Canning Legumes

Portrait of an Era

The diligent ladies here are manning (or womanning) the production line at Wisbech in Cambridgeshire in 1934. In my home, we eat canned green beans about once a week. A couple times a month, I’ll buy the fresh ones and spend an hour snipping the ends and chopping them into reasonable bite sizes, then simmering them in beef broth for several hours. They taste better, but it’s not really worth the labor or the four minutes it takes my men to consume them. We always eat the thicker Italian cut beans, as they are heartier and easier to stab. However, when the holidays roll around, we buy the French Style beans to make green bean casserole because America.

But these British lasses would never have celebrated Thanksgiving and probably never had a green bean casserole in their lives. In Texas, we don’t eat many casseroles; that’s more of a Midwest thang. But I love a good casserole, from spinach to broccoli rice to sweet corn. And I never pass up a side at Thanksgiving. I am an equal opportunity consumer. I don’t even care if the cranberries are cut into a slab of congealed jelly or fresh berries with orange zest and ginger. Either way works.

What about y’all? Are you picky? I’d eat any and all of these sides.

 

A Little Nab’ll Do Ya

1937 UT

Who’s the most interesting fellow here? The obvious one in dark frames, or the guy taking a pull of his cigarette? It’s quite the crowded counter. Tiny bottles of soda were available for rationing through an entire meal. Honestly, how we did we ever do that? You might also notice that what appears to be a box of Kleenex or napkins is actually a NAB, a square of salty or sugary carbs to compliment your beverage. Of course, NAB is short for Nabisco. And why not indulge? It’s a mere nickel, or as Gary Gulman calls them, “quarter impersonators.” Might I suggest not pairing Oreos with Coke? The sugar crash will be atrocious.

https://fineartamerica.com/

Smooth Operator

This is quite the hairless couple, trim and athletic and healthy. I have never before witnessed such a sheen on a man’s oiled limbs; usually, they are too furry to reflect light. This delightful artwork reminds me both of Vargas pin-up girls, as well as actress Jean Harlow, who shared the platinum hair and pale skin (although rarely a smile). Swimsuits had made leaps and bounds by 1938, with vastly less fabric and stretchier than those of the generation before. Today’s styles hardly differ from these wisp-o-weight Jantzens so many moons ago.

PETA Taps Tesla To Build Time Machine So They Can Retroactively Sue Peggy Paige For Speciesism

April 1947

“No monkeying with this price?” Watch out there, Peggy Paige! While you were busy making clothing for folks who were still dealing with the fallout of WWII, using your taxes to support countries ravaged by war and fascism, trying to bring a bit of merriment to the widows and families of the millions of dead military heroes with a colorful printed frock, you forgot to prioritize the most important thing: never ever use a animal-related verb because it makes PETA petulant. Oh, is THAT where they got their name from? I won’t share the list that PETA posted this week, as it’s too ridonkulous to perpetuate. Suffice to say that if you ever told anyone they were hogging the mashed potatoes, you unjustly used an offensive slur, and there’s a good chance you’re a white supremacist. PETA thinks animals have been secretly becoming fluent in human language, solely to learn to interpret metaphors as hate speech and consequently be offended. Sorry, animals don’t have time for that, especially fat, lazy pigs. Yeah, I said it. I’d call PETA batship crazy but that might force them into the fetal position. Guess I’ll just say they’re full of guano.

And for anyone who’d like to hear a more nuanced perspective, feel free to check out JP.

Meal Options From 70 Years Ago

Well, 18 cents a serving is nothing to sneer at. I don’t know about you, but coming from the Lone Star State, I can appreciate the star in the pie crust, a nod to the “star” of the meal, which is Dinty Moore beef stew. Easy peasy!

If you need another side dish, why not green beans? The finest places served them, so you know they’re quality.


As in the above ad, animated characters are singing and dancing over the mere thought of dining. Who can blame them? Dad knows three chords, and kids know lima bean casserole hits the spot.

Let’s not forget a favorite of media, bandwagon. Everybody is doing it! 27 million people are eating soup. I hope you’re not in the minority here.

Next up, processed American cheese, the nastiest cheese that exists. Almost a non-cheese, if you will. But boy, does it melt.

This next one was a new one on me. I didn’t realize folks had peanut butter and jelly parties. This particular showcase is the “Ice Box Raider Special,” with a variety of flavors. I hope they had both smooth and chunky!


And finally, it’s time for a 1951 dessert. No soy milk, full of lactose goodness, and cherries that one associates with the father of our nation, George Washington (until he, too, is erased). Yum!

If ice cream isn’t your bag, you could go for the heavenly flavor of a devil’s food mix. Dorothy Duff liked it, and she’s probably related to Duff Goldman of “Ace of Cakes.” So it has to be good.

Well, there’s your mid-century wrap-up for today. I hope you’re salivating!