Cool Stuff, Food, Holidays, Uncategorized

Mom’s Applesauce Fruitcake

It’s so good that before you think to get a photo, you’ve eaten half of it!

By popular demand, here is Mom’s Applesauce Fruitcake recipe, taken from a long ago edition of the Farm Journal. Note: We like these best baked in cupcake size. If you bake some, let me know in the comments!

3 cups        thick applesauce
1 cup         shortening
2 cups        sugar

1 lb            dates, pitted and chopped
1 lb            raisins
1 lb            walnuts (4 cups), chopped
¾ lb           candied fruit (red and green cherries, pineapple), chopped
Save some whole walnuts and cherries to decorate tops of fruitcakes.

4 ½ cups      flour
4 tsp          baking soda
1 tsp          nutmeg
½ tsp         ground cloves
1 tsp          salt

*Boil applesauce, shortening, and sugar together five minutes, stirring occasionally.  Be careful, it will pop out of pot.  Let stand until cool.

*Line pans with waxed paper or grease and flour.

*Mix fruit and nuts together.  Mix dry ingredients together and mix with fruit and nuts until each piece of fruit is coated.

*Stir in cooled applesauce mixture.  Spoon into pans. 

*Bake at 250˚ in loaf pans for 2 hours (less for small or cupcake pans) until wooden pick comes out clean. 

*Peel off paper while cakes are still warm (or it won’t want to come off at all).  Cool on racks.  Pour glaze over cold cakes (recipe below).  Store in plastic bags for two weeks to mellow. (Or gobble them up right now, they’re just as good either way!)

Fruitcake Glaze
*Bring to a boil:
½ cup   light corn syrup
¼ cup   water

Cool to lukewarm, pour over cold cakes for a shiny glaze.  Decorate immediately with whole candied fruit and whole nuts.

1940s, Change, Cool Stuff, History, Hmm..., Travel

1940s Saturday 2-1-14

This last weekend I bought a few magazines from the 1940s.  I’m kicking myself for not buying the whole pile, but hoping that the man will be at the flea market next month with the rest.  I want the magazines because A)  I love reading old magazines; B) Our house was built in 1946 and I’m interested in the history; and most importantly C) we have been re-doing our bathroom, and I’ve decided (I think) to decorate with travel ads from the 1940s.  This is the cover of one of the magazines, which will be perfect for my travel theme.  Seriously, you should have seen the giant grin on my face when I found it! 

 

 

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While looking through old magazines, I’m always struck by how similar the articles and content are to what we have today.  For instance, I read an article about a lady who was a writer, and tired of trying to do her work in a space where she was constantly trampled by children, puppies, and tradespeople, decided to redo a cellar room into a study. She managed to do it for only $25, ($384.59 by today’s standards, according to The Inflation Calculator).  Today, however,  I saw this in a 1941 Better Homes and Gardens.  The first two paragraphs read:

“There’s one sure way to tell a long-lasting paint. Find out how much white lead it contains. For as good painters and architects will tell you, the greater the white lead content, the more enduring the paint. And you can’t get a more weather-resistant paint than one containing 100% pure white lead.”

 

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<Jaw drops to floor>

Little did they know, a few years later children would be seriously injured from eating bits of the paint that was not, I suppose, as durable as the ads wanted them to believe.  Of course, 15 years ago people still thought margarine was better for you than butter.  We just never know when our prevailing wisdom will turn to foolishness!  Open-mouthed smile

Cool Stuff, Family, Fun, Memories

Up, Up and Away

As my last post anticipated, a week or so ago my son and his grandpa went for a hot air balloon ride.  On Friday they were instructed to meet at 7:00 a.m. at site “W”, a church in West Salem.  (The church has a sign that says “Drive-In Church”.  I’m still trying to figure out how that works…)  The balloon van arrived and the crew started unpacking.  The whole process of unpacking and blowing up the balloon took about a half hour – I’m always impressed when people accomplish such big things in so little time!

 

The whole balloon is in this bag!

 

Cold air is blown into the balloon with a fan:

 

 

The burner is fired up and hot air is blown in:

Balloon is up and they’re ready to go!

 

Up…

 

Up…

 

and Awaa…

 

…yyyyyyy!

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I had planned to spend the morning checking out some estate sales, or rushing home to take photos if the balloon was going to come our way.  But, the winds were “light and variable” and the balloon floated off toward downtown.  I was snapping away when one of the crew asked if I wanted to come with them in the chase van. Yes!

When they call it a “chase” vehicle, they aren’t exaggerating.   There’s a sign on the back of the van that says “Warning: Frequent Stops and Indecisions!”  While we zoomed and stopped and looked and went around the block and zoomed the other way, Dad and Ben were floating over the river looking down at the Oregon State Capitol building with the Gold Pioneer on top, and all of downtown Salem; and listening to the balloon pilot, Jim Desch, guide them through their aerial tour.  Jim, who owns Balloon Flying Service of Oregon, has been flying since 1989 and knows every possible landing spot in the area.  They estimated that this spot would work so Cecil pulled the van in here and stopped:

But…oops!  The winds changed direction and we had to jump in the van and take off to the east, where there was a nice big field next to the city shops.

Coming in:

 

It cleared the wires effortlessly (although from the ground it looked like they were coming in right on top of them!)

 

 

A perfect landing!

 

Time to pack up…

 

 

At the top of the balloon – it’s 200°F on this end!

 

They wrap straps around the balloon and then pack it into the bag…

 

 

They have to squish it so it will fit in the van!

 

When everything was packed up we all rode in the van back to the launch site, and took our cars to Wallace Marine Park in West Salem for the traditional champagne or sparkling cider breakfast.  Jim graciously invited me to join in, (but only those who flew in the balloon were allowed to have champagne)!

Setting up for breakfast.

 

Ben wanted to go throw a rock in the river (ka-bloop!)…

 

Before breakfast, Jim introduced the champagne toast with a history of ballooning…

 

…and presented Dad and Ben with framed Certificates of Ascension! (They also got to keep the champagne cups with the little balloons on them!)

 

Breakfast included croissants with strawberry cream cheese or chive cream cheese, crackers and a cheese spread, chocolates, and brownies. For beverages we could choose hot chocolate with whipped cream and sprinkles or coffee. Everything was delicious, and I was enjoying the meal and the conversation (mostly about Jim’s former career – monument making) so much I completely forgot to take any photos of the food!

I JUST realized that the whole time Ben and Dad were on their balloon ride and I was in the chase van, I didn’t once think of the song “Up, Up and Away” until just now when I was trying to invent a title for this post. Can you believe it?

(Sorry about the weird fonts in this post.  I can’t figure out what happened, and it won’t let me edit the font sizes!)

 

Cool Stuff, Family, Fun, Keizer, Thursday Things

Balloon

These photos were taken 2 weeks ago, I was in bed and heard the WHOOOOSH! of the balloon burner and ran outside to the porch to take a photo since it was flying so low.  As I was waving enthusiastically at the people in the gondola I realized I was still in my nightie and had sleep hair…but the people were turned the other way so I don’t think they saw me (whew!)  This balloon often flies over our house and has had to make a few emergency landings in our neighborhood.  This time it was aiming for a church parking lot but ended up in someone’s yard instead!

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Anyway, the other day my dad called and invited my son and me to go for a balloon ride in this very balloon! (It’s on Dad’s “bucket list”, last year he and Ben went on the Slingshot ride at the Fair, and he has been skydiving about once a year for the past 4 years. Dad had to miss skydiving and the rafting trip this year because of problems with his heart, and he was quite disappointed! Now he’s good to go, though!)

After the balloon flight there is a picnic continental breakfast with champagne or sparkling cider. It sounds like so much fun. I would LOVE to go. But, last time I was up high (Ferris wheel) I had a small panic attack and couldn’t stand to look. Since there isn’t room to sit down and hide in the balloon gondola and I don’t want to be a party-pooper, I decided not to go this time. My logical brain wants to go, but my bipolar brain is a total spoilsport.  Smile with tongue out

So, Ben will be going with his grandpa bright and early tomorrow morning – there are multiple start points so they will find out tonight where they start (depends on the weather and wind).  He is super excited.  It’s so great that Grandpa includes Ben in all his adventures.  I’m going to have him text me if they are going over our house so I can go out and wave and get a photo!  It’ll be awesome!

Cool Stuff, Fun, History, Memories, Success!

They Found the Kite Man!!

Two and a half years ago I wrote a post about a local Pacific Power public service television commercial I remember seeing as a child (read the post “Kite Man” here for reference). Today, I am incredibly pleased to announce that the video, after being lost for years, is finally on the internet!  Thanks, Jason Rouse, and thanks to Rob for letting us know where to find it!  Here it is:

The Kite Man

Over the last couple of years I’ve realized that I’m not the only one who wanted to see this again and show it to the next generation.  It is one of the most read posts on my blog, and there are numerous Facebook pages about the subject, including this one: Search For the Kite Man

How many of you hear the word “frogs” and still automatically respond “I like frogs.”? Open-mouthed smile

Cool Stuff, Fun, History, Kids, Life, Observations, People, Trivia

Classic Culture Reference of the Day

In so many of the new kids’ cartoons there are classic culture references that the kids (and probably many adults my age) just don’t get, and when I see these I am compelled to ask my kids, “Do you know why that’s funny?” 

Today my son and I are were watching “Courage the Cowardly Dog”.  There was a scene where Courage and a Bigfoot got in a food fight, and at the end of the food fight they both had piles of fruit on their heads and skirts made of bananas and were dancing the samba.  I said something like “Ha ha, Carmen Miranda!”  and Ben said something like “Huh?!” so I made him watch this video because I feel it is my responsibility to teach him everything I can possibly think of.

 

Ben and I were at the bank drive-up ATM today and I was telling him “Now, when you’re at the ATM be sure to keep your car doors locked, and look around to make sure nobody is sneaking up to take your money, etc. etc.” and he said “Yes, I know, that’s the third time you told me!”  I think I’ll make him watch this video a couple more times just so he doesn’t forget who Carmen Miranda is.

 

Watch the video, then try not to sing and dance.  It’s impossible, the samba is irresistible!   La la la la la chica chica boom chic!! Boom ch’boom boom boom ch’boom…