Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas Recap

We hope all of our blog friends had wonderful holidays with their friends and family.  We certainly did, as the picture below attest.    I especially want to than Deb from pug possessed who made us the most amazing star trek pug pajamas, definitely to be featured in more detail in a later post.   I wont be blogging for the coming week as I have time off from work and want to spend it with the pups and cats, but I couldn't resist sharing these pictures and wishing you all a happy new year.





Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Tasty Tuesday-A Retro Fruitcake from the 1961 New York Times Cookbook

A few months ago I was super excited to come across the 1961 New York Times cookbook at the local salvation army.  

 Not only did if feature tons of gorgeous mid-century menu photos:

Plenty of the recipes did look delicious and since the holidays were coming and a co-worker has recently gifted me a bottle of Dominican rum I settled on trying the Nova Scotia black fruit cake.   I halved the recipe below and I bought all of the dried and candied fruits on amazon.

Nova Scotia Black Fruit Cake 
 1 lb candied pineapple, diced
1 lb golden raisins 
1 lb seeded raisins 
1 lb candied cherries, halved
4 oz candied citron, coarsely chopped
4 oz currants
2 oz candied lemon peel, coarsely chopped
2 oz candied orange peel, coarsely chopped 
1/2 cup dark rum, cognac or sherry
4 oz almonds, blanched and shredded
4 oz walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped
2 cups flour 
1/2  tsp mace 
1/2 tsp cinnamon  

 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp almond extract 
 1/2 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
5 eggs 

Mix fruits. Add rum, cover and let stand overnight. Preheat oven to 275 F. Grease one 10-inch tube pan or two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans. Line with wax paper and grease the paper. Combine fruits, nuts and 1/2 cup flour. Sift together remaining flour, mace, cinnamon and baing powder. Mix milk with almond extract. Cream butter until smooth, adding sugars gradually. Add eggs, mix well and add the mik mixture. Add flour mixture; mix well. Pour batter over the fruits and nuts and mix thoroughly. Fill pans and press batter down firmly. Bake tube cake about 4 hours, loaves about 3 hours. Let cakes stand 30 minutes. Turn out onto a rack and peel off the paper. Wrap cooled cakes in cheesecloth soaked in the rum. Place in a crock or deep kettle and cover tightly. As the cloth dries, dribble a little of the same liquor over it. Let ripen 1 month.

The cookbook also contains directions for two fancy holiday frostings which I skipped in favor of a plain, unvarnished fruit cake.

Sadly, I think my cake got a little overly blackened at the edges but I tasted a bit and it was exactly what a fruit cake should be: very rummy, and fruity and sweet with a spicy bite.   A lovely taste of Christmas past.


Monday, December 22, 2014

1940s Hoodies

While hoodies might seem a relatively new clothing development, and a fairly sloppy one at that, lovers of vintage style and fans of classic films may have noticed that in the 1930s and 1940s hooded dress and jackets where all the rage.  What's more these hoods where glamorous and beautiful.  Day dresses, jackets, capes and even winter evening gowns got the hooded treatment:

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image source  Claudette Colbert in hooded gown

Ever since seeing the incomparable Judy Garland in a gorgeous Christmasey hood in 1944's Meet Me in St. Louis.
image source Judy Garland in Crystal head wrap
I've wanted a 1940s hood of my own.   Judy's hood is actually a sort of sparkly snood and I decided that with my short hair I'd rather a hooded dress.   Luckily Etsy vintage seamstress The Black Pinafore had the perfect 1940s dress on her blog which I had seen modeled by the lovely Kitten Von Meow.

Image Source: The Black Pinafore BlogSpot
 I asked Debora if she could make me a similar dress in grey wool and red satin and she readily agreed.   Debora has great customer service and sent me fabric and button samples at no extra charge and clearly explained how to take measurements.  The resulting dress is just want I wanted. 


Warm, pretty, and festive.  I'm still thinking about Judy's sparkly hood though... good thing there's always next year.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Hobbits and Pugs

In honor of the cinematic event of the year, at least in my opinion, the screening of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Here is a post comparing hobbits and pugs that turned out to be the most popular one on my old blog, Urban Hounds.

Now finally the void left since The Return of the King can be filled, because there is nothing like a Hobbit, and of course sadly in the real world they do not exist (according to the books they were driven away by the big folk).  Take heart though, there seem to be some interesting parallels between Hobbits and Pugs.


If you don't believe me take a look at this dialogue taken from the extended addition of The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring (I have highlighted the pug pertinent parts and supplied pictorial evidence)

Exhibit B- This picture above documents a day that the Retro Rover pug's dad played a mean trick on them.  Tubby, Ping, and Weasley wandered into Weasley's play pen in search of stray bit of kibble, Dad then closed the door and they became a bit confused.  A few seconds later when he re-opened the door they could not figure out how to get out and had to be picked up out of the pen.

 (Of course a pugs IQ points climb a bit when manipulating a human who loves them, much like the wisdom of a Hobbit under duress. Also not great warriors, they definitely prefer a snuggle to a tussle)

Exhibit C-A Pug Besotted Human

BILBO:  In fact, it has been remarked by some that Hobbits’ only real passion is for food.

Exhibit D: Three hungry pugs sharing a pupsickle

A rather unfair observation.
 As we have also developed a keen interest in the brewing of ales and the smoking of pipeweed.  But where our hearts truly lie  is in peace and quiet

Exhibit E: Pugs appreciating peace and quiet


and good tilled earth.  For all Hobbits share a love of all things that grow.

Exhibit F: A pug demonstrating a love of things that grow

And yes, no doubt to others, our ways seem quaint.  But today of all days, it is brought home to me it is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life. 



Exhibit G: Pugs appreciating the simple life
We hope you enjoy the movie if you do go and see it, or even better read the books.   Happy Hobbiting!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Kitschmas Chic: Christmas Corsages

Christmas is a great time of year for lovers of mid-century Kitsch there are silver trees:

Glittery Putz houses:

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Jewel Bright and Shiny Ornaments:

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Flocked Deer, Santas, and Elves

 And the Colonel Sanders Christmas album

to name a few prized pieces of Christmas Kitsch, but from a fashion perspective nothing says Kitschmas like a big, glittery Christmas Corsage.

The fabulous vintage blog Wacky Tacky had a great post on Christmas Corsages last year that included instructions for making your own.  I have no crafting ability however and knew that even this simple task was beyond my skills, and besides I kind of wanted the genuine article.  A corsage that came to be during a mid-century Christmas decades ago.  So I turned to Etsy where I found an adorable glittery corsage that must have been purchased at a five and dime 50 or 60 years ago.

  I've worn it nearly every day since Thanksgiving and I admit its lost a bit of glitter and sadly one bell has cracked, these big corsages are hard to fit on your coat!  I still love it though and I've gotten plenty of compliments, as well as a few odd looks.  Perhaps the over the top festiveness of the Christmas Corsage is a bit too much for some people, but for me it makes the season!

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