Monday, April 30, 2012

30 April 1941 “The Spirit of Self-Sufficiency, America First Rally in NYC, and a Free War Time Recipe Booklet”

Its unfortunate that while we were happy to remember the atrocities of war to try and not fight again (though that seems a failed attempt today) we were happy to let go of the camaraderie, and self sufficiency. Had we remembered what it was we could do without, how little we really needed to survive and be happy, and that people and not things were important; perhaps we would not have been swept up in the ensuing commercialism of the following decades.

Certainly, we were happy to have things again. Safety and a new world seemed to make us willing to build more houses, buy more things and pave over our lands to allow easy travel by automobile. Yet, I wonder, how many homemakers of the war years, though happy to have the war over, sometimes thought, “Gee, we were fine without all these things before the war, now we have so much to pay for and care for”.

It would have been the homemaker who would have noticed such things. And happy though she was to have an easier time of it, one wonders if the TV and the need for cars ever made them think of life during the war and before with less cars and less things. Or had thoughts of how her new flower borders might be better used to grow vegetables for her family as they once did during the war. She might even have missed the scratch and peck of her chickens to the sound of endless lawnmowers trimming the sea of new postage stamp lawns. The good, in even the bad times, can always be paid forward. I hope that is a lesson we can still learn today.

With the fear for loved ones, the scarcity and uncertainty of the future came a self-sufficiency and a brotherhood unlike times before. It was really more akin to say the late 19th century and pre WWI. And the realization of how little “things” were so important. Today we fight wars over “things” at the expense of people. We are always concerned with how can we get more and if we run low on things we must have more at any cost. Not, how can we simply live differently to spare those future lives fought at an expense far too great for any to pay. The concept of living differently rather than fighting for cheaper and more of what we think we need seems never to cross our minds. It wouldn’t be easy, but mightn’t it be fun and possibly better for our communities and the lower classes? But, I digress, on with some news.

americafirst On 23 April 1941, the first major Rally of the The America First Committee (AFC) was held. This organization was the foremost “ non-interventionist pressure group against the American entry into World War II. Peaking at 800,000 paid members in 650 chapters, it was one of the largest anti-war organizations in American history. Started in 1940, it shut down after the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941.”

There were no such things as ‘hippies’ yet and this anti war organization held many prominent people as well as business men, such as a future president Gerald Ford. Many felt that the only way to keep American sovereignty and protect its own borders was to stay out of the war in Europe.

Charles Lindbergh, the famous aviator, air force Colonel, and son of the famous senator, Charles Lindbergh Sr.,  spoke at this rally and urged listeners “to look beyond the speeches and propaganda they were being fed (about the need for USA to go into the War) and instead look at who was writing the speeches and reports, who owned the papers and who influenced the speakers.” This was later seen as an anti-Semitic  feeling as most of these were controlled by Jewish individuals. Yet, he felt their religion was not the point but that their actions, despite their religion, must be watched. But it was easier to spin the idea that he simply was a Nazi sympathizer. This was untrue and he went on to be quite a war hero.

Though Charles Lindbergh had resigned his Air Force Colonel pilots commission as part of his feelings against the US going into the War, he later ( after Pearl Harbor)  strongly supported the war effort after Pearl Harbor and flew many combat missions in the Pacific Theater of World War II as a civilian consultant even though President Franklin D. Roosevelt had refused to reinstate his Army Air Corps colonel's commission that he had resigned in April 1941.

On 11 December 1941, after Pearl Harbor and the USA was in the war, the American First Committee disbanded and made the following formal statement:

“Our principles were right. Had they been followed, war could have been avoided. No good purpose can now be served by considering what might have been, had our objectives been attained.
We are at war. Today, though there may be many important subsidiary considerations, the primary objective is not difficult to state. It can be completely defined in one word: Victory”

HERE is the speech, which is both cheered and booed, by Lindbergh on the reasons behind the coming of America’s involvement in WWII. (I cannot embed the video as it is not allowed, but you can follow the link to watch it on YouTube if you like.)  His father, a state senator from Minnesota, had been against the US in WWI and also strongly opposed the formation of the Federal Reserve. Lindbergh's son, Charles III was kidnapped famously in 1932. One wonders, with his father’s involvement against the Federal Reserve and the general move towards the increase in Banking Power and reformation of American money and Business interest, was there a tie or connection? What I have continued to learn about history, with its odd little “coincidences” I honestly don’t rule anything out any more.

Now, for some fun Wartime Recipes:

warrecipebook Here is a free online Recipe book of the time. You can read it online or print it out. The link is HERE.

Here are a few of the recipes from the book that sound rather fun:

Eggless, Milkless, Butterless Cake (Fruit Cake)
1 cup brown sugar                                  1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups water                                      1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup seeded raisins                              1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 ounces citron, cut fine                          1 cup corn or wheat flour 
1/3 cup shortening                                   1 cup rye or barley flour
               5 teaspoons Royal Baking Powder
Boil sugar, water, fruit, shortening, salt and spices together in saucepan 3 minutes. When cool, add flour and baking powder which have been sifted together. Mix well; bake in loaf pan in moderate oven about 45 minutes.


Cheese Pudding
3/4 cup yellow corn meal                       1/4 teaspoon paprika
3 cups boiling water                               1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups grated cheese                      1 cup milk
Few grains cayenne                               1 egg
3 teaspoons Royal Baking Powder
Pour corn meal slowly into boiling water, stirring constantly, and allow to boil about ten minutes. Add cheese, seasoning, milk and beaten egg yolk and cook until well blended. Remove from fire, and when cold add baking powder and fold in the beaten egg white. Bake in greased dish in moderate oven about 30 minutes. Serve immediately. When cold, it can be sliced and fried for either luncheon or supper.


I believe I will do more War time posts this week. My week on holiday has left me contemplating my life and future changes all the more. And my family, on this trip, has felt closer and more inclined to want to make more changes to our lives. The future is uncertain and might even be bleak. But, if we choose now to make choices that will help in hard times yet fun in the doing, we shall not be sad for the changes no matter the outcome of tomorrow.

I hope all have a lovely day and Happy Homemaking.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

29 April 1933 “Sorry I was gone So Long”

I have been on holiday this past week in Maine. Hubby, Niece, Sister-in-law and myself took a house in Bar Harbor and had some much needed rest. We had a lovely time. My finger and my spirit was able to heal.

I shall return tomorrow with more posts. I hope all have a lovely Sunday. Here is some fun film shot of a family in the 1930’s enjoying a holiday in the North east. We hopefully had as much fun as they seemed to have.

Happy Homemaking.

Friday, April 20, 2012

20 April 1942 “Victory Garden & Finger Pain”

40svictorygarden By 1942 the USA was officially in the war. usvicgardenposter Victory Gardening was becoming important here as it had been since 39 for UK.ukvicposter

Someone mentioned doing a 1940’s post and I think I will start researching to do a few.  However, today and the next few days, I will be absent again, as I have hurt my finger on my right hand. It is very hard to type and really do much. It is funny how a little thing becomes so large. My right hand is a very important part of my day, so now I have to really take my time to get things done.

However, it would be a good talking point for all of us: Victory Gardens, cooking with less and homemaking while also having a job (as many rosy the riveters had to do).

Happy Homemaking.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

14 April 1908 “New Old Fashion, The London Olympics, and Leftover Recipes”

poirot1 Paul Poirot was an innovative and forward thinking designer. In 1903, in the height of the S curve fashion of the Gibson Girl era, he introduced the controversial Kimono coat. poirot1903 It was loose and flat compared to the tight corseted styles of the day as seen here. 1903 His kimono coat drew attention away from the waist. Another style he will introduce more heavily in 1914 prior to the flapper look of the 1920’s, often associated with Chanel.

But, fashion is fickle in its ‘originality’. For it seems it always draws from the past. These drastic changes Poirot introduced in 1908 as seen here and the first image.poirot2 These raised the scooped waistline of the S curve into an Empire waistline. And look rather familiar when we travel 100 years back from him to 1808 to Regency times.regency1 regency2 regency3 And, of course, these fashions during The English Prince Regent and introduced by Napoleonic reign  harkens back to old Greece, the Republic Napoleon was trying to emulate.ancientgreecestyle

Therefore it seems we have today the right without fear to happily borrow and adjust from the past. It has always been done. Any of you afraid of dressing vintage, then, could easily take modern looks, find their historic partners, and make a mix of modern and old and feel quite comfortable, I feel.

Now, although Poirot was cutting edge in 1908 his raised waistline was becoming the direction of most fashion houses. paquin08 Here we see a 1908 Paquin gown. These two were rivals and the inspiration of the raised waist, shorter shirt, flatter look and less corseted appearance is even visible here.

scurvecorset The S curve corset, however, would have still been the daily wear of most women. Here we can see how it gives a ballooned chest, a lowered waist in front and a natural waist in back and the dresses worn over this undergarment still had this sort of look.1908 But, then even dresses from places such as the house of Worth, while using the S curve silhouette, were starting to raise the waistline. worth08 And upper class women of fashion would have most certainly worn this more than Poirot. Only the younger more adventurous set would have embraced Poirot’s look until WWI changes women’s fashion drastically.

So, I have been toying with some fun summer dress idea’s along the lines of this time period going into the 19teens. The higher waist, floor and angle-length skirts look quite similar to the popular Maxi dresses of today, as I mentioned last post.

poirot12 Like this later Poirot and making the Tunic dress, like this 1912 version 1912tunicdress the new look. This, to me, would easily translate into the fun sheers or lighter fabrics as the over top/jacket and the underskirt/dress could simply be jersey or cotton. One could even make the over dress and wear over a store bought jersey Maxi dress available at any store. I think this is such a good way to use modern looks to dress vintage.

dressform1Here you can see a top to a 1950’s halter dress I have cut out and pinned to my dress form. I had intended to make another simply zipped knee length later 50’s summer dress. But now and considering elasticing the teal center waistline area, so it slips on. And then using a jersey in the same teal as a long skirt and more of the flowered cotton as an overskirt. Here is a rough sketch of what I mean.dressketchIt could easily be worn with my 30’s vintage shoes and opaque stockings or some 50’s sandals or espadrilles with laced legs. And the big floppy hats out in stores now for beach wear would look stunning with such a look, I think.

dressform2 Here is some wonderful brown linen I have with lace tracery on it. I simply pinned it to the top to show, but would most likely make the dress all of this fabric. A simple maxi dress of this with an empire waist elasticized would not only be comfortable but also make a wonderful look. I am going to cut and make this one floor length, I think. Because the flow of the linen with the lace on is very lovely. I may even make it into a high waisted skirt with a bit of a train in back. I can picture it trailing in the grass on a picnic afternoon this summer with a simple sleeveless white cotton top and big floppy hat. Well, enough about fashion ideas.

1908olympics   In 1908 we also will be having the Summer Olympics in London just as they shall be in 2012. They were originally to be held in Naples Italy, but in 7 April 1906 Mt. Vesuvius erupted and the city was still rebuilding from the devastation.

Here is a photo from the 1908 games and one can see a woman in long dress competing in Archery. 08olympics

For the 1908 Olympics the White City Stadium was built in White City, London. It is often seen as the precursor to the modern stadium and “noted for hosting the finish of the first modern distance marathon. It also hosted greyhound racing, speedway and a match at the 1966 World Cup, before the stadium was demolished in 1985. It was the first Olympic Stadium in the UK.”

It cost 60,000 pounds and was opened by Kind Edward VII on 27 April this year, 1908. The current costs for the 2012 Olympics are near 12 Billion pounds and could reach 23 billion. The original estimate was 9.3. This certainly shows how inflated our money today has come since 1908. And the tax burden today to UK residents shall be very high. If anyone would like to see a breakdown of the costs thus far, here is a LINK.

With today’s date being 1908 I also wanted to share a couple of lovely recipes in my Household Discoveries and Mrs. Curtis’ Cook Book from 1908. I have mentioned this book in the past and how it was simply a part of our family library. I often wonder what ancestor gleaned its pages. Was it a wedding present for a happy middle class wife, sharing the directions with her one live in, or was it for a housekeeper to lead her in her direction for staff? Either way, it is a great book full of so much information. It is very detailed as a homemaker in 1908 had to even be nurse and chemist and in many ways a scientist.

The last half of the book is the cookery bit and I noticed that each section, such as fish or beef, is always followed by a chapter on leftover fish or beet etc. It was normal to use leftovers and tossing away food, despite your cooking or having a cook in, would have been unheard of. And with no real refrigeration, one took the leftovers and made do right away.

Here are two recipes, one for lamb and one for beef. They sound quite good and I will be trying them.

lamblefotverrecipe1 This would be easy to make and anyone too busy to make your own stock could certainly used store bought canned stock. And a great use of old bread or crumbs rather than tossing it away.

creamedcornedbeef This recipe using leftover beef sounds rather good. And to make it more to modern healthy tastes, I think it would be lovely served over fresh mixed greens. I love a warm salad.

I hope all will be happy with my new Time Hopping. You will simply see where I am that day by the posts date. This, I feel, will allow me more freedom and fun to pop about history. And anyone could even suggest a year to me, if they like. That would be fun as well. I honestly think the more we learn of our past the better off we all are. And in that past are almost always good bits to carry forward. The constant flux of buying new is a modern normality. Why not take that attitude and use it in a more economical way of re using the past and living frugally but with the joy of discovery that past lends to us.

Now, I am off to my garden. My new raised beds need tending and I am putting in some kale and Brussel sprouts today. Happy Homemaking.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

10 April 1933 “A Long Think, Changing Times 1912-2012, a New Goal, and some Rice Pudding”

I have been away from the computer for one week now. It was in some part due to out of town guests and messing about in my garden. But, mainly, it was my own little escape from it all. To contemplate and decide and consider.

Since 1955, my journey began innocently enough. I discovered fun cooking ways, learned a lifetime’s worth of homemaking and adult responsibility. And along the way the politics and history of our country and the world simply unfolded with it all. I would casually stumble upon a story or an old recording concerning things I would not have considered pertinent to the time. Only to find out that they were discussed and concerned with, but simply we were left to believe one washed over idea of what the 1950’s was. All poodle skirts, steak, butter and martinis. That Eisenhower was a hard and fast Capitalist loving flag waver. Then, as I watched his farewell speech and saw the fear and sadness in his eyes as he warned the country of the “Military Industrial Complex” I saw a glimmer of what was happening.

Now, in 1933, there is no TV nor even half the magazines and advertising available to distract one. The concept today of everyone selling apples in the street and riding out of dustbowl farms is what we are sold. The Grapes of Wrath version of the Depression. Yet, there is much going on here that today would also look odd to what we think America used to be.

Here protestors march for the rights of the increased wages they were already getting in the auto industry and growing industries with the majority of American’s behind them. The banks are seen as predators causing a crash that affects all but made a few rich. There is a solidarity of people behind the marching soldiers of WWI looking to get their promised money for fighting early to feed their children and families while a few American’s continue luxurious living in the depth of a Depression.

There is no squawking box telling us it is all fine and that unemployment is getting better. When in the 1930’s the way they counted unemployment included those who have been out of work for awhile and those only taking part time lower paying jobs. Today the numbers seem to be cooked, but we are easily distracted by the latest iPhone ap or new version of Angry Birds and the accompanying stuffed toys or key chains we have to have.

100 years ago today, 10 April 1912, many passengers boarded the HMS Titanic. The world in 1912 and before will soon become like an imagined dream when 1913 rolls in. Down with that ship, in its very representative way of the end of the age of Decadence, also went three very powerful men who opposed a new way of banking. Guggenheim, Isador Strauss, and John Jacob Astor were all three quite powerful men. They were currently opposing this new concept of the Federal Reserve Bank which had been planned since 1910. How much more symbolic, then, is it that with the sinking of that majestic ship, not only did the Golden Age die, but the hope against the changes which to this day are still affecting our economy were begun. The fates were against us then.

In 1913 we shall have the formation of the Federal Reserve Bank, which to this day prints our money and yet is simply a privately owned bank run by but a few people. And we will soon be into the Great War, the war to end all wars, and the world will never be the same again. Income Taxes, property taxes, taxes that affect the smaller business were all to begin now. Inflation of the new dollar (printed by the Federal Reserve), drafts, these were now to be ushered in. Drastic changes in Farming and buying up and destroying of the new public rail systems that made getting about cheaper and available to all. The electric car pushed out and the internal combustion engine pushed in. Oil and Gas and Greed were now to drive our New Society.

So, with all the realities and bad luck of the past weighing ever heavier on me, it has been hard to even approach the computer. The idea of writing or even the love of it was like a bad taste in my mouth.

But, one must move forward. I am but a simple little person in a vast and heavily controlled world. I needed the time to really consider my future and my own desires. I have come to see that to simply continue on in 1933 is too painful for me. It might sound rather silly, but in all honesty the more I uncover about the simple facts of history from just this year alone, the more I become disillusioned.

My joy in sticking to one year and really focusing on that has been a good project. I am forever changed because of that both good and bad. I am glad to have done it but now feel I need to focus on the good. I don’t want to seem to be ignoring the sad plight of our current world, but I also no longer have the energy to try and defend simple facts that I find. We are all going to believe what it is we need to believe, it seems, so to that I am done.

I love the past. I find much in the modern world that is hard to fathom or to even wish to embrace. So now my continued project for this year is to make as much of the past still a part of my life. And to take what is out there now, in the modern world, that is really bits and bobs of the old ways. Even in my clothing I want to see what modern ‘fashions’ really just recall the past and see that one can dress ‘modern’ in a very historical way. Cooking and keeping the home still, to me, seem easier with the old ways. And in that I shall continue but perhaps try and see the best modern ways to bring it all in. I realize not everyone has the time or facilities to find and get old antique things, so maybe trying to make a more accessible version of the old days with simple new day things will make it nicer for my readers, those that stick around of course.

And, I really miss art. I miss the joy of drawing and painting and I think the positive and good things the past has shown me can be put to use that way. And that sharing recipes, gardening, sewing and home keeping in general was always of more interest to all of you.

I suppose I want to see if I can sort of live in a timelessness with pulling towards me all the good bits from the past. I can reference the past, news as well, but from anytime to share with you. And maybe even each post will be labeled with a date to give you a nod to what I will be talking about that day.

maxidress1 Fashion today, though mainly jeans and T’s, can actually have some historical vintage reality. Things, such as the Maxi Dress, are readily available and actually rather simple to make. One can see the similarity here from 1912 to 2012.

valentino Valentino Spring 2012 holds a lovely ladylike influence of the 1912 lace gown.

jodphurs The 1890’s cycling bloomers and the 1930’s pattern for the jodhpurs are happily trotting down the Ralph Lauren runway for fall/winter 2013. The hats are also very late 20’s early 1930’s.

dior2012 There are endless examples, as well, of very 1950’s looking dresses today, including these 2012 Dior dresses. The top on the far right would be adorable in cotton over pedal pushers in summer. The outside stitching detail on the black suit top would also be an easy to make and wearable top with any simple skirt or trousers.

 I think this past week has left me thinking on 1912 and earlier. Really finding how much the modern world began after that year has left me yearning for the long dresses and sweeping majesty of fashion then. I find I want to design my own daily clothes. I am sewing my fashions, so why not take the chance to build and create my dresses how I like them to be? A 1912 length in a 1950s fabric with a 1930s hat. Why not? I do know that dressing nicely has become a part of me and even simple walks or biking still feels more important when I am dressed for it. Rather it will be a summery dress and hat, like last year, or in the cooler weather jodhpurs, wool jacket and tie, it will not be jeans and trainers/tennis shoes for me. The small things we can control in our daily lives, like what we wear, can make our lives feel special and the moment fine. Our homes, our food, our selves, these can be the vintage haven of “good ole’ days” and an escape we can take with us about our day.

ricepudding1 I love the texture and creaminess of rice pudding. It is easy to make and so good cold or served warm with warmed cream. I used the following recipe, which was similar to an older money saving version I found. ricepudding2 I added cinnamon to mine and served it with warmed cream. This packs nicely in lunches and for picnics as well.

  • 3/4 cup uncooked white rice
  • 2 cups milk, divided
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan; stir rice into boiling water. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. In a clean saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups cooked rice, 1 1/2 cups milk, sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat until thick and creamy, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup milk, beaten egg, and raisins; cook 2 minutes more, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.

I hope all had a lovely Easter holiday and are enjoying the coming Spring. How do any of you feel about trying on new versions of the old ways as a normal part of your daily life? If it was more accessible or easy to incorporate step by step, would you like such a change? Do you think my wanting to float through the past and to incorporate various decades into my life and blog would be interesting?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

3 April 1933 “Easter is on its Way”

30seastercard Hippity Hoppity Easter is on its way. And I am rather busy, painting fences, planting and gardening, and generally enjoying Spring. I am also working to continue to improve our property and house to show better as it is for sale. I haven’t talked much about our plans, if our house does sell. We actually don’t have definite plans and are really considering various options if and when it sells.

Here, then, is a quick post in the Easter Spirit.

easterimage I love this darling little sketch by Marjorie Flack from 1934. It is part of the book “Scamper” by Anna Roosevelt Dall. scamper Looking at these images have got me back into sketching myself. I put my children’s book idea on the back burner last year, but now here in 1930’s I am inspired in the styles to give it another go. I shall have to make time for this endeavor I feel.


This photo of Myrna Loy looks oddly modern. I find this often the case with 1930’s images thus far. Either it seems very easy to see a 1930’s person with finger waves, shawl topped dresses and manly fedora’s made feminine. But sometimes the images, much like this one, feels so modern. When the bob is not finger waved, a dress falls in simple modern lines and  boots that seem like they could be in any shoe store today, this could be a new photograph. Don’t you think?

germangirl30s Here a darling little German girl holds a Schultüte (school cone) also called a Zuckertüte (sugar bag). These were and still are given to young children on their first day of school. I am not sure why this young girl is receiving her zuckertute on Easter, unless it was a specific tradition in her area of Germany.

What makes me sad is to think of this little girls life vastly changed in five or six years when her country goes to war. I think of all the Germans who were not Nazi’s but were, none the less, trapped in their country. Many did not support the changes in their government nor their war-faring ways, but had no way to escape. When those in power and the governments make moves we, the people, do not support, it is sadly always we who suffer. It is our sons and daughters who have to go off to war. It is our homes and life that are vastly affected and changed. I wish we had more power as a people.

I am going to close with this darling little short home movie from the 1930’s around Easter time. Enjoy and  Happy Homemaking.

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