Monday, January 30, 2017

The 5 and Dime

Do you like browsing in shops?  For months? There will be plenty to see! 
For the next few months I am going to be taking a bit of a blogging break (kinda).  I have prepared a massive amount of posts that are going to run on autopilot that revolve around the 5 and Dime.  Last year I went to an estate sale that had belongings from a family that owned a local 5 and Dime pharmacy that was open during the 1950s.  One item I bought was a publication called Chain Store Age September 1955.   It is a magazine that discusses trends, along with tried-and-true products, for owners to be aware of for making maximum profits.
The article headings are very exciting:

"Lighting:  High voltage for meeting competition"

"Wide selection of hair curlers needed"

but my favorite is
"Sanitary goods thrive on impulse sales"

But the even more interesting parts are the ads in between all of the statistics! It's very intriguing to me to see another side of vintage advertising that is not geared toward the consumer. A lot of the ads include displays!!!! I have been busy scanning all of the best ads along with photographing any items that I have in my personal collection that correlate. I have set the posts up in different departments within the 5 and Dime, making it similar to virtual vintage browsing in a shop!
 Most posts will be just the ads with not much text because the ads really speak for themselves.  I am going to be spending the next few months getting back to work on some stuff around my real house since the time consuming mega holidays are now over. I also have a bunch of other stuff like birthdays, anniversaries, and excursions that I am planning/making for during this time.  When I return I'll have plenty to share!

Grab a buggy!

I haven't found many resources on the internet with these type non-consumer ads so I hope you all enjoy them! 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Sugar Cookie Girl Scouts

Girl Scout Cookies Sales are 100 years old this year!

A Girl Scout Troop in Oklahoma sold the first home-baked goods in 1917 as a fundraiser and service project.  The idea was so popular (who doesn't love yummy cookies?!) that many other troops started firing up their ovens and selling cookies too.   In 1925, an official recipe for sugar cookies was distributed for the home baking gals to follow and sell to their avid followers.  By the mid 1930s, supply couldn't keep up with the demand and commercial bakers were called in to relive the weary Girl Scouts and their rolling pins.  'Girl Scout Cookie Time" caught on fast and became a highly anticipated annual event nation wide.  Uproar and panic in the streets raged when cookie baking supplies weren't available in 1944 due to ration shortages. Well, maybe not an uproar or panic in the streets but definitely dismay in the dining room.  That year Calendars were sold instead but they just don't dip well in milk.

I happened to come across that 1925 Sugar Cookie Recipe and had to give it a try. These cookies caused high demand!  What is their secret?   I approached this recipe like no other, I didn't change anything... I tried not to anyway.

A Girl Scout cookie box bottom from 1951 with a campfire scene and tools of the Girl Scout Trade for cutting out and play.  I thought these were a fun addition to put with the cookies!  Lots of sharp stuff!  A very interesting compilation of images...Oh my word!  It's the ingredient list!

Girl Scout Cookies are made from Girl Scouts!

The scouts that lag behind or don't make their cookie selling quota get chopped up (so that's the reason for all the sharp tools!) and tossed in the batter!

image source

No wonder these gals are soaking their tired cookie toting feet.  They could be short just one box of Tag-A-Longs from their demise. This explains all of the heavy selling propaganda!

So back to the cookie recipe (found here).  I know that the research says that commercial bakers took over because of the high demand but I am betting it has to do with the girls not wanting to make these sugar cookies.  They are a pain to make.  'Refrigerate a hour'.... my cookie contributed wide ass. I had to freeze the dough for hours and then only take out a small quantity at a time because it would turn to a gooey mush after minimal human contact.  I also had to add copious amount of flour to keep the squashy, flimsy muck under control.  They taste decent but not worth the heavily involved effort.

Moral of the story...

Friday, January 20, 2017

Girl Scout Sugar Cookies 1925

 image source
Girl Scouts making sugar cookies during the 1920s

Celebrating 100 years of Girl Scout Cookies!
You may recall I mentioned in another post that the first Girl Scout cookies sold were made by the scouts themselves in 1917.  In 1925, a sugar cookie recipe was printed in the Girl Scout publication, American Girl, to be used for their fundraising.

Here is that exact recipe!

You may have noticed it's missing a few instructions.  On the Girl Scouts Website they clarify that the dough needs to be refrigerated at least one hour before using and the "quick oven" means 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

The tasty results in the following post!

To truly authenticate Girl Scout Sugar Cookies of 1917-1936 (before real packaging and commercial bakers got involved)  package them in waxed paper bags with a Girl Scout seal!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Buy S'more!

It's Girl Scout cookie week here at MHICTY! 

Girl Scouts have been carrying on the tradition of selling cookies since 1917. 
One of the primary reasons was to fund camps and camping trips.

"Cookie Money is camping money!"

 And at these camping excursions another Girl Scout tradition commences.  No, I'm not talking about dunking a sleeping scout's hand in warm warm or 'Light as a feather, stiff as a board".  I'm talking about S'mores!  The Girl Scouts claim fame to popularizing the now classic campfire treat.  They were introduced in 1925 through the Girl Scout Leader publication with the name 'Somemore'.
And I happened to find an image of that very recipe:

image source

Want s'more S'mores?

Girl Scout cookie time is upon us! Keep an eye out for two new commemorative S'more flavored cookies that have been added to the line up this year as part of the 100 year celebration of Girl Scout cookies!

Girl Scout Camp Postcard circa 1945

During the time I spent in Girl Scouts I went to Camp one summer.  I was a Brownie so I only went during the day for 1 week. I remember swimming, doing crafts, folding the flag, and cooking in aluminum foil pouches.  I still love camp cooking with those 'hobo packs'. I also think I could fold the flag with no remedial lessons today.  I remember that one of the requirements to go to camp was you had to wear knee socks, I guess to keep the nettles and chiggers away.  My mom bought me a set of the coolest tube socks.  They were each a different shade of pastel with the two bands at the top being in white.  I loved those socks.  I wore them so much that I wore them out.  I then cut them to make matching dresses for my Barbies to wear to the 'Social Event of the Season' ...a wedding of two of my other Barbies.  All of the pastel socks looked great on the bridesmaids!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Girl Scout Apron

If you are going to be baking up a batch of Girl Scout cookies a cute apron comes in quite handy!

 About a year ago I assisted with curating a museum exhibit about aprons, along with also being the featured collector.  One of the aprons included with the national touring show (not my apron sadly) was an adorable child's plastic Girl Scout bib apron from 1953.  It was my most favorite in the exhibit.  When I first posted the photos of the exhibit I realized I had somehow overlooked taking some images of the apron's details. The illustrations are most precious so I definitely got some pics before the show closed, I just never got around to putting them up here.  So as part of the 100 years of Girl Scout cookies celebration, I am presenting them now. 

My, how spic and span she's looking!"

I love these darling girls!  Very tattoo worthy.

While searching the nets for research I came across
this catalog image of the apron in 1953!

To see more Girl Scout aprons visit the online
Girl Scout Museum

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Samoas Cookie Gang Cake

We all have our favorite Girl Scout cookie.  I am a member of the Samoas gang, so stay on your side of the street Thin Mints!  It was Samoas coconutty goodness that inspired me to write "Coconut Life" on myself with a Sharpie marker as part of my initiation.  For those who love coconut as much as myself I recommend making this monster sized cookie (cake!) inspired by Samoas Girl Scout Cookies. Bake it for your next gang get together!

This cake may be the best tasting cake I have ever made.  It has beat out Coconut Pineapple Cake from 2005. And has given  Potato Chip Sweet Potato Cake from 2016 a run for it's money.  I followed the instructions for the frosting and topping from this Samoa bundt cake recipe.  For the cake part I used a German chocolate cake mix.
  It is a lot of work to make, having to toast the coconut and keeping a fire extinguisher (more on that here) at the ready, but so worth it. In true Mary style I did mix it up a bit though. The main deviation I made from the recipe is I used butterscotch ice cream topping/syrup instead of caramel. It's what I already had on hand (Harry Potter Butter Beers!).  I know that caramel is really key to authenticate a Samoas cookie. But I am a firm follower of the WWII motto "Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do" every day of the year.  I even think the butterscotch could be an improvement.

My real Girl Scout gang.
While I was in Brownies during my second and third grade years my fellow scouts were my true friends.  They were the friends that I would stay the night with and visit each other's homes.  I remember that I had only one big themed birthday party during my elementary school years.  It was a Cabbage Patch Kids slumber party.  Everyone was to bring over their CPK dolls and I got one as my main birthday present that year.  The guests were all of my dear Brownie friends.

Here is a low down on the frosting part of the cake:
Caramel Frosting
  • 3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 1/4 cup jarred butterscotch sauce
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
  • Caramel Sauce
  • Hot Fudge Sauce

  1. To make frosting, beat butter and butterscotch sauce until creamy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar. Beat in enough heavy cream to get to desired consistency.
  2. Spread frosting on cooled cake.
  3. Sprinkle toasted coconut on cake and drizzle with butterscotch sauce and hot fudge sauce.

Monday, January 16, 2017

It's Girl Scout Cookie Time!

This year marks the 100 anniversary of Girl Scout cookies! Girl Scout cookie season is upon us as well...just in time to break all of those New Year resolutions to lose weight!
We'll be having a week long cookie jamboree here on MHICTY to honor the centennial celebration.

Here's a crumb of history about how it all began:
Originally the cookies were home baked by each troop as a fund raiser and service project in 1917. It was an instant success and many other troops ate up the idea also, having their own bake sales. In 1922, American Girl (a Girl Scout magazine), published a sugar cookie recipe for girls nation wide to follow and sell. 
  By the late 1930s home baking could not keep up with the demand and commercial bakers were called in to meet the need.  In 1944 when rationed ingredients (eggs, milk, sugar, chocolate) were in short supply, the Girl Scouts adapted by selling less tasty calendars. Over the next decades, many different cookies have come and gone.  The most popular cookie is the Thin Mint, which was introduced in 1939.  It accounts for 25% of sales.  My favorite cookie, Samoas, was introduced in 1975 and comes in close second place with 19% of sales.

I was in Girl Scouts when I was in second and third grade.  I really enjoyed it.  I remember I won top cookie sales in my troop one year.  Which wasn't because I knocked on lots of doors.  I only had to go to one door, my grandmother's.  My grandmother loved Thin Mints and bought them by the case full.  She stashed them in her deep freezer, parceling them out over the year until she could restock at the next Girl Scout Cookie Season.

image source
Girl Scout publicity photo circa 1961

I love old food packaging and advertisements.  I spent some time searching the nets for the best examples representing Girl Scout cookies of yesteryear.  So grab a glass of milk and enjoy!

image source
circa 1949

circa 1940's

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Circa 1960's

Circa 1950's

circa 1951

Circa 1950's

More cookie goodness to come!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

You are getting very skinny.....

Weight Control Through Hypnosis 1966

The last installment of my "Let's dump the junk in the truck this New Year".  (Selections of vintage dieting publications and advice, from my collection.)

"You will now enter a deep state of concentration..."
When all else fails the last resort for weight loss is through hypnosis!  I picked this record up at a thrift store for it's bizarre-ness.

"By listening to this recording and adhering to the instructions, you will find that the fears, temptations, and compulsions which interfere with your desire to control weight will disappear and will be replaced by complete confidence and a self-assurance in your ability to think thin and be thin."

The thought process behind using hypnosis for weight control is that by sharpening concentration, a sub-conscious focus will develop and the goal of loosing weight can be achieved.
I have listened to this record a couple of times but it won't work for me.  I can't acquire a deep soothing sense of relaxation.  That and I think hypnosis is a load of BS.

"The first several times you play this recording will serve as a conditioning period so do not expect "Instant" results."

Maybe that's part of my problem.  I challenged my newly focused mind after the first listening session with a bag of Funyuns.  The Funyuns won.
"Visualize yourself as you want to be. you can and will loose the weight you desire.  you will adhere to the diet. you will feel thin.  you feel alive and have confidence in yourself.  you can and will loose weight, you have self control."

The best practical use I have extracted from this album is to repeat those lines as a constant pep talk in ones' own conscience mind.  The record is also suppose to instill a control mechanism to resist temptation of not eating those delicious Funyuns.

"The count of 3-2-1-0 is a post-hypnotic suggestion which you should use when you feel a compulsion to overeat or deviate from your diet."

The practical lesson from this is to come up with your own trick for will power.  Mine is to pinch an inch (several actually) in my blubbery mid section and tell myself to start contemplating my Fat Lady Side Show name....Mountainous Mary?  or perhaps the Husky Honey?

gif source

I think I am just too stubborn to be hypnotized ...but I bet I could be the hypnotist!  Let's try.
Concentrate on the swirling circle and focus on my words.
Now relax.  You are now entering a realm of krispy kreme donuts, barbecue potato chips, and double chocolate fudge brownies warm from the oven.  They will not be delicious from this moment on.  When you see, smell, or taste them they will be reminiscent of a cat shit pie with a crunchy cockroach topping.  Repeat this to shit pie... crunchy cockroach shit pie...
Now count from 1 to 5. You will then be wide awake and mentally alert.  And not hungry for any food what so ever!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Sugar Diet

New Reducing Diet Menus with Domino Sugar  1960

Welcome to the fourth installment of my "flabby, frumpy, and dumpy... the belly busting battle", better known as selections from my vintage diet publications in connection with New Year's desolations.

I have seen this diet booklet as a part of many "What the?!" diet boards and online features trying to poke fun that people in the mid 20th century were unintelligent and clueless. 
Lose weight by eating sugar?!  Them peoples were morons!"

But the people who have never actually read this menu guide and only used the cover for shock appeal are the true morons.  

This booklet and it's philosophy are actually quite smart.

The Domino sugar company, *got it* that people are not going to stick to a diet if it is full of self denying and food martyring.  Excerpt:
 "There are countless so-called reducing diets recommended to every over weight person.  Most, however, take no account of the pleasure people derive from eating.  Like New Year resolutions, such diets are quickly broken."

 People who are over weight enjoy with real flavor (and unfortunately lots of calories), not bland old celery and carrot sticks.

Here is a sample of a couple of daily menus.  Other than the liverwurst, it's all normal foods.  The sugar aspect of it comes in the form of just 3 teaspoons a day, 54 calories.  The point of the sugar is really in giving the dieter something special and pleasurable within all of the other reduced calorie/amounts options of the day. Most days also allow for a small dessert: jello, angel food cake, even a small piece of pie.  It's the philosophy of the sugar that is the point.  The dieter needs to have something that is normal to look forward to.  In modern times there are sugar substitutes that don't taste like cleaning supplies, unlike during the time frame this publication was produced. Today we could use a convincing product such as Splenda and not wonder if it got mixed up with Comet.  The point is still sound for today, just eat an oreo cookie in place of the 3 teaspoons of sugar allotment.

Within the booklet is a page of helpful tips to the dieter that make sense in modern times as well. 
 Like I mentioned before, them peoples weren't morons.  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Hollywood Bread Diet Plan

Welcome to the third installment in my "Reduce your rear for the New Year" postings.
A buffet of vintage diet paraphernalia.  Take what you eat and eat what you's all zero calorie!

Tucked inside my Reduce with the Low Calorie Diet Book were two little bonus diet pamphlets to be used in conjunction with bread consumption.  A diet bread!

"Hollywood bread has extra protein, minerals, vitamins and low in fats! A secret blend of 16 special grain and vegetable flours, containing no shortening!"

The brand with a diet plan!

Each day's meals consists primarily of a total of 6 slices of bread.

It's THINly sliced!
And only 46 calories each.

I find this bread very interesting.  It's like Slim Fast in slice form.  
The best part of this diet plan is not an ounce of sweetbreads or congealed meats are involved!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Lose Ugly Fat!

Another installment in my "So you want to lose weight for the New Year" series.
This paperback book, Reduce with the Low Calorie Diet is from 1964.

It is filled with recipes and their calorie counts to help guide one toward successful weight loss.  Some examples are Scrambled Brains ( 244 cal per serv.) and Jellied Veal Timbales (146 cal per serv.)  But not all of the dishes contribute to weight loss bulimic style.  I am intrigued by Banana Meatloaf (233 per serv.) which is what it sounds like... ground meat and bananas. I'd try it.

Also included with this book is a low tech calorie counter!  All you need is a paperclip!

Added bonus!
A list of fattening fallacies!  
The truth about toasted bread and water are finally revealed!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Never say Diet

Happy New Year! 
 It's always about this time of year that folks make New Year resolutions about all sorts of life changing things to improve finally having that prehensile tail removed.  Then by February reality sets back in...a Side Show career option would come to an abrupt end without that extra appendage! Better hang on to it! 

I am really mostly talking about the ever popular resolution to diet, loose weight, eat right, blah, blah, blah.

My thoughts generally turn to this "resolution" every January too...but it's not because it's a New Year's goal.  It's because the past 3 months of holidays have been filled with calorie, sugary, carbby, buttery goodies that have added some extra heft I would prefer to be rid of.   

I have a few vintage dieting items that I thought I would share through several posts in association with this weighty topic.  However, I am going to show the lighter side of them. If you choose to actually use any of their advise or suggestions in your own weight loss plan I assume no responsibility of the results.

These images come from The Better Homes and Gardens Diet Book, 1955. 

Plain and simple!

Exercise machines (and horses?) debunked!

Why you little.....!

I'm too smug with my mountain of fibrous foliage to be tempted with your yummy gravied delicious dumplings!

Even though this book is from the 1950s it seems to contain useful and real weight loss expertise that relates to today...except when it comes to the meal option plans they suggest.  Salmon souffle and Jellied beef tongue for lunch?!  Crazy people!  Those are breakfast dishes!

Another option in line with this whole New Year resolutions and diet thing is to go in the opposite direction.  Gain weight!   Make that Side Show dream come true without the tail!