Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Mid Century Housewife Day 1: And on the First Day There Was SPAM

Well, here it is... a recap of Day 1 of my Mid -Century Housewife Project.

10:11 pm

I have never been this sleepy this early in a long time. Especially when I haven't left my house other than to go to the supermarket all day. Even though I'm SUPER exhausted the day went surprisingly smooth.  There were no major disasters and I got everything done. Here is how the day panned out.

 I woke up at around 8 a.m. I usually wake up at around 9 a.m. anyway so that was no big feat. What was a little harder than I thought it would be was actually getting dressed! Since I made the schedule so that today (Tuesday) was my marketing day and there was no food for breakfast in the house, I kind of had to do my checklist out of order and go to the supermarket before waking Honey up for breakfast. So at 8 a.m. I pulled on a day dress, took the rollers out of my hair, brushed my hair and set out to the supermarket.

I got to the supermarket and started on the grocery list. Garlic, check! Tomato paste, check! Canned bean sprouts...??? ummm check! Then...gulp...SPAM...ugh...check... I put the SPAM in my cart and covered it with the remaining items I had to get. It's not that I was embarrassed to buy the SPAM...well yes I was. I kind of pride myself on buying healthy, mostly organic food for the house. It's not ALWAYS that way but you will almost never see processed meat in my shopping cart. I'm too afraid to get sick to eat it. But I guess I have to get used to the idea for the next two weeks. There is a lot of American cheese and frankfurters on the menu.  I guess two weeks of it won't kill us right?

$50 later (and a weird side glance from the lady ringing up my SPAM) I was on the way back to the apartment. Upon returning home, I put the groceries away and opened the blinds (not the windows...we had to run the air conditioner all day. By the time I got home from the market it was near 90 degrees!) and got breakfast on the table. I set the table and everything!!! Something I never do. Mainly because we don't have a real kitchen/ dining room table. Our apartment is way to small for such fancy schmacy furnishings. Breakfast was simple because I really didn't want to turn on the stove or oven if I didn't have too. So we just had cold cereal, grapefruit halves and coffee.  It was nice to sit down to a quiet breakfast in our apartment with the sun shining in and just talk and have coffee. It was a peaceful morning. Loved it.

Once breakfast was over I changed dresses and started the daily cleaning. Honey was off today so it made it just a little weird. She kept asking if she could help. So cute. She felt like I was doing all the work. Which I was, but that's the point.  But since she was looking for a job to do I told her to de-clutter one of the closets just to keep her busy. It was her equivalent of a "husband" job like mowing the lawn or repairing something.

 Its amazing how many little things can get out of their place from day to day. I spent most of the morning reorganizing and making sure every thing was in it's place. What's the saying? A place for everything and everything in it's place? That's what I was saying to myself all day. Dishes. Check! Vacuuming. Check! Bathroom...Check! It went on and on. Luckily I cleaned yesterday so it wasn't that bad. Just re-dusting things and making sure everything was nice and shiny.

Before I knew it it was 1 p.m. and  lunch time! So I set to work on that. Lunch was just tuna salad sandwiches and fruit cocktail for dessert.

After lunch I tackled the rest of the list which was just making sure every nook and cranny looked it's best. It was actually quite tedious but I enjoyed it. Honey at one point came in the kitchen as I was scrubbing and asked "You're enjoying yourself, aren't you?" I was like...TOTALLY!!! Who knew.

When all the cleaning was done I sat down with my recipe book and made sure I had everything for tonight's dinner and for dinner for the next two days. Then I sat down with Honey for some relaxation. I even had time for that nap that I was hoping for.

I started dinner around 6 p.m. and gave Honey her before dinner cocktail, a gin and tonic.

 I decided to make the Quick Chow Mein from my Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook.  This is the recipe that required the luncheon meat. I had never in my life tasted SPAM before so...hmmm...

Here is the recipe.

 In case you were wondering what diced SPAM looks like while it's frying up in butter, here ya go...

While frying the meat I really wasn't sure about it...I mean...it like fake ham or something. But if my mid century sisters could do it so could I. I powered on through the recipe...

I had Honey pull a card table in the center of the living room (I got that idea from I Love Lucy, did you ever realize that they didn't have a dining room table either? That was a great little New Yorker detail in the show) and set it. Then served the dish.

Here is the finished product

Not too bad, eh? Ok, it doesn't look like Chef Gordon Ramsey made it or anything but it looks edible, right?? I hope...

Well, Lo and behold!! It was kind of tasty!!! Not something that I would make on a regular basis but definitely not bad! YAY! Mid Century success!!! Honey liked it too. Which is a sigh of relief. If I failed the first meal I don't think she would trust my vintage recipes ever again

Here is Givenchy begging for spam chow mein. I'm sure it smelled yummy to him too.

Dessert was simply vanilla ice cream with a caramel sauce. Perfect for the steamy weather we were having.

After that it was time to clear away the dishes and tidy up the kitchen.  Which actually took no time at all since it was spotless from the earlier cleaning session.  After was quality time with Honey.

And that's that. The day is over and I'm pooped. I've been going from 8 this morning til 9 tonight doing mainly housework the whole time. Now it's time to set my hair and do it all over again tomorrow. And I'm kind of looking forward to it. It was a good productive day. The very best part was having Honey genuinely thank me for all the hard work I put into taking care of our home today. It was super sweet!!!

That's all for now
See you tomorrow

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  1. Congrats on your first day! I would love to do something like this but lack the organisation hahahah looking forward to seeing more

  2. Awesome job on your first day, sweetie! Your chow mein looks really yummy! There's a lower salt version of Spam that's a bit better, IMO, but I don't mind the original (it pairs well with sweet sauces/ingredients, I find).

    Have a fantastic second day!!!
    ♥ Jessica

  3. Oh, you did great!! We don't eat spam in my house but my grandma makes it every once in a while when we go to visit her at her country house. She grew up in Hawaii in the early 50's so of course, Spam was on the menu ALL the time. Grandma makes Spam and eggs,which is lightly fried up just like you did, served with scrambled eggs, Oj, hashbrowns and some variety of breakfast bread like toast or biscuits. It is WONDERFUL! Just don't add any salt to the eggs- the Spam does that for ya! :)

  4. You know since getting married and getting our own place, I really enjoy cleaning my house. Seeing it all neat and clean gives me this ridiculous sense of pride. This coming for the girl who rarely cleaned her room most of her life.

    Dinner looks yummy! I actually like spam especially in spam masubis. It's very salty which is why I try to eat it sparingly and buy the reduced sodium one.

  5. Hooray! You survived your first day and had fun doing it. That is a win, for sure. Side note: I love Spam. Love it. Brittany's right about Spam and eggs, it's delish. Spam also makes great fried rice. Then, of course, there's Spam musubi, which is basically just Spam nigiri: a ball of sushi rice with a slice of Spam on top. Wrap a bit of nori seaweed around the spam to keep it from falling off and brush it with some teriyaki for a little sweetness. Dip in soy/wasabi before you take a bite, just like sushi. So good! Anyway, don't be ashamed of the Spam! It's a mid-century tradition!

  6. Wow! You did amazing! I am sure Honey was so proud! Cheers to you my dear! You are a vintage housewife! Btw I love spam-my dad didnt know how to make many things after mom passed so he would cook up spam with rice. I guess it reminds me of our harder days but they were also sweet days kwim? xox

  7. You did great! We used to eat spam quite a bit when I was young, mostly, as Brittany says, for breakfast but we also made sandwiches with it. We usually keep a couple cans on hand at our house now, just in case of natural disaster. That stuff will last forever. ;-)

  8. I was really interested to read your post, looking forward to more. When I was at primary school ( age 5-11), spam fritters were on the menu quite frequently. These are a thick slice of spam, dipped in batter and then fried. We used to press down on them with our knives to see how much fat came out, like an oil fountain! The joy of English school dinners in the 1980s!

  9. Yay! First day out of the way! I get an awesome feeling when I I see that the house is clean each day. I think it's much easier to tackle the small stuff and tidy after my self each day than to wait on one particular day and have massive amounts of major cleaning to do! Recipe looks yummy!

  10. Hooray! So glad that your first day went well! I am really enjoying this series so far! :) I must admit, I don't think I have ever tried spam....it really doesn't appeal to me, although I suppose if I eat other lunch meats such as ham, salami etc, I really shouldn't have anything against spam. Maybe it's because of the name? Or because it comes in a tin? I don't know! That said, it sounds like your dinner turned out well, so maybe I do need to try it at some point...

    Good luck with the rest of this challenge, and I shall eagerly await your next post! :) xxx

  11. I am so glad your first meal wasn't gag inducing :) I never really noticed that about I Love Lucy!

  12. The breakfast sounds so nice and peaceful (though going out to get the ingredients so early must have been less than ideal).

    I have to say, the Spam meal looks really pretty.

    I am loving this series so far...


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