Saturday, December 12, 2015

What To Get Him For Christmas?

From the Bismarck (ND) Tribune, 12/18/1913, a helpful article anticipating just how hard it is to find presents for guys.  I love how, a hundred years ago, they, too, lamented the fact that everyone gives a tie -- no matter how unbecoming or absurd -- as the generic go-to gift for men!


Useful Offerings That Every Man Is Sure to Appreciate

A man is only a man after all, and he likes useful gifts, no matter who he may be.  If you are wealthy or if your income is quite moderate the following gift suggestions may be adopted, as they are things that may cost only a little or may be quite expensive:

It is rather curious that women's one idea of a gift to a man is a cravat, for it is the one thing that a man detests having selected for him.  But a man can nearly always wager that a woman will get him a cravat of a color that is not becoming to him or one that is too absurd to wear.  And yet hundreds of thousands of women insist upon giving cravats for Yuletide gifts!

If you are overpowered by this idea please have a little mercy on mankind and select black and white cravats, for they are smart and becoming to every man.  Silk knitted ties are again in vogue, especially those that are three to four inches wide.  Ties of heavy faconne silks are also indorsed by London.

Something Unique in Handkerchiefs.

 Handkerchiefs are always welcomed by a man if you give him plain white and do not attempt to choose colors for him unless you are his wife and know absolutely whether he prefers blue, lavender, green, gray, or another color.  To make the handkerchiefs more gifty have his initials embroidered in a unique design.
 The handkerchiefs in the {picture} are exceedingly new and attractive.  The initial is worked on a square of lace in fillet design.  If one is not expeditious with the needle the all over fillet net in the mesh could be purchased and cut up into the required size for the squares.

Leather Gifts.

 It is nearly always a man's fate to receive an abundance of unnecessary leather articles at Yuletide.  There are men who never fail to get at least six leather mounted desk calendars and as many stamps and elastic bandboxes.  Of course these are needfuls, but the man who possesses a desk generally has all such articles.

Wallets and cardcases are always usable, and a man is pleased if he gets them in the latest styles every Christmas.

A leather traveling case makes a delightful gift if it is of the best quality--not all the investment in the case, but in the fittings too.  It reflects better taste if you give a small and beautifully fitted case rather than one filled with a shoddy toilet collection and a cleaning apparatus.

 A fitted travelling bag makes a superior gift if you wish to expend that much money--$25 or more.  If so, it is advisable to get ivory, imitation ivory, or ebony fittings, as they are not quite so heavy as those of silver.  The man who travels will be pleased to death with the nearly put up leather case seen in the illustration that is filled with scissors of different sizes and a penknife.  And for the man who rides horseback what more appropriate than the whisk broom holder mounted in a stirrup setting?

I can almost guarantee that the "guy gifts" section at Kohl's -- the refuge of every person with a hard-to-buy-for-dude in their life -- is full of pretty much the same things: toiletry kits, things to clean up with, handkerchiefs.  Dads and other guys have been opening the same presents, every Christmas, for a hundred years!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Holiday Delights: The "Macaroon Of The Month" Recipe For December

As always, we begin each Macaroon Of The Month recipe with the basic recipe for Lever House Macaroons from Aunt Jenny's Old-Fashioned Christmas Cookies & Other All-Time Favorites. Bonus: It includes a gift idea!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Cinnamon Sugar Plums: The "Macaroon Of The Month" Recipe

November's Macaroon Of The Month begins with this vintage recipe.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Vintage Macaroon Of The Month Recipe For October (& Halloween!)

Orange 'N' Date Macaroons are the Macaroon Of The Month. (Remember, the basic recipe is here!)

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Vintage Macaroon Of The Month Recipe For September

Spicy Apple "Macs" for school lunches!  The basic recipe begins here, with the Lever House Macaroons recipe from 1952's Aunt Jenny's Old-Fashioned Christmas Cookies & Other All-Time Favorites.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Vintage "Macroon Of The Month" Recipe For August

Peanut Macaroons are suggested to be served with minted fruit juices. ...I'm not sure I'm down with trying that. Again, the basic recipe you begin with is here.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Vintage Praline Macaroon Recipe

The Macaroon Of The Month recipe for July is Praline Macaroons. In keeping with the Mid-Century Modern lifestyle, these cookies are said to be perfect for picnics -- and, served with sugared berries or chilled melon balls, a hit at garden suppers.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Sugar-Crisp Tea Macaroons

The Macaroon Of The Month recipe (which starts with this basic Lever House Macaroon recipe) is Sugar-Crisp Tea Macaroons. It's supposed to be fabulous for bridal showers and weddings.

Have you been trying the Macaroon Of The Month cookie recipes? If so, please do tell us how it is going!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Cutting & Chopping Food Tips

More tips from Cookies Galore (by Frances Barton, General Foods Corporation, copyright 1956).

Friday, May 1, 2015

Vintage Crunchy Coco-Roon Recipe

Crunchy Coco-Roons is May's Macaroon Of The Month  -- that's a lot of "M"s!

This recipe, and the basic recipe you start with, are from Aunt Jenny's Old-Fashioned Christmas Cookies & Other All-Time Favorites.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Is Your Bed Dirty?

You may know why we do the laundry, but Missy Tannen, president of luxury linen company Boll & Branch, says we are doing it wrong.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Tips On Storing Cookies

These tips on storing cookies come from Cookies Galore (from Frances Barton of the General Foods Corporation, copyright 1956).

Store cookies in a refrigerator if they are the no-bake type. Store baked cookies in a tightly covered metal or earthenware container. To soften cookies, keep a piece of fresh apple in the cooky jar.

Best of all is the adorable photo tip: A cookie jar should have a tight lid, "but not so tight a small boy can't raid the jar." *wink*

Monday, April 6, 2015

How To Identify Common Garden Insects

Clear illustrations on identifying common garden pests from 4-H Bulletin number 52, the 4-H Vegetable Gardener, from the Michigan State College Cooperative Extension Service, East Lansing. Second printing of First Revision, June 1953. NOTE: The suggested treatments may be vastly out of date. This is posted as a guide for identification.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April's "Macaroon Of The Month" Recipe: Scottish Cookie-Roons

From Aunt Jenny's Old-Fashioned Christmas Cookies & Other All-Time Favorites, here's the recipe for Scottish Cookie-Roons. Don't forget to start with the basic recipe here!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Where Are My Vintage Cookbook Fans?

I found this nifty quote on a Facebook Page called Cookbook Love. If you love -- or even hate lol -- vintage cookbooks, you should follow the Page. And the blog too.

From that Page, I found another cool Page, Vintage Recipe Cards, which also has a website. Worthy of following and reading as well.

Anyway,  back to the quote...

I wrote about this a bit at my personal blog before and it's why I've amassed quite a collection! I do share some of the practical things, including recipes, here at Things Your Grandmother Knew; but my main interest is in the cultural stuff. Anyone else collect cookbooks? If so, for the recipes or the culture? Comment here or on my Facebook Page. I really do want to hear from you! Thanks!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Molded Sugar Cubes

From a 1956 Wilton's molds booklet, details on using candy molds to make fancy sugars for hot and cold beverages. This would be great for teas, wedding & bridal showers, and other fancy events. "Remember," it says, "you can make them in advance and keep them for weeks, ready to use whenever you have guests."

The recipe (from page 3):

Sugar Mix

Sugar Mix is easily prepared by mixing 3 teaspoons of slightly beaten egg white to two cups of sugar and adding color to suit.

Details of how to use the mix in the molds, including swift drying, are below.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Getting Ready To Garden? Simple 25-By-50-Foot Vegetable Garden Plan

From a vintage 4-H vegetable gardening booklet comes this handy little chart on succession planting. While the veggie varieties are suitable to northern climates (specifically Michigan, where it was published) there are sound ideas for the beginning gardener.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Monthly Vintage Macaroon Recipes

In 1952's Aunt Jenny's Old-Fashioned Christmas Cookies & Other All-Time Favorites (a promotional cook booklet featuring Spry shortening) there was a "Macaroon Of The Month Calendar" -- naturally, I had to share it. *wink*

Each recipe begins with this basic recipe for Lever House Macaroons...

And then there's a variation for each month. March's Macaroon Recipe is for Banana Nutties. (There are, of course, options for making them green for Saint Patrick's Day -- sorry I didn't find it earlier!)

Let me know if you make them!

How To Pack Cookies For Mailing

If you're packing cookies to send to those in the military or folks a bit closer to home, there are some great tips in Cookies Galore (from Frances Barton, Consumer Service Department, General Foods Corporation, copyright 1956). While many of these are pretty basic, I found the part about the best cookies to ship helpful.

Monday, March 9, 2015

I Would Vacuum More If My Dogs Did This

They bark & run, but nothing this spectacular! (Via.)

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Hot Under The Collar, Little Woman? Cool Off Freezing Pies

As I said at my other blog, I've been collecting cookbooks and cook booklets primarily for the little cultural asides. One of these examples is 1952's Aunt Jenny's 12 Pies Husbands Like Best Recipe Book, a promotional cook booklet featuring Lever Brothers Spry "Homogenized" pure vegetable shortening). Naturally, the title was reminiscent of the 1950s "little woman cooking for Daddy" phenom, much like the premise of The Way To His Heart.

While equal parts amusing and frustrating, the vintage booklet also provides recipes and facts. The facts that currently catch my fancy revel in the "miracle" of freezing pies. Tips include when to cut steam vents in crusts and thawing pie shells in an oven (as this is before microwave ovens).

Friday, March 6, 2015

Basic Rules For Firebuilding

From Betty Crocker's Outdoor Cook Book (1961), basic rules for fire building on the grill.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Unusual Vintage Pudding Dessert Recipe

We've all heard the expression, "a face for radio," right? Well, what does that say about Radio Pudding?

I'd never heard of such a thing until I paged through a cookbook from the 1930s called Butter-Made Is Better Made. After reading the recipe, I'm pretty sure this is a dessert made for a radio stomach. But you tell me... Does it sound yummy? And if you make it, pretty please tell me!

UPDATE: 1/29/2014 The amazing S.S. tried it and posted a complete review at A Book Of Cookrye. She's got a contest there too, so if you love recipes be sure to enter!

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