What’s Cooking? Old Recipe Pamphlets and Cookbooks [Part 1 Of 2]

Today it’ll be Show & Tell + Discussion. Tomorrow it’ll be Think & Do + Poll Question.

THERE IS A PLACE BETWEEN TRASH AND TREASURE WHEREIN ONE CAN FIND STUFF

STUFF being defined as interesting things, unique things, obscure things that are worthy of conversation but not much more.

In this case the STUFF is from a box I inherited that contains my grandmother’s handwritten cookbook, a couple of printed cookbooks, and other bits of information about food and drink.

Thus I give you Show & Tell.

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SHOW & TELL

The STUFF featured in the above photograph has one noticeable thing in common: these recipe pamphlet and cookbook covers have the color red on them.  Other than that they are about as random as can be.

They are in order of publication year:

1933 – The Art Of Mixing by Wiley and Griffith

1941 – Quick•easy RECIPES from MUELLER’S

1942 – THIS IS MY BOOK OF MAGIC RECIPES from The Borden Company

1943 – How to bake by the Ration Book from Swans Down

1949 – Aunt Chick’s Pies by Nettie McBirney

1963 – Joys of Jell-O from General Foods Corp.

1960s [?] – TRUDY TENDERFOOT MEETS REDDY KILOWATT from Ohio Edison Company

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DISCUSSION

Anyone else feeling less guilty about not following through on Marie Kondo’s advice about getting rid of STUFF that doesn’t spark joy?  Especially in light of the fact that STUFF often makes for good conversation starters?

Anyone know why red was [or is?] a popular color for the front of cookbooks?

Anyone try a new-to-you old recipe lately?

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A Fun Project: Getting Freaky With A Couple Of Jigsaw Puzzles

These are pictures of how each finished puzzle is supposed to look.

• • •

Jigsaw puzzles are suddenly popular. We have a stash of them so for snorts & giggles we mixed two of them together to create two unique masterpieces. Here’s how we did it.  

• • •

1. Find two puzzles with the same number of pieces that were cut using the same machine. Just because two puzzles are from the same company and have the same number of pieces doesn’t mean they have the same shape pieces. Lesson learned hard way on this point. 

It’s all about the details when you decide how to merge the puzzles.

2. Put together one of the puzzles then put together the other puzzle beside the first puzzle. Stare at the puzzles until your eyes cross you see an interesting way to mix the images in each puzzle. This takes imagination, but you can do it;  time is your friend.

This is an action shot as we began the methodical mixing of the pieces.

3. Carefully begin the process of extracting the pieces that form one image in the first puzzle, setting these pieces aside on a flat surface like a baking sheet, then extract the same area from the second puzzle. This requires patience and a steady hand.

Our first masterpiece called: Hot Air Balloons Landing On Giant Folded Quilts

4. Put pieces from the first puzzle into the empty space created in the second puzzle. Continue this mixing of the pieces until you’ve created your own unique puzzle that makes you smile. If you’re not smiling at this point you’re doing this wrong. 

Our second Masterpiece called: Giant Quilts Covering Hot Air Balloons In Sky

5. Photograph your masterpieces, pat yourself on the back, then deconstruct your puzzles, keeping track of which pieces belong in each box. Congratulations, you’re officially a jigsaw puzzle artist nonpareil.

• • •

Your turn. Whatcha been doing for snorts & giggles? What else should we be doing with all this free time? Please share your ideas in the comments below.

• • •

Ms. Bean Is Delightfully Ornery Whilst Conversing About A Cocktail Recipe

It’s probably not nice to torment a friend who happens to groove on numbers, but you know what? I’m not always nice. 

+ 😈 + • 

I WAS TALKING WITH a longtime friend about a cocktail called The Pink Drink.  Years ago I found the recipe in a magazine and over time we’ve modified the recipe to please us.

It’s one of those simple three-ingredient “trio” cocktails that when made ahead and stashed in the freezer for a few hours, can be slushy or just darned cold.  The viscosity of it varies depending on how much alcohol you put it in when you make the drink.

If you want it slushy [our preference] use less alcohol. If you want it just darned cold [original recipe] use lots of alcohol.

Both are good. The choice is yours.

It is that simple.

+ • + • 

HOWEVER MY FRIEND, a numbers freak who prefers all things quantified, is one to want precise measurements for any recipe.  She snorted derisively when I told her the recipe for The Pink Drink is more conceptual than measurable.

Friend wasn’t happy with that explanation.  She wanted specific details, demanding that I tell her how I make this drink.

So I did.  But being the creative ornery wordsmith that I am, my explanation about how I make the drink sounded more like my philosophy on how to live my life than an actual recipe.  I said:

“For me it’s all about the good taste, not the buzz.”

Friend was not amused, but I was.

+ • + • 

THE PINK DRINK

  • pink grapefruit juice
  • pomegranate juice
  • orange-flavored vodka

measure the above ingredients relying on any proportions that make sense to you.

[original recipe was 30-30-30 one-third each ingredient, but we go for 60-30-10 now]

introduce ingredients inside a pitcher. encourage them to mix it up. place pitcher in freezer for a few hours, allowing them to chill together.

serve drink up in a martini glass with a twist of orange, if’n that’s something you like to do. or serve in a highball glass over ice.

[remember this is a concept, think of it as improv, not a precisely-scripted Tennessee Williams play, ‘k?]

+ • + • 

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

Are you always nice? Or do you stray into ornery on occasion?

And how does this make you feel?

+ 😈 + • 

More Than Ever, Cleanliness & Curiosity Are The Keys To Healthy Living

Childhood saying as timely as today’s news

I’m checking in here to see how everyone is doing.  

I don’t have anything in particular that I need to tell you, my gentle readers.

Sure, I could go on about my understanding of the novel coronavirus and how much of this mayhem could have been avoided if sensible preventive measures had been taken earlier, but to what end?  It has been discussed ad nauseam, so why be redundant?

Nope, all I have to add to the blogosphere today is two pithy little images that summarize my current approach to living healthy in these difficult times.  

Historical perspective as timely as today’s news

The first image, that I created all by myself, is something that floated into my mind over the weekend;  I’ve no specific source for the saying.  My guess is that when I was a wee little bean I learned it in Presbyterian Sunday School wherein the emphasis on cleanliness was up there on a par with all things Biblical.

The second image is one that I found recently in one of the more enlightened corners of social media.  I’d suggest that Newton’s example puts a bit of perspective on the realities of our daily lives now.  Given all this free time it’s the perfect opportunity to follow your curiosity about something that you’ve always been meaning to learn about.

And with that I shall hit publish on this post, wishing y’all germ-free days and thought-filled nights. Stay safe.

The One In Which I Talk To Myself While Buying Beer & Am Overheard

This post has been published in black and white so that I won’t be accused of trying to influence your answer to the poll question below by using particular colors in this post. Nope, not doing that here.

• 🏈 • 🏈 • 🏈 •

I know that Super Bowl Sunday is a big day for gambling, but I know from experience that Super Bowl Sunday is a busy shopping day in grocery stores.

Keeping that in mind while I was at the grocery store yesterday, I decided to go ahead and buy food & drink for what will be our Super Bowl Sunday junk food feast.  It’ll be just the two of us so our snacking will lean toward healthy, but we gotta have something special.

It’s a law.

While in the store I decided to buy a six-pack of fancy beers, one of those create your own dealios, you know?  That’s when the store has a refrigerated section that offers a wide assortment [maybe 75?] of individual bottles of beer/ale/cider.  You pick the 6 you want, placing them in a generic cardboard carrier that when taken to the register rings a set price.

$9.99 to be exact.

Welp, I got totally swept away with the variety in front of me and found myself contemplating each bottle as if I’d never seen beer before.  I was smitten with the idea of having choices, and went with two local ales, two regional beers, and one national-brand ginger beer.  But I couldn’t decide about the last one bottle so I carefully reviewed all my choices, finally adding a bottle of international beer to the cardboard carrier.

As I did so, with a real sense of personal accomplishment, I said out loud: “And it’s Heineken for the win.”

At which point I heard a man, who I didn’t realize was standing behind me waiting for me to choose my bottles, say: “Yes it is, always.”

Of course I jumped about a foot in the air and started laughing, apologizing for taking so long– because really I’d been dawdling more than deciding— but this kind man just grinned and said: “No problem.”

Which in this situation was an appropriate response, so all’s well that end’s well.  Including, I do hope, football season this Sunday evening.

Home Sweet Home: A Simple Way To Explain Where You Live, Just Cuz

•  •  •

A rambling introduction then a simple question…

A friend and I were talking about where we each live now and how unexpected it’s been for us to find ourselves where we are.  In college we could never have imagined this.

She lives in an older home built in the ’40s in an affluent part of town in a community with a vibe that suggests social status.  It’s a desirable address, near a country club and fancy hospital and an upscale local grocery that’s all the rage.

Posh is the word for it.

I live in a 20 year old home in a quirky suburb with a bit of regional history that until a few years ago was considered to be the sticks by the people who live in affluent parts of town.  It’s an address that suggests good schools and unique local restaurants and outdoor activities.

Relaxed is the word for it.

To be clear, neither of us gives a flying fig through a donut hole about where the other one lives;  we’re not hung up on only befriending people who live exactly like we do.  Call us non-judgmental, I suppose.

Friendly, even.

No, the crux of our conversation was about how she’s ended up as an adult living close to where she grew up as a child while I’ve ended up as an adult living somewhere I knew nothing about as a child.

Without belaboring the point by getting pedantic with sociological terminology and geographic nuances, this is a simple | interesting | harmless way to divide people into two categories based on their subjective responses to the following question:

Do you consider where you live now to be your childhood hometown/region OR do you consider where you live now to be somewhere new you moved to along the way?

Discuss.

One-Liner Wednesday: A Mantra Courtesy Of A Three Year Old Girl

I was in Costco on Friday afternoon.  I ducked into the women’s restroom and while in there saw a cute little girl, about three years old, with her mother.

The little girl was wearing black leggings, a bright blue t-shirt, sturdy white sneakers embellished with cartoon characters, and a sparkly pink tutu.  She was a vision of free-spirited sartorial confidence that made me smile.

Oh, to be so sure of yourself!

The duo was standing by the sink in the restroom and the mother was starting to turn on the water at the sink in order for the little girl to wash her hands.  However, as we all know, toddlers like to do for themselves that which they believe they are capable of doing by themselves.

And they are often loud and dramatic in the process.

This little girl was no different than her independently-minded peers, thus she said for all to hear the following phrase that I think, as an example of positive self-talk, might be the perfect succinct mantra for anyone who momentarily loses their confidence while negotiating the ups and downs of life:

“I. CAN. ME.”

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