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May
23
2009

Can we talk about baking?

11333It’s funny,  I have received more input on Friday Baking with NotQuiteJuneCleaver since I suspended the effort, than before when we were doing it!  But that is a good thing!  I think some were waiting around, a little timid about jumping in since the word “challenge” was used so often.  But I am really excited that 1)those who participated actually loved it and want to keep doing it 2)those who were hanging back, are ready to jump in!

As I told you in an earlier post, I will be changing up the rules a bit.  I think I confused everyone but myself – and the more I thought about it, the less I understood what I was saying!  So I will be posting a new set of rules and a new start up date.  I think I am going to take a page from my friend Kelly over at unDeniably Domestic and do weekly challenges (oops, there’s that word again!) and a giveaway once a month.  I think that was part of the confusion…when were the recipes due?  when would a new recipe post? when were the drawings?  Yeah, I can see how it would get muddled in translation!

It has been a very weird/tiring/busy month, this lovely month of May. But,  I will be happy to see June arrive.  I have had a lot going on  – good and bad and yet categorized.  It really began last month and has culminated into such a mixture of things that I can’t even begin to tell you what all is on my mind.  But I will tell you this:  having your little brother have open heart surgery causes a strange mixture of feelings.  I am not a Pollyanna by any means, as anyone who knows me in real life can tell you.  However, I do try to see some good in any turn of events and strive to learn something from the not quite so nice things that come along.

As this month ends I realize my husband has not been home enough over the past 4 weeks.  There is more work than he will ever finish before he leaves next Wednesday AND he planted the corn so that I will have to harvest it while he is gone!  Our little garden is looking so good.  Squash, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, peppers, cucumbers…and now corn planted.  He made places for my pumpkins to be planted next month.  I have 30 or so varieties – some will go in the big garden, some in the raised beds, depending on their vining probabilities. I want to get them in the ground a couple of weeks earlier than usual so I can begin selling them earlier in September than I normally do.  One of these days I hope to expand my pumpkin patch.  I don’t usually plant your normal orange jack-o-lantern pumpkins.  I try to plant things you can’t get locally.  If they do well, I might even consider taking a truck load to the green market.  It’s a thought.

I wish you all a happy, safe holiday weekend.  We are headed out in a while to sit with my brother at the hospital while his wife goes to their daughter’s highschool graduation.  I hate he is missing it.  But happy he will be around for other important days in her life.

Stay tuned for more information, changes and start up date for re-introducing Friday Baking with NotQuiteJuneCleaver.

May
17
2009

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

I have been looking thru vintage publications today.  I will tell you why another time but for now I want to tell you what I have found.  Women have always been obsessed with their size.  And publications have always unrealistically (and rather cruelly) portrayed women by only showing that wasp-waisted mom icing a cake, that mom you know good and well will never take a bite of that lovely cake! Was it girdles?  Was it truly portion size?  Was it that there really wasnt fast food readily available?  Did they actually move more?  I don’t know, but I want that waist size.  Truly I do.  I want to wear a shirt waist dress and it be so incredibly fitted that if I eat a sandwich you will be able to tell! What I don’t want to do is starve or get a terminal illness to get it.  Yes, as a nation we have gotten fatter (there is no nice word for it) but also, no matter how small the average was…it was never small enough! So I think it is a losing battle! When I get through with this post I think I will have that last piece of cake I can see from where I am sitting.

Then some things are coming full circle.  Aprons for instance.  OH MY-I would say 8 out of 10 women in ads have on aprons.  The other two have on a bra.  Just a bra…lots of bra ads! But the aprons just jumped out at me. There are instructions and patterns to order. Ahhhh the good old days!  A 5 cent magazine with patterns for sale for the price of a stamp! This was a page from The American Family Magazine November 1952:

apronscan

I also saved this scan as a pdf if anyone wants a copy leave me a note. And the ads for sewing projects and ads for sewing machines.  Am I not buying the right magazines or are these no longer ad-worthy?

Here are just a few lines I have run across that make me smile…and grimace…

Family Circle June 1959 ~ Page 69 ~ an ad for Libby’s Tomato Juice.  Shows a couple hugging and looking over in a bassinet at a newborn…awwwww…then you read on.  If you are staying slim for him, you’ll be happy to know Libby’s Tomato Juice can make it easier…blah, blah, blah…

Same issue Page 71 ~ an ad for Diet Delight Bartlett Pears...the pears that make it fun to watch your weight!

Then there’s always the ever present ad for Lysol…for ‘feminine’ cleansing…NOT kidding.  YIKES!

And the ad for Lucky Strike cigarettes that show a darling girl with her prom dance card and a lit UNFILTERED cigarette! That could also explain the weight loss!

I will be uploading more stuff to share soon.  I should be doing laundry and other things but I sure got caught up in these lovely old magazines!

Last but not least, a recipe:

meatloaf


May
15
2009

Friday Baking with NotQuiteJuneCleaver Week Three

I suppose this really really fun challenge we are doing will pick up as we go along. I have to say I am a teensy bit disappointed in the number of participants but its still new and hopefully we will have more entries soon!  Personally, I am going to keep trudging forward and welcoming the change to seek out new recipes to try and share.  Week Three’s recipe is a salute to England.  I place whose cuisine is much maligned at times and unjustly so, in my opinion. Meet your new goodie:  The Bakewell Tart!

There are as many variations of the famous (in the UK 😉 ) tarts as there are folks who bake them!  I was first introduced when I spent a few days in England last October.  On my train ride from Norwich to London, when the service cart passed my seat, I spied this little tart that looked very yummy.  And so it was.  I realized about half way thru it contained almonds (allergy alert!) but I kept eating it anyway.  You know just about anything with almond flavoring is delish, so I just told myself it was flavoring and not the actual almonds!  And I lived, as you see. I understand after (too) much time spent reading about these little lovelies,  I didnt actually eat a Bakewell Tart or pudding as they are also called, since I didn’t eat it in Bakewell, a small market town in Derbyshire.  But it was tasty nonetheless.  Yep, some things we would never call a pudding are called just that across the pond.  Husband and I were discussing what he eats while at work.  They have an English cook on the rig and he makes and serves many things Husband is unfamiliar with.  Like Yorkshire Pudding.  Which we in no way would ever consider a pudding.  A popover maybe.  A biscuit?  A roll?  But pudding…nope. Oh! A future challenge maybe?

Several times since then, I have seen them in British food magazines (which I am obsessed with) and have thought I must try to make them.  As I started looking for a recipe, low and behold, they are IN THE NEWS!  Last month at the G20 summit in London, Jamie Oliver (cutie patootie and  Britain’s own Naked Chef, in case you live under a rock and don’t know who he is!) cooked THE meal served at 10 Downing Street for the dignitaries. Jamie is all about using fresh local foods but also wanted to bring notice to all corners of the UK.

On the menu was organic farmed salmon from Shetland, Scotland,  lamb from north Wales with foraged wild St George mushrooms and mint sauce and dessert was hot Bakewell Tart with custard made with free-range eggs from Prince Charles’s Duchy of Cornwall farms (which I will visit one day I hope).

tart-bakewell
(this of course is not a tart I have made, I will post our pictures later in the week)

WOW, I simply had to try them now! If they were good enough for that dinner…well they would be a treat for us!

As I was doing some recipe research, I found that some glaze the tarts, some don’t.  I am glazing mine!  So if you want to search out a version you would like better than this one, by all means, do so!  But same rules apply…you have to make it and blog it!

Without further ado, I give you The Bakewell Tart:

(more…)

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