Tuesday, June 21, 2016

From the readers: Pork cake recipe, classrooms, alien pets and more

Old photos, illustrations and books take center stage in this edition of "From the Readers." Thanks to all of you for being contributors to Papergreat.

1950 home tips: Flaxseed, laxatives, nail polish, marbles and more: Regarding some of the recipes that I mentioned were inside 1950's Vermont Recipes, Twitter follower @inmybook writes: "I'm curious about 'pork cake', frosted or not?!?"

Alas, there is no frosting. Here's the full recipe, if anyone is interested.

Pork Cake
Maud P. Davison of Wallingford, Vermont
Mrs. Warren Hayes, Poultney, Vermont

  • 1 lb. fat salt pork, chopped
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1-2 cups molasses
  • 2 cups chopped raisins
  • 2 tsp. soda
  • 5 cups flour
  • Mixed spices to suit taste: cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, approx. 1-3 tsp. each
Pour hot water over pork. Let stand till lukewarm. Add sugar, spices and soda. Sift flour and mix a small amount with the raisins. Add, with remaining flour, to first mixture and bake in bread pan in slow oven (about 300 degrees) for 2½ hours.

Advertisement for "Valuable Cooking Receipts" (Yes, "receipts"): Regarding the illustration on this vintage advertising card, Nancy Rosin posted this note on Facebook: "Artist is Kate Greenaway."

Thanks for adding that info, Nancy! Kate Greenaway (1846-1901) was a children's book illustrator and author. An article on The Victorian Web states that Greenaway "is best known for pictures of girls in old-fashioned costumes disporting themselves among rural scenes." Her drawings inspired designs for actual children's clothes.

New occasional series: The Wanamaker Diary 1910: Anonymous writes: "I work at a library, and one of these was donated to us, but I grabbed it because it looked interesting. It's full of handwritten notes, but I have no idea what these things are supposed to be? Mine is from 1932."

These books served as diaries, calendars, casual reading and reminders of all the wonderful things available inside Wanamaker's. I wonder what all of those handwritten notes say!

Scholastic Fest: #1, Lost Race of Mars: Mahatma Randy writes: "I think I may have read this novel as a kid. Was the name of the alien pet, 'Yank?' So named because it had red, white, and blue fur? If so, I think I'd like to read it again."

No, I don't think that's this book. There's no creature named Yank with red, white and blue fur in Robert Silverberg's novel. Anyone out there have any ideas?

Galactitags: The must-have accessory in the event of alien abduction: Joan writes: "This may go on my Top 5 Favorite Papergreat Posts of All Time list!!"

Well, there have been more than 1,900 posts, so that would be quite an elite ranking!

Coupons from the E.H. Koester Bakery Co.: Anonymous, adding to this oft-commented-upon post, writes: "My friend sent me your site because my wife's maiden name is Koester (no relation that we know). Anyway she bought a black box with a flip lid that had the Koester blue & gold metal sign attached from an antique dealer. Do no know if that box was originally used to hold bread. She did not tell the dealer her name until a favorable price was agreed on. She kept an eye on that box for two years."

Cool story! Thanks for sharing.

Ephemera for Lunch #20: Mystery classroom (1907-1929): Jim Fahringer writes: "I am impressed with the 'no slouch' posture of these individual students. Everyone is sitting up very straight. I really don't think this is a one room school house. All of the students look like they are basically the same age. Because of that, I believe this school is a city school where many students of the same age were housed in their particular grade. I don't think you would want to mess with this teacher. She has the look of a very strict teacher. I wonder who the man is sitting in the very back row? Perhaps he was the principal or the county school director. Neat postcard — I wish this postcard could talk and tell us of the things that occurred inside the halls of this school a hundred years ago."

Mystery real photo postcard: 5 young ladies (4 of them cheery): Tom from Garage Sale Finds writes: "Her coat and hat don't appear to fit well and could be hand-me-downs. Maybe that's why she's mad."

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