There are so many things that lead to so many more things to research. One thing leads to another and then I feel that I know so little about so much.
I was looking through some of my very old catalogs from the 20s and 30s and comparing styles in the 20s and 30s. For some reason I feel more comfortable in the 1930s and as I said before did not really want to study the 1920s but we are because 1920 was 100 years ago.
These are the new styles for 1920.
They still wore corsets but they were longer and a bit looser which I am sure much appreciated.
This is 1930s. Notice the waistline has come in now.
These look all stylish but I can tell you from other research that many ladies did their own sewing and wore more modest and simple dress during this time. Each era designs were changed to get women to change their wardrobe, to sell their clothing to these women and advertise so they would not be out of style.
The more I research I find that all these eras are very different and interesting and seem better in many ways than today because they knew how to live without electricity and running water and managed well because they had the equipment and tools and skills to live without it.
1920s sewing machines. The treadle machine was still popular.
But the electric was slowly working into homes that had electricity. Many homes still did not have electricity so it was very common at this time to see some electric and some not. Some with a telephone as this was still fairly new. It would have been very normal to see a horse and buggy or horse and wagon and a car on the same road which may have been a dirt road or a gravel road and paved roads were here and there depending on what part of the country.
So back to today. Charles and I have some friends that have always had Tea at 4:00. They live here in our town of Dothan. They always try to sit down together and have their tea. This is not common today here in the United States. Some do this but it is not common.
Above, 1920 United States
I came across several articles in the 1920's newspaper about having tea. Not drinking a glass or cup of tea, a tea time.
Many of us know it is still popular in different parts of the world but not as common anymore in the United States. There was still a tea time in the 1920's and with tea comes some form of a serving of cookie or sweet. Cookies in the United Kingdom are called Biscuits.
I went through life for many years never knowing that a cookie is a biscuit to some. Living in the deep south United States a biscuit is a round bread that you eat for breakfast or sometimes at supper or sometimes it is supper with biscuit, butter and syrup or biscuit butter and gravy. It all depends.
So when researching the past in the United States some people still called a cookie a biscuit and there is a long history on this and way too much information for me to get into. I do enjoy calling a cookie a biscuit after always knowing it as a cookie. It somehow sounds proper.
There are references for cookies in the 1920s newspaper but also some still called them a biscuit. . A cookie jar and such as that. I noticed that recipes were often associated with newspaper contests.
Our friends that have tea at 4:00 enjoy tea cakes so to me this helps eliminate the name problem. Their mother lived to be 100 and was well known for her tea cakes and most likely carried the tradition of tea time from across the waters. I will have to share the recipe on my blog at some time. We have another friend that has tea with her family and they use this time for reading a book or rather part of a book.
In the United States very long ago a Biscuit was known as a flour paste twice baked into a hard flat shape so it would not go bad on long journeys. During some civil war research some called it hard tack something between a cracker and thin flat biscuit. But things varied all over the place. A Biscuit also known as Biscotti means twice baked. But a very long time ago this hard biscuit was something to take for long travel such as on ships and very long journeys. My understanding they had to soak it for a very long time due to the hardness. Today a Biscotti is a wonderful hard long slender cookie.
After the civil war here in the States there was less need for these hard biscuits and so the biscuit industry started adding some different ingredients to make them sweet. Thus becoming a cookie or wafer. Also a sweet biscuit, the cookie, was around before the civil war but I am just giving a brief informal history.
It became very popular to make these cookie biscuits at home. It is also my understanding that Digestive biscuit is a more common dipping biscuit. A Bourbon Biscuit is a sandwich style thin biscuit that is chocolate flavored with a cream inside. also popular for dipping.
Now if you here in the United States are not already confused let me bring up the Scone verses our familiar biscuit. So since a cookie is a biscuit a biscuit is a scone. But to us a scone is not a biscuit. To us a biscuit is something made with flour, shortening or butter, milk or buttermilk, baking powder and a little salt. No sugar or sweeteners. A scone is biscuit that is sweet and includes currents or other ingredients. In the United Kingdom a tea might include a Biscuit (cookie) Scone (slightly sweetened biscuit) crumpet (something similar to english muffin. Other items may be cake or small sandwich.
Some of you that read my blog from across the waters may find it as a surprise that daily tea and biscuits are not as common here in the Untied States, I wish it was.
When I started coming across Tea Time in the newspaper of 1920 I learned that women would dress somewhat differently for Tea time such as wearing a nice blouse. There were often delicate food served with tea at a social event. Some people do keep the tradition and I think that is wonderful and I will try to do this more often as we are traveling back in time.
So all of this research had me thinking... I visualize our real time now. Everyone is home and most always hungry and there are potato chips and cookies and snacks and sodas in the house. People snack at all times of the day eating up those expensive snacks. Homes with children often complaining they are hungry.
So if we just added a tea with a designated time wouldn't this help stop snacking?
When those of us that live in the United States research our family genealogy we will find that unless we are native to this land our ancestors came from across the waters. As they made their way here they brought their family traditions and food and the name they called this food. So we are a wonderful mixture and so even though a cookie known now here our ancestors may have once called biscuit. It is very interesting to learn how different is was in the past from today.
Some of you have noticed I have had a gap in posting and that is because I have been unwell but do not worry I am getting better but do still have infection.
Those of you that have been reading my blog for a long time worry if I do not post regularly and since I open my life to you with my blog you become concerned. I had a tooth that fractured and bacteria got under the tooth and spread into a serious infection.
Thankfully my dentist could see me right away and got me started on antibiotics but I need to see a dental specialist and the wait time to see him is quite awhile. The night after seeing my dentist the infection suddenly just took off and I had to go to urgent care. The infection spread to my glands and ears and all of my gums, roof of my mouth and into my sinuses. I am following doctors orders and antibiotics and probiotics and saltwater rinses and such as that.
I believe in the power of prayer so I am telling you what is going on because I could still use prayer for this infection and pain to completely leave my body. And, to get in earlier to see the specialist as I am on a call list if someone cancels but I do not know how many are on that list.
Mashed potatoes and peas has been my go to food during this bump in the road.
We have blooms and buds coming out on so much in our garden due to unusually warm weather. Now we are going into freezing temperatures this week so I went out to take pictures so I can document the affect on all the plants from the freezing temperatures. This will be the third year that this has happened because the trees and perennials seem to be confused.
I hope you all are finding this new year a time to get a new start. A time to get our budget in order, a time to shake off the things that make us procrastinate. But if not as I always say you can really start over at any time. Just draw that imaginary line on the floor and step over.
I appreciate emails and letters and I read them all but may not be able to get back to you. Clare T. I hope to get off a letter soon.