Friday, 21 December 2018

Peace on the home front

 The 1939 year continues as I prepare to move into the full new year next year. I've been following newspaper articles which writes about what they did back then on the day and month of that year. The garden section gives help on what to plant out now and what to do in the garden. I've started the garden following the instructions. They say after rain to weed then turn over the soil, so this week I've got out all of the grass growing along the fence line and turned over the soil ( the picture was before I got in and weeded).  For flowers, Zinnias and Dahlia's are recommended for planting at this time of year. I have those planted out because the articles say a cutting garden to brighten up the home is a must.  

The meal menu for the month of December has been very basic and costing little. Most of the meals are for salads. So far there's no talk in the articles about rationing and it is late December. They are telling homemakers to be wise about saving and are offering dishes 'At Small Cost'.  I found this recipe for Spaghetti Pie. The only difference I made was to throw in mixed diced vegetables of corn and peas. I also added in grated cheese between the layers. 

Spaghetti Pie:

Boil up spaghetti pasta until soft. Set aside to drain. Take chopped up onion and garlic, fry in small amount of butter. Add in diced mixed vegetables and cook until soft. In a buttered oven proof dish, place a layer of spaghetti on the bottom. Sliced tomato layer. Layer of diced mixed vegetables. Layer of cheese. Continue this until the dish is full. Add a layer of cheese and bread crumbs and dot pats of butter on top. Cook 180 for half an hour and then turn up to 250 (hot) to make sure the breadcrumb/cheese top is brown crunchy and cheese is well melted. 

I served up the Spaghetti Pie hot with steamed vegetables. It really is very nice served up cold as well with a salad the next day.

With Christmas around the corner the presents are getting wrapped. I've been adding in a few small homemade gifts as well. 

I use up the scraps of material I have. I had some lavender given to me during the middle of the year. I dried it so I'm now adding it to sachets. 

It's always useful to have a scented sachet in the drawers for moths and silverfish. Back then they were also needed for wardrobes. Older people I know who used to have free standing wardrobes always told me how the wardrobes stank which meant you had to air them out. A scented sachet would have been welcome to keep the inside of the cupboard smelling sweet. 

I hope everyone has a Happy Holiday, what ever it is you celebrate, and have a safe New Year. I wish to thank all for reading and commenting.  I will be back in the New Year, which will be the start of living like 1939. 

Friday, 14 December 2018

Floral Gingham Applique

The floral gingham appliqué pattern first appeared in a late 1938 newspaper. Even though I am looking at 1939 timeline, patterns from the year before are still something I can use in the time period.

The pattern it self is for needle turn appliqué as at the time the heart and bond we have today wasn't available. The best way to approach the needle turn appliqué with this type of design is to cut paper smaller than the material and then baste the fabric around the paper. Pin the pieces to the fabric base (tea towel) and then appliqué using very small slip stitches around the out side edge. The embroidery is done last.  For the embroidery I used DMC 310 Black using three strands through out.

If you haven't the time or patience for paper basting and needle appliqué, then use heat and bond. When doing this type of appliqué I like to use a heat n bond that is a lite (brand) which makes it suitable for embroidery. But if you don't want to mess around with reversing the pattern, go with the traditional needle turn appliqué.

The article had instructions at the bottom of the illustration which read: Those readers who wish to embroider tea towels will find this design most useful. The checks marked on the flowers indicate the checks of the  gingham. Any odd scraps may be used. Plain colours are also attractive and can be used with very good effects. A heavy thread is advisable for the working.  Breakfast cloths or luncheon mats look well decorated with this design.

I used the pattern on a yellow check tea towel and scraps from my stash. I also used a fade away pen to draw in the pattern for the embroidery design as a guideline for stitching.

I hope every one is having a good day or evening where ever you are.

Friday, 7 December 2018

Summer and December

December has come in and so has the heat. With the start of December, I began to follow up with the 1939 era at home. The newspapers of the day have a couple of sections devoted to the kitchen and garden. There's also a few coloums for the home with handy hints. When December started I began a  small kitchen garden. This type of garden will become known as the Victory garden as the war comes in. For this month, the kitchen garden gave advice to plant out vegetables for your plot. 

I planted out corn, cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes, and beets. I'm not a very good gardener but I try. I know with the hot weather about I'll have to get in and mulch this. For now I have the recommenced 1939  December vegetable crops out. I also planted out dahlias, zinnias, and petunias as suggested.

The lettuce and strawberries here, were later changed as I had them in too much hot sun with not enough shade. They are now in a cooler part of the yard. I had a first strawberry the other day.

Fried Bananas may seem like an odd recipe, but it has been around as early as the late 1920's. The recipe picked up interested again in the late '30's and later during the war. Britain, of course, once the war started didn't see bananas the British government requisitioned Banana boats for military service. Here in Australia we grew bananas and the shops where selling them through the war. 

It's a simple enough recipe and one which can be fried up with bacon. I fried mine up with tomato and onion. This is one of those recipes meant to use up kitchen food that is over ripe which was why it was popular during the war. 

 If fried banana for your breakfast or tea isn't your thing, you can always use up ripe banana's in a banana cake or banana muffins recipe.

I hope everyone is having a good day or evening where ever you are.