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Almost a whole week of vintage Christmas preparations! I did decide that tomorrow, Saturday, I am going to do all the tasks for Saturday and Sunday, because Sunday is my day of rest. And, seriously, after this week, and with a baby due at the end of the month, I need REST! Anyway, here is the to-do list for Friday, A Very Vintage December: Day 6!
Complete Vintage Daily Cleaning Routine
So Friday is my day to do the living room, dining room, and the kitchen. I also went through my bookshelves. I like to winnow down my collections in December to make room for new things the next year. If I don’t use the antique cook books or the ikebana dish made in occupied Japan, I would like to sell them to someone who does! This year, I found that I could sell some 1980s crafting magazines, a couple of contemporary cook books, and a whole collection of antique cookbooks! I also finished the list of decorations that I want for my 1950s Christmas.
Make a Chiffon Cake
In a previous life (before most of my children), I studied to be a pastry chef. Although I never worked as a professional pastry chef, I did learn to make cakes. I also learned that a chiffon cake is a whole-egg cake, rather like an angel-food cake, but with yolks included. They were used as plain cakes for flavoring and making into fabulous bakery cakes. I rather like the suggestion that Betty Crocker makes, to bake it in a loaf pan and toast slices with butter and confectioner’s sugar for company. I used a recipe from the Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook (affiliate link), since I felt that was more authentic than my modern professional pastry chef recipe. (Also, it was called holiday fruit chiffon, and I got to use pecans and candied pumpkin in it.) I didn’t wait for company, either; I served it as toasted slices of cake to my kids for their afternoon snack. It was great served that way. I’m making another one tomorrow.
Make Cherry Cordial Dessert
The countdown calendar calls this a quick and easy dessert for shopping day. Maybe, if I made it from a mix, it would be! But I am not going to make a fudge pudding-cake from a mix, I’m going to make it from scratch and improvise! So, I used Betty Crocker’s vintage hot-fudge pudding cake recipe, spread it over drained, jarred cherries in the bottom of the pan, and added cherry juice to boiling water to make the hot water poured over the top. It actually wasn’t that hard to do. It may put it into the recipe file to use again — serve it with whipped cream and you can call it Black Forest pudding!
Make it 1950s
The main reason I held off on intensive projects for a couple of days is because of two things: first, it’s really hard to find genuine 1950s Christmas resources, and second, I wanted to make some lists! I love Susan Waggoner’s Have a Very Vintage Christmas (affiliate link), and I wanted to implement some of her tips for making my own 1950s Christmas. (In fact, her book was so inspiring that it inspired the name of my project!)
In the book, she mentions a few things that set the 1950s Christmas apart from Christmas’s of the past. Homes were expected to have a designed look, with all the rooms ready for guests, incorporating fashionable touches and colors. And, of course, in the 1950s, that meant buying a lot of Christmas-themed novelties to decorate your home. Now, I am far more likely to make something than I am to buy it. But, I love the idea of every room having little Christmas-themed touches that celebrate the season and welcome your visitors. In fact, part of this project is to embrace mid-century hospitality during the holiday season.
So, as a way to prepare, I sat down after cleaning, yesterday and today, and wrote down all the places that I can decorate, and how, in the house. Tomorrow, before I go shopping (and after), I will write down some ways to decorate the outside. Then, I will write down all the ways that I can make those decorations, instead of buying them. I will still use the Betty Crocker countdowns as impetus for hospitality, but more and more of my making will focus on making my house ready for a really 1950s Christmas!
Dining Room Chairs Project
I did manage one project, though! My husband decided to reupholster the seats of all of our dining room chairs. So, I helped him with that. They look much better, but I told him that when I start redecorating our farmhouse next year, I may change them again!
This weekend, hopefully, I will get my lists ready, with ideas for the tutorials! I’d love to get better at adding pictures and instructions for all these crafts and recipes!