Here is the cover for the June 4 1955 New Yorker. This cover is very evocative. I love the perspective of the solitary figure making the gravel free of footprints in the shadow of the great cathedral.
Louise Suggs wins LPGA Eastern Golf Open today in 1955. She was one of the founders of the LPGA Tour and thus modern ladies’ golf. She turned professional in 1948 and went on to win 55 professional tournaments, including 11 majors. Women, it seems, were making names for themselves all over.
Last night was my hubby’s work party and here is the cake I made for it. It was a goodbye party for a co-worker. I made my old reliable chocolate fudge cake and fudge frosting. They will always please and will be moist. The icing is easy to spread. The decorating icing was confectioners sugar a little melted butter and milk to the right consistency. Really, I just mixed them together until they were thick enough to handle. I could have done something more dramatic, but wanted to make it rather simple and twee, very 1950’s I think.
Here is the recipe:
I made a double batch of cake batter and frosting so I could make cupcakes as well. Here are the two cake tins I used to take my delights to the party. This yellow one is a ‘new’ one. The local antique shop owner, who I have come to know, was renting out a space and had set out some things with a ‘free’ sign. That is how this little lovely came into my life. In the rear you can see the silver 1950’s cake tin I have shown before. It was nice to have the two , one for the cake, the other cupcakes.
I would say the party was fun and the cake was a smash hit. Hubby says I may become the ‘baker’ for work now, so that may be good or bad. I suppose at the next work function they will be asking hubby to ask me to whip something up. Really, it is a great compliment, and to be on the ready for just such a last minute creation is certainly something a genuine 1955 housewife would have had to do. Therefore, I shall be always on the ready for any unexpected last minute cakes or dinners that need to be whipped up. “Have stocked panty and stocked cook book shelves, will create” should be my credo over my pantry door.
Now, today I have much to do. I have a house full of guests coming tomorrow to celebrate my hubby’s birthday. Today, in the rain, I have to finish laying some sod. Finish my little deck I started (part of a larger project on the side of my house by my chicken yard) bake my homemade cheese cake, prepare homemade potato salad and sides. Then tomorrow give the house an extra thorough cleaning and set out the table, cut flowers for the house etc. This is a very busy week. I have definitely over scheduled.
I have come to realize that over scheduling, though good for the challenge, does not always make for happy outcomes. Perhaps it is a layover from the 2008 me, where I would find myself rather lazy and then when it was time to ‘get to it’ I would pile an incredible amount of things upon my plate and plough through them, leaving a trail of mess and tears in my wake. I think this is not the way to go about it, but one does need to grow. Old habits and all that.
One of the main elements 1955 has taught me is self-evaluation. It is odd, as I have said before, this was a time where we were really told to ‘lump it and get on with it’ and odd that such behavior and attitude should be the very thing I need to move ahead emotionally. The idea now, when I get blue or upset with a task I am trying, is rather than have my ‘modern me’ reaction of anger and sulkiness, not unlike a spoilt child, I am then faced with looking at what I have done and what needs to be done. I then look to my past women, put my ‘perspective goggles’ on and think, “Well, had I just come out of a war…” or “what would I have had in the Depression…” and “The constant fear of nuclear attack would make me wonder…” Such large ideas and fears mingled with what I see as doable in my homemaking manuals, forces me to stand up, stop eating (another bad habit, guilt or sad eating, from the ‘future me’) and get on with it. There is not time to wallow. You can worry about things later, right now you have laundry to do. If you want vegetables to can this fall, get out to the garden and weed, mulch and water. That fence is not going to put itself in. If you want a deck for your family to enjoy, and you want the skills to make it, get to it already and stop moping about.
So, with this ability that has sort of just come to me, I need to now apply that same element to my ‘over scheduling’. I need to see now that I do indeed make a normal realistic daily schedule and that when I want to do more, I need to work it into the schedule in a way that is fitting with the new me, and not the old lazy me, who would sit about and then rush last minute. I have to break that habit of piling too many things together because in the past (which was ironically the future) I would put things off until last minute. Now, I really do not do this, but yet then feel the need to have that last minute rush, which is silly and no longer necessary. But, growth is perpetual. I should not like to think I have reached a point where I can not grow more (except my waistline of course!). So, there it seems, another lesson learned from 1955.
It is odd that I should do it now, overschedule, as I already have really busy days everyday. I literally am, it seems, always ‘working’ though it is work I love so there is very little ‘toil’ in it. However, now when I want to re sod and build a deck BEFORE a party, I find myself lumping it all in at the end which results in my normal schedule suffering, when really it needn’t. I think part of this project for me has become, trial and error. I am not superwoman and I am not infallible, so I stop, assess, readdress, and change. But, I don’t wallow in it. I just think, “Well, ole gal, this didn’t work this time, better try a new track” and off I go.
It is good feeling accountable to others as well. Not only to myself and my hubby and Gussie (who shares our home) but to you readers. I often feel I need to ‘live up to something’. And that, it seems, is a great boon. The more one can get out of oneself the better for Action. And with the proper balance of introspection, it seems a rather well-adjusted psyche is the result.
See what dears you all are to me, even those of you who do not comment, but read, you push me forward! I sometimes think, “well, the readers wouldn’t expect me to feel conquered by this, so go ahead with it!” Some of you have told me that I have sometimes inspired you and I would like you to know that you certainly inspire me. It is a fine thing, this community. Though we are not face to face, it is very valid that we spur one another on.
So, that got me thinking about how this blogging is obviously quite a modern concept, but really , in a way, it is the modern ‘letter writing’. There has not been something for awhile that compares with it. Certainly, emails made it easier to communicate, but then it seems communication was replaced with quick little “hi’s” and 😉 and so on, but now, in the form of blogging, one feels the need to delve and express oneself, much the way our ancestors did in letters.
It has also had me come to see that element of community that exists in the written word. Certainly, we do wish we could all live closer to one another, sharing coffee, recipes etc, but think how our forebears shared the same frustration. Certainly they had friends and relatives they shared with through the written word and though they could not be always together, they lived, in a way, in the written word.
Language has always been elastic. Usage, spelling, context, slang, it changes with time, but the ability to communicate, to express emotions and feelings with some slashes to the page (or the computer screen) has been around for quite sometime. What a lovely thing it is. And what a community it can create. It has come to make me realize that community does not have to always be going out to your neighbors, but sharing and helping and being helped by those that are a part of your world through the written word.
I am proud of our community we have begun to build and I feel honored to be a part of it. Though I may not be as quick as I would like in answering letters from you on actual paper (Next Wednesday my letter writing returns to normal schedule) is is such a joy to receive them. It does make one feel good and excited to get an actual letter. It becomes a little ritual: collecting them up at the post, the joy in seeing the handwriting and checking the stamp for its source. Then, boil the water, tea is on, curl up with them and delve in, as reward for a long days hard work. That is something that is not comparable to just ‘reading emails’. Though, I do love that too, so don’t feel you cannot still email me, but the actual letter reading, it has such an antiquated feel to it now. You can sometimes imagine yourself a heroine in a Jane Austen novel, where the letter was the end all be all of communication, they not even having railroads as of yet!
So, thank you all for being and making our community here. Now, however, I have made this mess of far too many things to do for this week, so I had better get back to it. Sunday I will post pictures of food and such of the party as well as recipes. Have a good weekend ahead and Happy Homemaking!