“The Wiener The World Awaited!”

IMG_0002 wieners in can 1950s LHJ

I’m not sure that the world realized this. All the other issues at hand in the 1950s: the Cold War, the postwar economy, trying to fit into pencil skirts…all solved, nay “revolutionized,” by all the (gulp) “quickie meals” that would arise from Oscar Meyer Wieners in a Can. And also the Sack o’ Sauce. Can’t forget the Sack o’ Sauce, can we now?

Also: it is not a plus when a food (especially food in a can, or emanating from a sack) is “so different it’s patented!” It’s different, all right.

A decade after this ad, they had that commercial where the kids sing that they wanted to be Oscar Meyer Wieners, remember that? I do, it was on into the 1970s. I never actually knew any kid who expressed that desire; nor did I really want to be a hotdog. Supposedly the deal was that if you were one of those things, everyone would “be in love with you” – an idea that I don’t want to deconstruct right now (or ever, thanks) but…I think that it’s a more likely proposition that IF you are a hotdog, people will EAT you for dinner. Not be in love with you!

And if you are a hotdog in a can…oh, ugh. Never mind. Moving right along…

Here’s a recipe to go with this entrancing product. From Recipes For Young Adults (1973), here is a grown-up “After-The-Game Snack”:


8 frankfurters
8 slices sandwich bread
1/2 cup grated cheese
3 Tb chopped onion
3 Tb prepared mustard
8 stuffed olives

1. Cover frankfurters with boiling water; let stand 8 minutes; drain.
2. Butter bread (remove crusts if desired).
3. Combine chopped onion and mustard.
4. Dip buttered side of bread in grated cheese and spread onion mixture on unbuttered side. Place a frankfurter diagonally across each slice on onion-mustard side.
5. Fasten two opposite corners of slice with toothpick.
6. Place bread side down on broiler pan 3 inches from heat. Broil 2-3 minutes on each side to toast.
7. Perch stuffed olives on toothpicks.

Aw, the olives are perched on the toothpicks, how cute. I didn’t know they could do tricks. But now that wieners come in a can I guess anything is possible.

Note that if we make this recipe we will have a leftover Sack o’ Sauce. I can’t imagine what we’re going to do with that.

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8 thoughts on ““The Wiener The World Awaited!”

  1. You I never saw weiners in a can – ever, but we did indulge in Vienna sausage in a can. We were big hot dog eaters when I was little. My dad taught me how the cowboys ate hot dogs. No buns. Just slap that puppy on a fork hold it over the fire and when it’s black — blow on it and enjoy. My proper mother was appalled!!!
    This recipe is actually kind of appealing – especially the teetering olive.

  2. Amy – It is probably the only time I have ever seen hotdogs in a can. Teeny sausages, yes, hotdogs, no.

    Toontz – Yes, I loved the thought of the Oscar meyer pundits coming up with that, thinking people would find that appetizing…

    Mama Brook – I’m part German myself, and grew up in a German/Hungarian neighborhood –
    And I’m going to be visiting your blog quite a bitm it is very cool!

  3. I was cracking up at your post about the oscar meyer weiners and I too did not know anyone who wanted to be a hot dog!!! Lol!!! very funny!!!Keep em’ coming…you are a fabulous writer!

  4. Just yesterday at the dollar store I saw a tall regular vegetable size can of vienna sausages. I didn’t notice then but now I wonder if there were multiple layers of the little weenies or if they could have been regular hot dog size. I even commented to my husband that I had never seen a can of vienna sausages that big.

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