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Friday, 31 January 2014

I read, you read, he, she it... but what are your reading habits?


Hello there.

There's not much I do these days. With this blizzard and wind, there is not much to do. It's that time in the year when I'd like to be able to press a single button and turn off the rest of the world. At lest, I'd like to be able to leave everyone a sort of a "don't disturb" sign; something like:

Gone reading..
..will be back when I'm done.

Then, I started thinking about my reading habits. Fortunately, there's a list of questions that can easily help me let you know a bit more about myself.

Do you snack while you read? If so, favourite reading snack:

Sometimes I snack.  But, I prefer being done with it as soon as possible; since I fear I'll crumble all over my book (and: the chewing is noisy). For me, it is easier to have a meal away from the book, and get back to reading afeter I'm done, since every noise comes as a disturbance.



What is your favourite drink while reading?
No drinking while reading! What if it spills?! I get up, have my water (tea?) and get back to my book. Sipping while reading might sound comforting to you, but to me it's an accident waiting to happen.



Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?
I still fail to understand while people do that?! Books are printed to last, to be passed on in the best possible state; and the last thing I'd want to see is Agatha Christie's book covered with hints. Another thing folks like doing is leaving a "this book is awesome" comments at the end. Or simply write the "she loves him". At the end, that book becomes never-ending list of literary graffiti; the only thing that could be done with that poor thing is to end it's suffering.



How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears? Laying the book flat open?
Like above: dog-ears are a way to disrespect your book. Could you imagine the state of the book if everyone marked every single time they stopped while reading?! It'll appear more like a cabbage than a readable object. Since these modern printing of ours does not allow me to even open a book entirely, opening if flat will make it crack in half. Printers nowadays think they can bind any size of a book by glue; and those books will never get to be passed on. I use bookmarks, or any other paper object (currently it's an envelope, it was closest to my reach)



Fiction, non-fiction, or both?
To tell you the truth: I prefer fiction. Non-fiction sounds intrusive to me (especially other people's diaries; the most intimate and personal feelings and writings of a human being). 



Are you a person who tends to read to the end of a chapter, or can you stop anywhere?
I prefer to read to the end of a chapter or at least a natural break.  I get frustrated when I have to suddenly "break out" from the book. It feels like being forcefully woken from a captivating dream - do you know that feeling? A feeling of spending the following day half-trapped in the dream you were pulled out of (by an alarm - in my case



Are you the type of person to throw a book across the room or on the floor if the author irritates you?
No. I do have that feeling, but never have I thrown a book. It's not the book's fault it's author is pushing my buttons. 



If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop and look it up right away?
This is a matter of my breeding: since I was a kid, I was told to always stop and ask, and not progress until I have learned and comprehended what I've read. (Then again: my mom was a literature and grammar teacher). So, when I'm reading something that I know I'll need help with, I get help. If it's a book in English, it's a dictionary. I do prefer mine to be a non-digital one. 



What are you currently reading?
Currently I finished "The Shadow of the Wind" by Carlos Ruiz Zafron.. I'm still sobering out of it. This is one of those books that are so magnetic and that you willingly give a piece of your self to.
As soon as I'm completely sober (and stop re-living the Barcelona-dream) I'll get on with "The Celesitne Prophesy" by James Redfield. This book was not my preferable book choice, but a colleague of mine has "borrowed" her copy to me and told me she'd like to hear my opinion on the whole "good for you" theme. We'll see.



What is the last book you bought?
The last one? Let me think (I suppose this means: for myself). I've got "Dewey" by Vicki Myron. (In case you're wondering: it's indeed about a cat, and I do love cats)



Are you the type of person that reads one book at a time, or can you read more than one?
I usually have one book, but sometimes I juggle between two.  Especially if one is a short story collection, poetry, or a hardly digestible item that I received with highest regard and "it'll do you good to read this one".

Do you have a favourite time/place to read?
There has always been only one place for me: my desk, by the window. But, I can read anywhere, if the book is good enough to pull me in. A bus? No problem; I shut people off and jump into it. I spent a fine time on my travel to Italy on a bus (some 17 hours) and books helped a lot.



Do you prefer series books or stand-alones?
Series are troublesome to me. Many times, I adore the first book, and then get disappointed by the sequel. Or worse: I realize there are no sequels translated yet. Therefore, I prefer a stand-alone books. Or a series that have no real connection: Maigret series by Georges Simenon are a great example of such series; they all feature the same, brilliant mind of Inspector Maigret; but have no connection between them.



Is there a specific book or author you find yourself recommending over and over?
This is a difficult thing to do, if you really think about it.
I tend to gravitate toward books written with an ironical tone, and when I talk "fantasy" I mention Terry Pratchett. Others prefer their wizards to be genius, magical and lately: handsome. I prefer mine... sloppy. When we move to the topic of detectives, I'd say "Commissaire Maigret" where other will instantly go for the obvious "Poirot".
There's a latin saying I heard a long time ago "De gustibus non est disputandum" - "In matters of taste, there can be no disputes". So, no: I do not recommend books or writers. If someone asks me for a recommendation, I honestly say I'm not able to help.



How do you organize your books? (by genre, title, author's last name, etc.)
Contrary to everything else in my life: I do not organize my books. 
I like them right where they are: everywhere, mixed, placed on the shelves without any reason. There might be a reason: only I can find a specific book on my shelf.



♥♥ Pinky Honey

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

BURDA Wednesday


Hey there!

Don't you like Wednesday? 
(Oh, I used to dislike it quite much; until I realized all I needed was a mid-week style booster). These images from vintage magazines, and the stories that my mind makes up by looking at them do help pass that midweek gap; especially on a cold and gray day like this one.
One thing I've realized. Slowly, I started building a little archive in here, haven't I? 1950's decade and it's fashion is piling up on this little place of mine.

Oki-doki.
Let us now turn back time to July 1953.

Front page features '50 best known design.
(the stamp writes "unsaleable")

Fashion for July.

The striking white suit with grey polka-dots: it's fashionable (by adding colourful details),  but still could be "put down" and conservative. The green dress is ready for the cocktail hours, and you can notice the bodice being elaborately sewn, and being more oriented on shoulders.

"Luminous..."

"..high summer day"

Mustard was the colour for the 1953. You can see the dresses varying in shape. One type is the pointed collar, worn lifted up; the bell-shaped skirt is fun and the colours are elaborate. The other dress type is more of a figure-hugging, for those who prefer to appear sleek and more like hourglass.

"17 to 21 year old..."
(meaning: teens and tweens)

"..prefer sporty fashion"

The dress in the bottom right corner, does not fall into "sporty" category. It is one of those dresses that a girl wears on a special occasion: a dance, a lovely evening date or a party. Personally, I find this lacy, embroidered, sheer dress so lovely - it'll easily pass as a wedding dress, no?

"Highly modern - yet so simple"

These words are so true. Both of the dresses shown above are what we call "versatile black dresses" - they could honesty be worn for years - by simply adding few trendy details and bold colours.

Amazing creations, great patterns and perfect way to 
emphasize (or create) the hourglass figure

"The fifties are behind us"
(years, that is)

These are fashionable and trendy garments for the elderly, I suppose. With maturity, comes a certain "calm" effect in women's clothing choices. But that surely does not force ladies to stop enjoying adorned dresses. We can see lovely bows on the dresses above.

Subtle "grey and red" pattern on the dress material
gives you colour, but with such small details it is, in a way, humble.

Nothing humble here!

Take a look at the beauties show on the image above. Elaborate sleeve cut, daring detailing, bold patterns on dresses - these fun dresses are perfect for a summer party (or a summer date?)

"Festive summer evening"
Something is wrong with me - I'm seeing wedding dresses everywhere.


"We go.."

"...on vacation"

Summertime is the time for everyone to leave the hot asphalt and hit the beaches, resorts (or maybe mountains - for those who prefer hiking?).
The images focus on "getting there", meaning: what to wear while you travel. Husband and wife wear matching coats (his grey, her red); bottom left corner showing a lady at her best - I suppose she's traveling in style. Girls on the other image are enjoying fresh air in their ethnic garments.. and the lounging beauty is taking rest on stripped sofa (wearing a lovely combination of brown skirt and sheer white blouse - notice the pearls.. I can sense a bit of Coco Chanel there)

 "Quickly done... "

"..changes"

Two images above are showing us how to continue our rationing. Remember: they still had rationing in most parts of post-war Europe. Most of the countries at that time were recovering from large losses, and I doubt that there were many ladies who could afford a lot of new dresses - actually, my granny told me:
"You'd get ONE new summer dress, and you'd get it for Summer Fair"
Town Fair, over here, falls on a different day for every town - depending what is your town's Saint Protector. We call ours "summer" because it, as it's names said, falls in the middle of July. That was the day the girls got to wear their new dresses.
For the rest of the time, it was still pretty much all about "make, do & mend". These images above reflect that so well (if I'm interpreting it properly).

"Children's dresses decorated..."

"...with little hustle"

A bit more on history.
Teaching children about keeping their clothes was a big thing. There was a reason for these images, and the reason was: these could easily be "hand-me-down" clothes. Key thing here is to teach the eldest sibling to keep his/her clothes at best shape, not to wear it out, or tear it (a lot). And then comes mother's ingenuity and craftiness - to produce "new" garments using ideas given above.

"Practical clothing for day and night"

Handicrafts and... 
odo-ro-no (deodorant) - "It's doubly effective"


Elegant and sporty knitting models.

On the left side of this page, we have another gem: "They are too young for grey hair". As I've mentioned last week  advertisements for this sort of products were mainly found precisely in ladies magazines. 

First, let me point your attention on the left side of the image:
lady in the image wears oversized pin to decorate her sweater.
Right side is dedicated to: Lavendozon - "the deliciously fragrant cooling"

"What to do with the books"
No need for understanding the entire text, images are quite inspirational
We can see that the fashionable way was having your shelves low.

Women-oriented ads: from washing detergent, 
over freckle-remover up to ever-present weight loss solutions:
"30 days between these 2 figures" on bottom left.

There are some interesting ads on this image, I'm sure of it...
but the dazzling smile in the upper right corner
distracted me. :)

Breathtaking exclusive models.
Amazing colours, great design, each of these dresses are 
more than welcome in my wardrobe. 

In case you could not sew on your own (it was highly important that you do, but..)
you could "be beautiful and better dressed" for 6.90DM

I'd like you to take a closer look at your lower right corner:
Krautheim pozellan was the equivalent of Royal Albert when it came to quality
you can still find them on eBay.

Vegetarian recipes
(yes, not even that is an invention of the Modern Folk)
..except we used to call it a "meat free meals" :)

Best for last?
Everything about this is adorable: the earrings and matching brooch,
kimono-like coverage and even model's hair & makeup.

I hope this inspired you.. and maybe helped you jump over that Wednesday-gap.
How do you make your mid-week more lovely?
♥♥ Pinky Honey 

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

I promised therefore I'm posting it: Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte


Hello.

I have promised you a recipe, haven't I?

Her Majesty!

Schwarzwälder kirschtorte is named after the Schwarzwald or Black Forest region in south-eastern Germany, so it's often known outside the German-speaking countries as "Black Forest Cherry Cake" or "Black Forest Gateau". This cake is possibly one of the most famous of German desserts... which is interesting when one considers that it (or the inspiration for it) may actually have come from Switzerland. 

Making a Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte is not done in a few minutes, however, the result is most rewarding. If you are in a hurry, you can use ready-made sponge cake layers from a good pastry shop. But I strongly advise you to make the effort and build this beauty from "point zero". I've made this cake once (so far); it was time-consuming, but the end result was a large number of smiling faces.

This black forest cake recipe uses a shortcrust pastry bottom because a sponge bottom often gets too moist to serve the cake properly.



Ingredients for approximately 12 to 14 pieces


For the shortcrust pastry:
  • 125g (5/8 cups) plain all-purpose flour 
  • 10g (1 tablespoon cocoa powder) 
  • 50g (1/4 cup) sugar
  • 1 pinch baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
  • 75g (5 tablespoons) soft butter
  • 2 teaspoons Kirsch* (cherry brandy)
For the Sponge:
  • 4 eggs
  • 100g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 100g (1 cup) plain flour 
  • 25g (3 tablespoons) cornflour
  • 10g (1 tablespoon) cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
  • 1 pinch cinnamon powder
For the Filling:
  • 350g (12 oz) canned sour cherries
  • 250ml (cup) cherry juice
  • 2 tablespoons Kirsch
  • 2 full teaspoons cornstarch
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 packet powdered gelatine
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 800 ml (3 and 1/2 cups) whipping cream
  • 40g (3/8 cup) icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
For decoration:
Semi-sweet chocolate curls or shavings

Directions 

(Preheat the oven and grease a 28 cm (11 in) round pan)
Prepare the shortcrust pastry:
Sift flour, baking powder and cocoa into a mixing bowl, add butter, sugar, vanilla sugar and Kirsch. Knead the dough either with your hands or with a hand mixer (kneading hook) for 5 minutes until you get a smooth dough. 
Roll the dough out and line the bottom of the pan, prick the dough a few times with a fork. Bake in the preheated oven at 180°C/350°F for 15 minutes. 
Remove the pastry immediately from the pan and let it cool on a wire rack. Clean the pan, grease the bottom and line with baking paper. 

Prepare the Sponge: 
Put the eggs into a large mixing bowl, use a hand-mixer at the highest speed and whisk the eggs until foamy. Slowly sprinkle the sugar and vanilla sugar into the egg mixture while you continue whisking. Whisk for at least 2 minutes after the sugar is added. The egg mixture should be very fluffy and nearly white. 
Sift and mix the two flours, baking powder, cinnamon and cocoa, and stir into the egg mixture quickly. Spoon the sponge dough into the prepared pan, flat the surface, and bake it for about 30 minutes at 180°C/350°F (don't open the oven for the first 20 minutes of baking, or your sponge will flatten)
Remove the sponge from the oven, remove the ring from the pan and let the sponge cool down. Carefully peel off the baking paper and cut the sponge in half horizontally. 

Prepare the filling: 
Blend the cornstarch with a little of the cherry liquid in a sauce pan, stir in the rest of the juice, and the 4 teaspoons sugar. Heat the liquid until it boils, stir occasionally, and let it simmer for a minute, add well-drained the cherries (set 12 to 14 cherries aside for the decoration) and remove from the heating surface. When it is cool add the Kirsch. 

Soak the gelatine in the cold water for ten minutes, warm it up while stirring until the gelatine has dissolved. Let it cool. 

Whip the cream until nearly stiff, add the gelatine, the sifted icing sugar and the vanilla sugar. Continue whipping until the cream is very stiff.



Putting it all together:
Put the shortcrust pastry on a serving plate. Spread the cherries on the bottom layer, leaving 1 cm (1/8 in) uncovered around the edge. Add one-third of the cream and flatten with a cake spatula. 

Put a sponge layer on top and press lightly. Spread half of the remaining cream and add the second sponge layer. 

Fill a pastry bag (star-shaped nozzle) with 3 tablespoons of cream. Cover the entire cake, top and sides, with the remaining cream. 

Decorate your masterpiece with 14 cream roses, put a cherry on each rose, and sprinkle chocolate curls on the side and top of the cake. 
Refrigerate the black forest cherry cake for at least 3 hours.




I know it looks overwhelming and scary.
Call up a friend to give you a hand; make it a happening. This cake is definitely not meant to be made for everyday tea-time; it's a special treat for a special day. Something like: Valentine's day? (it's getting close, you guise)
Let me know if you braved it out, darlings.
♥♥ Pinky Honey 

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Love story: I'll cry no more


Hey there!

My Sunday mornings are the time in the week when I allow myself to melt with joy while reading these. Sure, I've read them as I'm making this post.. but reading it on Sunday morning makes it special.

Synopsis:
Soon after mother died, father bought a string of resort cottages on Sunset Lake. In this romantic setting, to which each vacation season brought new crop of attractive young men; I should have found the love for which my heart secretly hungered! Instead I found myself packed with bitterness, resending the fate that had made my older twin sisters lovely and popular and left me to play the role of an awkward ugly duckling. 






One of my favourite stories indeed is: an ugly duckling one.
Have a wonderful week, my darling friends.
♥♥ Pinky Honey

Friday, 24 January 2014

Winter footwear, it was all about galoshes. Come again? Yes: galosh /gə-ˈläsh/


Hello.

There's no better time to write about winter footwear than today. Why, you ask? Because up until today, we had only a slight snowfall in early December. No white Christmas, no snow-covered streets in New Year (don't get me wrong, I don't long for snow.. I'm just used to it). This morning, when I woke up, the Weather-man announced there will be snow tonight.
Hence: let us brace ourselves (unless you're in Australia and New Zealand, than my advice to you will be: a chilling glass of lemonade).

Old 1940's galoshes, find these at Etsy.com


Galoshes (from Frenchgaloches), also known as boat shoesdickersons, or overshoes, are a type of rubber boot that is slipped over shoes to keep them from getting muddy or wet. The word galoshes might be used interchangeably with boot, especially a rubberised boot. Properly speaking, however, galoshes are synonymous with rain boots often reaching heights just below the knee or mid-shin.

Young worker looking at her new stylish galosh

These pieces of protective footwear were not only popular in the western civilisation; the image above shows us a Russian poster of a joyful girl adoring her new footwear. 

Vladimir Mayakowsky made quite some number of posters back in the day, and he did some amazing art on galoshes:

Rezinotrest is your protector from rain and slush. 
Without galoshes, Europe is bound to sit and weep. (1924)

Resinotrest also made tires, so folks back then could rest assured that their galoshes are truly weather-proof.

Yet another great find - take a look at it on: etsy.com

Great imagination was required to make a dull rubber into a decent-looking pair of protective footwear. They were made to look attractive, material wasn't simply moulded, there were patterns.. and a zipper?




Galoshes are, according to this lovely advertisement from 1924, being made with a "key" (that is: a zipper) to fasten with two rows of metal teeth that lock together.

For your entire family!

Later came fashionable modifications: adding fur, lace-ups and yes: colour! Girls became able to match this outer-protective footwear to their overall appearance. 

"New beauty - smarter fit"

I, for one, would love to be able to find a pair of these, since it'll save me a pretty large sum of money on buying new pair of leather boots every season (since the salt used to control snow on roads get into every pore of my boots and ruins them).


I am seriously thinking of getting one pair.
Do you own galoshes (or any kind of weather-proof rubber footwear)?
♥♥ Pinky Honey

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

BURDA Wednesday


Hello.

These fashion-friendly posts make me happy. But there is more than just fashion in these images; this is the historical document of an era. It contains lifestyle of the days gone by, it has historical value to those who appreciate the era.

Welcome to May of 1953. Let's take a closer look:

Girl on the cover is sporting a short hair.
..and a dress of modern nature - quite interesting white details.

Midsummer dresses
Have you seen something more colourful and playful?
The prints are fun, the design is feminine..

You can see them with or without the cover-up.
It is made for the time of year when sun is high in the noon
and gets colder in the evening.

Having sleeves cut this way, 
you enhance your hourglass figure.
Waists are tightened by the belt - it either matches the dress
or it "breaks" the colour

"Washable chic clothes"
This is a big plus for the garments (and their owners)
taking your clothes to dry-cleaning is pricey 
(may I add that this page has one of my favourite colours)

Page completely packet with history.

Dress in our upper left is plain, but adorned by the impact-belt. What attracts the attention is the basket-bag, ever so popular in the era.
In our upper right, we can see the "flower" hat; and that particular sort of hats we will be able to see much more, almost everywhere: in magazines, in films..
Lovely dress in stripes is shown in the lower left corner. She has a high-collar and floral brooch attached to it. And she's on the phone (oh, the dear dial phone).
Best for last? Maybe. I adore polka-dots. Light material, lovely shape, completed with white gloves.

"The right model for every taste"

Daisy-covered hat. It instantly reminded me of the movie You've got mail and famous line "Don't you think daisies are the friendliest flowers?". I do.
Not only does the girl on the left carries a puppy, she's also sporting a gorgeous basket-bag, decorated by a scarf. Her dress has a "tie" collar.
High collar for longer figure, cap-sleeves for hourglass figure and adorable large print are the key feature of the dress on the right; also the definitive image of the era.

"Summer..."

"...men's fashion"

See? Not whole Burda is dedicated to the gentile gender. It always features pages for ladies to make something sweet for their gents.

"Wise choices..."

"..for a mature women"

I took some consideration concerning these two images. I wondered: what made these outfits for more mature ladies? First thing I noticed: no cap-sleeves. Second thing: the skirt is not as full as it would be for the younger crowd. 
But the hats?! I could never determine.. what I manage to see is the netting on the hat - that might be the difference. What distracted me were the nails on the hat-wearing lady. How does she manage to have anything done? :)

"For the adult daughter"
Meaning: your teenager's fashions.

Fancy dressing for the younger ladies. 
Bold and bright colours, attractive cut and sweet details.

"Spring weekend"
Sporty, yet elegant outfits for the outdoors.

Ethnic dressing
The red skirt in the lower left, decorated with flowers is a dream.

How about kids outdoors?
(take a look at the princess in the upper right corner  - she's a doll)

Chasing butterflies, picking flowers, playing with ball
all that, but still looking cute.

"Sun and water"
NOW we've reached the peak of the issue - bathing suits.

Bikini has got nothing on these amazing pieces.
Model in the right corner is something I'm searching for.
The cut is feminine, it's a one-piece AND floral design is top-notch.

Summer knitting.
The lower model has great stripes, it's combined with red gloves and scarf.

Anthropology-time.
Advertisements above are targeting ladies (they always do). One is for the hygiene (it states that it disinfects and has a deodorants - and is needed by all) and the other is for your lovely hair (It states: "Save time and money, win beauty"). Magazines were the main way for ladies to seek new products. TV was not yet so big; but there was a large audience listening to the radio shows. Radio-commercials were targeting everyone; however if you wanted to advertise something delicate and feminine - you'd put it on the pages of ladies favourite magazines.

More patterns for your hand-work.

Harmony and beauty.
Being home-proud was a big deal in women's life.

Fashion advice
Colourful, versatile and transformable - the beach fashion of 1953.

Oh, I must apologize - my German is so basic and bland, I have no ability to translate this article to you. If there's someone you know, who will be willing to give us the translation of the "latest" trends - I'll send him/her my biggest hug.

Exclusive models for your most formal moments.
Me, personally, I'd chose the white suit with red details - it is so sophisticated.

More advertisements.
The one in the lower left is quite interesting - it's a shoulder-pad 
it's a handy gadget that helps your garments fit best. 

All those ads that would not be considered "suitable" 
to be played on a radio 
(no one need to know your hair color is not natural, or that your skin is not naturally so soft..)

Colourful recipes
The cake in the upper left corner of the last picture is Black Forest Cake (Kirch-Torte)
...and it taste divine!
(I'll post the recipe soon)


I hope you enjoyed these. And may you have a wonderful week!
♥♥ Pinky Honey