Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Life This Week: March 6, 1939


Stills from Doctor Macro

This week's "Movie of the Week" is actually a film entitled Café Society, which I can't locate anywhere. No problem--there are several other movies mentioned in this issue. However, the only one that isn't a future "Movie of the Week" is The Little Princess. I'd been avoiding Shirley Temple movies since I subjected myself to The Little Colonel. I don't think The Little Princess was quite as bad as The Little Colonel, although I did fast-forward through the "ballet" and found myself sympathizing with nasty headmistress Miss Minchin. Excepting The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, I'm refusing to watch any more Shirley Temple movies. Sorry folks, there's an end to it.


As usual, I can't resist the Baker's Chocolate ad. Remember--"if you're baking a cake to please the men in your family, you can't go wrong with this recipe of Sue's." As dated and sexist as it seems, it's not too difficult to impress a group of men with a homemade chocolate cake. It's their wives you have to worry about...


No offense to Sue, but I didn't try her recipe--just her idea. Remember I had half a cake in my freezer? Well, I just whipped up some coffee frosting to go with it. I used half of this recipe:

Coffee Frosting

3 tablespoons very soft butter*
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons brewed coffee (I just used what was left from breakfast.)

Cream butter then sift in sugar a bit at a time, beating well after each addition. Thin out with coffee. Use more sugar if frosting is too thin and more coffee if frosting is too thick. It should be "spreadable."

Enough for an 8" square cake or two 8" round layers

Adapted from "Coffee Frosting" in All About Home Baking (New York: General Foods Corporation, 1933), 109.


*I've been using an organic, pasture butter which is only available salted. If you use unsalted butter, you'll need to add a pinch or two of salt. 

When Paul and I were cleaning out our kitchen cabinets a few weeks ago, we found one bag of powdered sugar and three boxes. I assure you I am not a buy-in-bulk-it's-on-sale kind of grocery shopper. The only thing I can figure out is that I was convinced I was out of powdered sugar on three separate occasions! When home economists say to check the pantry before making a grocery list, I guess they know what they're talking about!
 


13 comments:

  1. haha! Oh, you're not a fan, eh? ;)
    My grandparents bought my this movie when I was really little and I probably watched it roughly 5,000 times. Give or take ;) I dont know why, but I was always enthralled by those black button shoes with all those buttons. And her clothes! And dolls! When she was a rich kid, that is ;)

    This cake sounds so good, I love anything with coffee in it! Also, I love the movie The Bobbysoxer, particularly just for its 'peek at a place in time', although the storyline is ridiculous. I love how its all about 'those crazy kids and their wacky slang.' Haha, they're positively wholesome, and their 'school clothes' would now be considered high class office wear! Oh, how times have changed....

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    1. I will admit I see the appeal of the boots with all those little buttons. Shirley's pre-poverty wardrobe is pretty impressive.

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  2. Poor Shirley! And she's so perky, too! I think I NEED a double chocolate cake right now...

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    1. Chocolate cake has astounding recuperative properties.

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  3. This post made me laugh out loud in a freezing cold London - thank goodness I didn't pack my heated blanket away last week when I thought spring had sprung. I have NEVER seen a Shirley Temple movie and now I've read this I may keep it that way. One of the things that really makes me laugh is WC Fields being mean to children so I have a spider sense that I'd feel the same as you about the little poppet Shirley.

    I also laughed at your comment about having to worry about the wives There is a type of man that goes absolutely beserk over home baked goods and it can be kind of freaky if their wife doesn't cook and she is standing there looking at your cake with a gleam in her eye...

    It's OK - I just like cooking - I'm not after your husband!

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    1. I hate being mean about a kid, but... I can understand how WC Fields (and Lionel Barrymore!) felt about child actors.

      It is a bit astounding how jealous some women can be about cooking and baking. Seriously--I just followed some instructions. No big deal, right? Thankfully, most of my friends are just happy to get some cake!

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  4. I loved the book A Little Princess as a child and read it over and over again until my eventually tattered copy fell apart. I admit I was disappointed with the movie when I finally saw it but I am a book lover and so many films made out of books do not live up to the movie in my head. "Baking to please the men in your family" Hahahaha.

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    1. I actually haven't read the book, though I do have a soft spot for Frances Hodgson Burnett. I have no doubt the book is much better!

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  5. I tried to watch that with my daughter last year - it was not good lol. and it just ends as though it's a weekly Television show or something..

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    1. Evidently, the movie ending is different from the book (so it wouldn't be so sad). The film ending is indeed rather far-fetched and unlikely!

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  6. Thanks for sharing! I'm gonna watch that movie, I'm so curious =)

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  7. I loved reading "A Little Princess" when I was younger, but I don't think I ever saw the movie. At this point, I won't plan on it! Love your coffee frosting and pretty photo of your cake. I still haven't learned to check for items I'm convinced we're out of before shopping and have a very large stash of short grain brown rice now.

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  8. "The boys are yet talking about Sue's Double Mocha Chocolate Cake!" Lol

    Love the look and layout of the recipe, so vintage 50s.
    And that black rotary phone is awesome. Where did you find it?

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