Friday, May 7, 2010


Feast your eyes on cow patty pizza. "There's a new way to fix ground beef so that it looks and tastes like a glorified pizza." It doesn't just kind of look like a pizza, it's a GLORIFIED version of pizza! Press some ground meat into a patty, put in on some foil, dump a can of tomato soup on it, top with 3 slices of cheese and you have your next dinner party. The 5 lonely mushrooms give it a classic, minimalist look. Wouldn't want to over do this one with garnishes. It's glorious enough on it's own.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

At least it's not rabbit jello...

I can't imagine how these delectable flavors didn't stand the test of time to remain on the store shelves. I know many a day I've thought to myself "Some mixed vegetable or celery flavored jello would be so delicious, I wish that such a thing existed so that I could combine it with tuna, green peppers, olives, onions and Italian dressing."

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Careful With that Ax Eugene

Cigarettes “softened with fresh air”. Puts one in the mood to put on your Saturday afternoon cocktail party clothes, grab your man purse (hopefully full of more fresh air cigarettes) and go for a hike in the middle of nowhere. Only one isolated farm in sight. This poor couple is blissfully unaware that farm belongs to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre family, and Pa is sneaking up behind them with an ax....


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Most delicious pizza ever!

Although it's obvious just from the mouth watering photo, the ad copy makes sure we know that this is the " most mouth wateringly delicious pizza you've ever tasted anywhere." The paper thin crust, the ketchupy sauce, the sprinkling of powdered cheese product... One is instantly transported to the finest pizzerias of NYC or Chicago. I am somewhat worried about the guy in the white pants, ogling the busty redhead in the tight sweater. I think that he may be having a seizure.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I'm a manly dude!

It was way important to someone that this 11th Pillsbury Bake Off winner was perceived as a manly man! None of the women in this booklet have their height/weight listed. He's into race cars! He's joining the military! He's using his prize money to buy a power saw! I don't know, I'm still not convinced of his masculinity. I want to hear about how Donald wrestles alligators and is planning on taking his personal harem of strippers on a grizzly bear hunt in the Alaskan tundra.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Sea of Dreams

When I think seafood, my mind automatically goes immediately to seafood's most complimentary companion - green jello. Many jello dishes seem to feature the word "dream" in the name. Which is understandable. Who doesn't dream of jello salads?
This beauty is called "Sea Dream Salad". "Flavorful green rings to fill with shrimp". Mmmm. I wish that I had some flavorful green rings to munch on right now. To the jello you add cucumber, onion, cayenne pepper... If you really want to punch it up there is an alternate recipe for "cheese dream", adding cream cheese and green peppers. Shrimp (or tuna or canned salmon) is then nestled into the top. I think I just threw up in my mouth.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Poor Plain Jane

People talk about the pressure girls feel to be beautiful these days. I'm convinced it's been like that since caveman times. Only the beauty standards change. Back in caveman times, Neanderthal girls stressed over not having a prominent brow ridge or enough body hair.
This article from the 1929 "Woman's Home Companion" magazine states that "Girls nowadays must be good looking." No beating around the bush or gray area there.
Luckily, most of the plain mothers of the day, even the sort of mother who has "sacrificed her own slim figure to a greedy appetite" were hopefully willing to do better by their child.
Thumb sucking should be strictly prohibited. "Many a girl has a mother to blame for a mouth that even lipstick can't love", because mom was lax with the thumb sucking.
"Adenoids should be taken out if the doctor prescribes it. They give a child that dumb, thick, uncomprehending look that puts her outside the company of those who seem quite bright." Ah yes, the anti dumb look surgery.
Luckily there was no need for rhinoplasty in the good old days, because baby noses are easily shaped by "judicious pinching and molding". But be careful how you blow that baby's nose. "Many god noses have been pulled entirely out of recognition by inexpertly handled handkerchiefs on children."
Dumbo ears can of course be easily fixed by taping them back.
Never forget that "children can be taught thatany ugliness of her body or clothing is an offense against good taste, and a defection from the ranks of those trying to make things more pleasant."
Sounds like striving to achieve Jennifer Aniston's body or a bigger set of breasts is a walk in the park compared to trying to be the perfect 1920s woman!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Texas Chainsaw Cake

Sometimes even though a dish probably tastes fine, it looks like it should be sitting on the grisly dinner table in a horror movie. This is one of those dishes.
I remember these spiced apple rings being used as a plate garnish in some restaurants when I was a little kid. My mom would yell in alarm “You’re not supposed to eat those!” Which is really odd now that I think about it. “Sorry mom, didn’t realize that this deadly poisonous thing was just a plate decoration.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Burn Baby Burn

“If you wish to attain a good, rich tan with a minimum of painful burn, spread Vaseline Jelly on the exposed parts before you sit out in the sun to bake”.
No wrinkles and melanoma here. The powerful zero SPF factor of Vaseline will certainly have you looking like the perfect Thanksgiving turkey in no time. Later in the ad it briefly mentions that if you REALLY don’t want to get sunburned, you should cover the exposed areas of your body with clothing.
The big selling point for me would have been “Vaseline Jelly won’t grow hair where nature doesn’t want it, and it won’t make you fat.” Can’t beat that for an advertising tag line!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Not So Special

The word “special” in a good old days recipe often indicates that something unappetizing this way comes. Pressed chicken doesn’t sound special at all. But it is a gelatin mold, so how can it go wrong! Gelatin, the ubiquitous green olives, mayo... Mmmm. It also calls for “relish or chow chow”. I really hope that chow chow was another form of relish, and not the furry, black tongued dog.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Strictly Stag

When the dudes get together, there’s no wimpy ambrosia salad. It’s meat all the way baby! There appears to be cherry tomato plants growing in front of the paneled walls on the buffet table. Perhaps it’s to denote the manly agrarian roots of these carnivores.
I can’t help feeling sorry for the hotdogs who appear to be holding on for dear life in that sea of beans. C’mon now, no one at this party is going to eat that salad, it’s strictly for show.
My favorite Stag party recipe is for “Backwoods Sandwich Loaf’. Slice a loaf of bread, and spread it with mayo, soft pimento cheese, tuna, sliced tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, deviled ham, and peanut butter. Doesn’t the peanut butter make it sound especially yummy? Whole lotta drinking went on to come up with that recipe.


Sunday, February 28, 2010

You Wouldn’t Care to Meet Marvin

At first glance, this seems a ridiculous statement. Who wouldn’t want to meet a guy like Marvin? No one can resist a suave guy with a tiny head who wears a bathrobe and smokes a pipe on the beach.
“Men thought him a great fellow - for a little while. Women grew romantic about him - until they knew. Poor Marvin, yearning for companionship and always denied it. People called him the Prince of Pariahs.”
Marvin’s problem wasn’t his tiny head, or his odd beachwear. He didn’t have leprosy, or ebola virus, or bird flu. Something far worse. Halitosis.
Luckily his problem was curable, thanks to Listerine. The best part of all is that Listerine is “so safe it may be used in any body cavity, yet so powerful it kills even the stubborn typhoid and pus germs in 15 seconds.”

Thursday, February 25, 2010

No Mr. Roarke!

Nothing more triumphant about being a teenager than getting groped by a gray haired man in a white tuxedo while you are simply trying to deliver a burger.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Smoke em if you got em

Because nothing enhances the tastebuds more than cigarette smoke, Benson & Hedges presents... I think that is a subliminal smoke ring above the pot, off to the right. Still bearing a hint of cigarette smoke smell from the past, this little book actually has some pretty decent recipes in it.
I picture this book’s original owner slaving away in the kitchen. This was no jello hotdog salad lady. If she was throwing a dinner party, she was going to bring her A game. Slicing and chopping, stirring and simmering, all the while a cigarette dangling from her lip, an occasional unseen ash becoming an integral part of the sauce.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dolphin Weenies

This recipe is called “Saturday Night Special” in the “Pillsbury Busy Lady Bake Off Recipes” cookbook. With a tempting dish such as this one, Saturday night would indeed be special. I prefer to call it “Dolphin Weenies” as the cocktail wieners seem to be cavorting in the surf of potato salad and sauerkraut.
This recipe consists of a pie crust, cocktail franks, two 1 pound jars of potato salad, and sauerkraut. I’ll bet that even a busy man could have successfully executed this one.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Peek a Boo, I see you!

For awhile there seemed to be a trend of topping dishes with pimento stuffed green olives. Not necessarily because the flavors of the olives complimented the flavors of the ingredients in the recipe, but because the disembodied eyeball effect always makes for a festive meal.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Don't look Mr Ed!

“Friskies’ principal ingredient is lean red horse meat for meaty taste and energy giving protein”
No better ingredient than cuddly ponies to make dogs “gentle, friendly” and give them a “companionable disposition”.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

What to add, what to add....

The true downfall of many of the ever popular jello mold recipes often seemed to be that extra added ingredient. The recipe creator just felt that the recipe wasn’t truly complete until she added that one last special ingredient. That special ingredient tended to be a heaping portion of yuck.
This recipe calls for apple flavored gelatin, pineapple, maraschino cherries, walnuts. Okay, those things seem to go together acceptably. Why not stop there? No, we also need shredded carrots. Heading down a slippery slope, but still probably palatable enough to be choked down. Nope, it still needs something else. That one unusual ingredient to make it extra special. What would compliment the flavors of apple, cherry and walnut. Green peppers of course!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

We need meat!

A stand up freezer can be a great convenience, and a money saver. But for the love of God, how much ham can one family eat!??! That second shelf from the bottom has enough ham stuffed into it to feed an army.
Another ad in this same magazine promises to “Keep 18 pounds of meat fresh for a week!” I assume that vegetarianism was out of the question.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

I have a garden hose, hear me roar

I have decided to devote weekend posts to items which may not be strictly food/kitchen related, but that still provide us with an entertaining "good old days" slice of life.
Nothing quite says “I’m a modern, independent woman, I don’t need to depend on a man” than getting dressed up and walking off with the garden hose.Where is she going? Who knows. For a woman with her own garden hose, the world is her oyster.
Hopefully the "Easy! And will be for ten years" refers to the hose, and not the woman.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Circle O Rangers?

I understand the gingerbread cookie recipe, no problem there. But why the circle of "rangers" protecting a fruit salad? Does fruit salad need to be guarded? What happens if the protective circle is broken? I feel bad for the rangers. This assignment looks really tedious, especially since (based on their leg positioning) they appear to be suffering from hemorrhoids.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Thank You Darling!

Poor Anne was in a panic, fearing that making enough ice cream to feed her party guests would have the family in the poorhouse. Luckily, her adoring husband (who I’m sure was very involved with helping around the house and the kitchen as much as possible) was there to jump in and save the day.
“Stop your stewin’ Little Lady. I can show you a trick or two!”
“Darling you’re such a smart husband!”
Bill then explained to Anne how to use the jello ice cream powder, and she was eternally grateful for his superior cooking knowledge. Bet Bill got lucky that night!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Come Closer Hansel and Gretel...

A weary traveler has wandered from the path into the deep dark woods. The last sliver of the daylight is disappearing upon the western horizon. The traveler is hungry, cold and afraid. He’s heard rumors of evil creatures who lurk in these dark woods. He stumbles into a small clearing. It’s hard to make out in the gathering gloom, but there on the tree stump is a feast. Some of the items are not quite identifiable, such as the lump of creamy meat in the left, or the banana/bacon dish in the front, but the traveler is hungry. Sadly, this will be his last meal. He has taken the bait of the deep woods goblins....

Sunday, January 31, 2010

My Man is Proud!

For your educational accomplishments? For your sparkling intellect? For your selfless volunteer work? Oh no. Something much more meaningful. For slashing the grocery budget by using Kerr Mason jars.
“Jim is so proud of me he is about to ‘pop’ and I found the way to save yet have fun and enjoyment in serving my own delicious and attractive home canned fruits and vegetables.”
Life was just one big party in the early 1940s. All of that exciting canning going on, and no need for Viagra when you have attractive home canned produce in the house.

Friday, January 29, 2010

It was a terrifying time...

I imagine that there were many scary things going on for those who lived in 1940. The tail end of the Great Depression, the fact that a minor illness could easily kill you, getting maimed by primitive factory/farm equipment etc. But the scariest thing of all - JELLY MAKING!
Friends thought that Barbara was a "natural born jelly maker". They had no idea it wasn't her birthright. For years Barbara quivered in her kitchen, sweat pouring down her brow, when confronted with those jelly jars. Then finally, the reign of terror was ended. All thanks to Sure Jell.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

What Cup Size is that dessert?

All of these desserts are made with eggnog. The best place to store eggnog desserts is always on the front porch steps. Frozen solid, they will keep quite awhile in the dead of winter. Unless of course the neighborhood canines find them. Desserts make a festive, holiday porch decoration. My favorite in this group is the eggnog boobie on the bottom step. Perhaps an incentive to seduce the milkman into leaving a little extra eggnog on his next trip.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Mmmm, what to make first!

So many delicious choices on a single page! How can one ever choose? As well as the Sour Cream Chicken Mousse pictured in the previous post, this page of the McCalls Salads and Salad dressings contains recipes for "Layered Tongue and Cheese Salad Mold" and "Jellied Veal Loaf". The words tongue/mold and jellied/loaf just shouldn't appear in the same recipe title.
On the other hand, "gherkin" is fun word that one rarely hears anymore!


The jello salad of Kings

There it sits, glistening in the foliage. The castle in the background lets us know that this dish (Sour Cream Chicken Mousse) is meant for royalty, not the common man. Perhaps it was stolen away by a wicked knave. Or perhaps it was created by magical woodland fairies, who plan to deliver it to the beautiful queen to win her favor.