Fifties Fun with Radioactive Isotopes!

Dear Readers!  I went to the  thrift store yesterday.  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 at some 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!  He’s always doing silly stuff like that to Mother. Of course,while Mother was taking a long walk off a short pier, she decided it might be fun to try a little fishing.  But what to use for bait?  Hm . . .

Of course, as you can see while Mother was trying to decide what to do next, the radioactive isotope Heinz Ketchup bottle fused 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 Admiral Frigidaire spying on them as they try to eat their radioactive isotope 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

8 thoughts on “Fifties Fun with Radioactive Isotopes!

  1. I’m right with you on the Cold War Commies. Someone should have called Senator McCarthy on Heinz. From the evidence, I’d say Father was a Russian spy too. I didn’t realize how easily replaceable wives/mothers were in those days. If you lose one, just pick up another the same day. I wonder if he squeezed her first to see if she was firm, or thumped her gourd to see if it sounded hollow? Life was so simple in 1957

    • I admire your keen eye. Now that I look at it with a more discerning eye, it’s clear to me that Father was indeed a Russian spy! The long walk off a short pier . . . the radio active isotopes . . . the 007 tomato with the monocle . . . say, you don’t by any chance work for the CIA do you?

  2. 😆

    Brilliant, milady, if a bit heavy on the kitsch (whatever THAT is…). Probably comes from consuming massive quantities of ketchup. (Side thought: What’s the difference between ketchup and catsup?… Inquiring minds don’t really want to know, but, I do…)

    Ah, I love the smell of meatloaf in the morning, don’t you? And what would life be without a little ketchup for that dried out over-cooked hamburger you had to pretend to eat at Uncle Milty’s BBQ’s, eh?

    Along the lines of Trent L’s comment, I’m reminded of the time a teacher was trying to explain to Calvin about the Trinity. At the end, she asked him if he understood. His reply: “I don’t know, ma’am, I think my cerebellum just fused.”

    That’s how this one felt at the end…. It’s okay, though, because I was still laughing at the ketchup bottle fusing to #1’s hand…

    See ya…

    • Ned! LOL! It is heavy on the kitsch (whatever that is)! I thought so too. But I have a feeling whatever Kitsch is, it would be better with lots of ketchup on it, so we’ve got that covered. The difference between catsup and ketchup and it’s affect on cold war meatloaf is a treatise I currently have in the works when it’s done there I’m going to put it in the microwave for about ten minutes. (I’ll let you know how it turns out.)
      And your right something fused there at the end (I think I may swipe that line from Calvin and start using it whenever anyone asks me a tough questions like what’s the difference between ketschup and catsup?)
      One thing I love about calling my writing humor is that I can get totally confused about half way though and by the time I get to the end I have no clue what I’m talking about anymore and it’s still usable. Plus no research!! It’s a win/win for me, the cold war and ketchup!

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