We spent a beautiful Sunday walking around Balboa Park with my sister, who is in town visiting from Taos, New Mexico. It has been such a nice visit, and I loved watching her and Lucy interact and run wildly through the park (I may have joined them, but my pace is much slower these days!!).
So here I am at 33 weeks. I feel slightly less enormous in this modern maternity outfit (than the 1950s blouses), which I practically lived in when I was pregnant with Lucy. It’s a Target dress that is super comfortable, not too clingy, and it has pockets. Pockets are pretty much the best thing ever when you are a parent, I really didn’t have an opinion about them one way or another pre-kids, but now, I love when I can find a dress with them.
I should have gotten a close up, but I am also wearing a gorgeous bakelite horse brooch that my sister gave me for my birthday last year, some yellow plastic button earrings that match the brooch perfectly, and the scarf that I always wear in when I don’t have the energy to do anything with my hair (so, always).
The croquette. Flipping through almost any mid century cookbook you are sure to find at least one recipe for croquettes. So popular in the 1950s and 60s, yet it wasn’t until I started collecting vintage cookbooks that I had ever heard of this humble but significant dish. Usually made up of meat, most often breaded and fried, it really is a great way to turn leftovers into a totally new meal. It wasn’t until I picked up the book, Dishes Children Love from 1955 that I had seen a croquette made without meat. Included in the book are both a potato and sweet potato version, I opted for the sweet potato croquettes, made in the style of the regular potatoes. The sweet potato croquettes were made to be a bit sweeter with sugar and cinnamon and I quite prefer sweet potatoes prepared in a more savory manor.
This certainly isn’t the nicest looking dish I have ever made, but it was delicious. Even though Lucy refused to give it a try, I do think this is a dish this child would love….I just need to find the right time to offer it to her again. I also think the next time I am going to see how they are baked. Here is the recipe.
- 4 small or 2 large sweet potatoes, cooked and peeled
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup (plus some) bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
- oil for frying
- In a large bowl mash sweet potatoes. Stir in 3 tablespoons melted butter, shallot, Parmesan, 1 egg, dried parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
- Shape into balls, cylinders, or cones using about 1/4 cup potato mixture for each. Roll croquette in one cup of dried bread crumbs, to cover. Dip into a mixture of 1 egg and 1 tablespoon milk, then back into the bread crumbs. Shake off loose crumbs.
- About 20 minutes before deep frying, fill a deep saucepan one-half to two-thirds full with fat or oil for deep frying. Heat slowly to 365ºF.
- Deep fry croquettes until rich brown. Fry only as many at one time as will float uncrowded on the surface. Turn when underside is lightly browned and brown other side. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Serve hot.
I decided to shallow fry my croquettes in oil, turning to brown all four sides, they turned out delicious!
This made quite a lot of croquettes (I think 16 is what I got), and I ended up using two eggs and a little extra bread crumbs to cover all of them.
As I mentioned in my last post, we just returned from a fantastic little getaway. For years and years I have been dreaming of staying at the Madonna Inn. Every six months or so I would go on their website and browse through the images of all their distinct, fun, and kitschy hotel rooms, looking forward to the day when I would finally would get to be a guest of this magnificent place.
Well, this year we made it happen (with a little help from our tax return!). We stayed in the Independence room, which wasn’t my first choice, I was hoping for something with a bit more flare, but it was lovely nonetheless. The room was spacious and comfortable, and the shower–oh the shower! I should have taken a picture, it was a lovely tiled walk in shower with glass doors, and boy did it felt luxurious after years of taking showers standing in a bathtub!
We ate out, bought a few little souvenirs (I absolutely had to have one of their signature goblets, which you can see in the picture of the restaurant below), and spent a lot of time in the pool. I couldn’t have asked for a nicer and more relaxing vacation (though, I could have easily stretched those three nights into a week or more).
I could go on and on about what an amazing place this is, but I will let the pictures speak for themselves. If you haven’t been to the Madonna Inn, I also suggest going on their website and checking out the pictures of their 110 rooms.
Have you ever stayed at the Madonna Inn? If so, what room did you stay in?
We are back from the most wonderful (though entirely too short) vacation. I will share some photos from our trip in the coming days, but until then, here is my quickly expanding belly in one of my most comfortable 1950s maternity tops. As comfortable as it is, I think it may only accentuate how enormous I have grown. Modern day maternity tops seem to downsize the belly a bit—which after three days of people asking me if I am having twins or commenting that the baby must be coming any day (no, I still have TWO whole months!), I may be living in my stretchy modern maternity ware for the next few days.
My shoes are from Remix Vintage, they are the most pricey shoes I own, but boy the money was worth it. I bought them last year and because of the cost (I had to save up for this pair!) I was a little hesitant to wear them other than for special occasions. I decided just before we left for vacation that that was a ridiculous idea, and I should enjoy them as much as possible. So I have. These shoes are so comfortable, there was no “breaking in” stage, the leather is so soft, and I did a fair amount of walking in them with no discomfort. I am so glad I got over my fear of ruining them….though now I want more of their lovely shoes!
Shoes: Remix Vintage
I hope you all had a great weekend. Ours was nice and relaxed, with a surprising douse of rain. I so much love a summer rain, even if it turns our dry desert heat into the sticky hot tropics for a couple of days. Everything smells so nice and clean after a good rain. With the cloud cover and all day drizzle on Saturday, I couldn’t help but make a pot of soup and pretend that fall had arrived.
I sewed this top from a vintage pattern back when I was pregnant with Lucy, according to this blog post, December 2010–it seems so long ago now! I didn’t ever care for how the skirt turned out, but the top has been a life saver this summer. It is so light and breezy, and unlike many of my vintage tops (maternity and not), the arm holes are big enough that I don’t feel like I am going to have crazy sweat stains when I spend a little time in the sun.
I pulled this recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens Creative Cooking Library: Snacks and Refreshments, from 1963. It was titled ‘spicy raisin cake’, but I thought that was a bit misleading. To me spicy is something with kick, this has a mere teaspoon of cinnamon to flavor it, so maybe a better title would have been ‘gently spiced raisin coffeecake’. I did take the liberty to change it from spicy to spiced, because I am crazy like that.
This coffeecake was good. Really good. I am not much of a cake person, preferring pies, cobblers and the like, but I plan on making this one again and again. The cake was moist and light with a delicious cinnamon sugar crunch on the top. The raisins, which I originally thought were a bit heavy handed in the addition to the recipe, turned out to be just the perfect amount to break up what would have otherwise been an entirely too decadent tasting dessert for a mid afternoon snack.
On to the recipe.
Spiced Raisin Coffeecake
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cup raisins
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cream together butter and 1 cup sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Blend in sour cream. In a separate bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir into the creamed mixture until well incorporated. Spread 1/2 the mixture into a well greased 9 x 9 x 2 inch pan. Mix nuts, 1/2 cup sugar, and cinnamon; sprinkle half of the mixture over batter. Sprinkle raisins over. Very gently spoon the remaining batter over. Top with remaining nut mixture. Bake for 40 minutes.
Shortly after my I announced my pregnancy I got a message from a friend on Twitter, offering me a bunch of vintage maternity clothes that she no longer had a use for. It was one of the nicest gifts I have ever received–a huge box of gorgeous vintage maternity tops, dresses, and skirts from the 50s and 60s.
It took a little while to fit into some of the more roomy pieces, but lately I have been living in the most lovely 1950s tops. This pink top and skirt set was among the outfits in the box. I have worn the top a few times already with pants, but this was my first time wearing the set. I felt so glamorous and pretty, which isn’t a feeling that comes around often when you have an enormous baby belly leading the way.
Hey friends, I hope your summer (or winter) is going well. It is hot, hot, hot here. I look at the number and it is never as hot as I think it is or that it will get, but I literally feel like I am melting at all times of day and night. Being pregnant during the summer is serious business! One thing that I can always rely on to be nice and cool is the thrift store, not that I need an excuse, but the nice air conditioned thrift stores provide a nice change of scenery when Lucy and I start to get cabin fever. She will usually grab a toy or two, hop in the shopping cart and play for a little while as I waddle down the thrift store isles.
On to some of my recent finds.
1. This set of Marcrest Swiss Chalet dishes. I have talked about them in the past here. I have a friend who collects this set, but I may just have to hang on to these for a little while, I am really in love with them. (Sorry Erin!)
2. I have been building up a collection of enamel dishes and pots for picnics and future camping trips. Also, plaid linens and blankets, because only plaid will do when you are camping! I have been dreaming of camping all summer long, but not while pregnant. I hope to get back into it next year.
3. A few randoms. Pyrex, which I pretty much quit buying quite some time ago (I still need to sell off quite a bit of my hoarded dishes!), but this is my favorite print. That little girl, I don’t even have words for how much I love her chubby cheeks and bedroom eyes. I plan to use her to keep my makeup brushes in. A little bird wall vase.
Have you had any good thrifts lately?
Well hey there!
I have been busy growing a baby, sewing up little clothes, knitting for the not quickly enough approaching fall and winter, and trying to make the most of my increasingly limited time as a mama of one.
In the past I have wavered as to whether I was ready to move on from this blog, which is why I have been blogging quietly for the past two months in my new space. I needed a little time to really reevaluate why I was blogging, what I wanted to blog about, and who I was blogging for. I think I have finally answered those questions for myself and am ready to share.
Here it is: Cedar Makes Things
I will be blogging under a new name, though I am not killing off this site entirely. I may pop in here and there when I get that hankering to post about vintage.
If you have been reading here for a while you have probably noticed a great deal less food related posts lately. Other than my once a week or so retro recipes, there has been very little happening in this kitchen. The pregnancy fairy has not been as kind to me this time around, and I have had a complete loss of appetite (other than nightly takeout), as well as nausea that came and went for weeks. So much food was wasted over the past two months, it is embarrassing. I would go to the store in the morning, thinking the asparagus or green beans looked delicious, by evening the site and smell of said vegetables repulsed me. So, we have been eating out of bags for the past two months. I am not proud, but I am happy that things are looking up. I am no longer getting nausea and I have almost regained my energy, yes! Today I made breakfast (not just a piece of bread), dinner (not a burrito or sub sandwich wrapped in paper!), and Lucy and I even made a batch of granola in the afternoon. Who would have known that something as simple as scrambled eggs or grilled cheese with pesto could make one feel so accomplished? It did though, and I think I am ready to get back to it–just in time for summer’s delicious vegetables to start rolling in!
Speaking of vegetables, here are a few photos of Lucy helping my cousin pick from her beautiful garden.
It’s hard to believe this little goofball is going to be 3 this Sunday. The time does fly.