Monday, July 31, 2023

Thanks for visiting my Christmas kitchen!


 I think I'll end this month as I began it -- with a Christmas card adapted by my grandmother for use as a Christmas kitchen gift tag.  What's especially fun is that since that earlier post, I've come across the actual card, so I can show you the inscription in her very own elegant handwriting.

And I had thought this was only the card front -- but no, it was the entire complete Christmas card, so I'm guessing perhaps she used this same card design for her tag more than one Christmastime.  I'm so glad to have found the complete card, for I love the message inside it:

Isn't that a sweet sentiment?  "Well-seasoned wishes"!  I love it!  

I hope you've enjoyed Christmas in July here in my kitchen.  It's been fun for me -- and it's also been very nice to think of snow and cold during what has been a hot, humid July here in New Hampshire.

I hope to post more regularly in the coming months, so I'll see you all again soon!

Sunday, July 30, 2023

One more poem: "A Christmas Song"


Here is one last poem as Christmas in July begins to draw to a close.  This is another that I found in a vintage Christmas Ideals magazine, and is by a favorite poet, Mildred L. Jarrell.


Joyfully upon the air
There comes a sweet refrain,
For carols bring the message
That it's Christmastime again.

Music ringing round the town
Proclaims the Savior's birth,
Filling hearts with hope anew
Of peace to men on earth.

Harken to the angels' song;
Let earth receive her King;
Filled with spirit, loud and strong,
Lift up your voice and sing.

Keep in your heart a Christmas song,
And let the words convey
The message of the carols
To all men this Christmas day.

-- Mildred L. Jarrell

This just conjures up images from vintage Christmas carol books, don't you think? The one at top seems to fit particularly well here.

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Holiday Desserts -- a festive 1993 cookbooklet


Yes, surprising as it may seem, 1993 is now vintage.  Here is another booklet I came across in a kitchen drawer at the old homestead.  This one is in mint condition and will soon be offered for sale in my Etsy shop.  It has a glitzy, elegant look that makes it most attractive.  I've seen a number of these recipes singly in Christmas magazines over the years, but it's so handy to have them all together.

Here's the blurb from the inside front cover:

"Now Baker's, Diamond Walnuts, and Jell-O are making it easier than ever to create luscious holiday desserts at home.  We've selected our favorite holiday recipes -- fudgy brownies, nutty cookies, tempting pies and cakes, and brought them together for you in this booklet -- all quick, all easy, all very festive.  Perfect for family get-togethers and great as gifts, these treats will add a delicious touch of sweetness to your holiday season."

Recipes include One-Bowl Brownies, Cream Cheese Brownies, and Walnut Crunch Brownies,

Thumbprints, Super Chocolate Chunk Cookies, Delectabites, Chocolate Walnut Bars, 

Double Layer Pumpkin Pie, No Bake Mini Cheesecakes, 

One Bowl Chocolate Fudge (with four variations),  Triple Dipped Treats,

German Sweet Chocolate Pie, Caribbean Fudge Pie, Praline Dream Pie, 

Spiced Cranberry Orange Mold, Holiday Poke Cake,

Coconut Candy Bar Cake, Coconut Snowballs, and Baker's Best Macaroons.

This certainly puts me in the baking mood!  What about you?

Friday, July 28, 2023

The Christmas Bazaar


What do handmade aprons,

festive crocheted hot mats,

delicate spritz cookies,
star shaped dishcloths,
decorations crafted from old Christmas cards,

 seasonal pot holders,

and fudge have in common?  These are all things one might find at a Christmas bazaar.

 Back in the day many funds were raised for good or charitable causes by way of Christmas bazaars.  One of the definitions for the noun "bazaar" in my dictionary is " a fundraising sale of goods, typically for charity".

Nowadays, bazaars are often called craft fairs or Christmas fairs (in fact, my childhood memories are of a church Christmas fair, rather than a bazaar). These events are often held in October or November with the idea that shoppers can find Christmas gifts or decorations to purchase.  I'm sure the one I remember was held in December, and people would often buy fudge, cookies, etc. to serve their holiday guests.

What got me thinking about this again was an article by Leathea Marie Jones in Decorating & Craft Ideas September 1978 featuring ideas for simple crafts one could sell at a Christmas bazaar.  It began, “Everyone loves a bazaar and half the fun of planning or attending is browsing for ideas.  So, browse away in our Christmas Bazaar to find those ‘just right’ gifts for  friends and family and take note of fund-raising items for your own bazaar.”  

This brought a memory back to me of how I always made one or more homemade ornaments for my aunt Dot for her December birthday — and how she often borrowed my ideas for her and her friends to make for their church Christmas bazaar the following year. I have a few thank-you notes from her in which she thanked me for sharing craft ideas and patterns with her.   It was all such fun — and one time, that I remember, my mother and I, and maybe one or both of my daughters, ventured up to that bazaar, about an hour away from us.  We had such a good time.

All of this prompted an idea for me for my Christmas blog, maybe a monthly or a month-long feature of bazaar type ideas.  I could feature small sewed or crochet items, along with recipes for fudge and cookies and other salable baked goods.

Who knows if I will go anywhere with this idea, but it sounds fun to me.  We will see!

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Christmas in July at Gooseberry Patch!


 Yes, starting July 25th, and running through Sunday,  July 30, Gooseberry Patch is having their Christmas in July sale!  If you've visited here much at all, you know of my love for Gooseberry Patch, their cookbooks and special Christmas books.  (You can even find a label in the label cloud just for Gooseberry Patch, and I've also reviewed many of their books here on the blog.)  Right now their Christmas in July sale is featuring their products for up to 70% off.

There are 73 items on sale, including some Christmas books but also lots of their regular cookbooks.  I'll just share a few.  You will want to check it out for yourself.

Christmas Cookie Jar, for example, is only $4.  I own this book (different format) and it's full of great cookie recipes.

 I'll Be Home for Christmas is $7.  (Regular price $17.95.)

Autumn Recipes from the Farmhouse has a stunningly beautiful cover.  I've never seen this one.  It's  only $7.

Christmas Comfort Foods is also $7 and looks like another good one.

And there are dozens more!  Head on over and do some Christmas shopping, why don't you?

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Candy Cane Christmas Company


 I recently found the Candy Cane Christmas Company on Instagram and decided to check and see if they had a website.  They do!  I took a few screenshots to show you all the sort of decor that they carry.  It has a nostalgic, vintage vibe that many of you will enjoy greatly!

Oh, the ornaments!
The most popular categories include Boxes & Buckets, Ornaments, Reindeer, Santa, Snowmen, Tabletop/Mantel Decor, Throw Pillows, and Wall Decor.

In the Nostalgic Feels corner, you will find Bubble Lights, Shiny Brites, and Dummy Boards.

Many of the items here are out of my price range, but they do have sales.  And it's an inspiring, delightful place to visit just for the fun ideas!

Head on over for a sparkling visit at Candy Cane Christmas Company and see what's new!

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

The Festive Touch


 Now here's a fun little recipe leaflet from 1961!  Published by the Nestle company, this little booklet would have come bound inside a magazine.  Its 14 recipes feature Pet evaporated milk and Nestle baking morsels.  

Pet Evaporated Milk, we are reminded, has "twice the country cream in every drop" and is "the velvet ingredient -- thin milk would never do."  And "Nestle's makes the very best chocolate (butterscotch, too).  Only Nestle's Morsels melt so smoothly, blend so evenly."

All of the recipes are pictured. They include Hot Fudge Sauce, Chocolate Frosting, No-Bake Brownies, Pineapple Bavarian (with a peppermint variation), Apple Nut Dessert, Chocolate Cherry Creams, Nut Fudge (with a double layer fudge variation), Easy Graham Bars, Chocolate Logs, Fudgy Macaroons, Toll House Marble Squares, Polka Daters, Butterscotch Crunchies (with several variations), Pumpkin Pie, and Festive Fruitcake. Most of them look really scrumptious, and it may be that someone reading this has been looking for one of these recipes for decades!

I just noticed in the photo above, which shows the entire leaflet from the back, that the colors used for the words "The Festive Touch" resemble butterscotch and chocolate.  I think that is likely purposeful.  

To me, one of the most endearing things about this little leaflet is the little scribble of red ink on the front, just above the ellipsis after the word "touch".  It looks as if someone, about to write a Christmas card or a gift tag, was testing their festive red pen to make sure it still worked.

Such a fun find!  This has just been listed in my Etsy shop.