Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Feast... for the Eyes!

Dear Helen Hartman,
I can't get that meatloaf choo-choo (or should I say 'chew-chew'?) out of my head. Did people actually do that with food? Did kids eat that stuff? GROSS! Loved laughing at the idea of it all but don't believe people back then ever did things like that, if they did, they were sick.


Dear Loved the Laugh, Hates the Look One
First off, let's get one thing straight.


Oh please, the only thing Helen gets straight is her bourbon. Which, like any proper lady, she puts in a pretty, pretty tea cup. Though in honor of Pink Saturday, maybe I should fill this cup with Pink Champagne!  

If you don't believe that 'people back then' ever made a meatloaf train then where do you think that photo came from? You think Helen concocted it herself simply for a photo op? Are you accusing Helen of doing something so unnatural, so aggravating, so distasteful as.... COOKING?


"What are we going to tell Daddy when he wolfs down this totally defrosted meal then says "My girls are such good cooks"?"  
"Thank you very much... sucker."  

Just for that  Helen is going to make you wash your eyes out with a veritable feast... 
a small sampling of awful looking food from vintage cookbooks!
Just a few examples, these gifts from my cousin Patje - it's good to have family, huh?
Disclaimer: I have retouched these photos, mostly to give definition for the computer screen or to lift the effects of yellowing with age. The colors are real. No names have been changed to protect the innocent because in these crimes against gastronomy should not go unpunished. 


Hot N Zippy - that's the before. The after you eat it? Not so Hot and definitely NOT Zippy.
 
Um... yum? You know that expression - when they made you they broke the mold? IF ONLY THAT HAD BEEN THE CASE!!

Who needs a wedding cake when you can have a football shaped molded 'salad'? He's asking - "Do you love Jello as much as I do?"  "I do! I do!"


Surprisingly NOT from the twisted mind that brought up Meatloaf Train! Tater boats!


Raggedy Ann? I'd rather eat the cotton stuffing!


It was the early 60s and even the cookies were expected to always be happy - though clearly Mommy couldn't help expressing her own pent up emotions in frosting now and then.



It's a cute idea but maybe better done before Mom has too many of these:
By 'Improved' we mean big enough to swim in!


Had enough?


Encore!  Encore! 


Do you think people actually MADE this stuff? Did kids actually EAT it? Use your noddle, Loved One, people made their kids MAKE this stuff, then nobody ate it. Why do you think a whole generation was raised on guilt trips about wasting food while other kids in other countries were starving? You know we all offered to send our plate to those kids and see if THEY liked it.


"La-de-dah, now to just put this in a box marked "kids in China" and get it out of here!"


Blog partying with Katherine's Corner today
Thrifty Things Friday
and Inspiration Friday 
and Vintage Inspiration

46 comments:

  1. I make this stuff now, darling!

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    1. And you are every my inspiration! I always love what you find on your Facebook page.

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  2. I just joined the party at Katherine's Corner, thanks for posting the link. See you at the Blog Hop!

    thriftshopcommando.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks for coming by - I love blog hops but got stuck in a rut doing the same ones, going to try to branch out.

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  3. I'm almost embarrassed to admit how much "food art" I've pinned on Pinterest to make for my grandsons at some future date. I didn't make things like that for my daughter, but becoming a grandmother makes you do weird stuff. :)

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    1. I have actually tried some when my kids were little but the results were, um, kinda scary. Also, by the time you've messed around with it so much, is it really fit to eat? I wonder.

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  4. Helen, Quit playing with your food girl. No wonder some one invented nintendo...so kids would have something to do besides sculpting food items. No worry when we were growing...not much you can do with a bowl of beans. LOL
    Thanks for visiting my site. I am getting enough followers to have a give away. :):) Smiles, Susie

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    1. Thanks for coming by! I bet if I look around long enough I would find a photos of what to 'create' with a bowl of beans! Looking forward to your give away.

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  5. I still have a couple of those cookbooks...but I'll never confess to making these dishes! heehee! You always delight us, my friend! You have a way of looking at the world that is one of a kind...and that's a very good thing!

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    1. Why thank you! Fess up, you made the ice cream cupcake clown, didn't you? Hmmmmmm.

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  6. I have never been so entertained by food before! Thanks for the chuckle... I knew there was a reason I held onto my great-grandma's cookbooks!

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  7. Thanks! Welcome to the blog! I bet you have some great food creations in those old cookbooks.

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  8. OMG I seriously need a good laugh - and your blog delivered.

    Your newest follower,

    Linda

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    1. Thank you! I just peeked at your blog and can't wait to go over and read more.

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  9. It gives new meaning to the words 'cherry bomb'!

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    1. Gah! I can't believe I missed that - I think that's what it feels like you have in your stomach after eating this stuff!

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  10. thank you for the giggles sweetie. loved the walk down memory lane too. xo thank you for joining the Thursday Favorite Things hop and for sharing it with your readers. P.S. the new giveaway will be posted tomorrow

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    1. Thanks for stopping by - love your blog and participating in your link party.

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    2. Hugs, see you at the Thursday Favorite Things hop

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  11. LOL- OMG, Helen- You have to go to my blog and see what I make for my grandkids. You are gonna wet your pants laughing...pinky promise.... This link should take you right to my "octopus" post....http://thenanadiana.blogspot.com/search?q=octopus

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    1. I can't wait...or can I? Will be right over!

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  12. Oh my... and they were published! Still trying to figure out what's going on with the orange on fire? All that and you couldn't come up with anything Spam??? :@)

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    1. In SPAMs defense - I stuck to cookbooks and didn't have a SPAM one - maybe I need to find one? The orange on fire is from a TUPPERWARE cookbook - no clue why - maybe they sold those candles?

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  13. WHERE IS THE ASPARAGUS IN THAT PUFF?
    Tater boats actually look pretty scrumptious. *mm* *mmm* Olives!
    Raggedy Ann salad looks demented and GROSS! (I would not even dream of tasting it.)

    OKAY NOW THE fire ORANGE .... It seriously looks as though someone saved up their used contact lenses and popped then under the candles to catch the wax. LOL *EWWWWWWWWWWWW*

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    1. I thought that too about the contact lenses! Then I thought, maybe I am the only one with that warped of a mind. So glad to know I am not alone!!

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    2. Oh, sorry V.Coconut, I said the same thing before I read your comment. I guess great minds think alike when it comes to food styling.

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  14. Another great gourmet post. Now where can I find those small holders that go under the flaming cherries? Probably the genesis for contact lens.

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    1. It was a Tupperware cookbook, I wonder if it was something they sold? Perfect for setting your food on fire!!

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    2. You're right. I bet they sold those. Tupperware sold (and still does) some really weird stuff.

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  15. Yummy! Visiting from Pink Saturday.

    Polka Dot Pink
    Have a great weekend.

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  16. really liked your very amusing pics and words.....I remember it all!

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  17. Thanks for such an entertaining post. You put a lot of thought and work into this.

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    1. Thanks LV - I did comb through a lot of books to find the oddities. I'd say it was work but it was so much fun.

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  18. Helen, What fabulous photos! I love the collection. I had the Betty Crocker for Kids cookbook that had the Rageddy Ann salad and I was a big fan since my childhood room was themed with little redhead stuffed beauty! Happy Pink Saturday. ~Marti

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    1. HPS to you too - did you ever make that salad? I would love to know.

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  19. DEAR Miss Helen,

    You just WON'T DO!! Though it's the probability that you WILL that keeps us coming back for more.

    These are the cookbooks that we subscribed to like Book of the Month, the ones we consulted for our children's parties, for the little nests of stuff and cutesy shapes and characters that would make guests go AHHHH. (Or EEEEEW, as the case may be).

    A whole generation was fooled into thinking that hours of shredding celery into doll-hair would make those kids actually EAT the stuff, and many were brainwashed that anything-with-raisin-eyes was a party dish.

    My collection of cookbooks overflows shelves and boxes and tabletops, and if I confess that half the photography in them looks like Gahan Wilson cartoons, will you think less of me?

    Girl, you DO know how to put down the words.

    rachel

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    1. LOL _ think less of you? I am drooling with envy! Sounds like an incredible stash. My mother was a health food cook... though back then they thought things like a slab of butter on white bread with sugar poured on top was a healthy choice! Thanks for coming by.

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    2. Celery hair? You can't even eat that stuff when it's unshredded, much less tangled like ball of string. What were those chefs thinking??? I wonder when chocolate chips cookies the go-to eyeball substitute?

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    3. I meant: when did choc chips become the preferred cookie eyeball substitute. And forgive me for jumping in here, but celery hair????????? Oh. My. Heavens. BLAHHHH. That's almost as bad as the honkin' big spoonfuls of mayo on ham slices you've educated us about. It just keeps getting better. How did any of us live through the 50s?

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  20. I actually liked the tatter boats LOL, Might make them for my kids for lunch. We don't eat processed cheese, so I will use lettuce for sails, and arugula for banners, LOL.
    The meat loaf train still takes the cake....
    (thanks for posting this, you are making me re examine my role as a mother :-))

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    1. Cake train - now THAT makes sense! Love the lettuce for a sail, I suspect we could update some of these, but not sure that would improve them!

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  21. oh boy you've revealed a truly twisted piece of american history! although i like the idea of a sailboat potato -- just not the execution in that photo. yikes. thanks for another excellent post. xo

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    1. We just don't know what went on in American homes, do we? Somewhere some mom was shaping meatloaf into trains and taters into sailing vessels while the kids were secretly eating pre-sweetened Kool-aid right from the package.

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  22. Doesn't everybody do this with their meals? You should see my lime jello and carrot salad steamboat! Oh wait! I really don't live on the set of The Dick Van Dyke Show. I keep forgetting! Dang, I really like my alter ego Laura Petrie! My day isn't complete until I know if my darling husband Rob trips over that darn ottoman!
    LOL Thank you for sharing at TTF last week! I hope to see you join us again!

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