Friday, December 3, 2010

Wherein VintageChristine Rediscovers Her Roots

With the hubs still a member of that once-exclusive (but now open to just about anyone) club known as THE UNEMPLOYED, my wild spending has come to a screeching halt.  As many of you know, however, going cold turkey spending-wise causes a certain amount of actual physical and mental anguish.

Well, it does that to ME, anyhow.

So we go over to La Condo the day after Thanksgiving since two of Mike's nephews (one a Marine, the other an Army guy) were in the area and he doesn't get to see them often.  Both are in until they retire and when I'm around them I just shut up about my feelings regarding war and the military blah blah blah.  Even though they're fairly young their minds are made up about things and in the interest of family togetherness I keep my trap zipped on subjects I know we're going to disagree on.  The Marine has been to Iraq three times as a tank commander/instructor and he's now a drill sergeant.  The Army guy has been to Afghanistan, will probably go back next year, and in the meantime he's the personal assistant to a two-star general. 

Mike took them to the Tiki Bar at La Condo and apparently sometime during the evening he convinced Mark (the Marine) to do a "Stuntman".  If you're not familiar with this particular barroom game, here's how it goes:  You order a shot of tequila, half a lime and a salt shaker.  You shake a pile of salt into your hand, then you snort the salt, squeeze the lime into your eye and shoot the tequila. 

Then you sit there screaming for a couple minutes while everyone around you marvels at the size of your balls (figuratively, not literally.  I think).

So the next morning, I jumped out of bed with a smile on my face and every intention of spending the day with my husband.  He opened one (very bleary) eye and grumbled something like, "Mmmph, no, don't have hangover, mmmph, tired, mmmph, go ahead will watch dogs, snort."  Which totally meant he had a hangover but as usual won't admit it.  I grabbed $20 out of his wallet and headed out the door to see what the thrift stores and flea markets in the area had to offer.

I went to three thrift stores and two flea markets and spent a grand total of $8 at the first thrift I went to.  I found ZILCH at all my other stops--there was nothing good at all, even nothing good but overpriced!  But I do love what I DID find in the Lillian, Alabama Episcopal Church Thrift!

This mug is child-size and has lots of crackling going on.  It also had the price written on the bottom with a felt tip pen.  Aaargh.  After soaking it in bleach and vinegar and soapy water for several hours I was able to remove most of the ink, at least so you can't see the numbers.  STOP DOING THAT, YARD SALE AND THRIFT STORE PEOPLE!

I've started to drink white wine again so this green glass satinized goblet will be perfect for that.  I already have two ruby red mugs like the green one.  Now I'm on a hunt for one more green.  Hopefully I will find one for 25 cents, as well. 

This cookie jar is so cute!  I may actually get around to baking up a batch of Mom's incredible Snowball cookies (with REAL butter, thank you very much) to put in it.   

GREAT idea/cookbook published in 1958.  It was preceded by "Thoughts For Food".  From the preface:
"Our aims are twofold: (1) to retain the gracious art of fine dining with (2) a minimum of effort as befits the times.  We have stressed the short cuts while observing an epicurean approach to both the palate and the eye.  We do suggest the use of the many new items which simplify the homemaker's task.  Space does not permit us to list all the commercial timesavers on the market.  Frozen foods, packaged mixes, prebaked delicacies will make your cooking simpler; wines, spices, and herbs will make it far more interesting."  You betcha, baby--a snort or two of vino always makes ANYTHING more interesting!

Here's what they suggest making for a Brunch Buffet:
Puffy Omelet with Lobster Sauce
Deviled Chicken Breasts on Toast
Caraway French Bread
Rhubarb and Strawberry Mold--Seasonal Fruits
Peach Kuchen
Blender Cheese Pie

For a Luncheon Buffet:
Cold Artichokes
Mustard French Dressing
Sweetbreads Marechal
Cheese Souffle
Bacon Twists
Bing Cherries Royale
Muffins Rivoli--Pineapple Preserves
Party Crescents
Chocolate Angel Pie

And for a Buffet Supper:
Chinese Cucumber Soup
Olives, Celery Hearts
Fish Piquante
Chicken Divan
Noodle Pudding Souffle
Creole Salad
Jubilee Bavarian Cream

My mother used to do this all the time since she and Dad entertained a great deal.  She did everything all by herself, although as we got older we were roped into dishwashing duties.  No wonder she about fainted every time Dad said, "Oh Marian, we'll be having several couples over Friday night for cocktails and dinner.  See what you can whip up."  Women's Lib couldn't come too soon for Mom, believe me.

The Family Home Cookbook was published in 1956 and was created by the Staff Home Economists of the Culinary Arts Institute.  Apparently they decided that "the far-flung membership of the Peoples Book Club and the Sears Readers Club probably included some of the best cooks in America," so they held a recipe contest and were literally FLOODED with recipes, many of which were awarded prizes and included in this book.  The  Grand Prize Best Recipe was won by Mrs. Newton A. Smith of Steens, Mississippi for her Orange Pork Chops.  Woo hoo!  Go Mississippi!  Of course I love the mid-century cookbooks with lots of photos--not particularly showing the food, since the color is invariably "off" and the food doesn't look very appetizing, but because they're using what were considered everyday dishes to hold the food, dishes that are now very collectible and many that I own!   

I paid $1.50 for this wreath and as you can see, it has found a perfect spot on the porch at La Condo.  I added the shell just to make it more "beachy".  

It was good to be back where I started, but sad to realize that the days of finding great bargains are pretty much over.  Hey, it was fun while it lasted (and still can be fun if you're lucky).

Happy Friday, y'all!!!


  1. What would ever possess a person to snort salt and squirt lime in their eye?? Except maybe that shot of Tequilia staring them in the face. Do they yell Ayy matey...pour the captain another one afterwards or please sir pass the Visine??

    I would love to have been there to see that!
    I love the green goblet and the santa cup. The wreath looks lovely.
    How's the weather at la condo?

  2. I'm with MCM up there - what possesses people to do stupid stuff while drinking (...not that I haven't, but I was DRUNK at the time!)...

    Will look out for a green mug for you. Hoping to get to post office soon to send your stuff. My days are not my own...

  3. I have several Santa mugs like that, even a mini one. My Stepfather gave them to me after he found them stashed in the back of one of his cupboards when they were remodeling. I always put them out this time of year.

    Sunday we're decking the halls! You need to post pics of your decked halls.

  4. Ha ha the things men do to be manly men lol... Makes me glad I am a woman!

    Used to have those mugs when we were kids too...

    When tight times roll around, and I've done a lot of rolling, what I do is go through and enjoy all the stuff I DO have. Get those things tucked away out of the closets, check out the boxes in the garage or whatever... Hard to remember what-all we have!

  5. I would just love to talk to those two guys, just to hear whats REALLY going on in Iraq and Afghanistan. I bet they have some real horror stories. Although anyone who would do a "stuntman" is pretty scary themselves!
    Thrifting has been the worst here! I'm usually finding lots of vintage Christmas stuff by this time. Oh well, I love the Santa mug and your wine drinkin' glass!

  6. I must agree that finding great things at the thrifts is getting rarer! Since I am unemployed (joined that group over a year ago) my funds are getting very limited so I'm having to make careful choices when I thrift. I love the green mug, wine glass and Santa cup! So not too bad. As for the 'men' ugh...what else is there to say! Oh and the wreath looks great with shells on it!

  7. Yep, it's hard to find a good thrift nowadays! Altho, my local one let me in the back room today when someone pulled up in a truck with a big donation of Christmas stuff! I was in heaven, but only had $7 on me. Not to worry, it was half price day, LOL. Sure helps to know the staff!

    That looks like a mighty big glass for you wine, girlie!


  8. VintageChristine,
    I discovered your wonderful blog a while back and then somehow lost you. Thanks to Kim Bombshell, though, I found you again today. You are such a funny, witty, clever (should I go on?) writer! I'll make sure to add you to my blog roll this time so I don't lose again!

  9. I understand the unemployment woes all too well. My hubby finally found another job, but it took a while, and he's only been at it for three weeks.

    Love that cookie jar!

    That Santa reminds me...I need to be on the lookout for a vintage santa bank like I used to have. I found some on eBay last year, but they were in worse shape than the one I had, and they were way too expensive.