Part Two: Vintage Cooking Tools and Misc.

Winter crafts.  I can’t even type it without cringing, but that’s what this post is about.   This time of year, Christmas is just over and the weather is usually pretty sucktastic, so I start looking for things to do in between Xbox marathons.  This is what I’ve been up to (all of them are really easy!)

Making vintage cooking tools from Christmas trees:

I’ve actually been making these for a while to use at medieval reenactments, since a friend of mine saw one in a medieval museum.  My clients are used to my bizarre requests by now (you have walnut trees? I need the  green ones!, for example) and the ones I’ve had for longer all know to bring me their christmas tree tops every year, so I was delighted to stumble across this in one of my vintage magazines.  This one is from the January1919 issue of Hilf Dir Selbst. If you’re wondering what that is, I’ve posted tea and mushroom recipes from it before (I now have a bunch of them!)

Click on the photos for a larger view:

the one on the left is finished, the one on the right is in progress

The instructions read:

“To Use a Christmas Tree

Before burning them, Christmas trees that have served their purpose  can be turned into kitchen utensils.  I find if you prepare the whisks in different sizes,you can completely subsitute them for the ones you can buy in the shop carved out of solid wood. They are especially good for taking laundry out of the pot.  You cut the top so that the only the teeth of the whisk remain, be careful that the wood doesn’t crack, see figure 2a.  Then each whisk  should be peeled with a sharp knife in the direction from the thickest part to the thinnest of the handle [if the wood is still green you can also peel it off with your fingers]. After peeling, leave the whisk for a while in hot, but not boiling water to soften it.  Then let it slowly dry in a mild temperature so it doesnt turn brown [I actually skip this step].  Then take sandpaper and sand it down until the whisk is smooth.”

I also rub mine down with olive oil to make it extra smooth.  These will beat eggs and cream like nothing else on earth!

Turning a Scarf into a Hood, 40’s Style:

So a few days ago I came across this post on Diary of A Vintage Girl and fell in love with her hood. I was even more excited to find that she got the idea from a collection of 1940’s fashion advice videos found here: British Pathe.  In addition to the headscarf video there’s advice on how to tie a turban, how to make slippers, tweaking your dresses from day to night, and making hats! The Day to Day frock video is my personal favorite.  Anyhow, I decided to try the scarf to hood idea and found a scarf I had that was wide enough to do so (it’s a little to wide, but this was only to test out). It took like 5 minutes over coffee at a friends house to stitch it. Also, I look like Little Red Riding Hood.

All you need to do is fold it in half (ends together) and stitch it down until the back of the “hood” reaches the bottom of the back of your neck.  With all the wind and rain it’s so useful, I’ve worn it every day since I made it!  Her’s totally looks better than mine, but next time I’m going to use a thicker and narrower scarf and see how that works out.  It would be great for my long-stretch hiking too!

And to wrap up, two of the highlights from Christmas:

Learning how to salt a sheep’s hide to prepare it for tanning at a friend’s house in Franconia. There were also giant jello shots and a trip to a 6th generation potter, but this is probably my favorite moment 🙂

I was also gifted some 50’s christmas ornaments by my friend’s grandmother. I love them!

And in between Christmas and New Year’s I was invited to celebrate Spanish style with friends here in Köln. There were tortillas. And sausages cooked in flaming rum. Awesome!.

And that’s that! Have a great week!


Apple Pie a la Toasteroven


I do realize my last post was ages ago and also had to do with hair and pastry, but other than work and getting sucked into Fallout New Vegas that’s what I’ve been doing 🙂  I’ll have more vintage sewing and cooking soon, but until then, last weekend I managed to make an amazing apple pie, completely in my toaster oven.  It took MAYBE 5 minutes of prep time and is the perfect size for one person.  This is important, because I’m the kind of person who will eat any amount of pie in front of me, regardles how full I am.

All you need is: two rammikins, flour, butter, a pinch of salt, 1 tbsp. brown cane sugar (or regular sugar, whatever), cinnamon to taste, and an apple.

First:  dice up the  apple, add sugar and sprinkle liberally with cinnamon (I like a lot of it), mix and put in rammikin one.  Put a few small pieces of butter on top.  Bake in the oven (on the highest heat) for about 30 minutes.   (If your apple was too much to fit into the rammikin, just sprinkle it with cinnamon and sugar and wrap it in extra pie crust and bake it separately)

Once the apples are in the oven,  make the crust:  Mix 1 cup flour with 1/8 tsp salt in a bowl.  Cut in 1/3 cup butter till just crumbly.  Stir in 3 tbsp water till just moistened.  Roll it out or just take a ball and press it into the bottom of the 2nd rammikin, making sure it goes up and over the sides a bit.  Bake for 10-15 minutes (just throw it in at the end with the apples).

Then take them both out, pour the apple mix into the pie crust rammikin, and use more pie crust to cover the top, using a fork to stick the edges together.  make a few slits in the top with a knife and bake for 20-30 minutes.  Done!

In other news a friend of mine got married last week and I got vintaged up for it.

I am insanely proud of this barrel roll.

From the front...

If you want to learn how to make a barrel roll, I totally recommend this video (I’ve posted it before but don’t feel like looking for it)

It’s really the best video for beginners I’ve found.

Have a great Sunday!

Herbs, Coiffures and Cupcakes

Sorry I haven’t posted here in a while, I’ve been posting over on my pilgrimage blog lately.

Today is one of the last nice weekends we’ll have before autumn hits, and I decided to use up some of the herbs from my garden to bake some bread.  This is THE best bread recipe EVER, and was devised by a good friend of mine, Nancy.  I’ve made a few adaptations (a handful of fresh herbs rather than 2 tablespoons of dill and only one tablespoon of sugar rather than two), otherwise it’s all hers.

I used red basil, gold oregano, lemon thyme and a bit of hyssop

Herb Batter Bread

3 1/4 c. all purpose flour or bread flour
2 pkgs. (or 4 1/2 tsp.) dry yeast
1 T granulated sugar
1 T dried minced onion
1 handful of fresh herbs
1 tsp. salt
8 oz. plain yogurt
1/2 c. water
1 egg
2 T butter or shortening

In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients, except 2 c. of the flour, and mix well.  In a small sauce pan heat yogurt, water and butter until it’s 120-130 degrees F.  Butter does not need to melt.  Add to dry mixture.  Add egg.  Mix until well moistened, then beat hard for 3 minutes until well blended.  Add enough of remaining flour to get a stiff batter.  Place into greased 1 1/2-2 qt. Casserole or deep pan or heat proof bowl.  Cover and let rise until doubled, approx. 1 hour.  Bake at 375 degrees F for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from pan to rack.  Serve warm or cold.  Makes 1 loaf.

not the best looking bread I've made, but it tastes amazing. It's really hard to evenly bake bread in a tiny toaster oven. I'm going to have to make a few more loaves to see if I can figure out a good tactic.

Imade some lemon-garlic butter to eat with the bread, basically, butter, squeeze a bit of lemon juice into it, add some diced garlic, a bit of salt and black pepper.  I also added some hyssop leaves to it, because I have way too many herbs and need to use them!  I’d be more specific with the measurements, but it’s better if you decide based on how sour or garlicy you like things.

I'm going to have this on baked potatoes tomorrow too

Then it was out to meet the fabulous Nina.  We decided to get dressed up and go for cupcakes, so I went with a 50’s vibe.  To do the hair, I roughly followed the directions of the second video here, and for the back I gave it a half twist, pulled it straight to the top and pinned the hell out of it.  It doesn’t take long to do and is pretty simple.  Just do not scrimp on the hairspray if it’s hot and humid like today!  It didn’t stay in place as much as I had hoped.  Here’s how it turned out:

sorry it's off's not easy taking photos of the back of your own head 🙂

and then it was off to Royal Cupcakes

And finally, I was pleasantly surprised to find a bunch of tomatoes had finally ripened!  I definitely need some salad today after all the sugar.

cream sausage, green sausage and black from Tula tomatoes.

And that’s that!  I may finish a vintage skirt I’ve been working on, but then again, I might just lay around and stare at the tv.  A perfect Saturday!

Pickled and Jammed: Ways to pass a rainy day

Last weekend I got motivated and decided to jar everything I could get my hands on.  I then got smacked down with a cold and have been swimming in Law and Order reruns and hot tea, so I didn’t get around to posting them till now 🙂   The jam and cake are my own creation, but the pickled mushrooms and tomato sauce are from two vintage recipes I posted earlier.  I know there’s been a ton of food posts lately, but I’m on a bit of a fad with this right now and it’s the perfect time of year! I’m also trying out different things to do with my garden plants.  Salads are great but there’s so much more you can do! Here are the recipes in case you want to try them.

Peach Berry Jam (honestly the best jam I’ve ever made)

1 kilo peaches

a large handful of raspberries

juice from half a lime

1 kilo sugar (or a little less)

half a vanilla bean (or vanilla extract)

You make this just like the jam recipes I posted a few weeks ago, except this needs to be cooked much longer. Boil 10 minutes the first round, wait overnight,  then 20 to 30 or until it’s sticky.  I didn’t cook it as long as I would have for a thicker jam, as I was looking for something a bit more liquid to eat on cake.  The color is amazing and it tastes so good!  If you use a vanilla bean instead of extract, after boiling for the first time, put the vanilla bean to the mix for about 15 minutes and then remove.

I made WAY more than this...this is the extra jar. I love the color!

so once I had the jam, I decided I needed to use it to make some cake:

Whole Wheat Jam Cake

the smaller cake. I cut it in half before remembering to take the picture. Also, the cake is flipped upside down

(disclaimer…I’m not the most accurate measurer even when I’m baking. I’m a fan of the chaos cooking theory, so things might be a bit off…when in doubt, use your judgement)

Mix 200 grams of sugar with 120 grams of butter.  Beat two eggs and add.  In a separate bowl mix 200 grams of wheat flour with 8 grams of baking powder and add to the mix.  Now here’s the surprising bit. At the supermarket they didn’t have any small containers of regular milk, and I didn’t want a whole liter.  So I ended up using vanilla milk (Landliebe) instead of regular milk and vanilla and it was actually really good.  trust me on this one.  Anyhow, add 150 ml of vanilla milk to the mix, mix it all together and pour into cake or muffin forms.  So I made two cakes, one smaller that I added jam in the middle of (which ended up sinking through to the bottom and making a layer) and a big one that I marbled the jam into. Both were great so run with it!  for a normal sized cake bake for 30-40 minutes or 25 minutes for a smaller cake (my oven is a mini student oven with no settings for heat. If you’re a new baker, I’d go look at some basic cake recipes and follow their temperature and time recommendations.)  I strongly urge you to eat it warm. maybe even with ice cream if you’re feeling crazy.

After which I was desperate for something savory, so I went back to my post with translations from 1919 post-war recipes and decided to try the Mushrooms in Vinegar to Put on Bread, which is basically just pickled mushrooms.

I used minced garlic instead of horseradish and marjoram and hyssop from the garden instead of dill and they turned out AMAZING.  I also added some water to the vinegar (I think it was 1:1), which I strongly suggest.

And, as we’re looking for YET ANOTHER weekend of rain here in Cologne, I’m thinking about sewing some more vintage and doing something with my green tomatoes.  And speaking of tomatoes, my cream sausage and moonglow have put out a few ripe ones this week!

cream sausage and red basil

Moonglow. The color is the best part, it really is a pumpkin orange.


Sewing a vintage 1935 blouse, and an update

I know it’s been a while since I updated here, but I was blogging here about my Jakobsweg.  Also, I’ve had construction workers on my balcony so I just now got it more or less organized.  I’m still missing a wall between my balcony and my neighbors, and there are a few more plants to get. It will take me a few posts to get all caught up, but Eurovision is tonight so I’ll be at my computer anyhow (go Iceland!).

first things first, I made another 30’s blouse. I was digging around in the remnant bin at Kardstadt and found THE perfect fabric for it, and used a pattern in Das Blatt der Hausfrau, issue 7, December 1935 for the cut.

I wasn’t crazy about the neckline, though, so I altered it and went for a more ‘cravat’ look.

The sleeves are my favorite part!  I also decided here not to use so many buttons, as the sleeves fit tightly enough without them.  I did use one vintage button on each sleeve, although it’s more for looks than for function:

Here are a few more images:


Edit:  Here’s a photo a friend took of me wearing it (under a waistcoat)! I totally need more of these!

The pattern is really easy to make and easy to modify. The only problem is that the blouse is meant for a high-waisted skirt, and the only one I have doesn’t match.  I’m planning on making a skirt to go with it, but am also thinking about adding a waistband and fitting the blouse, either with a tie closure or a button one.  Here’s the skirt I’m planning:

Let me know if any of you make this blouse too!

Lace and Leichen

For the Karneval’s Ghost parade this year, I decided to go with an ‘evil Edwardian doll’ look for the simple fact that I had Edwardian clothes laying about and my costume choice was way last minute.  It turned out much better than I had hoped, though!  The hair was the hardest part to do, as I wanted an authentic Gibson girl pompadour.  I found this site very helpful: The Seamstress of Avalon , although I did things a bit differently.  Rather than rat the middle section of my hair, I used hair rats (not authentic ones, either.  I use those mesh donuts you can buy to make a bun in your hair, then chop them in half), and my ponytail started much lower.  This hairstyle is way easier to do than it looks! Here are the results:

side pre-makeup

finis! I had to take glam shots, of course.

sorry, I know this picture is crap, but it was the only way I could get my whole outfit at once.

doc martins mary janes are the comfiest shoes...if you're going out partying for a long time, wear them.

And more photos from the parade:

the Aussies

not really an appropriate costume for the occasion, but this guy was ROCKING the zz top costume. that's his real beard.

Mushrooms and Forest Tea: 1919

So a few weeks ago I stumbled across a magazine on ebay called Hilf Dir Selbst, a post WWI self help magazine that sounded interesting.  I got it for 1 euro and it’s wonderful! It has articles on everything from starting your own rabbit farm to turning an old skirt into a bed jacket to lots of useful articles about recipes and herbs.

This was published the year after the war ended and people were seriously poor, which means people pretty much had to figure out ways to live without a lot of luxury.  What I love about these kinds of magazines is that you get interesting info like “recipes often call for pepper because it’s so hard to get”.  All the recipes below can be made on an extremely low budget, easily, using only plants found in forests or easily grown in the garden.   I thought these were really interesting so I’ve translated them and put them up.  If you notice any translation mistakes or try any of these at home, please let me know!

Hilf Dir Selbst May 1919

(ignore the nightshade picture in the middle, it belongs to an article on the previous page. Also, sorry the scan is so blurry!)

Mushrooms in the Kitchen


The mushrooms, regardless what kind they are, should be cleaned, washed and put in a very little bit of water.  Add a small onion and a little salt and stew them slowly together. [when these recipes call for mushrooms, it seems many of them expect the mushrooms to be first prepared in this way, although I don’t see that it’s necessary]

Mushroom soup with noodles and or oat grits.

The mushrooms should be slowly stewed together with an onion and the noodles.  Then stir in a little flour to bind it and some finely chopped parsley.   If you’re using oat grits, the flour isn’t necessary.

Mushrooms with potato:

Mealy potatoes should be boiled with some onion, salt, and a soup cube.  Mash the potatoes, then add the mushrooms and some parsley to taste.

Mushroom and potato salad

Mushrooms should be cooked till soft with their own juice, some vinegar, salt and onion, then drained in a colander.  Take the liquid and add a little sweetener, finely chopped chives and parsley, borage, and salad burnet to taste, then add the finely chopped mushrooms and a sliced, boiled potato.    You can also add celery stalks.  Then let the salad sit for a few hours before serving.

Mushrooms in vinegar to put on bread

Cook the mushrooms till soft in its own juices and a little vinegar.  Then make it spicy with some horseradish and herbed vinegar or dill.  Serve on bread or also as a side dish with potatoes and beef.

Mushroom Ragout

Your Sunday meat should first be cooked with a lot of soup vegetables to make a meat stock.  Let the stock stand until it is cold and remove the fat to use later for the vegetables. Then brown the flour without using any fat, add it to and boil it in the stock till it’s clear, then add your finely chopped stock meat and the prepared mushrooms.  Then add herbal vinegar (if you don’t have any regular), a tiny bit of sweetener, and salt to taste.  You can also add salted, boiled potatoes to the dish.

Mushroom casserole with vegetables:

In a prepared casserole dish, layer finely weighed prepared mushrooms, then sauerkraut, mashed potato, finely chopped turnips, mushrooms (always put some in between), onion, dandelion, and pour broth of 1/4 liter of soured milk and a little potato flour over it all.  Bake in the oven for 1-2 hours.

Sauteed potato and mushrooms:

Leftover potatoes can be added to mushroom broth with a finely chopped onion and sauteed.  When they are soft, add the prepared mushrooms, and finally some parsely should be sprinkled on top and mixed in.

Mushroom gravy:

In a pot add some browned flour, finely-chopped onion, some salt, nutmeg, and finely chopped prepared mushrooms.   With a little vinegar and pickled onion and 1 tsp. of mustard, mix the mass and put the dip on fish or beef.  If you don’t have these, put it on potatoes.

Mushroom spread for your bread

Take finely chopped mushrooms and add various herbs like chives, parsley, and thyme; then add onions and salt and cook everything together [I assume in a little water?].  Boiled grits or oat flakes should then be added and mixed well, and the mass should be put into jars.  It must be thick so that you can spread it easily.  In all recipes fine pepper is recommended because it’s so hard to get.  However, most mushrooms (with the exception of button mushrooms and steinpilzen (porcini mushrooms) ) taste better without it.

Mushroom patties cooked in lard

Finely chopped mushrooms that have been drained of their juices should be mixed with boiled, grated potato, chopped onion and salt and as much egg white as you need to keep everything together should be formed into patties, and then fried in lard.   Then brown some flour, add the mushroom juice, small pearl onions, and chopped cucumber and serve over green beans or sour cabbage.

Mushrooms with herbs

Dandelion, orach [also called mountain spinach], and other wild vegetables should be boiled till soft and then finely chopped.  Do the same with the mushrooms when the herbs are done.  Then mix together with some onion, salt and flour and cook them through.   You serve this with potatoes.

Mushrooms and pearl barley

Soak 1/2 kilo of barley for 24 hours, and boiled for 2 hours in lightly salted water.  Fresh mushrooms should be cleaned and steamed in a pot with a little fat and water.  Larger mushrooms should be chopped, but leave the smaller ones whole.  After steaming them for about 20 minutes, mix them with the barley.

Collect Leaves and Blossoms for Tea

Nut Leaves

In June you an collect the young leaves of the walnut tree.  They must be dried quickly in artificial heat (the oven) so that their green color stays.  Walnut leaves when dried have a spicy smell, but not as strong as the fresh leaves.  If they turn brown, you can’t use them.

Strawberry Leaves

You can collect the leaves of wild strawberry in every forest, preferably in May or June before they are fully grown.  Dry them in a warm, airy place.

Waldmeister (Sweet Woodruff) Leaves

By Waldmeister (Asperula odorata) we are talking about the entire (best dried quickly on high heat) above ground part: the stem, flowers and leaves.  It grows in shadowy green forests, especially in beech forests.  You collect the herb in May, preferably before the flowers have fallen as it has the best aroma at this time. The flowerless plant can be used for many things, but not for tea.  You can tell the difference by the strenght of the aroma.  Waldmeister becomes blue-green to black-green when dried.

Deadnettle Flowers

Deadnettle (Lamium album) for tea can be found all over Germany on village streets, as hedges,  and often grow in thick masses.   On the plant, the leaf stalks grow to 1/2 meter and look like burning nettles but don’t sting. From the end of April to June the beautiful, large, snow-white flowers grow, and should be collected before they’ve totally opened on a warm, dry day.   Take the flowers out of the green part and dry them quickly and on high heat.  If they turn brown, don’t use them.

Blackthorn Flowers

The 1-3 meter high thorny blackthorn grows on sunny hills and forest edges all over Germany.   It is also often planted as a hedge.   The blackthorn puts out many little flowers in April and May before the leaves are fully developed. Collect them on dry days, remove the green part and dry them in the sun.  If the flowers are collected after rain or not dried quickly enough they become brown or black and are not usable.

Blackberry and Raspberry Leaves

The leaves on blackberry and raspberry brambles that can be found hanging everywhere in light forests, mountains and on forest paths are best collected in June and July while they’re still young.

Something old, something new…

I hate throwing things away, especially clothes.  This means I’ve got a closet stuffed with fabric scraps and old clothes that I’ve been meaning to turn into fabric scraps 🙂  The past few weeks, though, I’ve finally gotten around to doing something with them and started a quilt, which is going better than I expected but worse than I wanted it to.  I’ll put up pictures soon!  I also have a bunch of sweaters that are too big/too small/have holes in them that have been living in storage forever.  I personally am going to cut them up and use them to sew other things, but that’s because I don’t knit.  The first time I heard of someone unravelling sweaters to knit new ones was when I moved to Germany, and suddenly everyone knew about it.  Then I came across this and thought I’d translate and post it for you all.  Now the captions under the photo are more or less the same as what’s in the text, so I’ve numbered them, and they correspond like so:

1   2  3

___ 4



When the text explains something in the photo, I’ve added which photo is showing that particular part of the process.

From Das Blatt der hausfrau 1935

“Old Wool into New Clothes”

We women have in the last years received something that was “knit”; wherever you go you see knitting and crocheting.  But wool is expensive and often clothes that are now out-of-fashion or have holes in the elbows lay ignored in the wardrobe.

We take them out and come to the conclusion that the wool is actually usable if we handle it correctly, so that it looks “good as new”.  The process is very easy, and every woman can learn to do it herself in a short time.  After you’ve carefully found and unknotted the beginning thread, which was during knitting actually the end thread, you begin to slowly and evenly unravel the piece, winding it over a tablet of wood [pic 4] that has lots of room on it.  After everything is separated and wound, you bind it tightly while it’s on the wood piece  [pic 1], otherwise it will tangle during the washing.   It’s good, especially for frizzy wool, if you dampen the yarn during the unraveling, so that it separates easily and is smooth before you undertake the following treatment:

Through the binding you’ve made skeins that are naturally even, must be fine and the binding thread must be tight so that the wool can’t warp or tangle while washing.  Then you make a lukewarm bath using the best soapflakes, by putting the flakes into boiling water to dissolve them and then adding as much cold water as you need to make it lukewarm.  The yarn should be sumberged and carefully swished around [pic 2 *].  Then rinse well it in clear, lukewarm water a few times and hang the skeins on a post [pic 3] –it can be a good broom handle — to dry. You can then wind the wool and use as if it were new. If the wool is still frizzy, you can smooth it by re-dampening it while winding [pic 6].  Very frizzy wool can be smoothed if you hold it over a steam bath before washing [pic 5].  In emergencies you can repeat the process, but usually the steam bath and the bath are enough.

*the caption also adds: you must not rub or press the yarn or it will felt.

Good luck and let me know if any of you try this!

Some Vintage Jams, Sauces, and Pickles: 1930’s

It’s time for another vintage post! I guess I really should be posting this at the end of summer, when you all can use veggies from your gardens, but I’m just not that organized.  I definitely want to try these all in August with tomatoes from my garden… I’ve got another German ketchup recipe from 1912 which I’ll post later on that I’d like to compare with the Swedish one.  At any rate, I’m sure most of us need something to keep us warm and busy during the winter months! All of these are from vintage magazines for housewives which have everything from tons of patterns, house care tips, and weekly recipe plans (like my glove and umbrella care posts).  These both had specials on preserving food.  The first one is Swedish, the second is German.  Now I speak German, so those translations are my own, for the Swedish ones I cracked and used Google translate, and then turned it into real English.  Also, please keep in mind that my translations are as loose as a 2 penny hooker…for recipes, I’m only worried that the instructions are clear and correct, this isn’t literature 😛  I’ve included the originals if you want to do your own translating, or in case I’ve made a mistake.  And, as always, please let me know if you try any of these and if/how they turn out!

From Allers Mönster-Tidning, 1932

Tomato Puree

Cut 3 kg. well-ripened tomatoes in half, boil slowly for half an hour together with 12  shallots, 2 laurel leaves, 8 whole cloves and white pepper (without the addition of water). Pass the Puree  through a fine sieve, that tomato seeds cannot go through. Then put over the fire and boil, until the whole thing is syrupy. Pour immediately into well-cleaned bottles (blanched, dried and heated in the oven). The bottles should then be sealed.
Tomato Ketchup
2kg. tomatoes, the juice of an onion, 50 gr. salt, 125 gr. ginger, 1 cup. vinegar, 1 tsp. pepper or cayenne pepper. Add the tomatoes, which ought to be fully ripe, in a baking dish and bake it in the oven for 4-5 hours (on low heat), until the tomatoes are tender. Let them cool and peel off skin. Pass the meat through a fine sieve. Pour the paste along with the juice left in the baking dish and the spices into a pot, mix it all well and immediately bottle.
Pickled Cucumbers
Take good quality green cucumbers  of equal size, wash them, dry and put  into a pot, together with chopped onion, dill, fresh grape leaves,black currant leaves, laurel leaves, whole pepper and a few raisins. Then add enough of the following to cover the cucumbers:  3 / 4 gallons of water,  2 1 / 2 cups vinegar and 50gr. salt cooked well. Over the top of the pot put a round plate, and  tie this down with enough pressure to seal in the cucumbers. Leave set for four weeks in a dry and warm place. In the meantime, this will have formed a yeast layer, which must be removed. The cucumbers are then ready to serve.  Store in a cool, dry place.
Semi-sweet pickles
2 liters vinegar, five grains of pepper, 2 tablespoons of curry, two tablespoons of mustard, 250 grams of sugar (or more).
Clean the following vegetables: green beans, cucumbers, carrots, pickled onions and cauliflower. The latter is divided into small bouquets, and all are immersed in brine for 24hours. The strain in a collander.  The vinegar is boiled together with all the spices and the vegetables added when it reaches a simmer.They ought not be added in all at once but in small portions.  Also, they should only lie in the boiling vinegar for a moment, otherwise they become soft. When all the vegetables are cooked and distributed in glasses, pour in the vinegar. The glasses should be immediately sealed.
English pickles (no sugar)
1 liter boiling vinegar, 25 grams garlic, 25 gr. salt, 25 gr. coarsely ground ginger, 10 grams yellow mustard seed and 1 / 2 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Cauliflower green beans, celery, green apples, small cucumbers, carrots, artichokes, shallots, and green peppers should be cleaned cut into smaller pieces.  Add the spices to the boiling vinegar for a few minutes, then pour the boiling vinegar over the vegetables.  And wait ten minutes. Then drain and save the vinegar, heat it to boiling again and pour it over the vegetables again. Repeat. The vegetables are then arranged in pickle jars with an extra red pepper (capsicum) shell extra in each glass. Pour the vinegar over the vegetables and then seal with parchment paper, and follow the above instructions, paying attention to add a moderate portion of good French mustard, and the liquid should be thick, rather than runny so you can put it on your roast been sandwiches.
Tomato Chutney
1 kg. green tomatoes, 1 / 2 kg. sultanas, 1 / 2 kg. sugar, 1 kg. unripe apples, 2 / 3 l. vinegar, 1 / 2 kg. shallots, 200 grams. ginger, 1 / 2 teaspoon allspice, 1 / 2 tsp.cayenne pepper, 1 / 2 tsp. salt, 1 / 2 teaspoon whole peppercorns. Mix the apples, tomatoes, onions and chopped raisins with the spices. The peppercorns should be tied in a thin,white scrap of fabric (eg. cheesecloth), and added to the pot. Add the vinegar, stir together and allow it to stand.  Then simmer 3-4 hours, until you have a thick mass. Remove the pepper grains, and pour into jars, which should then be covered with parchment paper.
Worcestershire Sauce
12 gr. garlic, 15 gr. cayenne pepper, 1 cup real soy sauce, 1 liter of vinegar. Crush garlic and cayenne pepper together in a mortar (or grind in a pepper mill). Add the vinegar a little at a time, while straining the mixture. Mix with the soy sauce and pour into small bottles.
Fine Tarragon Vinegar (French)
50 gr. tarragon leaves, 5 gr. basil leaves, 5 gr. dried orange peel, 2 1 / 2 gr. lavender flowers, 2 1 / 2 gr lemon peel, 1 gr. cinnamon, 2 1 / 2 gr. pepper, 6 cloves.
Chop everything coursely and add to  3 / 4 l vinegar in a liter bottle or keg. Cover the contents well, and seal with parchment paper, which you prick with a needle. Kee in a warm place (eg. the oven) for eight days. Leave to cool and filter through a filter cloth. Then filtered through paper. Afterwards, finally add 1 cup of concentrated vinegar. Pour in small bottles and cork.  [I’m not sure exactly what kind of paper they mean, but I’m sure it’s fine just to use a fine cloth a few times?]
From Deutsche Frauen-Zeitung, September 1937
Pumpkin Jam
Boil 2 1 / 2 kg of pumpkin until soft, then add 1 kg. sugar and boil until thick. If desired, you can season it with the juice and grated rind of a lemon. Let the  pumpkin jam cool slightly and mix it with the same amount of any ready made jam, pour into jars and seal. Using thick jams [to mix with the pumpin jam] is inappropriate. If you have jam or jellies that have become too thin, this will give them more body, and is double advantageous.  [ed.  I’m not sure what kind of jam you’re supposed to mix with this.  I’m assuming the liquidy stuff from the bottom of your other jams, and I’m assuming it’s for the pectin?]
Tomato Jam
we make exactly so: We boil ripe or unripe tomatoes with a little water until soft, grate them through a sieve, add 2 kg. sugar, and, if you like, the juice and zest of 2 or 3 lemons, and boil until thick.
Blackberry Jam with Pumpkin
is a well-tested recipe.  In 1/4 liter of water, boil 1 kilo peeled and cut pumpkin and 1/2 kilo blackberries until soft.  Grate through a sieve and bring it back to a boil.  Add bit by bit one kilo of sugar while stirring constantly.  To tell when it’s done, drop a little onto a cold plate.  If it solidifies, it’s done.
Preißelbeer (similar to cranberries) Jam with Carrots or Beets
Sort and wash 5 kilos of Preißelbeeren and boil for 10 minutes with 1 1/2 kilos of sugar.  Strain out the berries and add 1/2 kilos of [grated]carrots to the juice.  Boil until soft.  Then take off the heat, add the berries and bring it again to a boil [the fill into jars and seal].  This and the previous recipe also make great jam with sloes or elderberries instead of Preißelbeeren or blackberries.  You can prepare sloes best by first boiling them and then rubbing them through a sieve.  This is less tiring than pitting them first.
Pumpkin-Apple Jam
Boil 3 kilos of pumpkin pieces and 1 kilo of sliced apples until soft, rub everything through a sieve, and boil with 1 kilo sugar until thickened.
Tomato-Apple Jam
is made from 2 1/2 kilos of apples, 1 kg. tomato and 1 kg sugar. In the same way, we make quince or plum jam.  You can also add a few tablespoons of rum, a few drops of lemon or bitter almond oil if you like.

Art, ties, and video games: Part 1

Sorry it’s been so long since I updated this blog!  Things have been really busy lately.  First off, I’m planning on going on a walking pilgrimage in summer from Cologne to Santiago (next year is step one of three). You can read more about it on the blog I made for it .

In other news, I just got two new handpainted vintage ties.  The description says they’re from the 40’s, but I’ll bet the red one is from the 3o’s, as it has EXACTLY the same birds on it as two pins I have, which are definitely from that decade.  I love the early 30’s women in skirts, jackets and ties look, and have been meaning to get some for ages now.  I’ve got some patterns for suits that feature a tie in my Swedish pattern magazines, so that will be another project 🙂 Anyhow, some of you have asked for pictures, so here they are with modern clothing.

it's a little wrinkly. I'll iron it later 🙂