Vintage Finds 8 & 9

Ahh, it’s been another long week of cleaning out my in-laws’ house. I found a few things, but mostly I found stuff to throw out that amazed me in their scope. See what I mean ahead…

Again, a double dose for you all since I have been too busy this week to do small daily posts.

My MIL has jars upon jars of spiced beets she canned, like, maybe 25 years ago, but they have since gone off, so I ended up opening all of the jars, draining the liquid and dumping the beets into recycle bags for trash day last week. Our green bin was almost too heavy for me to roll down a sloped driveway. Almost! (I may have dragged the bin a bit here and there.) I forget how many bags I ended up with, but I’d guess seven, and each one weighing about five pounds each. Oy.

These are the jars (and some plastic pop bottles I drained at the same time) that I emptied from my MIL’s cold cellar that day. I didn’t count how many jars there were, but if I had to guess, I’d say we recycled 36 jars last week, and this week there are another 36 + 6 + 12. Most of them were baby food jars she used for her boysenberry jams which none of us like so out it went along with the beets.

This is a standard laundry tub, filled to the brim with empty canning jars.

Raise your hands if you remember these canisters? I do. My aunt had them in her kitchen at her farm when I was just starting my teen years. Hers were, however, the typical avocado & olive colour scheme that was so popular in the mid to late 1970s. And how much do you love the Dymo tape label??

I love the date on these boxes, but sadly they weren’t even the oldest thing in the basement pantry cabinets!

I don’t remember a Chez “c-wing” when I first started at the college, so I have no frame of reference for this. The date on this receipt is 85/09/10. Julie? Mary-Lou? Pam? Who worked there and what did they sell other than the sweater my SIL bought?

This is for Julie. I know this was the cassette tape set of three you were secretly looking for over at the house last weekend. Don’t lie! LOL

Vintage Finds #5 & #6

On this lazy Saturday, I will add a few more pictures of vintage than normal. I plan to be packing and cleaning up over at the in-laws’ tomorrow, so I’ll make this a double post.

Enjoy. πŸ™‚

I found an old margarine tub in my MIL’s baking cupboard stash, and when I shook it, it rattled. I was intrigued. I thought it would be some piping tips. I was close. It’s what she piped with the tips. Old rose buds. Hard as rocks rose buds. She was infamous for her cakes, but especially for her piped rose buds. She offered to show anyone who showed any interest in them how it’s done. They still smelled ok, like they hadn’t gone off, but I’m sure I would have chipped every tooth in my mouth if I tried to eat one. πŸ™‚

I’m not a big cake baker. I never got into it. I’m not much for icing and decorating. I can appreciate great craftsmanship when I see it, but I never tried my own hand at it. I’m going to assume these small colour dye jars are ancient because I don’t recall ever seeing them before. And I have been around a lot of home cake decorators in my time. Perhaps this is the stuff she used for her cake roses? Maybe.

Another jar of cake icing colour that I don’t recognize. This has to be decades old. No one makes black food colour in this kind of volume anymore. She must have bought this at a restaurant equipment or a cake making specialty store.

The last time I saw a bag of Chipits that came close to looking like this was in 1992. This bag was found in an old Tupperware container along with a few other bags just like it, and a few bags of flaked coconut that had long gone off. That vague scent of paint thinner hit me right between the eyes as I opened each bag to dump them into the recycle pail. I hate when good food goes bad. I really wanted to chow down on a fistful of these Chipits, too. :-\

My in-laws were both retired butchers, so it should come as no surprise when you open up any of the drawers in their house and find a small collection of various knives just rattling around inside it. But, for some reason, I didn’t think there would be this many in that drawer. I was a bit surprised, to be honest. Huh.

Ahh, the tackiness of the 1980s on full display in these reusable ice cubes. How did young kids back then survive seeing these plastic topless ladies? Oh, the horror! πŸ™‚

I checked. There’s not expiration date. Do you think they will still honour it? (snort)

Holy crap. For a girl with curly hair growing up the early 1970s, this was a torture device, designed to rip out a small patch of your hair from your skull when you tried to undo your ponytails. I liked how they worked, but I hated trying to undo them myself. I always ended up crying out in pain.

I have a vivid memory of playing with a set just like this with my childhood friend in her living room. I could not have been more than ten. But to this day, I still don’t understand how the game is played. Cribbage, bridge and ukure — I was too young to get any of their rules. The packaging on this board game reminds me of the box a good pair of fabric scissors my MIL gave me came in. So, of course, they must be from the same century, right?

This is the first time in my life I have seen black molasses come in a bottle. For me, it’s always been in a carton. One that slowly leaked out over years as it sat on a top shelf ignored, waiting to be used each Christmas for making Gingerbread. Aunt Dinah seems like a relic brand, much like Aunt Jemima, no? And despite how old it has to be, that thick molasses still slowly ran out of the bottle and down into the deepest reaches of the upstairs toilet as it made its way to its final resting spot somewhere in our local waterways. πŸ™‚

Bonus recipe from the back of that Aunt Dinah black molasses bottle. Look, it’s another type of Christmas cookie!

Original Pyrex mixing/serving bowls. Heavy, too. You know it’s the real deal when the Pyrex is heavy. I will go ahead and state these have to be from the 1970s given they sport the classic avocado colours. So famous for their influence in kitchens across North America of that era. The walls, the books, the dishes, the serving bowls, the clothes. All of it. Even my classic Betty Crocker recipe card library box set came in these colours. Stylists and tastemakers really couldn’t help themselves back then, could they? Ahh…

A lesser known brand of Dijon mustard. Note the colour. Now note the year on the lid. Yup. 1993. Never opened either.

Throwback time! Which year do you suppose this workplace button is from? (Unearthed from somewhere deeeeeep in the pile of stuff that makes up Gloria’s room.)

Vintage Finds #4

Good morning (or afternoon or evening, depending upon when you arrive at my little blog)! Here are a few more finds from the treasure trove that is my in-laws’s house. Hopefully this will get you to the weekend with a nostalgic smile on your face.

The FIL was an avid model car collector. There are too many to mention, but all of them are 1950s and earlier car types. Nothing newer I don’t think. We need to find a buyer for them. There are more than what’s in this display case, too. Sidenote: This case used to belong in our old computer store. It had a twin but I’m not sure what happened to it after we closed up. The dad had to chop it down a bit because it was too tall for his lowered ceiling in the basement. Still a nice custom made cabinet as it is. It also needs a home. Anyone interested?

When I went through the basement pantry and the upstairs kitchen pantry, I found a lot of old baking materials like this classic but short-lived Raspberry cake mix. Given my memory of this from my childhood, the older packaging design, and given it came out when everyone became aware of cholesterol in baked goods, I will venture to guess this box is about 30 years old. Easily. I threw all of them away but not before taking a few pictures for posterity.

At some point about 30 years ago (or more), there used to be a Mother’s restaurant in town, and my MIL worked there. She used to go in early to do food prep and make the condiments. And for a time, she used to make bear dolls with tiny brown Mother’s waitress uniforms with gingham aprons on them, complete with a tiny pencil and pad stuffed into the shirt pocket. I’m sure there are pictures of these dolls in one of her millions of photo albums. When I have time to locate it, I will post a picture of those bears. I promise. πŸ™‚ But for now, this is an old take-out menu Joe found stuffed into the microwave cart drawer. It looks like she grabbed it from the restaurant yesterday. Mint condition.

This was also found in the microwave cart drawer along with the Mother’s take-out menu. It’s a little softer around the edges, but still a nice bit of history. This booklet was distributed to give great facts about the how the CN Tower came to be, how big it is, and what purposes it serves. Very interesting. I love going up to the observation deck and walking on the see-through glass floor panels.

My family used to play this game when we were all in our late teens – early 20s. We used our own money (pennies, nickels and dimes mostly) but Joe’s family used old poker chips for their pot. This is a classic early edition of the game. You can tell by the package design and the Towers price sticker on the top corner. I have a lot of good memories looking at this box.

Who remembers how sad they felt when Towers collapsed in the mid-1990s? There was one across the parking lot from Algonquin College that I used to go to on my lunch breaks to pick up junk food, paper supplies and clothes when the mood struck me. Our families both shopped a lot at Towers while we were growing up. It was a staple department store for us.

Vintage Finds #3

Are you ready for a few more? Here we go.

The FIL loved to collect. There wasn’t much he didn’t see value of some sort in, so when this craze from the late 1970s – early 1980s hit, he was all over it. This is a vest he’d wear proudly to point out certain buttons to me on occasion. He loved anything Canadiana, so there is a lot of that in his button collection. A LOT. Hey, he was very proud of his adopted country.

This vintage pinball machine was picked out by my husband and paid for by his father. Aside from a few parts that are worn and need replacing, this baby still works. Joe and his brother had lots of fun with game this as kids. (Excuse the mess. When we hauled the leather couch and chair up and out to the curb, we ended up throwing and piling stuff everywhere to make a big enough path. The couch was really long, and the passage way is tiny and angled.)

A fully functioning mini camera, complete with its tiny leather custom sewn case. Clear as day I remember these from my childhood. Someone in our neighbourhood owned one, and I fell in love with it way back then. Too bad you can’t get film for it anymore. It would be a great collector’s piece.

Hands up if you remember this type of tin cap. I do! My mother was always asking me to get the top off for her since she didn’t have long enough nails. Wow. It instantly brings me back to our old kitchen, standing beside her while she impatiently said, “Hurry up,” while she tried to make dinner for her small army of children.

There are two of these vintage deviled egg trays with snap-on lids in my MIL’s kitchen. The second one is all white while this one is yolk yellow. Ahh, deviled eggs. The staple of every home party since… forever? Probably. Well, certainly every birthday, anniversary, engagement, bridal, baby, candle, make-up, family reunion, etc party I was invited to. πŸ™‚

To this day, when I drink root beer, I think of A&W. I kid you not. I found this collector’s glass beside its twin in the back reaches of a cupboard. This would have been, much like today when you buy a root beer at an A&W restaurant, a souvenir glass customers bought with the drink to take home. And it was always served frosty cold. Always. Even today.

In all my years of baking, using candy products to make desserts, I have never seen this brand of sprinkles. It has to pre-date even me, and I’m almost 49. Can you imagine this being in the back of your cupboard for that long?!? I can’t. I rotate everything on the regular. This wouldn’t last two years in my house. I would force myself to use it all up, or give it away. But again, another lovely jar in a delightful label. I love it. Just look at the font in that label. That screams 1950 – 1960s to me.

Vintage Finds #2

Another day, another small batch of vintage finds from the in-laws’ house as we clean it out in preparation to list the house early next year. Enjoy.

Nothing like some cookies with a side of guilt, no? This lovely cookie jar could be yours if you and Joe agree on a price he likes. πŸ™‚ (See the video down below.)

This is from back in the day (say, the late 1980s) when my MIL worked at Burger King, and they brought in their own branded condiments. I have a few of these jars at home sans label that I now use as hurricane lights. This glass jar is heavy. It won’t be knocked over by a gust of wind anytime soon.

Ragged Ann & Andy Pattern

Another Ragged Ann & Andy pattern my MIL has in her collection.

Back in the day, the FIL grew his own grapes on top of the car port trellis to make wine at home. He did this for awhile, but eventually he got tired of doing battle royale with the local trash pandas and broke it all down. Hey look at that econo size Bailey’s! That belongs to the SIL. Barely touched. And I found another one just like it in the pantry. Guess she forgot she already owned one in this cold storage cellar when she bought the second?

Ahh, nothing quite screams the 1970s like miniature DIY oil paintings. They were all the rage. We even did them in our house. My mother did up an Elvis one if I remember correctly. We hung it in our hallway for a few years before it disappeared. So tacky, yet so iconic.

Vintage Finds #1

The backstory: My FIL died a few years ago, and year after that my MIL needed to be moved from the house into a retirement community so she could have constant medical care for her diabetes. In the time between her move and this past summer, my SIL was living in the house. Eventually she too had to be moved out into different retirement home because she needed constant medical care for her lung cancer.

The house now stands empty of any occupant, so we’ve been taking time here and there to pack up possessions, to throw out the old food, and to clean up as we go along. It’s a loooooooooooong process when you only have a few hours each week, but we have to do it. I decided early on in the process that a lot of the vintage things we’ve found would be of nostalgic interest to a lot of people we know, so I have been taking some pictures.

Would you like to see some? Okay, here we go…

Woolcrest brand sandwich bags that, we guess, are from the early 1980s. Found in the kitchen pantry closet. Only a few used. Note how the price is printed on the box. Companies only printed prices on when there wasn’t enough store competition to make prices changes up or down. Ahh. Remember those days?

For as long as I can remember while living on my own, food colouring came in plastic bottles that were shaped slightly less elegantly. But, I’m almost 49, and I remember these tall glass beauties from my mother’s baking cupboard clear as day. What a trip!

Although I don’t play the lottery anymore (long story), I do remember this being the wild craze every Ontarian chased. This would help the indecisive who didn’t have a numbering scheme to follow each week like family birthdays, or a SIN, (For real, people even today play their SINs.) This was also for those who loved random plays, who couldn’t deal with using the same numbers week after week. Now the lotto terminals generate the random plays for you. You don’t even have to pencil in the six numbers on a sheet like you’re taking a standardize test at school.

Those of you in the audience who know and worked with my MIL will remember her homemade Raggedy Ann & Andy dolls she lovingly made and embroidered with a heart over each chest. This is her very vintage pattern, still neatly folded up and tucked back into its envelope. There are a few boxes of patterns, but these few blew me away. I had a Raggedy Ann doll Santa brought to me one year. Every dog we had enjoyed ripping her limbs off like a total turd.

A few of you love the Royal Family. So does my MIL and SIL. This is a, I think, 75th birthday plate for the late Queen Mum. It’s beautiful, but it’s lonely now. I needs a new home. I’m not sure if anyone in the family wants it. Hit me up if you’re interested. Joe will probably want a few pennies for it if it’s to be sold, but you two can work that out.

These are the vintage aprons my MIL used to make everyone as gifts, or if you simply mentioned you needed an apron when she was able to sew. I love the idea of aprons, but I hate wearing them in a hot kitchen. It’s just one too many layers for my liking. Pam, is this the kind of apron you were going to ask me to make you?

We found these in the kitchen cupboard crammed into the far reaches, along with a lot of other VERY expired food that I ditched. I liked the packaging on these. I was curious as to when they came out, but couldn’t even guess. I didn’t have to wait too long after opening the box to find out. (See the following picture.)

This is a coupon for some microwave pudding thing that was printed on the back of the pudding box in the picture above. Check out the expiration date of the coupon. This clearly predates the standard best before dates on food packaging today, so that explains why I couldn’t venture a quick guess as to how long it had been in the house. And that’s not even the oldest food thing I found! LOL

There you go. A small trip down memory lane for the day. Hope you enjoyed it. There is a lot more of these pictures on my phone, but I would be here all day at this if I kept going. Tomorrow is another day, as they say. More then.

Chocolate Pasta

ChocoPasta-1This is for Olivia, whom I started to tell this story to at work but we got busy and, as always, I forget I even started the story or where I left off, and it never got told or finished. Sorry about that. So, here it is. Because you didn’t seem to believe me.

About a year ago, I stumbled over a pin for chocolate pasta over at Pinterest, and I was immediately struck with curiosity. I HAD to try this at home. It was a strong compulsion. I really, REALLY wanted to make this. And I was so SURE we would fall in love with it. I mean, how could we not?!

ChocolatePasta-DoughMaking-2 ChocolatePasta-DoughMakingI know this looks like I’m making a chocolate cake, but I’m really not. It’s the funniest thing to look at and know I have to convince people this really is a thing, and people do make this, and it starts out looking like a baking project. πŸ™‚ ChocolatePasta-Dough2 ChocolatePasta-RestingSo after making this just like any other yellow egg pasta dough, I let it rest before I start cutting it up into noodles and then eventually boiling it hot salty water. All very straight forward, all very normal so far. ChocoPasta-Strands ChocoPasta-Drying ChocoPasta-Dry ChocoPasta-Cooking And the final product… ChocoPasta-CookedIt was very pretty like this, and it cooked up nicely, but no matter what I paired it with or topped it with, it wasn’t for us. The husband asked me never to make this for him again. Period. End of story. πŸ˜€

Reusable Cookina Baking Sheet


I’ve been using a sheet of Cookina non-stick pan linerΒ that I cut up to line two different size cookie sheets that I’ve been baking cookies on this Christmas season. This is my new alternative to the annoying Silpat that I hate so much.

After using them for several bake rotations, I have to say, these work just as well as sheets of parchment. I’m impressed enough to give up buying parchment paper all together from now on. And I love me some parchment!

I’m so tired of paying for expensive parchment paper I can only use twice before I have to throw it away.Β I love that I can use it everywhere, that it can be stored compactly rolled up, and I can use it over and over again with a simple clean up after removing the food. (I already learned I can’t wait to clean it. It’s best cleaned when the sheet is still hot.)

The box containing one sheet is on the pricey side at $10 a pop, but the sheet is so large I could easily cut it up to fit two standard Β oven jelly roll pans, or a few non-standards. I’m calling this non-stick paper a keeper.

(Note: This is not a paid product endorsement.)