Friday, January 6, 2012

The Melon Shell Game

1940 ad, big version here
Wouldn't you like to impress all the wealthy matrons down at the Newton Lawn Fete, whatever that was? Oh, you would? I'm not surprised. Who wouldn't want to surprise stuffy Mrs. Bradley, wife of the Bank President, and tell her that your mayo is NOT "one of those store-bought salad dressings." No ma'am, it's store-bought mayo. Big difference!

This is how you too can be "prouder than a peacock" at your next Lawn Fete:

First, put on your fanciest pink hat. And make sure your dress has a floppy white collar that can pinch-hit as a napkin (make sure Mrs. Bradley isn't looking when you use it to wipe your mouth).

After you've done that, go get a big jar of Hellmann's mayonnaise from the pantry. Yes, if you are the wife of a lowly bank clerk, and you want Madame Bank President to notice you, make sure you serve a startling combo of mayo and fruit.

Yes, people who can afford to have Cook make them aîoli from scratch every night are going to be totally amazed when you present your Melon Shell Salad  - that would be some cut up fruit in a hollowed-out cantaloupe rind - and douse it with Hellmann's.Just add some fruit juice to it and call it - are you ready? - Fruit Juice Mayonnaise.

No, don't bother with sweetened crème fraiche or a plum-raspberry coulis. Just treat your dessert like a tuna sandwich. That'll make the high and mighty sit up and take notice. And if it doesn't, you can always try putting some of Hot Dan's mustard in your lemon meringue pie.

Finally, don't forget to drop in on Mrs. Bradley the next day and present her with her very own  jar of Hellmann's. Yes, she will be really pleased to see you again. It will make your day when she finally rouses herself to say, as she nudges you ever closer to the back door, "I'm so glad to have Cook see it." Why, before you know it you'll be hob-nobbing with the Bradleys and your husband will become the Vice President of the bank.

Or else you and Cook will get to be friends as you do Mrs. B's grocery shopping together. One or the other.


BrSpiritus said...

Helmanns was always good for winning the "Grossest Food In An Ad" award. They actually pitched the fruit juice mayo recipe quite often and this lasted into the 1950's. I'll stick with my mayo on a ham sandwich thank you very much.

The Vintage Recipe Blog

Mike said...

I'm surprised that Mrs. Bradley has time for the likes of our heroine. After all, she does have Cook to see after, and probably also Butler and Maid. No doubt she spends a lot of her time on her favorite hobby, being hoity-toity. I'm also surprised that, in an add of this type, that Mrs Bradley didn't pull some strings and get Mr Newton a better job down at hubby's bank.

Kath Lockett said...

The just-eaten cornflakes and milk has curdled in my stomach reading about melon and mayonnaise together.

I think her hate is actually a failed Hellmans and Dessert experiment - strawberry parfait gone horribly wrong.

Gregorian said...

Oh she got her bank teller husband fired for sure.

Dieter Moitzi said...

Yeah, melon and mayo - yikes! Loved that timeless fashion, though ("timeless" meaning there's never been a time when this was fahsionable).

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