Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Remembering the 1970s - Cookies, Costumes, and Quarantine


I love cookies!!  And I love fun cookies in shapes with icing and sprinkles!  But do I know how to make them?  No!!   And it's time I learn.  I'll learn with the help of SweetAmbs and a kit with directions and a YouTube tutorial to walk me through every step.

This is the kit from Global Belly:  

The kit contains cookie mix, icing mix, cookie cutters, icing bags with couplers and tips, a smoothing tool, icing colors, and step by step directions.  As I study the directions and watch the tutorial I remember exactly the first time I had coffee in a container shaped like this.  It was at a Starbucks in downtown Chicago in 1991.  I loved it!  So I researched Starbucks on my smartphone which contains the world's knowledge at my fingertips and read that Starbucks was founded in 1971 near historic Pike Place Market in Seattle.  It is named after the first mate in Melville's classic novel Moby Dick.  Starbucks went public in 1992 and global in 1996.  The world's largest Starbucks, a Starbucks Reserve Roastery, opened in Chicago in 2019.  What a history! 

Starbucks original logo in Seattle 1971.

I begin to think about what was I doing in 1971 and remember that I have an apron pattern from the 1970s.  Time to make the apron.  But first the cookies...

SweetAmbs Cookie Kit and McCall's Apron Pattern

The SweetAmbs booklet of superb directions.
Orange Cardemom cookie dough mixed and divided into two for chilling.
Dough is rolled out, chilled again, cut, then chilled again.
Donuts and donut holes.
Cookies are baked, cooled, and royal icing mixed and colored.  Piping bags are prepped.
Everything ready to ice the cookies and I'm completely nervous!

I follow Amber's directions and look!!  I'm so excited!!!

Amber teaches me to decorate the donuts and I practice on the donut holes.  They are so adorable!!

 Now it's time to sew a 1970s apron.  Patrick has "retired" from our costume hobby, he says, but agrees to come out of retirement to wear an apron from this decade.  What a sport!!  The McCall's pattern from 1972 says Quick and Easy and it truly is.

There we are!  In our 1970s aprons, eating our SweetAmbs Coffee and Donuts cookies.  What fun!

Patrick's up to something....


Although we are having some 1970s fun, Patrick and I didn't meet until 20 years later.  As I've recreated historical costumes I have learned some of the history of those eras but know I can never really understand the true context of any era.  But I can talk about the little sliver of time I lived in leading up to the 1970s.

In the 1960s the laws did not allow no-fault divorce or joint custody of children.  The bitter divorce between my mother and stepfather meant that I was tossed into the foster care system for my high school years.  I was tossed out just as easily when I was 17 years old and would not be 18 for another 6 months but required to be fully self supporting.  Thankfully an angel of a high school teacher knew my situation and made sure I learned all the office skills available.  In 1971 I was offered a job with a major worldwide firm, Deere & Company, as a clerk-typist.  I put myself through college and technical school while working full time and eventually became a Senior Industrial Engineer.

Meanwhile Patrick had graduated high school, attended two years of college, then joined the army.  All 18-year-old men were required to file and were drafted into service without choice.  Patrick served for 7 years finishing college at the same time.  We both lost many friends as the Vietnam War, officially begun in 1955, would not be officially over until 1975 with a United States loss of 58,318 dead and 303,644 wounded.

We both remember looking forward to voting in the 1972 election as we would both finally be 21 and old enough to vote.  But in 1971 the 26th Amendment was passed changing the voting age from 21 to 18.  Proposed by Congress on March 23, 1971, and ratified on July 1, 1971, it was the quickest ratification of an amendment.

We also both grew up in families used to difficult times.  Patrick's father served in World War II and spent the remainder of his life in the Air Guard.  My grandmother was born in 1897 and remembered World War I, the Spanish flu pandemic, the Great Depression, and World War II.  My stepfather served and built us a bomb shelter in our basement while all of us children practiced air drills by curling up under our desks at school.  We knew that times could be difficult and we also grew up with faith that those difficult times would eventually pass if we stayed strong and worked hard.

If music can be an indicator of social atmosphere we certainly had our upbeat side during the 1970s.  The Woodstock Aquarian Exposition, or Woodstock Rock Festival,  had happened in 1969 and was a top album in 1970.  The top song of 1971 was Joy to the World by Three Dog Night and I know many people of all ages who know the words to the song beginning with Jeremiah was a bullfrog...  John Lennon was singing Imagine to us that same time.  We were full of hope for a better world full of peace!

Fast forward 50 years and here we are in July of 2020.  Patrick and I are in our 20th week of quarantine.  He has had bypass heart surgery and I have a heart weakness brought on by rheumatic fever as a child.  We are both high risk and may not be social for quite a while yet.  But we choose to be hopeful and I'll be sharing some more of my sewing, cookies, and creating here.  Meanwhile, back to the cookies..... yum!

Here is a link to a YouTube video I made with some bonus photos and video:

From both of us to you, hugs and love! 

Jeanette and Patrick

No comments:

Post a Comment