Vintage Hospitality

As a child, I collected ceramic animals. As a girl, I collected photos of Elvis. As a teen, I collected photos of fashion models. As a young woman, I collected young men. And then, I married and soon followed a home to tend and children to raise, and I decided to spend more time on the latter than dusting.
With that decision, out the door went all tchotchkes (chot (rhymes with hot) skees) – those knick knacks/doodads/accessories/collectibles that required dusting or ironing or polishing or spritzing.
Then, in 1999, our youngest child went off to sleepaway college and practically as we waved bye bye, 24 years of living in a tchotchke-free zone ended. Ten years later, I’ve become a vintage packrat, and our home is a-jumble with the collectibles, accessories, doodads and knick knacks that once belonged to women of earlier generations.
I love going through this or that pile of stuff, although when in search of something specific, not having things organized is a huge time waster. On a recent forage for a recipe, I found this pamphlet, which provided women of the 1920s tips on hospitality.

I replaced the original tip with one on making edible placecards – a really fun idea in principle! With tomatoes in season, I would make individual salads, and using French salad dressing in place of the mayonnaise, write the names on large slices of tomato. Oh, the possibilities!

Do visit the homepage, where the pamphlet is permanently posted. You can enlarge it there for clarity in reading, and I’ll be changing out the tip every week or so!

Tie One On…an apron, of course!

Seeking the Portal to a Book

Four or so years ago, through a joint love of aprons, I made the internet acquaintance of Janet Downs. Janet, who lives in Goods Mill, Virginia, is a storyteller and fabric historian, her wealth of both drawn from a family that goes waaaay back.  
So I might put faces to her stories, Janet provided me dozens of black and white snapshots, among which was a photo of a woman standing at her stove. The details of the picture – a dishtowel folded over a hanger, the pots on the burners, her aproned self looking at the camera as if to say Well, take the picture already! Supper’s ready… I fell in love with its authenticity, and thought it the perfect voice and presence to be the portal to The Kitchen Linens Book. Turns out the picture is of Earl Downs’ mom, Virginia.

Forever, I am grateful to Janet and Earl for sharing this cherished photo. Does she not speak volumes without saying a word?

Tie One On…an apron, of course!