Archive for the ‘Vintage Kitchen’ Category

Happy Fri- DAY-O! Winning Ways With Bananas..or something to that effect.   Leave a comment

I like old cookbooks.

I like them for the unmistakable soft focus illustrations that appear in many of the pre-World War Two volumes, and the often kitschily garish color photographs that show up in many 50’s and 60’s tomes. I also like them for the sometimes outlandish….err…creative…dishes they promote.  Especially if they are written to promote a certain product.

It just so happens that I own a very small booklet that was published in 1929 written for the homemaker to extend her creativity with bananas.    Hey! Culinary creativity, you wiseacres!  (As my dad would have said)

Our mainstream love affair with the banana seems to have occurred sometime around the late 1870’s when its availability became more widespread. By the early part of the 20th century, bananas were a big business.  As sometimes happens with some big businesses, there were also, at times, questionable episodes associated with the business of producing bananas.  I suspect that the average American homemaker would have not been aware of such things…especially back in the 1920’s.  Bananas were a popular commodity, and the occasional shortages in availability may have led to this song, written by Frank Silver and Irving Cohn, and released in 1923

At any rate, this particular little booklet was urging the queen of the kitchen to utilize the banana in all manner of possible ways, and reminding her that since they are covered by their peel….“Bananas come to you in Nature’s sealed packages”….and are therefore pure and sterile.  Whether these recipes caught on, I certainly don’t know…some of them look downright strange and unappetizing.  But then again, that’s part of their charm for me!  So bad, they’re good….and good for a laugh and a smile on this Friday.   Take a look….

Whether the point was flavor or just being creative, I don’t know.  First impressions would lean heavily on the side of creativity being the predominant goal here.  But what do I know!  Maybe it’s a good way to get little Billy to eat his potassium, B6 and Vitamin C…..make it look like a carnival of delights!

This one, I think I will rather not comment on, except to say that it might be well received at a ladies’ luncheon!

This one I might actually try….at least it has possibilities.

But I doubt this one will make it to my table….however “enticing”  the illustration….

Believe me, there are more.  But I will leave them for another discussion later.  No doubt these need time to sink in. Time to digest.

And because it’s Friday…………I must leave you with this.

I present to you….

The Breakdancing Bananas.

Enjoy your DAY-O!


Mid-Century Ceramic Elf Joins the Crew!   Leave a comment

My collection of kitschy ceramic chickens were cackling with glee on top of my refrigerator a few days ago at the sight of the latest addition to my world of kitchen kitsch, namely a polka-dotted mid-century elf, complete with violin and woodland log.  The poor character was sitting forlornly in the corner of a wooden box at an outdoor flea market/garage sale…hardly a fate fitting for a little guy who had probably at one time graced a shelf in someone’s kitchen back in the days of Perry Como and Mitch Miller.  A sticker denoting 3 dollars as his going price, which given his six inch height…one of the larger elves I’d come across, seemed fairly reasonable.

Still, I hesitated.

Did I really need to spend the 3 dollars?  I went home without him.

I thought about him for the next three hours.

Having a weakness for vintage kitsch of all types, I was having a tug of war in my mind between wanting to save that 3 dollars and wanting to preserve a piece of kitschy history.

Guess what won?

Here he is.  The chickens can go ahead and laugh at him, but personally I think he’s extremely cute…in a kitschy sort of way, of course.

Here he is on the porch…in all his polka-dotted glory…

However, he really wanted to be outside in a more dignified setting….so I complied with his request. Gotta make the new guy feel at home, after all.

I think it was his goofy smile and green eyes that got me.  That, and the fact that he can play the violin…or at least fakes it well.

Or  maybe it was the small gold heart on his chest, which I discovered upon closer inspection.

Let the chickens laugh. I think he is sweet.  Dorky pointed ears and all.

And I hope he brings a smile to your face on this Monday in June.

As someone before me enjoyed him, so will I give him a place of honor on my windowsill where he will again be appreciated.

Enjoy your day!

Kids About to Cause a Problem..   Leave a comment

OK, I’m about to digress from art history for the moment and tell you that I absolutely love vintage advertising. I love it for its overly dramatic nature in many cases and I love it for the humor it brings (even though I’m sure back in the day, the ads were meant to be fairly serious).  They never fail to bring a smile to my face, and for those reasons I find the old ads delightful.   And on a Monday, everyone needs at least one humorous interlude….so I present these…from my own well-loved 1963 Better Homes and Gardens magazines….

“Ummmm….Houston, we have a problem……ladies….you’d better turn around and stop yakking about the wonders of cooking with electricity.  Little Debbie is back there getting ready to create an electrifyingly chocolate accident of her own!  Abort conversation!  Abort conversation!”   But, oblivious to the warning, Mrs. Theodore Croner (of Millbrook New York!) and Mrs. Robert Bleyer drone on and on….

And below,  Big Brother laughs evilly to himself as he can hardly wait to see the look on Mom and Dad’s faces when they discover that their annual family portrait (with refrigerator of course) as well as their new carpeting has been ruined by the drip, drip, drip of Little Sister’s clandestine red Popsicle….

May you start your week off with a smile…..or two!