Monday, October 16, 2017

Rocktoberfest-Autumn Neutrals Edition

Whew, what a nice but busy weekend I had! There was opera, baseball, baking, running and even time for a spot of thrifting. Can't find fault with any of it...well, it would have been nice if our team won, but you can't have everything. I did well in the thrifts and I will have some interesting pieces to show you in coming posts. I've been trying to avoid buying all but the very best pieces as I absolutely need nothing. Good thing the shops have been generously offering up the very best stuff! I did resist buying more pottery...not easily done. I could buy a complete China service for what I spent on four pair of tights at Target today. Yeah, but I can't wear a salad plate under a skirt, 'ya know?
I wasn't sure if I'd ever shown this Mexican tourist jacket on the blog, so I wanted to make certain the back was photographed as well. The sun thwarted our attempts at a detailed photo, but I think you can get the idea. The jacket is made of felt anf the flowers are embroidered. I have three of these jackets, but this is my favourite by far. 
Mr. ETB remarked that I was, "Dressed normal" today, but quickly elaborated, "For you." Fair enough, but I'd have swatted him if he'd  been standing nearer when he said it.  
 I don't wear too many dresses with tight-fitting tops, but this one seemed to work without making me look like I'd been squeezed into a sausage casing. As I have a very similar dress, I must now decide between them in an effort to whittle down my wardrobe.
Well, looking at them side-by-side they are a bit different-but similar enough in colour that I should probably unload one. I think I prefer the one I wore today. This is an on-going problem as I like certain styles/colours/designs and have a tendency to keep purchasing similar items. That's how I ended up with a dozen blue and white spotty/polka dot dresses. We won't discuss my fondness for brown skirts, or kilts.


Outfit Particulars:
Dress-Goodwill
Vintage Mexican tourist jacket-Hand-Me-Ups
Bangles-all Hand-Me-Ups or Goodwill
Vintage Miami Creations handbag (they didn't only do straw and lucite)-Antique mall
Boots-Goodwill
Terra cotta clip earrings-Sequels
Brooch on jacket-Goodwill
Tumbling leaves brooch on jacket-Sarpy museum yard sale
Fragrance-Guerlain Heritage (men's frag but completely unisex to my nose)

 I so wasn't kidding about owning too much brown clothing-here's what I wore yesterday!
 One of many brown jackets in my wardrobe.
I have owned the blouse for thirty years though, so I can;t very well get rid of it now! Actually, it is more like 35 years. So hey, now it is vintage!

Outfit Particulars:
Blouse-Marshall Fields Country Shop-80's
Talbot's jacket-90's-ish
Brown 80's skirt-Goodwill
Wheat sheaf brooch-Thrift World (I think)
Sara Coventry earrings-can't remember (there's a matching brooch)
It shouldn't be possible to get into a style rut shopping secondhand, but I guess my taste is rather set. Do you find yourself buying similar things again and again? 










Sunday, October 15, 2017

Skirts and Sweaters-Wardrobe Staples

Ow! I have to stop wearing staples! Before I get my hat and leave...

 I realised as I dressed this morning that I've been more or less a sweater and skirt sort of person my entire life. What could be easier? Dress it up or down with scarves, necklaces, brooches-you have an outfit. I struggle with summer as a blouse doesn't quite work the same (it should, but...). Once things cool off, I'm back in my comfort zone wearing the clothes that make me happy. Of course there's room for dresses, suits and even trousers, but when I bolt out of bed late for wherever it is I need to be that morning, I like having a "go-to" look. This is that look.

I added the vintage Pendleton '49er jacket because it was so damn cold in the morning. By afternoon it was no longer required. The 80's does 40's look of the sweater and skirt works well with the true vintage jacket, purse, and brooches. I have no problem mixing eras, and even the 80's Naturalizer shoes have a good 40's vibe to them.

Of course Lurex wasn't a thing in the 40's (that I'm aware of). I really like how gold thread is combined with the grey rather than silver. It is unexpected, and broadens the possibilities for the outfit. A mustard yellow jacket would work here too, or camel.
Outfit Particulars:
80's sweater-New Life Thrift
Vintage wool skirt-Goodwill
Naturalizer shoes-Goodwill
Vintage 40's suede bag-Goodwill
Pendleton '49er jacket-Goodwill
40's acorn brooch-can't remember
Fragrance-Vintage formulation Estee Lauder Knowing

"I'm bored! Show something with a bit of colour!"

Okay, Xerox how about this?
Bright red/orange eye shadow from a colourful palette by NYX. Gosh I love red eye cosmetics. I had been using a deep red blusher, but now that I've found the NYX stuff, I'm hooked. 
"I think Xerox is being unfair, I rather like the grey outfit."

Thanks Mr. Goose! This is an odd goose by the way-he appears to be a hybrid between a Canada goose and god-only-knows? Maybe a Snow goose? Domestic goose? He was hanging with a flock of Canada geese at the park. 
 Anyway, new boots.
I bought these last Spring at goodwill-unworn, original tags still on. They're quite comfortable to walk in, though they are a bit larger than I'd like. Next time, a pair of socks.
This time I've tucked my sweater in. This vintage acrylic polo neck has a zip neck so I didn't need to mess my hair or makeup getting dressed. My mum always threw a sheer scarf over her head when pulling on clothes, but I never bother. Most days the makeup and hair are done after I dress. I know, I know, I'm doing it wrong!

 Outfit Particulars:
Vintage polo neck (70's, probably)-Goodwill
Vintage 70's wool skirt (part of a suit)-Goodwill
Boots-Goodwill
Belt-Hand-Me-Ups
Wooden leaves brooch-Etsy
Halloween brooch-Can't remember
Earrings-Sarpy museum sale
Tortoise bangle-Goodwill
Red bracelet-Filene's 90's
Vintage Kadin handbag-Goodwill
Micro-mosaic ring-Goodwill
Fragrance- Vintage formulation Aromatics Elixir





Finally, I bought myself a cheap smart phone to post photos on Instagram. I think I still prefer the blog format, but it is a nice way to connect with friends that have moved away from Blogger. The camera on the phone is pretty shitty, and I'm technically inept, so don't expect much ;) I'm posting as goodymcgoodface if you feel like checking it out. I think it might be good for things that don't merit a full post, but I'll warn you the photos are terrible. 



















White Bean Stew With Spinach and Veggie Sausages

Tastes better than it looks.
I made a rather successful pot of bean stew today, so I thought I'd share the recipe. I cooked it on the hob, but if you like, this would do fine in a slow cooker as long as you are using tinned beans. Don't use uncooked beans in a slow cooker.
I really cannot take a decent food photo! I need Bibi to come over and do it.

You Will Need:
A good glug of olive oil (about 5 tablespoons)
1 bulb of garlic, cloves peeled and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons rosemary (dried is okay, but crumble it first)
2 teaspoons dried thyme (or a few fresh sprigs)
2 bay leaves
A good grind of black pepper
1 veggie stock cube
4 tins (more or less is fine) small white beans (I used Great Northern Beans), rinsed and drained
(about) 1 lb. fresh spinach, stemmed and chopped coarsly
Water to cover-twice
1 package vegetarian Italian sausages-I like Light Life (They don't pay me to say that)
Finely grated hard cheese is you like
A drizzle of good quality olive oil to finish

In a heavy pot, heat the oil and add the garlic and herbs over very low heat. You don't want it browned, just warmed until fragrant. Add the beans, stock cube, and enough water to cover everything in the pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until it is reduced by 3/4. This will take a couple hours. Add enough boiling water to cover a second time, simmering again until reduced by 3/4.

At this point, the dried herbs will have risen to the top of the pot. Gently skim them off as they've done their work. You could use a spice bag if you prefer, but I'm too lazy for cheesecloth and twine for a pot of beans.

Add the chopped spinach, and cook at a very low simmer. The spinach will add a bit of water to the stew, but not so much that you can ignore it. At this point (after about 4 hours) it tends to stick if you don't stir it once in a while.

If using sausages, cook them in a lightly oiled pan to brown them. Cut into chunks and add to the stew in the last ten minutes for the flavours to absorb.

I served ours with grated Pecorino on top.
*update-served the leftovers over toast next day. The boys claim it improved overnight.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

I Could Never Be Bored of Onions

Or an Onion Board.
I should note that I was distracted and let mine rise too long, making it more focaccia than onion board. Still, it was happily devoured by husband and son. This photo was half of the board on my largest platter. You could make this recipe as two, three or even four individual breads.

My dad loved onion boards. I mean, loved them, to the point of driving a good distance out of his way to buy one at the bagel bakery on Touhy Ave. In Chicago (or was it still Lincolnwood over there? I can't remember). Even after moving to Highland Park, he'd get in the car on Saturday night to go buy bagels (for Sunday breakfast) and an onion board. Sometimes, I'd tag along for the ride. My mother, the food police didn't think my dad should eat onion boards for some reason that escapes me now. Six bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon? Sure. Onion board? That'll kill you! I'm sure there was some logic behind it.

I loved that bakery on a Saturday night. Because they were Kosher, they didn't open until after sundown on Saturday*, and on those evenings there would be a great mix of old people, young people stopping for a quick bite on the way out for the evening, families with babies asleep in prams-it sometimes felt like the entire city (and a chunk of the suburbs) were in that small crowded bakery. Every so often a baker would emerge with a gigantic tray that would be deposited into the clear bins at the counter by flavour. I loved a pumpernickel bagel, or rye but no one else in the family did. We'd buy two for me-one to eat on the ride home, and one to be cut in half and served Sunday morning for breakfast, and the other half in my lunchbox Monday. My mum never knew about the "Ride home bagel", and she certainly never knew about the onion board-she'd have murdered us both!

My dad had spent the better part of married life avoiding my mother's cooking, "I'll just grab a cheese sandwich when I get home as I'm running late" was code for, "I've had three hot dogs and a roast beef sandwich before getting home so I don't need to eat skinless chicken cooked in vegetable juice." He was a lot of things, but he wasn't stupid-at least not stupid enough to fight with his wife over food. He'd get an onion board, and we'd stand in front of the bakery eating warm bread (lest he leave a trail of crumbs or onions in the car) that never once made either of us sick contrary to the popular wisdom that warm bread, like an onion board or extra bagel was the quickest path to the grave. We'd brush ourselves off, my dad would light up an unfiltered Camel cigarette, and by the time we arrived home mum was none the wiser. I didn't get much to eat as a child thanks to my mother's, issues around food, so that Saturday night bagel was a welcome treat.

A true onion board should be tough and chewy-like a giant bialy. Mine came up softer as I didn't get it immediately into the oven after shaping. I used eggs in my board, but traditionally, it wouldn't have eggs. This is by no means authentic, but it gets the idea across and it is softer-in case you need to eat it all quickly before someone catches you. We served ours with some cabbage rolls Danny made for dinner.

I should mention that this is my "All-purpose" onion topping that's as good on a dinner roll or a pizza as it is on onion boards. It is particularly attractive in a savoury rolled-bun with a bit of grated hard cheese.

You Will Need:
1 tablespoon instant yeast (one sachet)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 cup room temperature water
1 tablespoon corn oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, graded large
(about) 3 cups strong (bread) flour

Topping:
1/2 cup dried minced onion
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1/4 cup poppy seeds
Water to cover

In a large bowl, combine yeast, sugar and water. Stir to dissolve. Stir in corn oil, salt, eggs, and two cups of the flour. Beat well with a wooden spoon. Add enough of the remaining flour to make a stiff dough (you may need more or less). Knead until very elastic-about 10 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled-about 1 hour. Meanwhile, stir together the topping.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the rack on the bottom. Grease a baking sheet. Roll out the dough as thinly as possible and place on pan. Top with onion mixture and immediately place in oven. Bake about 25-30 minutes or until top is golden and edges are nicely browned. Cool on rack. may be eaten warm or cold.

The bread freezes well, tightly wrapped, and can be reheated in a slow oven.

*I'm told the bakery is still there, and it now operates 24 hours. I would have appreciated that as a teen when the only place open after a concert was White Castle or Jack-in-the-Crack box.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

True Vintage-70's Knits and Suede


Whoa, it got cold!

 I've already needed my coat in the early mornings and evenings, but I'm still making due with cardigans in the daytime. This one is a heavy, acrylic beast.
A cardigan with pockets? Be still my heart. I'm always tempted to belt this one, but in the end I never do. I had to be outdoors quite a bit today, but I kept nice and warm and had a place to shove my hands when they started turning blue. The skirt has pockets as well, but they're not deep. I found the vintage space-dyed cowl-neck at Goodwill on a rack of similar, modern tops. I suppose the neck caught my eye as vintage being thicker than what you'd see made today, but there was also something about the quality of the yarn. Today's knits look fuzzy after a few washes, where the lines on this were still sharp. The top hadn't been stretched out of shape either-a dead giveaway it was vintage. A quick look inside at the woven label confirmed it.
I had several tops like this when they were current, my favourite being in various shades of green. I wore it to death under a green/blue flannel shirt for the better part of autumn/winter 1978/79. That might have been the closest I ever got to a uniform, but it got me dressed and off to school without much fuss. That was the same year I had my hair cut short and permed into tight curls. It looked okay after it finally relaxed. That was my one and only perm, but it was wash-n-go. I always was good at time management with respect to my appearance. If I ever had to spend more than fifteen minutes getting dressed (including makeup) I'd quit doing it. 
 Outfit Particulars:
1970's space-dyed cowl-neck sweater-Goodwill
1970's acrylic cardigan-Goodwill
1970's suede skirt-can't remember
Clogs-Hand-Me-Ups
Owl earrings-Hand-Me-Ups
Tooled leather bag-Goodwill
Belt-Can't remember
Fragrance-Norell
I received a care package from the lovely Beth Waltz this week. It was my favourite type-chocolate velvet and ice-blue peppermint  rhinestones. Some people need food to survive-I thrive on sparkles. Thank you so much for thinking of me Beth, I adore it all. I had just been mourning the demise of my brown velvet coat when Beth read my mind. 
I had to cover the garden with a fleece last evening as we dipped into the 30's overnight. I've harvested the large tomatoes, but the cherry tomato bushes are still producing like mad, so I'll try to keep them alive as long as possible. Danny won a canning/preserving award at the fair last summer and today the vouchers for free jars arrived. Just in time-we have some chutney-making scheduled for today and tomorrow. Thank you all for your green tomato suggestions. We'll be trying a curry, and frying up some slices for dinner. I baked a green tomato pie which really did taste like apple. I'll probably put together another and freeze it unbaked to use at Thanksgiving. 

Hope mid-week is treating you well. 







Monday, October 09, 2017

Won't Lose Me in a Crowd-80's edition

Thank you everyone for your well wishes. I do try to avoid complaining but sometimes it gets the best of me. I'll try to keep the grumbling to a minimum though as I get sick of hearing about it too! Thanks for indulging me though.

How's everyone's Rocktober coming along? We've been trying our best to get into the Halloween spirit (see what I did there?) but the rainy, steamy weather has been most uncooperative. I think today was expected to be the last of it, though we don't have a frost in sight for a while. I don't have plans for the green tomatoes beyond a few batches of chutney, but it might make sense to make a batch of vegetarian green tomato mincemeat. I could pickle the tomatoes, but I'm the only one that will eat a sour pickled tomato and I rarely want more than one. I'm still pulling in ripe tomatoes, so with a bit of luck I won't be too overwhelmed with underipe ones. 
 I've owned this sheer jacket for a few years, and it was only as I dressed last weekend that I noticed a bit of paper stuffed in the arm. I've been wearing the original price tag around for three years (the jacket is sheer-it must have been noticeable). *shakes head*. Goodness. What's worse, some fool paid $99.00 for it and never wore it before donating it...or else they overlooked the tag as well. Who puts a price tag up a sleeve anyway?!
 The skirt proved difficult to photograph, but you get the idea.

Outfit Particulars:
Nabi jacket-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage satin blouse-Goodwill
Skirt-Goodwill
Tights-Walgreen's
Vintage leather boots-Goodwill
Brooch-Goodwill
Belt-Goodwill
Vintage Gaymode handbag-Goodwill
Fragrance-Geminesse

If you own a spider ring this is the time of year to wear it. We've had some lovely orb-weavers outside our window, big garden spiders, and the usual house-dwelling sorts. We don't get wolf spiders in this house like we did on the farm, so there's nothing here willing to take a bite out of us. I leave them alone, and they largely do the same with us. 
 I spotted this dress at Goodwill for .99 cents last week. It still had the $30.00 tag from the defunct vintage shop that was trying to sell it as 80's cool. Look, it was 80's-definitely, but this was never the sort of dress a "Cool" person would have worn. My mum would have worn this-and possibly her mum as well. It has gigantic shoulder pads (I'd place this circa '84-'86) and is made of a parachute material. It is too big on me as the shoulders kept slipping, and I had to wear a belt to keep it from twisting as I sat, but I really purchased it for my collection. I like pieces that are representative of the sort of thing people wore daily, not just for special occasions. I very much doubt I will be wearing it again, but I don't regret purchasing it. I would NOT have spent $30.00 on it. 80's stuff is still easily available-you don't need someone to curate it for you.
I do like the bright colours-but I wouldn't have been caught dead in a dress like this at the time.

 Outfit Particulars:
1980's dress-Goodwill
Boots-K Mart
Belt-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage purse-Sequels
Earrings-Goodwill
Black bangles-both Goodwill
Fragrance-Shalimar

In other news...we've been out enjoying all the wonderful parks Nebraska has to offer.
The boys at Lakeside Park (gosh, they really got creative naming that one).
 Yellow-Rumped Warbler at Chalco Hills NRD
 Red-Tailed Hawk at Walnut Grove park.
 Wherespan lake on an Autumn morning.
 Somewhere in this tree are the first Dark Eyed Juncos we've seen this year (the Juncos are here! The Juncos are here!) which is always a source of excitement for birders. The birds are quite small, and camera shy.
As the Autumn migration is underway we're seeing more snow geese, gulls, pelicans, ibises, and cormorants. The yellow rumped warblers no longer migrate, and can be found in Nebraska year round, but they are more difficult to spot in winter plumage. If the weather cooperates, I'm going to try and take Danny out early before school each morning so he can take advantage of Nebraska being in the flight-path for all these birds. I'm not a morning person, but I have a travel tumbler and plenty of tea.

Anything interesting flying through your neighbourhood?  More importantly-what are you doing with your green tomatoes?