"Place, with a trace of humanity" Photography/Photo of the Day/Pittsburgh

Posts tagged “vintage

Happy Day or 1-2-3-4 Cake?

 If you’ve been following the blog since the beginning, you might remember the photos and recipes.On several occasions, I’ve posted our  “go to” birthday cake recipes.
 My sister got me the one Swan’s Down vintage cake pan in Omak, Washington when were visiting our brother one summer.
I did mail a birthday card to my sister.  (Unusual for me that it wasn’t belated)
In my family, we’d try to get it in the octave, as my mom would call it.  Enjoy your day!

Happy Day Cake Recipe-

For Birthdays it was the 1-2-3-4 Cake recipe or the Happy Day Cake recipe on the back of the Swan’s Down Cake Flour box, frosted with Penuche icing.  My mother would put the saucepan into a sink of cold water and then beat it by hand once it cooled. I can hear the ring of the metal loop at the end of the pan’s handle. And as I remember it she added a dash of vanilla extract.  My dad would pour milk over a slice and eat it with a spoon.   Cake and frosting recipes below photo.

Happy Birthday to my sister Mary who gave me the vintage pan

Happy Day Cake

2½ cups sifted cake flour

1½ cups sugar

3 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1/2 cup shortening, at room temperature

1 cup milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 eggs

Sift flour with sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir shortening to soften. Add flour mixture, ¾ cup of the milk and vanilla. Mix until all flour is dampened, then beat two minutes at medium speed. Add eggs and remaining ¼ cup milk. Beat one minute longer. Pour into two 9-inch layer pans that have been lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans; remove from pans and cool thoroughly on racks.

This cake also may be baked in three 8-inch layer pans for 25 to 35 minutes, or in a 13- by 9-inch pan for 30 to 35 minutes. Batter may be spooned into 36 medium paper baking cups in muffin pans, filling half full. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

Penuche Frosting   Butter is Key


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar, more or less
  • hot water, optional


In a saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Add the brown sugar. Bring to a boil and lower heat to medium low and continue to boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the milk and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cool to lukewarm. Gradually add sifted confectioners’ sugar. Beat until thick enough to spread. If too thick, add a little hot water. Frosts top and sides of a 2-layer cake or a 13×9-inch cake.


p.s. Last year I mailed an actual cake but this year it will be virtual

and another connection was the post when my friend J sent me a cupcake tree to Ohio when I was visiting


Off-season: Weekly Photo Challenge

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Off-Season.”

From my family’s basement.

I unearthed some holiday items for the challenge. Shot with the iPhone.

image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image

More in Depth

Still thinking about depth.  A second gallery for the weekly challenge.  What draws your eye into the picture.

rolling pins

Rolling Pins in Mathews Antiques, Ohio

Homestead Smokestacks

Homestead Stacks through a rainy windshield

Duquesne Incline Tracks

Duquesne Incline Tracks from Below

2014-12-29 15.50.40

Looking down into the box of  Bird Bath Birds at the Antique Store.

St. John Ukranian Church window

Two door windows.

city view from Incline

City View from Incline Ride- The Monongahela River

A Variety of Reds in my Kitchen, Photographed with a New Mirrorless

reds in the kitchen

Red Still Life in the Kitchen Photographed with Mirrorless Camera

Portable, lightweignt. Able to fit in a small bag instead of a huge one.  Not so bulky.

Interchangeable lenses. A postive review all around.

You don’t always want to lug heavy DSLRs and weighty (but wonderful) glass around your neck.

A phone camera isn’t sufficient as an alternative.

AND there was the bonus of a hefty instant rebate at time of purchase.

I’d been looking and thinking about mirrorless cameras for awhile.

Reading reviews, I thought it would be a Fuji but the SONY a5000 had an affordable 20.1 Megapixel price that seemed fortuitous.

I’m satisfied with the results so far.   Will keep experimenting.

Shirley Temple Still in her Box, Toodles, a Nun Doll. a Yo-Yo Doll and Other Childhood Friends

My friend Barb collects all kinds of dolls, most from her childhood,  There’s a photo of her in one of the pics, holding her doll.  She has a glass and wooden cupboard filled with her collection.  The reflection makes it tricky to get a clean shot,  I  looked up Toodles  and she is definitely a contemporary from our childhood years in the ’50’s.  What do you collect?

Shirley Temple Doll



yo-yo doll

A Quick Shopping Trip New Year’s Eve- Clothes Minded on Liberty Avenue- Bloomfield

After two attempts to get to the Italian Grocery stores on New Year’s Eve we headed to the regular market

We were just driving by on our way to the grocery store and

“Buy Sell Trade” the sign said in the window.

“They look open even though it’s New Year’s Eve. ” “Okay, just ten minutes to look. I’ll wait in the car.”
I told my son.

In a few minutes, he came back to the car and said “MOM, you gotta come in and bring your camera and blog it!”

So I did.

designer sweater

45 rpmCLothes MInded Sign

Business owners Josh folding pants while Cope was stitching and opted for No Photos on the blog. Another day. 

josh at clothes minded

clothes minded neon

Here Comes the Bride Doll – Vintage Crochet

Do you have a doll with crocheted clothes, right on its body?

Marlene’s cousin made many of these bride dolls and I photographed hers when we were in Hardy. Virginia,

There is a 1951 pattern available for $1.49

Would like to make a gallery of vintage crochet dolls and their clothes if you want to share a pic or two.

Joanne, i know you have that poodle!  Are people still creating these? Share your photos.

bride doll crochet

Look what just arrived from Omaha!   Joanne sent her Poodle crocheted by Aunt Angie

Wordless Wednesday a Day Late

Crestline Ohio Barn

Crestline Ohio Barn

Antique Emporium in Beaver Falls, PA

Upon entering the Antique Emporium, a lovely woman  invited me to have cool water, offered me a glass of wine, the use of the facilities AND there was a basket of free tomatoes.

 Obviously I was a a first-timer.  “You are welcome to take photographs. ” she said.      That was all I needed.

There are three floors and over 75 Dealers’ Booths of everything you can think of- and then some more things you didn’t  know existed in the world.

The “like items” are categorized and displayed together, so if you are into political buttons, license plates, or milk bottle collections you don’t have to dig through other stuff.  It is so organized and tidy.  

  Antique Emporium 1

Right on the main street which is Seventh Avenue


Antique Emporium 2 1

The first time I ever saw JFK cards, like trading cards for baseball



Salt and Pepper Shakers

Please pass the salt and pepper.





railroad station roof tile

Railroad Station Roof Tile    They interlocked


Antique Emporium 4 (1)

Not a customer



45 records

Check out all these 45s




matchbox cars

Matchbox cars



asian doll

Porcelain Asian doll




typewriters and victrola 1

Everyone had to take typing when I was in high school.




political buttons

This is just a sampling of what is available.



Queen Elizabeth TinA biscuit tin

knights and castle roomThe Knights and Castle room is for display only, nothing is for sale in this room.

Business card is a million bucks


Meet Jim.  If you are in need of a pun, the proprietor will help you out.

Here he is holding a business card that says “You’re worth a million to us.”





See how the LBJ buttons change when you move your angle




Antique Emporium 3

Stained glass lamps and wooden spools

Antique Emporium 2

Be sure to have a nice chat with Jim.  As I said, he’s pretty puny. 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Containers

This week’ s theme is containers.  

I could probably post a hundred photos but was able to contain myself.  kitchen tins


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