Thursday, August 29, 2019

Frosty Apple Bites

With it being 'Back to School' season I felt the need to bake something applely.  I found a fairly simple recipe in my 1961 Pillsbury's 13th Grand National Bake Off cook booklet called "Frosty Apple Bites" by junior winner Jerry Herbert of Columbus, Ohio.

(click on image to enlarge)

I did not put the chocolate chips in them because that just didn't seem right.  Chocolate and apples...I'll pass.  Raisins would work though.  These cookie are kinda bland looking but really are delicious cakey treats!
I added some chopped up cashews to the tops for some pizzazz!  Some monochrome pizzazz.

On the first day of school I do a tablescape for PB
(See School House Rocks First Day for a sample) to greet him when he gets up in the morning.  It involves my vintage Fisher Price school playset pieces (just got the bus over the summer!) and other vintage learning fun type stuff.  Since he is starting his second year of high school I figured he would just ignore my efforts so I didn't do it.  I was kinda pleased to hear him ask about it that morning when the table was still set in regular mode.  So I whipped it together for when he came home from school along with having these cookies.  Does anyone else out there mom-fantasize about when your kidlette gets home from school and they will be so happy to see you and appreciate a nice plate of cookies waiting for them.  Best mom ever! I see it all the time in commercials!  Well for me that just doesn't happen, especially not this year.  PB had a horrible first day, due to the bus being 40 minutes late in the morning and then not even showing up in the afternoon.  I had to go pick him up from school in the afternoon which after him waiting awhile and then my travel time to his school, he didn't get home until 2 hours after school was over.  His school just moved into a new building and location so traffic had become grid locked during the evening pick up/ release.  He was in an awful mood (can't blame him) and didn't even eat one cookie...
Hopefully his second day will be better and the cookies can be part of an after school 'do over'.

Here are a few more apple featured recipes from the MHiCTY archives:

Deep Dish Apple Pie with Candied Crust
Apple Crisp
Apple Pie Bars
Applesauce Cake
He-man Apple Pie

and one recipe that is mock apple!:
Appless Pie

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

And then there was Edna!

"Wrap it up Edna!"

As I have mentioned many a time, Mr. Husband has a Horror Host show called Nightmare Theatre, which is being produced by and showing on our local PBS channel.  When the show premiered in Oct 2018, the station had a special live performance and screening of their episode for Plan 9 (see here for more on that).  This special episode presentation was held back to be used later as a part of the local PBS fundraising campaign week, which also had an interview with the Nightmare Theatre crew and some extra footage of the "call center" brought to you by Nightmare Theatre.

Well, this "call center" had to appear to be staffed so myself and several other family members to the production team got to play the parts (no speaking thankfully).  They wanted us to look and act a bit outlandish which I was excited about doing!  There was an anime girl, a voodoo doctor/zombie, a werewolf, a gremlin (a prop from the actual movie), and me as my character I call Edna.

I named her after one of our favorite characters from Rosanne, Edna Debelco
(episode: Inherit the Wind, S02E01).  You never get to see Edna actually on the show, but she is hinted as being quite a talker and a bit annoying.  I also added a splash of Thelma "Mama" Harper from Mama's Family and Peggy Bundy from "Married with Children" to Edna's persona.

For Edna's look, I got to wear one of my favorite outfits (as seen here, bottom photo) that is a bit much to wear on a daily basis, my polyester pink gingham pants outfit!  I paired it with a wig I got from a thrift store, which was in bad scraggly shape, so I covered it with a scarf.  The cat eye glasses were some I bought on ebay a long time ago but never got lenses for them.

I see Edna making more appearances on the show, I mean look at her, she's got it going on!
But she will need some more duds....
Mr. Husband Sir and I happened to go to an estate sale that for the most part was very dull...except for these amazing 70s polyester woman's pants suits I found there! Perfect for more Edna outfits!!!!!

I love these outfits so much!  I am a bit bummed though because when we got to the sale, only late by 15 minutes, some heifer had already grabbed up all the rest.  She piled all the bags of clothes up around herself, hoarding them, not letting anyone else touch anything. She also had a stack about 2 feet tall of glorious double knit ensembles, off in another room that she had set claims on.  She was obviously buying it for resale because it was not her size.  She kept belting out to her friend/assistant to grab this and that to bring to her which she would then keep saying "That's vintage...That's vintage...That's vintage.." with a reckneck toothless dialect.   I was only lucky enough to find these outfits because they were off in the back of a closet.

I like to put these outfits on and pretend I am going to be a contestant on The Price Is Right 70s style.
There was one episode from September 5, 1972 that had a hilarious contestant named Boo Boo Cooper.  Boo Boo has that perfect old lady Patty Selma smoker voice!  I also incorporated Boo Boo's personality into my Edna character. Edna's essence is sass, cigarettes, and a dollop of whiskey in her morning coffee.

For my prop I chewed up 3 huge pieces of bubble gum so I could be blowing monster sized bubbles while on the phone.  I can see other times using a fly swatter or filing/painting my fingers or sipping on something from a brown paper bag....!

Unfortunately the video for this segment has not been uploaded so I can't share Edna with the world!
But for now in the words of Edna:

"You inbred kids keep off my front lawn and stop defiling my garden gnomes!"

Friday, August 23, 2019

Cherry Streusel Special

I have a delicious dessert today called Cherry Streusel Special.  It was a winner in 
Pillsbury's 14th Grand National Bake Off 1962, submitted by Mrs. William Sloss of St. Lois, Missouri.

(click on image for recipe enlargement)

To make the crumble topping I tried out the pastry blender I got last year at an estate sale.  I had high hopes it would make it an easier job of blending butter, flour, sugar type stuff.  I was not impressed.  It continually got gunked up with the mix. When I say the mix I mean everything in the bowl.  All of the topping would stick to the blender and I had to wipe the mixture off to put everything back in the bowl.  It also wasn't quick and easy to clean.  I have seen an idea where you attach these old style pastry blenders to the wall and use them as a towel holder.  I think that may be mine's future, because I surely ain't putting up with that nonsense again.  But!  I did come up with an easier way to blend the crumble topping...I used a potato masher!  It worked really well.  I had to scrap some stuff off and put it back in the bowl, but it's sticky butter so it's going to happen some anyway, only I didn't have to do it as frequently as I did with the pastry blender.
I really like this recipe.  It uses convenient pre-fab pie filling and there are many options with that.  The construction of it didn't take too long to pull together.  It also has a bit of a glamour look to it, which I love. It's perfect as a nice holiday dessert or for a simple picnic. It's cheap to make.  It tastes good.  I guess the only let down is it takes 45 minutes to bake.  I added a dollop of cinnamon  sprinkled whipped cream for some extra fanciness.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Marvelous Mid Century Estate Sale

Here is an estate sale I went to during the summer that had some pretty neat stuff.  It was about a hours drive from our home and I brought along PB since he was out for the summer.  All of the photos of the house are from the listing.

This clock was the belle of the ball.  When ever I go to estate sales I like it better when there is nothing particular in the photos that I want but from the offerings shown I can tell there is going to be some awesome stuff.  This sale was different.  It had the awesome random stuff but it also had two things that I really wanted, and that clock was one of them.

Here are several more listing photos with the awesome random stuff but nothing I would be willing to push an old lady aside to get at.

Look at that entire closet of vintage Tupperware!

Shown here on the lower right, that set of cutie pie merkids riding swans, was the other 'gotta have it' item.

Lots of nice planters.

Since I had PB with me I told him he was going to be my partner in nabbing the goods.  We studied the photos with the listing extensively till we figured out the house floor plan and where the two primary things I was wanting were located.  I figured we would enter from the front door, I would go for the clock which was right beside it.  PB was to make a bee line for the bedroom we believed to be off of the kitchen and containing the cuties.
We decided to get in to town early enough to eat lunch and hit up a couple of thrift stores, two hours should be good. We got to the sale 45 minutes before it started which I figured was going to be w-a-y too early.  But it wasn't, it was actually late.  There were about 10 people already ahead of us.
They had us entering through the garage which fumbled up our game plan....and there was a lady near the front with a walker.  It was sprinkling on and off as we waited but that did not stop the line from constantly forming behind us.  I bet that by the start time there were 40 people.  I have never been to a sale that had such a line and I never have to be at a sale more that 15 minutes early.
As we made our way into the house we were slowed down by the walker lady and even though we entered into the kitchen first we didn't see a door to another room.  PB and I just kept ourselves together and moved steady toward the living room and the clock, which I saw was gone.  A lady ahead of us had nabbed it.  We then shifted gears and left most of the people in the living room and headed down the hallway toward the bedroom we expected had been off the kitchen.
Turns out it is off the kitchen, the door to it blends in with the paneling so well we couldn't tell it was there.

Here are the treasures we brought back:

I love vintage scrap craft so I picked up this pop top alligator magnet (the seller gave it to me, surprised someone wanted it!).

I love the Bondex kid!  This patch set is really big and would be suitable for framing!

A pink Tupperware Wonderlier bowl from 1954!

A presto timer with the box, perfect for "cooking, washing, games, telephone calls, naps, photos, hundreds of other uses".  This is now our 3rd one of these.  We have broken the last two.  The first one I found at a thrift store and Mr. Husband accidentally broke it.  He didn't tell me he did, but bought another one off of ebay.  The second one has also broke with usage. We decided this one is just going to have be a decorative item.


Cute McCoy planter.

Handmade vintage dress.  It fits pretty well just going to have to take it in a little on the back. It's extra flouncy back there for some reason.

And these cuties!  We were able to nab them!  After I had them in my hands and we were walking around checking out the rest of the sale, a lady came up to me and asked if I would like to put them on the Hold Table.  I said sure and handed them over.  PB freaked out and said "Does she work here?!"  And truthfully I didn't know if she did.  We rushed over to the Hold Table and they were on it but I started getting nervous someone was going to snatch them up so I had PB stand guard while I quickly looked the rest of the sale over.  As I went back in the kitchen I realized I hadn't checked out the TupperCloset. I didn't see it.  I recalled the photo from the listing and went to where it should be and it was there, it was just again disguised by the wall paneling so when I open it up no one had been in it yet.  I am very picky about what Tupperware I will buy so I selectively picked my pink bowl and as I was backing away I felt the rush of wind pass me as the mega tupperwhores swooped down on it all.  The sale was really well organized and not a lot of areas to dig around (which I actually like doing) so we were in and out of there in 20 minutes.  PB was getting moody and I didn't like being around that many people, also was bummed about missing out on the clock.  I did stop and ask the girl who had it what the cost was, $65, which is not too bad.
I am glad we were able to get the cuties at least though.
There is a set listed on ebay right now that is $150!  And those are cracked even.
I only paid $3 each for mine!

A few weeks later we went to another sale by the same estate team.  I was telling the owner how we got in line 45 minutes early and there were still several people ahead of us. She said the people at the front of the line got there 3 1/2 hours early!  Which is really unheard of in our area of estate sales.
She also told me that the place was wiped out by the end of the sale.

I have really been a bit obsessed with estate sales lately, but with good reason.  We are coming to an end of an era.  The estates of people in their 90s, who have hung onto their mid century stuff is rapidly dwindling.  These pieces will start to shift to where most of it is owned by collectors.  Dealers will drastically increase the prices of what is available on the market.  Mid century products were made in great abundance so I don't think we are going to be hitting a desolate state for at least 10 more years.  This all sounds like lines from a News Week article about stocks and real estate, but I don't think I am exaggerating.  I'm not going to panic over it but it is concerning.  Collecting and treasure hunting is my hobby and passion.  I hate to think of what will be in thrift stores in 20 years, cheap crap broken laminate particle board furniture from walmart, wrangler denim jorts, and a crap ton of those stupid wall hangings that have words on them like..."Home" and "Family" or "Dream Big!".
They might as well just park dumpsters on lots and put a sign on the side that says "Donation Drop Off".  I think I might actually be starting to panic!

Monday, August 19, 2019

Caramel Pear Upside-Down Cake

I made this Caramel Pear Upside-Down Cake several months back for a friend's birthday.
It is from Pillsbury's 5th Grand National Bake Off Contest, 1954, created by senior winner
 Mrs. C.C. Faxon of Palmyra, Missouri.

(click on recipe to enlarge)

I am drawing a bit of a blank on some of the aspects of this dessert.  I remember it tasting really good, a bit rich so I added whipped cream.  I also feel that I made extra caramel sauce to cover the top because the upside down pear part kinda looked congealed and nasty. I certainly did not what to give someone a nasty looking birthday dessert!  I camouflage it by dousing the top with extra chopped nuts and extra sauce.  I guess that could be one reason it tasted kinda rich...but really yummy!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Vintage Craft Master Velvet Painting Kit

I never thought in all my years I would come across an unused paint by number craft kit at a thrift store but I did and for only 2.99!

A velvet painting one... The Matador with frame, 1964.

The oil paint is all dried up but I think I like his look unpainted.

He had a senorita to match as this included ad shows.

Also included in the kit was a huge sized newspaper type full color catalog of other available kits!

 I really love the 'Oriental Garden' three piece set shown bottom middle.

On the back is a small kid's craft section of kits I have never seen before.  The illustration styles with the Numbered Glitter Kits is neat.  I also like the wood grain panel tile kits, especially the 'Rocket Ship'.  And check out the Nylon Net Kits!  There's  Tillie the Turtle!

Friday, August 09, 2019

Honey Bearclaw Cookies

For a sweet ending to my recent gal pal get together, I made us Honey Bearclaw Cookies.  They were a winner at the 1956 8th Pillsbury Grand National Bake Off Contest submitted by Miss Margery Little of Chico, Ca.

(Click image to image recipe)

Most of the time when there is a recipe in the Grand National recipe booklets, if it has a fun shape they make sure to have a picture included.  They decided to leave that important and pertinent information for us home bakers to figure out on our own with this recipe.  I don't know what a bear claw really looks like except for those delicious lard and sugar laden pastries, which look more like the bear got his claw caught in a wood chipper.  
I guess I could have looked it up but eh! I decided to just go with what ever came to mind.
Changes I did with this recipe are I added some brown food coloring to the dough and I used cashews for the claws instead of peanuts.  I also cut lines across the top because for some reason that's what I think looks like a bear claw...but I have a feeling that mine are more monkey claw!

The interesting thing about this recipe and the Funny-Face Hamburgers that I didn't realize until constructing these cookies is how they are similar: 2 rounds of dough with a filling and both have raisins. This could be a proper palate pairing of dishes!
I really liked these cookies.  The filling was sweet and rich, and complimented the salty cashews while the cookie dough stayed fairly mutual.

Our gal pal evening went well, we chit chatted for several hours. Now that she has seen the house spic and span, the pressure is off. The next time she comes over there will be dust and cat hair colonies forming in the corners of the living room, I'll serve store brand Doritos and Dean's french onion dip and I'll be wearing a muu-muu!

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Funny-Face Hamburgers

For the main nibble at a gal pal get together at my place, I made Funny-Face Hamburgers.
They were the 3rd place prize winner in the junior division of the 1950 second Pillsbury Grand National Bake Off, submitted by 12 year old Barbara Maddock of Los Angeles, Ca.

(click image to enlarge recipe)

These things took so long to make, so many steps!  Barbara must have had nothing else to occupy her evenings after school but to come up with complicated recipes.  I got a head start on them the day before by making the filling.  The dough is interesting because you combine a bunch of stuff...shortening, sugar, salt, yeast, egg, and scalded milk in a sauce pan on the stove...then add the flour...then knead into dough, then cut out rounds, then add melted butter, filling, and sealing them. Then making their weird hair.  It looks like it's just ground meat but it's actually milked down shredded bread with brown sugar and cinnamon! Where did this kid come up with this?  Then cut slits for facial features and add raisins.  Raisins with ground meat?  And brown sugar cinnamon wigs. Then they have to rise for 45 minutes before baking.  I didn't do the extra step of buying and cutting pimiento into mouths.  Raisins work just fine even if they look like something from Pink Floyd's The Wall.  Teachers, leave those kids alone...they have bizarre recipes to construct!
Honestly I had plans all along for my friend and I to pop out the raisins and make funny faces with  
Mr. Potato Head accessories.

Serving suggestion below:

Even though these things took forever to make, they were pretty good.  The filling reminded me of sloppy joes and the pastry part was like a yeast roll bun.  And surprisingly the raisin, cinnamon, brown sugar elements were really good with the savory meat.  The hair looks so much like hamburger meat I think it would be fun to trick someone on April Fools with it!

Monday, August 05, 2019

Dill Pickle Dip

I hosted having a gal pal over for an evening of chit chat and nibbles a few weeks back.  It was the first time she had been to our house so I really wanted to make a fuss.  I did the basics like cleaning the entire house, mowing the grass, fixing my hair, and making sure the house didn't smell like onions. I also wore a dress and my "Welcome to our Home" apron to greet her and give the house tour. For the nibbles I wanted stuff that was tasty and fun.
I picked a short menu but a couple of the recipes were multi-multi stepped.  I had to start most of it the day before.

Tangy Dill Pickle Dip with Crisp Potato Chips
Funny-Face Hamburgers
Spicy Jalapeno Cream Cheese Corn
Honey Bear Claw Cookies
Tea         Water      Carbonated Soda 

Dill Pickle Dip is something I saw online and adapted.
The recipe is a little of this and that.  It starts off with a block of cream cheese which you blend with enough pickle juice to form a dip consistency.  Next chop up and add as much dill pickles as you like.  I then added a few shakes of garlic salt and a bit of powdered ranch dressing mix.  Mix together and place in fridge for a few hours or overnight for the flavors to blend.  Serve with potato chips.

The Cream Cheese Corn is another modern recipe that I have adapted and the recipe is vague.
On the stove top, melt a block of cream cheese with enough milk to make a thick sauce.  Dice up sliced pickled jalapenos and add to sauce.  Add enough frozen corn to sauce to the consistency of mashed potatoes (maybe not quite that thick).  Heat until everything is cohesive.
I then put it in my West Bend Buffet Patio Server which has a heating element accessory  (first time I have used it!) and let it keep warm until serving.  A mini crock pot would work the same.  Check it periodically; it may need a stir or more milk added if it thickens up too much.

The other two recipes come from vintage Pillsbury Grand National Bake Off contests and will be presented in the proceeding posts.

Friday, August 02, 2019

If You Like Pina Coladas...

And getting caught in the rain....

This is a story of how one SGFF (Single Green Female Fish) that we named Angela, cast her heart into the vast ocean looking for a mate.  Sure there are plenty of fish in the sea but how many are really available in her species and age (vintage chalkware Miller 1969)?  She would have to look the world over and even if it came down to it, get a mail (male) order groom.

I happen to come across Angela at a thrift store for a measly 50 cents.  50 cents!  I have been watching out for a set of these exact chalkware fish online for several months but they would go sometimes for 40 bucks.  No no boo boo.  After I snagged Angela off the shelf I started a frantic search for her mate throughout the store.  I checked everywhere.  Maybe he was in with the toys, he looks cartoonish.  Or maybe they put him with the summer beach display of mismatched flip flops and cheap-o sand buckets...I looked everywhere.  I assigned one of the employees that I always chat with to keep an eye out.  Weeks went by and nothing.  I finally had to break it to Angela...her man had R.U.N.N.O.F.T.

 I then started the task of getting her to seek a new mate.  We checked an online dating site (ebay) and the pickings were slim.  It was almost looking like Angela was going to have to settle for a fish that was already married and was going to be bringing his old lady along.  Angela couldn't bring herself to be involved in bigamy.  I wouldn't pay that much for two fish to relocate to my house.  I eventually found her a single man and set Angela up for a date but it didn't work out (got outbid).
More weeks went by.  We even stopped looking.  Maybe Angela could be happy as a spinster fish, she could own a bunch of cat (fish) and live in a hoarded fish tank.  On a lark, we checked the batch available again and there he was...the General, as we have named him...8 bucks (plus shipping, total about $16), it was a price I was willing to pay for Angela's happiness.

The General arrived by air a couple of weeks ago with Angela greeting him with a Lover's Luau!

They have since been married in a private ceremony with other chalkware family in attendance. After a honeymoon next to a Mexico mariachi album cover, they plan to reside on my bathroom wall.