Friday, December 5, 2014

The Ten P.M. Cook Book!

Getting away from the heavy stuff today, it's time for a trip to 1958.

This is a nice little series that I like to pick up for collage work. I don't know how many were finally issued over the years, but this is #18. The drawings are by Tye Gibson, who seems to have specialized in cookbook spot illustrations. He or she had work published in many Good Housekeeping and McCall's publications through the 1960s.

This entry is all about "refreshments designed with guests in mind." The chapters are divided into fun categories, such as the typical "Holiday Fare" and "Refrigerator Readies." Especially amusing are the male/female divisions. Apparently when the "girls" get together, they like to munch on Ham Gala with some Crunchy Prune Cream on the side. As a "Hot Perk-Up," it's recommended to make a Butter-Cup, which consists of canned vegetable-juice cocktail with a pat of butter floating on top and a stalk of celery for stirring.

The guys prefer to munch on Chicken 'n' Olive Pin Wheels and Tuna Burgers. No drinks are recommended. By that point, they may have all just run away to the local bar.

If you find yourself assailed by unannounced visitors, then a culinary revenge can be had by serving Toasted Olive Rolls and Rainbow Coconut Balls. Really, one has to wonder at the ingredients in some of these recipes. War-time rationing was long over, so the excitement of being able to use olives or tuna fish should have worn off by now. I can only visualize a room-ful of cook-book editors wondering how far they can push the house-wives of America this time. "Hey guys, how about Tuna-Pineapple Dip? WAAAHAAAHAA."

For those of you that are curious, yes there are photos. And yes they are mostly disgusting. The above is probably the least offensive, showing Mock Pink Champagne, Green-Dragon Dip, Bacon Biscuits, Chinese Savory Chunks and Hawaiian Kabobs. It's good to have photo reference to make sure that your own Hawaiian Kabobs (Spam and pineapples) look as unappetizing as the ones in the recipe.

Beyond the recipes, these mini-books are interesting for portraying the housewife as a triumphant woman. The husband may have been off at his crappy desk job, bucking politics for promotions, but the Good Housekeeping wife was the one spending the money on carefully selected items. And choosing how to impress the neighbors and guests. Day or night, the American house goddess was ready to astound her family with Tiny Fish Balls or Bacon Pizzas. Hey, wait, that last one actually sounds good....

All hail the 1950s housewife! (Wine not pictured)

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