Saturday, February 12, 2011

You'll definitely surprise that special someone with these Valentine's Day treats...

Thinking about making a cake for your sweetie for Valentine's Day?  Here's a new product (well, new circa 1949) that might make that task simpler:

Recently, the fearless chef over at Retro Recipe Attempts tried to make cupcakes in actual coffee cups from a vintage recipe, with questionable I suppose Swan's Down Instant Cake Mix was a big improvement over baking from scratch for some folks.

What interests me is that the mix seems to only come in one flavor; the back of this brochure explains how you can doctor it to make chocolate cake, spice cake, lemon cake, and so forth.  Hard to imagine, now that you can buy cake mixes in every imaginable flavor (and some unimaginable, like confetti).  But given Retrochef's experience, even a basic box mix might have saved many a baker.

As might have this product, which appears to be liquid Crisco.  Mmmmm!

Is it just me, or does this look exactly like a 1970s Wacky Pack?  (And speaking of Wacky Packs, did you know that Art Speigelman was one of the original artists who created them?)  The parody version of this would, of course, have to be called "Hurl."  As for the text at the bottom: "The first and only CHUNKY GREEN SHORTENING that you HURL!"

If you're planning a full-on party, but don't want to work too hard in the kitchen, I have just the solution for you.  Or rather, Martha Logan, chief Home Economist for Swift does:

The introduction speaks for itself (click on the picture to enlarge).  Poor Martha--hopelessly trying to sound hip while urging young hostesses that their parties must lead to Fun for Everybody™.  Just because you're chief Home Economist for Swift doesn't mean you get all the plum assignments.

There are hot-dog themed party ideas for every conceivable occasion in this 24-page beauty, but most appropos for our purposes is the "Valentine Dance," with its "Franks in Hearts-and-Arrows" sandwiches and clever games:

And of course, there's always room for Jell-O.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone, and as Martha Logan says, "Don't spare the eatables!"


Beth said...

I adore old cookbooks and product pamphlets, heck I even like newer ones. As a closet foodie it's so interesting to see how the evolution of simply eating to survive transitioned to "housewifery" to the complete idiocy of crazy foodies out such as Sandra Lee who is totally and strangely retro yet completely modern.

Those hearts and arrows sandwiches don't seem too terrible, a shapely take on pigs and blankets. Of course, the modern foodie would bake organic rosemary scented biscuits, make their own spicy mustard with port wine, and find locally sourced acorn-fed-pork sausages ala Portlandia. Which sounds kinda good actually.

Rosemary said...

Beth, that *does* sound good! Hmmm...maybe I'll have to give the hearts-and-arrows sandwiches a try after all...?

Catherine said...

My favorite was the picture for the Halloween. Nothing says spooky like a Jack-o-lantern with a platter of hot dogs on top!