The Old Soft Soap

LHJ 1936 Sunbrite Soap

Thank goodness it’s only Mr. Blank the grocer on the phone to middle-aged Betty Boop! He’s brightened up her life, but only with soap. The old soft soap routine! “Cleans Easier – Works Faster – Doesn’t Scratch.” Yes, that Mr. Blank (the worst alias ever!) works faster all right! As far as not scratching, well, I really don’t want to know the sordid details.

Still, Mr. Boop there needs a little anger management, wouldn’t you say? One phone call and he’s packing his bags! Having said that, why is the grocer calling Betty up to see how the soap is working? Most grocers don’t act like this. That’s a mighty saucy grocer you have there, Betty! Can’t you two just meet out back of the store?

Still, Mr. Boop calms down quite fast. He’s like the weather here this month: thunder and rain for a moment followed by blue skies (rinse and repeat!). Anything that makes the cleaning easier for you, dear! Even if it means Betty keeps “forgetting” things on her shopping list and has to keep running down to the Piggly Wiggly…

This reminds me of a similar 1930s ad (this Sunbrite one is from 1936) – the Drano ad where Mr. Snickers is whipped into a psychotic froth because of a clogged drain. Mr. Boop must be his cousin or something. Their family reunions must be quite a lot of fun!

This is my offering for Vintage Thingies Thursday, which is hosted by the Apron Queen.

The Old Soft Soap

LHJ 1936 Sunbrite Soap

Thank goodness it’s only Mr. Blank the grocer on the phone to middle-aged Betty Boop! He’s brightened up her life, but only with soap. The old soft soap routine! “Cleans Easier – Works Faster – Doesn’t Scratch.” Yes, that Mr. Blank (the worst alias ever!) works faster all right! As far as not scratching, well, I really don’t want to know the sordid details.

Still, Mr. Boop there needs a little anger management, wouldn’t you say? One phone call and he’s packing his bags! Having said that, why is the grocer calling Betty up to see how the soap is working? Most grocers don’t act like this. That’s a mighty saucy grocer you have there, Betty! Can’t you two just meet out back of the store?

Still, Mr. Boop calms down quite fast. He’s like the weather here this month: thunder and rain for a moment followed by blue skies (rinse and repeat!). Anything that makes the cleaning easier for you, dear! Even if it means Betty keeps “forgetting” things on her shopping list and has to keep running down to the Piggly Wiggly…

This reminds me of a similar 1930s ad (this Sunbrite one is from 1936) – the Drano ad where Mr. Snickers is whipped into a psychotic froth because of a clogged drain. Mr. Boop must be his cousin or something. Their family reunions must be quite a lot of fun!

This is my offering for Vintage Thingies Thursday, which is hosted by the Apron Queen.

Instant Coffee Karma

Maxwell House cookbook cover 1965

Instant coffee karma’s gonna get you.

Because there’s coffee, coffee everywhere, but not so much to drink…No, no – to cook with. I love the specialty cookbooks, like this one from my buddy Maxwell House, from 1965. Coffee at every meal, the cover cries in urgent tones (much like me in the morning!). Coffee in everything that you cook! Quickly, quickly, bring more caffeine! And make sure that it is from the House of Maxwell, while you’re at it.

This is the sort of cuisine to make our old friend Mr. Caffein Nerves twitch with emotion.

Yes, there are the usual recipes for flavored coffees and there are lots of cakey things (coffee cakes and cakes with coffee in them, et cetera) but there are also rather – surprising recipes. Prepare to be amazed! For example:

COFFEE-LEMON SALAD DRESSING

1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup salad oil
1 Tb lemon juice
2 tsps instant quality coffee

Blend ingredients together. Chill thoroughly. Stir and serve with salads of chilled canned or fresh fruit. makes one cup. Creamy version: substitute 1/2 cup mayo for the salad oil and increase lemon juice to 2 Tb.

There are main courses in which you can insert a teaspoonful or two (hey, maybe three!) of instant coffee: spaghetti sauce, barbecued ribs. You can drown your chops in coffee gravy and your shrimp tempura in coffee sweet-and-sour sauce. You can even put it in a fish dish:

FISH BRAZILIA

1 lb fresh flounder or sole fillets
2 tsps quality instant coffee
1 Tb lemon juice
3 Tb salad oil
1/2 tsp onion salt
Lemon slices (optional)
Ripe or stuffed green olives (optional)

Place fish fillets in shallow baking dish. Dissolve instant coffee in lemon juice; combine with oil and salt, mixing thoroughly. Pour coffee mixture over fish and let stand 30 minutes, turning once after about 15 minutes. Broil 3 inches from heat 5 to 7 minutes, or until fish will flake easily with a fork. Garnish with lemon slices and olives. Makes 3 servings.

Why 3 servings? Don’t recipes usually make an even number of servings?

Maybe the cook gets a reprieve. You have to hang around with it in the kitchen, you’ve done enough!

Now I’m going to go get some more coffee. Just regular coffee, thank you. I am not planning to do anything special with it. No “fascinating new flavor” today, thanks.

Instant Coffee Karma

Maxwell House cookbook cover 1965

Instant coffee karma’s gonna get you.

Because there’s coffee, coffee everywhere, but not so much to drink…No, no – to cook with. I love the specialty cookbooks, like this one from my buddy Maxwell House, from 1965. Coffee at every meal, the cover cries in urgent tones (much like me in the morning!). Coffee in everything that you cook! Quickly, quickly, bring more caffeine! And make sure that it is from the House of Maxwell, while you’re at it.

This is the sort of cuisine to make our old friend Mr. Caffein Nerves twitch with emotion.

Yes, there are the usual recipes for flavored coffees and there are lots of cakey things (coffee cakes and cakes with coffee in them, et cetera) but there are also rather – surprising recipes. Prepare to be amazed! For example:

COFFEE-LEMON SALAD DRESSING

1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup salad oil
1 Tb lemon juice
2 tsps instant quality coffee

Blend ingredients together. Chill thoroughly. Stir and serve with salads of chilled canned or fresh fruit. makes one cup. Creamy version: substitute 1/2 cup mayo for the salad oil and increase lemon juice to 2 Tb.

There are main courses in which you can insert a teaspoonful or two (hey, maybe three!) of instant coffee: spaghetti sauce, barbecued ribs. You can drown your chops in coffee gravy and your shrimp tempura in coffee sweet-and-sour sauce. You can even put it in a fish dish:

FISH BRAZILIA

1 lb fresh flounder or sole fillets
2 tsps quality instant coffee
1 Tb lemon juice
3 Tb salad oil
1/2 tsp onion salt
Lemon slices (optional)
Ripe or stuffed green olives (optional)

Place fish fillets in shallow baking dish. Dissolve instant coffee in lemon juice; combine with oil and salt, mixing thoroughly. Pour coffee mixture over fish and let stand 30 minutes, turning once after about 15 minutes. Broil 3 inches from heat 5 to 7 minutes, or until fish will flake easily with a fork. Garnish with lemon slices and olives. Makes 3 servings.

Why 3 servings? Don’t recipes usually make an even number of servings?

Maybe the cook gets a reprieve. You have to hang around with it in the kitchen, you’ve done enough!

Now I’m going to go get some more coffee. Just regular coffee, thank you. I am not planning to do anything special with it. No “fascinating new flavor” today, thanks.

Ten Things I Hate About This Room

Presenting what passed as “a room for a teen-age girl” in the early 1970s. In a book, not necessarily in reality. But still!

BTB room #3 Teen room

1. The wallpaper looks like an invasion of Ricki Ticki Stickies (those flower-shaped things you put on the bottom of the tub to keep you from skidding).

2. The weird black cow and the smirking frog on top of the Ricki Tickies, just to the right of that bed.

3. The eye-searing black and white checks plastered all over the furniture. Between this and that wallpaper I would need dark glasses (and Motrin) to even attempt living in this place.

4. Those dogs (ceramic perhaps?) down on the floor by the desk. They do not look happy. I would be tripping over them a lot, I think. Why are they there? What is the purpose? They are making me uncomfortable.

5. Snoopy is blocking the vanity mirror. And he is black and white. This is redundant. There is enough black and white in here.

6. All the other stuffed toys lolling on the shelves look a bit weird, too. The clown, another damn frog. Ugh.

7. The bedside table has no legs and no shelves under it. That is no good.

8. Obviously, the black and white checks and the wallpaper CLASH. They clash alone and together, which is quite an achievement.

9. The pencil cup, and the Dalmatian on the shelf above the desk, are white with black spots and they clash with everything else. Was there not enough black and white in here? I guess not.

10. The frog on the shelf is sitting on a straw suitcase. The suitcase is not large enough though. You need something that will hold everything. You will be using it to run away from this room. Note to self: do not pack anything you see in this picture.

Ten Things I Hate About This Room

Presenting what passed as “a room for a teen-age girl” in the early 1970s. In a book, not necessarily in reality. But still!

BTB room #3 Teen room

1. The wallpaper looks like an invasion of Ricki Ticki Stickies (those flower-shaped things you put on the bottom of the tub to keep you from skidding).

2. The weird black cow and the smirking frog on top of the Ricki Tickies, just to the right of that bed.

3. The eye-searing black and white checks plastered all over the furniture. Between this and that wallpaper I would need dark glasses (and Motrin) to even attempt living in this place.

4. Those dogs (ceramic perhaps?) down on the floor by the desk. They do not look happy. I would be tripping over them a lot, I think. Why are they there? What is the purpose? They are making me uncomfortable.

5. Snoopy is blocking the vanity mirror. And he is black and white. This is redundant. There is enough black and white in here.

6. All the other stuffed toys lolling on the shelves look a bit weird, too. The clown, another damn frog. Ugh.

7. The bedside table has no legs and no shelves under it. That is no good.

8. Obviously, the black and white checks and the wallpaper CLASH. They clash alone and together, which is quite an achievement.

9. The pencil cup, and the Dalmatian on the shelf above the desk, are white with black spots and they clash with everything else. Was there not enough black and white in here? I guess not.

10. The frog on the shelf is sitting on a straw suitcase. The suitcase is not large enough though. You need something that will hold everything. You will be using it to run away from this room. Note to self: do not pack anything you see in this picture.

Zam-Buk the Magnificent

They still make this stuff that sounds like a 1950s gladiator movie, look! And it even has its own website. It hasn’t got a lot of content on there but then it is only a jar of ointment. I don’t suppose that its miraculous attributes include writing blog posts, really.

I kind of wish it did, because then it could come sit on my desk here and whisper helpful ideas. It is Monday morning – ah, but you knew that already! – and I’m thinking about where to take Kitchen Retro in the coming months – things to write about, mixing things up a bit. I have some really good ads I’m saving up though – I can’t wait to post them. And there are some strange recipes lurking on the shelves. Also, I want to write more about retro stuff from the 1960s and 1970s that I remember and can’t get out of my head.

But Zam-Buk calls! Zam-Buk awaits my post and will not be happy if it does not get written. Do not make Zam-Buk displeased. Zam-Buk has a mighty temper and will unleash a few thunderbolts from his mighty mountaintop. And give you an itchy skin rash too!

Anyway, Zam-Buk. It is made in the UK by the Rose Apothocary Co., here. It is made up of several herbal oils (eucalyptus and thyme especially) mixed with beeswax and a couple of other things (I know I am being lazy, but if you really, absolutely are desperate to know the couple of other things in Zam-Buk, the Rose people are very happy to tell you. Sorry, need more coffee over here!)

This site suggests that the name comes from a South African town called Zambuk. Why the Roman senator in the ad – and why the ad implies that this stuff was made in ancient Rome – I have no idea.

Zam-Buk ointment – oh sorry, embrocation! – was made starting about 1903 in Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. This ad is from a Canadian newspaper – the Toronto Telegram, in 1923. Big version is here.

An embrocation, by the way, is a fancy word for something medicinal that is rubbed into the skin. In other words, cream or ointment. I really like this word – it sounds like a cross between an altercation and a convocation. I guess if you had an altercation (say, with the valedictorian) this is just the sort of thing you would need.

Zam-Buk the Magnificent

Toronto Telegram 1923 Zam-Buk

They still make this stuff that sounds like a 1950s gladiator movie, look! And it even has its own website. It hasn’t got a lot of content on there but then it is only a jar of ointment. I don’t suppose that its miraculous attributes include writing blog posts, really.

I kind of wish it did, because then it could come sit on my desk here and whisper helpful ideas. It is Monday morning – ah, but you knew that already! – and I’m thinking about where to take Kitchen Retro in the coming months – things to write about, mixing things up a bit. I have some really good ads I’m saving up though – i can’t wait to post them. And there are some strange recipes lurking on the shelves. Also, I want to write more about retro stuff from the 1960s and 1970s that I remember and can’t get out of my head.

But Zam-Buk calls! Zam-Buk awaits my post and will not be happy if it does not get written. Do not make Zam-Buk displeased. Zam-Buk has a mighty temper and will unleash a few thunderbolts from his mighty mountaintop. And give you an itchy skin rash too!

Anyway, Zam-Buk.  It is made in the UK by the Rose Apothocary Co., here. It is made up of several herbal oils (eucalyptus and thyme especially) mixed with beeswax and a couple of other things (I know I am being lazy, but if you really, absolutely are desperate to know the couple of other things in Zam-Buk, the Rose people are very happy to tell you. Sorry, need more coffee over here!)

This site suggests that the name comes from a South African town called Zambuk. Why the Roman senator in the ad – and why the ad implies that this stuff was made in ancient Rome – I have no idea.  

Zam-Buk ointment – oh sorry, embrocation! – was made starting about 1903 in Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. This ad is from a Canadian newspaper – the Toronto Telegram, in 1923.

An embrocation, by the way, is a fancy word for something medicinal that is rubbed into the skin. In other words, cream or ointment. I really like this word – it sounds like a cross between an altercation and a convocation. I guess if you had an altercation (say, with the valedictorian) this is just the sort of thing you would need.

Mum’s the Word

LHJ 1946 Mum

Trouble in the boudoir! Or wherever this is. Could be a sound stage. Could be a large lightbox. I don’t really know what’s going on or who is talking to this startled dame. Perhaps it is the voice of her conscience! Or her armpits are talking to her, maybe. I would look scared too if that happened!

“It isn’t your necklace they’ll notice, Pet!” You can put on all the jewels and “trinkets” you’ve got in the boxes there, but how can anyone appreciate their sparkly goodness when they’ve passed out on the floor! That’s a fine thing for a disembodied voice to say. How rude!

Then comes the compliment: “It’s a gift – the way you wear jewels for smart effect.” (It’s even smarter if you also remember to put your dress on, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves).

“But, honey, can’t you see? Even the loveliest of trinkets fails to be effective when charm itself fades away!” Out come the euphemisms. Can she see? You mean, can she smell, don’t you, Voice of Mum? You mean, how come she hasn’t “faded away” and fainted from the miasma, don’t you?

“Creamy, snow-white Mum” to the rescue. Smear it on, sister! It won’t harm your clothes, we promise (this is, of course, a lie – I remember using Tussy cream in the early 1970s and boy howdy does it get on everything, or what). In the picture at the end of the ad, see, she is using it (I think that is her, but her bottom half has disappeared – Mum is powerful stuff I guess! – and the jar of Mum is as big as she is. I’ll bet it has a big mouth, too, this is what’s talking. Maybe it’ll go out to the party with her, hide under the table, and talk for her like Cyrano de Bergerac).

“Why take chances with your charm when you can trust Mum?” Oh, well – why not do both. Go ahead, use some deodorant, but also – take some chances with your charm. That sounds interesting. I want to know what sort of chances Pet is taking.

Mum’s the Word

LHJ 1946 Mum

Trouble in the boudoir! Or wherever this is. Could be a sound stage. Could be a large lightbox. I don’t really know what’s going on or who is talking to this startled dame. Perhaps it is the voice of her conscience! Or her armpits are talking to her, maybe. I would look scared too if that happened!

“It isn’t your necklace they’ll notice, Pet!” You can put on all the jewels and “trinkets” you’ve got in the boxes there, but how can anyone appreciate their sparkly goodness when they’ve passed out on the floor! That’s a fine thing for a disembodied voice to say. How rude!

Then comes the compliment: “It’s a gift – the way you wear jewels for smart effect.” (It’s even smarter if you also remember to put your dress on, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves).

“But, honey, can’t you see? Even the loveliest of trinkets fails to be effective when charm itself fades away!” Out come the euphemisms. Can she see? You mean, can she smell, don’t you, Voice of Mum? You mean, how come she hasn’t “faded away” and fainted from the miasma, don’t you?

“Creamy, snow-white Mum” to the rescue. Smear it on, sister! It won’t harm your clothes, we promise (this is, of course, a lie – I remember using Tussy cream in the early 1970s and boy howdy does it get on everything, or what). In the picture at the end of the ad, see, she is using it (I think that is her, but her bottom half has disappeared – Mum is powerful stuff I guess!  – and the jar of Mum is as big as she is. I’ll bet it has a big mouth, too, this is what’s talking. Maybe it’ll go out to the party with her, hide under the table, and talk for her like Cyrano de Bergerac).

“Why take chances with your charm when you can trust Mum?” Oh, well – why not do both. Go ahead, use some deodorant, but also – take some chances with your charm. That sounds interesting. I want to know what sort of chances Pet is taking.