Tuesday, May 29, 2007

It's Time To Turn To A&P

Here is a curious WWII-era advertisement for the A&P Super Market chain. The top of the ad has a triptych which is meant to parallel the ideals often espoused in wartime advertising and entertainment. To that end, the first panel has some sort of well-dressed elf strapped to a tree, accompanied by this verse:

Here's HCL lashed to a tree
Just as helpless as can be,
His defeat was swift
Once we practiced thrift
At our convenient A&P...

Who or what is this HCL? Hydrochloric acid? Henry Cabot Lodge? Whatever the answer is, its true meaning is surely lost in the sands of time.

The other panels chronicle the stories of a family who overcome their differences all in the name of thrift and a very proud hen who is doing her part on the homefront.

The best part of this ad, however, is its centerpiece, the bustling Super Market scene. Friendly faces, bright packaging, and those little two-tiered shopping carts collide in a flurry of time-saving, step-saving excitement. 'If you like to choose from wide selections of the best of good things to eat [namely, Marvel Enriched Bread and Rolls, Jane Parker Cakes and Donuts, and Mel-O-Bit Cheese] and if you strive to get the most possible for your food budget ... then ... It's Time To Turn To A&P!' And it's time to click on the ad above to enlarge it!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The New Art Of Simplified Cooking

The famous General Electric kitchens are responsible for one of the classiest cookbooks in my collection, The New Art Of Simplified Cooking (1940). Each page oozes with the gentility of another time, from its elegant design to the sophisticated menus that undoubtedly graced the tables of many dinner parties.

Thank you to my sister for use of this cookbook!

1. Front cover - Sitting down for a simple dinner (though their idea of 'simple' is far different from what we consider acceptable these days).

2. From the title page

3. Photos of the beautiful General Electric Institute in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Includes a never-before-seen glimpse of their very own test kitchen!

4. An article on Modern Electric Appliances in the Home (c. 1940)

5. Canapé Time! - No one takes pride in the minute detail of their appetizers or finger foods anymore.

6. These two gargoyles guard the plate of paprika-dusted corn on the cob.

7. A traditional Thanksgiving

8. Even these cakes seem so high-class!

9. An array of desserts (and really nice glassware) laid out for a luncheon.

10. More baked goods than any family could eat!

11. A buffet in grand style, including peas in phyllo cups and..?

12. 'You'll enjoy the beauty and convenience of a General Electric Kitchen!' It is quite beautiful, I'll agree.

13. For More Pleasure in the Kitchen article - How General Electric appliances will make your time in the kitchen, whether cooking or cleaning up, far more pleasant and efficient.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

How A-peeling!

In the 1960s, you had to expect the unexpected. Everyday items and mundane routines were transformed into unpredictable and unusual moments, with backgrounds of swirling colors and psychedelic music. Bananas were no exception.

These two Chiquita advertisements dating from those heady days are surely not one in the same. The first ad promises a 'successful banana,' and when its skin is peeled back, it is fulfilled. The second ad, however, is a product more from the strange sixties: its peel is pulled back to expose.. Jell-O (strawberry and cherry)?! All the better for making your Jell-O fruit salads!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Try It This Way

How often does the presumptuous suggestion to 'try it this way' result in ruffled feathers rather than gratitude? I'd imagine that it happens more often than not, but with Try It This Way, San Giorgio's 1950 cookbook sensation, gratitude was the order of the day. Why? Because this cookbook compiles the sort of information that any person would rightfully clamor for: 58 'Meal-Making' Recipes from Mrs. Ezio Pinza, Noted Hostess and Wife of the Famous Opera, Broadway and Movie Singer!

Thank you to my sister for use of this cookbook!

1. Front cover - This would be a photo taken of the Pinza family table. If there's one thing that can be said about Mrs. Pinza, it's that she gives you a selection!

2. The table of contents (for quick reference) and San Giorgio's chart of dried pasta

3. Some of the best foods that Mrs. Ezio Pinza knows about are among the least expensive, and she's right! Find out more about her passion for delicious and economical foods in this introduction.

4. Why settle for just Macaroni-and-Cheese when you could have this miraculously-shaped Macaroni Salad?

5. Spaghetti with Meat Ball Clusters: Too good for Italy to keep.

6. I think this very solid ring of Spaghetti with Clams is one of the most impressive dishes in the book. It's one of those pictures that you can mull over for a few hours.

7. The Spaghetti Cheese Loaf is one of the many creatures in the 'loaf with olive eyes' family. This one is indigenous to Italy, as it is made of perciatelli (aka spaghetti). This adorable fellow is paired with the more grisly Spaghetti with Chicken

8. This Chicken Noodle Ring is the hat you wish you could have worn to the Kentucky Derby.

9. Mmm, 10 Minute Chili-Noodle Lunch! That's variety!

10. Noodles with Mushrooms and Pepper: It's watching you with those staring tomato (?) eyes!

11. Meat Loaf with Sauce: A flag in loaf form

12. Clearly San Giorgio has a bone to pick with the Swiss.

13. Smothered Beef: A dish as violent as its name.

14. If you really want to 'dress up' your soup, it needs bowties!

15. The Pastina Page

16. 'Be sure to write for up-to-date, illustrated San Giorgio Premium Catalog. And start saving valuable San Giorgio Medallions today!' Imagine getting some of these sleek appliances (and the baseball mitt) for mere medallions!

17. Back cover - Packaging images of some of the famously Slow-Cured San Giorgio products.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Bad Comics, Good Advertising

The World's Worst Comic Book Museum is a Curly Wurly-approved site that is packed with covers from amusing and bizarre comic books. Though a lot of the samples will make you cringe or scratch your head in confusion, a few feature some familiar friends:

You might remember Jello-O Man and his loyal pal Wobbly from this early 1990s bit of cooking fun. Jell-O Man is still a compelling spokescharacter despite the tragic fact that he represents an age where savory gelatin salads are passé. Seasoned comic book fans will be ecstatic to learn the Secret of Jell-O Man's Origin! Note that there is also a 'Museum Mystery' advertised on the cover. I'm assuming the mystery is how this delightful book could be deemed bad!

OH, YEAAHH! It's Kool-Aid Man leaping out of his time machine and saving the day with a frosty pitcher of Kool-Aid! Don't you wish you could find out how he can battle the Thirsties and manage to take time for a camping adventure? He's perhaps a little more animated in this escapade than in his previous appearance on this blog (in the Kool-Aid Comes Of Age cookbook), where he takes the form of a Halloween cake.

I've never posted anything related to McDonald's but, surely if I had any pictures of Mayor McCheese, I'd post about him often. While Ronald, as usual, takes center stage in this little book, Mayor McCheese remains the unsung hero. This particular comic contains an uncharacteristic story called 'Hamburglar Bungles.' That just doesn't seem right. Incidentally, it looks as if the McDonald's gang also time travels!

Check out the Museum for many more gems, and admire the original covers in their rightful place for further commentary.

Another (unrelated) website I recently discovered: Flip through Household Magazine 1951 at Swank Pad. It cost the original owner 15 cents, but it's a bargain for you! Recommended for fans of old advertising! Plus, check out my favorite, Let's Design Our Dream Home, all home decor from a 1957 Better Homes and Gardens!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Bonjour Expo 67!

image designed by jason67

Jason of the fantastic Expolounge blog has been celebrating the fortieth anniversary of Montréal's Expo 67 in grand style. Now is the time to stop by for his riveting 'Today in Expo 67 history' series! You can even watch a video interview in honor of the occasion! Très cool!

Reach For The Moon with Conte Luna

The Norristown, PA-based company, Conte Luna, has been producing pasta, macaroni, and noodles for over a century. According to the company's website, the Marano family is "known throughout the world as the torchbearers of the pasta industry." While you can find photos of their full line on the site, this brilliantly-colored guide is far more charming. Thank you to my sister for use of this booklet. Remember, you can click on any picture for an enlargement!

Front cover and 'Who Invented Spaghetti?' article

This one pictures #98, The Alphabet. Oddly, I think it shows the name of a Prince song!