Friday, September 25, 2009

Salad Dressing

Raspberries in Cabbage Leaf
by Eloise Harriet Stannard 1880

Check out other paintings by this 19th century artist, at allposters and other art sites online.

This red rose cotton print has the lovely light green or "sage" background that reflects the colors of the vegetable garden. The color bar on the edge of the fabric is great to use on a card in your purse, whether you are using it for home decor or clothing. Take it with you whe you want to match up your colors to other things. (  This is a "garden dress" which will be photographed later.) The print comes in other combinations, including a peach colored back ground with co-ordinating roses, a pink back ground and a beige back ground. Check it out at Joannes. It might be in the  "Quilters Showcase" collection. The colors in this garment look a lot like the salad ingredients from the garden, so I call it "Salad Dressing."

A bountiful basket with a late crop of salad vegetables.

Even the red and green peppers (capsicum) are works of art.

From the lower end: parsley, green pepper, cucumber and tomato.

In regard to my previous article on overcoming discouragement, someone requested that I post a reminder about good nutrition and proper rest.  I am glad to be reminded of this, because indeed, things usually seem bleaker as evening progresses, and problems loom larger. In the morning, people's burdens are lighter and the weight of the day is not upon them. If they do not get enough sleep throughout the week, life seems more discouraging.  There is a saying that life is better after a good nap! 

Food without additives, particularly sodiums, just make the mind clearer, and good pure water without additives, can  make people think better.  If you grow just one vegetable in a pot, you will notice the taste is different and  it is loaded with the nutrients it is supposed to have.  If you begin growing vegetables one at a time, you will not be overwhelmed with work, and it will help teach your children to grow food and be able to look after themselves.  If you have no children,  and grow something, even a potato or string beans, you can share it with others.

To make your own salad dressing, mash an avocado with a fresh tomato and add a crushed or shredded cucumber, and any seasonings you like, from your herb garden.


Lydia said...

that fabric line recently went on sale for $1.99 a yard. Normally it is $3.99 a yard, but with a 40 percent off coupon, is about 2.50 a yard. If you need 4 yards for a simple garden dress you pay about ten dollars, not including any trim, zipper or buttons.

Anonymous said...

Is your garden dress being made specifically to wear to work in the garden? Or to represent the garden? The print is very pretty and the colours do match the painting of the cabbage and raspberries nicely.

How many dresses are you sewing for your modest fashion show?

Lydia said...

Both. Newly sewn clothing is worn as "best" til it begins to wear or stain or tear, and then it is used for garden work, yard work, heavy outdoor work, or indoor work like cleaning.

Hopefully there will be 6 dresses at the fashion show, as they are being made for the women that will be wearing them. Three are for children under 12. However the program is not really a fashion show. The garments will be included in modest dress lesson , so it is mostly about how beautiful a modest dress is.

candy said...

Looks beautiful!!!

candy said...

I think i forgot to make myself anonymous.i will do it again anonymously now...

Anonymous said...

The salad looks beautiful !!!!

Anonymous said...

Lady Lydia, I love the idea of using the color bar from the fabric edge (when it exists) to match your dress to shoes, scarves, or whatever. I've really been enjoying the whole series of dresses you've made and have been inspired to sew again. I've sewn three items so far, am reworking a thrifted skirt, have another item started, and have been purchasing patterns and fabric to continue sewing. Every time I go shopping for clothing I become more convinced to keep sewing! Thank you for inspiring me!

Jonell w Harrison said...

and I was scrolling down "looking for a salad dressing

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia, I am a long time reader of your site, though I don't post often. I thought you and your readers would enjoy this: Here's a link that indicates you are inadvertently on the cutting edge of fashion. House dresses are about to be very "in." At least if this blogger is correct.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for another wonderful post, Lydia. The fabric with roses on the sage background is very pretty. In fact it is exactly the one I mentioned when I emailed you recently. Whatever you make with it will be lovely.
I went ahead and ordered "A Matter of Good Housekeeping" through Amazon. It will be happily received.
What a great idea for a salad dressing. I'll be trying it tomorrow with my homegrown tomatoes and cukes. I buy an avocado every week. They are such a healthy delicious treat. Now I have a new way to use it!

Anonymous said...

Your salad dressing sounds wonderful and is so original! Thank you for this idea.

God bless,

Anonymous said...

Dearest Lydia,

Your late salad vegetables sound lovely!! We've tried cucumbers and capsicums (peppers) here but they've never even reached the flowering stage :-0 however tomatos grow fantastically!! Our mandarin tree is fighting back and I received a Maya lemon tree sapling for my birthday!!! (#4; the rest have died; we're trying the front garden rather than the back, this time... done all the right thing; soil prep, multching, the proper natural 'food' for lemons etc...let's see how it goes).

As for dresses, I jokingly mentioned to my husband after receiving my little package from across the pond 'you watch; these will become fashionable now after I've spent ###!!! :-) )

When you next make your salad dressingsalsa, try adding lemon or lime juice, a little chilli if liked and a pinch of proper sea-salt; Celtic salt is good; the unbleached type that is slightly grey in colour and just a little wee bit moist; It has all the minerals properly balanced (iodine and heaps more etc) and isn't nearly as bad for one as the bleached 'cut and polished' variety; it tastes salty, but has a hint of the sea in it; very nice!!

another salad dressing idea

Two or three parts extra virgin olive oil to one part lemon juice, lime juice or 'virjuice'; sour grape juice that has not been fermented; available from good delis), as much finely minced fresh garlic as you like, a little honey or pinch or two of raw sugar, a little sea salt, (just a pinch) and a little grain mustard if liked; not hot. Put this into a jar, tightly screw the lid on, shake for all your worth and dress said salad!! Yum!! it stores in the fridge for a week or two after you've made it, but remember to shake every time you use it. Also, re lemon and lime, use from fresh fruit, not the stuff sold in the squeezy bottle or the jerrycan from the Meditaranean deli!! :-)

Virjuice is nice in recipes that call for white wine; use good chicken stock and a touch of virjuice to give that same rich depth; this works for risottos, pilafs, etc, will likely work for Mediteranean seafood dishes but I haven't tried it with Northern European cream and white wine sauces... perhaps someone could take the plunge and report back?? :-)

Anonymous said...

Lady Lydia, you are a "feminist" and don't even know it. By encouraging women to sew and wear their own modest clothing, you are empowering women by:
1) showing them that THEY can choose what fabrics, colors, styles, etc., to wear, and not let the fashion industry dictate to them.
2) encouraging them to use their creative energies and skills.
3) by encouraging them to use their imaginations instead of being brain-dead and letting others provide fashion for them.
4) by having them take back their privacy from the leering eyes of men who would make them "sex objects."
5) by encouraging them to wear clothing that encourages freedom of movement -- a long full skirt allows you to move around and bend over and not have to wear stuff that pinches.
Keep up the good work. You are empowering WOMEN! You are encouraging them to "take back" the decision of what to wear instead of allowing others to foist their ideas on them and half the time make them look foolish.

Lydia said...

It has always been a puzzle to me as to how we got so far away from wearing real clothing and got so close to wearing underwear in public.

I would also like to know why we cannot wear the clothing of the past, if it suits us.

And I would like to know who dictates the fashion and why it has such a hold on everyone.

Gail said...

The fashions are largely designed by urban homosexual men and some very non-traditional women. They decide what women's fashions will be. Hence, the debasement of women through fashion, either by portraying them as immoral or masculine. And the laziness of the populace enables the "slob-ification" of dress and appearance.

Anonymous said...

Haha, I think laziness and pop stars dictates the fashion! I am young and grew up in this modern world with everyone wearing jeans and sloppy sweatshirts or belly-baring midriffs. My sister and I never dressed this way and both of us landed sweet and wonderful husbands, have great jobs, and beautiful homes. Most of my peers don't care what they wear and I am really appalled by what I see people wear to the grocery store, mall, etc. I would rather dress more 19th century or Edwardian - such lovely dresses, so flattering to the figure, and heaped with girly touches. :)

Anonymous said...

If you click "images" and type in "lesbian hairstyles" on Google, you will see the type of hairstyles promoted today. It will make you take a second look at your own hairstyle and seek a healthy alternative. Just as we need to take control of our fashion designs, we also need to ditch the new hairstyles promoted by the hairdressers.

Anonymous said...

If you click "images" and type in "lesbian hairstyles" on Google, you will see the type of hairstyles promoted today. It will make you take a second look at your own hairstyle and seek a healthy alternative. Just as we need to take control of our fashion designs, we also need to ditch the new hairstyles promoted by the hairdressers.


What I've noticed is many Christian women sporting the 'woman preacher' or 'woman politician' hairstyle.

The other thing I'm tired of with regards to hair is that hair isn't allowed to look like regular hair anymore. To be "in style" you're supposed to flat iron it and not only is that really bad for your hair it is quite time-consuming. I was looking at some of my Victoria magazines from 1990 and long hair was allowed to just look like hair.

And then when you see the long hair styles on TV and movies you realize they aren't really obtainable for the average woman because they have stylists fixing their hair for them.

A while back I watched a how-to episode about the show What Not to Wear and they said that it takes the hair stylist two hours to make Stacy's (one of the co-hosts) hair look like it does. Who has that amount of time (or energy) to spend on their hair?!--I don't. The problem is that then becomes the 'standard' for what society thinks 'looks nice'.

And this happens even with conservative Christians....I flat ironed my hair a couple of times for church and I can't tell you how many ladies told me how much nicer it looked than when I left it natural and wavy.

LL-I would love it if you would do a post about hair. (o:

Lydia said...

It is hard for me to find a photographer these days but I will certainly give it a try or at least do some drawings.

One thing ladies need to know about the new cuts (which someone called "lesbian" is that rather than being true hair DRESSING, they are sculptures that have to be constantly maintained BY A HAIRDRESSER, leaving you dependent on these visits. Sometimes you think the hairdresser knows more about what would suit you, than you do, yourself but how many times has a woman come home in tears with a butchered hair style. Like clothes, the hair can be beautiful without being "dowdy"--and the new hairstyles are dependent upon re-sculpting, often including a razor cut, and chemicals. They make more money if you involve razor cuts, shag styles, chemical treatments, or send you home with products like shampoos with a high price, so that is what they will be pushing. They may even tell you that your particular style REQUIRES a certain product, which gives them more profit. I am not running down hair stylists because I know many of them hate that kind of work, and would like to arrange a womans hair with creativity and not feel obligated to use so many cutting techniques and products. However I think woman CAN take control and make the hairdressers follow instructions for what they want, instead of being at their mercy.

Anonymous said...

You made some excellent points Lady Lydia and even if you can't get any photographs I think just doing a post sharing thoughts like you just have would be a good idea. You are very good with word descriptions so although photos are always nice, they're not completely necessary.

Another thought is that Jennie Chancey on her site In Timely Fashion shows some pretty things to do with hair. Maybe you could look at that site and expound on the things she shares.

And let me just say that in my comment (I'm anonymous 10:26 a.m.), that I am not trying to say that a woman must have ultra-long, waist-length hair to be pretty and feminine. I've seen shoulder-length bobs that look pretty and feminine and soft.--Although a style like that does require regular visits to the salon.

You brought up so many good things but hair coloring caught my attention. On TV and in magazines no one has natural hair color any more, it's all highlighted and multi-faceted which = big $$ to have done and to maintain.

And what about the beauty of grey hair? Why are we all so busy trying to cover it up? I am guilty of this but am rethinking this and am considering letting the grey come in. Again, not criticising ladies who color their hair, just trying to make the point that aging gracefully is okay and good. I think the younger generation needs some good examples of older women who are comfortable with their age instead of trying to look 'young' and 'hip'.

Lydia said...

I believe it is great for parents to focus on the development of the youth in the family, but only for the purpose of making them mature and prepared to be older. Unfortunately, the prevailing culture focuses on youth, and that focus can cause older women to wear wacky hairstyles and fashions, in order to look younger. You can look MUCH younger dressing in modest clothing that does not hug every inch of your body, but gracefully drapes and gives a softeness and an elegance. I have tried to show how a certain way of dressing can make an older woman still have a youthful appearance and not emphasise extra weight. The beauty of fabric is that each woman can choose the colors and styles that work best with her body type and complexion, hair, etc.

As for graying hair, it can free you from the limitation of colors that you might have felt you had to wear due to your hair color. With white or gray hair, you can get a way with a lot more type of fabrics and colors.

Anonymous said...

I allowed my hair to go grey after coloring it for 10 years (I did have fun with all that hair color). I was put on a medication that made my hair grow so fast that I couldn't keep up with coloring it, so I had to let it grow out (took a year). But now, I LOVE my grey hair. I wear it collar length. So much easier to keep, and I get much more RESPECT!! I wouldn't go back now because I like this so much. And it goes with my skin tone so much better because it is natural. Not everybody likes the way they look with grey hair, though, so I understand if women want to color theirs.

Anonymous said...

You also empower women, Lydia, because some of them can make a business out of making and selling clothing.

Anonymous said...

I am glad to see the subject of hair styles addressed again. My pet peeve is what I call (silently of course) the "chicken-head". So many of the older ladies sport this unfeminine style .

As far as gray hair, I'm just not ready for that. I will continue at least a few more years to fight to maintain my brownish color.

My sister in law never colored her gray hair and I just can't say that it is at all flattering on her. She's barely 50 and looks older.

Mrs Lydia, please keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Lydia, I've been reading the past posts on fabric and clothing with special interest. Due to some economic difficulties we recently returned to our old farmhouse that has been vacant for several years. It's required a lot of hard work, grace, tolerance, patience, etc., on the part of all of us! There are many things that have to be done the hard way or not done at all until a later time, and we're not as young as we used to be. Anyway, to encourage myself I've been studying housekeeping in colonial times. The msot interesting book I've read is entitled, "Home Life in Colonial Days" by Alice Morse Earle. The post on fabric stores and where to get good fabric reminded me of some of the things I read in this book regarding raising the fabric material (wool, flax, cotton), carding, weaving, spinning, etc. Just some points I found interesting:

*Wool spinning requires much flexibility and altertness and the physical gestures used are credited for giving women of old the dignity of carriage, even in old age.

*A woman spinning 6 skeins of yarn in a day (a good amount for a quick spinner) was estimated to walk 20 miles to produce this much yarn.

*The fabric woven in colonial times was so sturdy and well made that the clothing manufactured from it was handed down from generation to generation (sometimes mentioned in their wills) sometimes to 3rd and 4th generations.

*The book states that fabric woven back then is as good and firm a hundred years later as it was in the day it was made.

*Laundry was often done only once a month or even once every 3 months.

*It was very common to unravel woven fabrics and reweave them into new patterns for new uses. For instance, George Washington's wife was known to have her dresses unravelled and rewoven into fabric for upholstery covers. She even took George's silk stockings, when worn out, and had them unravelled and rewoven into striped fabric for chairs. She was once said to reverse this process and have drapes or upholstery fabric unravelled and rewoven into a magnificant dress for herself.

*A pair of double knit mittens could be made in a day and would last for years.

These are just a few of the fascinating points I picked up regarding fabrics and weaving. It encourages me when I feel my tasks are too hard or we're not making enough progress as we repair and restore this old place the best we can with what we have available. Just thought it might be interesting to some of you.

God bless,

Lydia said...

this is indeed a wonderful book! I have not seen it but the history of cloth you related makes me appreciate it so much more. In Bible times, the cloaks were handed down from generation to generation. Not only were things hand woven,but they also made the thread. So each garment was very valuable. Such garments were put on newly annointed kings, or given to those who found favor with kings or fathers.

Regarding the infrequent laundering of clothing. Generally, I have found that the dresses I make do not need to be laundered all the time, due to the fact that I have an underdress to wear with each one. That under dress (a slip with sleeves) does have to be washed but can be washed in a basin of water at night and hung to dry, or if there are lot of them, put in a load of laundry. Also if you wear an apron over the dress, the dress does not need laundering, and the aprons can be laundered more often. Laundering does wear out the fabrics, so it is wise to make several of these slips and if you wash your dresses often, make quite a few of them.

Anonymous said...

That's incredible about the old-time fabric!

Anonymous said...

I just found the book "Home Life in Colonial Days" online, where you can either download it for free or read it online. Please try this link:

which is the read online address. If you have trouble, just go to and search the site.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lydia,

I have not commented for a long time, I have been very busy sewing, because you encouraged me so much!

I have been using your ideas for an underdress/slip in cotton, to be worn under a jumper or simple outer dress, in cotton or linen.

This has been a lot of work, because I have little kids, but it has also made my life much simpler, since everything matches, and I am always ready to go anywhere now.

I have only finished two slips, and 3 jumpers, but it is enough to give me a good start, along with some store-bought shirts, but I will keep working to build up a decent supply.

I have added an apron to my set of aprons, as well, during the last few weeks.

This style may be completely foreign to those around me, but I find that it is making my "job" of motherhood much happier and much more functional. My husband likes it too, and he encourages me.

The funny thing is that, even though I am "out of style", I feel more confident because I am finally allowing myself the freedom to be authentically who I am. This is who I am, take it or leave it. I am "old-fashioned" and romantic, and I am a homeschool mom. I find that all the homeschool moms I know have a great fear of falling victim to the homeschooling image.

Everyone is trying to maintain their sexy edge as they age. I feel I still have that with my husband, but why on earth would I try to project that to the rest of the world?

Who has done this to us? Why can't we relax and enjoy our position? Kids love moms dressed as feminine, happy women. Feminine is modest. And as I said before, husbands do too! It is a comfort to them just as much as the children.

There was a time that the Lord kept impressing upon me that one of the main jobs of the woman, was to provide comfort. There are so many scriptures that portray the woman comforting her children on her lap, or even comforting her husband with her body, or speaking words of comfort and wisdom - this is an important service to our families - to provide a feeling of stability and comfort - wholesomeness. The "everything's alright with us", even when the whole rest of the world is going crazy. It takes diligence to provide comfort to your family, or comfort yourself from God's Word when you need to, so that you can bless others.

Just a thought: I used to be afraid of sewing because I read in Fascinating Womanhood where "oversewing to the point of neglecting the house" was a character flaw. I never have been able to sew anything and keep up with the house too! Thank you for saying that it is normal for things to get out of sorts while you are finishing a project. I thought *all* my sewing was "oversewing", and felt guilty!!