Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Between the Cake and New York City

Janet's Helpful Cake Life Sept 27 1937Last weekend we went to brunch in Manhattan. And now it's time for dessert. One that you may have thought New Yorkers can't make! But all things are possible with the help of Baker's Chocolate. Listen to the sad tale of Janet, Bill's hapless girlfriend, (bigger size here), from a 1937 ad:

...Bill's from the West and he'd made up his mind that New York girls were artificial.

(Artificial is code for "can't make me a big old chocolate cake whenever I bang on the table and demand baked goods.")

...He said "Sure! New York girls can dance - and hang on subway straps - and swim - and drive in traffic - but what I want to know is, can they cook? Show me just one who can make a really good chocolate cake!"

Marrying Cake Life Sept 27 1937Janet, are you sure you want to marry this guy? He does not appreciate us New York girls, does he? I'd like to know if he could hang on a subway strap, swim, and drive in traffic all at once!

Anyway, Janet decides to Show That Man and bake a "perfectly gorgeous-looking cake" and "just bowl him over." But guess what? It was a flop, all pale and pasty. Kind of like Bill, come to think of it. But Janet sends her mother "an S.O.S. to tell me what I'd done wrong."

Cake Recipe Life Sept 27 1937
Big version here
It would be an understatement as flat as Janet's flopped cake to say that her mother is anxious to see her get hitched. Because she sends Janet a telegram! Telegrams were for, you know, extremely important news back then. Matters of life and death. Not matters of cake. Why didn't Mother tell Janet about Baker's Chocolate before she left home if it was such a Big Deal? And how does Mother know Janet's little New York kitchenette oven isn't on the fritz? But Mother just knows that the problem was those melted brown Crayolas (or something) that Janet used when she realized she was all out of chocolate.

Next thing you know, Janet's getting married and looking forward to a lifetime of hand-feeding chocolate cake to a guy who probably still doesn't like New York girls. Or using cutlery by himself. Good work, Janet.

4 comments:

DearHelenHartman said...

Poor Janet, what a life. All that cake, all that cutlery and none for her. Loved the post (am in a cake mode myself - is it a trend?)

Relax Max said...

Brown Crayolas? You have a sick mind. :)

I found this post very interesting, well-written and extremely ad-free. Unless you are secretly hooked up with Smith-Birney. Barney? Benny? Well, you know.

Hope you are doing great!

Bill said...

I get a kick out of the vintage ads that urge single women to buy products as an aid to ensnare a husband. Was it really that difficult?

Mary Hodsen said...

That was definitely a different era. It's hard to image a guy today turning down what could be a 'fast' woman. I wonder if Janet made Bill a "special" cake. :-)