Old Fashioned French Dressing Recipe

I truly admire individuals who live their truth 100% of the time….whatever that truth is!  When it comes to living a lifestyle akin to the 1800’s, I can think of no better example than Tasha Tudor.  Although she passed away in 2008, her way of living, gardening, and yes, even historical sewing, still captures the imaginations and hearts of kindred spirits today.  While this post is not meant to be an overview of her life, you can be sure that I will be sharing more about her in the future.  To learn more about this little spark plug of a woman, I highly recommend checking out the family website or the fabulous book The Private World of Tasha Tudor. 

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A Look at “Simple” Pottery for the Table

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Very few of us today use fancy china more than one or two times a year.  I, unfortunately, fall into that category and find that I much prefer to use my everyday “heartier” dishes.  While this may be the case with many of us today, it is fun to look back and notice that this wasn’t always the case.  Around the late 1880’s using china on a daily basis was the norm, however there began to be a switch around the 1920’s to embracing more humble forms of pottery for the more simpler meals of the day. For example, the following excerpt describes the appropriate times and locations to use more simple pottery.

“A third class of tableware is “pottery.”  It is , as a rule, the least carefully, and therefore the least expensively, made tableware…We speak of the simple “tea-room” variety, gay in color and elemental as to decorate, such as all are familiar with.  Some of our readers may have collected pieces of such pottery when traveling in various parts of the world and know that it is the type of earthenware used by peasants, and for this reason the simple designs are often called “peasant patterns.”  Peasant patterns are seen on earthenware also, and because appropriate for use in the simplest homes called also “cottage” patterns.  If the house or apartment is as simple as the pottery (it may be so and yet beautiful) then you may use this ware for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  In some homes, pottery is appropriate for breakfast and lunch and tea, but the dinner table may call for more formal china.”

 – excerpt from Be Your Own Decorator by Emily Burbank, 1922

When I read this, I imagine two different types of pottery.  One earthy, rustic, and displayed on a shelf like this:

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Image from deja-vu

And the other, bright, bold and simple!

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See current samples of Cornish Ware.

Regardless of which way you envision these “cottage” dishes, I love the idea that they have their place in the realm of tableware.  That just because they are “simple” it doesn’t mean they are any less special at meal time.

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Cover Photo by New Home Interior Design


Vintage Thanksgiving Advertisements

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I’m pretty sure I have said this before, and will most probably say it again, but I adore vintage advertisements.  I love the catch phrases, the corny promises, and the super happy people just grinning from ear to ear over the product.  But when you add in anything to do with a holiday, I just go wild!  Commercials have the same effect on me.  Whenever a holiday commercial comes on, especially if its one that gets played every year, I just get that much more excited!  So with Thanksgiving coming up this week, I thought it would be fun to take a look at some vintage advertisements featuring products that one must just simply have …or at least within reason!

Turkey, or in this case, ham is the foundation for the meal.  I can’t say I have ever had ham on Thanksgiving…but if it was put out there next to the turkey, I’m sure I would indulge!

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Okay, I personally do not care for sweet potatoes or yam..but I know many in my family do.  Especially if it has little tiny marshmallows melted on top.  So this advert is for them!

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Can’t have Thanksgiving dinner without the cranberry sauce or jelly!  I love how this Ocean Spray advert includes recipes!

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A proper Thanksgiving meal wouldn’t be complete without the dessert.  Here is one featuring Dinah Shore and her pumpkin pie recipe!

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And for those of you out there who can’t decided between pumpkin or pecan….why not try this pumpkin pecan pie!

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I hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving where the times with friends and family are as delicious as the food!

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Having a Harvest Feast

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I have several vintage cookbooks that are my absolutely favorite things to read on a rainy day.  There is something so relaxing about reading recipes, table setting ideas, and ways to wow your guests all from the comfort of your couch.  And it seems the older the book, the more descriptive and detailed the ideas become.  How to set a table for different meals throughout the day using the same centerpiece tickles some domestic part of me.  The proper way to serve coffee following a buffet dinner or how to greet guests right when they walk in the door while making sure your dinner doesn’t burn in the oven are all fascinating tidbits to learn.  So when it comes to having friends or family over, even if I don’t serve one recipe mentioned, I will always start by reading one of my vintage cookbooks.  It puts me in the right frame of mind and ensures I plan the most perfect meal.

Today I wanted to share with you one fabulous meal entitled Harvest Feast.  This comes from my Betty Crocker Hostess Cookbook from 1967.  I adore this cookbook and am pretty sure I have read it at least 20 times with no signs of getting bored of it yet! While I have to be honest and say that I can’t see myself cooking any of these recipes (except maybe the cake), I absolutely adore the idea of having a meal focused on harvest.  Not a Thanksgiving meal mind you, but a dinner that embraces all things warm, cozy, and autumn.  Here are the two pages from the cookbook which outline exactly how to create your own Harvest Feast:

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Any proper Harvest Feast must have the proper table setting.  Here are few of my favorite pieces:

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Natural Leaves Placement from Pier One

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Cream Leaf Pitcher from Kohls

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Pumpkin Soup Tureen from Macys

So whether its a harvest feast for two or twenty, embrace the tones, textures, and flavors this season has to offer!

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All Things Apple Pie

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I think I have eaten apple pie at least once a week for the past month and a half….I can’t get enough of it!  I love every warm, soft, gooey, delicious bite.  So nothing would do but take some time to fully appreciate all things apple pie!

To start with, here is one of my go-to recipes from my 1950’s Betty Crocker Cookbook:

1 recipe for Double-Crust Pastry
1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples (8 medium)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 Heat oven to 425ºF. Prepare Double-Crust Pastry.
2 Mix sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in large bowl. Stir in apples. Turn into pastry-lined pie plate. Dot with butter. Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1/2 inch from rim of plate.
3 Roll other round of pastry. Fold into fourths and cut slits so steam can escape. Unfold top pastry over filling; trim overhanging edge 1 inch from rim of plate. Fold and roll top edge under lower edge, pressing on rim to seal; flute as desired. Cover edge with 3-inch strip of aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning. Remove foil during last 15 minutes of baking.
4 Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust. Serve warm if desired.

Now that you have the perfect recipe, you need the perfect accessories!  

Every good pie deserves a careful companion to ensure a deliciously flaky crust…and that perfect buddy comes in the form of a pie bird.  This one is sold by Le Creuset and is simply adorable!

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And any fall pie would look even more appetizing on an autumn themed plate like this:

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Plates from William and Sonoma

But if all else fails, you can always enjoy the scent of an apple pie from a lovely candle like this:

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Apple Pie Candle from Candlelit Desserts

I hope you are able to take advantage of fall’s delicious bounty…in the form a pie! 🙂

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“Let’s Eat Outdoors”

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For many Americans (especially those up north) today marks the end of summer.  Even though the actual day may still be a few weeks away, Labor Day seems to be the “unofficial, official” end.  With school starting this week, along with football season, the overwhelming desire to put out pumpkins, mums, and bales of hay can become very strong.  However, Labor Day weekend is the last hurrah where families get together for one last outdoor BBQ.  At this particular meal, everyone is very careful to avoid mentioning the leaves changing, or that they brought out their winter sweaters from storage…and above all, no one, I mean NO ONE is to dare breath a word indicating that a school bus will be showing up at one’s house tomorrow morning.  It is sort of an unspoken code of honor between parents and students ….eh…I mean, children!

So even though tomorrow means fall, school, and sweaters….today is all about summer picnic eating!  To celebrate, I have collected some of my favorite vintage images of picnics, camping, and BBQ’s.  So after you enjoy today’s post, go enjoy a delicious BBQ burger!!

Who wouldn’t love to chow down on a delicious spread like this!!

846-03164282 © ClassicStock / Masterfile Model Release: No Property Release: No 1950s PICNIC TABLE TOP FULL OF FOOD CORN HOT DOGS HAMBURGERS WATERMELON SALAD THERMOS CONDIMENTS BACKYARD SUMMER MEAL

I adore all things thermos and plaid…and even though this advertisement may be fore Christmas…I can’t help but imagine this spread out on a picnic blanket!

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Okay, I am not exactly sure I know what is being served here….the olive checkerboard dish is sort of weirding me out.  However, I would totally dig into those tasty little pies!

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I love the casualness of this set up.  A small little patio BBQ is perfect for just a few friends to enjoy!

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Camping is also a very popular activity to do Labor Day weekend as the heat has mostly dissipated. While I never looked as put together as this family does following a night sleeping in a tent, I love their view!

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Ahh….a picnic by the water…with dad taking another picture! 🙂

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Happy Labor Day everyone!  Take sometime to enjoy the last hurrah of summer….and make sure to set those alarms extra early for tomorrow!

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Petite Fruit Pies

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When the Autumn season rolls around, I am all about making pies.  Huge pies overflowing with fruits, spices, and lots of sugar.  But during the summer months, I prefer to create smaller, more delicate pies.  I am not quite sure of the reason, but there it is nonetheless.  I try to find fruits that are in season and make only one or two small pies at a time.  This is not only affordable, it is also a time saver, as I make a large amount of pie curst once and then freeze it in small batches.

So whether I want a little pie for myself, for a party, or simply to drop off to a friend, these small creations are the way to go!

Some of the best recipes I have, comes from the Better Homes and Garden Pies and Cakes Cookbook from 1966.  The recipes range from normal fruit pies to cold and tasty creations in a variety of crusts. I have the two pages below for you to peruse and try out as your wish!  I really like the cherry pie recipes myself! 🙂

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Happy Baking!!

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A Summer Vintage Tea Party

tea

I am on the final countdown until all the construction on my house is finished!

  ***cue fireworks, excited squeals, and sighs of relief**

And I have decided that once it is all done and my house looks better than ever, I want to have my friends over for a little get together.  And while I am sure it will only be the first of many parties, I really want the first one to be extra special and true to who I am.

So what is more me than a vintage tea party!?  And half the fun of the party is all the planning that goes into it…. along with the hours of finding and perfecting the perfect recipes.  Yum!

Here are a few samples of ideas I have and plan to use!

I love the idea of using vintage dishes to hold all of the accessories for the party.  This example from Martha Stewart reminds me of a 1930’s table setting.

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I don’t personally own a vintage cake pedestal, but here are two wonderful ways to create some of my own!

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The Whoot

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And of course, the most important thing for any party (apart from the tea) are the finger foods offered in delicate shapes.  Tea Time (link below the picture) has many delicious options to choose from!

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Tea Time

I still haven’t decided on the tea…any ideas or recommendations?  I am more of a coffee drinker, so if any of you tea connoisseurs out there could lead me down the right path, I would be most grateful!

Now with all these ideas, what better way to wait out the last few weeks of building and landscaping  than with some fun tea party crafts and recipes testing! 🙂

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