Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Vintage Kitsch'n: Blueberry Peach Cobbler

Recipe: Variation on Cherry Cobbler
From: Betty Crocker Good and Easy Cookbook

Instead of the cherry cobbler, I used peaches and blueberries since that's what I had on hand.

Creative Cookery: I do what I want
Instead of canned pie filling, I used a mix of fruit, sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon.  I also substituted Trader Joe's Multigrain baking mix for the Bisquick.

Vintage Wares:
Pyrex Square Flowers for mixing and  Spring Blossom for serving.

Verdict: Blue Ribbon
This is actually a recipe I have been using for years. My mother's cobbler recipe is almost identical. I've just never seen it written down before. Nor have I, or would I, ever use a canned  filling.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Thrifts of Terror: The Scream

I don't even know where to begin with this.
The Carol Channing hair.
The frilly dress and apparent lack of arms.
The perpetual lopsided scream. (or yawn?)

Seen at The Barn Sale Hamden, CT
Special appearance by Dan.

The month of June has been nuts.
The blog has been totally neglected.
But now I'm back to posting Thrifts of Terror if nothing else.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Thrift Share Monday Returns!

After a crazy few weeks working crazy hours on American Buffalo, and a couple weeks recovery, I am happy to say that the Thrift Share is back! My friends came up from New York a few weeks ago to see a couple shows in the area (including mine), and of course we managed to squeeze in some thrifting. That means new kitchen wares! Hooray!

First up, my two latest additions to my cast iron collection. First is an 8" generic one that is made in Korea and in excellent shape.I bought this at the Goodwill Outlet, because it was so heavy they sold it to me for $1.99 instead of the pound rate.

Next is my first piece of Griswold cast iron. It's a 10" number 8 skillet. I bought it at The Barn Sale in Hamden for $35 which is comparable to eBay prices. I haven't seasoned either one yet. But once I do, that old Lodge pan is going to the donation pile.

Funny how thrifting trips will have themes to them. In addition to cast iron, I purchased a few avocado items. At Savers, I picked up two small Pyrex canisters with the avocado lids. I already have two of the larger sizes so these are a nice addition to the others.

The Goodwill by the pound also yielded a small soup Thermos. Also, in avocado!

I limited myself to only one single gelatin mold. This classic heart shaped one. It was $1.

I'll be linking up with Apron Thrift Girl now that her interwebs are back online after her move. Hopefully now that my life has calmed down a smidge, I'll be back to regular posts and catching up on y'alls blogs.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Thrifts of Terror: Warning Clown Alert!

Don't you love it when the Goodwill gets multiples?
Scary clown banks for everyone!

Seen at the New Haven Foxon Goodwill.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Friday, May 25, 2012

Vintage Kitsch'n: The Jell-O Mold Collection Grows

I knew it. I knew this gelatin mold obsession could very quickly get out of control. SEE?!

Ridiculous, I know. But they're so easy and cheap. And I have been taking down old items on my kitchen wall and replacing them with the molds. Adds a nice touch to the kitchen,eh?

I love this 9 cup one. I think it was $2? I remember there were two others just like it that had been diswashered and were marked at $5. Proving that no matter the item, Goodwill pricing never makes sense. Also good to know that these items can fall to the deadly dishwasher film.

I picked up these 3 cup molds at Goodwill for $1-$2 each. They are so perfect for me to halve recipes and try stuff out on myself without making a giant amount of Jell-O.

I've discovered that at Savers, the tiny molds  will live with the kitchen goody bags. Good to know. I found these little ring molds for $1.

These swirly aluminum molds were a lucky find at the Goodwill by the pound. I found 4 of them together at the bottom of a bin. They probably cost less than a buck.

There hasn't been much time for Jell-O making lately, but that should change soon. Plus I'll have an office job for a month where I can try my recipes out on the break room. I did make the Peanut Butter Cups recipe from Hello Jell-O for a friend who helped me out during American Buffalo. They turned out yummy and using foil baking cups for the molds was cute.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

American Buffalo: Behind the Design Part 1

After a 16 year hiatus I have started designing sets again in addition to my usual costume design gigs. Before the big summer production hits, I am cutting my teeth on Elm Shakespeare's current project American Buffalo. While at first glance, it seems  like a small play, it has been a big challenge to get a 1970's junk shop installed in  the Kehler Liddel Gallery.

How does one go from this...

to this?

First, you treat it like an art installation. I call it: "American Junk Shop." For me American Buffalo represents beginning of the journey of where we are as a Nation today. The 70's are the beginning of the end of the American Dream.  For more of my thoughts on the play check out my previous post: American Buffalo An Introduction.
Next, we took a trip to the warehouse of our Lighting Designer, Jamie Burnett. Myself, Jamie, Mark-the Director, and the Artistic team Jim and Margie spent a few hours one Sunday afternoon "shopping" around the various piles of scenery and furniture.  We found lots of cool stuff, like this amazing yellow poker table, old guitars, chairs, and crates.

And check out this amazing 70's latch hook. It's very The Shining. (I want it.)

Once we got all of the furniture over to the Gallery, I started dressing the set. I've managed to gather various things from home, thrift stores, Yale, and a generous donation from some thrifting buddies. Because we are not able to install a full scale junk shop, I had to abstract the junk around the edges to suggest that there is more junk beyond what you see.
Everything on the set was either found or borrowed. In this corner we have Ye Olde Elm Shakespeare Trunk as a base with junk piled on and around it.

The large black speaker is actually part of our sound system and while it is not 70's, it is unobtrusive enough that it blends into the junk pile. Especially with the period speaker on the floor.

The golf clubs, ukulele, pedestal ashtray, and tennis racket all came from Jamie's warehouse. Jim brought the chainsaw. The stoneware jug was donated by a friend. I borrowed the spittoon from Yale. Because what kind of male hangout doesn't have a spittoon?

I provided the bowling bag, ice skates, shoe forms and the metal crate. The metal crate is a personal favorite and a Goodwill Outlet by the pound purchase. It probably cost $2. There is one other item in this pile that isn't in the photos, but is mentioned in the script. See if you can spot it when you come to see the show!

Stay tuned for more American Buffalo: Behind the Design later this week. I will show you Bobby's costumes from design to completion and give you a tour of Donny's desk. If you are visiting my blog via Elm Shakespeare's Facebook Wall please stop by the Vintage Spinster Facebook Page and give it a "Like". Then, you will get updates on my latest Jell-O creations and thrift store finds in addition to all of my Elm Shakespeare design projects. (I'm not kidding about the Jell-O.)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Friday, May 4, 2012

Vintage Kitsch'n: Rainbow Jell-O

Recipe: Classic Rainbow Jell-O Mold
From: Hello, Jell-O!*
*Note that this is not a vintage cookbook, however the sentiment behind this book is definitely vintage inspired. Because this is a new book I won't be posting any photos of the recipe. Should you like to try your hand at it, the recipe can be found here via the author's blog.

The Jell-O Experiment has been a complete success. I am totally back into enjoying gelatin again. Many thanks are due to the vintage cookbooks of yore as well as new inspiration from the blog The Jello Mold Mistress of Brooklyn and the subsequent book Hello, Jell-O! As soon as I saw it I knew I had to give the Rainbow Mold a try.

Creative Cookery: I do what I want
I followed the recipe. Though judging when the mold is ready for the next layer is tricky. I also wasn't sure how many cups my mold would hold so I wasn't 100% sure how many colors I would end up with.

The Flavors: Strawberry, Orange, Lemon, Lime

Vintage Wares:

Aluminum ring mold:

LuRay Pastel plate for serving:

Verdict: Blue Ribbon
Yes, this recipe takes a lot of patience, but it is worth it. I brought the mold to our latest Opening Night at work and it was a big hit. Most people described it as "happiness on a plate." Nice.

If you want to try it out, I would suggest using a timer to check the set. Also it's a great activity if you have lots of little cleaning chores to do around the house. Or if you are a reseller, maybe it's a good project for between setting up listings.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Thrift Share Tuesday: It won't become a habit, I promise.

I mean, I can't be this busy for the rest of my life. Right?
Anyway I had grand plans to share many of the things I bought for the American Buffalo set I am designing. However, things got busy so I'm just going to show you one item I bought while out Thrifting yesterday.

It is even an item on my grail list: a burl wood clock! It's in great shape and in working order.

I even snagged it for half off, so it was a bargain at $5. I hung it on the set this morning, but as soon as we strike it is coming home with me to hang in the living room. Here you can see some of the other purchases, the silouette deer head, a paint by number, and a lovely watercolor. More details on the set later in the week!

Link ups will commence as soon as Apron Thrift Girl gets her internet up and running in her fabulous new house.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Weekend Update: Load In

I spent most of today loading in the set for American Buffalo, so no time to dilly dally. However, tomorrow's post will have some great Thrift Share business.

Goals for Last Week:
1. Finish ground plan for American Buffalo, draw a perspective sketch. I started a perspective sketch but abandoned it mid way as the amount of space were are using has been shifting on a daily basis. Now it is far enough in the process, it would be a waste of time.
2. Start pulling props and furniture for the American Buffalo set.
3. Pull American Buffalo costumes from Yale stock, thrift the rest.
4. Have American Buffalo costume fittings. Scheduled for Monday
5.Exercise for 3 hours this week. (Trying a new approach with number of hours of exercise as opposed to the number of days.)
6. Go through my closet and drawers and purge old clothes.

Not too shabby.

Goals for This Week:
1. American Buffalo costume fittings and do notes.
2. Vacuum and mop floors of my apartment.
3. Macbeth-Start drafting and drawings
4. This week's exercise goal: run 4 times this week instead of 3.
5. Macbeth-finish and organize costume research.
6. Go through my closet and drawers and purge old clothes. (I really doubt I'm going to have the time, but you never know.)

Thing a Week #14: I made a set! Still a ways to go, but great progress was made today.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Thrifts of Terror: Oh Really?!

Now it sounds like Project Kresher is an amazing institution. But if they really want to work against the oppression of women around the globe they should have come up with a less stereotypical title.

Reversing Kitchen and Kremlin would be totally acceptable. 
Seen at the Orange, CT Savers.

And speaking of women and our rights, today there are events around the country to Unite Against the War on Women. I wish I could be at the march in NY to hear Martha Plimpton speak. If you are there it starts at 11am at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory.  

Friday, April 27, 2012

Vintage Kitsch'n: The Jell-O You've Been Waiting For

The savory recipe.
Recipe: Tomato Aspic Molds
From: Betty Crocker's Hostess Cookbook

I've been fascinated with this recipe for some time. When I first glanced at it I said, "Ew, Tomato Aspic." Then I read the recipe and said "Hey, now this is basically the Jell-O version of a Virgin Bloody Mary." For a long time I thought I might try a seafood gelatin mold for the savory recipe, but I couldn't handle the thought of throwing it out if it was disgusting. So I kept it simple and went with what interested me.

Creative Cookery: I do what I want.
I pretty much followed the recipe to the letter, except I added 3oz of Absolut Vodka. I also halved the recipe. I mean who really needs that much Tomato Aspic if you are not entertaining with it?

Vintage Wares:
My latest fluted mold:

And of course I've been utilizing my extensive collection of Pyrex measuring cups to mix all of my gelatin creations.

And where would we be without a Pyrex plate for serving?

Verdict: Red Ribbon
It's not terrible. The smell of the cloves actually makes you want to eat it. There's a definite spicy kick from the Tabasco and cayenne. The lemon gelatin and tomato work well together. There is crunch from the celery. And with my variation, there is a buzz from the booze. It is as I suspected, a solidified Bloody Mary. I've been eating it with shrimp and polenta, and I have to say it's grown on me. But let's face it, it's still tomato Jell-O.

My official month of Jell-O is at an end, but hell I'm having such fun I'm just going to keep going. My copy of Hello, Jell-O is on it's way along with some small, individual molds and I can't wait to look for more molds while out thrifting. Next week, the Rainbow Jell-O Mold. Here's a tease: