Post # 240 Vintage Ads

April 14, 2014 at 12:59 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Sometimes people who are eating my cooking will ask where my recipes or ideas come from.  Truth is, as I’ve mentioned before on this blog, they come from all over.  I can watch a TV show or a movie and see something being made and figure out how to make that at home.  I’ll be reading a book and there will be a description of a recipe that I’ll try.  Sometimes it can be just a picture of something that looks good and I’ll figure out a way to prepare it.  Of course, now with the internet, figuring this stuff out is a breeze.  There are millions of food sites that will happily tell you all you want to know for free.  It wasn’t always that way.

Back in the days before instant information and world wide communications, the ways to get menu ideas and learn to cook were limited to reading, and learning from others.  Some cooks had “award winning” recipes and wouldn’t give up them up to save their lives.  My dream is to one day walk into a yard sale, estate sale, or antique/junk store and find someone’s grandmother’s or great-grandmother’s recipe box.  Women who were stay at home moms not making a living outside the house would have gatherings to swap recipes or try out new ones.  People used to pay restaurant chefs to come in and teach a group how to make a specific recipe.  The biggest way people added to their repertoire was through magazines.  Not the cooking specific ones you see now, which will tell you all the ins and outs of a single ingredient, but the homemaker magazines that were designed to help stretch budgets and sell advertising.  I remember reading a story by Shirley Jackson (she wrote The Lottery that we all read in Jr High, or High School) where she was concerned about feeding her family the same old things.  She searched through several magazines and found an intriguing recipe but had to eliminate the inevitable ingredients that her family didn’t like.  She ended up with hamburgers studded with cashews, to which her family asked if they always had to have hamburger while picking out the cashews.

I used to read a lot of magazines to learn about cooking and to glean new recipes but stopped after awhile because they were pretty much the same things.  But I was reminded recently of some of the funnier ones.  I ran a search for vintage food ads for you to enjoy and groan at.  And if you ever feel up to trying one of these, PLEASE let me know how it turned out.


This one started the search:

vintage (12)

The rest were just fun:

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And remember, these ads were designed to sell a product, so:

vintage (10)

And finally, a present day ad that left me gasping:

spam taco





  1. Funny thing is I’ve had that potato salad, and the jello salad back in the day. And spam, ahh lovely spam, it was a cheap meat that was quite often all we could afford. Lard does make killer good pie crusts and is crazy good for frying. But spam TACOS? OMFG NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • I’m impressed you had that potato salad. I’m more impressed that someone actually made it! Back in the day, molded salads were the rage and people were struggling to come up with something new. Glad you’re with me on the tacos! 🙂

  2. Spam’n’Limas?
    Why you gotta show me that first thing in the morning???

    • The one that killed me, besides all of them, can you believe lard? was the Spam tacos! I mean, Spam tacos!! Those two words should not be uttered with the same breath much less the same sentence.

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