Sunday, August 26, 2007

Other Sites: Russian advertising's Museum of Russian Poster has an impressive collection of advertising and propaganda/agit-prop posters from the early twentieth century. Like some of the American advertising I've posted, particularly those from the 1940s, many from the collection are veritable works of art.

I can't read Russian, so I can't confirm the little amount of translation on the site. The graphics more than make up for this, though. Here are a few links to my favorite advertising, in chronological order:

1. Cakes of S. Siu & Co. - depicting the annual 'biscuit rolling' competition (1900)
2. Demand Sausages Everywhere (1937)
3. Tinned crab in a neat molded salad shape (1938)
4. Ice Cream: Demand Everywhere (1938)
5. A Chaplinesque cake hawker (1941)
6. A mother penguin serving a fantastic array of ice creams (1951)
7. A seal holding up more ice cream (by the same artist as last ad) (1954)
8. A cheerful mélange of vegetables (1954)

If strange foods are more your speed, take a trip over to my new favorite site. Retro Life is an exceptionally nifty discovery of mine. All lovers of less appetizing foods should read through the recipe oddities where the author has done nothing short of recreating these odd marvels, including Curly Wurly favorite, the Perfection Salad!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Curly Wurly Interactive #2

If the summer heat has you pining for chillier days, join this Scandinavian maiden on a snowy adventure. This is a Danish paper doll greeting card illustrated by Bente Olsen for Carlsen Verlag. It was purchased sometime in the mid- to late 1960s.

So, for the interactive part: print, clip out this unnamed pige and her fabulous wardrobe, and accompany her to school, the frozen pond, and the stables. She's as fashionable as Jackie O!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Curly Wurly Interactive #1

When you've looked through cookbooks as long as I have, you're bound to encounter massive amounts of Culinary Arts Institute volumes. I can't vouch for the superiority of the recipes, but, for me, the major drawback of this series 'devoted to the science of Better Cookery' is that all the pictures are in black and white. While that definitely detracts from the allure of these delicious creations, some of these pictures are too good not to be seen.

So, get your crayons ready for the interactive portion of today's post. Here for your coloring pleasure are a few select pages from 1940's 500 Delicious Salads. It's the easiest sort of rainy day activity: just print them out and select the most garish colors you can find! The kids will forget Mickey Mouse (or whatever it is kids like) in no time!

It's a magical moment when the book's own captions speak for themselves. From this point on, I promise you that all commentary is solely from the book itself!

Spring Flower Salads - 'These flowers that bloom in the spring, tra la, are the loveliest luncheon salads'

Grape and Pear Salad - 'Cries of delight will greet this frosty bunch of grapes when the layers below are explored'

Cranberry Ring Salad - 'The brilliant color of cranberry ring filled with shrimp and garnished with pineapple slices and cream cheese makes a real picture'

Top: 'Molded jellied salads in perky shapes for individual service instead of using large molds. When arranged on a bed of chicory with mayonnaise piled in the center, they'll keep the family coming back for more.' Bottom: 'A mirror tray is an ideal background to enhance the transparent delicacy of individual molded salads. A garnish of fresh green leaves and ripe whole berries adds the final touch of beauty.'

Drum Major Salad - 'Every one will 'fall in line' with the drum major salad'

Turkey Salad - 'Turkey gobbler, sea lion or pussy cat will be the result of your skill and imagination' (CW: I guess this can be shaped as one of these creatures only)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Foodarama Party Book, part 2

There's a lot more to the Foodarama Party Book! First up is a Baby Shower Party..

So, how does the book recommend celebrating the blessing of an addition to the family? Why, with the very tropical Party Chicken! Looks like one of those weird cravings a pregnant woman might have.. like for artichokes with marshmallow fluff.

Easter Brunch - Eggs Marguerite (in the iconic Corningware dish), a thick slab of ham surrounded by unreal-looking pears filled with something that looks like caviar (it's marmalade), and a great, slightly sunken Panettone.

I don't know about you, but nothing says 'picnic' to me like a nice serving of olive loaf! In fact, I could go for some right now! You've got to love those cute little condiment containers, though, I don't know what ketchup is supposed to compliment in this particular set-up. Surely not the olive loaf!

The best party is the one with the 'small fry' in mind. This Circus Cake will certainly tickle his or her funny bone! Great with Popcorn Balls!

For a Teen Ager party, nothing beats some good grill lines on a hamburger. Nothing. It's a festive thing to do, and it might even match the decorations! If you don't have a grill, just draw them on. A thick black Sharpie works well. These aren't just hamburgers, though. They're Jam Session Hamburgers, and, be warned, they're much too 'Real Crazy' for adult tastebuds.

The remorseful 'Morning After' Eggs go well with those Pizza Pies with anchovy filets that the Teen Agers love so much.

Give thanks the way the Pilgrims did it at the first Thanksgiving: with Three Layer Salad (containing large amounts of native crop, Sliced Stuffed Olives) and Lemon Cups! Lemon Cups are, by the way, lemon halves, scooped out and dipped in paprika, filled to overflowing with mayonnaise. Yum?

Poker for the Men. Think The Odd Couple. If you're out of bologna sandwiches, paella might be your next best bet. I'm sure loads of poker parties have heaping bowls of paella in the middle of the table. If you're more of an Oscar Madison kind of guy, I'm guessing the Sausage Platter would be more your speed. Ooh, more olive loaf!

Christmas' menus are as predictable as Thanksgiving's. Try something different this year, why don't you? The Holiday Orange Pudding is guarded by over half a dozen Michelin Men!

I was really excited when I saw this page. This is the book's Christmas Eve Dinner and has a tray of my favorite Christmas Eve treat: Mustard Salad Molds! Mmm, they're the best. Not as good as olive loaf but still a great gelatinous side dish!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Foodarama Party Book

The Foodarama Party Book is a handy guide on how to throw an impressive shindig for any occasion. It was published in 1959 by the Kelvinator Division of American Motors Corp. The Foodarama was a particular Kelvinator refrigeration model. In fact, it was 'a new, high mark in gracious living,' boasted Joan Adams of the Kelvinator Institute for Better Living. The Foodarama is (well, was) 'the world's only combination 6-cubic-foot, upright home freezer and 12-cubic-foot, self-defrosting refrigerator.' Finally, the Foodarama actively promoted better eating, thriftiness, and time saving. And, like most refrigerators, fun! Appropriately, this book is for 'fun loving people.'

First, you can't have a party without a few Popular Party Games - including Hot Potato and the Three-Legged Race!

Rainbow Birthday Cakes - The highlight of the picture is the Colored Marshmallows, especially those lolling about in the cocoa. The figures at the top bring a wrapped offering to the cake and take a moment to bow their heads reverently.

Teen Age Birthday Supper - Real Crazy Cake, the likes of which would only appeal to a Teen Ager. Teen Agers also like the Real Crazy Wicker Duck with Real Crazy Bananas sticking out really crazily from it. The ice cream brand has been covered over so that the Teen Agers can't identify it (it's the cheap kind).

Valentine Dinner - Love is in the air, and so is the aroma of Roast Pork with Spiced Crabapples and Banana Sea Foam!

For that indispensable Washington's Birthday Party - The Birthday Dinner will include Washington favorites Planked Lamb Chops and Duchess Potatoes.

But, the best part of your annual Washington's Birthday Party is having a slice of Lizzy Borden Roll. Oh, wait, that's not for this party. This is the Festive Ice Cream Roll, filled with cherry vanilla ice cream and topped with the very axe which Washington used to chop down the infamous cherry tree.

'Bridge for the Ladies?' As if there's any choice! How about serving up some boiling hot Lobster Newburg and the rare but deadly 10-eyed Party Sandwich Loaf? Note one of my favorite gadgets: the underappreciated toast rack.

This looks more like a set of porcelain tchotchkes collecting dust in an old lady's house than something edible. But, as it happens, these unnecessary knickknacks are called Frozen Fruit and Cheese Salad.

Come back tomorrow for more fashionable party ideas courtesy of Kelvinator!