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.

~ ~ ~ ~

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

~ ~

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?

~ ~ ~ ~

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?

+ 😈 + • 

Three Thoughts Thursday | Writing. Decorating. Answering.

This is when I tell you stuff and don’t make a story of it.  

• • •

ONE

I think that this website, Alliteration Applications, could be a useful tool for writers.

It’s easy to use and if you happen to need to create an alliterative phrase, for some reason, this website makes quick work of it by helping you find words that might work for you.

I’ve never needed anything like this website, but I do like goofing around with words, so I think it’s fun.

TWO

I think that the idea of granny chic, as a trend in interior design, is an unexpected throwback.

According to this recent House Beautiful article, The Rise of ‘Grandmillennial’ Style, there’s a trend toward embracing what might be referred to as old-fashioned traditional style.  As such, chintz, floral wall paper, needlepoint pillows, and bright colors are in fashion again.  There is a quiz that you make take to see if you are part of this trend;  click on the title of the article, scroll down, find the quiz.

I would not enjoy living in a space with this particular decorating trend, but I don’t begrudge anyone who wants to embrace it.  You go girl granny.

THREE

I think that the number of Deborahs who comment here is noteworthy.

Yes, referring back to the poll question found on THIS blog post, Deborah, either full or shortened to Deb, is the first name spelled the same way that I see most often in my comments.  There are five of you: Circadianreflections Blog  | Debs Despatches  |  I am, therefore I write  |   Temenos of the Blessing Light  |  The Badass Widow

The name Kate was the winner of the poll, btw.  But it wasn’t the right answer.  Sorry, kids.

• • •

Questions of the Day

Are you fond of alliteration? Do you even have an opinion about it?

What do you think about granny chic decorating? Is it a trend whose time has come OR is too cluttered & twee for you?

Do you follow any of the Deborahs mentioned above? If not, why don’t you change that right now?

• • •

Who Goes There? Chatting About The Names We Use When Blogging + A Poll Question

BACK WHEN I FIRST STARTED writing a blog I read a blog [whose name I do not remember] written by a woman named Karen [I think].

She was hilarious and outrageous, posting every stinking day about her small-town life.  Her writing was wordy and it was perfect.  No grammar or spelling mistakes, ever.

I was in awe of her.

She had a huge following.  They were as outrageous as she was which made reading the comments a hoot.  I was more reserved back then, so I didn’t jump into her comment section like I would today.

• • •

IN RETROSPECT THE MOST INTERESTING thing about her comment section was that the commenters created nicknames for themselves.  This was ostensibly to distinguish one from another, when more than one person had the same first name spelled the same way.

For instance [making up examples here] there’d be “Cathy from California” who wasn’t to be confused with “Cathy who hates gerbils” who most clearly was not “Cathy the Cookie.”

It was all inside jokes and seemed harmless.  Rather fun, crazy awesome, even.

• • •

HOW THE HECK DID I get thinking about a blog from 15 years ago?

The other day I sat down to answer my comments here.  I had three comments in a row from women with the same first name who spelled it the same way.  Then I had two comments in a row from women with the same first name who spelled it the same way.

Suddenly, thinking back to the blogger from years ago, I was curious about how many people with the same first name spelled the same way leave comments here on a regular basis.

I had no idea, so I did a little behind the scenes research.

I was surprised by what I learned and I’m betting that you, my gentle readers, won’t guess which first name spelled the same way is the most popular one among my commenters, but give it a go.  Here’s the poll question.

Also, out of curiosity, have you ever seen a blogger with commenters who have created specific nicknames to use only when commenting on that blog? Is/was this a thing? Or is this something as unique as I think it was? 

A Character Study: Justifying Your Rationale About Doing A Tango With The Truth

~ INTRODUCTION ~

I NEVER INTENDED TO write about this person, she’s someone I knew a long time ago.  I’d guess that I haven’t been in touch with her for over a decade, maybe longer.

I got thinking of her because I found one of her business cards wedged in the back of my desk drawer.  I’m surprised I kept it, to be honest– but there it was and memories of her flooded into my brain.

So here’s a story, a character study if you will, of a pleasant someone who had her own unique way of rationalizing that which she said and felt no shame about telling, what were ostensibly, falsehoods.

• • •

ONCE UPON A TIME I knew a lovely woman who introduced me to a college acquaintance of hers;  I shall call this acquaintance Nedra.  The lovely women moved away but out of respect for her, Nedra and I still got together for coffee every few months.

Our relationship was superficial, but delightful at first.  Nedra and I had interests in common, reading and healthy eating.  She was dating at the time and had funny stories about her experiences.  I was remodeling the kitchen and had ridiculous stories about my experiences.

All would’ve been well IF I hadn’t come to realize that Nedra was making up stories about her love life. And her career. Stories that she told me, doing what I’d describe as, a tango with the truth.

• • •

I STUMBLED OVER THIS dance with reality while we were having coffee one day.  I hadn’t seen her in a while and I asked her about a guy she’d been on a date with, a date that she’d described in detail months before.

Well, she looked confused, baffled by my question– and told me I must be wrong about her, that she’d never been on a date like that.  Clearly I was mistaken.

Except I wasn’t. I’m not that addled-brained. I remembered quite specifically her conversation and joyfulness vis-à-vis this date. That hadn’t happened, but she said it had. Uh huh.

• • •

AS YOU CAN IMAGINE after that conversation I became more disinclined to believe what Nedra said to me, but I was intrigued because I’m a curious person who pays attention to people– and here was a character for me to watch.

Up close and in action, so to speak.

Time passed, like a year or so, and I was to a point where I didn’t want to meet Nedra for coffee anymore.  Beyond her propensity to make up stories, I no longer needed to be in her part of town on a regular basis so getting together with her was a chore.  On many levels.

Still, I wanted to know more about her reasoning for making up stories: why she did it and, you know, if she experienced any remorse about deviating from the truth. So I asked her, politely, tactfully, why she made up stories about her life and this is where it got really interesting.

• • •

NEDRA BELIEVED THAT BY making up stories about her life she was showing people how to make themselves whole.  She was, she felt, merely using her fictional tales to guide people to make better decisions about themselves.

She justified this by saying that when you think about it, scripted TV shows and movies were often fabricated stories that we accept as having a real impact on our minds, hearts, psyches.  We believe the stories and accept the messages contained within.

Therefore she was doing the same thing with her stories on a smaller, more personal, scale so that she could help people become more self-aware and feel empowered to do better. And as such she felt no guilt for what some of us might call lying.

• • •

Have you met anyone like Nedra who does a tango with the truth?

Do you think she has a point about scripted TV & movies being basically lies so why not do it too?

Was she naive or manipulative?

Have you found a business card from someone you lost touch with and got thinking about them, for better or for worse?

~ THE END ~

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.