Monday, September 29, 2014

Vintage Radios

I got to thinking about living rooms and radios.  While I like the new Crosley radios that are out there, I also go to thinking about vintage radios and where to find them.  I'm in Alaska and vintage radios aren't easy to come by.  I don't know if they get dumped or if people just keep them around.  The radios that I'm interested in are bakelite radios.

Phil's Old Radios - Bakelite
There seems to be a good varied selection at Phil's Old Radios, but they really aren't for sale.  Its a good place to kind of get an idea of designs you're interested in.

Its Bakelite!
You can totally order old bakelite radios from It's Bakelite!  You can place a bid or do an instant buy.

Etsy: Bakelite Radios
There are some bakelite radios being sold on etsy.  Prices vary.

Ebay: Bakelite Radio
Another site where you can bid or do an instant buy on bakelite radios!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Trying to Arrange My Life

I've been working on a business plan for a rockabilly retail store.  I feel like its a step in the right direction for getting my life in order.  I can be an independent business woman.  My store will simply be called "Hepkats" and will cater to men and women.

While doing this, I've been asking myself a lot of "What am I doing with my life?"  The basics of what I want are: a dog (got one!), a house, my own business, and to find a cool place to live in.

I know I've mentioned this before, but sometimes things need to be said again.

I've been talking to my guy about this and he's....a little wishy-washy on it.  He's looking for more students for his school so he can make ends meet.  If that fails (which I hope it doesn't) then he's pretty dead set on packing his shit up, sulking, and walking America until he can get his shit together.  I will admit to not being a big fan of this idea.  I made the suggestion of the two of us going on a roadtrip because he shouldn't be alone to deal with something like that.

We've been talking about the Ohio River Valley and Pennsylvania - to move too.  Don't know what's going on with that, but he has friends in PA and so do I.  I think that he might have more luck with a taekwondo school in PA though.

If anything I can get my business plan in order and then figure things out from there.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Vintage Halloween Treats

 Every Halloween, its easy to find recipes for modern Halloween treats whether you’re standing at the checkout line at the grocery store or browsing through your favorite blogs. Most of the time you’ll find recipes for overly cliche food items and almost nothing from times past. As a baker, and a homespun gourmet cook, I have poked and proded through the tombs of time for Halloween recipes from the 1940s and 1950s. Heck, I’ve even made them and took pictures just for you readers.

Cut-Out Gingersnap Cookies

This recipe hails from 1945. During WWII sugar was scarce, so it was suggested that people use molasses as a sweetener. Of course, it was also suggested to hand out these cookies to trick or treaters, but that was before modern-day paranoia about treats and strangers.

¾ cup Shortening
1 cup Granulated Sugar
¼ cup Molasses
1 Egg
2 cups Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Salt
½ tsp Ground Ginger
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Have ungreased cookie sheets at hand and cookie cutter (I used a 2-½ inch diameter cutter)
2. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening, sugar and molasses. Add the egg and beat well.
3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, ginger and cinnamon.
4. Add the flour mixture gradually to the shortening mixture and mix well.
5. Turn dough out on a lightly floured board. Roll 1/8 to ¼ inch thick and cut with a floured cookie cutter.
6. Place on ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
7. Bake @ 375 degrees F for approximately 10 minutes until cookies are golden brown on top. Remove cookies to a wire rack to cool.

Orange Jack O Lantern Salad

This recipe is from 1940 and was designed as a healthy appetizer for kids or adults. It would be great for dinner parties.

4 Large Oranges
16 Dates
1 cup Small Marshmallows

1. Cut the tops off of each orange and very carefully scoop out the fruit without going through the peel.
2. Once each orange is free of fruit, carve out jack o lantern faces on each orange.
3. Chop up the fruit of the orange and place into a mixing bowl. Chop up the dates and make sure they are free of their pits. Add the dates and marshmallows to the mixing bowl and gently toss.
4. Fill each carved orange with the salad mixture and serve.

Tell-Your-Fortune Cake

This is a classic Halloween party cake that remained popular through the 1950s and was usually some sort of spicy cake. It requires having a key for symbols available while people eat. Its suggested that you find charms at a craft store. Be sure they are metal. This particular cake isn’t frosted, but it could be if that’s what you prefer.

2 cups Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Allspice
2 Eggs
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Shortening
3/4 cup Milk
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 cup Graham Crackers, crushed fine
1 TBSP Sugar
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
2 TBSP Melted Butter

Ring - Marriage to come.
Dime or Diamond - An increase of wealth.
Safety Pin or Bottle - A baby on the way.
Airplane - Travel in the near future.
Horseshoe - Incredible luck.
Fish - Meetings with people.
Chair - Lots of company.
Gun - Quick to act.
Button - Bachelor.
Thimble - Old Maid.

For the Cake:
1. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice together in a bowl.
2. Cream together eggs, sugar, and shortening in a mixer.
3. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Add in the milk and vanilla.
4. Turn into a greased 9 by 9 pan and hide the charms in the batter so each future slice will have a charm.
5. For the topping, combine crushed graham crackers with sugar, cinnamon and melted butter. Sprinkle over cake.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. Cool for an hour.

Tell-Your-Fortune Cake with Chocolate Graham Cracker topping.  The cake is great, but a little dry.  I'd recommend having cream cheese frosting available or throwing in a 1/2 cup of applesauce to the cake mix for moisture.

Hot Spiced Cider

This recipe comes from the Bureau of Home Economics from 1940. I’ve adjusted the recipe for a larger party.

1 gallon Apple Cider
1 cup Sugar
4 Cinnamon Stick
12-24 Whole Cloves
24 Whole Allspice
1/2 tsp Salt

1. In a pot on the stove, add the apple cider and sugar. Turn the stove on med-high.
2. Cut each cinnamon stick into 8 pieces. Add the cinnamon stick pieces, cloves, allspice, and salt to the pot. Let this come to a boil.
3. Once the pot boils, turn off the heat and remove the whole spices. Let this set up for an hour.
4. Heat this on the stove again before serving. It should be hot.

NOTE: The Bureau of Home Economics suggests serving this with doughnuts.

Popcorn Balls

This is a recipe direct from 1944. This is a Halloween classic!

1-1/2 cups Sugar
1 cup Water
2 TBSP Vinegar
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Vanilla
4 cups Popcorn
2 cups Nuts (peanuts, pecans, etc)

1. In a pot, mix the sugar, water, vinegar, and salt together. Boil these until the mixture reaches 250F/121.1C, or until the syrup hardens when you drop in a few drops of cold water.
2. Once you’ve reached the proper temperature, add in your vanilla.
3. Have your nuts and popcorn in a large bowl, then add in your syrup. Quickly mix these all together with a big spoon.
4. Let the mixture cool enough so you can handle it. Grease your hands with butter or lard and form the mixture into balls. Let them dry on waxed paper.

Libby’s Original Pumpkin Pie

This recipe comes to you direct from 1950. It’s still printed on the cans of Libby’s Canned Pumpkin and it’s the recipe my family always uses.

3/4 cups Sugar
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
1/4 tsp Ground Cloves
2 large Eggs
1 can LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin (15 oz)
1 can NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk (12 fl oz)
1 unbaked 9-inch deep-dish pie shell

1. In a bowl, mix the sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and cloves together.
2. Add the eggs to the mixture and beat.
3. Stir in the pumpkin.
4. Gradually stir in the evaporated milk.
5. Pour pumpkin pie mixture into the pie shell.
6. Bake in preheated oven at 425F for 15 minutes.
7. Reduce heat to 350F and bake for 40-50 minutes. Test with a knife, after inserting it into the pie it should come out clean.
8. Let the pie cool for 2 hours and serve.

Deviled Eggs

This is a Betty Crocker recipe from the 1950s. Deviled eggs are always a great appetizer and when it comes to Halloween, food with the word “Deviled” in it is always a plus. This is incredibly easy and fast to make.

6 Eggs, hard-cooked and peeled
3 TBSP Mayonaise or Salad Dressing
1/2 tsp Ground Mustard
1/8 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Pepper

1. Cut eggs lengthwise in half. Slip out yolks and mash with fork.
2. Stir in mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper. Fill whites with egg yolk mixture, heaping it lightly. Cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours.

Pigs in a Blanket

In 1956, pigs in a blanket was a Halloween party food according to Betty Crocker. They’re easy to eat and easy to make.

2 cups Bisquick Mix
1/2 cup Water
12 Frankfurters

1. Preheat oven to 425F.
2. In a bowl, mix the bisquick mix and water. Gently smooth dough into a ball on floured cloth-covered board. Knead 5 times. Roll dough with lightly floured stockinet-covered rolling pin into square, 12×12 inches.
3. Cut square into 12 equal rectangles by cutting into 4 long strips, then cutting each strip crosswise into rectangles, 4×3 inches.
4. Wrap each rectangle of dough around 1 frankfurter.
5. Pinch edge of rectangle into dough to seal. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes. Serve hot with catsup.

If you’re so inclined to have a selection of candy used in the 1940s or 1950s for Halloween, here’s what you should know: in the 1940s there was a sugar shortage due to WWII and typically nuts, cookies, and popcorn were passed out. Candy corn, made with honey, and jelly beans were also passed out as sweets to trick or treaters. By the 1950s, sugar was back on the shelves and the list of trick or treat candy had grown long. According to the Washington Post, these were quite popular: Goeltiz Candy Corn, Brachs Harvest Jelly Beans, Brach's Harvest Panned Mix, Hershey's Kisses, Hershey's Miniatures, Butter Cream Pumpkins (pound bulk), Fleers Double Bubble Gum, Pure Sugar Apples, Jordan Almonds, Goetzes Caramel Creams, Reed's Buterscotch Squares, Midgee Tootsie Rolls, Starlight Kisses, Roasted Peanuts in Shell, Tootsie Roll Handi Pak, Chocolate Bridge Mixture, Spiced Jelly Drops, Chocolate Nonpareils, and Fireside Marshmallows.


Classic Deviled Eggs. Betty Crocker Recipes. 2014: General Mills.

Halloween Treats. US Dept. of Agriculture. Washington DC, 1945: United States Department of Agriculture, Office of Information, Radio Service.

Hallowe’en Snacks. US Dept. of Agriculture. Washington DC, 1944: United States Department of Agriculture, Office of Information, Radio Service.

Hints For Halloween. US Dept. of Agriculture. Washington DC, 1940: United States Department of Agriculture, Office of Information, Radio Service.

Libby’s Pumpkin Pie Original Recipe from 1950. Libby’s Pumpkin Pie. 2013: Nestle Food.

Pigs in A Blanket. Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book, revised and enlarged second edition. New York, 1956: McGraw-Hill Book Company:New York.

“Trick or Treat Candies.” Washington Post. October 28, 1951 (p. M7)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Early Halloween Gift Basket

My sister started dating this guy named Matt back in March.  Matt has three boys between the ages of 6-12 that I have never met.  In fact, I don't really know much about Matt.  My sister and my nephew are now experiencing a full house with a grand total of 6 people.  That's a lot, especially since it was just 2 people for a long time.  Since I don't really know these guys too well, I decided that this year its going to be a gift basket year!  Something for everyone!

The full gift basket, decorated with a garland of fall leaves, a fake snake, glittery clip-on spiders, and glittery clip-on crows.

This is the wine that's in the gift basket: Zombie Zin.

 I went to Michael's and found a 6-pack of plain milk bottles with caps.  Then I found some round Halloween stickers and these black label stickers.  Each cap has a round sticker on it and is filled with candy.  I chose Hot Tamales, Chocolate-Peanut Butter Eyeballs, Chocolate-covered Almonds, Gummy Worms, Candy Corn, and Black Licorice.

So what's the rest of the stuff in that basket?
  • R.L. Stine book
  • Christopher Pike book
  • The Vampire's Assistant (movie)
  • Cider Spice Mix
  • Pumpkin Scone Mix
  • An Articulated Skeleton Arm
  • 4 Hotlix Scorpion Lollipops (they have a real scorpion in them)
I thought this was a good mix for them.  They can have a sugar-high night with a not-so-scary movie and my sister and Matt can try out that zombie wine.  She left work, so I left the gift basket on her chair. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

High-Bush Cranberry Gelatin Salad

High-Bush Cranberry Gelatin Salad

4 cups High-Bush Cranberries
1-1/2 cups Water
1/2 cup Sweetener (I use Wax Orchard's Fruit Sweet)
1 tsp Lemon Juice
3 packets Knox Gelatin (unflavored)
2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
1/2 cup Sweetener (dry - sugar, splenda, etc)

1. Make sure your cranberries are clean and stem free.  I picked my own, so this was totally necessary.
2. Place the cranberries, water, and sweetener into a pan.  Place this on the stove on med-high.
Lemon juice
Water and fruit sweet
Knox gelatin

3.As soon as the water is very warm, add one packet of Knox gelatin.  Don't mix it or it will clump.  Sprinkle the gelatin over the top of the berries, let that soak into the water, then do it again until your packet of gelatin is soaked in.  Now you can stir it around.

4. Let your mixture boil for 20-30 minutes.
5. Get yourself a large bowl and a wire mesh strainer.  Dump your berries into the strainer, over the bowl.  Using a silicon spatula, press your berries to get all of the juice out while leaving the seeds in the strainer.  This should take you about 10 minutes of pressing and scraping the juice/pulp build up from the underside of the mesh strainer.  Throw the seeds in the strainer away.

Gelatin just added to my cranberries, soaking.
6. Once you have your strained juice and pulp, place your liquid back into your pot.  Heat this mixture up on medium heat, but don't boil it.  If you think you need a little extra liquid, add up to 1 cup of water.
7. Slowly add in your gelatin.  Sprinkle some gelatin, let it soak in, sprinkle more, let it soak in, etc.  Add in both remaining packets.
8. In a rectangular baking dish, place your cranberry gelatin mixture.  For a faster cooling time, put your baking dish in the freezer for 15 minutes to chill it before you put your gelatin mixture in.  Once your mixture is in the baking dish, put in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours, or until it sets up firmly.
Strained juice and pulp
9. Once your gelatin is firm, whip your whipping cream (in a mixer with a whisk attachment) until it is stiff.  Add in your sugar and whip for another 30-45 seconds.
10. In a large bowl, scrape out your gelatin mixture and break it down into small pieces with a silicon spatula.  Add your whipped cream to the bowl.  Now GENTLY fold the gelatin and whipped cream together.  This might take you 5-10 minutes, but it keeps it light and fluffy.

Folding is the act of a very gentle, controlled stir.  Essentially you're picking up the mixture, flipping your utensil over, and then you're presented with the bottom portion being on the top.  You can gently press this to further mix it.  Repeat.

11. Put in a lovely serving bowl and eat away!  I should have taken a picture of my finished product, but I didn't.  Sorry.  It was super tasty though!

Savory Salmon Cheesecake

I do a lot of baking and cooking, as you might have picked up on.  One thing that I have been making for the last few years is a savory salmon cheesecake.  Its a fun way to serve dinner and it also makes for an interesting addition to a dinner party.

Savory Salmon Cheesecake
Smoked Salmon Cheesecake still in the pan

1-1/4 cup Breadcrumbs (plain or seasoned)
3 TBSP Butter, melted

5 cups Cream Cheese
6 Eggs
1/4 cup Heavy Cream
1 tsp Garlic
2 tsp Dill
8oz Smoked Salmon
1/4 Onion
1/4 Tomato
3 TBSP Mustard

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. In a cheesecake pan (a springform), lay down a piece of waxed paper along the bottom.  Make sure its fairly flat.
3. In a measuring cup, melt the butter for the crust and then add in the breadcrumbs.  With a fork, mix the two ingredients together.  Put this mixture into the cheesecake pan and lightly press it down.
4. In a mixer, add in the cream cheese, eggs, and the heavy cream.  Let this mix until fairly smooth.  I recommend scraping the sides a few times and letting it mix some more.
5. While your mixer is mixing, dice up the onion, tomato, and smoked salmon.  Once you have these diced up, add them to the mixer.  Be sure to scrape the sides before starting the mixer again.
6. Add in the garlic, dill, and mustard.
7. When your cheesecake mixture is light and fluffy (as fluffy as cream cheese can be), pour the mixture into the cheesecake pan.  Spread out the mixture so its evenly spread out in the pan.
8. Bake for 50-70 minutes or until golden and with the consistency of hot pumpkin pie (not completely firm).

If you want to spice it up, try some of these:
  • 1 cup  Parmesean Cheese
  • 2 TBSP Parsley
  • 1/4 cup Smoked Salmon Vodka
  • 1 cup Steamed Asparagus Tips
  • Cover the top of the cheesecake with French's Fried Onions
  • Make mini-cheesecakes in ramekins

Monday, September 8, 2014

Busy Weekend

I had a busy weekend, so this should be a long post.

Let me start with clothing.

I found some socks at Sam's Club yesterday called Darn Tough.  They're lightweight, super durable wool socks.I like the retro packaging.  If I wear these socks out, then I can return them for a free pair at any time since there's a lifetime guarantee.  I haven't taken them out of the packaging yet, so I can't say how comfy they are or whatever.  I'm thinking about adding them to the inventory list for my rockabilly store business plan.  The men's socks had a working man on the back.

We had a garage sale the other weekend, but with stuff from like 5 different people.  My mom found a pair of blue gingham overalls that she tucked away for me.  They're so weird.  The Cupie Dolls across the front are a little creepy.  The brand is Cookie House.  I can't find any information on them at all.  I'm not actually sure if they're a fashion hit or miss.  I need to think more about it I suppose.

I really don't know what to do with this jumper thing.

Weird right?

Maybe its just a fashion dud.
I also made a short trip on Saturday to Spirit Halloween and to Value Village with my friend April (check out her blog: She Knits in Pearls).  I have a photoshoot coming up on the 20th and was out looking for stuff to add to my devil costume.  I don't have any pictures yet, but of course, when I have photos back from the photoshoot, I'll share them.  I did find a nice blank red bustier at Spirit.  I'm not quite sure what I'm going to add to it to make it what I want, but its a good base.  Its been a long time since I went out shopping with someone other than my mom.  I think the girls are going to have to get together for a Halloween party.

Sunday we went for a 3 hour hike.  My dad got to carry his gun around.  My mom and I looked for chaga - only found a tiny little bit. :(  I collected about 4 or 5 cups of high bush cranberries.  :)  I'm not sure what I'll make, but it will be delicious!

Lots of birch, but no chaga


Two other scoundrels that went with us on our outing. :)  Kenai and Neit

Monday, September 1, 2014

Feeding My Man

I don't live near my man quite yet, but I'm looking at different diets and recipes for feeding him.  Sounds easy, but he has AIP (acute intermittent porphyria).  That's right, porphyria - the vampire disease.  What this means is that he has weird blood production.

Wikipedia (and other websites) say:
Acute intermittent porphyria (AIP) is a rare autosomal dominant metabolic disorder affecting the production of heme, the oxygen-binding prosthetic group of hemoglobin. It is characterized by a deficiency of the enzyme porphobilinogen deaminase.

As well as:
A Swedish study indicated that approximately 90% of cases of acute intermittent porphyria are due to a mutation that causes decreased amounts of the enzyme, and to a lesser degree by a mutation that causes decreased activity of each enzyme molecule.
Under normal circumstances, heme synthesis begins in the mitochondrion, proceeds into the cytoplasm, and finishes back in the mitochondrion. However, without porphobilinogen deaminase, a necessary cytoplasmic enzyme, heme synthesis cannot finish, and the metabolite porphobilinogen accumulates in the cytoplasm.
 I've been on the phone with my guy when he has an attack.  His legs usually seize up and he's in constant pain.  Its terrible to listen to and its terrible to know that there's not a damned thing I can do.  Having a thyroid problem myself, I know that diet can do a lot.  I eat paleo.  So what do people with AIP need to eat?  My guy always tells me that he has to eat chocolate - which he loves to consume.

I came across some blogs that seem to be a little helpful.
I ventured out to Barnes & Noble today on a quest to look at various specialty diet cookbooks.  Of course, they didn't have anything on AIP dietary needs.  I had to rely on what I knew from my brief readings on AIP diets and from what my guy has told me over the last two years.  He needs carbohydrates, so paleo and atkins are out.  I know he has blood sugar issues, but I'm not sure if I should look at the diabetes cookbooks - so I just nixed that.  I picked up The Complete Idiot's Guide to The Mediterranean Diet and ended up buying it after briefly looking through it.

The Mediterranean Diet  - If you're going to put a plate together should primarily be made up of
fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes.  Meat should be lean, preferably seafood, fowl, eggs, dairy, yogurt; little or no red meat.  Little or no sweets (like overly sugary crap).  Processed foods are a big NO.  A glass of wine or red grape juice is encouraged - one glass a day.  Instead of juice or tea or whatever, drink water...lots and lots of water.  Use olive oil or coconut oil as your main cooking oils and in place of butter.

Does that sound like a good diet plan for those with AIP?  I'm really looking for some feedback since I'm new to the AIP thing.  I love to cook and I don't want to make my guy food that's going to bring on some fucked up AIP attack.  He is also trying to drop some weight.  Tips anyone?