Tuesday, November 29, 2016

National Square Dance Day

♫ Swing your partner and Do-si-do! ♫

Today is National Square Dance Day.
If you don't know how to 'Box the Gnat' or 'Slip the Clutch', then 'Crack the Egg' and 'Fluff the Frosting' by making a Square Dance Cake !

Woman's Day Magazine November 1950

The recipe for this cake can be easily followed as directed by Dexo shortening.  However, I found a Duncan Hines prefab cake mix called 'Spring Velvets' at Big Lots which happens to have a yellow and a pink layer cake in one box.  Luckily, it also happens to not be expired (it's not spring anymore!) so as to celebrate some promenading and half sashaying festivities for today.

I am memorized with square dancing.  I have several vintage square dance records that I listen to throughout the year.  This then prompts me to a Lisa Simpson "I want a pony.  I want a pony. I want a pony. I want a pony." repetitive dialog with Hubbs.  Only it's me saying "I want us to learn square dancing. I want us to learn square dancing.  I want us to learn square dancing.  I want us to learn square dancing." Hubbs responds as Homer did with a flat "no" in between each plea.  I love the old timey toe tapping music, cute matching western outfits, and the perfect swirling motions of the dancers.

Watch this video and you'll see what I mean.:

Another favorite aspect of mine with square dancing is the patter calling.  Patter calling is when the caller speaks/chants harmonically the square dance instructions in time with the music while adding in filler nonsensical calls...

"Corn in the crib and wheat in the sack
Meet your partner and turn right back!"

I think the best example could be by none other than patter caller Bugs Bunny:

The reality of this square dance situation is that Hubbs and I have no idea what it means to:
" Chase the rabbit, chase the coon, chase the pretty girl around the room.  Swing four and circle same and hurry up boys and make that ring.  It's Lady do and the gents you know and it may be the last time I don't know. And oh by gosh and oh by joe and a right by right by wrong you go.  And off by the left by right you go and may be last time I don't know." ~ Ernest Legg and the Kissinger Brothers 1928

I don't know either.  Square dancing is a form of hillbilly rocket science to me.
For now, I can celebrate the day with a Square Dance cake while singing my own little batter patter:

🎶 Now preheat that oven to the proper degree, jump back now don't burn your knee!
Grease your pan with shortening then, it's best to not use a frying pan!
Mix the batter with eggs and oil, pick out those shells or else it's spoiled!
Pour the batter in the dish and bake, In 30 minutes or so you'll have a Square Dance cake!🎶

Monday, November 28, 2016

It's Make Your Own Head Day!

 Make your Own Head Day?
I think this possibly could be the most obscure holiday there is.  There is not much information available so it's up to the imagination to interpret how to 'celebrate'.  I like it! I am going to go with disturbing this year.
Several years ago a friend of mine gifted this "Miracle Masque" electric beauty aid to me.  I wasn't sure what to make of it.  It has a very cool box and even came with the original inserts....but look at the masque!  It is beyond creepy.  I think it could become the prime focus in a horror movie.  The murder places the masque on his victims faces....plugs it in.... and then...
 Look years younger!

Read what these grateful victims/users are saying!

I was thinking the reason the Miracle Masque is so disturbing is due to the lack of it having a face.
So this is where 'make your own head day' comes into play for me.
I came across some facial features (Physog Family) from 1930 that I thought could brighten up the faceless masque.
 Mix and match...
Peepers and Pieholes...

Then follow these simple instructions:

The Miracle Masque will give you thrilling results, while you blissfully relax in the privacy of your our home...with your new head!

I guess I should take back what I said about adding a face to the masque to lessen it's creepiness.  I so wanted to tend to my dull, sallow complexion.

Have fun celebrating "Make your own head day" in your own way.  Those leftover mashed potatoes, peas, and broccoli bits in the fridge could be sculpted into a great Mr. Mashed Potato head!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Turkey Day with The Clampetts

Weeeell Doggies!

One of our favorite Thanksgiving traditions is to watch The Beverly Hillbillies 'Turkey Day' episode which first aired November 27, 1963.  

A few days before Thanksgiving Hubbs starts singing in his best Granny voice "Can you stuff a turkey good Billy Boy, Billy Boy..."

The episode goes a little something like this:
Elly has done gone and gotten friendly with their main course, the turkey (name's Herman).  She learns him to shake hands with everyone which makes doing him in a difficult job for everyone to take on. The fancy eating table is getting prepared for the feast, which is actually a billiard table. It has a large stuffed head of a rhinoceros above it framed on the wall.  The Clampett clan figure that big rascal must be a billiard and reckon that's why there's an extra strong table for serving it.  Meanwhile over at the Drysdale's they have hired a couple of guys dressed up in Native American wear for a photo shoot. Comedy and confusion between these two story lines collide with everyone involved taking their Thanksgiving vittles at the fancy eating table together.   The Native Americans are actually Jewish, as are all the vittles, because Herman didn't become the main course but a guest at the table dressed in pilgrim attire.

I decided this year we ought to have a Beverly Hillbillies inspired Thanksgiving and  'put on the dog' in our fancy eating room.

Jed and all his kin:
Elly and Granny.

I decorated the sideboard with our own turkey, Herman, along with printouts of vintage Beverly Hillbillies paper dolls.  I doubt that jug Granny's holding has syrup in it though!

Jethro, Jed, and Duke.

I included an ax in the setting, similar to one Jed was sharpening to do in poor old Herman.  The ax is from our Halloween stuff.

I put a green tablecloth on the fancy eating table to resemble a billiard table.  I also made a center piece having a mini billiard table (from dollar tree) with a billiard (rhinoceros) on it. I picked up a few black cooking pots as serving dishes.  Also know as Halloween plastic cauldrons I got on clearance.

I put our Thanksgiving vittles in the pots and we used our own pot passers (actually pool sticks on the show).  In the background it is kinda make-out-able that I placed circular black pieces of paper to resemble billiard table holes.  I don't know their official name.  I would guess the Clampett's used them as drink holders.  We drank out of mason jars and ate out of metal pie pans.  We played the 'Turkey Day' episode along with a mess of other Beverly Hillbillies shows throughout the day.  I even dressed up in my overalls, Soggy Bottom Boy style.

For dessert I decided to reference the episode and make a traditional Jewish dish, Noodle Kugel.
I looked up several versions and came up with my own between them all.  I felt the Kugel was kinda dry, "pitiful' as Jed would say, so I had the idea of adding a sauce to it.  It's now a dern heap improved!  Maybe it has something to do with the firewater I added.

By doggies, we hope you all had a Happy Turkey Day!
Ya'll come back now, ya hear!

Have a heaping helping of Noodle Kugel!

Noodle Kugel

8 oz wide egg noodles
6 tbsp soft butter
6 eggs separated
1/4 tsp almond extract
8 oz soft cream cheese
1/3 cup sour cream
2 cups small curd cottage cheese
1 cup sugar
1 pinch salt
1 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Crumb topping:
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar

1 stick butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup amaretto
1 egg yolk

Addition topping:
Chopped pecans
Dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick spray.   Cook the noodles in boiling water until barely al dente.  Drain well, transfer to a large bowl and toss with 6 tbsp of soft butter and set aside.  In a separate bowl, mix egg yolks, almond extract,  cream cheese, sour cream, cottage cheese, sugar and salt with an electric mixer until smooth.  Add cranberries and mix all in with the noodle mixture by hand.  In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.  Fold into noodle mixture.  Spread everything into the baking dish.  Mix together the crumb topping and place on top of the kugel.  Bake for 45-50 minutes or until set.

To make the sauce:
Over low heat melt butter and sugar together in a pot.  Add amaretto and egg yolk.  Heat slowly whisking for 1-2 minutes to set. To serve,  drizzle a couple of spoonfuls over each helping of warm kugel.  Top with addition pecans and dried cranberries.

Good Grief!
 Check out another of our Thanksgiving shindigs:

Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Magic Lemon Ice Box Cake

No holiday or celebration should pass without a culinary delicacy involved.  I am sure many of you observed our past national holiday, National Clean Out Your Fridge Day, but wanted to do even more then rinsing out your Hydro-matic crisper bins.
I like the idea of involving the newly tidy fridge as part of the celebratory creation.

One option is to toss all of those leftovers into a lovely molded jello salad, if you happen to have substantial quantities of Veg-All and tuna lingering behind.  Not all of us are that lucky though.  Another idea is to make a refrigerator freezer dessert!  Something like:

Magic Lemon Ice Box Cake

1 cup finely crushed chocolate cookie crumbs
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp butter, melted
2 eggs, separated
1 (15 oz) can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1/2 cup Sunkist fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp almond extract
Combine crumbs, 2 tbsp of the sugar, and  butter.  
Press 1 cup mixture on bottom and sides of a buttered refrigerator tray; chill.
Reserve remaining crumbs for top.
Beat egg yolks until thick; add Eagle Brand.  Add rind, juice, almond extract; stir until thick.
Beat egg whites; gradually add remaining sugar and beat until stiff.
  Fold into Eagle Brand and lemon mixture.  Pour into tray.
Top with crumbs.  Freeze until firm, 4-6 hours.

My Take:
First off, this dessert involves eating raw eggs.  Hubbs had to really talk me into making this because it kinda creeped me out.  I decided to use graham cracker crumbs instead of chocolate cookie because that makes more sense.  I was let down when I read the minimal instructions of "Top with crumbs" because clearly that is the neatest looking part of this dish.  A little guidance would have been helpful.  I came up with using a ruler as a straight edge guide and marked the cross hatches in the top with a butter knife.  I then tried several ways to apply the crumbs without them entering the diamond crumb free zones.  The best option I found was to scoop small amounts of crumbs on the butter knife's blade edge and gently lay them in place.  I added more lemon juice and almond than the recipe called for because that's just what I do.  The flavor was pretty good. Comparing it to Opie's Lemonade Piedding, Magic Lemon Ice Box Cake takes second.  I like the tartness of the Lemonaid piedding better.  Also it does not set (as shown) so you can't cut slices.  It is pudding like, certainly not a cake!

Still better than a Leftovers Aspic any day!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

National Clean Your Fridge Day

November 15th is National Clean Your Fridge Day.  
I love to 'celebrate' bizarre holidays.  What could be more fun than purging the fridge of old moldy tupperware containers and unidentifiable shriveled up produce?
I thought I would bring some joy to this taskful fete by sharing images from some of my vintage refrigerator manuals.  These booklets are full of fun and beautiful illustrations, recipes, and photos. Even some helpful hints!
Let's enjoy cleaning the fridge, vintage style!

{101 Refrigerator Helps by Frigidare 1944}

Start by evaluating your situation.  
If your leftovers are still within a state of being consummed, refer to this handy grid as to what to turn them into.  Those leftovers can be reinvented into goulashes, stews, and croquettes and no one will be the wiser.  Cover everything in camoflaging cream sauce for maxium concealment.

After you have removed the fetid fare or concoted a new creamed hash,  move on to cleaning and maintaining the interior area.

 {Westinghouse  Refigerators 1947}

 Wipe everything down with warm sudsy water.  Be sure to wear your snow shoes, full body suit, and santa cap.  It can get messy and frigid in there.

  If you are not lucky enough to have a Frost Free model then it's time to defrost that freezer!  Be careful not to melt your tootsies off like our little fridge sprite did!

After your refrigerator is crisp and clean be sure to put everything back in the correct places.
 {Servel Refidgerator Manual 1947}

Arrange everything by food groups for maximum food protection and vitamin retention.  Organization will save you loads of time and keep food looking tidy on the shelves for stunning photographic presentations.  Alphabetically file items and place them in asending order.  Make sure to have every family member memorize this layout to reduce time spent staring into the open fridge searching for banana pudding.  It's located in the upper left corner within Group 4 Milk and Cheese....or maybe it's actually located on the bottom left within Group 3 "Other" Vegetables and Fruits.  This dilemma will have to be one you solve on your own.

Congratulations!  You now are the proud owner of a sanitary and more efficent refrigerator.

Keep your fridge from turning ornery on you by repeating these steps more than just once a year.  And don't forget to refill those metal ice cube trays!

❄   ❄   ❄   ❄   ❄   ❄   ❄   ❄   ❄

Here are a few past posts involving refrigerators or extreme chills in some way, shape, or manner:
Refrigerator Shrine
TV Dinner Fridge Magnet Craft
Meat Pan/ Bed Pan
Dinosaur Fridge Raid
Coolerator Cutie
Thrills in Home Freezing
Fridge lovin'

Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween Farewell

All ghoul things must come to a dead end.

There are still several activities from this year's festivities (and last year for that matter)  that I didn't have time to photograph and post about. 

Just a few things include: going to the Fair, making cotton candy spider webs, and visiting a homemade "Creep Town". We also were a part of a Halloween fashion show (we reprised our "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?"- Soggy Bottom Boys costumes ) and were in the local newspaper.  They played 'Man of Constant Sorrow' during our modeling and we danced down the runway similar to how the Soggy Bottom Boys danced on the stage in the movie.  It was such fun and the crowd was hooting and hollering.

 We started a new tradition called the Pumpkin Pitch this year.  The Pumpkin Pitch is were one of us gets to drop/ toss/ chunk the rotting jack-o-lantern from the top of a 6 foot ladder to the dirt below to compost away.  I would like to try it from the roof next year!  Already making plans for next Halloween!

Robble, Robble!

Just about every year I have two Halloween costumes.  The main costume is our fam one with a group theme (Amish Folks this year).  I then have another costume that I wear on my own (or couple one with Hubbs) for activities among adults.  I don't usually have the time to take decent and cute photos of those costumes which means they never get put up here.  
But this year I had to show my costume off, even if Halloween is over. 

I was the Hamburglar from McDonaldland!

Complete with my own little hamburger guy from the patch.

The reason I happen to have a fun photo of this costume is because I also entered a Halloween costume contest sponsored by a local thrift store.  The contest required that the majority of the costume be from thrifted items.  I also embellished and made several items from thrifted bits. 

 I added little felt and googly eyed burger guys to a thrifted tie.  The Mcdonald's Boo Bucket was from a local resale shop. 

I made the hamburger guy from a piece of old foam padding, brown felt, and large googly eyes.  I think he turned out super cute.  I carved the foam into 'buns' by snipping away at it with scissors. Since the foam was aged, it had started to turn brownish on the top, which resembled a toasted bun perfectly!  The "unhappy meal" is a MST3K reference, more on it here.

And drum roll please....I won second place.  I got beat out by a baby wearing a leopard print onsie being called 'precious kitten'.  I didn't have a chance.

I happened to stumble on these Mcdonaldland Pinterest Boards containing tons of nostalgic images of the playground and McDonald's birthday parties and chararters.  I wish McDonald's was still this cool.  I would be as fat as Grimace hanging out there everyday to play in Officer Big Mac's head.

Cinnabone Skull

Whenever Halloween is over I mourn it's passing.  The only thing that somewhat helps pull me through is stocking up on Halloween clearance items.   Target is my prime hook up.  My yearly ritual is to visit my local Target on October 31 for my last look-see of what is still on the shelves and make a tentative list.  You see, Nov 1st is my 'Black Friday'.  On the day after Halloween, I am up and out to as many Targets I can hit up in my area.  I am a bit fanatic about it.  
One item on the tentative list was this Wilton skull cake pan.  When it was full price I didn't really think it was much of a big deal.  I honestly thought it was kinda goofy looking.  But during my pre-look-see I noticed no one else was impressed either because there was a shelf full of them.  I then had this idea to bake cinnamon buns in it.  Must.Get.Pan.(on clearance of course

I didn't want to wait till next year to try the idea out so I made us Cinnabone buns this past weekend.  They are just those prepackaged doughy deals in a tube but I think they turned out pretty cool looking.  I think that regardless of whether it's Halloween or not this may become my regular bun pan.  Just add what ever impending holiday color combo sprinkles for a festive flair! 

How to Cook Humans

 I mean, How to Cook for Humans!

Halloween dinner is usually the same thing every year: hot dogs, mac and cheese, peas, and cupcakes.  A meal approved by all four year olds, because that was the request of PB years ago and it has become tradition for Halloween.

 But the dishes get a spookified treatment, turning into:
Mummy dogs, macawebby and spiders, "Rest in Peas'', and coffin cakes.

The mummy dogs are made from strips of crescent rolls wrapped and baked on hot dogs.  I made the eyes from a slice of cheese stick and a bit of black olive.  The web on the macawebby is white pepper gravy with black olive spiders.  The "Rest in Peas" are plain old peas in little coffin dishes.

This year I came up with a clever way to make the coffin cakes.  I bought this Wilton coffins cake pan a couple of years ago (pic below).
The pan makes the bottom section of a coffin with an indention in the top to fill with pie filling, icing, or candy.  I think coffins should have lids though.  My idea to remedy this is to turn the cake pan upside down and fill the indention with cake batter, resulting in a lid!  I only have one pan so it did take some extra time to bake the coffin bottoms, let them cool to be removed, and then baking the coffin lids in the same pan but worth the effort.

I made the coffin cakes from a dark chocolate cake mix.  I filled the inside of the coffin and the outside lower edge with coconut pecan icing.  I crumbled up the puffed up part of the cakes that gets cut away (so they will sit flat) to make the 'dirt'.  The skeletons in the cakes are plastic. I picked up a skeleton candy mold at a thrift after Halloween so I may use it for the 'remains' next year.
Just like the Mayor of Halloween Town in Nightmare Before Christmas...I'm always planning for next year!


Our pumpkin this year...
The Creature From the Black Lagoon!

It's going to be Oct 31st for the rest of the week (or more!) so I can wrap up a few extra Halloweenie things!

For more Creature Features of mine see:
Creature Christmas

And for more 'O-Laterns drag your wretched bones here.

Look What The Cat Dragged In

 Ellie had two Halloween costumes this year.  She was an Amish Quilt Pusher by day.
But by night, she was Bret Michael's #1 fan.  

 Ellie has quite an extensive wardrobe of fashions, all gifts from her 'grandma'.  One of the oddest things she has is her doggie skankware by Bret Michaels.  Am I the only one that finds it incredibly odd that he is making clothes for dogs?  Some of the designs feature corsets and assless chaps.   Ellie's is more conservative with a pleather mini skirt and metal studded cross.

 The Fair happened to be in town around Halloween and guess who was playing there?

Bret Michaels.

We hoped that Bret would give Ellie some back stage passes but he must have been too busy lookin' for nothing but a good time. 
Poor sad puppy...Every rose has it's thorn.