A Glimpse into the Food Lives of People From the Past

Dear Readers!  What fruitful weekend I had at the Thrift Store.  I was lucky enough to find this Heinz Ketchup cookbook from 1957!

You see, back in 1957, before life was unnecessarily complicated with Twitter, Facebook and the radio alarm clock, people would stay home and cook dishes that required a lot of Heinz Ketchup.

Let’s take a peek inside the pages of these 1957 Heinz Ketchup Prize winning recipes and see if we can get a glimpse into the food lives of people from the past:


It’s Red Magic! Hey wait a minute! In 1957, during the height of the cold war against communism, it seems a little odd that Heinz Ketchup would bill their product by saying “It’s Red Magic.”

And the fact that Mother seems to be flirting with a gigantic tomato man wearing a manacle isn’t helping Heinz Ketchup’s credibility either . . .  oh well let’s just keep moving.


Okay, here we have Mother cooking with what looks like a radio-active bottle of Heinz Ketchup. But there’s probably a simple explanation.

Mother’s husband, Father, is probably a Nuclear Physicist who sometimes brings home radioactive isotopes from the office to put in the Ketchup bottle to freak Mother out!

That Father always with the pranks!  (Too bad Mother didn’t even notice!)


The only explanation for what Mother is doing here is that Father told Mother to take a long walk on a short pier.

Ha! That Father!  Which Mother did, of course, and while she was at it decided to do a little fishing.

Of course, as you can see the radioactive isotope has caused the Heinz Ketchup bottle to fuse permanently to Mother’s hand.  Father. Could. Not. Stop. Laughing.


Here are Mother and Father’s children, Boy and Girl. They are eating minced ham and bean sandwiches that Father made for them.

Oh that wacky Father!  He made both Boy and Girl  these Ketchup bean sandwiches and is now hiding behind the Frigidaire spying on them as they try to eat their Ketchup bean sandwiches.

Right about now Father is probably thinking about how he should see if Milton Berle needs any more comedy writers!


Hey who’s this?  Why it’s New Mother, of course.  Old Mother had a drowning accident when she was unable to paddle to safety after falling off a short pier due to the Ketchup bottle being fused to her hand. 

But that’s okay because Father found and married New Mother later that day!  And New Mother has just cooked Father a tasty dish of  Green Beans with Ketchup!

Little does New Mother know that Father has just stuck two radioactive isotopes into the casserole dish she’s holding and Father can’t wait to see the look on New Mother’s face when she tries to set the dish down but finds that it’s fused to her hands!

Unfortunately Father didn’t get to see the look on New Mother’s face because just then the phone rang and Father ran to answer it because  — who knows — it might have been that all important call from Uncle Milty!

“I need a new comedy writer. Find out if Father’s available.”

And there you have it, Dear Readers, a glimpse into the food lives of people from the past.

Until next time . . . I love you

28 thoughts on “A Glimpse into the Food Lives of People From the Past

  1. You kill me Linda! Hey and in the fishing picture…Mother’s knees are clearly elevated indicating her feet are resting on something solid. But it looks like her teeeeeeeny feet are resting on the water. So either Mother can walk on water (if that’s next Sunday’s post I didn’t mean to be a spoiler) or maybe the water has also been hit by one or two of Father’s isotopes. I mean the fish looks to be pre-coated in nuclear ketchup…

    • Hey! You’re right. Mother’s feet are resting on top of the water . . .hmmm… Good eye Rich! And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Father did put some isotopes in the water because that fish looks like he has a half life of about a million years! I think Father needs his own reality show. Half Life with Father.

  2. LOL!!! I couldn’t help but notice that the fish looked as if he had already consumed an entire bottle of Heinz Ketchup before he was even hooked! Is mother using Heinz Ketchup lures? No wonder her broiled fish fillets are so tasty! (Guapo’s comment is pretty darn funny and probably true!)

    • Haha! Lisa!! Yes that fish has been fed a steady diet of ketchup! And the fish is smiling at the ketchup bottle. Ha! Well apparently in the 50’s even the food that was to be eaten had to help with the promotion the product. 😀

  3. A friend who works in a thrift store was over today and I was telling her about my ‘blogging friend’ who visits them often….and lo and behold I read about your latest ‘ketchup’ venture….Diane

  4. Your wit is at its sharpest when satiring these old books. I was cracking up throughout!
    Wait- is new mother cooking with mace? Did someone explain that pepper spray is NOT a spice!?

    • Ah! Thank you Brain. I sure do get a kick out of writing about this old stuff. And yes I think in the 50’s everyone used pepper spray for pepper. It was the most dangerous of decades! 😀

  5. I hope mother has thought about the repurcussions of having a saucy affair with the ketchup man. You know what those old bottles were like where you had to keep hitting it hard to get anything out of it, then it would all explode out at once.

  6. Nothing like a glowing bottle of Ketchup (or Catsup) to turn an ordinary meal into something extraordinary! Not only did Mother make nutricious and delicious meals such as Minced Ham and Bean sandwhiches, but she also caught and gutted the fish herself. What a woman! Women of the 50’s really knew how to live. I hope your next posts is on Jello!

  7. That family has such beautiful names. I can’t believe New Mother fell for Father’s old tricks as well! Boy and Girl must hate their lives. Especially after Mother died. Ketchup was a big part of this family’s life. I’m going to work on my relationship with Ketchup myself.

    • LOL Lily! I think we could all benefit positively if we would just make Ketchup our friend and work “with” ketchup instead of always working “against” Ketchup. And thank you for coming by Lily! I always get a kick out of your comments! 😀

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