Sunday, January 31, 2010

hoot, man

It's an owl in flight. NEAT. From slothunleashed.

Friday, January 29, 2010

1970s foods: it's my party and I'll die if I want to

Once -- and only once -- Mom tried to host a birthday party for me. One of those "real" birthday parties with invitations, a theme, special games, the works.

A girl whose mom thought we should be best friends was invited, which was unfortunate for all because she was older than us by a few years, and I don't think she had a second of fun at the party.

Yeah, you totally can't tell which girl I'm talking about or anything.

This is the pre-party "I just spent 2 hours getting this together and I want to document it before those damn kids come over and ruin everything" photo by mom:

Check out that awesome paneling! Too bad that tablecloth is there, you're missing the lovely 1960s goldenrod kitchen set we had. Flecked formica, chrome details, matching goldenrod padded chairs. All of dad's 1960s bachelor furniture became our family furniture, and he had a thing for goldenrod, I guess. Everything was goldenrod. That's how dad decorated, he kept everything one color. It all matches! Yaaaay!

The theme for this wild 1978 1977 blowout was trains, courtesy this recipe card from our beloved box of My Great Recipes:

Now, Mom did go to significant effort for the party. She bought a set of clown-themed invites, hats, plates, and games -- "Pin the Nose on the Clown" was the hit of the afternoon, even with the older girl -- and some special small loaf pans to make individual train cars with. The cake in all its Polaroid glory:

The problem was that Mom had no patience for kids. I am not exaggerating in the slightest when I tell you that Mom bitched for years about this party, as well as a few other occasions when I was allowed to have friends over. And those special pans she bought for this train cake? Oh lord. Every time she saw those pans over the years she would loudly sigh about what a waste of money they were and what a terrible party this was. Basically, I have no positive memories of this party.

Speaking of memories, my memory is apparently faulty about this bunny cake:

Pink knives for ears and angry red jellybeans for eyes! Evil bunny!

This is the photo that has been in the family album since about 1976, and my memory has always been that a neighbor gave me this cake for Easter one year.

Note that I didn't get knives for ears. Dammit.

Now that I've found this recipe card, though, I wonder if Mom made it? It doesn't seem like the kind of thing she would do. But I love how, once again, this card doesn't have a recipe, just an idea about inviting kids over to dye Easter eggs. The tips on shaping a cake into a bunny are kind of handy, though.

I hope you've enjoyed this little slice of the 70s in action! Me, I'm a little horrified by all the brown and brown-based yellows of the 1970s. Even the blues look brown.

Interested in all the scans I did of weird recipe cards? Click the tab on the sidebar labeled "the 70s beat up my grandma and pantsed my dad" to see 'em all.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

1970s foods: putting the duh in dessert

If these cards are any indication, dessert recipes were the most popular recipes to have. That's probably true; my mom's recipe collections are filled with desserts while the salad, soup, and vegetable sections are sometimes completely empty. While Mom was fond of whipping up dessert on a moment's notice, I've never been good at baking and steer clear from it when possible. I'm pretty good at eating dessert, though, and consider myself an excellent judge of tastiness by sight alone.

This loaf looks like a nice little cake, right?

Decent decorations on top, pretty layers, looks perfectly fine, right? Wrong. You're not looking at layers of cake, it's "unsliced sandwich bread" covered with butter. That's not frosting, that's cheese with salmon, chicken, and olives ground into it. The cake really is a lie. WHERE IS YOUR GOD NOW, HEATHENS?

Do you know how long I stared at this picture...

...before I realized that those circles on the side of the cake formed a parrot and a pig? Weeks. I am completely serious, I had this in my pile of stuff to scan for weeks, glanced at it almost every day, and only yesterday did I see the piggy's face. That's when I started concentrating on the picture, yet that freaky parrot was still almost impossible to discern. Is that an olive for the eye? There is no recipe, again -- a lot of these recipe cards are nothing more than idea cards -- but there is a "fun" scrambled word game included.


oh wait, that's just a pineapple.

This disgusting pile of once-edible fruits is called "Fonduloha", which was quite upsetting at first, since I thought the word meant "fondue" plus "aloha." However, it turns out just to be chicken and fruit salad. It contains bananas, so it is an abomination unto the heavens, but at least there is no cheese involved. The presentation could use a lot of work, though.

Another cake "recipe card" without a recipe:


The back of the card suggests, for a child's party: "Ask a friend to dress up as a gypsy and tell fortunes." Oh, dear.

This card...

...was just posted here because it's adorable as hell. TAKE ME TO YOUR GELATIN-BASED DESSERTS, BEEP BOP BOOP. Recipe for the "fat little space visitors" here.

And here are 2 more amazing desserts:


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA hey, I wonder why there's a recipe for Sloppy Joes on the back of a dessert card AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAggggghhhhhhhhhhh

Tomorrow, the exciting finale to our food-based tour de force concludes with rare, compelling, real-world documentation of these recipes as seen in the wild. Don't miss Part IV: It's My Party and I'll Die If I Want To.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

1970s foods: fun with franks, puns with penises

Immediate confession: There will be no penises in this post. Nor will there be puns, because all my wit and humor drained out of my body from fear when I saw this recipe card:

There are so many levels of disgusting in this picture that my eyes can't decide where -- if anywhere -- to land on this photo. The split wieners? The stuff oozing out of them? The forks and toothpicks jabbed in willy-nilly? Take your pick, it's all here, a nightmare-like Lynchian horror show. What's worse is that there is an unpictured recipe on the back called "Glazed Franks." Glazed. Franks. Wieners that have been made to look wet and shiny.

Ah, now here's something we've all wanted for dinner: Food made from a recipe with the words "Tuck" and "Loaf" in the title. (Please leave your "tuck game" jokes at the door. Thank you. -- Mgmt.)

This is meatloaf stuffed and topped with hard boiled eggs. In this photo, the sliced eggs on top blend in with the eggs inside the loaf and it took me a while to realize there were eggs inside. And nothing says classy like setting a meatloaf on top of 5 lbs of lukewarm frozen peas.

Recipe here with a bonus recipe called "Tuck Away Baby Beefies." I am not funny enough to make this shit up.

Ladies' Seafood Thermidor:

Oh my god that is sick. I swear to you that I have not adjusted the colors on this card. This card isn't particularly discolored from age, either, you can tell from the white border. The food is supposed to be that color. I just can't with this, you guys. Recipe here, although I don't think you can find condensed cream of shrimp soup anymore. And who would waste lobster on this pinkish-brown globbity goo?

Now this is just sad.

"Twirlin' Turkey for a Crowd" is a phrase that will stick in your head for a week, especially if you've ever had too much to drink and started twirlin' your turkey in a crowd. While your best frenemy catches it on her cell phone and uploads it to YouTube while you're passed out after your 16th shot of butterscotch schnapps, and in the morning you don't remember exactly what happened, all you know is that there are a few dozen messages on your voice mail, most expressing various levels of disgust, but there's a couple of proposals in there, too, and... ahem. Moving on. All this "recipe" consists of is (1) turkey, (2) salt and pepper, and (3) melted butter. But check out this crazy shit in the background:

It's a glass of iced tea sitting on a daisy. A huge damn fucking mutant daisy with the strength of a circus freak! RUN!

This is one of the best photos on the cards:

But "Tres Chic Pic-Nique"?! I am embarrassed for everyone involved in the creation of this card.

At first I thought this was ridiculously offensive, then I remembered that when I was a little kid in the mid- to late-1970s, hobos were the bomb. I read books about hobos, especially hobos that took trains, and The Boxcar Children was one of my special favorites. I owned a Boxcar Willie album and one year I dressed up as a hobo for Halloween, complete with rope for suspenders. The proof is here! The picture is from 1981 and I still have that end table and the chair, I'm sitting between them right now! Anyway, in regards to hoboness, it would be hypocritical of me to go off on the tastelessness of this recipe card...

...especially since it tells you how to make a "hobo dinner" and dessert -- called a "Shaggy Dog" -- in a coffee can over a grill. That. Is. Awesome.

Less awesome is the unfortunate name given to this recipe, which includes 2 cans of "boned chicken." You can buy chicken with bones in cans? Really?

I'm always up for a campsite quickie, though.

And finally, we're back where we started:

Hot Germans, you say? Men's Favorites, you say? Sigh. I miss Jack.

This is Part II of a very special episode of technoknob about 1970s foods. Tune in tomorrow for Part III: Putting the 'Duh' in Dessert.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

1970s foods: deliciousness optional

A year and a half ago on my old LiveJournal account, I mentioned a set of My Great Recipe cards that I got from mom's house after she died. These cards were either given out or sold by the Betty Crocker company, which becomes obvious once you realize every recipe calls for at least one pre-fab box of Betty Crocker product. Also, the cards say "The Betty Crocker Recipe Card Library." I'm all researchy like that.

Several cards were labeled as "Ways With..." and many used "'n" instead of "and". You know, to be hip and fun. This one uses both, which just drives me up the wall. Recipe scan here.

Mom's cards are apparently from 1971, with a few more added in 1984. We had the big custom made box that held all these cards, as well as the dividers and example menus. Mom even added a few other cards and her own recipes, and the numbers/letters written in the upper right hand corners were part of her own organizational system. The one that the cards came with just wasn't good enough for her, oh no.

My god, the things we ate in the '70s. These cards have an entire section devoted to fondues. That's plural, as in more than one fondue, which means great lengths were taken to create new and different fondue recipes:

A delicious, cheesy combination of ground up kitchens and teenagers.

Notice that the fondue is "Mock Fondue", meaning it's suitable for teens because doesn't have wine in it. Then they follow that recipe with a "Psychedelic Fondue" -- nothing says "acid trip" like melted cheese! Odd that the corporate minds of Betty Crocker felt a half cup of cooked wine in a teen dish was a bad idea, but the "psychedelic" drug reference was fine.

Another section was called "Men's Favorites". One of the salads in that section was an entire huge steak, sliced thin and placed on top of a single leaf of lettuce with a couple of rings of green pepper for garnish. The Man Salad looks delicious, but it is not a salad.

Speaking of Man Food:

This is a Man Drink. It is canned beef broth with horseradish and dill weed, heated and served in a glass. It is called "Pow!" It is to be paired with Rumaki, which I discovered today is chicken liver marinated in a soy-and-ketchup sauce:

As one would expect, these cards contained some really disgusting gelatin salads.

Jellied. Chicken. Two words that have no damn business being in the same sentence. Protip: Pink food is not appetizing. Scan of recipe here.

The funniest was this huge orange salad with carrots in it and slopped into an enormous rhinoceros mold. I stared at this picture for 5 fucking hours until I figured out what it was.

Seriously, how much pot must be consumed for someone to decide that what a standard molded Jell-O recipe really needs to make it fresh is a rhinoceros mold? Recipe here, but it's just Jell-O with carrots and pineapple in it. I hope no one paid for this "recipe."

And things just get weirder from there. For example, someone thought the name "Crusty Salmon Shortcakes" sounded good, and then went out into the world to find the worst professional food photographer in existence to illustrate the deliciousness:

It's pink, it's "crusty," it's got olives jammed into it. And it's paired with the weirdest fucking green nobbly shit I've ever seen in my life, I mean goddamn that's bizarre. Want to make dinner for someone you wish to emotionally destroy? Get your Crusty Salmon recipe here.


This has been Part I of a hard-hitting expose on food. Tune in tomorrow for Part II: Fun With Franks, Pun With Penises.

i'm only here to help

Useful and educational. From lesmy on tumblr.

Monday, January 25, 2010

things are fun

I've been having fun lately finding props and outfits that were used in more than one movie. Today milesadrift has a great example on her tumblr blog:

Above, Lucy, Desi, and a teeny tiny James Mason in "Forever, Darling" (1956). Apparently, Lucy got to keep some of her wardrobe from the film:

It's the same dress, only instead of the Auntie Mame-style coat dress worn over slacks, it's been shortened and the skirt sewn together. Neat.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Monday, January 18, 2010

everyone loves the stang

I've been given to believe that one of you likes the Arnold Stang.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

water sports

From sloth unleashed. The guy is playing with a Tomy Waterfuls Ring Toss toy. I know, because I had one just like it. Looks like he's doing pretty well, too.

That 18-inch long thing on the coffee table in front of him is apparently an ash tray. People may have smoked a lot in the 1970s. I'm just speculatin' here.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Skeezix Visits Nina

I thought for the longest time that I had imagined the whole thing.

My dad, born in 1927, kept a ton of his toys from his childhood. One toy was a board game called "Skeezix Visits Nina". He let me play with his toys and I distinctly remember finding this game, realizing it was missing pieces, and drawing on the inside of the box to make it into a different kind of game. Probably pinball-based. I was very into pinball at the time. It was a time before video games.

In the late 90s I mentioned the game to Dad and how now, as an adult, I regretted writing in it. I said it was probably worth money and he nodded and joked a little about how writing in it must have killed the value.

Then in 2005 when both parents were gone and I had to clean out the house, the game was nowhere to be found. I really wanted to see that game again, too. So I came home and looked the game up online. Nothing.

For 4 years, nothing. Not a peep about the game anywhere on the Internets. I started to think I had imagined the whole thing, because the Internet is the repository of all human knowledge.

Until this guy listed one on eBay recently. (Link goes to the Italian version of eBay, the only one I could still find cached). His was complete and didn't have any writing so it wasn't the one we had -- which was a possibility since the seller lives not too far from where my parents lived -- but it's the only one I've seen since my dad's.

EDIT: I forgot to mention you can find the game on BoardGameGeek now, too. Same pics as the auction.

The game was boring, by the way. It had a spinner (missing in ours) and a board that was just paper glued to the inside of the bottom of the box. The board was a single path with a few little special spots along the way. You spun, moved your SweeTart-shaped piece along that many spaces, and if you landed on a special spot you followed instructions. First one to Nina's house won.

For very very low values of "win". I still wish I had this game again, though.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Futurama: 7 Damned? 7 Damned WHAT?

I've been meaning to post this somewhere for 2 years.

In the Futurama episode "Roswell That Ends Well", at about 19:50 into the episode the ship flies through an Army building, a hangar I guess. The retro windows on some of the Army buildings are made up of a bunch of small bluish squares of glass. In this scene, though, the glass spells something out:

That's the 600 px wide version, click here for the 900 px wide one.

It obviously says "7 DAMNED" or, at the least "7 DAMN". Until I grabbed this cap I couldn't see the last 2 letters, but now that I enlarge it they seem like "ED" to me:

I thought the commentary would address this, but it didn't. There's nothing on Google about this, either. Surely I'm not the first one to see this.

EDIT: Light bulb! There are 7 windows in this bit, or "7 DAMNED" windows. Were they hard to animate? Did someone at the studio get bored? We will probably never know.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Monday, January 4, 2010

Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen

Great storyboard art from my favorite Ren & Stimpy episode, "Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen." Which you can see here because I am your friend:

I need to post here more.