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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Chilly Birds, Hot Pea Soup, Bananas, and an Old Magazine

I have not written a blog post in more than 2 weeks.
Let's chalk it up to the February blahs, okay? 

So . . . Happy March!

Is the month that will bring us Spring,
as gentle as a lamb,
coming in like a lion for you?
In New Jersey, we've had some mighty chilly and windy days.
Teeny birds were hanging for dear life onto the
bare branches of bushes outside our local Wal-Mart.

One little guy looked particularly stressed.
 At least he had the good sense to face into the wind.

  This is going to be an oddly random post.
As if my posts are usually so well planned and thought out!

Question: Do the diners in your part of the world
offer pea soup on Thursdays?
This is the tradition in New Jersey;
I didn't know this until we moved here 5 years ago.
 But it's a great tradition.
Mmmm . . . Pea soup and coffee in thick white diner china.

I once asked a waitress why every diner or coffee shop
made pea soup every Thursday, and she said,
"Because it's
Thursday, hon."  
Which brings us to bananas.
Because I found pictures Anne took last week.

Bananas, getting nekkid:

 And why are they getting nekkid, sliced into a
Chinese food container, and heading for the freezer?
 Ha!  Anne can fill you in on that in a couple of days.
It's not my project.

And that brings us to an old magazine.
 House Beautiful is the oldest shelter magazine in continuous
publication in the USA.  I've been a subscriber since
shortly after I got married, about a hundred years ago.
Today I was wading through stacks and stacks of old
magazines, while watching an episode of Hoarders,
and - because I don't want to find myself
on one of those shows - reluctantly relegating some of them
to the Recycle bin, and others to the Giveaway bin. 
And then I found this in the pile:
 Check out the date.  And the price.
 It isn't a mistake that I have a 28-year old magazine on my bookshelves.
I wanted it there; I wrote this:
 But I couldn't remember why I saved it.
So I flipped through it.
It featured some beautiful, some eccentric, private spaces - some of them
carved out of larger dwellings, like Tricia Guild's hideaway in
her London apartment, below.   
 Some of them, including a darling English cottage,
featured on the cover,
were tiny hideaways all on their own.

It struck me that much of what was in that issue looks timeless.
Like Guild's room, above, and even what she is wearing:
linen cropped pants, blazer, huaraches.
There was a story about a charming antiques shop on Long Island:
Was I harboring plans to someday sell antiques myself?

Howard, our dog Brandy, and I were living in a roomy old railroad flat,
without central heat, in New York City, and in May 1985 
were brand-newly expecting our first child.

We were looking at houses in New Jersey that we couldn't yet afford;
maybe the pictures of quirky homes and their intensely personal decoration spoke to me, given some of the extremely
quirky houses we'd looked at that year.

Or, maybe, I just wanted this Chocolate Mousse recipe
from the old "Quick Cook" column:
I am pretty sure I made this mousse - it seems very familiar!
Some things don't change.
This ad is for the food processor that I use now,
and I bought it just a few years ago. 

They endure.
I think I'll keep this issue of House Beautiful,
for maybe another 28 years.
Thank you, JoAnn Barwick.
-- Cass
P.S.  Looking through an old magazine highlights the changes in the last decades.  The photography is not as crisp as today's digital images, and there are no websites listed in the advertisements, and no phone app do-hickeys.  Ah, I am a dinosaur.


  1. I have saved some old magazines too, Cass, for various reasons. I have a Colonial Homes from the 1970's as the article is of houses in St. Andrews NB, a quaint seaside town we visit every summer. I also have a couple of Country Living mags. They are so fun to look back at and get a chuckle out of the styles and ads. March came in sort of lionish here after a blizzard the day before so we are hoping it leaves like a gentle lamb. Blessings. Pamela

  2. When I did a major clean out of my "saved' magazines it was a long, hard process - the memories came back as to why I saved them to begin with.
    March came in here cold,windy, damp, and dreary, so hopefully it will go out like a lamb..
    Hope you are enjoying your weekend.

  3. I quit saving magazines a long time ago because the
    piles were driving me nuts. Now I make sure I get everything
    I want from the magazines I get and then I take them
    to work for others to read. This gives me a better feeling
    than throwing them in the recycle bin.

    M :)

  4. Our dinner has pea soup on Thursdays too - I love pea soup. lol

  5. I don't know if they have pea soup day her or not, but it sure looks good!

  6. I save old magazines as well. And I have a few that are even older. Do clue us in on the bananas

  7. I have quite a few stacks of old mags, with bent down corners, notes on the covers and inside. Last spring I began sorting through them. I have pulled out aticles, pictures and recipes to begin binders full of ideas and recipes to try. The piles went down as what remained was placed in the recycle bin. I must admit all the Christmas issues have neen saved. In these I have post it note tags for easy reference.
    Your banana chunks, are they meant for freezing for frozen snack treats and smooties? I do pineapple in this way. It's a great way to save fruit that will go bad if not consumed soon. I like to freeze !/2 bananas on a stick for chocolate dipping. I also make banana chips as well. I have a new blog and this past week a post was entered highlighting these.
    Split Pea Soup and Coffee sounds fab to me as well. This cold windy, grey days here on the East Coast need something wonderful like this to warm the cold and aching bones.

  8. I have a post similar to this in my "to post list" as I found old magazine clippings from the early 80s and wondered what I was dreaming about. But glad you posted as I wanted to tell you I made your cauliflower pizza last night and I don't think my husband figured out something was different at first! It was very, very good and we'll make it again! I had it saved on my pinterest. :-)

  9. You share a heap of interesting things.. The pea soup got me..yum!! I wanted to make some last week and the delli told me they only have bacon bones in winter. Well, we are into autumn here now, so I hope to buy some soon. Living in the Queenland tropics we have banana's growing all over.. as well as many other tropical fruits.. Blessings and love sent from Oz.


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