We've been staying put today, due to the snow, but that hasn't kept us from being busy! I made this snow globe, the contents of which are completely edible, complete with a Rice Krispies Christmas tree!
The tree up close:
As you can see from the following picture, Paul refuses to give in to the dictates of Old Man Winter and is enjoying endless summer in his mind.
I wonder if he has the feeling back in his feet yet?
Things have been CRAZY around here for a couple of weeks and promise to be nuts through Christmas, but we're having a good time. We hosted both Thanksgiving and a party in that time and pulled the episode together! We have another surprise in store before Christmas, along with some family business that will take us out of town. Whew! Good thing we have lots of booze left over from the party! ;-)
Our party and a visit to our town's Christmas tree:
It may seem like I have a lot of time until we need Christmas clothes, but the truth is that the holidays are upon us! Therefore I pushed and got this year's party duds done before Thanksgiving. Time to shift back into Thanksgiving mode!
I'm happy to have contributed some holiday cocktails to the Pet Life Radio Holiday Magazine & Gift Guide! Here are the cocktails. If you're interested to read the entire magazine, you can find it here (I'm on page 25): Pet Life Radio Holiday Magazine & Gift Guide
We drove to a previously unexplored (by us, anyway) section of New Jersey today, so that Paul could visit an electronics store and pick up some parts. There just happened to be a Goodwill store nearby and we just happened to drop in, which yielded this turkey platter:
The only marking on it is "Japan," which means it's pretty darned mid-century, and in the past our Thanksgiving turkey has been served on a plain old plate, so this was $6 well spent, in my humble opinion!
I inherited a bunch of Shiny Brite ornaments (the kind used in these wreaths) last year, so this seems like a good way to feature them.
The craft stores make like crazy with the coupons this time of year and my purse is stuffed with them! I have tons of ideas I'll be attempting soon, involving food, drink and decorating. Get ready for lots of photos!
We have a new "Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en" episode online, featuring a trip to Boston! I'm especially proud of my recipe for Molasses Flood Baked Beans, which are not something you can decide to serve at the last minute, but are definitely worth the wait!
One of my latest obsessions is going through the many, many, many boxes in our attic and pulling stuff out, incorporating it into our collections, getting rid of trash, and donating the things we don't want or need. Much of this is family stuff, since we have leavings from the homes of three of my family members, as well as Paul's mother. One of these boxes yielded a scrapbook filled with newspaper clippings of recipes, culled from a period of about 30 years. I made a broccoli chowder from one of these clippings the other night (Los Angeles Times, 1981) and soon I plan to try this boozy pie, straight out of the disco era:
Do you think perhaps this recipe originated with the Hiram Walker Company? ;-)
Check out the curtains I made for the Kitsch-en, from vintage fabric a friend gave me years ago!
I rediscovered the fabric as I was organizing my fabric scraps in the attic, a job that took DAYS. A couple of large bags went to the trash, as those scraps were too small to use for anything, seven bags went to a quilting friend and five boxes and two big bins remain in the attic, albeit nicely organized for the first time ever. The fabric reappeared at a good time, since the holiday entertaining season is almost upon us and our old curtains (which I'd also made) were horribly worn and faded. It's nice to get exactly what you want for free!
I love Halloween and we had a really nice one last night at home, handing out candy to trick-or-treaters and watching the "Paul Lynde Halloween Special" and the "CHiPs" Halloween episode, "Rock, Devil, Rock." I pulled together a costume at the last minute, by putting on a wig, using eyeliner for lipstick and vice versa and sticking some leis in my hair.
However, I'm REALLY excited because it's Thanksgiving season! I love Thanksgiving, both because we get to host and because it's the kickoff of the holiday season for real, which is my favorite time of the year (just as long as it doesn't snow when we have to drive anywhere). I'm mixing up our Thanksgiving menu a little this year, adding a Waldorf salad (hold the mayo - this recipe calls for walnut oil) and another meat, since we learned at Plimoth Plantation that the menu at the first Thanksgiving was more or less "Meat, meat and more meat!" I'm thinking salmon...
This was a crazy, work-filled weekend, but I did manage to find time to make an apple cobbler with the apples I bought the other day! I'm especially pleased with this because, even though I got the recipe out of a 1968 cookbook, where it was loaded with butter and cream, I made it super healthy! I substituted unsweetened applesauce for the egg, olive oil and coconut spread for the butter and coconut milk for the cream. It's even vegan, for those who are concerned about such things!
We just returned from Massachusetts, where we attended a fabulous party and shot footage for TWO episodes, in Boston and at Plimoth Plantation, in Plymouth, MA. We were very fortunate to have our good friend Erin with us, to act as our sherpa in Boston. She had the inside scoop on all the historical sites and was a tremendous help to us!
On Monday we visited Plimoth Plantation, the living history museum in Plymouth, MA, where you can see pilgrims and Native Americans cooking and engaging in everyday life as it would have been in 1620 and just beyond. We were there specifically to learn about the food and drink for our Thanksgiving episode and they could not have been more gracious and helpful. I even made pancakes in a pilgrim home! We can't thank them enough for their hospitality. Now I can't wait to try the Buttered Beer recipe I was given by their Colonial Foodways Culinarian Kathleen Wall!
Our next episode, featuring tips for managing your temper, will be online Tuesday! Make friends with your anger using our easy tips!
I'm also running a contest on the "Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en" Facebook page, Guess The Ingredients In Betty Ford's Sweet & Sour Carrots. I recently rediscovered The President's Own White House Cookbook (Special Bicentennial Edition), chock full of recipes you just know our former presidents (up through Ford) whipped up constantly in their copious spare time. Whoever can guess the ingredients in Betty Ford's Sweet & Sour Carrots most closely wins a major award! Of course, being an old softie, I'll be sending something to anyone who even makes a serious attempt at guessing!
In honor of Throwback Thursday, here's a photo I just found in our attic, of me in a community theater production of "Grease" when I was a freshman in high school. Fran Drescher was Frenchy and she got a TV gig and suddenly needed an understudy. I got that gig! This was the night I went on in her place.
She was as nice as she could be, as was her then-husband, who played Danny. My grandfather played the coach! I wish I'd gotten to keep that wig!
And I think I might even be able to taste it! My senses are coming back, despite the fact that I now suspect I have walking pneumonia and not a cold (thanks, WebMD!). The good news is that it's on the wane, thank heavens.
No, not Christmas... cold season. I have a nasty cold, the symptoms of which seem to get worse daily. I'm trying to take it easy. I haven't sung or worked out in days and not working out is driving me NUTS. I think I'll do some hula hooping, just so I don't feel like a complete bump on a log. I bought this horrendous-looking green "mega" juice blend, which tastes pretty good (at least I think it does--my sense of taste is not 100% right now), but would be even better with a shot of tequila. Maybe once the cold meds are out of my system.
In other news, there's only one "Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en" mug left! Thank you to all who've bought one so far!
The "Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en" tiki mugs from PopTiki of Colorado have arrived and they look spectacular! There are only six available, so please act quickly if you want one! $45, plus $12.95 for Priority Mail shipping.
Here are the dishes I made from June Roth's Fast and Fancy Cookbook!
From left to right we have Maiki Ham, Chinese Bean Salad and Shimmering Mint Mold. The first two are really good! I have yet to try the Jell-O mold, but Paul declared it tasty and not too minty, since it only has two tablespoons of creme de menthe. I'll sample it at lunch!
Thanks, June Roth! These recipes were all really easy! We'll definitely be making that bean salad for parties!
Today we're cooking from one of my favorite cookbooks, 1969's June Roth's Fast and Fancy Cookbook! Mrs. Roth, "a leading proponent of good nutrition" and nationally syndicated food columnist, passed away in 1990 at the age of 64, but her legacy lives on in 36 cookbooks, including The Mood Control Diet and The Executive Success Diet, both of which I suddenly feel an urgent need to own. I will post pictures of today's culinary experiments later, but here's a little taste of what's to come. Be sure to click on and read her introduction. It could be straight out of "Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en!"
It's time for another excerpt from Blue Book for Miss Teen, the booklet on beauty, fashion, manners, cooking, decorating and personality published in 1959 by The News (today it's the Daily News), "New York's Picture Newspaper." Today we're looking at "Your Manners" because "Good manners are the cake of social life, special occasion etiquette is the icing on the cake." So, without further ado, take it away, Elinor Ames!
I wore my vintage finest to the courthouse today...and got picked for a trial. I'm not allowed to talk about it or do any research, which won't be a problem, owing to the fact that I could not be LESS interested in the subject matter. I'm considering it research for the next "Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en" episode, all about your civic duty!
Continuing our exploration of radio and television cooking and lifestyle hostesses of yore, I'd like to introduce you to Ida Bailey Allen (1885 - 1973), known at one time as "The Nation's Homemaker" and "The Original Domestic Goddess." Mrs. Allen began her career as a food writer in the teens, her book Mrs. Allen's Cookbook having been published in 1917. A partial list of her accomplishments includes serving as a food editor and columnist for many newspapers and publications, penning countless articles for magazines such as "Good Housekeeping" and "Ladies Home Journal," hosting, producing and even selling advertising for her own radio show, writing over 50 cookbooks, and appearing as television's first female cooking show host on "Mrs. Allen and the Chef." At one point she even allowed visitors into her home and test kitchen, to witness "the latest developments in homemaking." Whew! Mrs. Allen, we salute your pioneering spirit as a woman in broadcasting and your boundless creative energy!
Here's a recipe for a healthy cake that I tweaked. Behold, Beatnik Cake!
1 cup canned beets (14.5 oz can), mashed
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup cocoa
1 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
Combine all ingredients and pour into a greased and floured cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely, then frost with cream cheese frosting.
Like all good shows, the "Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en" has its own costume shop! In other words, good vintage can be hard to find and expensive, so I make many of my own costumes. Here's my latest, which will have its closeup in the episode we're shooting this weekend, our San Francisco travelogue. Necessity is the mother of invention!
While clearing out my mother-in-law's house the other day Paul came across the Blue Book for Miss Teen, published in 1959 by the New York Daily News ("New York's Picture Newspaper") and made available for 25 cents to area young ladies. I'll let the introduction speak for itself:
"The ins and outs of poise and polish and finer points of the sweet and bitter puzzles that pave the way to womanhood are here collected for Miss Teen, the young girl who grows up faster, earlier and more "compleat" than ever before tending a tiller or a tennis racket, a community minstrel show or a church bazaar, cheerleading one moment and caring for the neighborhood children the next, keeping up with current affairs and ancient history, physics and Phineas Fogg, and ready to discourse just as easily on a coiffure, casserole or cabinet, a flower centerpiece or a flower print.
Helping you meet this merry mix-up looking, feeling and behaving your best, and enjoying every minute of it, is the purpose of this little handbook, prepared by well-known writers on the Woman's Editorial Staff of The News. Best of all, each chapter is part of a continuing story for, fortunately, there never is a last word on how we look or feel or associate with our friends. You'll find each of the stories represented here continued every day in the pages of the News, and in the many booklets and leaflets offered by The News to its readers."
Here are the first few pages from the chapter about cooking. The entire chapter features a heavy emphasis on entertaining, as presumably no teenaged girl was about to just cook for herself. Enjoy!
Today is our 15th anniversary! On this day 15 years ago, a Rhode Island judge speed read our vows on a beautiful, sunny day and the rest is history! We celebrated with lobsters, our absolute favorite indulgence, and a "Thin Man" movie. Perfect for us!
Be glad there's no "after" shot, since we were both drenched in butter and lobster broth, as were the table and floor!