More Vintage Cooking

Dear Constant Reader,

I’m sorry it’s been so long since I shared a recipe with you. Last month was kind of a crazy one and I was barely in the kitchen. However, there should be more cooking in the near future.

You know I love old cookbooks of any kind, but when it comes to 20th century cooking I have a particular fondness for the recipe pamphlet. My collection includes “100 Delicious Walnut Recipes” by the California Walnut Growers Association and “The Exciting World of Rice Dishes” from Minute Rice.

A couple of years ago Scratch bought me two pamphlets that were clearly part of a series, created by the Culinary Arts Institute. Earlier this year I found two more. And now, thanks to eBay…


I have them all. 24 pamphlets to add to my cookbook project. In this project, which has been going on for years, I need to cook one recipe, which I’ve never made before, out of every cookbook in my collection. This project brought you such delights as Frozen Fruit Salad, Cashew Chicken, and Peach Mousse.

As of last week, I had 130 cookbooks in the project and I only needed to cook from 2 more of them to have completed the project (for now)! Then I added these pamphlets to the collection…

Fortunately, I’ve already cooked from three of them and two of them have no recipes (one has menus, the other food facts), but that still means I’ve got a lot of recipes to make. Perhaps some of them will even make it onto these pages. Perhaps some Luscious Refrigerator Desserts or Superb Pies and Pastries. So many possibilities!

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

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Published in: on 12 September 2017 at 10:14 am  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

Would you look at that? It’s Friday again! Today’s tip is inspired by some recent events in the burlesque scene*.

Knocking someone else down is not the way to build yourself up.

Instead, work on improving your skills and your attitude. You won’t have to make yourself feel better about yourself at the expense of someone else — you really will be better.

I spoke about horrible behavior in a previous Friday Tip, but it seemed worth mentioning again.

M2Like this tip? There are lots more in Miss Mina Murray’s Little Book of Better Burlesque.

These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

* There are those who call it “the burlesque community”, but it’s not a community, as events demonstrate, so I won’t.

Published in: on 8 September 2017 at 2:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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From my Closet

Dear Constant Reader,

Summer is winding down here in New England and it never got terribly summery, but I’m glad I made these shorts.

They’re 1940’s-style high-waisted chorus girl shorts in crisp linen, like these I made years ago.

The big difference is that I put in pockets. It really makes me crazy when women’s clothing lacks pockets and they’re pretty easy to add. Such a big improvement!

Also, the originals have a button closure in the back. I was too impatient to try out the buttonhole attachment for my vintage sewing machine, so I just added a flat hook & bar. I’ll replace it with a proper button and buttonhole eventually. Yeah. Eventually.

I’m particularly pleased with these because it’s been quite a while since I sewed any everyday clothes for myself. I really should change that. maybe I’ll have another Dress Me contest (although the previous two have not had the most stellar results on my part).

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

Published in: on 5 September 2017 at 1:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

I know you have a big heart and a generous nature and that’s the topic of this week’s tip:

Give to those in need… and make sure they are going to get it.

I know we were all devastated by the news from Texas. Donate or volunteer if you can, but be wary of scams. Disasters do seem to bring out the best and worst in people. It’s worth it check out an organization on Charity Navigator before giving.

Here are some reputable organizations, as recommended by the New York Times:

Food Banks: Houston Food Bank and Food Bank of Corpus Christi.

Animal Aid: Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Houston Humane Society, and San Antonio Humane Society.

Medical and Health Supplies: Direct Relief, AmeriCares, and Texas Diaper Bank. Also, blood donors are needed nationally.

LGBTQ Community Support: The Montrose Center

General Relief: United Way and Catholic Charities.

Thank you.

M2

Published in: on 1 September 2017 at 12:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A Lack of Motivation

Dear Constant Reader,

I’m sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted something other than a tip. The past 6 weeks were full of travel, performing, and recovering from the same. Unfortunately, my desire to sit at my writing desk has not yet recovered. I have so much to tell you about my recent adventures, not to mention more reviews and retro recipes, but putting pen to paper has seemed such a chore of late.

Here’s hoping I find my motivation soon. I think it’s at the bottom of my suitcase with the last of my dirty clothes.

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

Published in: on 30 August 2017 at 2:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! Here’s your tip!

When sending large files, like music or photographs or video, use file sharing, not email.

There are so many ways to share files (for free!) these days that there’s no reason not to. You don’t always know the recipient’s email situation or what device they might be using. Sending a link instead of a massive file is just more courteous. Thinks of it as delivering a note to pick up a parcel at their leisure instead of thrusting said parcel, which may be too heavy, into their arms without warning. (How’s that for an overly extended metaphor?)

M2Like this tip? There are lots more in Miss Mina Murray’s Little Book of Better Burlesque.

These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

Published in: on 25 August 2017 at 3:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Mini BurlExpo

Dear Constant Reader,

I’m so sorry for the recent silence. I have a lot of catching up to do! It’s been crazy busy for me recently and this was part of it.

Mini Expo PostcardThe last Saturday in July was the first ever Mini BurlExpo. The what? Every year Scratch hosts The Great Burlesque Exposition, a massive three-day burlesque event, which for various reasons beyond his control, has been held in February for the past several years. And invariably there has been a snowstorm that very weekend, causing chaos and disruption. He thought it would be fun to have a small, low-key version of the Expo in the summer.

Friday night there was a performer cookout, sponsored by Viva Vermont Burlesque, held in the backyard at The Manor. We cooked hot dogs and s’mores over the fire, drank local beer, and generally had a lovely time.

Next morning it was off to The Thalia for a day of classes. The regular Expo has 4 tracks of classes over 3 days, so a mere 5 classes (plus one on Sunday) was a bit more manageable. The offerings included marketing, ballet for burlesque, chair & floor work, and twerking.

In the evening there were two shows, as compared to The Expo’s four over three days. The first, The Mini Event, was a take off on The Main Event, the Expo’s competition. Instead of competing for serious titles like “Most Classic”, the performers were in the running for audience-voted awards like “Damn! That Was Awesome!” and ridiculously random trophies.

The show opened with an adorable group number from The Expositionettes, created by Betty Blaize and featuring her, Artemisia Vulgaris, Brigitte Bisoux, Devastacia, and Kitty Levesque. I’d like to point out that Brigitte was filling in for a performer struck ill and she only had one rehearsal. She’s just that good.

We had a whole host of performers, from all over the country, showing off the beautiful and the bizarre. There were veterans and neophytes and a whole range of performances styles, all creative and entertaining.

While the very official ballot-counters were tabulating the results (that would have been me and Betty), the audience was entertained by Diamond DeVille (Most Beautiful 2017), and Egypt Blaque Knyle (Best Solo 2016 and a huge number of other awards). I’m glad we counted efficiently and I was able to see most of Egypt’s remarkable performance.

The well-deserving winners were Bea Trouble who received “Greatest Googly-Moogly” for her cow-themed striptease (it was fabulously absurd and I’m not giving away the punchline), Mr. and Mrs. Fucksmart who were awarded “Most Pantsfeelings” for their sexy duet to “Tainted Love”, and Tapitha Kix was honored with “Damn! That Was Awesome” for her tap pointe striptease (yes, seriously, she can tap dance en pointe). Everyone put on a great show!

Then it was time for the second show, Late Night Lust, a passel of more risque acts. I was delighted to have the opportunity to perform my bathtub act with the lovely Artemisia Vulgaris as my lady’s maid. I really love this act, but it’s difficult to find a venue for it — it’s long (almost 8 minutes), it has a fussy set up, it requires a second performer to be my maid (it’s too complex a job to just ask a stage kitten to help) and requires a stage on to which the tub can be rolled (it’s really heavy once it’s filled with water, so carrying it up steps is right out). I feel so Lili St. Cyr-ish when I get to bathe. Maybe this time I’ll finally get some decent video — it’s been like a curse.

The next morning those that were up to it returned to the theatre for a little brunch and another class from Egypt (fantastic, by the way) and our little Expo interlude was over. It was a fun event for the middle of the summer. Who knows? It may become tradition! And now it’s time to start gearing up for The Great Burlesque Expo in January. Hope for no snow storms!

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

Published in: on 23 August 2017 at 3:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! I’m at the ABurlyQ! Burlesque & Sideshow Spectaculár, but I would not forget your tip. I can’t believe I never shared this one before, but apparently not…

Attach a tassel or other decorative item to your zipper pull to make it easier to grab.

At the right you can see Devora Darling illustrating this tip (see it up close and personal at Cover Girls tonight in Salem and tomorrow in Dover, NH). Of course, it doesn’t have to be a tassel; you could use ribbon, trim, bits of jewelry. You’re just trying to make it easy to find by touch.

The other advantage to this is that you are extending the zipper pull, like those extra-long pull-cords on overhead lights for us short people. You won’t have to reach up awkwardly high to pull down the zipper — a boon for dresses with a high back.

M2Like this tip? There are lots more in Miss Mina Murray’s Little Book of Better Burlesque.

These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

Published in: on 18 August 2017 at 11:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! Here’s your tip!

When removing garments, position the removal downstage.

You want the audience to see you remove the garment, so you should avoid blocking the action with your body. On the other hand, if you’re trying to remove something more covertly, turn it upstage.

I am clearly lacking in performance photographs* because this photo by RDJ After Dark is the only picture I could find even close to illustrating this tip, and you can’t see the stocking I am removing from my downstage leg because black on black

M2Like this tip? There are lots more in Miss Mina Murray’s Little Book of Better Burlesque.

These writings and other creative projects are supported by my 7 Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

*If you happen to have any performance photos of me or my troupemates, let me know!

Published in: on 11 August 2017 at 11:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! I’m at the Pennsylvania Burlesque Festival this weekend, but I wouldn’t forget your tip!

Wear a watch when you teach.

A good class is well paced. Keeping an eye on the time ensures that you don’t have to rush through or run out of material. Of course, you can never guarantee that an unfamiliar classroom or studio is going to have a clock. But wait, you say, my phone has a clock. Yes, but you have to periodically run over and poke it to see the time display, which can break the flow of class. A wrist watch allows for a subtle time check. And it can be a charming fashion accessory as well as a useful tool.

M2Like this tip? There are lots more in Miss Mina Murray’s Little Book of Better Burlesque.

These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

Published in: on 4 August 2017 at 11:16 am  Leave a Comment  
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