Tuesday, December 15, 2020

I Look Like Samuel Gompers But I Feel Like Baby Jane

Last week when I posted it was still unseasonably warm in Omaha and my garden was still thriving. Well, the garden may still be thriving beneath fleeces and tarps (I haven't checked) but we've since had our share of snow, ice, and freezing temperatures. Not that it matters because really, where am I going?

Have I ever shown this pendant turned into a brooch? It is solid silver and adorned with the loveliest foil-backed stones. I wouldn't dare risk wearing it outside the house for fear of losing a stone, but these days that's hardly an issue. 
It has been a similar situation with these vintage bangles adorned with rhinestones. Sometimes it seems silly to own things I don't wear, but finding pristine pieces does make it seem a shame to risk it. I suppose that's something every collector grapples with, so I'm welcoming the opportunity to wear the items, even if only long enough to snap a photo. 
I'm not really a Grinch. I rather like this time of year, but the fun Instagram filters are just too hard to resist. 
This sweater comes courtesy of Dan, who outgrew it along with pretty much every sweater/jumper he owns. At just about 6 Ft. there isn't much in his wardrobe that still fits-not that it matters at the moment because he lives in Adidas track pants and tee shirts. When life gets back to normal he's going to need an entirely new wardrobe.
Meanwhile, I can keep taking his clothes. 
Awww,  practically a baby.
Mine now 😀. 
He's free to steal my clothes, which he does (joggers, socks, hats, sweatshirts). As a teenager I "borrowed" many a flannel shirt from my old man instead of buying my own, as he'd already done the hard work of breaking them in. Who wants to wait for a flannel shirt to soften up when you can just help yourself to something from the work clothes cupboard? It was a good thing he had a 44 inch waist or I'd have been borrowing his trousers too. We didn't share genes either (ha, see what I did there?). 
Time for a pie break! No, it isn't squirrel pie. It is mushroom and ale pie. Only did a top crust as it was being served with mash. We'd bought some Belgian ale that wasn't terribly interesting for drinking but just expensive enough that it would be a shame to pour it down the drain. In those situations I re-purpose and either bake a pie or batter fish. I really, really hate to waste, particularly now. I didn't try any, but the boys both enjoyed the pie so now I have a good plan for some of the remaining bottles. 
Happy Chanukah! This year we've been using several menorahs because, why not? 
There were potato latkes as promised. I did get a bit fancy and grated some carrots and onions into the potatoes. Some people do apple, which also sounds nice. 
There's been baking as well. The Lusekatters were delicious this year. Out of 24 I managed to snag one. You have to act fast around here!
An exciting and successful experiment was adapting my toffee recipe to a dairy-free version so Dan could have some. I used Earth Balance sticks and oat milk to great effect. So far, just about everything has worked and while margarine is of course different from butter, there are places where the substitution is less noticeable. I had to make him toffee because what else would he do with his antique toffee hammer?
I've read that suffragettes in the UK would use them to smash windows as they were small and easy to conceal. No joke, you could do some real damage with this thing.  Sharp too-like a tiny hatchet. It is hard to imagine in 2020 letting a child wield one of these at a solid block of candy, but it is equally difficult to imagine sending the wee ones off to labour in a factory or go down a mine. Not to worry though, we'll be back to that sort of standard again soon if things continue on this trajectory. Wow, that got off topic again, sorry. Here, have some Pulla.
Went with a braided loaf this year instead of the buns as I thought making a gooey topping with margarine might be a bit much. This has proved popular as the slices are easier to toast. There's a whopping two teaspoons of cardamom in the two loaves and it smells fantastic when toasted. 
The angel is so over everyone's bullshit. 
There aren't many occasions where white tights are appropriate (I means, unless you're a nurse and even then, I think just about everyone wears surgical scrubs these days). The exception is at Christmastime, when white tights seem almost required against some of the brightly coloured attire. This heavy, wool skirt isn't strictly holiday clothing, mind but that does seem to be when it gets worn. 

The Christmas corsages are making their annual appearance. 
Tempting as it is to get out the glue gun and make a new one, I've resisted as it would be difficult to improve on these vintage ones. Yes, the ribbon has faded over the years, but that is to my mind, why they're so delightful. It continues to surprise me that the fad for these hasn't been resurrected. They're cheap, fun, and can be made from broken bits of holiday tat. Perhaps I'm talking myself into it as I type. Maybe next year. 
So. There's a lot of people on the naughty list this year, and I'm telling Santa. Anti-maskers? Naughty! Neo Nazis? Fucking horrible! Conservatives? You don't even deserve the coal-you probably exploited a miner to get it. Naughty, Naughty, Naughty-the lot of you. 
 I'm ratting you out to Santa...Right after I get my hand out of his pants. Ooh, matron.
Busy week here with Dan finishing up his remote school semester, his Birthday on Sunday and just all the general stuff that needs to get done. Trying to do everything from home can be difficult, but anything that keeps me from being out is worth the trouble. I hope you're all having a good week. Stay safe and well. 



bahnwärterin said...

the text for the last outfit - goody, you are the best!!!
and you are a genius in baking pies, cookies and loafs..... they all sound really tasty and look gorgeous. we make something similar to potatoe latkes - kartoffelpuffer. just raw grinded potatoes, a bit starch and an egg - and caraway seed. everything in eastern european kitchen has to have caraway seed in :-D

now it pays out that you bought little danny such very pretty sweaters!!
i totally understand you about the jewelry!
i once lost a very pretty 30´s brooch - silver, depicting 2 slightly crossed skis, about 8cm - the on and off of a heavy coat while being on a winter roadtrip in silesia must have detached it from my sweater - unnoticed. buh.
to top it - it was a birthday present from the BW! i will ever regret it.
stay safe and sane and healthy!!

Vronni's Style Meanderings said...

Look at you in your Mrs. Claus dress; you look fabulous! I loved your green, black and white outfit, too. The dress in your first photo would look amazing with my teal coloured blazer; should I send it to you? Wonderful jewellery as always and I fully understand why you wouldn't want to risk losing such pretty items.

Your baking looks gorgeous and I think you're first person I know who possesses a toffee hammer...

Danny's sweater looked great on him but even better on you. It's great when you can shop your kid's wardrobe! Happy birthday to Danny for Sunday. Sweet Sixteen - where have the years gone?

Take care

Vix said...

Your baking is so professional.The latkes especially so.
The blue sparkly mini dress is a delight and you chose very wisely with Danny's Xmas jumper, it looks just as good on you as it did on him.
I do enjoy a drop of Belgian ale! xxx

Emily said...

You and Dan wear that sweater equally well! I love the caption you put for the angel photo, and I am in love with your pulla and lusekatter photos. I've never made either of those things, but now I want to. Do you recommend putting cardamom in the lusekatter? I see that some people do and others don't. As much as I love cardamom, I wonder if it would compete with the taste of the saffron.

It's nice to see the toffee hammer being used for the purpose it was intended. It looks like great fun.

Good for you, using multiple menorahs this year. We could all use some more festivity.

Cee said...

By God, you've got it well going on !!

Beth Waltz said...

A toffee hammer, you say? And I'd believed that the trove of tableware bequeathed to us by Great Aunt contained every specialized form of cutlery known to womankind! Fascinating bit of suffragette history you've provided, Jenn: rather like finding the best coin in a Christmas pudding!
The mushroom and ale pie is a work of art worthy of one of the BBC's heritage kitchen shows, and I daresay it tastes worthy of the Two Fat Ladies. That, a pot of hot black coffee, and perhaps a bowl of grapes with a block of cheese -- and I'm ready to face the rest of winter.
The rhinestone broach is exquisite. It would look well on a velvet beret, don't you think? It deserves a place of honor near the face. And now let us remember the splendid holiday parties of years gone by...

Goody said...

I love caraway seeds, but my family less so. They do permit me to put it in rye bread.
Perhaps someday you'll find a replacement brooch, though obviously it won't be the same. I recently replaced a ring I lost in the 70s and it makes me very happy.
Have a good week.

If there's an oddball tool to be had, I'll buy it. It is a useful little thing.
Honestly, I wouldn't want to wear most of his clothes (six identical tartan shirts?!) but the sweaters are good.
Have a good week, and take care.

I've come to accept that with Belgian ale there's really only a few worth buying. From now on I stick to tried and true.

I wouldn't put cardamom in the Lusekatter because it can get a little soapy and combined with the slightly medicinal saffron it doesn't sound pleasant. That said, your mileage may differ. I'd personally do one or the other.
I'm sooo not a candle person and I sit at the table until they're out, worrying about it.

Thanks, love.

You've got cheese?! I'll be right over!
I miss cheese so much. I can forgo just about all dairy but the vegan cheeses while admirable just aren't the same. Danny's lactose intolerant and I have the lipid issue so it isn't like cheese would be helping anyone here, but I do miss it.
Take care.

Polyester Princess said...

Your posts are a joy to read and scroll through, even if for the titles alone, although I do had to google Samuel Gompers :-)
And then there's your baking, which has been drooling each and every time. Although I am intrigued, of course, about the Belgian ale you used.
Danny and you are wearing that wonderful jumper equally well, I think. Your Mrs. Santa outfit is my favourite, especially as it includes Santa Pants basket, but it's closely followed by the one with the green pleated skirt. And yes, they should definitely bring back those Christmas corsages! xxx

Goody said...

I can't take credit for the title-it is a line from a song called Outlaw Blues.
The ale is called Trippel. It isn't terrible, just not something I enjoyed drinking. Ale is a bit of a treat for us, as we're not big drinkers.
Stay safe and well.

Propagatrix said...

I SO need a toffee hammer.

White tights: I have several pairs and wear them mostly with black-and-white dresses or kilts. They also go beautifully with my Japanese schoolgirl uniform.

Mim said...

That naughty list is full of horrible people. Too right they don't even deserve coal.

I know what you mean about not wanting to wear stuff that's pristine - I have an enamel/diamante set I almost never wear for the same reason. That pendant-brooch of yours is a real winner.

I hope you pulled something nice out of Santa's pants...

Goody said...

You've got a sailor schoolgirl uniform? That's kind of incredible.
Toffee hammers are easy enough to find online, but get an old one-the newer ones are flimsy.

Have a Happy Christmas and great New Year!

Señora Allnut said...

woww, your seasonal attires are always the best ones!, and the santas' pants basket always put a smile on my face (mwhahaha)
Loving your rhinestones jewellery and totally understand that you take care of it!
And loving those Danny's sweaters!, you rock them!
Thanks for sharing this interesting info about the toffee hammers, as I've watched some documentaries (and read some books too ;D) about sufraggettes but they just told about small hammers but never saw the proper thing. Clever girls.
Wish you a fabulous holiday!