Sunday, October 15, 2017

Potpourri Press Books By Irena Chalmers

I have a small collection of these fabulous little paperback cookbooks written by Irena Chalmers and published by Potpourri Press in Greensboro, North Carolina. All of mine were published during the years 1969-1977.
 This one, the only one that is NOT a cookbook, is the one that started it all for me,
 "Napkin Folding":
Here's one little bio and photo from the back cover of one of my books:
And here is another:
The first cookbook photo below, the "Cookie Book" is one that I do not have.
 I'm hoping to find it: I love the illustration on the cover:
I think I found nearly all of my others at thrift shops.
And I like the covers on all of them.
The next four volumes pictured here today all feature artwork by Bob Penny. 
"Crock-Pot Cookery":
"Lover's Dining":
"Cooking In Clay":
"Souffle Spectaculars":
"Wok And Tempura Cookery" was written with Barbara Farr and has drawings inside, also by Ms. Farr:

And "Crepes And Flaming Desserts" has cover artwork by Mr. Penny, with drawings inside done by Sara G. Skardon :
 In perusing these little cookbooks, I see a lot of recipes that I want to try.
Here's a Beef Stew recipe from "Crock-Pot Cookery":
 There are at least a half-dozen more that I do not have, but I'm still hoping to find them very inexpensively at thrift stores, rather than buying them on eBay.
Because I don't NEED them, you know?
 I'd just like to have them if I happen across them - and perhaps I will!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Patterns From The Past: Simplicity 7430 - A Dress And Matching Bag

Today's pattern from the past is Simplicity 7430 from 1967.
It's The "All Girl" Look :
I found the poster seen above at Urban Basics And Company in Battleground, Washington, which I mentioned in yesterday's post.
I'm assuming this picture must have been on the cover of one of those huge pattern books we used to love to sit and look through at The Quality Shop, our wonderful fabric shop that used to be on Main Street in Placerville.
 How I wish I had color photos of the inside of that wonderful shop!
 I miss it.
I had no idea such a thing as this even existed - a new poster featuring a 1960's pattern and my favorite models Colleen Corby, Lucy Angle and Shelley Hack!
 Seriously; I bought it, brought it home, framed it and hung it on my wall.
 Love it.
There were one or two others, I think, that were similar. I couldn't buy them all, unfortunately. But I wanted to.
(Again - I don't always know all of the models, so if you know the name of the blonde, please fill me in!)
Here's the front of the pattern:
I love the little matching bag.
In fact, back in about 1966, when I was in elementary school, I got three new dresses from Sears catalog one year and one of them had a little matching purse that was similar to this one.
 I remember being SO happy with my new dresses, because we didn't get a lot of new clothes.
And I WAS the youngest, so I got hand-me-downs.
 Don't get me wrong, I was happy to have the hand-me-downs! I liked them! It's just that new was always nice.
Funny how times have changed - I seldom buy anything new these days. I'm thrilled to find very nice - and very reasonably priced - attire at thrift stores. I don't even WANT to pay the price for new retail merchandise. In fact, just last week I found two new-looking pairs of Coldwater Creek jeans in my size for $3.00 each.
(By the way, my poster may say 1968, but the pattern is absolutely dated 1967.)
 Making your own clothes was  definitely a money-saver back in the 60's and 70's, and I have mentioned before that in high school I used to pay Lori to sew dresses for me, because she was much better at it.
Here's another version of the dress with the swingy little handbag:
The back of the pattern:

I think it's a cute little dress.
My favorites are the rick rack-trimmed, long-sleeved aqua gingham, the blue print with the matching bag, and the bright floral with the bag.
Which one of the six versions seen on the pattern front do YOU like best?

Saturday, October 7, 2017

On To Washington State: Ridgefield & Vancouver

The day Lori and I left the Tillamook Cheese Factory on our trip last May, we headed up to Washington.
We have a cousin who lives in Ridgefield, Washington, and we got to stop and have a visit with her.
She took us to Battleground, and we had just barely enough time to visit a few shops there before closing time, including  Urban Basics And Company and Rusty Glamour. I loved every shop we went into!
Here is an article about our cousin Stephania that had JUST been in the paper the day before!
I can't even think about forgiving myself for forgetting to get pictures with her while we were there, but here is a photo of our dear cousin Stephania and her husband Richard:
 We had visited them back in 2007 when we went up there, but at that time they lived in Washougal. We also got to see our cousin Madeline (her sister) during that same trip at her studio and home in Portland, but I'm sorry to say that both Madeline and their third sister Mary Ann have passed away.
We didn't get to spend enough time with them, and I am truly hoping to be able to go back soon and stay longer.
Little did we know (although I believe I had a sort-of "feeling" about it at the time, so inside, somehow, I DID know, apparently), we were, literally, right across the street from where my friend Kari works! I mean, she would have been leaving work, and we were right there - it was nuts! I kept saying "For all I know, Kari could be right here somewhere...", and things to that effect. Well, she WAS, as it turned out. I was trying to reach here but I didn't know the name of her boss, nor the address where she worked. Oh, and in my haste, I was sending my texts to another friend, rather than to her! I didn't even know that at the time, because my friend was busy and didn't have time to reply until later. We learned all of this later, and it was an interesting conversation!
We had arranged to arrive at Kari's house right around the time she got home from work.
We were delighted to be able to stay at her home again (we'd been there 10 years prior, as well).
We had a great time with her. She's like the little sister I never had, me being the youngest.
We went out to dinner at Farrar's Bistro in Vancouver, and it was superb in every way.
We also went to a couple of thrift stores, and she even found some great, very reasonably-priced outfits for her office job.
(It was on that same day that I bought the skirt I wrote about back in this post.)
She also works part-time at the fabulous Heathman Lodge, and she took us there so we could see it.
What a gorgeous place!
Here's a pic of Kari and me that Lori took while we were there:
(I love that little gal SO much!)
We were there at just the right time to enjoy happy hour at Hudson's Bar and Grill, so we made that our early dinner that evening, and it was fabulous, too.
I mean, check out this menu. Yum!
I took this picture of a gorgeous Pendleton blanket we saw at the gift shop there at the Lodge - simply because I LOVE Pendleton!
 I found this little vintage mirrored advertising thermometer/picture at one of the thrift stores we visited:
I loved it - but Kari fell in love with it, too - and I mean she LIVES there!
So it stayed with her, and she took it and hung it up by her desk at work.
I like knowing that it's there.
And I hope to be able to go back and visit HER before another gosh-darned ten years go by, for Pete's sake!
(Please, Travel-Gods or whomever, help me save up enough dollars to make that happen - sooner rather than later!)

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Chocolate (Cream) Cheese Pie, A Recipe From Farm Journal

 I made this creamy, delicious chocolate dessert yesterday:
The recipe actually comes from a cookbook we grew up with,
 Farm Journal's Complete Pie Cookbook, published in 1965:
I have Mother's copy, and the recipes in it are fabulous.
Some of our family favorites were the Frosted Apple-Raisin Pie, Crisscross Cherry Pie,
and the Best-Ever Lemon Meringue Pie, which really IS, by the way; it always got the highest bid when Mother would make one and take it to one of our 4-H Pie Socials.
Does anybody do Pie Socials any more? Our 4-H ones were fund raisers, and they were just plain, good, old-fashioned family fun. They were meant for the whole family to go, and we would bring our pies as donations, and then they were auctioned off. Maybe there was also a pot-luck dinner to enjoy; I can't recall.
But it was neat, and I miss stuff like that!
At our Gold Oak Union Elementary School Halloween carnivals, I remember also having a Cake Walk, and as I recall, working that - or participating - was fun, too.
 (I'm not sure now whether those were a 4-H Club sponsored event or if perhaps it was our 8th grade class to raise money for a class trip? Either way, they were enjoyable!)
 An array of cakes were donated by the club/class members and/or their families, and then we used a record player. There were taped out squares on the floor to walk as the music played, we'd stop the music, and then I guess we picked a number to determine the winning square? Your ticket(s) enabled you to "walk", and if you were the winner, then you got to pick whichever cake you wanted from the table. I mean, come on - how great is that?
All right, yes, I digress!
Those memories came flooding back as I was typing - so back to the topic at hand.
This is a picture of the pie from the cookbook:
And here is the recipe for the Short-Cut version:
 I didn't make the Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust this time, because I had some Cocoa Krispies in the pantry, and I found a recipe for a pie crust using Rice Krispies in an old magazine, so I decided to try that.
And then I also didn't feel like putting it in a pie plate, so I used an 8X8" Pyrex dish instead.
Here's the "crust" recipe, if you're interested:
Melt one cup of semi-sweet chocolate morsels with 1/4 cup of butter in a microwave-safe bowl for one minute or so and stir together until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth and creamy.
 Stir in 2 cups of Rice Krispies or Cocoa Krispies and press mixture into a lightly greased pie plate or square baking dish.
You could fill this crust with anything, of course; like ice cream or pudding, to create any number of refrigerated pies. It was definitely something new to me - and I really like it.
But honestly, this chocolate dream - I mean cream  (or do I?) - stuff is so delicious and so rich and decadent, I actually don't think you even need any type of crust. I think it would best be served as a wonderful sort-of Chocolate Mousse type of dessert in crystal goblets or sherbet dishes.
It's pretty fabulous. I love chocolate and I love rich things - but consider yourself warned, if you do not.
(I previously wrote about this pie back in my inaugural  "Then And Now" post, in June of 2008.
 (Click here  if you would like to go back and read that post.)
 I've also written about the Farm Journal Cookbooks more than once. Indeed I have, and for good reason.
All three of the Gold Country Girls have a collection of these fabulous vintage cookbooks, and I feel that the recipes they hold are worthy of a whole slew of posts!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Celebrating October With Brach's Candy Corn (Again)

I've already written a "Then And Now" post featuring Brach's Candy Corn, back in 2012 (click here to read it), so today I'm just doing a quick re-visit to celebrate the arrival of October.
I found another great old advertisement for Brach's Halloween candy in one of my old magazines, and I figured it was most definitely "share-worthy"!
I'm glad October is here, and it would be unusual for us to reach temperatures at or over 100 degrees this month around these parts - but not unheard of.
Me? I'm hoping for the best.
I want "HOT" to be over.
Here's a close-up of a corner of the ad:
 How cute were those little house-shaped cardboard "Paks"?
And I love the little pre-packaged cellophane bags, all ready to go for the Trick-Or-Treat set!
I'm so sorry I neglected to get the year on this ad; I tore it out of a magazine and forgot to write it down.
But I'll guarantee you that I'd have been happy to get one of those little packets when I was a little girl going door-to-door in my costume.
And here's a picture of the entire page, a colorful one featuring
"Brach's Halloween Candy For Trick Or Treat":
And then, just for fun - here's a photo of the way their candy corn package looks "Now":
In fact, I just purchased those at the grocery store this morning!
I also wrote about Brach's Candy Corn back in 2009.
Because I LIKE it - can you tell??
It's kind of fun to see how the package has changed over the years, and besides that, I showed another of the great vintage magazine advertisements in that post, so please do go back and read that post again, as well, won't you?
Happy October, everybody!
Here's hoping we all have a "Spooktacular" month!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Road Trip Stop:Tillamook Cheese Factory

Okay, so yes - our road trip was back in May.
 But I'm only just now finally getting around to writing some of the posts I wanted to share about our trip!
No more excuses, just content.
When Lori and I were not staying with family and friends, we attempted to find the least expensive lodgings available.
Some of the places reflected that fact in an unfortunate way, but we wanted cheap, and you get what you pay for.
Lesson learned.
We were delighted, however, with our accommodations at
  Surfside Oceanfront Resort in Rockaway Beach, Oregon.
I want to go back and stay there again for more than just one night. We had a family suite, which meant we each had our own bathroom, the separate bedroom had another TV, and there was a full kitchen, too. I was able to stay up late and not disturb Lori in any way. For us, that was perfect.
We were able to visit the Tillamook Cheese Factory while we were in the area.
 I took pictures of some of the large photos that were hanging up on the walls.
We had last been there in 1966! Our family took camping trips when we were growing up, and one of the longer ones {which was that summer} took us all the way up into British Columbia.
That trip included tours at not only Tillamook, but also the Olympia Brewing Company in Tumwater, Washington.
 (Daddy used to drink Olympia Beer. I just watched "The Graduate" last week and Benjamin Braddock was drinking it, too, in the movie!)
I didn't remember very much about the cheese factory tour we went on back then, other than huge long vats full of cheese curds, and getting a sample of their wonderful cheddar cheese at the end, which has always been my favorite.
We were only able to see their Temporary Visitor's Center, which  meant no tour this time. We still enjoyed the visit very much, and each of us made some purchases, and we also had some ice cream while we were there.
And, why not?
You have to know I could not resist a photo "op" inside this VW!
And here it is - and here I am:

Click here to read an article about what happened three years ago to their fabulous little orange VW mini buses that were being hauled with this rig:
I had to bring home one of the little mini VW orange buses - it was just too cute to pass up!
I hope to be able to go back there again after they have their Visitor's Center Grand Reopening in 2018.
And just in case you thought I was kidding about liking the cheese, this is what we happen to have in our refrigerator right now here at home:
We're cheese people, folks. Plain and simple.
I also bought a souvenir tee shirt for my husband's birthday, which was two days after we got home from our two-week trip. It was his favorite gift, so I'm glad I thought of it!
Back to the ice cream: I found the flavor Lori had tried at the grocery store when we got back home:
Yes, it IS as good as it sounds!
(The one I tried that day was Malted Moo Shake - also fabulous, by the way!)
And later at a different store, I saw this pint of frozen custard, and I had to try it, as well:
It was good, but I still mourn the fact that I can't seem to buy a peach ice cream at the supermarket like whatever we used to get when we were kids. It was probably either Safeway's Lucerne brand, or possibly Crystal.
 I think I'll have to try making homemade peach ice cream some day, and see how that turns out!
Some day... yes, but it won't be anytime soon.

Monday, September 18, 2017

My (Annual?) Visit To Apple Hill

I got to go up to Apple Hill earlier this month, and I can only HOPE that I will get to go again this season.
I didn't make it up there at all last year, and that really bummed me out.
 I was with my very dear friend Kim, who lives in Camino, and we didn't have a lot of time the day we went.
We had a quick lunch at Blondie's Coffee House and it was fabulous!
 What a delightful little restaurant it is!
(I wish I had remembered to take a picture.)
 The pictures I'm sharing today are from  Grandpa's Cellar, which was the most important destination for me that day.
The reason I wanted to go so badly to that particular apple ranch was because the  woman who runs the wonderful gift shop there is a friend, and also happens to be Lori's former landlady.
The shop is amazing!
It is, quite simply FULL of fabulous things - I swear you could go in there and do your Christmas shopping!
Something for everyone? Bim. Bam. Boom. Done!
Do you see that little salt and pepper set front and center on the table in the picture above?
Well, Kim and I both came home with a set!
Thank you, Heather!
We REALLY enjoyed our visit to the shop, and we will most definitely be back!

I've got to get back up there, and on a day with more time (and maybe money?) to spend.
I want to sit and savor a slice of local apple pie, and I want to come home with some apples.
I'm really looking forward to it.

So, remember - "Don't sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me", and if you're heading up to to Apple Hill - please take me with you!
Because it's one of my favorite places in the world.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Ten Years As A Blogger!

This month marks the tenth anniversary of our blog here at Gold Country Girls.
With over 3000 posts now under our belts, my sisters and I would like to say thank you to every single person who has ever read (and, hopefully, enjoyed?) one of our posts.
We three do write about a wide variety of subjects, so it is my hope that there truly may be something for everyone here, if you were to go back and pore through our "archives".
 Please be prepared to sit a spell and linger for a while, if you do! There's an awful lot to read and a myriad of pictures to go along with all of the text.
I also wanted to ask our loyal readers to please "Forgive Me"!
 For what?
For my lack of regular posts, of course!
I have been devoting all of my time to working on my business selling vintage goods, and also to the long-neglected task of organizing all of the things I want or plan to sell, and also to putting my house and storage areas in to some sort of  order, rather than the disorganized chaotic mess it has all been for far too long.
This has left me with little to no time for blogging, as I am also now working at Mountain Treasures at least one day a week here in Sonora.
Writing this blog is still important to me, but it does require a fair amount of time, and that is what has been lacking.
I fully intend to start posting more often, and I will be trying my very hardest to do just that!

On a completely different subject, I wanted to share with you all today a photo of our Mother that I found when looking through old family photos at Tina's while I was at her house for a visit last month to celebrate her birthday.
(Oh, and that vintage sheet music above is Tina's too - I loved it and had to snap a photo of it!)
I did not remember Mother having one of those great, colorful embroidered burlap bags, but the proof is in the picture.
 (I do wish I knew what color it was, though! I'm sure it was colorful, not that you can tell in this black and white photo.)
That's not a very good picture of our mom, so here's one of my favorites of her school teacher photos, taken somewhere around the same time frame, so that you can see how pretty she was:
 Didn't she just have the loveliest smile?
Yes, she really did. We miss you, Momma!
Okay, so back to those beautiful embroidered bags - here are some much more colorful photos of some that I have found.
 We'll start with the most colorful:
 And next we have this lovely one in aqua and white:
 And one in brown and russet tones:
 And last of all, a cool sort of zig-zag pattern in pink, black and yellow:
I love them, but I don't use them, so I'm planning to offer them for sale - just as soon as I can find the time!
 (The one in the first photo has already sold.)
So, that concludes the colorful part of today's celebratory post.
And thank you again, dear readers, for sticking with us for the last decade.
And if you have just found us, PLEASE comment; the comments make us so incredibly happy - because it makes us feel as though we are actually connecting with people out there in this big wide world.