I learned a good trick that is proving useful. To soften biscuits like lebkuchen, or to keep chocolate chips from going hard in the tin, add a slice of cheap, commercial white bread. The biscuits absorb the moisture from it without imparting a flavour like a slice of apple or orange would. It works! You need to change it out after a day as the bread slice turns dry as toast, but it is a good way to extend the life of your biscuits for the fair, at the holidays, or whenever. The springerle really benefited from the bread treatment as they need to age before eating. As the clock ticks down here, the bread trick has been a lifesaver. Sure, I feel stupid buying cheap white bread when there's so much baking going on here, but why waste the good stuff to keep biscuits fresh? Anyway, just thought I'd share a good tip.
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Sunday, August 13, 2017
Recently purchased baubles. The Sacred Heart bracelet had a D&G vibe to it, and with Autumn coming soon I like to pile on the velvet, gold, and rhinestones.
Keeping it short. Have a great week!
Friday, August 11, 2017
One of the better things 80's fashion had to offer was polyester crepe.
1980's polyester crepe dress-Goodwill
Vintage tapestry handbag-Goodwill
Brooch-New Life Thrift
Bracelet-New Life Thrift
I'm going to pack these shoes away so I wear something else! What can I say? They're comfortable, and they go with (almost) everything. Still, if I'm going to own as many shoes as I do, I should wear them once in a while.
Bake-a-thon rolls on today with oatmeal raisin biscuits, ginger nuts, and coconut washboards. Next week the breads and rolls start-that will be busy, ending with cakes. We perfected a chocolate/raspberry icing that can sit at room temperature without going off, or becoming too soft. That had me losing sleep, if I'm honest. Only three of the cakes require icing, and we'd already decided on the spice cake/maple combination, and the yellow cake with penuche icing-but the Devil's Food cake was worrying us. The fresh raspberry puree in the frosting we developed will avoid any concerns about cream at room temperature for a few days. I was pleased with how easy it is to spread-even a twelve year old can do it!
Finally, I won the auction! Here's this year's State Fair hat (unless something goes wrong) I bought from 1860-1960. It should arrive Tuesday. This is my fourth purchase from this seller and I can enthusiastically say, "She's one of the very best on the web." I'm not being compensated in any way to say that-she's just one of my favourite places to buy great vintage.
That's about it for now. Busy week ahead, but I managed to get in a quick 10 miles today to save my mind (and my back). I'm going to go drag Danny outside in a bit to look at the meteor shower. Hopefully, we won't go blind or hear any tapping plants in the garden😁
Have a great weekend.
Wednesday, August 09, 2017
Shift dress, geddit? More like a sack. Next time, belted.
I have a great story about shifting gears. I was driving home recently, when I noticed a big white, "N" on my dashboard. Our car was having transmission issues, so my first thought was, "Oh no, it slipped into neutral". Never mind that the car was still happily chugging along, which it wouldn't be doing were it in neutral. This is what's so maddening about digital readouts in cars. It took me a few moments after pulling over, parking and re-starting the car to realise, The "N" stood for "North." Sigh. There's apparently a compass I hadn't previously noticed. Great, I'm never going to live this down. Go ahead and laugh-someday you'll be old too.
I really wouldn't laugh if I were you.
I have a heavy purse I can hit you with.
1960's/70's barkcloth shift dress-thrift store in Fitchburg, Massachusetts 25 years ago
Naturalizer bag-Goodwill (I know there's matching shoes somewhere)
Sara Coventry brooch and earrings-Garage sale
I bought the Guerlain compact new about 20 years ago. I have another that holds small brushes as well. I miss living in a city that has a Guerlain counter in a department store. All we can get here is Shalimar and Samsara.
How about some migraine inducing patterns?
It is August, and I still hadn't worn my vintage pink heels-what is wrong with me?! I righted that wrong today, and broke out my pink bag as well. I do like matching shoes and bags, particularly when the colours are uncommon.
Ann Taylor skirt-Goodwill
Knit top-Can't remember-quite old
Carved plastic bangle-Goodwill
Pink and black bangles-Both Goodwill
Vintage Flings shoes-Sequels
Vintage seashell and plastic earrings-Estate Sale
The bake-a-thon continues. Today, we finished up the Speculaas and Springerle. Tomorrow, it is sesame honey candy, and graham crackers (wholemeal biscuits). If time permits, the coconut washboards can get baked as well. I always thought I owned a large number of biscuit tins-turns out fifteen won't make it. I'll try the shops tomorrow. I stopped in Michael's but they apparently only sell them at Christmas. I've always bought mine year 'round at Hobby Lobby, but I can't bring myself to shop there anymore. Believe me, I find it painful as I loved that place, but this case with the stolen antiquities is just too much to overlook. Anyway, if anyone knows where I can find inexpensive metal biscuit tins new when it isn't Christmas, I'd be thankful for your guidance. I noticed Big Lots was getting their Christmas stuff ready, so I'll try there tomorrow.
I'm off to get some sleep. Hope your week is going well.
Monday, August 07, 2017
To maintain a nice work/play balance in my life, Mr. ETB dragged me off to a few thrift shops we don't visit often. At the first, he found me a lovely Stratton compact from the 60's still in the original box that will now join my two others. As per Eat the Blog guidelines, two is a coincidence, three is a collection-I now have a collection of Stratton compacts. I do use them, so it isn't a complete waste of space. The same shop also yielded a 1930's taffeta-type evening gown with a million buttons up the back and side snaps. It was hanging with the nighties. That's the second time I've found vintage slip-type gowns in the nightclothes, so I now regularly check the rail. I can see where it might be confusing if you didn't know what you were looking at.
The second shop we visited was a lucky stop for brooches, a handbag, and some bracelets. A piece of California Pottery also came home with me. Photos soon-I just haven't had a chance to steam the dress.
Radostin, I dug out some black clothing to wear in summer. She makes it look effortless...I don't. Sigh. It was a good opportunity to wear this vintage tunic (yeah, another one) that always seems too much for summer, and not enough once it is cool outside.
Those massive, carved Bakelite earrings don't get worn much, but since they were being dragged out, it only seemed right to give the Bakelite ring a wear as well.
I love the way it is carved. Here's a look from another angle...
Since I was wearing old plastics, the vintage hair-comb had a day out too.
Er...the messy look is, "In". That comb could be spectacular on someone with nice hair.
Skirt-bought online from a very crappy company I won't recommend
Brooch-Etsy seller, Maisonette de Madness (Thanks, Beth for mentioning them to me)
Onyx and silver ring-Mum's
Vintage handbag-Antique mall
On our walk last evening, Danny spotted a cocoon hanging from a cobweb under a tree. Upon closer inspection, it began wriggling and a small (probably pissed off) worm stuck out a head, gave us a, WTF look, and then retreated back inside. The tree was covered with what we later figured out were Evergreen Bagworm cocoons. We brought it home, put it in a jar with some grass and straw where it promptly dragged itself, cocoon and all to the top of the jar to re-hang. It is now chilling on ,my desk. We'll know in a few weeks if it is male or female. The male emerges as a moth, but the female does not. At that point, we'll release it, but far, far away from my rosemary plants! They're terrible pests, but fascinating to watch. I suppose it might be worth mentioning to someone at the college next door that there's a bagworm infested tree outside the dorms.
I'm off to obsessively check the bagworm. Who knew my life would be this exciting?
Saturday, August 05, 2017
...antique Minton. This one set me back $2.99 but it sells online for $275.00!
The fact that it not only survived without any chips, but ended up in a Goodwill in Ralston, Nebraska is nothing short of incredible.
Let's pause for a butterfly break. We saw both of these at Wherespan lake on Friday. It was a beautiful day.
Vintage peasant skirt-Goodwill
Vintage Ultrasuede jacket (part of a suit)-Goodwill
Vintage Mexican tooled leather handbag-New Life Thrift
Tooled Leather belt-Goodwill
Cowboy boots-K Mart
Cuff bracelet-Thrift World
Vintage shell earrings-Hand-Me-Ups
Silver Sara Coventry bracelet-Thrift World
Butterfly wing bracelet-New Life Thrift
Vintage celluloid covered wagon brooch-Etsy
Fragrance-L.T. Piver Floramye (80's version)
I am closer to my State Fair outfit. I have a bid on a vintage hat. If I win the auction, I'll wear my red square dancing skirt and white peasant blouse as the hat's such a show-stopper I wouldn't want to upstage it with a dress. I'll know by next week, otherwise I'll work with the hats I already have. There's nine days between Danny's drop-off and my drop-off with the pies, so I'll have a bit more time getting myself pulled together. I made the mistake of Googling images of decorative pie crusts. Talk about intimidating! I'm not doing that again.
I do wonder at the mind that dreamed this up, and executed it so perfectly. I'm going to go with something a bit less elaborate.
Well...maybe just a bit less elaborate.
Hope you're having a nice weekend.