Sunday, January 31, 2010

SS - Hilltop House, Omaha, Nebraska

This postcard has one of the most attractive views of restaurant interiors that I have in my collection. The lighting and composition are good, and the inclusion of restaurant workers adds to its interest. The whole scene looks very inviting with its vintage knotty pine, "colonial" furnishings, and flowers on the tables.

Hilltop House is one of the restaurants mentioned as being out of business in the article "Omaha Dining - A 50 Year Retrospective," and a couple of comments on that article mention favorite recipes from the Hilltop House.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

PFF - The IQ Zoo Kissing Bunny

The "Kissing Bunny" was one of the trained animals at the IQ Zoo. The IQ Zoo was founded in 1955 and lasted until 1990. It was located at 380 Whittington Avenue in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

From the back of the postcard:
The performing animals at the I.Q. Zoo are the result of something new in animal training. They have been trained by animal psychologist Keller Breland of Hot Springs, Arkansas. These animals learn by the reward system. No punishment is used. Once trained, they will not forget and will perform automatically for any one. The I.Q. Zoo animals are nationally famous. They have been featured on television and in Life, Collier's, Popular Mechanics and other national magazines.

You can read more about the IQ Zoo at the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

VTT - Valentine, Pie, Cake, and Betty Crocker

The Valentine postcard above was published by Whitney about 1925. The Betty Crocker's Cookbook below is the ©1969 cookbook (Sixth Printing, 1970) which I bought when it was new. The picture of Betty Crocker on the back cover is the 1968 version. My cookbook looks like it has been used a lot, but it really hasn't. The wear and tear is mainly because the book doesn't have a very durable cover--it looks like the covering is cloth but it actually is thin paper.

I am showing a couple of snippets from this cookbook. First is a picture of cake testing in the Betty Crocker Kitchens.

In honor of Valentine's day, I am showing the recipe for Betty Crocker's Best Chocolate Cake including the Valentine Heart Cake variation.

Next are some snippets from a 1950s flour sack insert. The old pre-1955 picture of Betty Crocker is on this insert. I am including some recipes for Streusel Cream Peach Pie and pastry, an ad for Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book, an order form for the cookbook and silverware, and a coupon. The silverware shown is the Queen Bess Pattern by Oneida. The coupon expired in 1957.

I'm participating in Vintage Thingie Thursday

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The "Original" Smorgasbord Restaurant in Hot Springs

Calling this restaurant "The Original" sounds like hyperbole, though maybe they just meant that it was the original smorgasbord in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The sign on the building also says "Circle Inn." There is a Best Western Circle Inn in Hot Springs now--I don't know whether it is in the same place.

The yellow and blue color scheme is associated with smorgasbords, because those are the colors of the Swedish flag, and Sweden is associated with smorgasbords. Smörgåsbord is a Swedish word combining smörgås (an open-faced sandwich) and bord (table). The word now refers to any buffet with a variety of dishes that can be selected by the diners.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

PFF - Old Port au Prince, Haiti Postcard

It's going to take a lot of money to improve conditions in Haiti. A good place to make a donation for Earthquake Relief in Haiti is the Salvation Army (USA) donation page.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

VTT - Betty Crocker Kitchens & Cook Books

The two postcards at the top show the Betty Crocker Kitchens of the World. Over the years, the Betty Crocker kitchens underwent several remodelings and renamings. These kitchens appear to be from the period 1966-1977. The California Kitchen, New England Kitchen, and Mediterranean Kitchen are shown in the first postcard. The Japanese Kitchen, Wall Detail of Scandinavian Kitchen, Aztec Calendar or the Latin American Kitchen, and New Orleans Kitchen are shown in the second postcard. There used to be tours of the kitchens, but public tours were discontinued in 1985.

Betty Crocker's Guide to Easy Entertaining is copyright 1959. The Dinner for Two Cook Book is copyright 1958.

The Guide to Easy Entertaining has some recipes, but it is mainly composed of how-to information about entertaining (see the contents page below). There are also several two-page color photo spreads showing tables with dishes for various types of parties.

The Dinner for Two Cook Book has 425 recipes. The first spread below has a list of favorite American foods of the time. The second spread is an example of the illustrated recipe pages.

I'm participating in Vintage Thingie Thursday

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Smorgasbord Sunday - Wolfie's of Fort Lauderdale

Judging by this postcard, Wolfie's of Fort Lauderdale looks like it would have been a fun family restaurant. The Florida Department of State Division of Corporations lists WOLFIE'S OF FORT LAUDERDALE, INC. with a filing date of 10/30/1958 and a last event of "involuntarily dissolved" on 11/21/1984.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

PFF - Mailbox on Vintage French New Year Postcard

I'm still celebrating New Year, at least on my blog. This is another one of my vintage French postcards with mailboxes. This girl looks more like she is dressed for winter than the one on the card I posted on December 31. Both "Bonne Année" and "Heureuse Année" mean "Happy New Year" in French.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

VTT - Margarine and Butter

Margarine was invented as a butter substitute by a French chemist in 1869 and was introduced to the U. S. in the 1870s. The dairy industry did everything it could could think of to ban and restrict the sale of margarine. The "War on Margarine" lasted for more than 80 years in the U. S. and even longer in some other places. Strategies included banning the sale of margarine, slander, special taxes, and anti-color laws. Margarine is naturally white, and for many years the yellow color had to be added by the consumer because manufacturers were prohibited from or taxed on the sale of yellow margarine. Margarine, nevertheless, eventually become popular because it is cheaper than butter.

This postcard falls into two of my favorite postcard collecting categories: advertising and recipes. The front has a picture of the Durkee's Oleomargarine package and a recipe for Southern Spoon Bread using Durkee's Margarine. The back has a "Dear Mrs. Housewife" letter extolling the virtues of Durkee's Margarine's nutritional values, economy, flavor, and texture. This postcard is postmarked FEB26'42.

The next picture is of my wooden butter tub. When I bought this at an antique show, I asked the seller what it was used for. The seller didn't know, but when I got the tub home, I found the words "Wis. Butter Tub Co." on the bottom rim. My butter tub was probably never used for butter or other food. In the 1950s the Wisconsin Butter Tub Company was still making these tubs, but some of them were being used by artists who decorated them for use as toy boxes, magazine containers, wastebaskets, sewing kits, and fireplace wood boxes.

I feel very lucky to have found this butter tub, because I have never seen another wooden butter tub in good condition. It is 15" high and has a 15-1/2" top diameter. It fits in very well with my pine furniture and is useful both for storage and as a small table.

I'm participating in Vintage Thingie Thursday

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Smorgasbord Sunday -- Jacques French Restaurant in Winter

This is the first of what, hopefully, will be series of regular Sunday blog posts called "Smorgasbord Sunday (SS)." The series will consist of variety of restaurant and food-related postcards.

description on the back

I chose this postcard today because so many parts of the country, including Chicago, have been hit by snowstorms this past week.

This postcard has a "one cent" stamp box, indicating that it was probably originally printed before the postage increase of January 1952. Jacques French Restaurant issued many different postcards over the years, including a different snow scene with a "four cent" stamp box (the amount of postage required in the mid-1960s).

Thursday, January 7, 2010

PFF - 1910 Year Date on New Year Postcard

If you were around 100 years ago, you might have received a New Year postcard with a 1910 date. Back in 1910 there were very few 100-year-olds. Now there are estimated to be about 100,000 centenarians in the U. S.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

VTT - Maneki Neko

Maneki Neko cats with an upraised beckoning paw are popular in Japan. They come in many sizes and styles. They are believed to bring good luck, and they are often called Lucky Cats. Maneki Neko usually have something around their neck such as a collar, bell, bib, or scarf.

The postcard above is dated1985 and was made for 1986, which was the Year of the Tiger. Sending New Year postcards is popular in Japan. I'm not sure whether this postcard would have been used just for New Years or throughout the year. I have some other Japanese "cat" cards that I bought at the same time, and some do say "Happy New Year." The cats on the postcards look like cute domestic pussy cats, but the stripes indicate that they are "tigers."

My ceramic Maneki Neko cat is 5-1/2" tall. It is labeled "Andrea by Sadek - Made in Japan." I bought it at an antique show and was told that it was originally bought about 1976.

I'm participating in Vintage Thingie Thursday

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