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Lazy Afternoon Tea and Old Cookbooks

posted Oct 24, 2009, 12:04 PM by rose li

I enjoyed a relaxing afternoon with loose leaf jasmine tea and few old cookbooks that I bought from the local library sale. The jasmine tea came from Second Cup, a Canadian coffee chain where BJ and I would pass-by on our walks near his parents house.
Holy jitterbugs! The jasmine tea was fragrant yet very strong. I usually drink decaf Lipton tea bags so I'm the caffeine gave me a bit of a headache. It's hard to find loose leaf decaf so I drink my batches of lose leaf tea sparingly.
A 1950's Starburst Corning carafe designed for coffee. Out of all my collection, I'm growing to like the mid-century designs for Pyrex and Corning the best. The lines are clean and simple and full of upbeat design elements, like the gold starbursts. Too bad the handle is made out of plastic. 
A blue flower Pyrex mug and saucer. 
And the entertaining cookbooks from years gone by. In addition to looking at how America ate in the paste, I wanted to see what type and brand of kitchen gadgets were used back then.
My friend David has the Corning Ware casserole with the Black Trefoil pattern and serves his dish out of it at our potluck dinner parties. His mom gave it to him when he entered college in the early 70s, before I was born! And his casserole still looks great. No cracks, no chips and no stains.  Just shows that the vintage Pyrex and Corning products will last a lifetime if you take care of it properly. The Black Trefoil was introduced between 1960-65. 
In the 1961 Better Homes & Garden Casserole Cookbook, the section on Asian cooking was a crack-up. References to the "exotic Orient", the "Oriental dishes," and "Mongolian cooker" were common descriptives for a Chinese Hot Pot recipe.  Aside from the antiquated terms, which made me chuckle, I read the old Better Homes & Garden cookbook with much appreciation. The writing was witty and I can see the goodhearted attempts by the editors and recipe developers to enlighten a 1960's suburban home with worldly cuisines.