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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Decorating and baking with Lorispeak for the holidays!

loridecorates: more holiday decoratin' with vintage finds

One of my favorite things to pick up at estate sales this summer was Christmas decor. I already mentioned the Shiny Brites I have on my Christmas tree. Why are Shiny Brites so neat?
"In 1937, Max Eckardt established "Shiny-Brite" ornaments, working with the Corning Glass Company to mass produce glass Christmas ornaments. Eckardt had been importing hand-blown glass balls from Germany since around 1907, but had the foresight to anticipate a disruption in his supply from the upcoming war. Corning adapted their process for making light bulbs to making clear glass ornaments, which were then shipped to Eckardt's factories to be decorated by hand. The fact that Shiny-Brite ornaments were an American-made product was stressed as a selling point during World War II."
(Wikipedia of course :) There's also a great section on dating your vintage Shiny Brites)

I love the various neat vintage glass ornaments like this box (not Shiny Brites) originally from Woolworth's:

Each box generally runs about $2 at an estate sale around here. You can also find boxes on ebay and etsy. And, I dunno, but I really like the idea of reusing something that has already had a history of celebration with another family.

Some of these are now hanging in my window (with some other vintage ornaments from my friend Jeanny)

I also picked up this little set of musical angels at a nearby estate sale. These little darlings are currently whippin' up a tune on my mantel.

Continuing with the theme of decorating with things of the past, I also pulled out all the old family photos that I could find from past Christmases. I want to sprinkle them throughout the house.

Like this one of my mom's family with that fabulous aluminum tree (my mom is on the right in blue, and I love my grandma's green dress with the leopard collar):

And my grandparents (I'm so amused at my grandpa's all-red outfit. I guess he wasn't afraid of color either):

Here's me and my cousins when I was 3 years old. Can you spot me? I'm almost sportin' my favorite pose/expression.

And here we are three years after that:

If you're looking for other fun/funny vintage Christmas decor ideas, check out Curly-Wurly's vintage magazine scans. These are just so neat to look at. Because, you know you've always wanted a troupe of marshmallow Santas to celebrate with:

lorieats: Buttermilk Pie with Cranberry Sauce

I didn't get enough of Thanksgiving food apparently (even though my waistline tells me that I did indeed get enough Thanksgiving food!). So when I came back last week, I decided to make a pie and some cranberry sauce to top it. It was so delicious that I thought I'd post the recipes here.

I'm not sure how many of you follow Joy the Baker, but her food photos and baking encourage me to be a better baker and inspire me to eat more baked goods (like I really needed more inspiration to eat such tastiness). Well, way back in August, she posted a recipe for Buttermilk Pie. What the heck is Buttermilk Pie? I had no idea. So of course I wanted to find out. And, I finally did.

Oh man. It. was. goodness.

You can find the original recipe here. Due to my own time constraints, I used a organic store-bought frozen pie crust. I also added cinnamon, because that's the kind of crazy baking chick I am. ha!

And, because I had a huge Costco-sized bag of cranberries in the fridge, and I didn't get enough Thanksgiving, I made a cranberry sauce to top it. The pairing was lovely. The cranberry sauce was sweet and tart and balanced the buttermilk pie wonderfully (IMO).

Buttermilk Pie

3 large eggs

1 cup sugar

2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 stick melted butter, slightly cooled.

1 cup buttermilk

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell

Beat eggs slightly. Mix sugar and flour well and add to the eggs. Mix until creamy. Add melted butter, mixing well. Add buttermilk and vanilla extract and cinnamon. I convection baked mine at 325 degrees F for 1 hr 15 minutes until the custard set. (Joy's Tip: the custard will still jiggle a bit in the oven even when it’s set). Just make sure that the middle does not jiggle a lot more than the sides. That means it needs more time.

Honey-and-Spice Cranberry sauce recipe

I used this Honey-and-spice cranberry sauce recipe from Epicurious with the addition of longer cooking time and a cheesecloth bag to keep my spices from hiding out in the sauce later...

1 12-ounce bag cranberries
1 3/4 cups apple juice
3/4 cup honey (I used mesquite honey)
2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half (my cinnamon came in bark form and I just dumped a handful in :D )
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
6 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
Pinch of salt
cheesecloth and cotton string

Combine cranberries, juice, orange peel, salt, and honey in heavy large saucepan. Create a cheesecloth bag using by wrapping the cheese cloth around the bay leaf, cloves, and cinnamon and tying at the top with the cotton string. Place bag in saucepan. Bring contents to a boil over medium heat. Simmer until berries burst and sauce thickens, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. Remove cheesecloth bag. Refrigerate sauce until cold. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)


vintageglam1234 said...

Great post Lori! I couldnt help but laugh at your old photos. So funny! You haven't changed a bit with your trademark jaw-dropping and cuteness :-)
Those santa mashmallows look so fun - it's a clever way to use marshmallows.
Omg...that buttermilk pie looks so mouthwatering. oh dear...i think i'm going to have to try it if it's THAT good! thank you!!

LittleMissSeamstress said...

I just love your granny's glasses.. very cool. haha all your pictures are just so cute and warm and colorful!

Jin,(Sorry I sent you an email by accident! haha)

Jamie - Thrifty Threads said...

Oh, I'm off to find myself some Shiny Brites now! Thanks so much for this wonderful post, and that pie looks delish!

Cindi said...

How do you find out about estate sales? Are they in the paper or something? I'd love to go to one that's like in Bellevue's Hunt's Point neighborhood. Haha!

Thanks for sharing your childhood photos. They're so cute. You're so lucky you still have those. I don't have many at all since we didn't own cameras in China. Love it!

Lori said...

@Cindi People post estate sales here: They also post them on craigslist, but most of the main people who run estate sales tend to post to that first link.

Elaine said...

I LOVE these old pictures!!! Especially your grandma's glasses :D:D

tm said...

I'm not big on xmas decoration, but I love those vintage ornaments. Of course, when I was young, my cousins and I used to intentionally break them, especially the round ones with the little inverted cutouts-- they are like, perfect kid finger size, it was too tempting! :P

Matt said...

Those ornaments are seriously cool!! I had never heard of Shiny Brites! Neat! I love all the awesomeness in this post! That pie looks too good! :)

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