Thursday, December 29, 2011

Nothing Lasts Forever-Reflecting on Old Antique Friends

The antiques business is one that is constantly changing--dealers never conquer it--let alone even figure it out.  Dear Husbola and I are no different.
Just for fun and I use the term very loosely-- as the New Year is almost upon us-I started to make a list of the antiques shops that we have sold in and no longer sell in.  It is quite a list--actually it is quite a long list.  We have been involved in the selling antiques since 1989.

Shops can be good shops-but they might not be a good fit for a particular dealer and their style of merchandise.  Road projects can kill a shop.  Letting in reproductions and crafts can kill a shop faster than a cancer.  Good dealers retire and are hard or impossible to replace. Shows are the same way.  Shops can go out of business in a flash--and shows can just fade away.

Our list is not meant to be a negative comment on any location or shop.  We look at it that we were old friends for a while and then just grew apart and are in each others' rear view mirrors.  Those shops marked with an asterisk are no longer in business:

*Prairie du Sac Antique Mall (so long ago--I think this was its name!)
*Hoff Mall Antique Center, Mt. Horeb WI
*Middleton Antique Mall
*Delafield Antique Center
*Watertown Antique Mall
Gurnee Antique Center
Delavan Antique Mall (now Lauren's Antiques and Art)
Lake Geneva Antique Mall
Geneva Street Antique Mall
Ridgefield Country Church Antiques

Where are we now?  Happily selling in Odana Antiques Mall in Madison and On The Square in Walworth.  Our show selection is changing.  One day shows are golden--but there are not many of those.  We are selecting shows better with an eye to up front expenses and the best use of our time.
This business can be great fun.  Stocking shops and shows can be challenging and tiring--but it always keeps our interest.

You just sometimes have to say good-bye to old friends.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thank You General Mills for Wheaties Macaroons

Regular readers to this blog know I love old recipe books.  Even better are old recipe boxes.  To me, leafing through a collection of vintage recipes is much better than browsing an old photo album.

Our kitchen is a collection of mid century vintage--mostly items from the 1920s-50s.  We bought a house with a built in 1951 stainless steel Chambers stove and a similarly aged Hotpoint refrigerator.  The frig has gone to Icebox Heaven--but the Chambers keeps on chugging along. On the shelf behind this workhorse sits one of my prize keeper finds--a 1930s General Mills Bakers' Service recipe box--stuffed with the original recipe cards.  I found this treasure in an antique shop in Sandwich Illinois--and it is as fascinating as any vintage history book.

This box is in fabulous condition with the original decals and contains a couple hundred cards of the most fabulous recipes and tips that would benefit commercial operations.  There are several score of rye bread recipes (Milwaukee Rye bread, rye pretzels, Jewish rye and raisin rye)  How about a piece of prune rye bread?  Are you interested in tips for  "Dough Control in Winter Months"? or "Fighting Mold in Bakery Products?"

A few more of my favorites?  Wheaties Macaroons, (it is General Mills after all!) Log Cabin Cookies--(also called Rough and Readies) and Prince of Wales Cake. (maybe a particular favorite of Wallis Simpson??)

A particularly quaint recipe can be found in Index 10, Card No. 27 "Indians or Brownies." Not so politically correct, but oh what a recipe.  Now remember--this is for a bakery--so you have to start with an 18 by 25 inch pan.

1lb 8ozs Gold Medal Cake Flour Softasilk
2lbs 8ozs sugar
6 ozs. cocoa
14ozs butter
12 ozs corn syrup
12 whole eggs
4 ozs water
1lb 4 ozs pecan nut meats
1 oz salt
2 ozs vanilla

Sugar,cocoa,butter,salt corn syrup and vanilla--beat for 5 minutes.  Add the rest.  Bake at 400.  (but it does not say for how long!)

It is 1930 all over again.

No More Concrete or Cast Iron Please

Dear One  and I spend many good hours wandering around looking for quirky things to sell.  There is nothing that makes a dealer smile more t...