Friday, 21 November 2014

FOOD: A Vintage Spice Cake

Cookbooks, especially vintage ones tend to be modest in selling their recipes. Recipe names are simple, straight forward and pretty much to the point. So it's rare for them to state "exceptionally good" within the directions, yet alone the title. As I love all things spice I would have tried this recipe, but an "exceptionally good" spice cake, well that got me baking it all the quicker. 

The recipe comes from an old Calumet Baking Powder booklet, one very well loved and used over the years before I came across it at an estate sale. It's so well loved that the first 13 pages are missing so while I can't precisely age it, it's very 1930's in style. I admit I have issues, I can't throws things like this out, they might be falling apart but if I can save them I will, if I can use them, even better.

Spice Cake Recipe

Vintage recipes can be a little tricky to work with - I mean even this one didn't give me a baking temperature or time but it worked out great. Plus my favorite with vintage recipes - they rarely call for any strange ingredients, sometimes one's that may be tricky to find, but not this one.

So this spice cake is prefect and seasonal what with the nutmeg and cinnamon. It's super moist, so moist you don't even need a frosting on the top. Perfect!

Spice Cake - Exceptionally Good

1/2 cup of butter
1 cup of sugar
2 level teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
Pinch of salt
3/4 of a cup of cold water
Yolks of four eggs or two whole ones

Cream the butter and sugar thoroughly and add in the eggs. Sift the flour with the baking powder, spices and salt. Alternate mixing in the water and the flour mix into the creamed butter. Bake in a square pan at 350F for 45 minutes until slightly golden.

Spice Cake Recipe

But was it an expectionally good spice cake?

Well yes, yes it actually was.

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Wednesday, 19 November 2014

VINTAGE: Record Trolley Stand Revamp

Record Stand

Hunting in the back of a tiny closet in a bungalow up an an estate sale a month of so ago we stumbled across a vintage record holder. It was hidden behind a pile of books with records stacked in, around and all over it. While half the task was getting it out, it was a quirky enough find for us to want to take it home and make it ours especially considering it was only $10. Plus in all our hunting years, we've never come across a trolly the right size for 33's, normally they are only large enough for slotting in singles, this was a must.

Record Stand

Now this vintage record trolley, holder, storage thing (call it whatever you will) probably dates from the 50's or 60's and has some groovy little wheels and this smashing metal strip across the slots you could order your records by, if you feel so inclined. Plus the fact that it has a wooden handle to push and pull it around, for me, makes me giggle and tops it all off completely. Granted it was a little worse for wear, suffering from rust and dust and admittedly it sat in the garage until we knew what we wanted to do with it. Well actually, I kind of forgot we even found it until Joe mentioned grabbing some spray paint while we were at the Home Depot the other week. So it went from a very rusty gold to a pretty satin lagoon (don't you just love paint names?!). 

Record Stand

Some vintage pieces are perfect as they are - the vintage hamper I fixed up being a prime example of that, this record holder, not so much. Gold doesn't really fit with the furniture we have, and because we love records so much, it deserves to be a stand out piece and sometimes you just have to throw some colour out there.
Record Stand

Rust is easily enough removed from metal with some thick sandpaper and after rubbing it clean, you're go to go with the spray paint. This project was the first time I've spray painted in a long while, and I really enjoyed it (actually eying up another piece of furniture that's in my office that needs a similar colour pop revamp).

Record Stand
I've wheeled it around our house numerous times trying to find the perfect place for it. It looks grand in the back den but with no heating in that room, that's not so good for the records, so it's currently taking pride of place in our already cramped living room. But it does have all our favorites/placed often records finding their home on it. 

Admittedly I was apprehensive of such a bright color on a vintage piece, but it works really well and I'm super pleased with it.

Monday, 17 November 2014

LIFE: The Colours of Fall

FallLeaves1 FallLeaves2

Weather has taken a turn here in Michigan. The last week has been met with temps down in the 30's (F) and snow showers. Breezy days have left us with a crisp golden carpet of leaves as you step outside our back door. Crisp yellows, burnt golds and warming reds, they cover your shoes, they crunch beneath your feet.

As the weather gets colder, the days shorter, the leaves are dying and getting swept into garden bags, the beauty, the color soon becoming a fading memory. After saving a handful the other week, I took to scanning them - a final way to remember the autumn that was. A way to record, a way to remember those colours.

Sometimes I wish the trees could be those reds, the oranges, the yellows throughout the year, but then, I guess they wouldn't be so special.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

VINYL SPINS: October's Turntable


People often suggest I share and talk more about our vinyl, be it the collect, how we find all the records to just what we play. It's hard. They aren't the popular posts, the music we listen to tend to be from the 1980's or older and well, eventually vinyl will stop being cool again and we'll go back to being nerds who listen to their music on old turn tables. 

But I'm throwing hell to the wind. These vinyls (well their covers) need to be shared. So every month I'm thinking of sharing the vinyls that have been played a lot over the previous month, or are special records we scored or I just like the art work. You get the drift. All of the pictures will be taken from my instagram, which if you follow you'll already know I'm already sharing a lot of my music spins - I tend to work to music, it helps me focus. 

So being the first month, there's lots of explanations going, in the future, it'll probably just be pictures and a brief description. 

Octobers turntable can be summed digging out and revamping our vintage record trolley, playing lots of Motown, Andy Burrow's latest vinyl imported from the UK for dirt cheap, adding lots of records to our little decor shelf, lots of dancing around the living room to Powerstation and always being amazed at Clairy Browne's voice.

What have you been finding yourself listening to lately?