1950s, Culture, Food, Fun, Funny, History, Humor, Nostalgia, Vintage

Old-Fashioned Sunday Nite Dish

At first glance, it looks like she’s scooping ranch dressing on to deep dish pizza. Not the worst thing in the world.

But further inspection shows that S’Macaroni Bake is actually canned salmon with creamy lemon sauce, and fun pimiento zig-zag lattice work over green olives. Not the Sunday nite dish I had as a kid, but then again, my mom never wore a dress with a bustle.

Feb 1955

The ad says men go for its mouth-watering flavor. It doesn’t say what women go for, but who cares in 1955, right? Just bake it already.

1930s, Culture, Food, History, Nature, Nostalgia, Photography, Pics, Vintage

Tired Of Turkey?

How about a 60 lb Nicaraguan tarpon?

by Newell F. Johnstone, 1932

That could feed Dolly Parton and all of her ELEVEN brothers and sisters. Not a big tarpon eater? Perhaps bullfrog, like this pair in a Washington DC market, sounds tastier? The patron is off her head with anticipation.

by Clifton Adams

This DC chef seems no more excited about his frog-boiling tasks as he inspects the shipment from New Orleans.

The Puerto Rican peddlers below may not be flashing any smiles, but the market promises a tasty dish from the land crabs. First they boil their little bodies, scrape the meat out of the shells, toss them in with ham, green peppers, olive oil, and seasoning, mix it up, then return it to the empty shells. An egg is then placed on top and baked. Interesting, no?

by E. John Long 1939

Maybe you would prefer something tamer, like this morning catch from Winnibigoshish Lake in Minnesota.

Clifton Adams, 1935

And a side of hush puppies please!


Culture, Food, Fun, Photography, Pics

Mini Jack O’ Lanterns

Sunset magazine, Oct 2018

No, this isn’t a Halloween decoration. It’s the Japanese art of hoshigaki, and it starts this month! Last October’s issue of Sunset profiled the Yamanaka family of Northern California, detailing how they dry persimmons. From picking, air drying, and even massaging Hachiya persimmons, the entire family gets in on the action.

Once dried, the persimmons are shriveled but still moist and chewy. The sugary goodness inside will migrate to the edge, forming a white coat. They say the flavors are similar to dates and honey.

I’ve never tried persimmons in my life. What about you? They really do look like tomatoes, don’t they? That last one looks just like the roma in my fridge.

No time like the present; we’re smack dab in the middle of persimmon season. Why, you could even steal Sarah Ward’s recipe for persimmon and apple crumb pie.


Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and that would make a fine Turkey Day treat!

1940s, Advertising, Art, Fashion, Food, History, Nostalgia, Photography, Pics, Vintage

(Insert Tasteless Sylvia Plath Joke)

February 1942, KU Graduate

I’ll let you make up your own title on this one. Plath was the clinically depressed poet who stuck her head in an oven and died of carbon monoxide fumes, but had the good sense and forethought to seal up the walls, so that her nearby children should not perish in their rooms. Nice.

Still not a good case for electric, though.


This is such a fun scene, with three generations of folks, prepping dinner. The apron matches the curtains. Everyone is thin, skirted, and cheery. What more could you want? Other than a gas range.

Advertising, Fashion, Food, Humor, Nostalgia

Advertising Icon Transformation

courtesy of http://www.RedesignRevolution.com

I know, right?  You’re already uncomfortable.

I love makeovers.  LOVE them.  And even though I love food, the makeovers are my favorite part of Rachael Ray’s show.  And even though I love me some kooky, tipsy Kathy Lee and Hoda banter, my favorite part of Today is the ambush makeover.  And don’t get me started on Clinton and Stacey spiffing stylistically-challenged folks up in straight leg, dark rinse trousers that elongate them.

So I understand the irresistible lure to fix the ugly and the outdated to market a product (although, apparently auto companies have not quite grasped that idea, and have actually gone in reverse for the past forty years, producing uglier, blander models, but that’s neither here nor there.)  Successful advertising often requires changing with the times, and–in the case of the Quaker Oats Company–the need to stop offending particular groups.  On her 100th anniversary, syrup icon Aunt Jemima received her latest makeover.  I totally get the desire (read: pressure) to update her image, but do all transformations have to include a younger, thinner version?

courtesy of http://www.neatorama.com

Truth be told, I’m not digging this current Jemima.  I’m not feeling the nurturing.   Those pearl earrings are more for the boardroom than the kitchen.  I’m not saying you need a do rag to cook, but I do have concerns that stray hairs from her more polished coif may find themselves in my pancake batter.  And I just feel like if I asked her to whip me up some flapjacks, she might not be so keen on it. And before you call me racist, just know that the original Aunt Jemima, Nancy Green, actually was born into slavery in 1834, so the look was indicative of the time, like it or not. I imagine she did have the last laugh (all the way to the bank).  Now onto a W.A.S.P.ier icon…

again–from neatorama

Unlike the changing Jemima faces, who–let’s remember were all paid to represent her–Betty Crocker was never a real person. Her name and face were contrived to appeal to homemakers. Well, I’m a homemaker, and I’m not down with any of these Betties. Talk about a lack of nurturing.  The portraits all look so sterile.  These faces don’t say yummy walnut brownies to me; they say news anchor or banker wife (or “no wire hangers!”).  And I’m almost certain one of them is a Baxter-Birney.  Next!

courtesy of http://www.guanabee.com

I think we can all agree the 2006 Sun Maid Raisin girl makeover was an epic failure.  I prefer the happy Gilda Radner to this creepy CGI no-indentation-in-her-upper-lip-Julia-Roberts-smile Little Red Riding Hood.  The cheerful immigrant girl was clearly up at the crack of dawn to pick grapes, but I doubt the “new and improved” Raisin Barbie would have stumbled home yet.  And something about her armpit bothers me.  And finally…

courtesy of www.businessinsider.com
courtesy of http://www.businessinsider.com

In retrospect, maybe the 70s Brawny dude does look like he did a little porn on the side, but at least he looks like a real guy.  Depending on your age (white people) you either have an uncle or a brother who looked like this guy.  And he probably had a name that rhymed with “hairy” to match: a good, solid era-specific name like Gary, Larry, or Barry.  He changed the oil on his Camaro himself (while listening to his Boston eight-track), he drank beer out of cans–not bottles–and gave no thought to wine pairings and manscaping.  This is the guy I want representing the durability and strength of my paper towel.  This guy knows how to clean up a mess.

But the new effete guy?  The one in the red plaid shirt that he just picked up from the dry cleaners?  What’s his name?  Perhaps it rhymes with “Aiden,” as in Brayden, Caden, or Jaden.  How is he going to clean up spilled milk and vodka vomit if he just had his mani-pedi done?  A Brawny guy should not know what exfoliating is, but Caden does.  Honestly, I think fem queens will dig either one, depending on their preference for bears or not, and I’m certain the wording of “Pick A Size” beneath the blonder Tom Selleck is not lost on them.  But speaking as a straight woman with an opinion, I say: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.