Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Chocolatey Fudgey Cakey

Chocolate Fudge Cake  (Miss M. Webber)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 4 tab cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3 cup S.R Flour
Prepare a cake tin and preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius.  
Beat butter and sugar, add eggs, beating well all the time.  Add combined milk and essence, beating with electric mixer.  Sift in combined cocoa and flour.   Add boiling water and mix through well before transferring to the cake tin. 
Bake in the moderate oven for 45 min or until done. 

Serving suggestions:  serve topped with a chocolate buttercream icing or a chocolate ganache icing.  

I enjoyed this cake, though I know at least one person who tried it said it was a little too dry.   I will also put it out there that though it was a very nice chocolate cake, I wouldn't describe it as a 'chocolate fudge cake'.  Fudge indicates some extra level of chocolatey goodness to me that wasn't present in this recipe.  

However, that said, I  will owe that the recipe was reliable and was sufficient to make not one, but two large sized cakes.  

About Mrs M Webber

Looking for information on Miss M. Webber wasn't as easy as I first thought.  There's plenty a mention of Webber girls in the Brisbane newspapers from the 1930s through to the 1940s.  There's a Miss J. Webber, a Miss E. Webber and a Miss M. Webber.   

The point at where it gets murky is that in 1932 there are two mentions of a Miss. M. Webber.  One is a golfing tournament at Victoria Park Golf Course.  The other is a social article about the Pre-Marriage party of a Miss M. Webber and a Mr E. O'Hara. 

So - if this 1932 Miss M. Webber was OUR Miss M. Webber, how could she still be listed as a 'Miss' in the cookbook which was printed in 1941?  But then, why is our golfing Webber still listed as a 'Miss' in September after a pre-marriage party in June the same year?

There is another mention of a Miss M. Webber in 1947 - a wedding/honeymoon notice in which a Miss. M Webber was bridesmaid to Miss Joyce E. Sellars.

Though I like to imagine a great big to-do in which Miss M. Webber was engaged to O'Hara, broke it off and lived a fabulous life of a single girl, playing golf, attending dances and then being a bridesmaid over a decade later,  I know that is a little more than far-fetched.  It is far more likely that the Miss M. Webber we are looking for is the 1947 Miss M. Webber, who played bridesmaid for her friend in Clayfield.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

70s Daisy-Days Skirt - Style #4949

I was at a church jumble sale when I saw the fabric.   It was bright and happy stripes of navy and apple green with daisies throughout.  I immediately knew I wanted to make it into a 70s a-line skirt.

I bought the fabric for the princely sum of 50c and when I got home I picked out the perfect pattern from my stash for the project.

Lucky me had inherited my Grandma's collection of sewing patterns.  There were only a scant few from the 60s and earlier but a large number of 70s patterns.  The pattern I picked out was in my size so I didn't need to resize at all which was a bonus.

The pattern is from a company called 'Style' which seemed to be at its height during the 70s but gone by the end of the 80s.   There are a lot of old copies of Style patterns floating around Australia and the UK (according to a quick ebay search) but not much at all from America.  I suspect that it may be an Australian brand based on the fact that the pricing on the front of each pattern is in Australian dollar and New Zealand dollars.... but I can't find much about it on the interwebz so if anyone knows more about the company I'd be interested in hearing or getting a link.

It was very little effort to sew the skirt together as it was a simple four panel skirt.   I did have to put some thought into cutting - to ensure that the lines would line up in chevrons at the front and back.  I didn't get it 100% perfect but for a first attempt at matching patterns I was pretty pleased with the result.   

I hemmed the skirt with bias binding as instructed by the pattern- a technique I will be repeating in the future as it looks great and neat and was so easy to do.

The other technique used on this skirt that was new for me was the use of petersham ribbon to line and stiffen the waist in the absence of a waistband.  I followed the pattern's instructions which called for the petersham to be box-pleated at the front and back seams.  This seemed like a great idea - until I wore the skirt and the petersham poked out like a little teepee on my belly.   I've since cut the fold out of the petersham so that it doesn't stick out.

All in all, I'm pleased with the skirt.  It's cute and Summery and easy to mix with the navy, white and green pieces already in my wardrobe.

The Bullivant Sale

It promised to be the most interesting vintage sale of the year in Brisbane.  Carmel Bullivant, a wealthy socialite, was selling off her collection of vintage dresses, smalls and accessories to the public and store owners alike.

I didn't have any intention to buy (I was saving cash for a different event that fortnight) but I was definitely not going to miss the chance to go and see what treasures would be upturned by this big sell-off. 

There were a few familiar faces at the sale, including the beautiful Mae-Em and Lisa, the ever glamorous owner of Atomic Martini Vintage. 

And there were some lovely pieces too, and a few I would have taken home with me if the price had been right.