You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2011.
I made a cover for my mom’s iPad but forgot to take a picture of it. Since I made a second one for my mother-in-law, I did remember to take a picture of this one.
It looks better in person. The material (pattern and quality) is really beautiful, but in the picture it looks loud and a bit jarring.
Anyway, it turned out well and I’ve gotten pretty good at making these now.
Some years ago my grandma gave me a stack of recipes she’d been holding on to. Some were hers, as I could plainly tell by her handwriting, and others were those that she had collected over the years. Unfortunately I have never had the opportunity to sit down with her and ask her which ones were favorites, but still I held on them knowing that I’d go through them sooner or later to see what was there.
Well the time finally came — when I’ve actually found the time — to sit down and go through them. Probably 80% of it I threw away since they were cut outs from sugar boxes or inserts from the local grocery store. I also found recipes in the back of some manuals for a Frigidare refrigerator from 1955, and a couple of other manuals from approximately the same time.
Going through them I couldn’t help but notice how food trends have changed. The majority of these old recipes were focused heavily on meat, cream sauces, mayonaise, and strangest of all: gelatin.
Since my grandmother had several pamphlets of recipes on gelatin-related foods, I found it almost unbelievable that so many recipes could exist. In my lifetime I think I’ve seen one dessert made with gelatin — something with canned fruit stuck in a colorful ring mold. So I was curious to see what was in these pamphlets.
Ok, so there were plenty of pie recipes, particularly chiffon pies. The recipe above calls for gelatin and ice cream as the basis for this pie. That sounded a little strange to me, but maybe it’s not.
Here’s another for eggnog pie. That just doesn’t sound right to me.
Fine. So there are plenty of dessert recipes but I was really surprised to see what they had for “company dinner recipes” made from gelatin. Look at this recipe for a “Dinner Ring.”
The description starts with, “Bits of meat, fish, or poultry are suspended with crisp vegetables in this clear, shimmering main dish.” Is it just me, or does that sound absolutely disgusting? Suspended? Shimmering? More likely I’d be shivering in my dinner seat trying to think of a way to get out of eating such a thing without offending the host.
Here’s another couple of recipes for snack foods. “Cola fruit salad” sounds interesting. Canned fruit “suspended” in cola and gelatin. It’s “fun as a TV snack with cookies, salted nuts and a beverage.” But the beverage is in the “salad”, isn’t it? Well, it sounds like a sugar rush to me.
And the “Fruit jewels” are described as a “new way to enjoy the daily envelope of unflavored gelatine which has proven helpful in correcting problem fingernails–.” Well, now that I’ve got the image of problem fingernails on my mind, I’m not so interested in making the “fruit jewels.” I guess that’s that.
Moving on beyond the gelatin recipes, I found plenty of meaty, fat-heavy recipes.
The “For-the-crowd casserole” contains ingredients including 1.5 pounds of meat, 2 cans of different condensed cream soups, a cup of sour cream, a cup of buttered bread crumbs, and a half a teaspoon of monosodium glutamate. Wow! Obviously we are more health-conscious these days, and I like to think that I’m not a health food snob, but this sounds like a serving of this would sit in your gut like a rock.
I did find a surprising number of date-nut recipes. Maybe growing dates in California in the 1950s and 60s made them readily available? I’m not sure, but grocery stores were creating fliers of recipes with dates. That’s pretty neat.
Well, as I mentioned, the vast majority of these pamphlets/brochures was tossed. Still, it sure was interesting to read and I had a good laugh at some of this. Funny how times change.
If you have a purse or wallet, what goes inside? Sometimes it money, keys, ID or a credit card, right? I wanted some cards for V’s purse and instead of finding old expired ID cards or credit cards of mine, I thought I’d make her some.
Click on the image to make it bigger.
I wanted a bank card, a library card, a “food” card, and something with a band-aid on it. I went online and found all the images I wanted and then created the layouts in PhotoShop. The illustration for the library card came from a Finnish postage stamp. The food card took the longest since I had to find high-res images of fruits and vegetables. And I stuck a real band-aid on the band-aid card. It says, “Present this card to your mom or dad to get a band-aid for wherever you want.” V asks us for band-aids every other day so this card will come in handy for her… .
After I printed them out, I got them laminated. I like them. I think they’re cute. I made a whole bunch of them so friends of mine who have little kids might be receiving some in a purse or wallet some time in the future.
The first crown didn’t last long. It was made of a paper plate and was a little small for V anyway. I made another one at my parents’ house over the Thanksgiving holiday week, but that lasted even shorter than the first.
So it was time to make something more sturdy. I thought I might sew something since I have a lot of pretty materials, but when I looked online for ideas I found an even better idea: felt.
Since I happen to have a few pieces of felt in my material stash, I used only a couple of colors and added some “jewels” that were from crown #2. I put an elastic band in the back with some pink material.
This is by far the prettiest of the crowns that I’ve made, but surprisingly, V isn’t that interested in it. Well, it’s in her toy bin for when she feels the need to wear it.
I completed a mini-quilt, called a mug rug. It’s something like a large coaster you would use to put a cup of tea and maybe a cookie or two. It’s nothing more than something quilters created to use up scrap materials and practice quilting techniques.
The color fabric was the left-over cuttings from the dresden plate I made for my grandma. I loved those colors together and didn’t want to throw away the scaps. This one is going to a neighbor friend for Christmas.
Sometimes V surprises me with how mature she sounds when she says something. Today I asked her a question and she said, “What, Mommy? What are you talking about?” Geez, that sounds like she wanted a more involved conversation about whatever we were chatting about.
I also love it when she asks questions with “remember when,” like “Remember when we ate turkey at grandma’s house?” I’m glad she has memories of things and can recall them.