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. 🙂 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.

More 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. 🙂

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.

A Few 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. 🙂 (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.

A Few 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. 🙂 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. 😀

Reusable Cookina Baking Sheet

Cookina

I’ve been using a sheet of Cookina non-stick pan liner 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. 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  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.)

Breakfast Pasta Skillet

Pasta-Breakfast-Skillet

[ Breakfast Pasta Skillet recipe and picture courtesy of A Beautiful Bite ]

I feel it’s never too early in the day for pasta, so I like to find ways to make it for breakfast as well as lunch and dinner. And I never hear any objections from the spousal unit, so this is one I will be testing this long weekend.

I also want to test this with leftover Jasmine rice. Probably Asian noodles, too. And if we’re going that far, why not leftover bulgur?

‘Mmm… I making myself hungry running down the possibilities. Heh.

Knorr Sample Pack

The mailman dropped off a sample pack today from Knorr along with our mail.Knorr-2

The sample pack also contains a magnetic QR code, a bouillon sample, a $5 coupon and a recipe collection of dinner ideas.

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It’s always lovely to get free samples from any company, but it’s even nicer then they include a novel item such as this tote bag that folds up neatly with a flap sewn onto the side with a velcro tab to keep it folded up. Handy way to save space and keep it in great condition for a long time to come, no?

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