Sunday, 29 September 2019

Letters from "Sour Grapes". The farm life quilt: 1942

While reading through the newspaper articles from 1942, I came across a request from "Sour Grapes'"who asked for the patterns of the farmyard quilt and I thought I would look through the archives to see if I could find those particular patterns.

It took a bit of searching, but I did find it in older archives and I printed the entire set of patterns out.

Following the guidelines suggested for the quilt blocks I cut out my fabric. As every one now should be aware of, I do things frugally and these white blocks came from an old sheet. I'm planning to use the crayon tinting method to make up the blocks.

Each of the blocks in the quilt alternate with a cornucopia as the pattern. I'm thinking of making my alternate blocks crazy quilting as I have a lot of pretty cottons I can use on the blocks which keeps in with the 'make do and mend' of the era.

As you can see, "Knitter" replied to "Sour Grapes". The other quilt patterns "Knitter" mentioned I have also printed out and there is a three little pigs quilt too. All these were printed in newspapers from around 1932-33.

A lot of the patterns from the war era have always been knitting of some kind but  to see quilts mentioned is interesting and I am sure too there will be a lot more embroidery patterns available as this is when the tea towel and pillow slip embroidery came into fashion again.

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

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

When there is no sugar, make a batch of scones -1942

Light Hands, Light Scones.

Scones are as simple as ABC to make. A proper scone maker will tell the first lesson for the cook who says they are never able to turn out a decent scone is to remember scones need lightness.  They are not like bread, where you have to roll and roll, and then knead and knead. And wielding flour will never turn out a fluffy scone. A good solid scone, maybe, but a scone that has lost all chance of lightness before it reaches the oven.

The secret of a scone is they must literally be tossed together, and quickly into the oven with a light hand (and light heart, too, if you can manage it), and the oven must be very hot. The whole process of mixing and cooking need only be around ten or twelve minutes.  

Scones are the next best thing to a cake that requires a lot of sugar and that they require very little in way of ingredients also makes it a top list for the wartime Austerity meal of 1942. Scones can vary in plain, sweet, or savoury.

A useful savory scone:

Add about half a cup of grated cheese to two cups of flour, you can also make up onion scones, which are tasty even if the name doesn’t suggest so. Here is the recipe:

Two large cups self-raising flower, 1 tablespoon butter, 1 cup grated cheese, 1 beaten egg, 1 small very finely chopped onion, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and about 1/2 cup milk. Sift flour and salt, rub in the butter and mix in the cheese and onion. Mix to a soft dough with the egg and milk, roll out and cut into usual shapes.
Bake about 10 minutes in a very hot oven.

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

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Vintage beauty


It is worth knowing pure glycerine is valuable as a cosmetic . It has a wonderfully beautifying effect when used on the skin and as the benefit of whitening and softening any rough dry sky to make it supple. When using glycerine it shouldn’t be used as in a concentrated form. 

Glycerine has special interest for a beauty regime because of its property of softening the skin, but also for its capacity for fading discolouring, so that it acts a s a beautifier in the true sense of the word.  A tablespoonful of it in a  pint of water - or rosewater or, witch hazel- will soften and protect the skin from the air. It should be rubbed in, but not wiped off. 

Lotions containing glycerine agree with most cases of dry skin, and often combined with other beauty ingredients for wrinkled skin, blackheads, chapped lips, and sunburn. Pure glycerine has a powerful, beautifying effect on the skin.

Glycerine is a substance which may be used instead of oil and has the advantage of being more cleanly effective to the skin. It is more emollient than oil, and softens bodies without greasing them. A cupful in a bath of warm water will have a fantastic effect upon the skin of the body.

Glycerine having the property of absorbing water, uses up the moisture which the skin requires, and there-fore, should be diluted.

Those who want to try glycerine can do so by mixing in a little glycerine with the cold cream or lotion that they regularly use, but be sure to use only pure glycerine. 

To summarise, here are some of the virtues of glycerine:

1: It renders the skin soft, velvety, and supple.

2: It is an antiseptic.

3: It is the only cosmetic which softens without greasing.

4: It is more emollient than any oil.

5: It contains amazing preservatives qualities when applied to the skin, and acts as a veil against wind, heat, cold, and burning rays of the hot sun.

6: It has a tendency to dissolve blackheads and such.

7: It imparts to the skin softness, smoothness, and suppleness.

8:It is a great substances for curing chapped skin.

9: Used as a cleansing cream or lotion, it acts as a protector and beautifier.

10: It does not evaporate or dry out, nor turn rancid, nor decompose as almost cold creams do, and when added to them, prevents those preparations from doing so.

(Note: I used rosewater essence as I couldn't find true rosewater. And I didn't have fresh roses to make rosewater. You need to use quite a bit of the rosewater essence to make up for the substitute.)

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

Monday, 2 September 2019

Foam Biscuits

We've had some lovely Spring like days here at the moment and it makes for nice weather to be into the kitchen cooking. I found this recipe called: foam biscuits, and thought I'd give it a try. 

The recipe it self is very basic and the original didn't give an oven time as I suppose they expected everyone to know how to bake a biscuit (cookie) in the type of oven they had. This was a time when people still had wood stoves and some had gas stoves and some had the new electric stoves.


Recipe: Take 3 cups plain flour. I cup of dripping. 1 cup of sugar. 1/2 cup milk, level teaspoonful Bi-carb. soda. Boil milk and sugar, then add soda and stir well. Let foam and cool. 

Rub dripping well into flour, add cool foam mixture and mix well. A cup of cocoanut can be added if liked. (I never added cocoanut to mine)

You can roll dough out and cut out with a cookie cutter or pinch off a piece of balled up dough and press down with a fork on a well greased baking tray. 

I baked mine in a moderate oven of 200 degrees for 15 mins or until golden brown.

Let cool  slightly on tray and turn out on wire rack to cool fully.

These biscuits can also be iced if you like. 

Because this recipe uses very little ingredients it was popularly added to 'Austerity recipes'. Although the war is still in early days and a lot of things have yet to be rationed and given coupons. Come December sugar will be rationed to 1 pound per person per week.

I have also seen this recipe in earlier newspaper articles as late as 1920's and right up to the '30's. It isn't a recipe specific to wartime cooking of the '40's, like say SPAM recipes of the time.

This is what the milk, sugar, and bicarbonate soda looks like when brought to the boil. The biscuits get the name foam biscuits from the fact the bicarbonate soda foams up.

The foamy mixture is then added to the flour and dripping mix and stirred up well. 

The finished recipe is a simple home style biscuit which can be fancied up with icing and sprinkles. If I had balled my dough up smaller I would have gotten a lot of biscuits from this recipe which makes it very frugal recipe.

I'm no cook, but I'm learning as I go and I think these are very easy to make.

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