My Week As A 1950's Housewife - Thursday

Friday, January 12, 2018

What a whirlwind of a day Thursday was! My goodness it passed by so quickly - there was so much to do! You see I decided to throw a Ladies Luncheon - but of course Quinn was also invited - and I spent a long time planning the menu, and getting all prepared, but it still snuck up on me! Quinn congratulated me at the end of it and told me what a good job I had done (we had done really), and hopefully our guests enjoyed their time in the 1950's along with us! But lets get to it then shall we?
I wore one of my most favorite dresses Thursday, since we would be having stylish company over (I had to look my best of course!). I wore a navy dress with a very nautical fashion. I love nautical and sea-style dresses, but it may be because I like the colors navy and red so much together!
Since I have already worn navy and red together this week, I decided to stay simple and do white accents, though a bit of yellow did pop in a bit from the vintage scarf I wore in my hair (the first time I wore it! I was so excited!). 
I wore a three strand pearl necklace, the vintage scarf, and a pearl bird bracelet as well. And look at that! It seems I finally had a small victory with my victory rolls! I got one out of my hair today but that's better than nothing ( I promise Dear Reader that I am skilled in doing victory rolls, it just seems my hair is cursed or something this week, or perhaps camera shy? Haha!). 

I was very happy with my look today (did I mention this is my favorite dress?), and the hair style turned out far better than I had hoped (I watched a youtube video late last night for inspiration!). Now that I was looking nice it was time to start preparing the luncheon!

I am sorry to say that I don't have any photos of the cleaning that took place before the luncheon. Please know that I must have gone up and down the stairs at least thirty times, and I did it all in heels (Quinn at one point said worriedly "Be careful! Be careful! Slow down or you'll fall!")! I am happy to report that I did not fall.

There were so many things to be done that Quinn stepped right on up and helped me, the gentlemen. I couldn't have done it without him at all, and as far as husbands go I say he is one of the best (he even dressed up for the luncheon!).

Among all the things I did to prepare for our guests there was chiefly sweeping, cleaning the bathroom, doing multiple sinks full of dishes, and the ironing of tablecloths and the setting of the table. While I ran up and down the stairs (at least thirty times) Quinn stayed put in the kitchen and put together some of the dishes we would be serving. The Barn was so clean and tidy after the luncheon (besides the few dirty dishes of course) that I may have just sat on the couch for a while just to catch my breath and to enjoy the clean! But I'm getting ahead of myself, lets move on to the cooking!

The cooking began early Thursday morning before 7:00am (much to Quinn's never-ending joy I can assure you). What needed to be made so early in the morning? Why, only the crown jewel of the luncheon table: the fabled aspic!

If you are like me, you have probably never heard of aspic. It's basically jello, only savory, with meat of some kind and/or garden vegetables suspended in its jigglyness (my computer is trying to tell me that 'jigglyness' is not a word but I would beg to differ. This computer has never had aspic.).

When I did my researching and planning for this week I wanted to make sure I chose food and meals that would appeal to Quinn and I. I didn't want a whole week of gross food or meals we wouldn't want to eat at least twice (for as we know, leftovers were big in the 50's! It was the thrifty thing to eat!). I did, however, want to try something a bit out of my comfort zone: enter the aspic.

I decided on a tomato aspic. After all, it didn't look that bad. There wasn't any meat suspended in it, there wasn't even any chicken or beef broth used in the gelatin. Perhaps it wouldn't be as bad as my mind was telling me it was going to be?

These were all thoughts that went through my head early Thursday morning as I prepared the aspic. Tomatoes and a bit of onion with some seasoning cooked for 15 minutes and then were creamed in a food processor (which belongs to my in-laws since we didn't have one!).

Yes, perhaps this won't be so bad. 
Maybe it will be like...congealed pasta sauce?

Into the fridge it went to set up.
On the menu for my fancy luncheon were the following:
Cucumber Sandwiches
Deviled Eggs
Tomato Aspic
5-Cup Salad
Cream Scones
Lemonade & Teas

The next thing to make were the cream scones, and those sounded much more appetizing! I'm always in the market for a good scone recipe (speaking of which, have you tried eggnog scones? Delicious!), and the one I found seemed fast, easy and simple!

There's just something about baking that fills me with joy! It has to be one of my favorite things, to make a dough and to watch it rise and puff up in the warm oven, filling the whole house with wonderful smells!

While the scones baked in the oven I started setting the table and boiling eggs. Quinn was also busy, preparing the lemonade and the 5-Cup salad. I'm sorry we didn't get more pictures of the whole whirlwind that went through the barn, we were both just so busy! The guests were coming at eleven and we needed our kitchen to look as if no cooking had ever been done in it! (Most homes have the front door not situated in such a way that the guests must first walk through the kitchen before setting eyes on the party and dining room. In the Barn, one must walk though the kitchen to get anywhere, which means it must be tidy!)

Quinn made the morning by putting on one of my flowery aprons - and he looked quite smashing if I do say so myself!
Quinn especially did a fantastic job on the little cucumber sandwiches, which turned out completely darling and I wanted to eat them all!

Things were coming together! There was the tea to put on to boil, the deviled eggs needed to be plated, the large serving bowl of lemonade brought all the rush I had forgotten something important. Oh that's right, the aspic...

I was a bit nervous to try to get it out of the bundt pan, I had heard horror stories of lovely jello's going completely topsy-turvy and ending up crushed and disheveled on their plates. I put the pan in a hot water bath in the sink for a few seconds and then Quinn caught the whole process for you to see:

Please excuse the silly faces and the unbridled display of joy - I was rather relieved and excited to see it had come out alright. I was also very interested to try it (it smelled like tomato paste and was therefore...interesting). Our guests would be arriving any moment! Time to add the mayo (the 50's housewife's favorite condiment!) and take everything upstairs to the table!
Look at my handsome man in his fancy suit! Quinn really does love to dress nice and fancy, though it may be hard to tell with the beard and the long hair (I told him he could grow it all out in a moment of weakness.). He may look like a wild mountain man but I promise you he is a true gentleman.

On to the lovely table scape!

The cream scones (with strawberries) sat at one end of the table, followed by the deviled eggs, the cucumber sandwiches, the 5-Cup salad (mini marshmallows galore!) and holding up the other end: the aspic. I served two types of tea: chamomile with lavender (my personal favorite) and lemon with ginger. The lemonade sat on a small table to the left and looked very pretty with cut strawberries floating in it!
 Our guests arrived soon after, and are you wondering who they might be? It was the lovely Melissa, with both her charming daughters, Laura and Abigail. They were dressed to the nines and looked like they had stepped right out of a 50's fashion magazine! Pleasantries were exchanged and hello's were said, swinging 50's music played and Greta and Lupin (who had also been invited) played underneath the table.

When it could not be put off a moment longer, we all sat down and looked uncertainly at the aspic.

Abigail, the bravest of us all, offered to try the first slice. I quickly encouraged everyone to try something else from the table, but Melissa laughed and said it may be better to try the aspic first, so that we could clean our pallets with the other delicacies. All eyes were on Abigail...

In her own words: "I think the mayo makes it worse."

Before anything else could be said I cut myself a piece.

I thought I was going to be alright until Abby answered my look with "It gets bad when you try to swallow it." And she was right.

Everyone was laughing now as the aspic got passed down to mom. 
Would she be able to eat more than Abigail and I had?

Not only did she eat it with a smile, she finished the piece she had taken! 
Congratulations mom, you have the pallet of a woman from the 1950's!

Next up were Quinn and Laura, who I think had it worse after seeing everyone's expressions of disgust before even getting to try the aspic for themselves. Laura was a pillar of grace and elegance as she ate the tiniest bite possible. Quinn on the other hand? Not so much...

I think the consensus was that it tasted like cold tomato concentrate. It was not good. The tomato flavor was so overwhelming there was room for little else (though the jigglyness did come through).

Now that that was over, the fine luncheon could begin. We had a wonderful time talking and later in the afternoon we listened to an old radio show together. The food was delicious, though I think my favorite were the scones (they tasted lovely accompanied with the lemonade!). Quinn's favorite was the 5-Cup salad, he ate several helpings of it and was so excited to see that there would be some leftover!

And now what is one to do with leftover tomato aspic? Well Greta and Lupin sure did seem interested...

After much staring Abigail and I finally gave in and let them try a small spoonful of aspic. Unsurprisingly, they loved it (for I have found that dogs will eat almost anything, especially if it's up on the dinner table). 

"Oh please oh please give us more aspic Miss Abigail!"

In the end, the five of us had barely made a dent into the aspic:

Well that will certainly be a meal for the history books. I'm sure we'll be talking about "that time Emily made that gross tomato jello" for quite a while. Though that small part of the 50's didn't score high for us, I can say with confidence that the rest of the meal certainly did so! We had a wonderful time, Quinn and I, and it was so nice to be greeted with a clean Barn when all was said and done.

I did little the rest of the day, the morning and early afternoon had thoroughly tired me out! I did manage to get a load of laundry done - mostly made up of all the dish towels we had used all morning for those endless dishes. Now that the sun is gone and clock is nearing bed time, I can only hope that I will dream of scones, strawberries and cucumber sandwiches tonight instead of being haunted by memories of tomato aspic!

Until tomorrow Dear Reader, thank you for joining me today!


  1. You all look simply wonderful in your 50's clothing. Your hair - wow! The luncheon foods look delicious - well, most of them. I remember seeing photos of aspic in magazines, but I don't remember my mother ever making that dish. If she did, it has been erased from my memory. I laughed when I saw how much was left. The aspic did look pretty in the picture.:) I am curious to find out how much you really enjoyed living in the 50's. Do you think you might do a Tasha Tudor week? :)

    1. No matter how hard we try, I don't think the memory of the aspic will be leaning our minds for a good long while - haha! But yes, I think it turned out really pretty, even though it didn't taste very good. :)

      I'll be doing a write up on the last day (Sunday) about what I've thought of this experience. I would LOVE to do a Tasha Tudor themed week but I don't really have any books about her life. Do you know where I could find info/particulars about her lifestyle? I know of course that she lived very old fashioned, but I don't know the specifics. But that certainly would be so much fun!!!

    2. I am going to think about that and I'll email you.:)


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