Thursday, November 17, 2011

Link Show and Tell

  1. A very talented vintage lady at By Gum By Golly did an amazing job knitting a Fair Isle Cardigan! It is hard to believe that someone can knit that by hand. Absolutely beautiful.
  2. I've been crocheting quite a few hats using Alli Crafts' ear flap hats pattern in various sizes.
  3. I've been wanting to make this old fashioned 1940's Cottage Pudding. It looks moist and fluffy. Maybe this recipe or this one.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sweet and Spicy Tomato Jam

 I finally gathered enough tomatoes from the garden to can my first batch of tomato jam! Heirloom Cherokee Purples, Box Car Willies and Romas. I'm still getting tomatoes at the end of November! We had a late summer heat wave so my tomato plants had a very late start.
 I blanched the tomatoes in boiling water until the skin split and then stopped the cooking with ice water. I peeled the skins off and then crushed them with a sturdy pastry blender.
 Sweet and Spicy Tomato Jam

5 pounds tomatoes, peeled and crushed
3 1/2 cups sugar
8 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon red chili flakes

Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Stirring often, simmer the jam until it reduces to a sticky, jammy mess. This may take about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, depending on how high you keep your heat. To check if it has jammed enough, simply place a plate in the freezer for 10 minutes then pour a teaspoon or so on the cold plate.  The jam should gel quickly once hitting the cold plate.
When the jam has cooked down, remove from heat and fill jars, leaving 1/4 inch of head space. Wipe rims, apply lids and twist on rings. Process in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes.
Remove jars from hot water bath and allow them to cool when finished.

I enjoyed my first taste of tomato jam on a gluten free biscuit. I bet it would taste delicious on meatloaf or a cheese burger! Think of it as fancy catchup.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Vintage Eyeglasses

I've been neglecting my need for vision corrections. I wore glasses most of my teen years and then stopped wearing them about 8 or so years ago. I got contacts after my daughter was born but never wore them regularly. Since then I've been squinting. I promise I have not been a danger to the public. I've always passed my DMV vision test. I had an eye exam on Saturday and the Dr told me I would no longer pass the DMV vision test if I were to go in today! Yikes. I knew I needed to get glasses so I started researching vintage inspired eyeglasses right away. I wanted glasses that went with my style. I was happy to find that more and more designers are catering the vintage/retro style. A few people pointed me to Coastal Contacts and I found Frames Direct and Eye Bobs after a quick google search.

Most eyeglasses in the 1940's were more round in shape and very simple. In 1947 the style, Browline was invented and designed by Jack Rohrbach for the Shuron eyeglass company. The name Browline seems like an obvious name because the design at the top of the frame mimics that of the eyebrows. Browline eyeglasses gained popularity in the 1950's and are still made and sold by the Shuron company. I am ordering these brownlines made by Shuron! My optician said she would put lenses in a pair of vintage frames if I found some I liked! Make sure your Optician will do that because some will only work on frames you buy in their office. Ebay, Etsy and some other online stores have lots of original vintage frames for sale. I'm going to keep an eye out for vintage frames the next time I go thrifting or antiquing.

Shuron Nusir Royale Eyeglasses

I am so excited. They are having a 40% off sale on all prescription glasses until Nov 18, 2011! 

The famous Cat Eye frames! Order a pair at Frames Direct or Coastal Contacts.
Besides today, I think the 1950's and 60's was the most popular time for wearing eyeglasses. The frames became more fashionable and fancy.

(Both of these vintage inspired frames can be found on Frames Direct!)
These round frames remind me of the pair John Boy from The Waltons wore. You can see this type of eyeglasses in late 30's early 40's movies. Usually worn by a geeky boy or girl. Funny how they stereotyped eyeglass wearings with intelligence back then too.