Thursday, April 30, 2020

Coat Hanger Zoo

While perusing old images on my compudu (as PB used to say "computer" when he was an adorable wee tot), I came across these super cute images I had photographed and forgotten.

While staying at Andy Griffith's Home Place in Mount Airy, NC back in 2015, there was a ton of awesome old McCall's magazines to enjoy.  One of the features was this adorable DIY Coat-Hanger Zoo!
Grab your wire hangers!

I would have loved to have been able to get good quality scans but I did the best I could with photographing.   I think they could still be printed and used for some crafting, but even still just enjoying the idea and artwork is awesome too!

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Home Kinks

These two with their Home Kinks...I really admire their peculiar and exploratory ways.  Must make having to stay home a real pleasurable experience.  Think of all the things you can hammer or nail or use wood for.  Ideas abound when your kinky.  I mean, when you can come up with "clever or unusual ways of doing something" fixing the fence! Geez...gutter heads! "Home Kinks" does sounds like an amateur porn magazine to boost marriage relationships for the senior crowd though.

But speaking of gutters....
Right before stay at home orders had been put into place, I had already planned a 2 month home focus on getting some stuff taken care of around the house and yard while trying to make good use of the minimal decent weather we have in our region.  Once I heard that we were going to have to be home for quite some time, I made a list of all the projects that I had the supplies on hand or the muscle to take care of.  Since I don't have the treat of going to thrift stores or estate sales anymore, I have been really focused on my projects list.

I am pretty impressed with how much I have gotten done, along with help from Mr. Husband.
Once businesses (thrift stores) started shutting down I prioritized the list to tackle a couple of the projects that may involve donating items. The first task was we pulled everything out of the shed and went through, tossed, donated, and then cleaned it.  The next area was the travel trailer.  I have a vintage 1964 Airstream that I have been using for years as a really awesome storage unit (it's not roadworthy or systems working).  It really needed to be cleaned out and organized.  I typically use it to store items I have for sale or big crafty endeavor supplies.  So I pulled everything out (and it was a ton of stuff) cleaned the interior, sorted, organized and got rid of a lot of junk.  I was able to donate stuff to goodwill, they were the only place still taking donations in a limited way.  They basically had a few of those huge gaylord cardboard boxes out in front of the building and you put your stuff in them, so there was no contact with employees.  We also had our annual city wide clean up day around this time where you can have large junk and debris picked up for free so we took advantage of that too.

Other projects finished so far:  Cleaning out the gutters.  Washing the exterior of the house, trailer, and shed.  Painting the shed.  Painting the front steps.  Repotting some of my plants. Washing, waxing, amour-alling, cleaning the upholstery of my car.  Ever ongoing yard work and house work.   Decorating for two birthdays, two holidays, and then putting everything back.  Along with a lot of small random projects that I had been putting off.

I still have several more projects I want to tackle so I am going to be tending to those next.  The weather is about to be too hot for yard work so I will have to wrap that up and take what I can get from it.  I also have a few indoor projects to then work on.  One being a huge one: cleaning out and "decorating" the laundry room.  I am also going to do some paint touch ups and deep cleanings on the exterior and interior of the house.  Then I have about 50 posts in draft form for MhiCTy to take care I'm set for projects and activities for quite some time.  I'll start working on posting those in the near future.

Well I'm off to screw....down the deck boards that have popped loose!

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Ham Pinwheels

Ham Pinwheels a 'la Springtime is another vintage dish I made using the recipe as only a springboard.   Actually, I didn't even read the recipe, I just used the image and name as guidance.

It basically comes down to this: It's biscuit dough filled with whatever you have, jelly rolled, baked and slathered in white sauce and peas.

 I didn't have a mess of chopped ham to make a hefty filling as I think the original probably called for so mine wound up being mini versions of this dish.  The originals appear to be the size of Yugo hubcaps.  I went with using jiffy baking mix and slices of ham lunch meat.  Then topped it with white sauce and peas.  We had these for dinner along with a side of soup.

I hope these past few recipes help generate some ideas how you can toss some random bits together and call it dinner!

Friday, April 24, 2020

Souper Chicken Squares

Here is a dish I put together based after a vintage recipe for "Souper Chicken Squares".

I did take a couple of liberties with the recipe, using what I had on hand.
Firstly, I don't ever keep high calorie creamed soups on hand so these squares are not "souper".  And I used turkey instead of chicken so... squares, yes!

I also didn't saute the celery or onion in butter.  I just added them to the white sauce and let it simmer together.  I didn't use sage, who has that kind of fancy stuff laying around?  I used Tony's creole seasoning as I always do!  The recipe does offer suggestions such as chicken or turkey and cornbread, biscuits, or toast.  Basically this dish is perfect for leftovers and alterations to what ever is in your fridge and pantry.

I started off by baking a pan of cornbread.  I haven't perfected a cornbread recipe yet so use your own recipe or search for one in a vintage cookbook. Next I made a white sauce which I added diced leftover turkey, celery, onions, and peas.  Lastly stack everything together and serve!

It's a fairly tasty meal and filling, maybe not too high on nutrition though.
But it helps to stretch out what you have and looks dandy on a plate!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Tuna Casserole

Tuna Casserole...part of our white trash heritage.
I had never made a Tuna Casserole before.  I figured I could go my whole life without ever having to do so.  Lord knows I had to eat enough of the nasty stuff growing up, as did Mr. Husband.  However he has this weird thing where he "every now and again" gets a hankering for something gross from his childhood, such as a fried bologna sandwich.  After he has the horrific delicacy he says he is good for another 20 years.  Since I was trying to come up with meals from our food stash I noticed we had a crap ton of canned tuna.  Normally we just eat it straight up as a quick lunch but I thought it could be fun to surprise Mr. Husband with one of his comfort meals.

I searched for recipes online and most of them involve a can of creamed soup...of course.  I don't ever have that on hand so I searched for a more 'refined' recipe.  Thank you Martha Stewart!  Hers has a base of WHITE SAUCE!

As I mentioned before I made this dish as a surprise for Mr. Husband.  I figured he would guess what I was doing by the fetid aroma but he has absolutely no sense of smell, so my secret stayed safe.  I was in a giddy mood while making this and was singing "I'm picking out a thermos for you!" ala Steve Martin in The Jerk, as my way of saying I was making him a "gift".
When we sat down to eat he still couldn't figure out what I had made.  When I told him, he said "....oh..." so I guess he was just kidding about his tuna casserole desire...  Oh well!  It's dinner for the next two nights.  I was able to choke it down with an abundance of lemon pepper seasoning.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Casseroles and White Sauce

How ya'll are?  I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy, physically and mentally.   Just a suggestion, I wouldn't recommend running around with plastic bags over your head, that probably won't have a good outcome.  Not to mention the havoc it would wreak on your coiffure.

During this coronapocalypse, I was thinking about how the heroes on this current 'war' front are obviously healthcare and true essential workers (and I don't mean coffee baristas and micro brewery pricks).  But on the 'home' front, the heroes are going to be us housewives. 
We already work from home.  We know that there are countless ways to fill the day, and not just with thrilling endless cleaning tasks,  but fun stuff too.  We can inject spontaneity and amusement to liven things up when needed. Part of our master skills involve creative cooking and stretching the food budget.  This is one area I have been really enjoying.  I thought I would share some of what was been working for me and it is all about casseroles and white sauces. 

I have only been to the grocery store twice in the past 2 months.  Each time was evoked by Mr. Husband calling me up and telling me I must go to the store right now because either the state was about to be "shut down" or he was having the national urge to hoard TP.  So I didn't really have a comprehensive list put together at that moment.  But that doesn't really matter too much because the stores are out of everything anyway.  It's more of a hunt and peck endeavor.  What could you make from a can of corn, bisquick, olive loaf, and pickled banana peppers?  A casserole of course!
But to make it really something special...add a white sauce!

I have really been having a fun time inventing all sorts of casseroles and dishes from the random bits I bought at the store about 3 weeks ago.
Meat products where vastly depleted so I bought one of the few things they did have in abundance, a turkey!  I had never made a turkey before and had been intimidated by the process for decades.  I have made a few roasted chickens in the past so I just went with the same technique and it turned out perfect.  I figured turkey would be a splendid source for leftovers.  I was able to squeeze at least 7 meals out of that bird, along with boiling the bones and making broth, and saving the drippings to use as a gravy/sauce in the future.

My casserole process goes as follows:  50% carb/starch/grain, 30% vegetables, and 20% protein.
The base could be made from brown rice, whole wheat pasta, or potatoes.  The vegetables are what ever is in the freezer section, and the protein can be vegetable crumbles, eggs, or even deli meat. Then top it all off with a white sauce....or mix the sauce into the whole dish!
To pull off the true casserole look, toss some bread crumbs (or cracker crumbs) on the top and bake!

I have even been monkeying around with what a white sauce is.  I ran out of milk over a week ago so I have been composing my white sauce from turkey broth and a scoop of greek fat free plain yogurt.

For the next few following posts I am going to highlight three dishes I recently made that are either simple 'make do' or spin offs of vintage recipes.

As I have always said when I make dishes on here, the recipe is only a serving suggestion so use what you have and experiment!

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Fiddle Faddle Lambie Cake

For Easter this year I made this scrumptious Fiddle Faddle/ Crunch n' Munch/ Cracker Jack encrusted lamb cake.  It's innards are just prefab cake mix and tub icing.

Ever since seeing Rob and Monica's adorable Lamb cake last year and then finding out about a lamb cake contest (of which monica was one of the top winner's last year!) I had to put it on my future 'To-Do' for this season.  I already had a lamb cake mold of which I picked up from a thrift (bought it because of Charles Phoenix's Easter Meatloaf of lamb recipe idea).  I had not meatloafed it just yet since we aren't big fans of the dish but I just loved the idea.  We also usually do coconut rabbit cakes as our Easter tradition so lambie cake pan has been collecting dust until this year.

Luckily I tend to plan stuff a couple of months in advance.
This cake was the last thing I was able to mull over and buy it's components right before the coronapocalypse.  I thought the caramel corn would have a neat look as the fur.  I used the dredges of broken bits from the bottom of the bag for low profile facial covering.  The facial features are left over black icing I had on hand already.

This cake was super yummy and I recommend that a layer of crunchy caramel corn to be incorporated into all cakes.  It should become the new side component to cake replacing that bland mushy ice cream yesterday's news!

Speaking of yesterday's news, here are a few past Eastery confectionery posts to hop to:
Easter Bunny Banquet
Quick Like a Bunny Cake
A Peepin' Easter Treat Tree
Easter Droppings
Delicious Glamour Egg Cake

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Easter Decor 2020

This year I found a way to do Easter adornments using my own slightly gothy and deteriorated decorating style!

I already owned pretty much everything seen.  I collect old stuffed animals and a few years ago realized most of them were rabbits, which meant they could do a grand easter showing. 

I picked up the easter baskets over the last few years just so we each had something for Mr. Cottontail to place a few treats in.  I am using them as display for now until Easter Eve.

Some of my new vintage Easter purchases this year.
Sweet little honeycomb hunny bunnies!

I am nuts about those vintage Meyercord water decals depicting lively stuffed animals (check out PB's nursery)!
I printed out a few that featured bunnies and a chick (Easter appropriate) on a large format printer at our local library several months ago to use as wall decor. 

I placed the 'new' napkins inside little woven wicker basket purses along with some plastic grass and eggs.  The runner table covering thingie underneath is a piece of remnant wall paper found at an estate sale.

I love spun satin ball critters!  These little guys are all from estate sales over the last 2 years.  I got the plastic flowers from a church rummage sale,  the basket and clear Easter grass are from a thrift store.
I threw everything together and am calling it the centerpiece! 

The area on top of the china cabinet is always hard to photograph due to being back-lit but I was able to snap this pic during a moment of overcast.
These most adorable bunnies are over 2 1/2 feet tall and in pristine condition.  I found them at estate sales several years back.

So there you have it!  My first full fledged Easter decorating.  I was able to find a way to come to a compromise with this pastely pukey holiday and do it mmmmyyyy waaay!

Bitten off all your chocolate bunny ears and need some additional sweets to enjoy?!
Click on the 'easter' label below left for some past Easterific posts.
And for virtual Easter adornments hop over to my Basket Case Pinterest Board
🐣  🐣  🐣

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Easter Egg Kit Garland

I've got a thing for vintage papery stuff, especially if it's packaging.  I think everything I bought for easter this season has all been papery in some way.  I also have a thing for making wreaths and garlands.  I didn't make a wreath for easter this year, although I had full intentions of doing so.
The world got in the way, but I was able to pull a cute garland together.

Vintage Easter egg dye kits are some of my favorite packaging.  I only own two but there are plenty of great examples out in internet land.

I found four designs that I thought looked nice together and printed them out.  I then backed each in pink cardstock that I cut the edges with a pair of scalloped scissors. 

Lastly I attached the prints to some decorative trim I had in my stash.  I also ended each side with some scrap ribbon and rick rack.

You can find these designs along with many more on my Pinterest Easter Egg Kits Board.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Honeycomb Hunny Bunnies

My most favorite Easter purchase this year!

I am so in love with them.  Look at their pouty frowns! And those big pink eyes.  I love how the bluish one looks a bit plump, like he just ate the entire honeycomb tissue paper carrot patch and he now has a bloated paper belly!
carrot cramps = sad face

These guys are the Halloween version of Easter decor to me.  Notice how they are kinda zombie-ish with the big blank eyes and a bit lurking with the raised "I'm coming to get you" pipe cleaner arms.
Serious sulks and tarnished tints, yet having the gleaming gold ears and hot pink features makes for perfect Easterween embellishments!

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Chick-Chick Easter Egg color kit and Flecks Easter Egg Kit

I was quite found of Easter Egg kits with all their fun little extras as a kid.  The box even had bits you could punch out or turn into some kind of audience seating ( also known as the "drying yard") for your dyed eggs or character stands to cover up your bad egg dye job.
 These two kits didn't have all their pieces but I really bought them just for the boxes.  How I wish I could make that 100 part barn yard though!

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Food Coloring Egg Dye Bottles Mystery Revealed!

A couple of years ago a fellow blogger, Aldo Ross, sent me an email:
"I was sharing a thought with a friend, and started wondering why plastic Schilling (and other?) food color bottles had that pointy top and bulbous bottle.  The answer was right there in front of my face, one of those “Doh!” moments."
He then sent along a few images for me to review.
I had never thought about it before but take a look:

Here is the classic bottle.

Here is a little hint....

And a big hint!

Ah ha!

Maybe everyone else out there (except Aldo and I) have grown up noticing this.  I just thought the pointy tops made great party hats for little plastic dinosaurs!

Jumbo Package Easter Gift Surprises basket tags

for Good Girls and Boys!

These are paper headers that would have been stapled onto cellophane packages containing cheap plastic junk that now goes for a crap ton of money on ebay.

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Easter Napkins

Don't wipe your dirty little melted chocolate bunny greased fingers on these!

Monday, April 06, 2020

"Bunny and Me~

This is a vintage (1980s...a bit "new" for me) cardstock mini folder that a Polaroid photo of an oversized creepy bunny suited ex-con with a fearful child on his lap would have gone into.

Sunday, April 05, 2020

Mr. and Mrs. Rabbit

Jack and Jill magazine April 1953

Starting off this Easter Parade are these cute paper bunnies.
I found them in an old kid's magazine I already had.

Print them on cardstock for your own! Hours of cutting...I mean FUN!

Saturday, April 04, 2020

An Easter Parade of posts!

I don't know what has come over me but I've gone Cadbury Creme Egg Crazy about vintage Easter stuff this year.  Easter has been offending me for the past 40 years because of it's pukey pastels and dorky modern decor (ie: bunny butt crappy crafts).  I love vintage stuffed animals and baby stuff, which I kinda see as Easter cross-overs. I can embrace cutesy vintage that is stained with age (dulls down that pastel!) and since Easter has a lot of vintage cutesy stainy going on I've come to embrace those kind of doo dads!
I started scouting stuff out about 2 months ago.  Thrifts in my area never have anything vintage Easter.  It's all walmart crap from the last 10 years.  Estate sales would have been a good option but they are scarce from the holidays til after Feb around these parts.  My only decent option was Ebay.  
Even with my cheapskate ways I was able to find several fun things which I will be presenting for the next several days.  One of which is not the adorable card seen above.  It's for "sale" on ebay for 360 bucks, free shipping!