Monday, August 10, 2015

The Not-So-Fantastic Four: Gelatin Molds Edition

Back when I started this blog in 2008 I named it Kitchen Retro because I thought I was mostly going to write about my collection of vintage cookbooks and cooking pamphlets, and it seemed like a good idea. I've thought about changing it because soon enough I realized that I loved all kinds of vintage advertisements and stuff in old magazines and newspapers (like the classified ads in Victorian newspapers - and pretty much all the stuff you find in Victorian newspapers).

But anyway, I never did the rebranding thing. Maybe I should have. Instead I sometimes call this blog "Kitsch and Retro" - which is the name of my Tumblr and Instagram and Twitter. Please follow me there for different, less wordy (and even more picture-y) fun stuff - and let me know where you are there, so I can follow you, too.

Oh, but gelatin molds! Yeah, anyway, one of the first things I loved in vintage cookbooks was the terrible, amazing, and very creative midcentury gelatin mold recipes - usually complete with horrifying pictures - that were popular in the 1950s and 60s.

Today I've picked out 4 of my favorite awful vintage gelatin creations to share. Just a random selection. There are a lot of them around, after all. There are also some really good ones I've found, but those of course are for another post. Images are from my Pinterest board, Jell-O Central.

1. The Aquarium [1960]

This one gets top marks for creativity. And think of the effort involved in making it. If you've ever had one and had to change the water in it you definitely don't want to be eating something that resembles it.

When I was in first grade we had a class turtle and it went home with some lucky kid (and their lucky parents who were the ones taking care of it) each weekend. The weekend it was my turn I was very excited. My mom was not that excited. Especially after it escaped onto our olive green, turtle colored wall to wall carpeting. We did find the little guy (after a massive turtle hunt) and he was fine. Last aquarium we ever had, though.

2. The Meal-In-A-Can

Everyone supposedly loved things in cans in the 1950s. And the more I learn about prewar homemaking, I get it. It was damn hard work just doing the laundry and keeping food cold and cleaning things, never mind all the cooking you did from scratch. I cook quite a bit from scratch and after a few days I appreciate things in cans, too. But this is just not right. This ad does, however, contain one of my favorite tag lines of all time: "It's exciting! It's delicious! It's easy! IT'S FROM CANS!"

5. The Hedgehog Family

Shouldn't hedgehog molds have, I don't know, slivered almond spikes or something? Or maybe it would be best just to not make them. They are disturbing, unlike real hedgehogs, which are super cute.
5. The Movie Mold

This is a "movie" (whatever those quotation marks even mean) that I never want to see. Just look at the eerie glow coming off those things. They will swell up and destroy your house, and after that - well, I'll be in the lobby eating popcorn, waiting for it to be over, thanks.

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