Thursday, April 10, 2014

This Week's Thrifty Contest Links

My friend, Suburban Diva ®, has a contest: Disney and Kohl’s are giving one of you a $50 gift card.

Marzetti has a recipe sharing contest; a chance to win a $250 gift card and coupons.

Have you seen the Clorox Periodic Table of Stains? It's on Pinterest. It's really all about using Clorox, but the images and descriptions are kind of cute. (And how many times can you say talking about stains is "cute"?) If you are member of Social Moms, you can earn points for sharing the pins -- not only the Period Table of Stains pins, but Social Moms' Cleaning & Household Tips pins too.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Economical Vintage Living Link Round-Up

Winter isn't over where I live, is it over by you? For those of you struggling with propane shortages and costs, I've tried these wonderful eheat wall panel heaters -- and I love them!

Here are 5 simple ways to make your home a little greener.

Green thumb or not, antique seed planters still work!

Whether you are going green, reconsidering the healthy aspects of dryer sheets, or just want to save money by not using them, here are 7 ways to avoid static cling in the laundry without 'em.

Speaking "7", are you making these 7 recycling mistakes?

Monday, December 16, 2013

More Things To Do With Cookie Cutters

From making cake decorations to clay projects, from batik works to felt ornaments, there's a lot you can do with cookie cutters!

This project idea comes from Brown Lillie Antiques & Vintage. There are no instructions, but it looks like a simple cut & paste craft with some additional items glued inside as well. Then just tie some lace loops for hanging.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Winter Brings Cream Soups

From the October 1932 issue of The Royal Neighbor, on Milady’s Own Page, a reminder that “oysters are not the only food which comes into its own with the ‘R’ months,” cream soups made with milk, butter, and often a cooked and stewed vegetable are welcome when wintry arrives.

Along with recipes for six different cream soups (Cream of Cauliflower Soup, Duchess Soup, Cream of Spinach Soup, Chicken Cream Soup with Noodles, Cream of Crab Soup, and Bean Consomme; click the image to get a large legible scan with all the recipes), the vintage magazine has additional tips on cream soups.

The vegetables most suitable for cream soup bases are spinach, celery, mushrooms, cauliflower, peas, carrots, potatoes and navy beans.

There are two methods for proportioning cream soups:

One method calls for three cups of thin white sauce to each cup of cooked, mashed or stewed vegetables, plus seasoning to own liking.
Thin cream soups require one cup of thin white to each cup or meat or vegetable stock and one-half cup of mashed or sieved vegetable.
Just in case you aren’t familiar with how to make a thin white sauce, here’s the recipe suggested for you, Milady: melt one tablespoon of butter in a sauce pan, blend in one tablespoon of flour, gradually stir in one cup cold milk. Stir constantly until smooth and slightly thickened.
On garnishing:
If the vegetable or meat which forms the basis of the soup fails to add color, chopped parsley adds interest to the dish as does a sparse sprinkling of paprika on top of each serving. Grated cheese or a bit of melted butter added to each bowl of soup contributes flavor, attractiveness and food value.
Now go forth and warm and nourish your family and friends with delicious cream soup!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Hot Pineapple Eggnog

In Favorite Recipes From America's Dairlyand, by the Wisconsin State Department of Agriculture, comes this recipe... The photo looks lovely, but, as I do not love eggnog, I will not be trying this, err, interesting recipe. But I would love to hear from those of you who do! (There are other vitnage beverage recipes here too: Banana Milk Fluff, Buttermilk Fruit Shake, Chocolate Mint Flip, and Eggnog Supreme.)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The History of Cake

Infographic by Foodbeast.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Cleaning Vintage & Antique Pieces

Usually, I post vintage tips here from various old publications; but here are some articles I've written recently about how to best clean vintage and antique items today:

* How to clean antique wooden furniture

* How to clean old glass bottles

(Don't worry, scanning will resume shortly!)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tips On Baking With Fats, Liquids, and Clabbering Sweet Milk

Some tips on baking from Successful Baking For Flavor & Texture by Martha Lee Anderson, copyright 1937, Church & Dwight Company. I find these tips worthy of transcribing from the image text:

Fats. Solid fats can be used interchangeably. Melted fats or oils should not be used in recipes specifying creaming of the shortening.

Liquid. The use of citrus fruit juices, lemon and orange, is the most recent accompaniment with sweet milk and baking soda for leavening. With the health-giving qualities, this new use for fruit juices in baking is widely accepted.

Sweet milk may be used in place of sour milk if clabbered artificially. To sour or clabber sweet milk quickly, place 1 1/2 tablespoonfuls of lemon juice or 1 1/3 tablespoonfuls of vinegar (white vinegar makes a whiter product) in a standard measuring cup, then fill to the one-cup mark with sweet milk. Mix well. The resulting liquid will contain as much acid as natural sour milk or buttermilk when it is at its best for baking and may be used exactly as natural sour milk or buttermilk in any baking soda recipe.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Gingerbread House Recipe & Pattern

Pages inside the Christmas Cooky Book from Wisconsin Electric Power Company; circa 1960s.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Facts About Disinfecting, Baking Soda & Other Natural Cleansers

While baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) is an excellent and safe household cleaner, there are some things you should know about it -- and other household cleaners.

Baking soda is not officially a disinfectant; it has not been rated as such by the EPA and it is known to generally not be effective against bacteria, including salmonella, E. coli. and staphylococcus. (Neither is vinegar, by the way; though the 5% acetic acid in vinegar does kill some bacteria and viruses, it does not, for example, kill staphylococcus.) However, regular cleaning and good-old-fashioned elbow-grease will address most household cleaning concerns -- including with simple baking soda, vinegar, and basic soap and hot water.

In fact, even when there are flu outbreaks, reasons to fear bacterial infections, persons with weak immune systems in the home, and other reasons to really be concerned, a good scrubbing with simple cleansers and hot water are the place to start. While you do want to remove the dirt and avoid the perfect conditions for bad things to grow in, you don't want to over-strip our world from the good stuff -- the good bacterias which naturally keep the bad bacterias at bay. And even when bad stuff is present, you have to scrub away the dirt to get to the bad stuff itself.

For example, a recent study found that one of the difficulties in disinfecting salmonella was in getting past the biofilms. In the study, rice vinegar just couldn't get past the biofilms (the slimy stuff that forms in wet or humid conditions) do disinfect as well as expected. In other words, scrub that cutting board good and hard using hot soapy water -- and then, if you feel it's warranted, apply the disinfectant. It's similar to how vegetables need to be scrubbed to really remove the pesticides.

You might not want to believe me. But how about believing Professor Peter Collignon?

Collignon is the Director of the Infectious Diseases Unit and Microbiology at the Canberra Hospital, a Professor at the Medical School of the Australian National University, and a member of the World Health Organization's Advisory Group on Integrated Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance (AGISAR). Here's what he has to say on the subject in Clean-freak nation:

"The basic good hygiene your mother and grandmother would teach you, washing your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap, is normally enough," [Collignon] says. "But in high-risk situations, alcohol hand rubs are useful and effective. In the kitchen, too, alcohol cleaners are handy, but that doesn't replace good food-handling practices such as proper preparation, refrigeration, no cross-contamination and thorough cooking. And it certainly doesn't mean that if your hands are clean you can eat what you like without a risk of food poisoning. The best thing for killing bugs in food is heating them."

In another interview, Collignon said:

You've got to clean the surface first and that's usually enough. Then you have to ask yourself whether you need to disinfect at all. For the kitchen sink, for example, you probably don't need anything except cleaning. ...We over-use chemicals. Instead of using one unit, we use 1000 units, and the benefits are marginal. All of us would like to use a magic potion so that we don't have to use the elbow grease. But that's a false premise.
Yes, over-use of chemicals -- including disinfectants -- is part of the antibiotic-resistant superbug problem

If and when you are concerned by flu, virus, bacteria and other such outbreaks (and you can keep up with them at the outbreaks page at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC website), you can then add official disinfectants to your cleaning. Bleach is a good standard; and Seventh Generation makes a line of disinfectant products which uses botanicals to kill over 99.99% of household germs, including Influenza A viruses (such as H1N1, Rhinovirus type 37 aka the Common Cold virus), Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella enterica, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

In most cases, scrubbing with baking soda or soap with hot water is enough. If you want to follow that up with some vinegar on cutting boards and counter tops, that's fine; if you have a real reason to worry, follow your scrubbing with a stronger disinfectant. But most of us do not need to do this every time we clean the kitchen or bathroom.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Easy & Inexpensive Snack Sandwiches

These recipes are from The Way To His Heart “A Cookbook with a Personality”, copyright 1941, Priscilla Wayne Sprague, published by Western Grocer Company (makers of Jack Sprat Foods). Details on the cookbook and its history is here.

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