Category Archives: nostalgia

Advertuesday!

Advertuesday? I think that should be nominated for Worst Portmanteau, 2012. However, what we have here are (vintage) advertisements, and it is Tuesday. The only thing that any of these ads have in common is that they all appear in the May, 1948 issue of Woman’s Home Companion. And that the magazine is too big to fit on my scanner, so rather than scans these are instead hasty photos, complete with uneven lighting and occasional glare. I hope you enjoy the look back! (Click each image to make with the biggering.)

Bon Ami scouring powder, 1948. STILL hasn’t scratched yet!

A model smile on Mrs. Ralph (Nicki) Ellis, by Ipana toothpaste, 1948.

Battle “infectious dandruff” with Listerine Antiseptic, 1948

Promise of a lifetime sparkle from Oxydol, 1948. Just what is IN this stuff?

Trade box tops (and a penny) for a Quikut paring knife, from Spic and Span cleanser. 1948.

Skip the dishes! Until you get Dreft dishwashing soap, that is. 1948.

Wanda Hendrix’s winning smile is the result of Pepsodent toothpaste (ahem, “dental cream”), don’t you know? 1948.

Invitation to make “Hash Mounds” for lunch with Armour corned beef hash, 1948

If it’s lovely to wear…it’s worth Ivory Flakes care. 1948.

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1972 Raleigh Sports

My hair has never not been unruly.

When I was wee, I had a (hand-me-down) red Murray tricycle. When my knees started hitting the handlebars, I graduated to a (hand-me-down) violet Schwinn Hollywood with coaster brakes. I loved that bike. I loved everything about that bike. Every spring I would sit in the driveway with a bottle of chrome polish and a shop rag, and my tiny fingers would lovingly polish the fenders, the wheels, the spokes. And eventually it, too, was too small. When I was in 6th or 7th grade, I got my very first New Bike. Again a Schwinn, my silver Sprint had a full 10 speeds. This was moving up in the world! It was…okay. A perfectly serviceable bike, and I rode many miles on it. It didn’t have the pizazz and style of the Hollywood, but having gears was a bonus. I eventually outgrew the Sprint and on the very rare occasion that called for a teenager on a bike, I’d borrow my sister’s semi-abandoned Schwinn Collegiate. At that point in time, the only adults who rode bikes did it for sport and I was no athlete.

1971 Schwinn Hollywood: “Graceful styling and a delight to ride.”

Fast forward a number of years, and mountain biking has taken off. At the time that I move to Colorado, my dad and his wife bequeath to me one of their two Giant Iguanas, with the statement that “I think it’s the law that you have to have one of these if you live in Boulder, right?” I am blissed. But I am still no athlete. I ride it to and from the supermarket on occasion, and that’s it. After throwing myself off the bike twice (and with great flourish), and feeling the pain of a beyond-empty wallet, I sell the Iguana for a piddling amount of cold, hard cash and pay a phone bill with it.

A few years later, my then-boyfriend secretly joins forces with my dad to buy me a new bike for Christmas. I am the very happy owner of a silver 1999 Trek 800, which still has the knobby tires for gripping the dirt but a somewhat more upright position which is better for my weak shoulders. We take it out on a couple of (flat) trails, and I ride it around the neighborhood in the evenings from time to time. I still have that bike, and it’s still in great shape, mostly because I so rarely ride it. It’s just too technical for me. No, what I really want is something more reminiscent of my old Hollywood, but with a few gears. I don’t need a lot, just, say, 3. But it has to have fenders. And a basket on the front, to hold a grocery bag. So I start window shopping. Used bikes on Craigslist cost just as much (and more) than some new bikes, plus carry the desperate need for a tune-up, so I stick with new models. Cruisers have the right look, but they’re heavy and clunky and single speed. Dutch-style bikes (think Electra Amsterdam) have the look and sometimes the gears, but the price tag is prohibitive. Pashleys are gorgeous all around, but there’s that dastardly price tag again. So I look. And I look. And I look.

Last Wednesday, on a whim, I search Craigslist again. I’d long ago learned to leave out the word “cruiser,” as that only brings up ads for crappy old bikes that people are asking astronomical amounts for (and I don’t really want a cruiser anyway). But for some reason, “cruiser” is what I type in. And there are the expected ads for $200 rust buckets that will require another $200-300 of work just to get running. At the bottom of the page is the header “Few LOCAL results found. Here are some from NEARBY areas…” and there, there is The Ad. The headline reads Vintage Raleigh Sport Bike Cruiser – $50. I click the ad. I see the photo (of a road bike, not a cruiser). I fall in love. I call the number in the ad, and get voicemail. I wait. I wait. I wait. I wonder if I’d misspoken my callback number. I wait. The next morning, I call again. Live person this time! I ask a few questions. I get the answers I’m hoping for. I make arrangements, and that Friday, I pick up My New Bike, a 1972 Raleigh Sports ladies (step-through) model in Coffee. Functional 3-speed Sturmey-Archer hub. Made in merry olde England.

Rideable, but this will someday be a “before” photo.

It’s missing its original Brooks saddle, frame pump and “touring bag.” It rattles. It’s dented, it’s scratched, it’s greasy and dusty and has a few bird feathers stuck to it. It’s beautiful. I’ll be getting new tires first thing, and then will start adding/replacing parts as need determines and budget allows. Stay tuned!

1972 Raleigh catalog, page 12

1972 Raleigh catalog, page 13

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Jellofetti Cake!

Broken glass? No, gelatin cube!

What my family lovingly calls Jellofetti Cake is in truth a reworking of an official Jell-O® recipe called Crown Jewel Dessert, previously known as Broken Window Glass Cake—because that’s appetizing, no?—when it was introduced in 1955.

This is another was-going-to-be-a-tutorial post, but honestly, if you hit a stumbling block while making packaged gelatin, my photos aren’t going to help you. Shown here: A scan of the recipe as printed in The Joys of Jell-O (1962), with bonus recipe for Ginger Fruit Mold because I didn’t feel like editing it out. Click for embiggerating so you can actually read the recipe(s).

Do you remember back in the first paragraph when I said my family (and by “my family” I mean “Grandma Wink”) reworked this? My grandmother’s interpretation is what we’d now call a “mashup” of the Dessert (crumb crust) and Pie (ladyfinger) versions. So here’s what you do: line a springform pan with split ladyfingers (sides and bottom; you’ll need two packages). No crumb crust necessary, no cutting ladyfingers to fit within the confines of a too-short pie pan.

Jellofetti Cake, née Crown Jewel Dessert, née Broken Glass Cake

I never got my grandmother’s own personal version of this recipe (she is notoriously bad at sharing her recipes, which is a shame because she was an excellent cook and we didn’t press the issue before her mind started to wander, now so very much is locked away inside her head and even she can’t reach it) but I am confident that she did not use Dream Whip® or Cool Whip® or any other “whipped topping” that was not simply whipped heavy cream. My example here looks a little “short” because I’ve been dipping into my cream to lighten my coffee. Note to self: buy milk. Anyway, just whip up a pint of cream. I don’t even bother to add sugar.

Another place where I don’t add sugar: to the gelatin used for the fluffy filling part. I mean, really. Is Jell-O not sweet enough for you? That step in the recipe makes me wonder if lemon flavored Jell-O wasn’t always pre-sweetened, which would make it a considerably less bizarre accompaniment to all of those tuna-in-lemon-gelatin salads.

Also variable: I make that last batch of gelatin with pineapple juice if I already have it on hand, but water works just fine. Here’s what I’ve discovered about this recipe: I have tried many different combinations of gelatin flavors, and it always tastes similar (sweet, vaguely fruity) in the end. That ½ cup of pineapple juice isn’t going to make too much difference. Don’t fret if you don’t have it. The current version of this recipe, as culled from the Kraft recipe site, doesn’t call for adding sugar, or pineapple juice, or any kind of crust for that matter. They also suggest molding it in a 9 x 5 pan, which I think makes it look quite unfortunately like pimiento loaf. :P

leftover cubes for snacking

This recipe is going to take you about 9 hours from start to finish, but 8 of that is just waiting for the various batches of gelatin to gel. Prepare the first three the night before, then finish the rest in the morning. You’ll still need a few hours of chilling time after the last step, so plan way ahead. I typically only use about ½ to â…” of each flavor of the gelatin cubes, and impatient kids can snack on those while they wait.

My grandmother always served this to finish out our family’s Easter dinner, but I’ll make it just about any time someone asks nicely. It’s great in the summer when you don’t want to turn on the oven, but it will go limp if left at room temperature for a few hours. Considerably faster if you’re attempting to serve it outside on a hot day.

I just realized that you could probably make an adults-only version using vodka instead of cold water wherever it’s called for, but take away people’s keys. I’ve never met anyone who could eat only one slice. This could lead to serious trouble.

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No Caption

Unidentified wedding, ca. 1960s

My apologies for missing the Wednesday and Thursday posts. It’s been hectic this week. I’ll keep this brief (and the crowd goes wild) because I have a massive amount of day-job work to do in the next 5 hours, but I do want to let you know that an estate sale which Erin and I almost skipped entirely turned out to pay out in, among many other things, a stack of 1950s blouses that have never been worn. I truly hope to start getting fresh clothing listings up at Tiddleywink soon! I’ve been busy listing some of the many vintage cookbooks from my collection, so if you’re hungry, do go take a look.

Another thing I picked up at the sale is a zip-top bag of old photos. The price was right, and I think they’ll be fun to slip into orders when I’m packing them up. They’d be even more fun if the photographer had marked them with any information whatsoever, but we’ll have to settle for the lone, identified photo—of a cabin—as saying “Cabin” on the back. So in this case, it’s not so handy anyway. Shown at top: the wedding of (an unidentified man) and (an unidentified woman) in the year 196X.

Enjoy your weekend!

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Society Page

While researching the designer label on an evening gown I picked up this weekend for Tiddleywink Vintage, I came across the “society” page of The Pittsburgh Press, November 15, 1947. I hope you like these snippets. Click ’em to see ’em larger.

Dolores (Carr) Rothrauff, 1947

Bunnye (Wedner) Kramer, 1947

Dorothy (Parrish) Briney, 1947

Social Situations, 1947

Juke Box Wail, 1947

Long Skirts, 1947

Other News:

A day in Leadville, CO

  • The fella and I, along with his younger sister and their parents, went up to Leadville (Colo.) for a day trip over the weekend for the parents’ 40th anniversary. The dad lived in Leadville until 1958, so it was a trip jam-packed with anecdotes and information that really made for an interesting day. We saw the hospital where dad was born (now condos) as well as the tar-paper house where his mother was born in 1906. We went past the rectory where her father first stopped—ready to receive his last rites—when he arrived in Leadville, because he was sure that his arid-climate nosebleed was in fact a sign of the high-altitude-induced brain hemorrhage that would soon cause his death. :) An antiques shop in Leadville is where I found the aforementioned gown, but seeing as it’s not exactly a fancy-dress town, I’m not sure if it ever saw a dance floor locally. Perhaps it caught a performance or two at the Tabor Opera House before being packed away for many years.
  • Also acquired: my first piece (no, really!) of Fire-King Jadite ovenware! I’ve long been on the hunt for a single, affordable, useful piece. Yes, I could use a mug, but I have this whole matchy-matchy thing going and I likely wouldn’t. I once found a solo fridgie dish-and-lid for a reasonable price, but it was chipped. Then lo, what do I spy in the corner of the antiques store but what appears to be a smallishy loaf baker which is not only marked a reasonable $22 but also conveniently on sale for 20% off! Once I got it home I learned that it’s actually a fridgie dish but with the less common (?) “Colonial” style rim, and it should have a clear lid. This set came with the same clear, handle-less lids used on the Gay Fad painted series. Those seem more easily found online, so I may buy myself a Gay Fad set just to steal the lid. ANYway…pale green bliss!
  • The cherry-pie-that-didn’t-turn-out, I have decided, will make a delicious addition to a batch of homemade ice cream. Mmmm, ice cream!
  • The wardrobe dep’t. for “Vegas” placed another order! Woo!
  • Um, probably other stuff! Zippity doo-dah!

Very happy to be working this week on a project for Cooper House, who are not only pretty darn fab designers (and coders), but also wonderful friends. However, between that and a client meeting I have on Wednesday and a high-maintenance-pet-sitting gig I have going all this week: go away. I’m busy. I’ll be blogging (I hope!) but you have a reprieve from the baking/canning/cooking posts this week. Ta for now!

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Filed under amusement, collections, day job, design, family, fashion, friends, nostalgia, shopping, the office, vintage

Marshmallows!

Strawberry Marshmallows

When I said yesterday that I’d post retro recipes all this week, I had no actual plan in place. Oops! In spite of myself, I still managed to pull together my very first batch of marshmallows, as made from a recipe found in The Joys of Jell-O (1962). I love marshmallows. Looooove marshmallows. When I was practicing my Only Sustainable Animal Products experiment, I missed marshmallows like crazy. I still mostly stay away from gelatin products, but this is already my second gelatin-containing treat this summer. Agar is great, but it’s just not the same “bounce.” I have purchased some vegetarian gel stuff from Whole Foods and will report back on that, but in the meantime:

Pastel Marshmallows
1 pkg (3 oz) Jell-O Gelatin, any fruit flavor
2/3 cup boiling water
1 cup sugar
3 Tbs light corn syrup
Confectioners’ sugar
Dissolve Jell-O Gelatin in boiling water in a saucepan over low heat.* Stir in sugar until dissolved. (Do not boil.) Blend in corn syrup. Chill until slightly thickened. Line an 8-inch square pan with wax paper; grease with butter or margarine.** Then beat gelatin mixture at highest speed of electric mixer until soft peaks will form, about 5 minutes. Pour into pan. Let stand in refrigerator overnight.
Then place mixture on board heavily dusted with confectioners’ sugar. To remove wax paper, dampen surface and let stand a few minutes; then peel off paper. Dust top with sugar. Cut into 1-inch squares. Roll cut edges in sugar. Makes about 6 dozen.

Messy? Yes. Not as bad as I expected, but don’t try this with kids or they will be head-to-toe sticky, not to mention your kitchen. The resulting marshmallows are more chiffon-like and delicate than the store-bought variety, but I was following instructions and cooking over low heat. A few more degrees would likely have stiffened up the syrup, for a firmer result. I was drawn to this recipe because it didn’t require a candy thermometer, but I could see where one would come in handy if you want to repeat this recipe with consistent results.

How about you? Have you made marshmallows the traditional way? Will you try it this way and compare?

*Over low heat, my water evaporated before it would get near boiling. I boiled over med/high heat, then turned it down when I added the gelatin mix.

**I used cooking spray. Less mess, and the wax paper later peeled off with ease.

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Well Hello There, Coletteries!

I just want to say “hello” to the new readers coming from today’s post at Coletterie. If I’d known in advance about the mention, I’d have had something ready for you. I do have a vintage pattern series up my sleeve for next week that you may be interested in, so please be sure to check back on Monday. Enjoy your weekend!

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