Sunday, 31 May 2015

Adventures In Stitchcraft - Still Travelling In 1934

We still have time to spend in 1934 as I have not yet shown you the April 1934 edition of Stitchcraft.

First I thought I would share some of the recipes from these two issues. Would you cook any of these 1934 recipes?

February 1934 shares cooked breakfast recipes.

'Variety is the spice of life! Why not occasionally make a change from the usual bacon-and-egg breakfast routine? Something a little different need not necessarily entail extra trouble. In many of the recipes that follow much of the preparation can be done the day before, leaving only the actual cooking in the morning, when time is precious.
Most households have adopted the American habit of serving a cereal at breakfast, and a very good habit it is, especially in winter time. "Shredded Wheat" is a universal favourite and being bought all ready to serve, is a great time-saver.'

Product placement already in the 30s! And there it is on the second page, the convenient advertisement for the Shredded Wheat that the author of the cooking article so highly recommends.
We used to eat this as children. I'm not sure if it is still in production - probably too boring for modern palates!

Some breakfast cereal advertisements from 1934. Certainly not the variety and sugar-laden types we see!

It is pretty difficult to read these pages, so I will list the recipes:

  • Curry Balls - basically rice and minced leftover roast meat
  • Fish Scallops - fish in white sauce baked in scallop shells
  • Egg and Potato Medley - boiled potatoes, hard boiled eggs, chopped tongue or ham
  • Herring Roes with Bacon
  • Fried Cod's Roe
  • Devilled Sausages - fried sausages wrapped in bread that has been fried in butter and curry powder
  • Egg Cutlets - hard boiled egg mixed with white sauce, shaped into cakes, coated in breadcrumbs and fried
  • Verona Patties - minced cold meat, seasoned and cooked in bread cases
  • Scrambled Eggs in Pastry Cases
  • Kidneys in Potato Nests - kidneys are chopped small, fried, than placed in nests made of mashed potato
  • Hot Spiced Fish - using leftover white fish, cooked in a Worcestershire sauce and served on toast
  • Eggs A La Cintra - hard boiled eggs, with the yolks mashed with bacon, mustard, parsley; spooned back into whites, covered with cheese and baked
No pictures in the magazine, so we can only imagine what they looked like.

In April 1934, the recipe feature was candies, with the wonderful Mary Blake sharing some recipes for home-made candies. Now these sound pretty delicious!

'A great variety of delicious fudges and toffees can be very easily made at home, and making sweets is a fascinating occupation.'

Some advertisements and packaging for toffees from 1934.

Recipes include:
  • Chocolate Fudge
  • Russian Toffee
  • Everton Toffee
  • Caramel Walnuts
  • Coconut Ice
  • Chocolate Truffles
  • Fruit Toffee
  • Turkish Delight - my favourite!
  • Cream Bon-Bons
  • Coffee Nut Fudge
  • Choc-Rock
  • Chocolate Toffee
Here is a recipe from 1934 for Old English Butterscotch.

And isn't this the sweetest photo?! The little girl's hat is just divine.

Eating toffee apples at the Ipswich Show 1934

Progress on the Shoulders jumper is slow. Coming along, but slowly! I have completed seven pattern repeats - the pattern calls for twelve repeats, but I will have to check the length at that time to see if it needs extra length.

And this will be my project from the February 1934 issue. 

In the original pattern, the daisies are actually embroidered over little brass curtain rings to give them some height. But I will just embroider them without the rings.

A while ago, I found this linen mix fabric on super markdown special, so I purchased quite a bit. I made some of it into tea towels, just waiting for embroidery or applique. I have made a few for swaps (and sent them off without taking photos, I am sad to say!)

Do you like these colour choices?

Thanks for joining me again for Adventures In Stitchcraft. At this rate, I should be about 100 years old when it is completed!

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Come To The Circus!

When I was a child, I loved Enid Blyton and loved the circus books. I absolutely wanted to run away and live with the circus! 

And the circus is in town! 
Silvers Circus is here for six shows and we went this afternoon. It was super expensive - $147.50 for all of us, phew! But it is a special event that only comes around once a year, so we enjoy the outing.
These photos were taken with my phone so aren't the best.

The boys were happy as there was popcorn and fairy floss (cotton candy). 

The Wheel of Steel was scary; well, it was for me who doesn't like heights!
Image from

 Gypsy Gomez was amazing with her hula hoop display. Her stomach muscles, oh my!
Image from

And what boys (including hubby boys!) are not going to like the Globe of Death, where three motorbikes ride around inside a giant metal globe.
Image from

The circus is great fun. No animals any more, of course, so completely different from the Enid Blyton books and from when I went to the circus as a child, where there are chimpanzees dressed in clothes, elephants, tigers, performing dogs and horses.

Times have certainly changed from when these circuses were performed.

One day, I would love to attend a Cirque du Soleil performance. I've seen them on TV and they are amazing!

Are Blogs Unrealistic?

I was thinking today about my blog and wondering if someone who read it came to my house, would they be surprised or disappointed that the reality was not the blog?

Nope, sometimes, but very rarely! (And it isn't white - are you crazy, white with three boys?!)

I am a melancholic/phlegmatic personality, so my tendency is to wallow, woe is me, etc. I started my blog to keep a record of all the good things and show that I am achieving something in my home life with my children. I don't really want to post the bad stuff.

I can, of course, lose it big time, usually when I have stepped on a piece of Lego for the hundredth time that day. Lego on the floor really pushes my buttons! But hey, I have boys. My life at the moment is mainly about mud. Yep, washing mudding uniforms and football boots, the washing the floor where they have forgotten to take said muddy football boots off before coming inside. It can make you crazy.

I recently read The Homemaker by Dorothy Canfield. Wonderful book. The mother has asked the son numerous times not to tilt the meat pan when carrying it from the table back to the kitchen for washing as all the meat fat tips onto the floor. One day, the children clear the table while the parents sit. Then the mother goes to do the washing up. After a minute, they all hear huge sobs coming from the kitchen. She is sitting on the floor crying, next to the puddle of meat fat. 

Pretty sure we have all had those days, where one more piece of Lego or muddy footprint on the carpet can push you over the edge. 
So rest assured, much as all the blogs we read look beautiful and their children look perfect, they aren't! I think we are all just trying to record the lovely things that happen in our lives and share the moments and activities that bring us joy. 

That is the kind of place I have decided I would like my blog to be; I would like to reflect the positive aspects, as it will help me to reflect on them also.
And I love to read other blogs that are similar, as they help me see all the good there is out there, if we only choose to embrace it. Which is easy to say and a lot harder to achieve. 
It is a journey every day and I have to make a conscious decision to be happy. Sometimes I have to tell myself to smile. It can be hard work being a melancholic! 

So that is why I blog the way I do.
I would love to hear from you. Why do you blog? Do you find blogs helpful to you in your daily life? Are they inspiring, or discouraging if they show a standard that you feel is too high to achieve?

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Thankful Thursday

Every week, there is so much to be thankful for.

  • Absolutely gorgeous autumn weather which enabled me to spend time outside, weeding, mulching and preparing the veggie garden.

  • My creative, talented, lovely children - Lego building, story writing, cross country running, caring for each other and others.

Whirlwind designed some Minecraft Lego
Legoman won an award at school last Friday, which is awarded to one student a week over the whole school. The award is for service, so I am so proud of him for winning this award. It was awarded for 'positively encouraging and supporting others while also participating appropriately.' 
And tomorrow we will be heading to Warrnambool to watch Legoman run in the regional cross country. 
I am thankful that the boys are learning that serving others is the same as serving Jesus, and that they are kind and considerate towards others.

  • My hubby, who takes care of us so well and allows me to be a homemaker when it is not the most popular or socially acceptable stand to take.

I pray that this be so, although some days I fear it is not.

This is a volunteer organisation of professional photgraphers who volunteer their time to provide photographs for families who have experienced stillbirth, premature births or children with terminal illnesses. What a blessing they are. My daughter received her photos from the birth of her daughter and they are precious. I cannot thank Heartfelt enough for giving her these precious memories to hold on to until she meets her daughter in Heaven. 

What are you thankful for this week?

Independence Days Challenge

A long time ago (2012!), I was doing a bit of a challenge. I first read about it here. And one of my posts from 2012 is here.
The challenge is based on Sharon Astyk's book Independence Days: A Guide to Sustainable Food Storage and Preservation. I also have her book, Depletion and Abundance: Life On The New Home Front.

Both are amazingly inspirational as they offer real solutions that you can easily do at home.
There are eight Independence Days Challenges. By following these, as much or as little as we can, we will increase our food security and self-sufficiency. 

1. Plant something - You should plant all week and all year, as long as you can.

2. Harvest something - Harvest something from the garden or the wild every day you can. Independence is appreciating and using the bounty that we have.

3. Preserve something - Sometimes this will be a big project, but it doesn't have to be.

4. Minimise waste - There are many ways to minimise waste. Try and action one every week.

5. Want not - Clean, mend, declutter, plan, store, learn a new skill. Independence is being ready for whatever comes.

6. Cook something new - Try a new recipe or an old one with a new ingredient. Independence is being able to eat and enjoy what is given to us.

7. Manage your reserves - Inventory your food stores and manage them well. Independence means not wasting the bounty we have.

8. Work on local food systems - Our Independence Days come when our neighbours and the people we love are food secure too.

I am hoping that following these eight steps and blogging about them will keep me on track and moving towards my plans for greater food security. 
Prices of fresh food in our supermarkets just keep rising and this will be a great way to address this.

I am planning on a weekly post on Thursdays and would love to hear from you. Maybe you would like to follow these steps too?

Something to aim for - love the mini greenhouses!
This is a great blog to check out - 30 Pounds of Apples: Local, DIY Food In a global, ready-made world.
There are some great recipes - I really want to try the Lemon Meringue Sunshine Cake as our lemon tree is bursting at the moment.

Another great blog is A Working Pantry. As the name implies, this blog will help you start, organise and maintain a pantry. Have a read of the pantry tips and see which ones you can apply.