Monday, May 08, 2017

Sweet as Candyfloss

 Pale pink and white with a gigantic clown collar all wrapped up in a bow-what could be sweeter? Certainly not the woman wearing it! This is so far out of character for me, I feel like I'm wearing someone else's clothes (okay, technically I am as they're thrfited).  Yes, it was a .49 cent dress, but I still must have momentarily lost my senses when I handed over money for this 80's nightmare. What was I thinking? God only knows.
 I suppose I could go full-50's with a hat and gloves to make this look somewhat deliberately interesting rather than projecting Southern Belle at the church picnic. Congealed lime buttermilk salad, anyone?
Sigh. If I'm doing an 80's dress I'm going to force you to admire my sea-shell and rope belt. Note the scalloped edge on the cardigan. Sometimes (most of the time) my brain frightens me. That makes it a theme and if I look hard enough I can almost call the oversized collar nautical in a Buster Brown sort of way. *Shrug* .
I've been waiting all through the cold winter and early spring to wear my vintage Larks shoes. You know, for larking about. Yes, they hurt but....vintage Larks! I probably need to get out more if the most exciting thing in my life is a pair of pink vintage shoes. *shrugs*.
I took the Scotties out for a walk today. They were going barking mad in a box all winter.

 Outfit Particulars:
80's does 50's dress-Goodwill
Vintage Larks shoes-Goodwill
Vintage straw and wood bag-New Life Thrift
Earrings-Thrift World
80's belt-Can't remember
Fragrance-Jardins de Bagatelle (makes me sneeze...but worth it)

It may look like an innocent plastic bangle but that sucker weighs a tonne. I could use it as self-defence if someone came after me.
I bought this perfectly nice clutch bag several years ago, but I never seem to wear it. I suppose the fact that it isn't flashy, or special in any way does make it a less obvious bag to select when getting dressed. That's the trouble with too much choice-I go for the, "Wow" over the practical.

The 2017 Apricot Olympiad has begun! I picked up our two cases of California apricots today, and they're in the kitchen ripening as I type. We were able to secure a very good price this year, and the fruit was in beautiful condition. I'm always impressed at the care taken in packing the fruit in individual holders within the case and then cushioned with a heavy layer of foam material. Apricots aren't cheap in the United States, and they have a very short season. There's a second crop later on from Colorado, but the fruit is rarely as nice. We'll be busy over the next week or so bottling them up as jam, preserves, chutney, and whatever else Danny decides to make for his State Fair entries. I've largely passed the torch wooden spoon over to my son, though I can still be put to work operating the canner and doing the washing up (jam is sticky work).  As we finished off our last jar of 2016 apricot jam last weekend, the timing on this was perfect. We've taken to calling apricot, "Mother's Day Jam" as most years, that's the weekend when the apricots arrive. 

After a bit we'll have strawberries, cherries, blackberries, and blueberries to bottle, but apricots being the first spring fruit (unless you count rhubarb which I believe is a vegetable) are always the source of much excitement at our home as a sign of warm weather and holidays to come. They're a splurge as they don't grow locally, but the first biscuit (scone) spread with a new batch of apricot jam is a reward for surviving another winter, before the reality of spring severe weather season  arrives. We've been unusually calm storm-wise this year, but I know we still have a way to go before we're largely clear of it. The tornado that hit us on the farm was in June. It seems I'm often canning cherries when the weather alarm goes off.  Anyway, we have our work cut out for us, but what fun work it is.
Do you can/bottle foods at home, or is it something best left to the manufacturing sector?


Melanie Folly Bird said...

Firstly, I love this outfit, but then I love pastels. I think you look beautiful!

I've never tried making jams or marmalades or even preserving anything, though I have thought about it. What always stops me is airborne bunny fur, which I know would somehow end up in whatever I was making! I picked up a recipe for vanilla and orange (I think) marmalade in the supermarket, but knew deep down it would be vanilla, orange and bunny fur, so reluctantly put it away with my hoarded recipes.

I can't even imagine having the sorts of weather you have in the U.S. as a gale force storm is enough to rattle me! But then our weather here in Britain is usually, in the grand scheme of things, low key, but it doesn't stop the panic when it does come! Snow in the south where I live is especially amusing, as we have it so rarely, we grind to a halt! xxx

Polyester Princess said...

I couldn't take my eyes off the seashell belt. But then I saw your Scotties: swoon! And that bangle! Although I've got a couple of sugar pink dresses, I hardly seem to wear them. I guess they're out of character for me too ... I don't do any canning/bottling of foods at home - no time really - but I remember my Mum and grandmother doing so. They did tomatoes, mainly, and any surplus vegetables from my grandfather's allotment. Our kitchen was like a tomato canning factory for a couple of days in summer. xxx

Perdita Tinsel said...

That's the thing with thrift I find - sometimes I will buy and try something I'd never normally wear - and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I like the way you've styled that dress here - slightly kitsch and edgy but at the same time classic.

Those Larks are amazing aren't they? So pearlised!

Beth Waltz said...

As yet another deluge drenches our sodden lawns I'm dreaming of going "full Tiki" in a bamboo-paneled basement paradise. Y'know, rattan furniture, barkcloth fabric, Adventures in Paradise theme music. However, I'd try for a French Gaugin tweak favoring 30's elegance a la Royal Hawaiian hotel rather than 50's tacky-tiki at Don's. Your fresh pink frock, with a white straw hat and white walking oxfords, would work the look, especially with that hefty Wonder Woman Tiki bracelet. (I do have a pink muumuu.)

At the conclusion of my mother's funeral, my brother surveyed her assembled female descendants and relatives and remarked, "I think we just buried the last woman in this family who could bake a cherry pie with fruit she picked and canned herself." To which I added, "And make a decent pie crust."

Vix said...

Hold up. I need to get one of the pastel outfits I bought from that lady the other day, fly over and we'll go out, drink pints and swear like navvies.

I've never heard of Larks, just Clarks', I'm off for a Google. xxx

Vronni's Style Meanderings said...

I'm intrigued. Did the belt come with the dress? Or is it from your vast collection? I have never seen a weirder belt in my life!

I love the spotty dress with massive collar - you do look as if you're on your way to a church picnic but you would most definitely be the belle of the picnic. I think pastel pink looks so pretty on you with your dark colouring. The shoes are perfect and well worth the wait for almost summer...

The Scottie dogs are so cute and the bangle is fab - love your little clutch bag, too. I think I'm going to have start calling you Lady Goody from now on!

I think it's a wonderful idea to bottle/preserve fruit. In this country the only time I have come across it is usually in books about WW2; when food was at a premium because of rationing and government encouragement not to waste any. I don't know anyone who bottles or cans their fruit, but I do know people who make jam and or chutney with it.

Hope said...

49 cents !!!!Lucky you and pink dress,which just look gregarious.White cardigan looks feminine and elegant.Yesterday,after reading your post I went and got 24 jars and labels to make jam.Never made one in my life but I feel desire to make .Anyway I done labels.Just put Lovingly made by Hope.Both in Hebrew and English.

Goody said...

I had no idea bunnies shed that much. Whenever I've visited the UK it has unexpectedly snowed. True, I've only been over in the winter, but I still get blamed for bringing the strange weather!

That must have been fun having three generations in the kitchen preserving the garden bounty.

Exactly. At such inexpensive prices there's hardly much to lose taking a gamble on something odd.

Tiki Party at Beth's! I'll bring the "Penis Colada mix" (as my mum called it).
Maybe the canning/baking gene skips a generation or two and there's hope for the future. I'm noticing more young people becoming interested in preserving which was terribly old fashioned when I was a teen.

I'm not sure the locals would notice-we'd fit right in!
Larks were a brand of casual shoes in the 50's and 60's marketed to young women. Although these look like, nana shoes to people our age, in the 50's these would have been youthful. Go figure.

I bought the belt separately. They were briefly popular around '87-'88, worn mostly with jumpsuits. I had so many of them at the time.

I know the WI was trying to get away from the image of "Ladies bottling jam" and focus more on civic projects, but they did teach a couple generations of women how to preserve food. I don't do much pressure canning, but I do run my high acid foods like jam and chutney through a water bath canner as an extra insurance against microbial growth. I know that isn't widely done in the UK but they're very insistent about that in home economics classes in the US. We must have worse germs!

Good luck with your jam project. If you make sure your jars and lids are sterilised that's the most important thing. Start with something easy like strawberries, and if you are nervous about getting the set correct, buy a box of pectin or jam sugar to help it along. My best bit of canning advice is to make sure you wipe the top rim of the jar with a damp cloth before affixing the lid. If there's any food stuck to it, the seal might not be secure. Other than that, find a good reliable recipe and have fun. I'm excited for you!

Mim said...

Your scottie dogs are really cute. You look not like yourself in pink, though I would pay good money to see you and Vix pottymouthing in pastels - you'd need the Fart Blaster for the full effect.

Pete makes marmalade, but only I eat it, and then he gets narked when he makes 12 jars and still has 10 the following year, so he hasn't made any for a couple of years. (I think I'm finally on the last jar.) Perhaps it's because we import so much of our food in the UK, and have done for decades but I don't think canning/bottling has ever been a massive thing. Maybe it's also to do with our climate; there's usually *something* growing, even if it's boring.

Goody said...

I hadn't considered the fart blaster!
Marmalade is so much work with chopping all that peel-I haven't made it in years-I can see being annoyed at it going to waste. I could probably get through a dozen jars in a year alone as I love the stuff and eat it by the spoon-full, but I try to avoid eating pure sugar these days.