lived in a climate that was warm year round. But, then again, I would be able to grow more things more often, so I can’t really guess unless I did it.
I did save seeds from some of my veg last year, as I made sure to order heritage old plants. IT is really imporatant, for any of you gardeners out there, to try and order and save as many ‘old plants’ as possible. One hates to be a doom sayer, but if Peak oil ever becomes true and we are in a place where we aren’t mass producing, then the majority of the seeds of what we eat at the grocery store are made to only grow either one season or only when reacted with certain chemicals. There are MANY people selling heritage and old strain plants, so look for them online when ordering.
THIS SITE HERE is the company where I ordered my fertilized Maran Chicken eggs. They also grow, harvest, and sell heritage seeds. I might order from them this year and they sell on eBay as well. I have not ordered seeds from them before, so I cannot say how good they are.
I also have many heritage seeds in THE CORNER STORE as well. I actually ordered a lot of my seeds through my Amazon store last year, through smaller dealers. I think I listed all the seeds under the various plant, tomato, cucumber etc.
I am also excited to use my growing compost this year for my garden. Since this will be our second summer back here in this house, I feel I can build on what I did last year and improve upon it.
Are many of you excited about gardening? Any of you interested in keeping chickens? There is also the joy of wearing lovely Spring colors and lighter fabrics again as well. Ah…Spring.
Well, enjoy your day and as always Happy Homemaking.


  1. First, a quick question. What kind of oil do you use in the crust recipe? I'm trying to get away from canola oil, but don't know what to use. Right now, I just melt coconut oil when I would usually use canola.

    I discovered your blog just a few days ago, and want to let you know that you have been such a blessing to me. Since quitting outside work to be a housewife, I've slowly drifted away from the modern world, especially regarding my clothing choices. I've been a housewife for almost 6 years now and after our most recent move, have felt a real push to "update" my wardrobe. Two things have been bothering me: the looks from others and the fact that my thrift store wardrobe is wearing out. I really don't dress very strangely. My usual attire is a calf-length skirt with sweater set or shirt or a dress. I have a short page boy hairstyle and wear a kerchief or scarf a lot because of the wind. Where we used to live, there were a lot of religious types who dressed this way, and I more or less never turned any heads. Out here, it's really different and the looks were starting to bother me.

    Well, to make a long story short, you have given me back my confidence. Since finding your blog, I feel more emboldened and certainly more comfortable in my skin. The self-consciousness I felt just a few weeks ago is gone. Thank you.

  2. By the way, as soon as I finish my wool skirt, I'm off to the fabric store for a pattern and fabric. I plan on making some housedresses just the way I want them in time for spring and summer. Thank you again so much for the inspiration.

  3. Jenny-First off, welcome! I am always so grateful and happy whenever anyone tells me they are happy to read my little blog/site. I have never been happier since 'finding' the past and the ability to wear what we feel comfortable in is really important. I have discovered sewing with my project and really love it. Between that and the thrift store, I am rather happy with my wardrobe, always feel special when I dress and have spent so little on it all. I usually get more compliments than stares. Though, sometimes a stare might be someone thinking, "Hmmm, I never even thought of wearing that, what a great idea".
    For oil, I use grapeseed oil and sometimes with this recipe, I will even melt butter to the equivalent measurement.
    When I started the 50's I used to just buy the cheap veg oil, but now use grapeseed almost exclusively. I do still use olive oil sometimes, as I like its flavor. What is nice about grapeseed is it has a high smoke point approximately 216 °C (421 °F) so it is good for deep frying as well as stir frying veg and rice and so on. It is also excellent in making homemade mayo and I never buy pre-made salad dressings, I usually just drizzle grape seed oil and some salt and pepper. Or, if you take hot peppers or sweet peppers and garlic and put it in a pan and heat a good amount, say one cup or so, grape seed oil on low for say 10 minutes, it infuses the oil with the flavor. Then decant this with the veg in a clear bottle and there you have dressing for salad and seasoning. I keep this out on my counter for at least a week, not sure if it would last longer in the ice box.
    Hope this helps and again, welcome!

  4. I am following Weight Watchers and that pie looked so good. I put the recipe through their recipe builder assuming it would be 30 points or something LOL. I guessed that it made 8 servings.
    It came out to 13 points with the crust included.
    I get 31 points a day BUT I also get 49 weekly extra points. So while this may not be a nightly dessert I certainly could fit it into a weekly treat. :)

    Does it by any chance freeze well do you think? Or would I have to make my DH eat it all LOL!

    It is neat to see that I can fir some 50's style items into my 2011 Weight Watchers plan.

    Since the plan recently changed I am going to go back through some of the other menus and recipes you have posted and see what else looks good that can fit in.

    That is one good think about Weight Watchers.. You really can eat what you like if yo pay attention to servings.

    Thank you again for a great post! And always fun to watch some Elvis!!

  5. I have never made and frozen this pie, but I bet it would freeze alright. You could also put whipped cream or ice cream on top before you freeze to make a fun treat, though that would add to your calories, of course! Enjoy!

  6. I am very excited for spring, we are actually planning on getting a few laying hens and meat birds this year. We have a section of the barn that is unused and separated from the cattle that we are going to fix up for them. I appreicate you talking about how you are handling your chickens as never having raised chickens before it helps to hear from someone who has. We too have a garden every year and I agree with you about heritage varieties, I have tried the odd hybrid but have always found they never grow as well or produce as much. I will check out your websites for varieties, in Ontario OSC Seeds offers a wonderful variety so we often get our seeds from them. I actually have a tomato plant growing in with my alovera right now as when I repotted it I was reusing potting soil and it must have had a seed in it. I have left it as it is doing surprisingly well. I love your blog and can't wait to hear about your garden in the spring.

  7. I've wanted chickens for a while. When we left the city and moved to our current home in a small village, the local bylaws said that we could have chickens as long as we called them pets and had no rooster. Shortly after we moved, and before I got the chickens, they changed the bylaw to say no poultry at all. I was so disappointed.

    We didn't do our veggie garden last year. When I should have been digging over the veggie patch, I was having knee problems and couldn't put weight on my right knee, so digging was out of the question. By the time I was properly mobile, the season for planting was over. Maybe this year! I actually haven't even thought about Spring yet. I'm still hunkering down for the cold winter to come! I must have been a bear in a previous life, all I want to do is hibernate!

  8. It's very sad that the county that I now live in has an "absolutely no chickens" law. And in Denver, it is almost $500 to get the permits, licensing and registration to have 2 hens. It makes me want to move sooner... but unfortunately it is not in the cards in the near future so we will have to just settle for vegetable and fruit gardens still.

    People are taking the initiative to try and change those laws which is good. Some are even trying to get pygmy milking goats in the zoning too. I am totally in on that action! Hopefully, we all can make it work out in the near future.

    My parents have always had chickens and ducks, though they have only used them for eggs and keep them more as pets. I grew up with them. Those by the way are absolutely gorgeous specimens!


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    Have an awesome weekend!

  10. You have made me miss my chickens. Is your coop electrified? We have woods on our property, although I believe what killed our chickens was a neighborhood dog or two, and not sure electricity would have stopped them. Next time we raise chickens we will electrify.

  11. i want those chickens!!!

    and i use sunflower oil when i need a "tasteless" oil for baking.

  12. LPM_that is sad. The next county over from us just passes a 'no rooster' clause, luckily we are not yet so ruled. It is understandable on one side, because of the noise and you don't need a rooster for eggs, but if you want to ever be realistic about making meat, a chicken is a small animal, easy to breed and maintain and easy to freeze, so it is almost another way to take out of the hands of the masses their own ability to create food. Sad, indeed.
    I would love a milk goat, and we might just have the room (though we have a very small yard, I do have enough space for a little paddock area for two pygmy goats) but you have to milk twice a day and not sure I am ready for that yet. I just wish we had a source of local milk that was not so far away.
    FIP_thank you so kindly. I am always appreciative of awards, but I most likely won't do the things one usually has to do when they recieve one. Not to be 'not a team player' but with all I already do on the computer now including some art for this years project, I need to make sure all of the time on there is for 'work'. But, thank you so much!
    Fannie-I love chickens! We added our chicken house/coop to the side of an outbuilding we call the barn. Though it is not a barn, but a two story structure which might be my 'grown up lady's play house' one day. So there was electricity there already. So I simply have a heat lamp plugged in and over their water bucket and an area of the floor. It stays warm enough for them, though opringtons, Brahmas, and Cochins are really good in the cold weather. They are all large birds and the Chochins have feathered legs and feet.
    Kelly-good tip, thanks I will have to check out sunflower oil.
    Anyone who hasn't tried chickens, why not try it this year. With even 2-4 hens you will have a wonderful supply of eggs and hours of entertainment. Especially if you let them out sometimes to 'free range' in the spring and summer. They LOVE weeds, though they do make their little mess, but that mess is wonderful fertilizer!

  13. Oh and if any of you homeschool the project of building your own incubator to hatch chicken eggs is a wonderful project. It is, in fact, the way I I mean... suggested to my own parents when I was young and home-schooled into getting my own chickens. My sad tale, however, was that the two chickens that hatched: Both roosters, but they were wonderful companions none the less and it got me another trip to the local farm.

  14. I'm very excited to get my garden started again this Spring! My husband and I have also been talking about raising backyard chickens. Even though we live in the city, its very common here. I love my local, pastured eggs. Would be great if they came from my own backyard!

    Mary Ellen
    The Working Home Keeper

  15. You make me want to have hens, and I’ve always hated the idea. Perhaps when I one day become a fulltime homemaker, or at least parttime. I would love to have blue eggs like yours. I love all seasons too, but always looks much forward to Spring, since our Winter is so damn cold, long and dark.

  16. I love to hear Elvis sing - thanks for posting the videos.

    at Hey Viv !

  17. How odd that there's no milk delivered in your area! There are only two dairies that deliver in Boston neither of which do unhomogenized milk or have their own heavy cream available. If either did that then I think I'd try to find a way to have a milk box, probably on the small street in back of our apartment building.

    Thatcher Farm (one of the dairies) sells out of a new posh shop in my area so we've had a chance to taste their whole milk and it is WONDERFUL! Well worth the almost $3/quart. And the glass bottles are returnable to the shop for either a refund of the deposit or just in exchange for the deposit on your next bottle.


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