Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mid-Century Milk

When you think of glamor and modern, cutting-edge cuisine that doesn't skimp on decadence, what ingredients immediately spring to mind? Caviar? Truffles? Of course not! Better Homes & Gardens wants to lure you in with the 'smooth, tempting flavor only Evaporated Milk can give'! Better Homes' February 1955 pictorial paean to that fast, thrifty modern miracle (and pantry staple) provides your kitchen magician with eleven fancy luncheon and dinner suggestions.

The Evaporated Milk fashion spread. I usually take a Tums when I experience 'come-again' flavor, but apparently that is a good thing when caused by Evaporated Milk!

'Evaporated Milk: It's what the blue bloods are having for dinner tonight'. Article (and this blog post) paid for by the American Dairy Association.

The new architectural (and literary) marvel: Choose Your Own Adventure Curry - complete with an impenetrable rice fortress!

The Peach Cream Salad looks like one of the mysterious stations run by the Dharma Initiative on ABC's television hit, Lost. What could be the purpose of all those cryptic red and green portals along the outer perimeter? Is the top decoration the sun or another sinister symbol made of cling peaches?? Why does a Peach Cream Salad call for horseradish??? Does Jacob live here???? Only 'time' will tell, but probably only one of these questions will be answered by the end of the series.

Decisions, decisions! Can't choose between vanilla and chocolate pudding? Try Twice Good Pudding! Note: This recipe spread must have been published before the advent of salad bars, where you can have Twice Good Pudding every day of the week. See, we take for granted how good we have it now! Also, I challenge you to find a noodle in the Noodle Ring with Mushroom Sauce! I see more potential noodle matter in the Cherry Almond Fluff!

The Loaf In A Loaf is the highlight of this page. It's an edible matryoshka with the outer loaf holding as many as eight other nested loaves! Or, rather, it's like a turducken. You can also try the Treasure Island Rabbit. Diced pimiento marks the spot!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Mickey Mouse and Goofy Explore Energy, part 3

Mickey Mouse and Goofy Explore Energy concludes with a look at a few proposed alternative energy sources that we have yet to explore to their fullest and a quick primer of conservation methods. I think America was supposed to learn about the importance of resolving the energy crisis in these final pages. Now, we've wasted years not devoting ourselves to developing a new domestic energy system, and conservation hasn't been embraced (or, possibly, forced) as it once was.

Sure, this comic may seem like a relic now, but it was an admirable attempt to educate children and deliver a message of personal responsibility and of hope for the future. Sadly, I think this sort of booklet would fall on mostly deaf ears now. Maybe we can convince Disney to reprint Mickey Mouse and Goofy Explore Energy with Mickey charging up his cell phone and Goofy despairing over the high prices of gasoline as he's trying to fill up his SUV!

That fruitless, hopeless search.

Alternative sources of energy must be found. Here, Goofy and Mickey learn about nuclear fission and hydroelectric plants. Kids, please don't try to plug appliances into a waterfall!

Just imagine if we had five gallon limits on gasoline today! That would just be a drop in the tank of everyone's SUV.

Enny discusses renewable energy sources like solar power. The #1 user for solar power? Egg cooking!

Water power and nuclear fusion

Electromagnetic, geothermal, and volcanic energies

Welcome to Conservation Station. Take a gander at Goofy's wind-driven soup cooler.

What ways can you think of to save energy?

It was all a dream, but Enny's message leaves a strong impression on Mickey and Goofy. And Goofy discovers yet another source of power.....


Thursday, April 02, 2009

Mickey Mouse and Goofy Explore Energy, part 2

As promised, here is part two of Mickey Mouse and Goofy Explore Energy. Yesterday we left off just as the dozing Mickey and Goofy were greeted by Enny, the Spirit of Energies past. Enny has a lot to show the eager pair about the history of energy usage. Soon you'll learn all about Goofy's contributions to our lives over the last few hundred years! Remember, everything you read below is indisputable fact! Click to enlarge all pictures. (© 1976, Walt Disney Educational Media Co.)

Documented early use of solar and mastodon power.

Goofy lucks into discovering water and wind power, and he develops the first windmill. He also accidentally invents the first batch of Silly Putty.

Goofy demonstrates the prototype of the Rube Goldberg back scratcher. The shortcomings of water and wind power are resolved by the discovery of steam power.

Goofy ushers in the era of coal and discovers electricity after almost being struck in a thunderstorm. All contrary to what text books will have you believe!

Is Goofy an idiot savant or just an idiot? Discuss. Also, remember learning about 'Goofy-power' in school?

The convenience and ease of electricity has directly resulted in our lazy and wasteful society. As more energy guzzling gadgetry are hoisted upon us, trash cans overflow with obsolete technologies, noise pollution saturates the once peaceful air, queues for the moving pictures clutter city streets, and many houses have too many butter churns! ..Then Goofy discovers Texas Tea.

Goofy and our dependence on Texas Tea ('Black Gold').

Welcome to the Petroleum Century.

We're all to blame!

The never-ending cycle of guilt.

Tomorrow's final installment of Mickey Mouse and Goofy Explore Energy delves into possible alternative energy sources and the lost art of conservation.

Mickey Mouse and Goofy Explore Energy, part 1

America's biggest mistake to date was not heeding Mickey Mouse and Goofy's dire warning. We first experienced a devastating energy crisis over thirty years ago. Despite clever attempts at energy conservation and political promises to gradually lessen dependence on foreign oil and other finite energy sources, we are in the midst of yet another energy crisis. It's almost as if no lessons were learned from the last energy crisis!

But, to Mickey Mouse and his best pal, Goofy, this all seems like deja vu. Right now, they are probably in their castle in California (or possibly Florida), reminiscing about the 1970s, their shared hallucination about a preachy anthropomorphic atom named Enny, and how all their displays of Yankee ingenuity were wasted on the American public. Did any president after, say, Jimmy Carter even consult this comic? Or, perhaps, T. Boone Pickens was the only person to have taken this tract seriously.

*cue Disco Donald Duck*

Come with me back to 1976, as we look with shame at some of the ways (mule power!) our current energy crisis could have been prevented. I present to you in three parts: Mickey Mouse and Goofy Explore Energy (© 1976, Walt Disney Educational Media Co.).

Note Enny's approval of Mickey and Goofy's creative conservation. Shouldn't we all be driving mules by now?

This comic's thesis is already prominent on the first page. The energy crunch is bad, and it contributes to the unpleasantness of average mice and goofs. Energy crises may contribute to the impoliteness of some citizens as they become less punctual, are more apt to make ludicrous excuses for their behavior, and assuage their guilty consciences with nosy questions and hurtful accusations. Others might seem 'not themselves': weak, wan, and lacking vim and/or vigor. That's the energy crunch, folks!

Mickey explains the energy crunch with a (guilt) trip to the U.S. Energy Bank where Goofy gets a lesson in fy-nite energy.

Mickey sets us straight: We can't wish energy crunches away.

Oblivious as usual, Goofy goofs (as evidenced by the panel where the sky turns an alarming shade of magenta) and his car runs out of gas. Goofy and Mickey trek to Otto's gas station which is deserted and boarded up. Otto's mom and pop business hasn't actually 'moved.' It was bought out by Mobil Oil. (In the fifth panel, doesn't it look like someone in the distance is yelling about the fuel gauge?)

This comic probably terrified many kids with its 'we're all going to die (and it's all your fault for ever being born)' scare tactics. But sometimes it takes a good scare to jolt us out of complacency.

Trekking through the desert heat makes Mickey and Goofy grow weary, and they stop to rest under a tree. They become unnaturally sleepy (a la Dorothy in the poppy field in The Wizard of Oz), and their sleep sounds are oddly Batmanesque (zawp, bzazz, zoop!?). Enny instantly materializes out of thin air to take them on the trip of many lifetimes. Meet Enny, the Spirit of Energies past.

Stay tuned tomorrow for part two of Mickey Mouse and Goofy Explore Energy when Enny will take us on a trip through the history of energy. It'll be better than a day at the Epcot Center!