Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Contains No Hog Fat

I have this old cookbook. I love this thing.

Do you need to know how the field dress the Easter Bunny?
This is your book.

Do you need to know how to set a formal table for dinner with the Queen or your mother-in-law?
This is the book for you.

Do you need a menu for a "New England Thanksgiving Dinner" with enough food to serve the army of a small country?
This book will serve you well.

Do you need to know how to build a fire in your stove and not burn the house down?
This book will show you the light. (ha ha pun intended)

What is so cool about this cookbook is the advertisements in the back.

Troubled by uncomfortable indigestion?
Can you belch the national anthem?
Do you blame the dog for that sudden unpleasant smell?
Call your grocer immediately.
Because you need some Cottolene.
It promises that if
you are troubled with indigestion you will now by enjoying your food,
have fewer failures when cooking,
and be heartily glad of the day you began using it.
Best of all it contains no hog fat.
Sounds like they took out the best part.

People back then seemed to worry about whether their food was digestible or not.
Real food is another worry.
If it is not real what is it?

Karo wasn't great or fantastic or even wonderful.
It was fine.
As a qualifier fine isn't really very good.
Fine is okay or all right.
If I was grading a rare book fine is just starting to fall apart.
Fine is what someone says when they just want you to get out of their face.
Fine is like 1 step above yuk.
And 2 steps above toss your cookies.

Who uses dishonest bottles?
These people had a lot to worry about

First, concern was their digestion,
Then, whether their food was pure,
Lastly, the quantity of product in the bottle was in question.

What kind of food did Fleischmann's think that women were serving their families?
"Do you realize that besides bread there are a hundred delicious and digestible food products that women are making..."
Somehow I think they must be using the word digestible in place of edible or palatable.
Otherwise, could they be more insulting?

And the award for the most stereotypes used in a single advertisement goes to....
The Hub Range Company!
Please keep your acceptance speech down to 2 minutes, thank you.
Clue music.

Here is the Menu for a New England Thanksgiving dinner. I knew you wanted it. What with the holiday coming up. I'm here to help.

Oyster Soup
Crisp Crackers
Salted Almonds
Roast Stuffed Turkey
Giblet Gravy
Cranberry Jelly
Mashed Potatoes
Onions in Cream
Chicken Pie
Thanksgiving Pudding
Sterling Sauce
Mince, Apple, and Squash Pie
Vanilla Ice Cream
Fancy Cakes
Nuts and Raisins
Cafe Noir



  1. Oh my.... what a meal. And you know, I grew up eating that very meal and never even thought about it. My grandmother would start making the Thanksgiving feast three days before the big day. On Thanksgiving morning, the dishes (which were already assembled) were baked and served. I never thought it was all that much work until I attempted to replicate it the first year that Josh and I were married in Washington. He invited his squad (he was a squad leader in those days) to come for the meal. Oh my goodness, the stress was unbelievable. One oven to bake all of that? And it all had to be baked except for the soup! Thank God for my crock pot is all I can say. I pulled it off but certainly not with the grace and style of my grandmother who always appeared without a shiny nose and with a clean apron on.

    Hilarious post!


  2. Thats quite a menu. And quite the advertisements! Really enjoyed reading thru your book.