Monthly Archives: June 2012

Things Found In Handbags

I’d planned for this post to be about handbags, and it is, sort of. It’s related, anyway.

Next week will be devoted to handbags. Beautiful examples, clever examples, still-in-production examples. But my list became too many for a single post. As a little whet-your-whistle, today will instead be about things that I’ve found in handbags that I’ve bought at estate sales.

I can practically guarantee that in every purse purchased from an estate sale, you will find any or all of the following:

  • bobby pins
  • a safety pin
  • a pill of some sort, in my experience usually Tums (these pills are NEVER wrapped in any way)
  • a neatly folded facial tissue
  • toothpicks

Each purse I buy gets a visual inspection, then gets turned over a trash bin before the real clean-out for resale begins. I don’t want to touch that tissue, no matter how neatly folded it is.

Once in a while, however, I’m rewarded with a treasure of some sort. A shopping list. A creased coupon clipped from some aged newspaper. A receipt. And happy me, found inside the calico inner pocket of a woven basket bag, I found these two photos.

I don’t know who they are. The gent’s photo, with staple marks and a partial stamp (reading …AAMSE TOB…, “Vlaamse” is Dutch for “Flemish” so there’s that much, maybe), appears to be an ID photo. I gleaned from other items I spotted at that estate that the man of the house, possibly this man shown here, was an avid cyclist. He certainly looks athletic, no? The woman’s photo has some writing on the back, but it’s far too faded for me to make out anything besides “1953.” Based on the combination of letter pairs, the other photo, and a receipt—also in the handbag—from a shop with locations in Amsterdam, Zaandam, and Haarlem, I assume that whatever it says is written in Dutch. How much do we love her notch-collar jacket?

If you’re curious, the only other item I found in this purse was a round-head screw.



Filed under collections, fashion, life-threatening clutter, shopping, vintage

Vintage Victuals: Stack-a-wich

A while back on Pinterest I ran across a recipe for smörgÃ¥stÃ¥rta, or sandwich cake. Which sounds really odd, but turns out to be just a big ol’ sandwich, which happens to look an awful lot like a cake. A pretty, pretty cake.

Okay, that still sounds really odd.

The author of the pinned post describes it as “a Swedish sandwich cake with layers of bread separating creamy fillings.” And her version, based on a recipe from Saveur, is beautiful.

Fast-forward 6 months and I’m at an estate sale where I pick up, among a few other things, a small stack of Household magazines from 1956. I was excited to get them home and read them, especially the July issue which features a pretty pastel layer cake on the cover. I’m assuming that the frosting or filling layers are infused with fruit-flavored gelatin.

Guess what? I’m wrong. It’s not a cake at all, but a smörgÃ¥stÃ¥rta. For the benefit of Modern Convenience America circa 1956, it’s been re-named “stack-a-wich.” The author claims that it’s “…fine to fix for a crowd!” And for you fine folks, here’s the entire recipe, all typed out by li’l ol’ me:

For relaxed, casual entertaining—a party treat with beauty, a flair of originality, and variety in flavor—you can’t equal a stack-a-wich! Team it with a refreshing fruit drink such as colorful Limeade Fizz, and you can serve as many as 18 guests with a minimum of preparation. And a stack-a-which practically serves itself—you bring it to the table as you would a birthday cake and let guests cut their own sandwiches. We used cheese and salmon fillings, but a stack-a-wich may be made with any combination of fillings if the flavors blend pleasingly. Team up some of our other fillings, or make your own stack-a-wich and have fun.

Stack-a-wich Loaf
Prepare three sandwich fillings as directed. Remove crusts from one loaf of unsliced sandwich bread. Cut loaf lengthwise into four even slices. Lightly butter one slice. Spread with Salmon Filling. Add second slice of bread buttered on both sides. Spread with Cheese-Olive Filling. Cover with third slice of bread, buttered on both sides. Spread with Relish Filling. Top with fourth slice of bread, buttered on bottom side only. Wrap tightly in wax paper and aluminum foil. Chill several hours or overnight. A couple of hours before serving time, remove from refrigerator. Prepare Carrot-Pimento Topping and attractively frost ends, sides, and top of loaf. Sprinkle top generously with reserved shredded carrots. Makes 18 2½-inch sandwiches.

Salmon Filling
1 can (7¾ oz.) red salmon
¼ cup chopped sweet pickle
½ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons lemon juice or vinegar
Drain and flake salmon. Combine with remaining ingredients, adding just enough mayonnaise to moisten.

Cheese-Olive Filling
¾ cup finely shredded Roquefort cheese
¼ cup chopped stuffed olives
Green food coloring
Combine cheese and olives with just enough mayonnaise to moisten. Add green food coloring as desired.

Relish Filling
3 tablespoons pickle relish, drained
2 tablespoons chopped pimiento, drained
1 cup shredded American cheese
Combine ingredients, using just enough mayonnaise to moisten.

Carrot-Pimiento Topping
3 packages (3-oz. size) pimiento cream cheese (room temperature)
¼ cup cream
¼ cup mayonnaise
Few grains salt
3 cups finely shredded carrots
Whip cheese with cream, mayonnaise, and salt until mixture is light and fluffy. Fold in 2 cups of the carrots, reserving 1 cup to sprinkle on top of loaf.


Filed under amusement, collections, food, life-threatening clutter, vintage

Thoughts on Things

All y’all seem to like the more personal posts, so here are a few thoughts running through my head (and boy, are they getting tired):

  • I have 3 T-shirt designs that are in varying states of being worked on: 1 for Tiddleywink Vintage, 1 for the race team, and 1 just for fun. They’ve all been back-burnered for the time being, but you can order some way-cool shirts I designed for Church of Cupcakes from their online “Church Bazaar.”
  • Speaking of the race team, here’s a video clip of my beau zipping along at a speedy 190 miles per hour, as seen from the roll cage. If you’re reading this at work, turn down the volume first.
  • If you enjoyed that clip, here’s one of his brother making a similar pass in a different dragster, later that night. Again, with the volume.
  • I need to order new business cards, for both the vintage side of things and the design side. (Also: a couple of rubber stamps.) I’ve been saying that for weeks. If I were one of my clients, I’d be SO frustrated with this procrastination!
  • I’ve an ad due to a publication soon, and I could run the same darn ad I’ve been running for, like, 2 years now, but I’d really like to change it up. Heck, I wanted to change it up last year. However, this requires things like willing models, a photographer who actually knows what he/she is doing, a time that’s convenient for everyone, and some method of payment that I can afford. Which means I’ll be running the same old ad again.
  • I have to move to a new host. I tried to do it the other day, and bunged up the whole site and its accompanying email addresses. Which includes all of the email addresses associated with each of the3shops, as well as the Facebook fan page. I was able to undo what I did, but that means I still need to move it. So consider this a warning, I guess.
  • I seem to have hoarded a bizzarre quantity of ladyfingers in the pantry, so I decided to make tiramisu tonight. I even plan to make it the real way, with whipped mascarpone, although I’d considered faking it with Bird’s custard. Which I realize is nothing like mascarpone, but I always have a tin of Bird’s on hand, so there’s that. You know what? It turns out mascarpone is pretty expensive! This had better be tasty.
  • Speaking of Bird’s, I was just introduced (via Instagram) to the southern hemisphere treat of Yo-yos (which are, apparently, referred to as Melting Moments if made with cornstarch instead of custard flour). I look forward to making a batch, and introducing them to my mouth.
  • I like turtles.
  • Just checking to see if you’re still reading.
  • So the other day? With the centipede?* It’s been more than a week and I still can’t sleep. I told a friend it was like having the feels-like-bugs-are-crawling-on-my-skin side effect of bad drugs, but without any of the fun bits.
  • My friend Owen has suggested that Traumatic Centipede Experience needs to be the name of a band. I agree.
  • My dad is coming to visit! Yay! I need to unearth the guest room, which hasn’t been inhabited in many months. This may take the assistance of Mike Mulligan.
  • I have more fun stuff to scan for this here blog, but you folks are being so quiet about everything I’ve scanned thus far. Have you enjoyed any of it? Do you like seeing the old advertisements, or the old sewing patterns, or the old recipes, or is there anything specific you’d like me to seek out for posting? Please comment below!
  • Related: Many of you are coming here to read posts, then going back to Facebook or Twitter to comment on them, instead of commenting in the handy comment field below. Why is that?

I’ve taken too much time to blather about here and need to get back to taking photographs of beautiful clothing soon (eventually) to be seen at Tiddleywink Vintage. Au revoir!


*If you missed The Traumatic Centipede Experience, you’ll have to visit the Facebook page and scroll down to June 19th. I was sort of live-blogging it.


Filed under collections, day job, family, food, life-threatening clutter

Mystery Date

Mystery Date fellows – click image for an enlargement

I didn’t want to give you guys a day off, so here’s a quickie for you. I picked up this Mystery Photo at a local estate sale. Here’s everything I know surrounding the photo:

  • I bought it in Arvada, a suburb north of Denver (Colorado)
  • The house where I bought it, built in 1968, was owned by Gordon and Dorothy “Dot” Stone (née Scheurn), but I don’t know their children’s names, or if either of these fellows could be their son
  • That’s a 1961-1967 Ford Econoline van and, according to Wikipedia, only the 8-passenger Club Wagons carried the Falcon badge as this one does
  • The van is gussied up as an ambulance, bears a “Property Of” Colorado state government license plate, and has a September registration tag in the window

So, there you go. That’s all I have to give you today. If you have anything to add, please do!

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Filed under collections, life-threatening clutter, vintage

Recipe Break: Pressure Cooker Shredded Chicken Tacos

EDITOR’S NOTE: Thank you for (likely) clicking through on a Pinterest link! As I write this (at the close of 2015), the below post is now three years old and the site has been abandoned relocated for nearly two of those. I invite you to join me instead at the Shoes & Pie blog section of


Pressure Cooker Shredded Chicken Tacos

Alternate Titles:

  • Three Ingredient Chicken Tacos, Four Ingredient Style
  • Anything You Can Cook In A Crock-Pot, I Can Cook In A Pressure Cooker. Faster.
  • Examples Of How NOT To Put Food Photographers/Bloggers Out Of Business
  • Holy Smokes, I Made Something I Saw On Pinterest!

The other morning I saw a recipe for slow-cooker chicken tacos—written about by ChocolateTherapy and originally seen on TastyKitchen—appear on my Pinterest feed. It looked ridonkulously easy, and likely tasty. I repinned it, planned to “one day” make it pressure-cooker style, and mostly forgot about it, as pinners are wont to do. That evening, as 7pm passed and I still hadn’t planned anything for dinner, the recipe popped back into my head. I happened to have the required ingredients on hand. I didn’t have any chicken conveniently thawed out, but I recalled my dad mentioning that he’d seen somewhere that meat can be cooked from frozen in a pressure cooker. I looked it up, read (at a reputable source) that it is indeed possible, and set about making dinner.

Without taking the time to look up the actual recipe. Because it’s three ingredients in a slow cooker, right? Slow cooker recipes typically have a lot of leeway. I don’t need to measure no stinkin’ ingredients! I recalled the recipe being something like “[some quantity of] boneless chicken breasts, a packet of taco seasoning, and it couldn’t possibly have called for an entire jar of salsa, right?” (It does, but it also calls for twice as much chicken as I used.)

My Version of 3 Ingredient Chicken Tacos, made with 4 Ingredients:

  • 3 boneless, skinless, frozen chicken thighs
  • 1 packet fajita seasoning (I know the recipe calls for taco seasoning, but I’m working with what’s in my pantry.)
  • 1/2 cup salsa (Why a 1/2 cup? Because that’s what was left from the jar I already had open.)
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream (because my pressure cooker instruction manual says that meat should be cooked with a minimum of 1 cup of liquid, and besides, I’d already mixed it the day before into the salsa to make dip.)

1. Frozen chicken 2. Empty salsa/sour cream bowl 3. Frozen chicken with seasoning mix and salsa/sour cream on top. No stirring necessary.

7:18pm – set electric pressure cooker to High, timer for 10 minutes*

7:27pm – the kitchen already smells really good

7:40pm – pressure cooker beeps that it’s ready, I quick-release the pressure valve and peek inside.

Cooked chicken thighs sitting in their resulting juiciness, the cooked sour cream on top looking a wee bit icky.

Stirred up and shredded with a fork.

The slow cooker version of this recipe requires a minimum of FOUR HOURS to cook. Add another, like, gazillion hours if you start with frozen meat. This took TWENTY-TWO minutes FROM FROZEN. Throw in a few extra minutes for shredding the chicken and dishing it out, and you’re still eating dinner a mere half hour after you opened the freezer.


*On an electric pressure cooker, the timer countdown will start automatically once pressure is reached. The length of time any cooker takes to reach pressure will vary based on volume, temperature of the ingredients, and altitude.

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Filed under food, kitchen