Saturday, September 21, 2013

You Gonna Eat That?

I have come to the conclusion that people were thinner back then simply because of the food they were presented with for dinner. Whatever they had in the fridge, went in a gelatin mold. "Welllll, lets see here, (opens fridge), I have olives, tuna, pickles and beets, time to get out the mold and get dinner crackin' here!" Every gross concoction was thrown into a shiny gelatinous mess, garnished with random unrelated things, perhaps lime wedges, rutabaga chunks, dill pickles, matchbox cars, whatever, it didn't matter. Nothing was really going to help make it look appetizing. Sometimes they would go all out and fill the cavity of the mold with some sort of creamy mass of meat with an olive or blueberry on top. These books are like a train wreck, you don't want to look, and you know its going to be gross, but you can't help it, it mesmerizes you. Fascinating. Shimmery.
I have had the pleasure to come across several of these cookbook gems. I recently sold a very old book that included a recipe for Sea Grass Pudding. Gather sea grass. Cook with cream and sugar, serve. Really, I kid you not.  Actual recipe.
That book sold 8 hours after I listed it, so it must have been delicious.
The Blender Way to Better Cooking and Savoury Cooking, two prime examples of books full of stuff you never want to eat. Includes Molded Salmon loaf, molded crab meat salad(garnish with cucumber and radish), asparagus egg mold, avocado mold (fill cavity with seafood salad), and something called Green velvet mold (you don't want to know) and the ever so delish Jellied Tomato Ring and my fave Golden Glow salad (pineapple, and cheese cubes, garnished with mayo)
Books available HERE
Awesome mid century salt and pepper shakers with a little jar for misc spice and Tupperware collection available HERE

Look at pics on the back of the book. Shimmery, jiggly, gelatinous mess.
The original Fear Factor.
Okay, now I really don't have anything bad to say about Wilton. I think they have some fabulous retro cake designs that are still fun and cool to this day. Basic cake decorating skills  never go out of style.  I really love this book! I found it in the bottom of a box that I got from an estate sale. Get your star tip out and get ready to make a wedding cake!
Available HERE!
Cool vintage metal flour sifter and lime green Tupperware available HERE!
This one is one of my favorites. I found it here in Florida, but it is from my home city Detroit. Ford Motor Co. used to put out a book of recipes from famous restaurants. I am sad to say that none of these restaurants are still around, but here you can have a collection of their recipes. Book shows much love, but I am crazy about the retro cover picture. I wish I could find more Detroit memorabilia, but chances are, I would just end up keeping it for myself.
This book is available HERE! (Please promise to love and care for this book)
I am in love with this groovy owl planter! This Cheese Cook book actually has some yummy recipes, I'm not going to lie, I copied a few for myself before listing it in my store.
The Omelette book is also a good one! Full of timeless recipes that still sound pretty darn edible! It's challenging for me to list these Holt Mid Century coffee/tea cups. I love how quirky and whimsical they are. But I have broken enough mugs in my life to know not to own anything vintage and non replaceable. Available HERE!
Betty Crocker books are usually my favorite, but this Southern Living one is pretty darn awesome. Hi OWL friend! 
1974 Celebrate cake decorating magazines. Filled with fun groovy cake designs!
Remember to use my coupon codes when shopping, they will expire soon! Shopping for books, use: BOOKS4ME to save 15%
Shopping for vintage home goods, use: VINTAGE4ME to save and extra 10%
My mom was a professional chef, so I can say we ate pretty good growing up. None of this cocktail wieners with grapes in a jello mold for us! However, one time she made some sort of crazy German meal. Everything was pretty disgusting. I discretely tossed the meal on our brown shag carpet, figuring that our pets would eat it. (I did that often with food I didn't like and one of our cats would usually eat it up, hiding any evidence). Well apparently whatever I threw on the floor was so disgusting that even our cats wouldn't touch it, and I got busted. My mom was understanding however, because even she knew it was a gross meal and we still reminisced about "that German dinner" 30 years later.
What were your family meals like growing up?



  1. My mom was/is a horrid cook. Probably because her mom was a horrid cook and participated in some of that jello dinner making... Including making jello mold dish with stuff in it, grapes & pineapple, and then CALLING IT A SALAD!!!!!

  2. For real? I feel for you. That can cause a lot of future trauma! FTS, Food Traumatic Stress.

  3. Even as a child I recall looking through mom's vintage recipe cards and books from this era with morbid fascination. It all looks like plastic food, staged so strangely, I can still lose myself for hours looking at these weird brown-tinted photos of food-like things. My mom's a good cook (Hispanic stereotype in action!) and we enjoyed lots of fresh Mexican, Italian (raised in Italy), and American style food. Now I'm hungry...

    I'm trying to think of something she made that was so horrible I couldn't eat it. Hmm...odd to some but a traditional soup "menudo" contains cow stomach and pig's feet. It's spicy, savory, and VERY delicious but as a kid I'd skip the stomach and feet and just enjoy the hominy and broth.

  4. Haha Menudo! I have seen cans of that in the Hispanic section at Publix. The picture shows all the doo dads and parts in it. We are a vegetarian family, so I also show that to my kids when we are shopping and I tease them by throwing it in my cart pretending to buy it. Menudo is some scary stuff for sure!

  5. I'm having trouble posting from my phone. Wanted to tell you thank you for your comment on my blog. Empty nesting has been horrible for us, but we've found our way again. ;) I love this blog entry. Great pictures. I love jell-o.

    1. I love that you do animal rescue! I am a big activist for animals, and have been a vegetarian for 33 years. But we have a two cat limit due to my husbands allergies. Although, my husband is allergic (to pretty much everything), he is okay as long as he doesn't pet the cats. Or have the fur around his face. So we have always been cat owners and I have rescued and fostered many cats in the past, but it has to be short term, and weather provided, since we have to keep any fosters on our lanai. That is awesome that you do fostering for animals! Rock on!

  6. Wonderful and humorous post! I've seen some crazy cook books in my time. I xan understand where that "skinny" came from.

    Growing up, I was fortunate to have a great cook for a mother! Very traditional meals in our home. Homecooking such as chicken and dumplings, meatloaf, pot roast and similar. My sister grew up to continue the great cooking, me, not so much but nowhere near those mold cookbooks, lol. I love to cook for holidays, parties, Italian, interesting recipes but despise the daily cooking even though as a mother, I do it.I guess it's the mess/clean up that's not enjoyable. I often joke that I need a sister wife to cut down my kitchen time. She could be the dishwasher! I'm following your blog and enjoying your sense of humor!

    1. thanks so much! I need a few sister wives too! One to clean, one to cook, one to help my kids with homework, But not chauffeuring. I like my time in the car with my kids, I feel we have our best conversations at that time!