Apricot Upside Down Cake Recipe from 1947

Remember when cakes deflated or collapsed?

Made this delicous dessert for a holiday party and it was yummy.  The brown sugar and butter topping tasted to me like a donut frosting.  For modern use I would cut back to half the sugar called for and a lighter oil, perhaps Canola or Vegetable instead of shortening, although the shortening flavor brings me back to my childhood.  Cooked up nicely and is perfect for a family for one meal serving.  It makes a single layer cake and is just the right size to serve a family at dessert time with milk or coffee.  It will bake up like a volcano ready to explode but you remove it and as it cools it will deflate to normal size.  The brown sugar butter will carmalize and become crunchy, the fruit a delicous texture and flavor, the cake super moist.

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Things to see at the Cinema!

A friend recently posted one of those test your knowledge internet quizzes on FB the other day. It was testing your knowledge of golden era stars. He aced the thing which didn’t surprise me as he knows much about the era. I took it too, and got 100% as well. After patting myself on the back I started thinking about the fact that I know vintage stars better then modern stars. In fact if I took the same quiz with modern celebrities, I doubt I would get half of them correct. I love the silver screen movies. Without CG or enormous elaborate stunts to thrill you, they used well crafted scripts and acting. Their use of shadowing and lighting made those early films magical. To see an old film in HD is interesting, especially since I love to study the sets and props behind the action as much as the movie itself, but it somehow loses a bit of it’s mystique in high def. Nothing will ever compare to those old films, but that doesn’t mean that everything modern is without merit. Quite the contrary, there have been some excellent works and period pieces. Sadly some not so excellent ones too.  I’m no movie critic and I’m not going to start now, however I know what I like and what I’d like to see. Here are some interesting things on the horizon.


1. UNBROKEN. based on the book by Laura Hillenbrand, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. (she also wrote SEABISCUIT). The book was unbelievable and one of those that you felt you couldn’t wait to get back to it to  see what was going on whenever you put it down. If the movie stays true to the book it should be phenomenal. It is the true story of Louis “Louie” Zamperini  and his incredible journey of survival, through some of the darkest horrors mankind can submit his fellow man to.  It’s a heart warming tale as well,  of how redemption can be found through forgiveness.  Release date is 12/25/14

 Here is a trailer: UNBROKEN


Little Boy is an upcoming Independent film directed by Alejandro Gómez Monteverde and written by Monteverde and Pepe Portillo. The film stars Jakob Salvati, David Henrie, Kevin James, Emily Watson, Ted Levine, Michael Rapaport, Ali Landry and Ben Chaplin. The film is scheduled to be released on February 27, 2015. Set on the American home front during WW2, 7-year-old  Pepper Flynt Busbee played by Jakob Salvati is willing to do whatever it takes to end World War II so he can bring his father home. I saw the trailer yesterday at the cinema and it looks very promising! Other than the trailer I know little about it but it has peaked my interest. Something important in WW2 was named Little Boy, is there an connection with the title? We shall see come February. Here are some stills from the film.

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Rain or Shine, the Parabrella is More than just a Vintage Fashion Statement.

The 1930s saw a whirlwind of fashion changes as the world crawled, then ran from the dark days of the Great Depression.  Clothing had evolved in direct proportion to the stabilization of the economies. By 1939, women’s hats sprouted brims and decorations thought expensive and frivolous in 1930.  Accessories, long ignored or thought obsolete, grew new life with practical applications applied from the lessons of those hard times still fresh in everyone’s mind.  The umbrella was one such come-back kid in 1939. para-1

By combining the usefulness of the umbrella and the style and statement of the Parasol, the end of the decade ushered in a new found love for the Parabrella! For twenty five previous years parasols and umbrellas had fallen from favor. At their peak in 1900 the parasol-umbrella industry was a $30,000,000 industry.  For that time and the value of the dollar then, it was an insane amount of money. By the early 1930s that had dwindled down to a $5,000,000 industry. The parasol, or sun protector, was discarded about the same time that the automobile became every increasingly common. Prior to the automobile, fashion dictated that the wealthy kept from tanning their skin lest someone think they were a field worker.  Men wore white suits to show off that they need not toil in hard dirty labor and women shielded themselves from the sun for the same reason. It was a status symbol as much as a fashion statement.  When the car was introduced the same people wished to demonstrate their ability to go on vacation in their fancy cars and having a “little sun” now was a sign of health and wealth, the complete opposite of what it had meant.

During the hard times of the Great Depression, the umbrella fell victim to practicality and thrift. The penny-wise masses saw no need for an umbrella when a raincoat was sufficient. Even rain drenched England, where a man might be judged by the way his umbrella was furled, saw a decline in sales and use.  It would be the English, however who would bring it back for both men and women and help usher in a new love and appreciation for the practicality and elegance of the  umbrella and parasol.

The London umbrella shop, Thomas Brigg’s & Son’s had for generations supplied English Royalty and English gentlemen umbrellas, riding whips and walking sticks. The man in the streets knew nothing of Brigg’s until in 1939 Neville Chamberlain was photographed with a smartly furled black umbrella from the shop. The press flocked to the Brigg’s shop to get details of Chamberlain’s distinguished accessory. The polite clerk explained that it was  stock 57/6 model made of fine black silk, hand sewn and hand riveted and could be had for $12.00. Descriptions of it were flashed around the world and men everywhere once again became umbrella-conscious.

Also in January of 1939 Queen Elizabeth paid a visit to the United States. Her Majesty the Queen carried with her a wardrobe of parasols. By combining the curved handle and the waterproof qualities of Prime Minister Chamberlain’s umbrella with the Queen’s decorative and sun shielding parasol, manufacturers created the parabrella and it became a sensation that completely changed the U.S. summer fashion scene that year. para-2

The vintage and vintage inspired crowd, ever so keen to recognize the practicality and elegance of the parabrella, have embraced the use of this iconic accessory.  Caught in downpour, or the fending off the blazing sun at a car show, the modern vintage inspired gal has given new life to an old friend. Modern manufacturers like Tatyana have created authentic and practical parabrellas with loads of wonderful 1930’s styling. Colors, polka dots and lots of charm it’s a must have accessory for any woman who has ever been caught in a cloud burst or needed some relief from the sun.  Fun in the sun…or rain!

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