Thursday, August 17, 2017

Havana 1978 -- 18 Streetscapes and Vistas

Today we take a look at a lovely set of postcards printed in 1978 that were aimed at Soviet tourists who were visiting Havana, Cuba. While the cards have text entirely in Russian, they include many well known hotels, streetscapes and attractions such as the Karl Marx Theatre.

What is particularly attractive about these cards are the colour tones and the many with beautiful blue skies or waters framing their subjects. They capture the allure of one of the world's great cities.

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See also: Fidel Castro 1926-2016 w. Photos from Revolutionary Cuba 1975

See also: Sochi 1978 -- A Postcard Visit to a Soviet Resort City

The Pennsylvania Dutch Cookbook w. Mincemeat, Shoo Fly Pie, Funeral Pie & more -- Vintage Cookbook TBT

Vintage Cookbook: The Pennsylvania Dutch Cookbook, Gerald S. Lestz

Publication Details: Grosset & Dunlap, 1970

This unique and unassuming cookbook was published in 1970 and is a collection of Amish recipes as relayed by the Amish themselves. While it has very few illustrations (none of which are of the food) this rather suits its traditional tone and its frugal and at times even spare recipes.

But spare does not mean the dishes are not delicious or satisfying. Simplicity is often underrated in cooking and greater complexity does not always add up to better food.


The cookbook begins with a brief overview of Amish history and culture and then jumps right into the recipes which, while grouped thematically, are not subdivided into categories as one generally finds.

Heavy on pies and cakes, it also reflects the regionally available ingredients. There is a great fondness for Shoo Fly Pie, with several variations, as well as pies that are specific to events both happy (weddings) and sad (funerals).

With Fried Pumpkin, Pretzel Soup (as well as a recipe on how to make pretzels!), chicken wafers, and a truly old school Mincemeat, there is much to enjoy here that is both easy on the pocketbook and easy to make.

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See also: The Master Chef's Outdoor Grill Cookbook w. Beef Roast on a Spit, Barbecued Bologna Roll & more -- Vintage Cookbook TBT

Vintage Cookbook TBT List 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Little Clay Hut -- A Soviet Adaptation of a Russian Children's Tale by Alexei Tolstoi

We have looked at vintage Soviet era children's books before (see the end of this post for links) and today we are looking at one that was originally adapted by famed 1930s writer Alexei Tolstoi (or Tolstoy).


Tolstoi wrote several children's books that were adapted from folk tales in addition to his better known science fiction writing and his monumental, fictional Russian Revolution trilogy  The Road to Calvary. Tolstoi died in 1945 after being involved in important investigative work related to Nazi war crimes. Many felt his exposure to the horrors of these crimes weakened him and played a role in his death.


This charming English language translation of one his adaptations was released in 1979. Illustrated by Y. Rachev it tells the tale of a series of insects and animals who, despite their differences, take up residence in a peasant's lost clay pot only to have their camaraderie rudely interrupted and broken up by the arrival of the rather unpleasant bear "Grumbly-Rumbly"!

Rachev's illustrations capture the fanciful tale's tone as well as the ever expanding clay pot home that meets such an unfortunate demise.

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