Lotus Appetizers & Tunisian Coffee

Nat Geo, March 1937

Seen here are the adorable faces of Jewish pupils and their schoolmaster, who has just led them outside of a Tunisian synagogue to take their picture. These children were descended from Jews who fled the destruction of Jerusalem in the first century, to the island of Djerba.

Never heard of Djerba? Well, allegedly, it is the island of the lotus-eaters where Odysseus was stranded on his voyage through the Mediterranean Sea. Eating lotus left the natives in a perpetual state of bliss. Shall we go?

Well, if you’re a single woman, probably not. The men there tend to verbally accost the weaker sex, per travelsafe-abroad. com, which also advises all LGBT to avoid it all costs, as they are not welcome. It also suggests that should unwanted attention be cast your way, that you say, “Harem Alayki,” which means, “Shame on you!” Feel free to use it today, if your dog has made bad choices.

If, however, you are a straight male, as usual, you can go wherever you’d like. May I suggest the Hotel Meridiana? The help will happily pour you coffee in the lobby, while you can’t decide if you’re in the movie Aladdin, or at the Cheesecake Factory. Either way, you win.

When A Plate Of Ribs Was $1.35

Today we take a quick look at yearbook ads in the back of my 1955 University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida yearbook. Yes, ads might seem banal, but I enjoy the localized details, like this dry cleaning ad.

The cartoons are simple but fun; you can even see cleanliness emanating off the fabric. I like the dime price, the cellophane, and the so very Florida salute to the explorer who led the first Spanish expedition to the state over 500 years ago, Ponce de Leon. In case you’re wondering, yes “peaceful protesters” did vandalize the Ponce de León statues in Miami. What else are you going to do when you’re on unemployment to kill time?

Next up is a BBQ menu with prices one can’t even begin to process.

Have you ever heard of “corn-on-cob”? I’ve only eaten corn on the cob, but I respect the brevity. To think that in one lifetime, a rib plate could go from $1.35 to now $19.00 under this administration is absurd. Why, two chicken plates back then would barely buy me an iced tea today. Another fun fact is the location on the Dixie Hi-Way, which of course, doesn’t exist. The Dixie Chicks had to become the Chicks, Lady Antebullum had to become Lady A, so the Dixie Hi-Way gave way to a series of roads with boring names.

With Florida only being a stone’s throw from the not yet communist-oppressed Cuba, how could they not peddle some cigars? And look! If you buy two instead of one, you save an entire penny! One red cent! Go on, get your college kids some smokes to burn off the steam from finals.

We wrap it up with an all-American product that may surely contribute to diabetes, but don’t it go down nice?

Ah, yes, the delicious and refreshing teeny weensy bottle of Coca-Cola. Imagine how much energy it could provide to the person who had to draw that ad, with all those little lines upon that hand. Plus, it’s fun to note the six digit phone number. Well, that’s all from Coral Gables, y’all. Go out and enjoy a $19 rib plate.

Miller High Life Scores A Win

Keeping up with new Hallmark movies is exhausting these days, whatwith new movies every Friday, Saturday, AND Sunday (which cuts into Bible Study), and sometimes new movies back to back at both 7pm and 9pm. We can’t keep up. But watching hundreds of Hallmark movies means we’ve seen dozens of gingerbread houses being constructed (mostly poorly) in family homes, B&B’s on the verge of bankruptcy, and town festivals. Sometimes simply building them brings two foes together.

But IRL, I’ve never made a gingerbread house. I’ve spent Christmas with different families in different cities, and I’ve never even SEEN a gingerbread house in a person’s home. Do people even eat them? Aren’t they messy? Do they wind up in the Glad bag on December 26th?

But today I saw Miller High Life’s take on the seasonal hobby, and I have to say I’m impressed. Who needs a house when you can have a dive bar?

It’s no joke, and it’s perfect for 2021. Despite all the fear and oppression of American liberty, some industries have banked record revenue, like Big Pharma, Domino’s, and beer. Pfizer reportedly nets $268 million PER DAY and counting, as long as more and more boosters are required. And they will be. Granted, beer hasn’t seen vax $$, but nothing makes folks want to drink more than living through the 2020s.

While many restaurants have folded during the pandemic, we’ve seen craft beer pubs pop up all over our city, and adjacent cities as well. The parking lots are always full, despite pint prices that were $4 last year, now doubled for ales like Electric Jellyfish. Beer is in, man, and it won’t quit. Sure, not Miller High Life. God in heaven, not that. But dive bars? You betcha.

And you just know that when that Gingerbread man enters, everybody knows his name. Who wouldn’t want to grab a pretzel cue stick and play some billiards under actual working lights? Maybe take a load off on some peppermint stools. The kit even offers syrup to drizzle on the floor.

To the marketing geniuses at Miller High Life, I raise a glass of cheap, bland domestic ale to you. Just this once. God bless us one and all.

Follow Me For More Recipes

pleated jeans

I saw this pic today of a patron in a Texas HEB and knew that I could not keep it to myself. At first, I thought someone was hoarding foil or plastic wrap. Then I realized it was Hungry-Man frozen dinners. Dozens of them, supplemented by what appear to be frozen pizzas and some Stouffers tossed in. But the core demand here was blue cartons. All of them. The entire stock. It reminds me of the Parks and Rec scene wherein Ron Swanson demands ALL of the bacon and eggs.

Is this a Christmas gift for a home-bound relative? Is the gift of cardiac failure and diabetes the gift that keeps on giving? I myself have never eaten Hungry-Man. So my palate never knew a salisbury steak nor a meatloaf. But who could not be tempted by this chicken caressing a waffle? Are you a man or a mouse? EAT LIKE A MAN.

Pinnacle Foods

Does that tactic really work in this day and age, where gender is as fluid as the maple syrup on that waffle? Many men today have never changed their own oil, chopped firewood, or kilt them a bar when they was only three. More men today have eaten couscous and know how to properly say acai. But not at Hungry Man. They doubled down with their new double meat bowls because America. Chute, yeah. Try their Mexican Fiesta Enchiladas, complete with coconut-flavored pudding. If that’s not diverse, I don’t know what is.

I can’t see Millennials buying these. Why buy a $4 meal when you can buy a $7 green smoothie? So it must be older folk. Will sales plummet as years go by? All I know is there’s a giant vacancy in the frozen foods department, and a man somewhere who won’t be hungry for long.

Post-War Pig Insecurities

What could be sadder than Prolon-induced pig anxiety? Perhaps hooves clutching a wishbone of a fellow creature? Who cares? Hitler is dead!

All of today’s ads come to us from the summer of 1946, when the country was just beginning to get back on her feet. The war was in the past, and so was hog bristle. In this new age, science was the winner, and pigs vs prophylactic Prolon made good copy.

But not as good as a head of youthful, vibrant, slick hair that caught a young lady’s eye. Watch as his locks emanate vitality.

Good night, nurse! He could inspect my rigging any day.

And speaking of crushes, why not try Orange Crush, filled with the juice of tree-ripened Valencia oranges? Yes, that’s right. Actual juice in the bottle, as well as pulp!

Not a fan of orange? Then pause to refresh with Hires. Cheers to silly puns! Now let me dig, woman.

Not a soda person? Maybe a Bloody Mary is in your future. Make it sing with A-1, the dash that makes the dish!

After all that imbibing, it’s time to wind down, head to the parlor, and listen to some Big Band on the Crosley radio. Perhaps make room for a cooling after-dinner mint. Everyone’s heard of Richardson’s mints. U-All-No!

You’re My Wonder (Wet) Wall

I saw this today and had to share. Did y’all even know these were called wet walls? I sure didn’t. But I’ve never worked in grocery, or retail at all. My years were spent serving folks cooked veggies on plates in restaurants, not organizing them so satisfyingly brilliantly.

Who knew radishes and chives harmonized so well?

This is better art than I’ve seen in overpriced coastal galleries. I’ll take this over a watercolor lighthouse any day.

BTW, it’s also called “wet rack,” but I wouldn’t Google that.

I know the starting pay at our local grocery store is $15/hr, way more than I make with my degree. But whoever did this needs to get a bonus. That’s thinking outside the box.

Except at first glance, it kind of looks tuna shoved in there …

Rib-Tickling, Spine-Splitting Pie

shorpy

I do love pie (even chose it instead of wedding cake), but I must admit I’ve never consumed it whilst donning a bathing suit, as these lasses did on July 31, 1921 in the nation’s capital. Tidal Basin Bathing Beach had opened only three years prior, and then closed four years after this shot.  Seize the moments while you can.