Monday, September 10, 2012

This and That.

Cushion is fond of saying that all someone has to do is tell me an interesting story about an item and I will buy it. In short, I'm the sucker that was born 2.89272e7 minutes ago. [I got that figure by googling my age. Cool eh.]

I hate to say this, but he's right.

[NOTE! If you're a scammer reading this, please do not take this as an invitation to try to sell me something. It won't work because I am no longer shopping for anything! other than a Footrot Flats #12.]

It's going to take me some time to sort through all the junk we've I've accumulated over the years and I will need a hard heart for the task. After hours of opening up boxes, and rummaging around baskets and cupboards, I've only managed to fill 2 or 3 shopping bags worth of This and That to give away. That's it! 

I'm nowhere near done.


Here are some of the things I think I must keep. They're all from my family home and childhood days.

My father's bulldog mug.

This is 1 of a pair. My brother has the other. 

My father had a Guinness or beer with slices of fried spam, peanuts, or fried salted anchovies every night before dinner. But he seldom drank out of this bulldog mug. It was mostly for display.


My nanny was a great cook. I resisted going into the kitchen as a child [too busy running around with the dogs] so learnt absolutely nothing from her. 

Then, one night when I was in my 30s, I sat down in the kitchen with her and got her to tell me how to cook many of my favourite dishes. I was married by then, you see! And suddenly, it was important to know more than how to fry an egg!

The recipes are all in this book.
She couldn't give me a single precise measurement for the ingredients. It was all done by feel. I remember being very frustrated by that! It's only been in the last 3 years or so that I've begun to understand this "cooking by feel" thing. Better late than never, I suppose.

My nanny made pink jellies for us in these rabbit moulds. Not often enough, in my opinion. Sometimes, they had a layer of coconut cream on top.
I was always sad to cut into the bunny. Where to start? The tail or the nose? 

She also made some terrific cakes with this simple whip. 
My favourite, that she made for me every birthday, was a vanilla sponge with a sugary cream middle and crushed peanuts, maraschino cherries and more cream on top. For a child in those days, it was the height of decadence.

She baked the cakes in this oven.
This was my school lunch box.
Was I ever that little?


I don't remember there being a lot of display items in our family home but these were 2 of them.

This 3 Wise Monkeys sat on my father's old writing bureau. 
The bureau was made of dark wood. It had [if memory serves me right] a formica top. There were little pigeon holes crammed with bills, notes and a coin box where I could take money from, when the ice cream truck came by. The drawers had brass clamshell handles and there was a lovely rumbly rolltop. We all wanted that bureau! But it's now living with Sister 1. 

I suppose my mother must have bought these little ballerinas. I think there used to be mirrors for them to dance around but these are all I have now.
Their bases are magnetised.
Fortunately, they're tiny enough to pack up and take anywhere.


Thanks for going on this journey with me and for telling me about your favourite books yesterday! A couple are totally unknown to me and I'll be checking them out when I have some time. Especially that "Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" one. What an inspired title HAHAHA!

My question for today, if you so wish to play -

What thing or things most remind you of your childhood?


KimT said...

Oh my goodness! First, I know that book you speak of. My daughter adored that story, even went on to write her own in the third grade with a similar title. Memories...

Those are some of the most fascinating things I believe I've ever seen. And how have you kept them so clean and in such great shape over the years? Awesome.

My favorite things? A blog post full, surely...

georgia little pea said...

BOL. Then may I look forward to seeing that post soon? :) X

Tootsie said...

I love the ballerinas! Oh, and the mug. Oh, goodness. My mom has so many things she loves. She's been trying to take things -- STUFF -- out of the house, but it is so hard, she says. You have all our admiration. We have lots of special treasures. Andy Warhol calls it ART. :) Love, Tootsie

georgia little pea said...

Art is a much better word than trash! :)

Jan said...

Your recipe book reminded me of one my mother's home ec club assembled. She gave it to me when I got married. (I could cook popcorn and fudge at the time)

Almost all the recipes included a can of Campbell's soup. These weren't lazy women or career women so I was puzzled by the shortcut. Then I learned that thoroughly modern women wouldn't waste time cooking something that was already prepared.

georgia little pea said...

OMG. That's hysterical! Glad you shared that memory :)

Jean said...

OMG, I remember those Three Wise Monkeys - I swear we had the exact same one in my childhood home. I wonder where they are now?

You may recall a post I did a short while ago about my childhood love of bears - I still have my old, old teddy as well as my old pink dog. And though I've rid myself of most childhood/family mementoes, I couldn't part with my little china Lady, Tramp and Scamp figurines that my Nana and Granddad sent me shortly after we moved to Canada.
I also have some mementoes of my dad's - I was very close to him, and he passed away when I was in my twenties. I kept some tools and fishing gear of his, his Bible and hymnal, and now also have a beautiful carved cigarette box that was perhaps the most significant 'thing' I associate with him. Of course, I use it for pens and pencils, not cigarettes!
Parting with treasures from our childhood is hard. Each year I part with a few more, but I don't think I'll ever part with the things mentioned above. They are part of who I am.

How Sam Sees It said...

You've got the neatest stuff! You know the old saying you can't take it with you? The memories will outlast a lot of this stuff - do you really need the items to remember the good things that go with them? I know it is harder than it looks!


How Sam Sees It said...

BOL - I hope that didn't come out badly! I don't think I should be blogging when I'm tired...


Rose ~ from Oz said...

Aw Typist no doubt you will keep all of today's 'showings', memories huh? and (sniff) you kept your little cutie lunch-box!
Oh oh only about 3 bags full to give away - hmmm, time for some ruthless pills? I took 'ruthless pills' during my last move and I regret some of it!
This was a very poignant post, and oh Typist! na, na, na-na, na - I now know exactly how old you are - birthday in around 3 months?? :)

georgia little pea said...

Jean, I DO remember that teddy post. I'm glad I'm not the only nutter around ;) Pretty amazing, some of the things we hold on and attach memories to. You were so young when your father passed :(

And Sam, I agree with you 100%. Especially since we have no family to pass things on to and all that we have will go to strangers. Part of this clean up is learning to let go. Now that some of the things are in this blog, maybe I'll even be able to let them go! I'm actually MUCH better at it than Cushion. I do a couple of cleanups every year but this is a biggie! Much much more to go!

Rose, WRONG! Bwah haha and nyah nyah nyah. I don't know... the oven's a bit big.

H and Flo said...

Oh my goodness. Having grown up in HK I go into the Oriental Emporium here just for the smells. :)

And someone gave me some rose scented handcream at Christmas which instantly (and unexpectedly) took me back to my grandma's living room.

I saw the movie 'The Sapphires' a couple of weeks ago and they had all the old Tupperware things out - that took me back as well. Especially the sight of the dark green and orange stuff.

I don't think I really have anything from my childhood here... that's a bit sad isn't it :(

georgia little pea said...

Smells are #1 for bringing us back to another place and time. You've travelled so far, H... I'm sure you have a very pared down life (except for 2 dogs LOL). Lucky you, in a way. I had a lot of fun collecting but I think I'm ready to live in an emptier space.

HAHAHA. I can hear Cushion guffawing.

Rose ~ from Oz said...

Okaaay, so my conversion is wrong... how can that be......hmmm, back to the drawing board.... I love mysteries and riddles :)

3 doxies said... mum so remembers her grandma had no freakin' concept of a measurin' cup but " a dab" of dis and a "pinch" of dat. They grew there on veggies and made their own butter too. But I thinks they had more hours in da day back then.
I loves your dad's bull dog mug, it be very unique.


Kirsten (peacefuldog) said...

Holy moly those are some beautiful memories, and tasty recipes.

Funny you should ask what reminds me of my childhood; been thinking about that a lot as my parents may soon be moving out of my childhood home. I think the things that will have the most powerful memories are little things of seemingly no import--a pair of scissors that my parents have had for decades, the shelves of kids books I used to look at that are still there.

Jodi said...

First my question is this. You kept the stove your nanny cooked on?

I don't think I have any memorabilia from my childhood except for one extremely large doll, which none of my children care for. :-)

georgia little pea said...

Puddles, I'm SURE your grandma had more hours in the day. I don't think I would have time to churn butter, unless I do it in front of the telly or compooter.

NO Kirsten! Not that lovely home you recently posted about :( it was so idyllic. Sigh. Yes, it's the little things for me too. I forgot to include the serrated knife that we used to cut the jelly with! Thank goodness it's not the couch that reminds me of my childhood. That'd be a bit hard to cart around :)

Jodi, yes I did! It was in working order when I packed and shipped it out. The electrical bits have since been dismantled and I don't remember where it is. I also have the instruction book and original pan and grills. I think it's a 50s Revo oven. (I'm in bed now and too lazy to go downstairs to check for sure ;)...) we now use it to store our wine. Your children will care very much for that doll one day.

Jenny Woolf said...

I can see why you don't want to get rid of any of these things. They're full of memories. A memory of my childhood is an Australian opal ring my mum had when we lived in Sydney. I always admired it and she gave it to me a few years ago. I haven't actually worn it, just admire it!

georgia little pea said...

Hi Jenny! I do the same with a lot of the old stuff, just admire or display them LOL. I think I should just use them though, to make some new memories. I'm sure the opal ring would look smashing on a night out :)

Karen Friesecke said...

How cool that you still have your lunch box! My Holly Hobby lunch box is gone with the wind. I tried to find it when my Mom moved houses, but it was nowhere to be found.

I have one childhood item that I will never, ever throw away. For a few summers I had this beach towel with a sail boat on it. Every day in the summer it would come with me to the local pool. My friend and I lived in the pool and it's my little talisman of the younger years.

Oliivia & Petey said...

What are pink jellies?
Love the lunch box! If I had some of mine, or I hadn't defaced my Barbie doll wardrobe by wall papering it w/psychedelic contact paper when I was little I sell them and retire! Ditto my Wonder Woman comics.
Very big kudos to the Typist for going through all that stuff! WOO what an undertaking!
Things that remind me of childhood...the smell of dogs :)...honesuckle...and I spent summers where there used to be a lot of potato farms so the smell of potato insecticide is nostalgic for me :) I also have a wind up Alvin the Chipmunk :)

Sage said...

Childhood? When was that?

Oh, right. I do have a few things left after many clean-out moves...a Wizard of Oz program where I played Dorothy, baby shoes (I wore those) and marbles. I used to shoot marbles back 'in the day'. Funny I'd remember that.....

What Remains Now said...

You have fabulous treasures! What most amazes me is that you have your grandma's oven. That is remarkable. I'm reading backward, so I'll go to your book post next. If I had to pick one item, I would pick my Raggedy Ann Doll. I love it because I've had it so long, I played with it and my mom made it. I can't wait to see more. I had to laugh at your "buy things with a story" propensity. I love to be sold things, and I'm a sucker for a good sales pitch. I just wish that I were as good a salesperson as I am a consumer. I'd be a millionaire.

georgia little pea said...

What a great childhood momento, Karen. I don't think I know anyone else who's attached to a beach towel :)

Olivia, that would be jelly that's pink in colour? Come on! I know you have jelly in NYC! Honeysuckle, I love the smell of honeysuckle. Potato insecticide, I'm not so sure about.

Sage, I shot marbles too! And seeds from trees. Were you a tomboy too? My bag of marbles are long gone though I did keep them for a fair while.

Oh great, Lori! It's nice not to be the only sucker around ;) I remember your raggedy Ann doll and many of your other marvellous heirlooms.

Rose ~ from Oz said...

I just remembered that I went and saw Disney's original animated 101 Dalmations 6 times in the very early sixties (grandmother, mother and aunts took turns to take me) I had a 101 Dalmation dress (had it for YEARS), and had 7, 101 Dalmation handerkerchiefs ( one for each day of the week) and each day the fresh one was pinned to my clothes with a safety pin so I wouldn't lose it. And I had a 101 Dalmations tin box with my precious treasures kept within. And of course the 101 Dalmations Little Golden Book. These would be about the only things I still wished I had kept from my childhood, as they represented one of the few truly happy periods thereof. :) (All the other kids were awfully jealous of my 101 D collection!)

georgia little pea said...

That's a great one, Rose! What a dotty little girl you must have been. I especially like the part where the hankies got pinned onto your dress. LOL. I wish you still had that collection. I would have loved to have seen pictures of them.

houndstooth said...

My childhood was...not ideal. A lot of the things I cherished were destroyed by something outside of my control. Some of the things that I do have that I adore are a set of Ginny dolls that are still in their little wicker basket and a Littles dollhouse. There are a few other dolls and teddy bears, too.

My dad has Parkinson's and has been downsizing things for the past year or two, so I've inherited a lot of things my husband considers junk. I found out about a month ago that my dad is selling the farm, and I'm sad about that. I always had dreams of going back and living there after he died, but I know that he can't maintain it now and I also know that it's a lot more work than my husband would be willing to do, besides being too expensive. I am afraid that it will be subdivided and the creek that we played by, along with the pastures and old orchard will be no more. I realize now that those are the parts of my childhood that I most wish I could hold onto. I don't think I will miss not having air conditioning, though...

georgia little pea said...

Dear Bunny's mama, I wish you could go back to the farm too. With 4 dogs, it sounds quite ideal. I think all husbands find stuff from our childhood junk. I'm not sure they would feel the same way if the Atari set from their teens or the train set from their kindly days suddenly turned up at the doorstep. Sigh. A poignant comment. Maybe one day, you'll share YOUR story, and not just The Dogs'. Big hug X

Amy said...

Your nanny and my grandma must have gone to the same "no measurements" cooking school! I still remember Gram trying to teach me to make pie crust by feeling it. Unfortunately, my fingers are more suited to typing I'm afraid. Fortunately, sister 2 got the apple pie baking genes and her pies taste just like Grandma's used to.

My mom didn't keep much of anything from my childhood - she's not very sentimental. I would love to have some of the old books like Yertle the Turtle and Nancy Drew.

sonia a. mascaro said...

I have been enjoying so much these serie of posts!
I had many times ago this three Wise Monkeys and these little ballerinas too.
So cute your school lunch box.

What thing or things most remind me my childhood?
Well, I have till now a little horse by leader that my father brought from NY to me. It had many candies and lollipop on his neck and back... It is old but I keep it...

georgia little pea said...

Amy, thank goodness someone in your family can bake like granny. No one in my family can produce a single dish that tastes like my nanny's. All gone forever.

Oi Sonia! I can't imagine what this horse looks like and hope that you'll one day post about it, and maybe some of your other childhood memories? That would be fun! Beijos :) x

chandra said...

What your grandma made you on your birthdays sounds SO delicious! My mom and I go round and round about cooking by feel. I know that she won't give me exact measurements when explaining a recipe, but still I ask. It's going to take me a long time to be able to cook that way but I hope I get there because it's incredibly cool to not have to follow the book.

-c at ddy.

melf said...

I have been trying to think of some of my favorite things from my childhood. Most of them are things I wished I had retained. Mostly books (I think this means I need to go read the post on books!).

I have an old porcelain figurine that came from my grandmother and was passed down by my mother that I will treasure. I also have an old chinese style jewelry box that I think I got at a garage sale back when I was child. Even though I am sure it was not made in China or Taiwan (or maybe it was!), I still have it and love it.

georgia little pea said...

Chandra, the cake was delicious! ... in the way so many childhood foods are. You don't follow recipes, you follow your nose and taste buds.

Melf, I just came from reading your books comment. You definitely had a lot more of those, and the memories came easier too. So I guess I know where your heart lies :)