Late Summer Picnic
As you might have figured out by now, I collect all kinds of old household management books – books on cooking, sewing, cleaning, entertaining, and etiquette. One of my favorite finds (for which I paid a whole dollar!) is the 1941 America’s Housekeeping Book by the New York Herald Tribune Home Institute.
It is full of tips for reconditioning the leather bindings on your books, making tufted rugs out of loops of twine, and matching the stripes on your homemade slip covers. But what caught my eye on this particular reading was this picture:
As I looked at it, I realized, “Hey! We still have some of this stuff!” That’s what comes of not moving around too much.
And just in case the pictures inspire you to really go on a picnic, here is my favorite easy recipe for a tea cake.
- 2 cups of flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 1/2 cups of butter
- 1/2 cup of cream cheese
- 1/2 cup of honey
- 1 cup of sugar
- 5 eggs
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a tube or Bundt pan.
Mix the flour and baking powder in a small bowl. Cream the butter and cream cheese together, then add the honey and sugar and mix. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat after each egg. Mix in the dry ingredients.
Pour into pan, bake at 350 for 30 minutes, then lower the heat to 300, and bake an additional 40 – 50 minutes.
Options: If you have some flavored cream cheese spread, you can use that. I have used a honey/walnut spread, and added cinnamon and nutmeg.
You could also add lemon, butter, or almond flavoring, or 1/4 cup cocoa powder and some mini-chocolate chips.
Notes: Since I have chickens, I always have a plethora of eggs, and I am always looking for ways to use them up easily. I love this recipe because it doesn’t involve any separating of eggs or beating of egg whites, as so many cake recipes do.
The cake has a great consistency, like a pound cake. You can also make it in a loaf pan but bake it an extra 15 or 20 minutes at 300 degrees. It freezes beautifully too.
Love that you have items from that pic. I really like the enamelware – a coffee pot?
Yes – for some reason we have 4 or 5 old coffee pots of all kinds, glass, aluminum… but that one is my favorite. I just love the color.
One of our favorite books here is “How to Be a Top Secretary”. There is something very satisfying about reading these old books.
When Husband and I got married, we were given a great picnic basket as a gift. We’ve loved it so much, that now when we go to weddings, we often give a nice picnic basket set as a gift, as well. It’s a push in the right direction. 😀
Yes, I always feel if I would just follow the advice in those books to the letter, my life would run perfectly!
The picnic basket is a great gift idea!
I also love the picnic basket and the enamelware… I have a large enamel mug, with a lid, in the same colour… I use it to store old biscuit cutters and it’s displayed on a kitchen shelf, alongside varied lidded glass jars, also filled with cutters. I love all kinds of kitchen and sewing paraphernalia.. and am absolutely loving your blog…
Thank you so much!
I just love all that old stuff too – I buy some things, but most of them are just ordinary items passed down from family. They’re nothing special but they make me feel like my family members are close by.
Love your tablecloths, I collect them too and they make me smile.
In my old house, I had high ceilings, and I hung some above the kitchen cabinets so I could enjoy them every day. If I try to actually use them on a table, the cats find them and sleep on them and shed on them, so I have to find other ways to display them. Right now I just have them stacked up on a shelf in the kitchen and even folded up, they still make me smile!