September 19, 2011

Taking a short autumn blogcation

Cheerful good morning greetings, everyone! I hope that this last Monday of summer 2011 is finding you all well and eager for the changing of the seasons that will transpire later this week. I'm immensely happy that fall is nearly here, as summer continually managed to knock the wind out my sails time and time again.

I feel a bit drained right now, not broken spirited, just physically like I've been going ten rounds in the ring with my health and life. As such, I've been giving it quite a lot of thought and decided, in order to hopefully have the strength and stamina to keep up with the Vintage 365 project right through to December 31st, it's wisest that I give myself a little breather.

As you may recall from the necessitated blogging hiatus earlier this year, just because I'm not technically here everyday, doesn't mean you don't get to enjoy the Vintage 365 project.

Then, as now, instead of a new post appearing each morning, you'll find the next twenty days worth of entries right here, in one handy-dandy location, in this post.

I'm hoping that three weeks will be enough time to recharge my batteries, and as such I have every intention, as things stand now, of jumping right back into daily blogging come October 10th (which, incidentally, just happens to be Canadian Thanksgiving).

I sincerely appreciate your understanding about this brief blogcation, and really hope you all enjoy the vintage-tastic array of topics I've corralled below.


September 19 ~ Day 262: Typically speaking, I am not a big fan of 1960s clothing. To me it’s the decade the ushered in the end of the era (30s-50s) in fashion that I hold nearest and dearest to my vintage loving heart, sometimes however, an item from that decade comes by which is too fabulous or beautiful to go unnoticed.

Case in point, I recently spied a strikingly lovely chocolate brown, short-sleeved, empire waist, princess seamed 1960s inspired dress that stopped me in my tracks. Channelling a distinctly (early) Mad Men secretary type vibe, this elegant, yet playful, frock (from Dress 911) is a total charmer that I would be more than gleeful to hang in my closet!


September 20 ~ Day 263: For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved seeing youthful women with grey hair. I know that sounds bizarre, but' it’s precisely the fact that grey hair is not typically associated with young women that adheres me to this combination.

Though the woman in this deeply pretty 1950s Revlon ad for their Queen of Diamonds line isn’t fresh out of high school, she’s far from retirement age either.

Her powerfully sophisticated look bubbles over with worldly confidence that seems to say “yes, I’ve greyed early, isn’t it fabulous?”.  And this sort of attitude, is, more than anything, is what I love most about younger women with grey locks, that they’re confident enough with themselves not to cover up those silver strands, preferring instead to let their grey manes shine.


September 21 ~ Day 264: One could easily be forgiven in this day and age for thinking that all pot pies came, piping hot to the table, as a pie akin to apple or pumpkin. While meat encased in a double crust (often called pate in days of yore) is a centuries old style of cooking, by its sheer definition alone, pot pie was originally cooked in a pot.

This version for just such a pie in a pot from 1933, is topped with mounds of fluffy biscuits beneath which one finds a rich stew of creamy chicken and broth.

Plainer than most modern pot pies, you could easily jazz this recipe up with any veggies you like (carrots, parsnips, onions, shallots, leeks, celery, potatoes, turnips, etc) or swap the chicken for turkey, beef or even venison. No matter how you make it though, this traditional pot pie is sure to be a great cold weather comfort food!


September 22 ~ Day 265: There are unquestionably certain colours that we associate with particular decades, and for the 1950s two of the most iconic hues have to be cheerful aquamarine and sweet, girly pink.

This charming kitchen from 1959 pairs classic aqua (in the form of cabinets) with coral hued countertops (perhaps foreshadowing the intensely saturated home decor hues that would follow in the next two decade to comes) and a coppery-pink coloured stove.

The pairing makes for a room that vibrant and impactful, but not glaringly bright or tricky to live in. It’s a fun, timeless colour combo that I’d be more than happy to have in my kitchen any day.


September 23 ~ Day 266: Can you believe it, we made it through the summer. While I know that some folks had an awesome summer, for many (in my circle at least) it was a challenging, difficult, problem ridden season that seemed to drag on longer than a foreign art film.

I, for one, am deeply elated about the fact that  fall (my favourite season) has returned, and hope to high heaven that it ushers in a season of more peace, better health, safer weather, and less stress for my family and all of yours, too.


September 24 ~ Day 267: When you think of Honda cars, the late 1940s might not be the first thing that springs to mind. It was, however, on this date in 1948 the famed Japanese motor company was founded.

Perhaps more so than any other car company (well, at least any other Japanese car company), I have a soft spot in my heart for Honda, because for many years my step-dad worked for this (now) massive multinational.

Though he’s no longer with Honda, I can’t see a Civic, Accord or Pilot without thinking of my step-dad and the role that this company had in my family’s life for a long time. Join me then, today, in wishing Honda the happiest of 63rd birthdays!


September 25 ~ Day 268: It’s probably a good thing that my modest sized apartment has, what really must be, one of the absolute smallest, narrowest linen closets of all times, because if such were not the case, I’d be massively tempted to pick up a set of these fabulously fun, cheerfully hued vintage inspired tea towels from online retailer House 8810.


September 26 ~ Day 269: In the history of early twenty-first century music, certain names stand out, and few come closer to the top of the list than American composer George Gershwin.

Tragically struck down by a brain tumour while in his thirties, during his relatively short life Gershwin produced some of the most famous and beloved orchestral works of the day, including Porgy and Bess, Rhapsody in Blue, and An American in Paris.

In honour of the fact that September 26th was George Gershwin’s birthday (he was born in 1898 and passed away in 1937), if you have a few minutes to spare, I highly encourage you to treat your ears to a marvelous vintage Victor Symphony recording (by way of Youtube) of the composer’s delightfully upbeat piece An American in Paris.


September 27 ~ Day 270: Today’s entry is the last in our series celebrating the fact that September is National Sewing Month.

I know that like myself, many of you have wished high and low that you could magically tap your heels and hop back in time to go shopping in your favourite decades. As that’s, sadly, not possible, perhaps the next best thing we can do is enjoy looking at vintage photos of our favourite yesteryear shops.

For those (who again, like yours truly) adore all things craft and sewing related, you’ll likely go weak in the knees when you peer into the storefront window of this wonderfully well stocked 1940s sewing goods shop. Pure vintage needlework and sewing daydream worthy bliss if ever there was!


September 28 ~ Day 271: For this Wednesday’s delightful vintage recipe, we’re journeying back to the early 1960s to whip up a zingy, warm, wonderful Spicy Butter Cake that is sure to be the hit of many a fall gathering.

From potlucks to Thanksgiving dessert, Halloween fetes to tea parties with your closest friends, this easy to make, fabulously fragrant vintage cake recipe is sure to be a popular winner.


September 29 ~ Day 272: I know I’m not alone when I say that it often feels like money flies right out of my pocketbook, but with this charmingly lovely vintage air mail print wallet that analogy gets taken to a whole new level.

Designed to look like a piece of old school mail (think the type that couples swapped during the war), this multi-compartment, bow bedecked, super fun wallet from UK seller Aspire Style is sure worth opening up your current (and likely considerably less adorable) wallet for! Smile


September 30 ~ Day 273: While the craze for matching one’s make-up to their skin and hair tones really hit its zenith in the 1980s (remember the Color Me Beautiful series of books? This spring-autumn definitely does! Smile), the principle behind this concept is anything but new.

In fact, one can travel all the way back to 1925 (if not earlier) and encounter examples, such as this lovely vintage complexion chart, that guided women in what shades of make-up would be most flattering to their skin and hair tones.

Even if you don’t agree with all of the make-up colours this lovely 1920s chart suggests, it’s impossible not to enjoy it’s darling illustrations and old school charm.


October 1 ~ Day 274: Oh happy day, we’ve reached the first of October (and no, I am in no way saying that sarcastically!). I’m giddy with joy over the fact that my very favourite month of the year (which houses three family birthdays, Canadian Thanksgiving, my wedding anniversary, and Halloween) is at long last back.

To mark it’s return, I wanted to share the wonderfully delightful October 1957 cover of American Weekly magazine, below, with all of you. I really hope it helps get you even more in the mood for a month – and season – of vintage splendidness.

October 2 ~ Day 275: As many of you may recall from my post about Five great places to source vintage cookbooks online earlier this year, as well as from many others here on Chronically Vintage that are devoted to vintage gastronomy, I rather adore old school cookery books.

In a melding of old-fashioned recipes and modern day technology, fellow lovers of vintage recipes will be thrilled to know that the Internet Achieve houses an array of free cookbooks online, all of which are available as ebooks. Quite of few of the titles in this collection are vintage, and amongst the lot you’ll even encounter some popular collector’s classics, like a copy of the Metropolitan Cookbook.

There are definitely oodles of great yesteryear recipes on this useful site that are bound to keep your kitchen (and dinner table) buzzing all through autumn and winter.


October 3 ~ Day 276: When one thinks of revolutionary mid-twentieth century fashion designers, few names spring to mind more quickly (or with greater merit) than the legendary Coco Chanel and her understatedly gorgeous creations.

In this wonderful seven and a half minute long compilation video pieced together from assorted vintage film clips (spanning the 1930s to 80s) of Coco herself, as well as some of her most marvelous creations, one really gets of a sense of just how, and why, Chanel was, and will always be, one of the most important designers of the era.


October 4 ~ Day 277: Have you ever seen (or walked into) a home that was so exquisitely gorgeous is quite literally took your breath away?

Whether you have or haven’t before, I strongly urge you brace yourself, because the the images in this post about Dita Von Teese’s vintage decorated house are likely to make you swoon to no end!


October 5 ~ Day 278: Given that Canadian Thanksgiving is just five days away (oh my, still so much shopping and prep to do – not that I mind, I kind of completely love cooking big holiday meals),  I though that today’s vintage recipe should be a festive one. Enter then this lovely 1947 recipe for Thanksgiving Apple Pie.

There’s nothing (such, for example, as the inclusion of pumpkin) that makes this dessert any more Thanksgiving-ish than any other autumnal apple pie, the name alone made me smile and, loving a good fruit pie as I do, I thought it would be a fantastic  first vintage recipe for October.


October 6 ~ Day 279: There was a time in my life, a few years back, when I was all but obsessed with miniature toys (namely a Japanese brand of adorable little miniatures called Re-Ment), as I went about setting up scenes, photographing, and generally dreaming about tiny toys.

While, for the time being, that phase has passed, I still greatly love and admire beautiful miniatures, and few compliations I’ve ever seen can even begin, in a million years, to hold a candle to Michael Paul Smith’s stunningly impressive collection of vintage inspired miniature model scenes.

Handcrafted with a true artist’s eye, it really takes a moment for one’s brain to wrap itself around the fact that what you’re looking at is not a full scale, real world movie set, but instead an intricately composed, deeply awesome universe of incredible model displays.


October 7 ~ Day 280: Though a legion of devoted record collectors still exist (be they fans of old or new records), as the years roll on and digital music becomes ever more prevalent in our lives, I fear that an ever increasing number of classic records (the physical records themselves, I mean not, per se, the music on them) will be lost to the hands of time.

If you’re one of those folks who loves to collect records, but has wondered how best to display your favourites, you need worry no long longer. The fine folks over at Urban Outfitters are now selling a classic black photo frame designed specific to house record sleeves.

With the help of this clever album frame, you can now pick any number of your most cherished albums to display on the wall, their covers standing out as the superb works of vintage art that they rightfully are for all to see.


October 8 ~ Day 281: In the world of autumn desserts and sweet treats, there are some rather fabulous entries that make picking just one favourite next to impossible. Pushing aside pumpkin pie though, if I really and truly had to pick my most beloved fall treat, I think it might just be caramel apples.

While you can definitely make caramel for your festive treats from scratch, the ease and convenience of using good quality store bought caramels is hard to beat. Perhaps the most classic of all ready-to-melt (or eat straight from the bag!) caramels are those produced by Kraft.

Kraft caramels have been an autumn time institution for generations now, stretching back to the 1950s (as this fun vintage Kraft ad shows), if not earlier (if so, does anyone know how early?), and can provide the instant blanket of sugary goodness you need to drape your apples on a stick in, Halloween after sugary treat filled Halloween.


October 9 ~ Day 282: To wrap up this three week selection of vintage topics, I thought it would be lovely to end on a particularly heartwarming note in the form of this beautiful colour photograph from 1940 that shows a young mother and her daughter working together to roll a ball of yarn for their knitting projects.

Homey and endearingly sweet, this still wonderfully vibrant vintage photo is sure to make you smile (weather you’re a knitter or not) ear-to-ear.

♥ ♥ ♥


Thank you all deeply for your understanding, as well as for your terrific support of the Vintage 365 project and Chronically Vintage in general. I will miss you all a great deal, and wholeheartedly look forward to sharing oodles of new posts with you again in three weeks.

Be well, sweet friends, and know that I'm sending out scores of wishes to you all for a marvellously amazing, completely gorgeous start of autumn!

September 18, 2011

How to make an incredibly authentic looking 1920s bathing suit

Day 261 of Vintage 365


Carrying merrily along with celebrating National Sewing Month, today's post comes in just under the wire - the end of summer wire, that is.

I am continually impressive by the resourcefulness and creativity of vintage lovers, especially those who know their way around a needle and thread.

Recently I came across a detailed set of instructions on the superb historical costume blog, American Duchess, which provides detailed step-by-step instructions on how to turn a large sized men's heavy weight cotton knit shirt and a belt (paired, optionally, with knee-high trouser socks and Mary Jane shoes) into a staggering authentic looking 1920s bathing suit.


With a bit of pattern design and sewing, the lovely woman (and creator of this tutorial) pictured above, has made a bathing suit that really and truly looks as though it could have been plucked from your great-grandma's attic.

Run, don't walk, over to American Duchess and feast your eyes on the (relatively) easy steps needed to transform the most basic of everyday times (a black t-shirt) into a very historically accurate looking, completely delightful bathing suit that's both inexpensive (especially compared to buying an authentic 1920s wool swimsuit!) and incredibly charming.

Though summer may be nearly over, you can always whip up this great sewing project during the nippy months to take on a tropical vacation or tuck loving away in your closet for next summer.

September 17, 2011

Now that's the kind of Spam I can get behind!

Day 260 of Vintage 365


My husband had the immensely good fortune of growing up in a country that boasts one of the most beloved, diverse and delicious cuisines in the world: Italy. As such his childhood was peppered daily with the kind of meals and foods that most of us go weak in the knees for, from rich pasta dishes to creamy risottos, gallons of Nutella to mountains worth of outstandingly wonderful gelato.

While certain North American foods made their way to his family's table over the years, it's always fascinating for me to find out which commonplace foods from this side of the Atlantic he has yet to try. One such, entirely vintage approved, food that he hadn't stuck is fork into before a few days ago was Spam.

Yes, Spam. That most joked about of canned luncheon meats, which to most now seems like a throwback to a very different time and place in history, was something Tony had never sampled before.

I can't say as though I've consumed copious amounts of Spam in my life, but I have certainly eaten in several times before and knew that, if only once, Tony needed to give this blast from the culinary past a sampling.

But what exactly is Spam? Long before the word "spam" referred to the zillions of junk emails we all receive every day, Spam (or SPAM®, as you prefer) was the name of a canned, precooked meat produced by the US brand Hormel.

Despite the running jokes about Spam being some kind of indistinguishable mystery meat, the ingredients in the classic recipe are anything but out of the ordinary or hard to place, and include chopped pork shoulder meat, ham meat, salt, water, potato starch, and sodium nitrate.

Spam has been on the shelves - and feeding military troops - for decades now, though it's zenith really came during the 1940s and 50s, when everything from radio ads to countless recipes in magazines and cookbooks used Spam like it was going out of fashion (which, incidentally, it kind of did in the ensuing decades, though many diehard Spam fans remain to this day, especially in Hawaii, where it's one of the most popular canned foods in the state).

{Charming vintage Spam ad showing how easily one can use this canned meat for breakfast, lunch or dinner, by way of Wandering Magpie on Flickr.}

The very first can of spam rolled off the production line in Austin, Minnesota in the late 1930s, and proved to be an overnight hit thanks to its low price point (especially important for those who were still reeling from the Great Depression), convenience, ease of use, and pleasant, versatile taste. By a mere four years later, in 1941, over 40 million pounds of Spam had already been sold!

Throughout WW2 Spam was used heavily by US troops stationed overseas, with more than 15 million cans of this dependable lunch meat being sent abroad every week during the war years. Following WW2 world leaders from Margaret Thatcher to Dwight Eisenhower all credited Spam for helping to play an import role in the Allied victory (proof-positive that "spam" really hasn't always been a negative word!).

Throughout the next two decades Spam found its way onto family tables across North American and beyond. Sometimes it was whipped up into rather eyebrow-raising dishes, but often it was also enjoyed quite plainly, cooked and served much like ham steaks or any other soft luncheon meat. As the vintage Spam ad above shows, you could easily find a place on your table for Spam at any meal of the day.

For Tony's first taste of this canned food classic, we agreed that it was best he try it in it's natural form, so I pan-fried several slices for him in a little unsalted butter, creating a thin, crispy golden brown crust, with a soft, meaty interior. Served with some shoestring French fries and ketchup, Tony dug right in and enjoyed his meal very much (though he did note, and I wholeheartedly agree, that Spam is quite salty).

Though neither of us eat very many processed foods or too much red meat, Tony said he’d certainly be game for trying Spam again sometime, perhaps baked or broiled (try as I may though, I know I won't be able to convince my Italian gourmand to eat his Spam with pineapple, which is how I really prefer it).

It's delightful to have been the first person to serve Tony Spam, and to bring this classic North American taste to my sweet Italian hubby's plate. It’s safe to say, this vintage luncheon meat is definitely the only kind of Spam we like around our house! Smile

September 16, 2011

This beautiful 1922 Simpsons catalog cover abounds with fall style inspiration

Day 259 of Vintage 365


With just one week left to go until we hit the the fall equinox this year, my level of giddiness for the start of my very favourite season is increasing with each passing hour.

There is so, so very much to love about autumn, from the bounty of seasonal produce (apples, pears, grapes, pumpkins, zucchini, squash - the list goes deliciously on and on) to the return of fabrics such as tweed, gabardine, and corduroy, the crunchy jewel toned leaves to the brisk evening breezes, I could wax poetically until the cows came home about the many splendid points of this gorgeous time of the year.

Without a doubt fall fashions are amongst the elements that I adore most about this season. Interestingly though, my fall and winter vintage wardrobe pales in size when compared to my spring and summer one.

I know this is partially due to the fact that I'm allergic to wool (even very small percentages in fabric blends), so that rules a lot of old school (and modern, for that matter) skirts, suits, sweaters and coats, but beyond that, it's hard to say why such is the case.

You know something, as I sit here and type this right now, it hits me that my whole wardrobe (whether vintage or otherwise) is smaller in the fall and winter department, which makes all of zero sense considering how many months of the year are chilly to down right freezing cold here in Canada.

Determined to do something about this point - if only by a few garments - I went on the prowl for vintage images of fall clothing to help me figure out what kinds of yesteryear pieces I'd like to add to my cold weather wardrobe.

Without a doubt one of the absolute most beautiful images I encountered was the 1922 cover of the Simpsons catalog pictured below.


Though by no means as well known south of the 49th as Sears or even Eaton’s, Simpsons (which later, in the early 1950s, merged with Sears) was a popular Canadian chain of department stores that also offered mail order catalogues to their customers (Simpsons closed its last set of doors about two decades ago).

In this immensely lovely illustration from 1922 (which comes by way of Old Catalogs on Flickr) we see an elegantly attired young woman in a velvet dress and hat (complete with charming feather plume) sitting with her borzoi beneath a maple tree that's burst forth in classic fall shades crisp yellow, orange and red.

Unlike many of the more flapper-ish styles of the twenties (which simply do not get along with my petite hourglass figure), this is the sort of dress from that era that I could really see my (usually 40s and 50s oriented) self wearing.

I love the deeply rich hue of burgundy, the charming Greek inspired embroidery, and the figure flattering sashed waist. Regardless of if I ever add a dress like this to my fall wardrobe, I appreciate the inspiration it provides in terms of colour and fabric.

So as autumn nears closer (yay!), I shall keep hunting for images like this amazing 1920s catalog cover to help me, I sincerely hope, finally grow the size of my vintage fall wardrobe this year.

By all means, please feel free to share any of your favourite images with me in the comment section - the more we show each other what's inspiring us this season, the better! Smile

September 15, 2011

Delightful, newly rereleased Archie comic books from the 40s and 50s

Day 258 of Vintage 365


Though what exactly the specs of the assignment were escape me all these years later, I have a distinct memory of writing a paper for my tenth grade English class in which I compared the various cliques of students (without naming specific names) in my school with the beloved characters in Archie comic books.

As I read my paper aloud, standing up in front of the blackboard, I got the distinct feeling that most of my classmates could not have been less interested in the topic of Archie comics. That didn't matter one ounce to me - I'd known full well going into it that most of them wouldn't share my passion for discussing this classic comic book mainstay.

This paper was more for myself (and my teacher - shout out to Mrs. Glibbery), a lifelong fan of Archie comics, especially the older ones my parents had held onto from their childhood, than my Generation Y peers.

Though it's now been quite a few years since I last caught up with Betty, Veronica, Archie and the rest of the Riverdale gang, it's impossible for me to look back on my childhood and not think of the long road trips, toasty summer afternoon's in our ramshackle backyard tree house, and flashlight lit evenings spent reading various Archie comics (I especially liked the, back in the early 90s, beefy double digests).

I'm by no means alone in this regard. Archie comics have been a part of many people's childhoods since they first burst on the scene in early 1950s. My grandparents, my parents and I all all have our own memories of the cast of characters - from cheeseburger crazed Jughead to spoiled heiress Veronica - that made up Archie comics.

I recall how when I read Archies as a six and seven year old, the teenagers these comics depicted seemed to worldly and grown-up, it was hard to imagine myself ever being the same age as them – but of course I got there faster than I could blink. And in part that's what my high school English paper was marking, that I had reached the same age as the comic book characters I'd loving read as a youngster.

There's something really special about the fact that Archie and his pals are still going strong more seven decades onward - especially in the face of the digital era. Fun as the Archie I remember from the 80s and 90s was, it's impossible for me not to have a soft spot in my heart for the early days of this wonderful comic series.

Imagine my delight then when I recently discovered that hardcover editions of classic, vintage Archie comic books are now being rereleased for lifelong fans like me, as well as a whole new generation of youngsters, to enjoy.


So far I've found five books of vintage Archie comics which have either just been released or are slated to come out very soon. These include Archie Americana Volume 1: The '40s, Archie Americana Volume 2: The '50s, Archie Christmas Classics, Archie: The Best of Harry Lucey Volume 1, and Archie: The Best of Samm Schwartz Volume 1 (all of which you can pick up on Amazon).

Each hardcover book weighs in with about 200 pages of delightful vintage Archie goodness, that is sure to enchant and entertain Riverdale High enthusiasts of all ages.

Whether you read them for the charming stories and beloved plots (oh, Archie, when will you wake up and see Betty is the best choice!), the terrific old school comic book artwork, or even the vintage fashions the characters sported back in the 40s and 50s, these classic comic books are a fabulous blast from the past that is sure to bring many happy memories of your youth rushing back faster than Moose when he spots Reggie talking to Midge! Smile

September 14, 2011

Get the whole gang together for vintage apple dumplings

Day 257 of Vintage 365


As you may recall, last week we took a gander at pears in the form of a delightfully zingy recipe for Citrus Pear Pie. This week, as we inch even closer to the start of autumn (soooo excited!), the focus is on a similar, wonderfully seasonal fruit: apples.

It's hard to picture fall without conjuring up thoughts of apples in hues spanning from soft golden yellow to rich burgundy, and of course there's always the iconic red apple, perfectly polished and placed on teacher's desk.

Apples have been a staple food in much of the world for centuries, they're popularity and versatility holding strong through the years. I adore apples (my very favourite varieties are Pink Lady, Red Delicious and Honeycrisp, what are yours?) and cook with them all year round, but especially flock to fill my fruit bowl with these delicious gems during the start of fall.

From pies to tarts, sauces to salads - not mention juice and cider, there is an almost limitless number of ways to use apples (of course eating them straight out of hand is always fabulous, too!).

This week's recipe - which will call to mind the name of a classic 1970s Disney movie - sees them enveloped in a layer of flakey, crunchy pastry for a filling dessert that's sure to help fill tummies hungry from a day spent out raking the yard, harvesting the garden or even picking apples themselves!

Apple Dumplings are one of the largest dumplings around - and also one of the most delectable. Unlike many other types of sweet and savoury dumplings alike, these tasty treats are neither boiled nor fried, instead they're baked in a 425° oven for 40 to 45 minutes.

This charming vintage Betty Crocker recipe for Apple Dumplings Supreme takes this timeless classic and jazzes it up further with the addition of a scrumptious cinnamon syrup that is splashed over the baked dumplings - thus adding another fabulously autumnal note to this splendid recipe.

{Vintage Apple Dumplings recipe by way of spuzzlightyeartoo on Flickr. Click here for a larger version of this great fall dessert.}

The recipe itself doesn't indicate a specific variety, instead suggesting you use "tart, juicy apples". This leaves the floor wide open for anything from peridot hued Granny Smiths to Jonathans (which feature a good blend of sweetness and tartness). Really though, you can use just about any type of apple that holds up well when cooked, so feel free to go as sugary or as tangy as you'd like, depending on your personal taste.

This dessert smells nothing shy of mouth-watering as it cooks, the intoxicating scent of pastry and apples wafting beyond the oven and through the whole house. The cinnamon syrup at the end further enhances the gorgeous fall time feel and taste of this filling dessert.

Perfect for evenings when you have a little more time and want something noteworthy, apple dumplings are as iconic as the fruit they're filled with and are simply perfect for this special, nearly-autumn time of the year.

September 13, 2011

Sending out 256 thank-yous!

Day 256 of Vintage 365


It struck me this morning as I sat down to electronically pen today's post that the Vintage 365 project has now been going on for 256 days. Or to look at it in another light, there are just ninety-nine days left in this year and thus (all things willing) ninety-nine further posts in this series.

Though, I won't lie to you, there have been a few rocky moments this year, over-all the experience of blogging every single day, on a different, topic, has been wonderful.

I usually enjoy a good challenge - and all the more so if it's creatively oriented, which (I find) the act of blogging to definitely be. We're not done the year yet though, and 99 more posts lay ahead of us still before 2011 comes to a close.

I want to take a heartfelt moment today though to send out my deepest gratitude to all those - whether you've read every single 365 post so far or this is your very first one - to thank you for following along, commenting, and helping to be a part of this daily blogging project. To say it would not have been the same so far without you would be a sincere understatement.

{Adorable vintage thank you card via Zero Discipline on Flickr.}


With fall nearly underway and the prospect of many terrific topics still to cover this year (and of course well beyond, too), I eagerly look forward to sharing nearly a hundred more daily vintage themed posts with you, my wonderful friends.

For everything this year, thank you!

September 12, 2011

I’ve discovered the addictive joy of Pinterest

Day 255 of Vintage 365


While Pinterest is by no means a hushed secret any more (it’s already been hailed as one of the 50 best websites of 2011 by Time Magazine), it wasn't until about a month or so ago that I began using it.

Last spring a very dear friend sent me an invite, which I accepted at the time, but for various reasons I wasn't able to devote the time needed then to properly explore the site and all it had to offer back then.

Jump ahead to this past August – after continually seeing mention after mention of Pinterest online – I decided it was high time I go see what everyone was buzzing about.

At its heart Pinterest is a giant online inspiration board. Members find (or "Pin") images (of just about anything you can imagine) online and then bookmark them to their Pinterest accounts.

Pinterest combines the practicality of an online bookmarking service with the seek-and-discover fun of (a site that I was a major user of a few years back).

Users create categories (called boards) within their account and then organize the images they've saved however they desire. Members can (and most do) re-pin items that fellow Pinterest users have added to their boards. This makes for some wonderful communal sharing of fantastic photos (you can also comment on any and all images you - or other Pinterest members add).

This site is easy-as-pie to get the hang of, and let me tell you, highly (ridiculously) addictive!


I've already created more than 60 boards and have hundreds upon hundreds of pins (which you can see a sampling of in the screen shot above), all created in the span of about a month.

Now granted, I've mildly obsessed with Pinterest at the moment and won't usually be devoting anywhere near as much time as I did recently to it, but I definitely see this being a site that I'm going to use in the long run. It allows me to quickly create a virtual inspiration board that I can refer back to any time, use images I've pined for blog posts, and even turn into a wish list of sorts.

As you might expect, I've already started adding oodles of great vintage related images, which I’ve organized into different boards such as The Crazy Thirties, Fantastic Forties, Fabulous Fifties, Fantasy Vintage Wardrobe, Vintage home decor, Hollywood Past, and Vintage in a Modern World (amongst many others).

If you've not jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon yet, I highly recommend you do. It is a fabulous replacement (or supplement, as the case may be) for a host of bookmarking, wish list, and photo saving sites that quickly and easily allows you to corral all of the images and sites you find online and want to remember into one super handy-dandy spot.

For my Chronically Vintage readers who are already fellow Pinterest users, I'd love to see your boards and follow you there. You can find me (probably spending far too much time) on Pinterest under the username Vintage Blog (natch! :) ).

It's been a long time since a new communal website really captured my attention, but I can definitely say that Pinterest has and I couldn't be happier about it! Smile


Please feel free to pin anything you'd like from my posts here on Chronically Vintage. The more image sharing on Pinterest, the merrier! 

September 11, 2011

A moment of reverent silence in honour of September 11th

Day 254 of Vintage 365

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power,

the world will know peace." ~ Jimi Hendrix


{Image of a 1950s WAF officer candidate saluting in front of the US flag via Beverly & Pack on Flickr.}


Sombre, massively impactful, impossible to forget, 9/11 means many things to each of us. For most, especially those who are old enough to remember exactly where they were when they first found out the attacks, this day will live like an uninvited specter in our minds for the rest of time.

In honour of all those affected by the tragic events of September 11, 2001, please use today's short post, with it's eloquent quote that hope for a world where peace is true and events like this will never again occur, as a moment of silent remembrance for a day that shocked, shook, and forever changed history.

May we all live to know one day know a world with peace.

September 10, 2011

Autumn means it's time for the return of glamorous eveningwear

Day 253 of Vintage 365


There's something about even the slightest dip in temperate, the promise of cooler nights, and the return of breezes with bite, that makes me suddenly want to dress up. Not in a Halloween costume, that will come in a few weeks time. No, I mean really gussy myself up for an evening out on the town.

During the dog days of summer, especially for those who live in especially humid and/or warm climates, it can be tricky to work up the energy - or have a justifiable reason - to pull out all the stops and look worthy of 1940s or 50s night at the Oscars. Summer's stifling heat alone can make wearing certain fabrics and garments just plane impractical.

Of course many of us look picture worthy all summer long, but the fashions we sport are often of a more playful, casual nature, than the serious business of a fall or winter weight cocktail dress or evening gown.

It's not just the garments themselves though either. Who hasn't carefully applied a full face of make-up on a sticky July night only to see half of it melt off before you've even reached your destination? (Sure, waterproof cosmetics can help with this, but humidity and heat have a rather uncanny ability to undo even the most polished of looks!). Hair, too, can go from fabulous to flat, drop-dead gorgeous to droopy, under the powerful hands of summer's heat.

Come the return of autumn though, when most of us are treated to cooler days - and definitely nights - it's all I can do not to slip into a tulle or satin gown for even the most mundane of daily chores.

Free at last to breathe again after a sweltering summer, a certain charged energy fills my spirit, as a nippy wind rustles through the leaves. I know it's time to introduce my winter wraps, ankle length dresses, close-toed shoes, and heavier weight garments back into my closet. I'll miss my lovely sundresses for sure, but they've had their spin this year and it's high time other items in my wardrobe got their turn again, too.

Helping to fuel the fires of my desire to go full-on glamorous is a charming two and a half minute video clip from Youtube poster Glamour Daze that I watched recently for the first time. Featuring an array of delightfully charming 1940s eveningwear fashions, this lovely video is sure to put you in the mood for night time glamour, too.


Whether you fall hard for forties looks like these, prefer slinky 1930s styles or (as I tend to) go gaga over the structured formalwear frocks of the 50s, there's a fancy vintage dress out there for everyone.

While, for most of us, life doesn't require such fancy looks too often, it does sometimes present us with opportunities to really, properly dress up. From nights at the opera or theater to evening weddings, charity galas to good old fashioned formal dances - even date nights can turn in reasons to really, truly look glamorous from well-coifed head to beautiful shoe.

Hopefully, as fall draws ever nearer, we'll all get at least a chance or two this season to take a page from today's wonderful 1940s eveningwear clip and belle of the ball in stunning vintage glamour.

September 9, 2011

The prettiest 1950s sewing machine I've ever seen

Day 252 of Vintage 365


In celebration of the fact that September is National Sewing Month (really, I like to think of it as full-blown International Sewing Month, as sewing is a universal activity and love!), I thought it would be fun to try and devote a post a week (roughly) to things that are both vintage and sewing related.

As I'm by no means a sewing expert myself (hem a skirt, make a simple pair of lounge pants, sure - sew an evening gown without batting an eye, not so much!) and haven't owned or had regular access to a sewing machine in about a decade, I likely won't be instructing you on any projects this month.

Instead we'll dig through (mid-twentieth century) history for some delight vintage sewing topics that you can enjoy all month long and well beyond!

I, for one, know that I'd just about melt faster than a crayon in Death Valley were I to come across the incredibly pretty pink 1950s Singer sewing machine in today's post.

While the colour of a device rarely has any impact on how well it will preform, when I gaze (longingly) at this machine, I  imagine my own output being so productive I'd quickly run out of places to stash my newly sewn creations.


Delightful - that was the first word I thought of when I came across this ad on saltycotton's fantastic Flickr stream, flat out delightful. Just look at it, glistening in its perfectly dusty rose hued pink, boasting 101 stitch variations, and being quite possibly the prettiest (non-antique) Singer sewing machine I've ever seen.

Why did Singer stop making pink sewing machines? Sure there's been other colours over the years, both before and after, but these days it's rare to find a real, take charge sort of sewing machine (as opposed to a cute, lightweight plastic one, of possibly unreliable quality) that isn't white.

I adore the idea of one's sewing machine doubling as a fashionable home decor piece when not in use, it's charming pink exterior beckoning you to sit down and whip up an apron, circle skirt, wedding dress - anything.

Yet it's not just the wonderful pink sewing machine itself I adore about this vintage Singer ad, there's also the fashionably resplendent outfits the three women and one little girl are sporting, as well as the classic 1950s pink wall colour and wonderful rotary phones they're all chatting away on (no doubt telling everyone they know about their gorgeous new pink Singer!).

In honour of National Sewing Month, I vow (never before knowing that such a marvelous thing as a pink vintage sewing machine existed) to henceforth keep my eyes peeled at every garage sale, thrift shop, flea market, and second hand store I go to, hoping that perhaps the gods of sewing will smile upon me and lead me to find one of these beauties, still in good working order, to take home and finally remedy my lack of a sewing machine situation! Smile

September 8, 2011

You'll go wild for this fabulous leopard print dress

Day 251 of Vintage 365


Maybe it was my cat's recent birthday, perhaps it's how often my husband and I watch Animal planet (how awesome is Austin Stevens?!), or maybe it's simply the fact that it's always been my most favourite animal fur patterns, whatever the case, there's no denying that I've been feeling leopard print in a big way recently.

Leopard print falls in out out vogue as a trend, yet also has an endearingly timeless quality that ensure one can almost always find a piece or two  featuring this pattern in nearly any well stocked boutique or department store.

Some people shy away from leopard, fearing it's ability to quickly turn from sultry to trashy, but I think such folks do themselves (and their wardrobes) a disservice, as this classic pattern can look flat out amazing on anyone. The trick merely lies in the colours, size of the pattern and fit of the garment (and really, isn't the same true of just about all clothing?).

Those who have not given into their sartorial animal intuitions and donned leopard print before may be prefer to start small, say with a handbag (love this red rose adorned leopard print purse over at Plasticland!) or a pair of very pin-up worthy high heels (such as these gorgeous leopard print peep toe shoes), before venturing into to larger garments.

To the best of my memory, my first brush with this age-old feline pattern came all the way back in grade eight when I had a pink leopard patterned hair scrunchie. Though these days I keep my leopard print on the classic tan, brown, black and orange side, ever since then I've tried to maintain at least one (and often many more) leopard items in my closet.

This pattern, in it's natural hues, is comprised of neutral tones and as such it can be paired with a broad range of other colours. Personally though I do tend to prefer it with darker shades of black, brown, cream, grey and denim blue.

Calling to mind vixenish women of the 1950s (think Bettie Page or Jane Mansfield in their tantalizing leopard bikinis), leopard can play both the sexpot and the innocent kitten with equal skill. Again, it's all in how you tame this bold pattern. Small doses tend to be more subdued, whereas head-to-toe leopard can be simultaneously racy and elegant.

If you're feeling adventurous and want to tackle leopard full on, I recommend hunting down a vintage or vintage inspired leopard print dress, such as the knock-out number below from UK seller Aspire Style.


This wonderfully lovely leopard print dress features cap sleeves, a very 1950s inspired neckline, fitted seaming through the bodice, and a swingy a-line skirt. The spots on this particular leopard pattern veer on the larger side, almost giving the dress an abstract art quality.

One solid glance though and it's plain to see that this beautiful frock (which is available for £65.00 from Aspire Style) is bursting with leopardy charm and appeal.

I'd wear this dress in a heartbeat (the tailoring is just my style!), sporting it with understated black heels, simple cream pearl or gold jewelry, an upswept hairdo, and perhaps a black cardigan or faux fur wrap as the seasons transition in the coming weeks from summer to fall.

Leopard print is no where near as scary or imposing as the wild creature whose fur inspired it. There's no need to fear it more than any other pattern, simply embrace the scale (be it a small leopard print scarf or a commanding dress like today's pretty frock) that you're most comfortable with and go for it.

This fun, vintage approved, completely delightful pattern is perfect for fall's colour palette and will surely make you the cat's meow when you sport it!  Smile

September 7, 2011

Celebrate the merging of two season with vintage Citrus Pear Pie

Day 250 of Vintage 365


With each passing September day we're nearing ever close to a new season, to summer's retirement, and to the especially lovely harvest that this season brings forth. For the moment though, hanging out on the seventh day of the month, a new school year just starting to get under way, there's still a summery note in the air.

The two seasons are charging head on, meshing up for a few short weeks in a burst of golden light and temperatures that still permit open-toed shoes and stocking-less legs. During this brief window we have the luxury of picking foods from both seasonal camps. Tart, energizing summer flavours and mellow, hearty autumn ingredients.

Today's vintage recipe for Citrus Pear Pie has a soft of contemporary fusion to its name that belies the fact that its decades old. Though one might not think of pears and lemons as making the best culinary bedfellows, when you stop and reflect on the fact that most apple pies include at least a squeeze of lemon, the combination really isn't that bizarre.

{Click here for a larger version of this delightful vintage Citrus Pear Pie recipe. Image by way of Eudaemonius on Flickc.}

Calling for a just small handful of easy to come by ingredients, this pie is a snap to put together. There are many, many fantastic varieties of pears on the market these days (even most smaller sized grocery stores stock at least four or five come September), however I'm particularly fond of using Bosc and red Italian pears for baked desserts.

Boscs generally hold up extremely well, even under long cooking times, and red Italian pears are often beautifully sweet and juicy, which would make them a good counterpoint to the zesty lemon in this yesteryear recipe.

Pears are my second favourite fruit of all time (with raspberries edging them out ever-so-slightly), and come their relatively short peak season, I cook with them like mad. Using them to use in everything from pork loin dishes to bread puddings, spice muffins to other baked treats like this week's yummy sounding Citrus Pear Pie.

After all, before we can say “vintage dessert”, these last few days of summer will be over and the magical between-the-seasons period just a pleasant memory. We’ve got to nab our most beloved seasonal produce while it’s still on the shelves and whisk it quickly to our tables! Smile

September 6, 2011

School is now in session

Day 249 of Vintage 365


"The object of education is to prepare the young to

educate themselves throughout their lives." ~ Robert Maynard Hutchins

{Endearingly sweet 1950s first day of school image via paul.malon on Flickr.}


As discussed in yesterday's Labour Day post, it's scarcely a secret that today can be a very busy and harried one for many. Whether you have little ones to get off to their first day of school or are taking up a desk seat yourself, for those starting a new school year today, it's can be a massively action packed twenty-four hours.

Therefore this post isn't going to be a lengthy one. You've already got oodles to see and do today, and I don't want to take up much of your time.

In the spirit of charming vintage art and the act of new school years commencing everywhere, I hope that you'll spare a moment though to enjoy this tug-at-your-heartstrings 1950s illustration of a youngster's first day of school, and the insightful quote about education which comes by way of a former Dean at Yale Law.

To all those who are - of have loved ones who're - heading back to class today, I wish you a happy, fulfilling, fun, completely fantastic school year!

September 5, 2011

Fondly reminiscing about Labour Days past

Day 248 of Vintage 365


Though nowadays the school year sometimes starts on other dates across towns and cities in North America, traditionally - and still to this day for many - Labour Day marked the last day of summer vacation, the very next morning ushering a return to classrooms everywhere.

It was a bittersweet day, as I recall. On the one hand you were crushed to see the weeks of summer fun come barrelling to an end, in no way ever fully ready to delve back into another ten month stretch of books, homework, teachers, and student life, yet on the other, part of you knew deep down inside that you needed to buck up and face the next leg of your future.

I remember many of my childhood Labour Days with startlingly detail - perhaps because as the hours of each ticked past, I tried my hardest to make them seem as though they'd stretch on until the end of time. Obviously though, such was never the case, and come the very next morning it - the brand-spanking new school year - began anew.

Truthfully, sad as I was to leave behind summer, I rarely minded returning to school. I enjoyed my academic days a lot and always liked the serge of excitement and possibility that the fresh school year held in its grasp.

Labour day always meant that there was new clothing (often the first since the prior school year began) to be laid out, golden yellow number two pencils to sharpen, notebooks to neatly write your name inside, shoes to shine, lunches to make, and a night of sleepless anticipation ahead.

{Vintage first day of school photo of a cute little girl in 1953. I remember posing in much the same way in front of my elementary school for my mother when I was little, too. Image via Ireed76 on Flickr.}

The next morning, butterflies swarming in my stomach, awake ages before the alarm went off, I'd get ready quickly, triple check that I had all of my school supplies, head downstairs for a quick breakfast, then open the front down and take a deep breath of the first day of the unofficial end of summer (after all, the start of a new school year really was the clincher when it came to summer's demise for any school aged youngster).

Yes, summer was as good as over, but there was so, so much possibility looming on the horizon. So with a blend of nerves and excitement, I'd take up my packsack laden with new supplies and walk to school, find my name printed on a sheet tapped to one of the windows (that being how kids at my elementary school knew which classroom they were destined for), wait for the morning bell, slide into a fresh desk and smile, ready for another intriguing year of learning.

Though my school days are long behind me now, it's still impossible for Labour Day to pass by without a hint of all those same childhood emotions rearing up, a pleasant reminder of every first day of school I ever had - and the fresh start that September always promised.

September 4, 2011

A white and red vintage inspired bathroom that's anything but dull

Day 247 of Vintage 365


Much as I do not consider myself a minimalist when it comes to home decor, there is much to be said for understatedly simplicity, for letting a handful of key pieces shine on their own and work in delightful harmony to create a room that is deeply pretty.

Most bathrooms veer on the small side, thus meaning that cramming them up to the rafters can create a stifling look and feel with very little appeal. A glaring colour palette can be tricky to pull off, too (much as I do, admittedly, love vintage pink bathrooms). When putting together a beautiful powder room you want to strive for the right balance between function and style, elegance and practicality.

To my mind, the charmingly lovely vintage inspired loo below nails that criteria smack dab on the head.


Hailing from online UK decor site House to Home (soooo worth bookmarking, if you haven't already), this fresh, elegantly arranged bathroom is big on style, but spared from looking even the slightest bit crowded.

Channelling a distinctly vintage vibe with its stately claw foot tub, antique chair, old-fashioned style toilet (note that the tank is elevated from the seat portion), playfully shaped mirrors, glistening chandelier, and vibrant red floral fabrics, this room is a winner from start to finish.

Using basic, neutral colours and engaging touches (like the white towel rack and toilet paper holder), this classy washroom provides oodles of vintage inspiration for those looking to update their own loos in very, very lovely vintage style.

Few things beat a long soak in a claw foot tub, nor how enjoyable it is to see one of these throwbacks to the past each time you enter a bathroom, so for me that - plus the gorgeous floral print fabrics - are what adheres this room to my decor inspiration board the most.

A timeless palette, clean lines and great details all add up to a room that's anything must boring and about a million miles away from minimalistic!

September 3, 2011

Bust out the needle and thread, it's National Sewing Month!

Day 246 of Vintage 365


When it comes to sewing, I make no claims about being an expert. I’ve got the basics down, have sewn a few garments in my life, and know my way around a fabric store, but I'm not a skilled seamstress, as I know many of you are.

At the moment I don't own a sewing machine, but it's on my "dream wish list", so hopefully one of these days the sewing machine fairy will deliver one my way!

Nevertheless, just because I don't have a sewing machine doesn't mean that I don't love sewing - because I definitely do. Presently, the bulk of my sewing is hand sewing that I incorporate into my scrapbook pages and homemade cards, as well as my (lifelong) passion for cross stitching. (Ohhh, and stack - that mysteriously seems to get a little taller with each passing year - of vintage sewing patterns, tucked away for that day when a sewing machine comes to fruition.)

So, you may be wondering, what has me thinking about sewing today? That would be the fact that September is National Sewing Month. First launched in 1982 with a proclamation from President Reagan, who declared September to be National Sewing Month, "In Recognition of the importance of home sewing to our nation."

Though Mr. Reagan was speaking about the US, there's no reason why this month of celebrating the importance of sewing can't be extended to crafters and seamstresses the world over.

Whether you love to sew yourself, are a fan or buying handmade sewing projects, or just enjoy items with sewing notion motifs on them, there's a place on the spectrum of sewing for everyone.

With September's arrival this week, many of us just weeks (or even days) away from a noticeable switch from summer to autumn weather, which means that we'll likely be spending more time inside again, our thoughts traveling to fun, crafty sewing projects we can delve into while the weather turns ever nastier

To quote the official National Sewing Month website, "National Sewing Month is a time to indulge your passion for sewing and is the perfect opportunity to introduce yourself to the craft if you’ve never tried it before. New and experienced enthusiasts can find free sewing projects and Guidelines for sewing, embroidery, craft and appliqué articles available on the Sewing & Craft Alliance (SCA) website at Looking for an instructor? Try the SCA searchable instructor database to find one in your area.

Another place to start is the American Sewing Guild. With chapters and neighborhood groups across the country, members meet monthly to share their skills and ideas, enjoy education sessions and participate in community sewing projects.

September is a time to celebrate our passion, but we know the creative, therapeutic and calming effects of sewing are joys that we can celebrate throughout the entire year. Happy sewing!"

Isn't that heartwarmingly lovely? I certainly think so. I really like the fact that sewing fans and enthusiasts of any skill level can use September as an excellent chance to connect with this timeless, valuable art form which has so many practical, beautiful applications.

{If sewing alone seems a little dull, why not gather a group of your besties and throw together a good, old fashioned - entirely vintage approved - sewing party? More advanced sewers can help novices and every stands to gather inspiration from one another's projects and ideas. 1954 photo of college students sewing from DigitalProjectsUNCG on Flickr.}

Tell me, sweets dears, what role does sewing have your life and your memories? Will you be using September to jump into a new sewing project - or keep working on an ongoing one?

I'm personally stoked about the fact that it's National Sewing Month and am going to look for lots of fun ways (from using sewing themed products on some of my paper crafting creations to better organizing my tiny collection of buttons) to keep sewing at the forefront of my mind all September long.

September 2, 2011

Gorgeous vintage inspired flower headbands for children

Day 245 of Vintage 365


Lacking the blessing of any children of my own at this stage in my life - and not having any precious little nieces or nephews, or godchildren - I don't get to many occasions these days to dress kids. That doesn't stop me from swooning when I see adorable, beautiful, or otherwise intriguing kids clothes. After all, it's never too soon to bookmark favourite sites and sellers for future reference!

Like many people, I'm a sucker for a cute child – pair said youngster with lovely clothing - and I pretty much go weak in the knees and want to dress them up from sunrise to sunset. One of my favourite trends in kid's accessories (a spill over from their popularity amongst adults, too)  in the last few years has been fabulously gorgeous (fabric) flower adorned headbands.

While cruising etsy recently, I chanced upon an especially adorable photo of a darling child sporting a glamorously wonderful white floral headband. I love the styling of this shot from. From the looped 1920s-esque pearl necklaces that call to mind a pint sized flapper, to the gorgeous pale hued flower and feather headband.


Seriously, how darling is this little girl and her awesome vintage inspired headband? It features two rolled cream roses, a frayed chiffon flower, white feathers, a glistening rhinestone piece, and a tiny piece of veiling peaking out in the front. So charming, so timelessly sweet!

This headband (which is available for $20.00 from etsy seller Nana Rose Designs) would be perfect for any special little girl in your life.

With it's soft colour, elegant textures, and shabby chic vibe, I could see this working so fantastically for a wedding, christening, birthday party, Christmas, a family photo shoot - or really any day when you want your special little one to be especially sweetly accessorized.

For those like me, who don't have any kids to dress yet, this Nana Rose Designs also offers all of their enchanting fascinator style headbands in adult sizes, too. But for the ultimate cuteness factor, you just can't beat these precious hair toppers for all the cutie pies in your life! Smile

September 1, 2011

1950s Busy Day Baked Beans are terrific for the hecticness of September

Day 244 of Vintage 365


While recipes (vintage or otherwise) generally appear on Chronically Vintage on Wednesdays, as yesterday post was all about (my cat) Stella's birthday, I bumped the usual food filled entry up a day. In fact, I think this ends up working out quite well because now we can launch the new month off on a tasty note.

Though it's definitely still more summer than autumn here in Toronto (despite - or perhaps because of! - the powerful storms we've been experiencing in this neck of the woods recently), my mind is already drifting to thoughts of hearty comfort foods with intoxicating aromas that haven't seen the light of day since the last snowfall.

It's scarcely a secret that September can be a hectic month - especially if you have little ones that are headed back to school, or if you've making a beeline for campus life yourself! Aside from academic related reasons, the ninth month of the year is often an action packed one because many other events (sports, Girl Guides or Boy Scouts, clubs, etc) start their new seasons now.

We're also beginning to think about the fall and winter holiday season ahead, digging out and reintroducing cold weather clothes into our wardrobes, raking leaves, possibly harvesting our gardens (and, for some, canning the bounty you've lovingly grown), and readying our homes and lives for the upcoming changing of the seasons.

September is rarely a month when I have time to simply stop and smell the roses (or pumpkins, as the case may be) and I know that many of you are in the same boat, so to help usher in September, today's classic 1952 recipe for Busy Day Beans is one that requires but a handful of ingredients and can be table-ready in no time at all.

{Fragrant, delicious Busy Day Beans are a 1950s staple that work just as well for harried folks today. Vintage recipe image via Curly-Wurly on Flickr. Click here for a larger version of this great recipe.}

You can tweak this simple, delicious recipe to your heart's content. I, for one, would swap out the onion flakes for fresh onions, shallots or green onions (scallions) - sprinkling a handful of the later across the top of each serving before bringing it to the table.

Likewise you can  increase or decrease (or remove entirely) the mustard – why not use spicy, brown, or honey mustard instead, as well. Feel free to toss in any other vegetables (some diced boiled potatoes would be wonderful!) you like, or even cubes of meat (ham, bacon, stewing beef, etc) or tofu for added protein and stick-to-your-ribs filling power.

Ready in just 30 minutes, this speedy vintage one pot dish is the kind meal that's a welcome treat during this mile-a-minute month and well on all through the blustery days of autumn and winter.