25 May 2010

Manly Men, Girly Girls and Things in Between

Yesterday, Day 8 of the 50s Housewife Experiment, involved a fair bit of cleaning on account of a) our BBQ Bonanza the day before b) slacking off over the weekend c) both of us being around to muck up the place. The lesson: a week of committed cleaning can go to shit if you relax for more than one day. How depressing.

To my surprise and joy, Patrick took it upon himself to help out with some of the tidying around the house. Sure, he used the modern cleansers, the paper towel and put things where they didn't belong, but a 50s housewife knows not to look a gift horse in the mouth (and she also knows what that phrase means), so I did my best to keep quiet. I did slip up when he was folding t-shirts and towels wrong (and by wrong, I mean not the way miss-know-it-all does it), and he quickly and correctly pointed out that he didn't "have" to help at all. In other words: STFU.

Despite the help, I was rather irritated all day (and no, not because of any "feminine" use of Lysol). I think it was because the TV was blaring from dawn till dusk with one annoying sport show and / or action movie (one starring Steven Seagal of all things!) after the other - and not my usual music.

To set the mood for the past week, I've been listening to hits of the 50s as I get on with chores. I've found that Buddy Holly can do wonders in sweeping the bitterness away (the Big Bopper, on the other hand, somehow induces rage the instant I hear, "Hellooo, bayyyby." That doomed plane ride really did balance out the musical score card.). My 50s soundtrack is my tranquilizer, and without it, all that cleaning is really quite awful!

For dinner, I made something called "Short Cut Tomato Sauce" with spaghetti, green salad and bread for dinner. And just what got detoured for this short cut recipe?
Oh, nothing - just taste. And substance. It was the most watery pasta sauce I've ever made. For Patrick's serving (what's pictured), I had to dredge the sauce three times to pick up some solidness. I probably would have been better off just using "Chef Boy-Ar-Dee" products ("only about $0.15 a serving!"). And, yes, that "bread" on his plate is indeed half a hot dog bun. I discovered too late that my bread had some mold on it and the stores were closed - so I just said "fuck it" and put a hot dog bun on the plate. Barely a week in, and I'm already having "fuck it" moments. Oh dear.

That evening it had been decided that Patrick Dell was going to come down to our place and I was going to go up to theirs (we live in the same building). You see, Siobhan and I have been watching the Bachelor / Bachelorette series since before we met our husbands. Our tradition of mocking beautiful people failing at love wasn't about to get interrupted by a 50s housewife project or an annoyed man in the room saying things like, "How can you guys watch this crap?". It's really best they just leave the house when it's on - and so The Patricks are developing their own tradition of going off together to drink and express disappointment in their silly wives.

As it was a long weekend and the plans were somewhat last-minute, I'm sad to say I didn't have much in the house to offer the boys, but I made do with what I had. Here's what I presented, along with booze, naturally:
Those kabob things look pretty 50s-ish, right? I didn't necessarily use a recipe, but attempted to tap into my burgeoning 50s housewife instincts and put something together that had the right amount of fat, processing and ridiculousness. I think the only thing missing were those sick little pearl onions.

Now, had I had the time - and perhaps if there were more gents around to enjoy it - I would have made a very special dish from my Good Housekeeping 10 P.M. Cook Book from a section called "Strictly Stag." Within that chapter is a picture that causes me to laugh out loud to myself just thinking about it. Behold, the Frank n' Bean Bake:
Apparently, it's not enough that a group of men be served the obvious and childish dish of franks and beans. No, those wieners had to be erect, as if to prove they were every bit the man as anyone else in the room.

How delightfully awkward.

My theory is that the 10 P.M. Cook Book got its name not from when you'd be serving such things, but from the time of night the book was written and photographed - well after everyone at Good Housekeeping had knocked a few cocktails back.

And that was yesterday. Today I have errands to do outside the house - some fun, some not so fun - and you'll hear all about them later.

Toodles!

Image Sources: Pyrex Advertisement, circa 1946 and Good Housekeeping's 10 P.M. Cook Book

9 comments:

dinah34 5:27 pm, May 25, 2010  

mmm mmm erect weiners. gotta love that 50's cooking!

Anonymous,  6:05 pm, May 25, 2010  

Just came across your blog randomly and I am dying with laughter. I wish you'd do it for longer than two weeks!
- J.D.

Teresa 10:29 pm, May 25, 2010  

You inspired me – we had spaghetti for dinner tonight.

Jen 10:07 am, May 26, 2010  

Thanks again for the comments, everyone.

Ha - Teresa - for a second I thought you were going to say you made the wiener dish. Yarg!

Unga Punga 10:11 pm, May 27, 2010  

I'm actually sort of sad that you aren't going to make that weiner dish and blog about the conversation at the dinner table complete with snerks.

ShelleyFromTheRock 9:02 pm, May 05, 2011  

oh my god I am just dying laughing. Thanks for the good times!

Patricialynn 6:55 pm, May 31, 2012  

Hahaha just found your blog and am reading through the 50's experiment (which tickles me because I'm a SAHM and tend to do a lot of these things anyway).

I thought I'd comment that I've been making all our bread for over a year (in fact, hamburger buns are rising as I type), and I've noticed they go moldy quite quickly, usually by day five. The reason for this is the lack of chemicals that store-bought bread contains to curb the aging of the bread (which, ironically, was what I was aiming to avoid when I decided to bake my own). I have ended up baking bread every third day, and the neighborhood squirrels seem to know when to come by for the stale bread I toss out!

Patricialynn 6:55 pm, May 31, 2012  

Hahaha just found your blog and am reading through the 50's experiment (which tickles me because I'm a SAHM and tend to do a lot of these things anyway).

I thought I'd comment that I've been making all our bread for over a year (in fact, hamburger buns are rising as I type), and I've noticed they go moldy quite quickly, usually by day five. The reason for this is the lack of chemicals that store-bought bread contains to curb the aging of the bread (which, ironically, was what I was aiming to avoid when I decided to bake my own). I have ended up baking bread every third day, and the neighborhood squirrels seem to know when to come by for the stale bread I toss out!

Patricialynn 6:56 pm, May 31, 2012  

Hahaha just found your blog and am reading through the 50's experiment (which tickles me because I'm a SAHM and tend to do a lot of these things anyway).

I thought I'd comment that I've been making all our bread for over a year (in fact, hamburger buns are rising as I type), and I've noticed they go moldy quite quickly, usually by day five. The reason for this is the lack of chemicals that store-bought bread contains to curb the aging of the bread (which, ironically, was what I was aiming to avoid when I decided to bake my own). I have ended up baking bread every third day, and the neighborhood squirrels seem to know when to come by for the stale bread I toss out!

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Need words? I'm a Toronto-based freelance writer who injects great ones into blogs, websites, magazines, ads and more. So many services, one lovely Jen (with one 'n').

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