Tag Archives: retro

Wednesdays are for Vintage Aspics, Self Contemplation and Tim Gunn – Recipe Wednesday

Several folks have asked me to post more retro recipes, especially everyone’s favorite, gelatin molds! Obviously I’m more than happy to oblige! But I find myself wondering, after all these years am I becoming immune to the horrors of the vintage aspic? So, as anytime I have a problem, I look to Project Runway’s Tim Gunn for answers.

Gunn once told a contestant that his design was like living in the monkey house at the zoo. He explained that when you first walk into the monkey house you are overcome with the scent, then after a while in the monkey house, it doesn’t seem so bad. Finally if you were to actually live in the monkey house you wouldn’t think it smells at all.

Sometimes I come across a vintage recipe and think it doesn’t look all that bad…in fact maybe I will try that recipe.  Am I living in the monkey house?

tim gunn concerns

In order to test my gelatin mold tolerance, today I bring you an assortment of god’s creatures that swim, fly and amble all encased in a very very shiny gelatin embrace.

Test 1: “Movie Recipe” Chicken and Vegetable Aspic.

chicken movie aspic
Not so bad. Tomato and cream cheese could be pleasant with the right menu. I am wondering about the movie theme. How on earth were you supposed to sneak a chicken and vegetable gelatin mold in to the theater in your purse like so much clandestine candy?

 

Test 2. Jelly Beef Mold

jelly beef mold
A little more concerning. Doesn’t seem terrible, just weird. Though this is one of the shiniest mold in my memory.

 

Test 3: Jelly Tongues

jellied tongue
Yikes! Could it get more retro than jellied tongue? Hard pass.

gunn shocked

 

Test 4: Mayo and ….Fish…?

mayo fish mold
Shrimp, “fish” made from pimento, herbs, and “cauliflowerettes” you are meant to slice this and slather with “mayo ripples.”  This is one of the most concerning retro ads I’ve seen in a long time. Not only is the recipe just terrible, but it almost has a Damion/ Satanic Panic vibe about it in it’s ominous imagery. Furthermore, that is some hard line sloganing there, Hellmanns!

 

The good news is Aunt Mary still maintains some manner of astonishment after the ravages of  vintage recipes. The bad news, it seems demonic cults were once a viable target market for at least one condiment company.

what a day gunn

 

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Gather ’round, kids, it’s time for a story…2017 style!

It may be one of the most hackneyed phrases in our culture, spouted off when someone hands over a 6-pack of beer or the topic of herpes comes up: Yep, It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

But where did this slogan come from? It’s a new year and Aunt Mary is in a giving mood, so let’s roll!

“The gift that keeps on giving” was first seen as a tagline in a print ad for Victor “talking machines” (AKA Victrola or Phonograph) in 1925 and was registered as a trademark in 1927. 

rca-ad

Victor was the leader in the emerging home-entertainment business from its incorporation in 1901. Not only did Victor make the machines that play music, it also sold the records that were made through a proprietary technique. Additionally, Victor made exclusive deals with the most famous musicians pressing special “Red Seal” albums. Not only did this improve sales, but it  also created a “third party endorsement” hinting that the musicians trusted Victor alone to record their music with quality and high standards. rca-all-the-music

RCA bought controlling interest in Victor in 1926 and continued using the slogan in advertisements for radios and record players for decades after. victrolia-in-surgery

The tagline has since been used in dozens of campaigns, including ads for blood and organ donation and subscriptions to Sports Illustrated Magazine.

Be sure to contact me with suggestions or questions. Let me know about your favorite and least ads!

Punch Up Your Holiday Parties!

I think it’s time we bring back the punch bowl! Enough with the wine and craft beer at every party, I want a big crock of Cheerful Whatever poured into a cut glass vessel large enough to take a bath in.

You aren’t on board? You will be after you see these delightful retro recommendations!

7-up-punch
Dudes be creepin. I have a feeling “Baby It’s Cold Outside” is played in a loop at this party. 

You can find this punch bowl at literally any second hand store anywhere. I love thrift shopping and there is always at least one punch bowl at any local shop.

 

merry-christmas-4-roses

Named after someone in the Four Roses test kitchen was heard shouting “Merry Christmas”after sampling the newest punch recipe. They were later found sleeping it off under the break room table.

 

rum-punch

Is it just me or is this headline a little threatening?  Still, there’s meat and a bucket of rum in crazy-adorable cups so count me in!

 

xmas-tuna-salad

It’s important to have sustenance on hand to soak up all that hooch. Be sure to adorn your party table with Elf on the Shelf’s older cousin, Judgy McStink-Eye, who sits on the buffet and makes note of everything you eat and drink. “Oh, you’re having another plate of food…well that certainly is a choice.”

By the way, that’s a tower of tuna…at a cocktail party…where people have been drinking. Good plan!

A Study in Casseroles – Recipe Wednesday

Today’s retro recipes are from Aunt Mary’s personal edition of “Casseroles” published by Favorite Recipes of America in 1968. All of the recipes in the book were submitted by readers, making them a leader in group sourcing content long before the Huffington Post thought they were so cool.

cover

Leafing through the book, one thought kept creeping through my mind: is it better or worse that the interior photos are black in white. Does it make them more or less appetizing? I’ll let you decide!

ground-beef
This Tabasco Beef Ring has a whopping 1 1/2 teaspoons of Tabasco Sauce to two pounds of ground beef. 
combinations
I’m not sure if it’s the chunkiness or the shininess that make this so worrisome. 
foreign
Janie thinks she’s so fancy because she’s been to Canada. 

I especially enjoyed that each recipe is accredited to its submitter in full honorific detail. In typical contemporary fashion, the ladies are listed as their husband’s name such as Mrs. Frank Schnozzel, South Bend; or by their given name if unmarried, Betty Birdpants, Tacoma. By all means, let’s make sure to let everyone know if this person’s cooking is good enough to snag herself a man!

 

 

 

 

Back to School, Back to Cool (Ads)!

School is back in session and so is the Storytime! It’s been a great summer but it is time to get back to the work of perusing ads in all their many forms and glories.

Let’s kick off this season of learnin’ with a bevy of back-so-school ads.

Staples seemed to have it together for a few years there, dominating the school supplies market.

When I ask people about their favorite ads (yes, I do that) this commercial is often brought up. Even if you are totally geeked about your kids going back to school, this just isn’t nice. Funny and relatable, but not nice.

 

Here’s Darnell from “My Name is Earl” being super cool.

 

Also, these ads from my copy of Parents Magazine from September, 1950.

image
1950, when the hot trend was for middle schoolers to look like tiny insurance salesmen.

image-3

I found this ad fascinating because it was advertised to parents during the post WWII building boom. As communities worked to keep up with infrastructure demand, someone thought to nudge the parents. I would love to know if it worked!

 

image-2
Does Stride Rite make these shoes in adult size because I’m totally in. The hat too.

Big Otis is OK

At some point in the 1950’s, an exasperated marketing exec in Battle Creek said “I don’t know. Make the mascot a giant Scotsman?” and OKs cereal’s Big Otis was born.

I get it, oats, oatmeal, Scotland. Sure. Why not? How else was Kellogg’s going to elbow in on that smug Cheerios? What kid doesn’t love a burly, bearded man in ethnic garb telling them what to eat? It’s like we’re printing money, baby!

 

Big Otis
Don’t look up, kids!

Big Otis spent two years basking in the cereal mascot sun before he was replaced with Yogi Bear in 1962. In 1963 OK’s was scraped in favor of Fruit Loops. It was grand while it lasted, wasn’t it, Laddie?

 

Thanks to Dan for suggesting today’s topic! Let me know if you have an idea for the Ad Storytime!

“Can” I Have Some Meat?

Shhh…. my kids don’t know I’m writing the blog, so everybody just be very quiet. They think I’m folding laundry or else they would be on me talking about Pokemon or what some volgger is doing or asking for their fourteenth Popsicle of the day.

It’s Wednesday and you know what that means: retro food!

Today: Meat in cans. After WWII food manufactures were itchin’ to see what else they could cram into a can with those keen technological breakthroughs in food preservation. Then they spent a lot of time telling housewives why their meat in a can was the only thing keeping their man at home.

First up, Morrell’s E-Z Liver Loaf.

I find this family totally charming until I remember they are seriously loosing their minds over tinned offal. And really, is a NEW kind of meat a good thing? Shouldn’t we already be acquainted with our meat options?

Liver Loaf 1
Betty here calls Bob her B vitamin. 

This ad could also work for cult recruitment or those folks who really REALLY want you to know about their open marriage. Nobody has ever been this excited about filter organ sandwiches.

ribs in a can
Six worldly spices!

Not just Meat, it’s the Meatiest. Come a-running!