My Week As A 1950's Housewife - Sunday

Monday, January 15, 2018

Oh my goodness! What. A. WEEK! Can you believe I just finished day seven of my 50's Housewife Challenge? Because I'm only partly believing it! At the end of this post I'll talk a little more in depth about my feelings after this whole experience, but let me tell you: I loved it! And I'm being completely honest with you, this has been such a fun, eye-opening week! Of course there will be some moments that will live forever in my nightmares (Ahhhh! Attack of the Aspic!), but it was truly a great experience - and I would do it all over again! But let me tell you about my last day as a 1950's housewife...

For my last day I wore a very colorful floral swing dress given to me by my momma. I paired this with the same fluffy crinoline from Wednesday and it was so much fun to swish around in it (it feels like wearing a marshmallow, did I mention that before?!). The first part of our day was spent at church.

"What!? You mean you wore that to a place of worship!?" Yes, I did! You see I've been dressing rather differently since I was in high school so I would hope my church is used to it by now, and I know that God likes it when I show my creativity through how I dress - I'm dressing up for Him! I was taught growing up that I should always dress up nice for church since it's God's House, and I still do that today (though with a bit of a different flare than when I was younger, ha!).

Besides the dress I wore a hat (to cover up the lack of victory I had with a victory roll that morning. I guess it suits that I should fail with my hair on the last day, haha!), pearls, a navy belt, and around it all a vintage fur stole. The fur is nice and warm, but I hardly needed it - all our nice winter snow melted away and it was downright warm with the temperature around 50F! My goodness, can spring be already on its way (the answer is no of course, but us Alaskans like to dream...).

I wore the nude heels I got for my wedding! I feel extra pretty whenever I wear them, that day was just so special! For you married ladies out there, do you have something special you wore for your wedding that you still wear? I have worn my wedding veil several times since then too! It was a small little hat veil like what women wore in the 50's. Actually, while we're on the subject, I should just show you...
 After all, isn't a girl supposed to show off her wedding pictures whenever she can?
Goodness gracious we look young (I just showed Quinn the photo and he said, "What do you mean? You look younger everyday!")! And look at Quinn, all nice and clean shaven. *dreamy sigh* As you can see I've liked the fashion of the 50's for quite a while!

Alright! Sorry about the interlude, back to Sunday's fashion!

As I said above, my momma got me this dress for Christmas one year. Later Christmas day Abigail got the same dress from Melissa! Being the loving sisters-in-law that we are, we've worn them together before - even appearing on TV once in them! I love the floral print, it looks stylish no matter how you feel (like when you're victory roll doesn't turn out).

We had a great morning at church. Though my family now lives down in Seattle I still have a lot of extended family here in Juneau, which makes going to church so special!

After church we did what a lot of 1950's families would have done: we went for a drive! Granted we just went to the end of North Douglas and back, but it's one of the prettiest stretches of road in town (and that's saying a lot, I do live in Alaska after all!). We didn't see any whales or anything, but Greta sure did love barking at the passing ocean (of course we brought her - she's our baby!). Now if only we had a fancy bright red convertible to drive around in!
Much like Saturday, I had very little cleaning to do. Sunday morning was busy with getting dressed and getting ready for church, so I tidied up a bit when we first got home, but the cooking was looming over me...

As it got closer and closer to the time when I needed to start dinner and dessert I get more and more stressed. Why, oh why, had I saved the scariest meal for last!? What if I failed!? What a terrible way to end my week! I sat on the couch for quite a while and pondered this before Quinn finally came to the realization that I was stalling. He then got me right up and had me go and put my apron on. There was no getting out of this one.

Sunday dinner was huge in the 50's! This was the meal that everyone dreamed about the rest of the week! This was when the family gathered around the table and ooed and awed over mom's amazing cooking. Oh dear. On Sunday's dinner menu were:

Homemade Fried Chicken
Steamed Broccoli
Mashed Potatoes
Bread Rolls 
Angel Food Cake

Does reading that list scare you? Because it sure gives me the heebie-jeebies - and I already cooked it! I had never in my life tried to fry chicken before - in general I am terrified of cooking any meat. I'm a baker! Give me yeast! I'd only ever watched people make mashed potatoes, and an angel food cake!? That's way above my level! Well. Here we go.

I started with dessert, the angel food cake. Melissa is an expert at making beautifully soft angel food cakes. I have been lucky enough to sample several over the years that Quinn and I have been married. I went to her for advice and I'm so glad I did! She told me to crack the eggs one at a time in a bowl, and then add the white to a separate bowl so that there is no risk of getting yolk in a whole batch of whites accidentally. Good thing she told me because two eggs burst and got yolk in the bowl (which then had to be switched out for a different bowl).
Meanwhile, Greta reclined in her favorite corner by the stairs, surveying her domain. She loves eggs, and I think she was looking sweet in the hopes of getting some, silly puppy.
Beating the egg whites took forever, but the whole time I was praying that everything would turn out alright and that my last blog post wouldn't be a complete flop! When they were properly whipped - at least, I think they were - I carefully and oh-so gingerly folded in sugar and flour and the other ingredients (crossing your fingers makes it hard to hold a spoon!). Would it turn out alright in the end?
 Knowing our temperamental oven would never be able to stay the same temperature for a whole hour and fifteen minutes, Quinn and I asked if we could use Melissa's oven next door. She agreed, and we set the timer and prayed another small prayer that the cake would turn out alright. It was time to start the fried chicken!

Just kidding, I was still putting that off (even though I knew it would take a while). Let's make the mashed potatoes first!
We really should have more peelers with all the peeling we do - especially during apple season! - perhaps then there would be enough so that Quinn and I could both peel! Making mashed potatoes was absolutely the easiest thing ever, I know for a fact we'll be making them more often!
Okay, now that the potatoes were boiling there was nothing else to be done...I had to face my fears of making fried chicken. Why was I so afraid you ask? Because I've always heard that it was difficult to fry chicken! How do you get it cooked all the way through? How do you get that perfect crunchy outer layer and the juicy inside? How!? Dear Reader, I was about to figure that out (hopefully).
Omitted from this section are some rather hilarious photos of me being grossed out by chicken legs. I made it through (though I think my dignity was left somewhere along the way), and although Quinn would like me to share them here I don't think the internet is ready for that yet - my apologies.

But on with the chicken! The recipe called for a pan with a tight fitting lid, and the only pan we had big enough with a good lid was my dutch oven that I got for Christmas last year (and have used only twice...oops! Give me your favorite dutch oven recipes below!). The recipe also called for the chicken to be shaken around in a paper bag with the flour, I thought a bowl was a bit more sensible so we did that instead. After a little while the chicken started browning and I had hope that I might not burn it or undercook it after all!
Dear Reader, let me tell you I am so proud of myself. Not only did that scary fried chicken turn out alright, it tasted amazing! 
I can't tell you what a sigh of relief it was to find the chicken done and not burnt to a crisp! Of course we still haven't tasted it yet but it sure did look like fried chicken (though maybe not as pretty as the picture in the cookbook). The real test would come from Quinn's refined pallet:
My ears may have deceived me, but he said it was a 10 out of 10! He went on to say (around chewing) that it was his favorite meal we had had all week - now if that just doesn't fill my heart with joy I don't know what will! I was so thrilled, I simply can't tell you. My last meal wasn't going to be a big flop after all! The chicken turned out alright and the angel food cake...! Oh! The angel food cake.

I sure does look pretty, right? But when we had gone over to get it from the oven I was a bit crushed. The batter hadn't risen up to the top of the pan as Melissa's always did - it was short! Could I have mixed the batter too much? Not whipped the egg whites enough? Quinn told me to make it look nice anyway, for it sure did smell nice and he was sure it would be tasty even if it was a bit...condensed.

Since Melissa had graciously allowed us to use her oven (and her angel food cake pan, haha!) we took the cake over to the main house to be shared with her and Laura.

 This would be the moment of truth, did the cake actually turn out alright? It had! Oh my goodness I was so excited. Perhaps the recipe I followed made a smaller cake than what I was used to seeing but it was perfect, and tasted absolute yummy with sugared strawberries and some whipped cream. I think everyone else agreed that it tasted wonderful, and I might have even had a small second helping! YUM! 

What a perfect way to end such a fabulous week, wouldn't you agree? 


And now for some thoughts on the week! As I said at the beginning of this post I would do this all again in a heartbeat, it has been such a fun experience! I have loved the fashion of the 1950's for a long while, so it was so interesting to delve into the lifestyle of the idealized 50's housewife. 

  Let me tell you right now, I am not excited to put pants on tomorrow. If I could wear dresses everyday I would, I just don't have many 'everyday' sorts of dresses as it were. But after this week I plan on wearing my 50's dresses a lot more often, and not just to church!
  Since many of you don't know me this may come as a surprise but I really don't wear makeup that often! I'll do something a little fancy for church perhaps, but throughout the week I only wear some powder and I might curl my eyelashes - really! That's my daily routine! Putting on so much makeup every morning was fun at first but I grew tired of it. As a member of a touring band, I often have to wear makeup for being on stage, and it gets tiring putting it on every night - the same happened this week. It will be nice to wear minimal makeup again.
  As for hair, oh my! For a girl who usually just braids her hair and calls it quits, curling my hair all week was a chore to say the least. The time I spent in the bathroom each morning was probably close to an hour, so I'm happy for that to go way down starting this morning (Monday). 
  I really enjoyed the beauty routine of the 1950's housewife, but I don't think I would want to do this all the time. It's nice to do it every once and awhile for special things, but I like my natural look a lot more. 

  If there's any sign that I just finished living as a housewife in the 50's it's the Barn. My goodness is it clean! Every little nook and cranny is clean it feels like, haha! The first couple of days I felt like my whole day was cleaning. On Monday I can remember sitting down at one point only to realize I wasn't even half done with my list of things to clean, phew! It got easier as the week progressed: the bathroom was tidier, the dishes got done right away, the bed was made as soon as I got up. 

  I also noticed that I was a lot more in tune to how I left things if I knew that I would be cleaning them up again very soon. When I got ready in the bathroom each morning I would take care to create as little a mess as possible since I would be in again soon to clean it all up. I probably won't continue the strenuous cleaning routine that I did this week, but cleaning things more often made them so much easier to deal with! I think I'll have to write a short list of certain things to get done throughout the week, that way I don't feel overwhelmed, but to make sure that things are still getting done often and not waiting until it's so bad that I just can't take it any more (*cough* the windows, for example?). 

  Out of the three things I concentrated on this week, cleaning was by far the hardest for me. I love to keep a clean home but it took a lot of time to live up to the standards of the 50's housewife! I'll have to try to make a routine that fits better for my 2018 life!

  What's not to love about 50's cooking? Oh wait, that's right, aspic. Besides our foray into the crazy gelatin world of the 50's, I think all of our meals were a great success! Of course, I chose recipes in advance that Quinn and I would like - I'm sorry I'm not a big meat loaf or casserole fan! I grew up eating at church potlucks and those things always made me nervous. Quinn's favorite was by far the fried chicken we had Sunday evening, and I think mine would be the chicken pot pie we had on Monday. The best dessert though? Hands down the angel food cake! (Though now that I've written that Quinn is telling me his favorite was actually the banana splits, the dessert I had the least hand in making! Haha!)
  I think it's safe to say I don't have the pallet of someone in the 1950's, but I sure do like some of their food. I like how everything was handmade and homemade, I sure do wish to continue to cook more good food after this experience, and not just baked goods (which is where I am more comfortable in the kitchen) - I'm not sure I'm comfortable cooking meat yet, but hopefully I'll get there soon!


Thank you so much Dear Reader for tuning in with me each morning to read about my life as a 1950's housewife. I hope I inspired you a little bit here and there, though don't worry too much - I don't expect you to start living like you're in the 50's! I just hope there were some things you can take away from this fun experience. I know I've learned a lot, and I can't wait for the next big adventure. 

Until next time friend! 
~Emily Z.

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  1. I greatly enjoyed reading about your week and it was neat to see some of the things I've sent you pop up in a few of your pictures! :) All the outfits and accessories you wore were gorgeous! Thanks for sharing the ups and downs of a 50s housewife!

  2. We've had such a fun time following along as you lived the life of a 50's housewife. You looked gorgeous every single day. I am sure cleaning wasn't as much fun as dressing up, but it is amazing how much work can get done when we "have" to do it. I say I am going to stay up on my chores, but somehow it doesn't happen. All your meals looked delicious, with the exception of one dish;). The fried chicken and mashed potatoes was a staple growing up for me. My mom made the best fried chicken ever. I can't grasp the fact you've never mashed potatoes! I love mashed potatoes, especially with cream gravy from the fried chicken drippings. We don't have it often, but oh, it is good. If all your meals tasted as good as they looked, I'd say you've done well. We are looking forward to your next post, whatever it is. It is always fun to see what you and Quinn are doing way up there in beautiful Alaska. Take care, Emily. (We are getting down to the low teens tonight in Texas. Brrr.)

  3. Loved this blog series!
    -Alyssa Massaro

  4. I absolutely loved your week in the 50's! You look amazing in dresses and I'm totally impressed with your hair-dos! I agree, can't believe you'd never made mashed potatoes! I swear, growing up, it was my chore at dinner nearly every night. You inspired me a lot in your week--mostly to get more out of each day, leave less time wasted, and keep up on my house cleaning so that it doesn't become overwhelming. I look forward to your next "project" posts! Warm thoughts of Spring, from Vermont~


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