April 28, 2012

Gretchen & Gary, and Some Mini Purse Books

Gretchen and Gary, J. Ingwersen
I found these two little paintings in an antique mall a few years ago. They are quite popular in the antique stores, but you generally don't see them in this mini size. You'll sometimes see these listed on Etsy or eBay as prints by Judith Ingwersen, although this incorrect. These are actually paintings by James J. Ingwersen.

These prints have a strong nostalgic link to my childhood. They were hanging in our home when I was a kid for as long as I can remember. In our bathroom, which is where I have mine hanging now. My younger brother and sister have blonde hair and me and my mom and dad have red hair. I can remember looking at the prints hanging in the bathroom and wondering why my mom hung paintings of my brother and sister and not me!

Speaking of things in my childhood home, I found a box of 50+ of these vintage mini mags or pocket size "purse books." You know the ones at the checkout counter in grocery stores? It's been interesting to read through these books mostly from the 70s and 80s, but some from the 50s and 60s.
The Watson Calorie Counter for Reducing Weight,
Copyright 1953
This book has a 15 day diet on the first few pages. The lunch on the 2nd day consists of Combination Salad (without Dressing), 2 Hard Boiled Eggs, and Sauerkraut Juice. Not exactly sure what a Combination Salad is, perhaps a garden salad, but I couldn't find Combination Salad listed in the calorie section anywhere. And I suppose the Sauerkraut Juice is to be used in place of a dressing, but I couldn't find that in the calorie section either.

Some interesting items I did find in the calorie section: a Tom Collins cocktail has 182 calories; Muffets (shredded wheat cereal) has 86 calories per biscuit; Oreos are listed under Crackers - Sandwiches at 62 calories for 1 sandwich; Junket (a custard or very, sweet cheese dessert) has 107 calories; Bacon Fat has 126 calories per tbsp.; one piece, about 3", of raw Green Turtle has only 89 calories; Hershey's Syrup (used to be spelled Hershey's Sirup, in this book anyway) is 69 calories per ounce; 3/4 cup of cooked Swamp Cabbage has only 18 calories.

Lakewood's Tips for Easy Beauty
Copyright 1981

I'm pretty sure the "beauty" in the lower right corner is Sela Ward. Agree? A few beauty tips from the 1980s:

  • Too much alcohol quickens facial aging.
  • See-through clothing is no protection from the sun.
  • Heating the tip of a hard-edged makeup pencil with a match will soften it enough to work with. (I kept a lighter in my makeup bag for years.)
  • Spend at least 20 minutes a day on stretching exercises. The Royal Canadian Air Force program provides some good, basic ones.
  • Beer straight from the bottle or can may be used as a setting lotion after shampooing.
  • If you're having hair problems that don't seem to get any better no matter what you do, such as breakage, loss, dandruff, brittleness, oiliness, dryness; make an appointment to see a trichologist. A what?!
Dell Purse Book, Outdoor Cooking
Copyright 1964
Lots of information about the different kinds of grills, accessories, and fire starters. Some good tips on shortcuts, foil cooking and clean up. A section on safety suggests a "chief fire-watcher" be appointed at all cookouts and a safety kit is always available (burn ointment, gauze pads, bandages, aerosol extinguishers, etc.)

A few tasty recipes include:

Flambe Steak: Add 2 jiggers of whiskey or brandy to 1/2 cup melted butter. Warm; ignite and pour over sliced steak just before serving. (See page 14 for safety tips.)

Burger Pies: Make large, thick individual patties, forming a deep indentation on one side. Grill indented side first. Turn patties. Fill indentation with creamed or sauteed fresh mushrooms. Finish grilling. (This sounds pretty good.)

Liver Kabobs: Alternate liver chunks wrapped in bacon with tiny, whole (or parbroiled) onions. Grill. 

April 21, 2012


If I'm addicted to anything, it's Tupperware. Vintage and current. I like to collect vintage Tupperware. It's probably my most favorite thing to collect. I also like to buy new Tupperware to use. I haven't been to or hosted an actual Tupperware party in years. But every now and then, I'll catch a glimpse of a catalog and I want! Or sometimes I'll find a new, usually unused, piece in a thrift store for cheap and I score!

In doing some research for this post, I ran across this:

It's a Tupperware bread box (obviously) and it's called a BreadSmart. It's so retro looking. I've got to have one! But I've only seen them on international Tupperware sites... France, Germany, Belgium. How come we don't get them?? I've seen a couple keychains of them on our eBay. I guess I'll have to save my euros to get one shipped from France.

View this entire catalog in photosnack at the bottom of this post.

I love to collect vintage Tupperware catalogs, brochures and postcard invites. It's fun to see things I have and use in my kitchen that women also used years ago. My mom used to have Tupperware parties and we had all sorts of Tupperware in our house. Such a strong childhood memory for me.

Tupperware used to carry the Good Housekeeping Seal. I checked Good Housekeeping's list of products and brands and Tupperware isn't listed. Not sure why. Did you know that if a product carries the Good Housekeeping Seal, Good Housekeeping promises a refund or replacement of a defective product within two years of purchase? I didn't know that. Of course, they have a long list of exclusions, but still a nice thing to know. I guess I've always seen the seal as just their recommendation.

The black handles are called Carioliers. Why? Even in the catalog it says handle in parentheses right after Cariolier. To go along with the Handoliers, I suppose. I see these Carioliers in thrift stores sometimes, without the canister or Handolier.

So cheerful, Mrs. Mom is, in her peachy kitchen.

The hostess gifts back then were not Tupperware. You could get his and hers watches, a portable hair dryer, even Oneida silverware.

Cheery, Mrs. Mom again, showing off her well-stocked freezer. Not a bag of frozen veggies or a box of Popsicles in sight. Wait... is it the same woman? I'm not sure.

I so absolutely remember these brushes and always unclipping the bristle piece from the handle and fighting to get it back in.

Now this is kind of neat. Cordienne, Tupperware's fancy word for cordkeeper. You still see parts of the cord, but its not a tangled mess of cord. And again with the fancy words... Cordienne, Floralier. 

Tupperware is handy for many other non-food items. Utility Trays can hold Sister's makeup, Grandma's crochet, Dad's camera and film, Junior's fishing equipment, and... Mom's gun and bullets! Please do not store weapons and ammunition in Tupperware. If you have them in your home, keep them under lock and key in appropriate containers.

I noticed on the back cover that Tupperware used to be a division of Rexall Drug and Chemical Company, along with West Bend and Duracell. And that Tupperware used to be listed in the Yellow Pages. Nowadays, there are Tupperware kiosks in the mall and virtual Tupperware parties.