From Cottage Cheese To Sinful Condiments!

Cottage Cheese Goes With Everything!

Dole Ad

The design of these ads definitely evokes the era, not to mention the exotic food of Middle America, which ended up mixed with pineapple, that exotic fruit from (at that time) Hawaii.

Anyone remember those Jello salads? The lime Jello with pineapple chunks in the top photo reminds me of church potlucks and after-church Sabbath dinners. My mom put diced celery in her lime Jello salad. There might also have been whipped cream cheese in the center of the mold….

The pineapple rings topping the cottage cheese in the lower photo brings back other memories–cottage cheese was a staple food during my childhood. We ate cottage cheese with lots of different cooked or canned fruits, including cooked prunes! Another favorite of my mother’s was pineapple and cream cheese sandwiches–that would be diced pineapple mixed into cream cheese to make a sandwich spread. I guess it was the Midwest’s answer to the tea sandwich and was considered a bit festive, so good for picnics or a Sunday supper with a guests!

Here’s an ad from an earlier decade which may help explain why cottage cheese was so popular (and maybe especially with us largely vegetarian Seventh-day Adventists):

"Eat More Cottage Cheese...You'll Need Le...

“Eat More Cottage Cheese…You’ll Need Less Meat…A Postal Card Will Bring Recipes…Cottage Cheese or Meat^ Ask… – NARA – 512542 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cakes–the Devil’s Food!

Cakes from 1950

Cakes from 1950

The yellow cake with the chocolate frosting looks like it could have been the one on the Duncan Hines cake mix box. The devil’s food cake above it would be a slightly racy choice in our circles, just because the name had the word “devil” in it. We took the devil very seriously, so one didn’t say that word lightly.

Cakes were big at Adventist potlucks or dinners with company too, usually homemade. Sometimes we’d save time and make a cake from a mix for a birthday party. I made a lot of cakes or both kinds with my mom growing up, along with Christmas cookies and pies. I’m glad I did, because I learned the basics of baking, like how to get pie dough the right texture, how to make meringue, and how to butter and flour a pan. I teach my own kids the same skills when I bake (which isn’t very often). Baking is still pretty low-tech–at least the way I do it!

One of the fanciest cakes we ever made when I was a kid was a Lady Baltimore. It was the vision of my best friend’s older brother. He was interested in fine food even though he was a thirteen-year-old boy in a small-town in the late 60s. He also started a temporary fad for fresh mint tea at our house, which was an unheard of concoction. (Do I even need to add that he was gay and ended up in New York?)

Those Evil Condiments!

This ad shows a condiment that we never dreamed of using when I was a kid:

Tabasco ad

Tabasco ad


Now add the bacon to the illicit hot-pepper condiment, and you have something no Adventist of our acquaintance would have dreamed of touching! Following Ellen G. White’s Counsels on Diet and Health, we avoided spicy food and black pepper because they were evil stimulants which aroused the ‘animal nature,’ and that was very bad. So no pepper, mustard, or hot sauce in our house! Bacon–being pork and so unclean–was beyond unthinkable, an unpardonable sin.

Even though I don’t eat Jello or cottage cheese anymore, I do like the graphics, the colors, and the typography of ads from that time, though the food in the photos looks just a little too real!


50s Cowboy Fun

I found this neat vintage advertising image from the 50s on Tumblr. One expects Roy Rogers, Gene Autry to come riding into the picture any minute too!That reminded me of how I used to wait for the Roy Rogers TV show to come on after Disney’s (original) Mickey Mouse Club show when I was quite little.

Of course I was excited about it because of the horses! I thought Trigger was very elegant–nothing like the small gray Shetland I was riding! (Though wasn’t I lucky to have him!)


Roy Rogers - Shriner visited the CNE in1954

Roy Rogers – Shriner visited the CNE in1954 (Photo credit: antefixus21)

Biography (TV series)

Biography (TV series) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1955: ROY ROGERS & TRIGGER CAMERA. Herbert Geo...

1955: ROY ROGERS & TRIGGER CAMERA. Herbert George Co. Chicago, Illinois. USA (Photo credit: Coleccionando Camaras)

gene autry paint book

Gene Autry paint book (Photo credit: emma.maria)

English: Gene Autry starring in the movie &quo...

Gene Autry starring in the movie “The Black Rider” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Laying Hens


The two older reddish hens, the Buff Orpingtons, have started laying! Fran is getting one or two eggs a day regularly now. Sophia’s hen, Layla, the white Plymouth Rock, is a bit younger and hasn’t started laying yet.


Here’s Justin feeding them some chicken scratch.


Along with the excitement of finding an egg or two every day of our visit, we’re enjoying the spring grass covering the hill.

I also got a new pipe corral and a 50′ round pen where we can work the horses before riding them, so it’s starting to look more like a real horse operation.

Here are two views out by the corrals, looking toward our neighbor, Robert Poole’s, place. He’s known around the Redlands and Santa Monica farmers’ markets for his fine produce and his youngberries, in particular.



Now here’s a photo of me on Sophia’s buckskin Appy pony, Allie, and Justin on our sweet 25-year-old Arabian, Syri.


In The Kitchen

Here is a view of Mt. San Bernardino, framed by a triangle of window in the kitchen. It was just after Christmas when the snow level was unusually
low–an inspiring view to wake up to.


This is a view over the vintage, Colonial-style maple table I grew up with. The copper, farm-style fixture is also the original. I had it reworked by Hye Lighting, a great lighting and lighting repair store in Tarzana.


This is a print I really like, though it was packed away in the guest house throughout my childhood. I never remember seeing it until I cleaned out the house and guest house.


My theory–or maybe it’s more a fantasy–is that it belonged to my father’s side of the family, the Owens, and was perhaps one of the few things they kept when they sold Shady Lane Ranch in Holt County, Nebraska and moved their belongings to Loma Linda, California by truck and trailer in the early 50s.

I’m not even sure if it’s a print or a watercolor! If anyone can tell from this photo, let me know!


Two ‘Mod’ Coffee Cups

One of the nice sets of original dishes I still have is called Fairwood Flare (made in the late 50s and early 60s by Schönwald, a German company). We hardly ever used the plates, because my mom was saving them for company or for “someday.” The set is still in great shape.

I love the mod orange and yellow design now and find it very fresh. I have probably 6 of the dinner plates–I forgot to count–and the bread and butter plates.

Here’s a link to a vintage Fairwood Flare ad on ebay. I learned from the ad that they were marketing Fairwood Flare as a mix-and-match set, and now I realize that I also have the tall, slim pitcher you see in the ad–though ours is yellow! So yellow must have been another of the colors they made. Perhaps they introduced it after 1959, the year this ad was run.

With the set, I found just a single coffee cup and saucer. This was odd since my parents, being Seventh-day Adventists, didn’t even drink coffee. I’m guessing my mom bought one “just for looks.” When I found the cup, I was enchanted, because it’s the perfect size for what I call the “short, but meaningful” French-press coffee that I (long an ex-Adventist) make.

Maybe my mom had visions of drinking Postum, which we considered ‘vegetarian’ coffee, since it was “a cereal beverage.” Or maybe she imagined drinking decaf Sanka (considered a little edgy for Adventists to drink, back in the ’60s) as she sat in the living room with its white Italian silk drapes and reproduction Louis XV furniture.

Here is the cup we had

Flare cup

Flare cup

I decided it would be great to have another one for my husband, so I got on the internet and found an Etsy shop called Molly’s Ridge, and the owner Carolyn Michael had some of the cups. I bought one and received it right away (from Quebec!) in perfect condition. Here is the shop and a listing for a few more of the cups:

Now I have two perfect coffee cups to match my mod Flare plates and will enjoy having my short latte out of one when we’re in Redlands!

Two cups--Flare by Fairwood

Two cups–Flare by Fairwood


Here are two elaborate dovecotes I saw on a couple of other storybook ranch homes in Encino.



Look how tall the dovecotes rise above the roof, especially in the top photo. Quite the decorative touch for a modest and attractive house!

Look also at the rafter tails extending past the eaves on the top house. Such a lovely touch and very typical of the storybook ranch design.

The sweet feature in the second house is the bank of diamond-pane windows. They are so inset and the panes so small that, if I’m not mistaken, the style leans toward Tudor. (Think Stratford-upon-Avon!)

Storybook Book Ranches In The Valley


I apologize that the photos to accompany the text did not upload as planned. I only just realized it!–to see the text, but with the house photos I refer to, please go to my blog “Tarzana Is My Heroine,” where the full post can be found:

Thanks and sorry for the confusion! — Coco


Here are a selection of storybook ranch homes I’ve seen out in Encino, where we live the rest of the time when we’re not in Redlands. These homes epitomize what my favorite retro home blog, Retro Renovation (, would call “mid-century modest” homes.

Fortunately not too many of these homes have been torn down to build Spanish-style McMansions–as happened to one very lovely barn-red storybook ranch home on the corner of Hayvenhurst and Adlon a few years ago. If any of you are familiar with Encino, you may remember the house I’m talking about.

I love the pale yellow exterior of this first house below, and of course the diamond-pane windows on the garage too!

Look at the mix of horizontal and vertical batten boards here (behind the white picket fence!)

I love storybook ranches in barn or carriage red with white trim

Look at the little dovecote tucked just under the eaves

This house below is so attractive with its row of diamond-paned windows, pale green exterior, and the peeling bark of the gum or melaleuca tree in front.

I have in mind starting a project of photographing of every storybook ranch in Redlands–and of course I have a special interest in the ones around Caballero Lane and Crescent Ave., since these were the houses my dad helped Ed Caballero build!

Maybe you can help?

New Years + Fleur de Lis

Happy New Year from Tiger Tail Terrace!

I’ve had a cold, so my first short outing since 2012 was to have coffee with Patti, a family friend since childhood. She and her family live in the house my dad and Grandpa Plinke built for my grandparents a mile away from where dad later built our house.

Tiger Tail Terrace was built from the same blueprints Ed Caballero drew up, except that he made our kitchen somewhat bigger.

Patti and I had coffee at what used to be Cafe Royale and is now called Cafe Linne, in the Fox Theatre building.

Here are a couple of views of the building from across the street



After coffee, I peeked into Fleur de Lis Gift and Home, a charming, cozy shop just a few doors down from the cafe. The boutique is owned by Monika, who is also an interior designer. The store carries fun accessories like costume jewelry and handbags, as well as stylish items for the home (many with a Parisian or country French theme).


Here are some things Monika features




I’m not a big shopper, but I get a kick out of the hand-written sign that’s always posted on the sidewalk out front. It reads, “Your husband called and said ‘Buy anything you want’.” I like that she notes, “Shop Local” and “Shop Small” too!


It got too dark to take any more photos, so I came back again today and this time am having a tasty basil, pesto, and mozzarella sandwich at Cafe Linne.

Then I got this pic of the Fleur de Lis entrance in the noontime light


You can visit Fleur de Lis at 115 Cajon St. in Redlands.

(Store: 909 798-5363)

Ten Acres, Two Horses, And A Billion Termites

About three years ago, I first noticed some mud casings covering dead sticks and weeds on the ground on the back part of our ten acres. I couldn’t figure out what kind of creature was making the casings, because I never saw anything inside of them.


I saw and more of the mud tubes without ever seeing what might be making them. Until it rained two weeks ago.

I was out looking at the terraces on one side of my hill with my neighbor, Gary, because we’d had problems with run-off from my hill for the first time ever.

Gary had commented how bare the hill was, but I never connected that with all the mud tubes I’d been seeing. I poked at the tubes like I always do, and for the first time saw little critters–little, white grub-like insects. My neighbor Gary and I both said “Termites!”


He knew they were some kind of subterranean termite, because they were living in the soil far away from any building. I had no idea termites could live in the ground and eat woody dead plant matter.

Here are some examples of their handiwork




Here are mud tubes that the termites have made over the stems of living buckwheat shrubs


I started scouring the Internet for information and found images of something that looks most like what I have. They live in soil, make mud tubes, and are common in Texas grassland. The species has the common name desert termite.

I haven’t had a definitive ID of the kind of termite these are yet, but I’ve talked to a couple of experts through San Bernardino County Agricultural Extension and to an entomology professor at UC Riverside. They may be Western Subterranean termites, or something else, but what they are is a mixed bag:

On the one hand, these termites aerate and help create soil, like earthworms do. On the other hand, they devour old roots and plant matter, so they take away things that hold soil in place, and therefore are contributing to erosion–at least on my terraced hill.

Here is a close-up of the critters, for you amateur entomologists out there


The only remedies I’ve heard so far are spraying or simply harrowing the soil to disrupt the nests (one colony can contain millions of termites!). disrupting the tubes allows ants, their natural predator, and the elements to get at them.

Stay tuned, and I’ll keep you updated on the battle with the termites for Tiger Tail Terrace!

State St. & 5th

This weekend we made a quick trip out to the house, but ended up spending the night. Sunday morning we went downtown to, for the adults, try Augie’s Coffee House, the new cafe and roaster on 5th Street in Redlands. We had a good macchiato made with their house espresso.

Once we were awake, we took the kids to Martha Green’s for a hearty, homestyle breakfast. Their mueslix with pecans, chunks of grapes and melon, and heavy cream is “the bomb,” as my friend Maeve would say.

Here are some scenes from State St., which was the original Main St. of Redlands long before the (now defunct) Redlands Mall went in, let alone the much newer Citrus Plaza shopping center that’s anchored by Target, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and Barnes & Noble.

The old ads on the side of the building facing the little plaza are originals, restored after they they came to light when a couple of buildings came down to create the little park here.

This downtown beautification and redevelopment project happened after I moved away, so enjoying this spot with my own kids isn’t a flashback for me–it’s more like discovering a cool new spot in my own backyard!



Here is the Christmas tree at the corner of State St. and 5th.


A big planter at the same corner with an old citrus packing label as decoration. The citrus label motif recurs throughout downtown and is a quaint historical touch.


A look inside Martha Green’s restaurant where they also sell some neat reproduction citrus label gifts such as coasters, trivets, and soaps. I bought a few coasters for the house!