This Halloween think of going as a HOME ECONOMIST!

Oh, I can get enough items from this 1954 Sears, Roebuck and Co. Coldspot Freezer booklet to last for days. It's a veritable gold mine of kitsch. When it came out it reflected what consumers were used to seeing, but today through the warped glass I view things...it's just a hoot.

Let's get started, shall we? 

Coldspot freezer_frontcover_tatteredandlost
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Food photos. Presentation is everything and as you'll see there are levels of success. The strawberry cake above, not bad. Not bad at all. Okay the color reproduction has that odd '50s look to it, but still it looks edible. I can't say the same for that hunk of meet that is on the inside cover. Oyyyyyyy...the fat on that slab of cow brings back memories. Not going there. Don't want to think about it. Let's just say I believe the color reproduction did little to whet anyone's appetite.  

Coldspot_slab of meat_tatteredandlost
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Now what about that limp overcooked asparagus?  Obviously cold or that pat of butter would have certainly melted under the lights. So I'm thinking okay, frozen over cooked asparagus. Not going to their house for dinner, but they are serving shrimp cocktail so it's not a total loss. Well...I think that's shrimp cocktail. Then again....

And then there are those yellow things next to the slab. I'm not really sure what that is? I'm thinking winter squash that's stuffed. There's no recipe in the book. Do you stuff them before freezing or stuff them with something that's thawed and unrecognizable that you've pureed? It doesn't matter what they taste like. Remember...now repeat it with me: PRESENTATION IS EVERYTHING

Which brings me to tablescaping. It's apparently a hobby. I only recently became aware of it. There are some seriously kitsch photos online of tablescaping. I'm hoping someone is gathering them for a future book. It boggles my mind. 

Speaking of boggling...do manufacturers still make mother/daughter outfits? I remember having mother/daughter/father outfits in Hawaii all made from the same Hawaiian print. I sort of like this odd domesticated scene on the back cover. Unnatural look to all of it just makes it even more fun. The mother is teaching her "little me"...are you ready? I think you can say it. PRESENTATION IS EVERYTHING.

Coldspot freezer_back_tatteredandlost
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And lets not forget that apparently all of this was brought to us by the home economic droids. Seriously, look at the women in the lab white nurse dresses. Between the two in the room and the inset they look like triplets. Droid triplets. I'm thinking if you're going to a Halloween party consider going as the lovely Jean Shaw. She's got a little bit of Bride of Frankenstein and Betty Crocker going on. And what would you think if this woman with this expression were to bring in that slab of meat and place it before you? I'd be thinking "Oh shoot, left over parts. She's serving me left over parts!" and I'd be running out of the house past the villagers carrying pitchforks.

Coldspot home economists_tatteredandlost
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Now, I've left HIM for last. The penguin. Oh sure, he looks harmless enough. He's just a scientist penguin. Well, I will present evidence within the next few days that this little penguin is no ordinary penguin. Okay, I think I already made that point when I said he was a scientist. But no...I'm talking psychotic penguin. I think there's a reason this psychotic penguin and Jean "Bride of Frankenstein" Shaw are sharing the first page of this booklet. 

Stay tuned kids. Same penguin ephemera time. Same penguin ephemera channel.


  1. The Yellow discs on the meat plate is Summer Squash. It is very very plentiful in the deep south but I had never seen it before moving down here. It is quite good.

    We had one of those huge chest freezers when I was a kid.

    Now I'm hungry for strawberries!

  2. You're right. Summer crook neck squash. But oh my, what is it stuffed with? I'm hoping some sort of cheese mixture but I fear it looks like pablum.

    I remember my neighbor's family had one of these freezers. The Kenmore I danced in front of.

    Just had some strawberries on Wednesday. Hard to find right now but still can be had. I know if I froze any they wouldn't turn out all lovely and fresh looking like these. But yeah, I'm with you. Let's have a big bowl of strawberries.

  3. WOW! I can't wait! And I think the stuff in the little bowls are raw fries in a sea of Ketchup. And my wife and I think that what they have goin' on on that platter is a Rib Steak doing the touchie-feelie thing with a T-bone. I'm not going to quibble about the fat however, except to point out that color printing was not all that great in 1954. Also, I agree that Jean Shaw looks horrid. I think it has something to do with the lack of artistic talent in the illustration business. Way too much shutter-clicking goin' on.

  4. I don't think the squash is stuffed. I think you are just seeing the squash innards.

  5. Ewwwww...touchie-feelie meat. Now there's one for a menu!

    "I'll have the touchie-feelie meat with cole slaw please."

    Yes, the food pictures in the 50s and early 60s were odd at best. One of my favorite ephemera books is "The Gallery of Regrettable Food" which is very funny. I've got it linked over on the left.

  6. Ewwww...squash innards. They look so thick. So dense. So odd. Touchie-feelie meat and squash innards. Yum.

  7. Did they have Botox back then? I'm thinkin'....yeah! LOL

    Those are some serious fat layers on that beef! That cow was fed a LOT of corn....(((shudder)))

    And who ever heard of serving yellow squash with steak? Didn't they know about baked potatoes and salad? I hope that huge steak was intended for more than one person...of course, by the time you removed all the fat, there wouldn't be much meat left. It's enough to turn me into a vegetarian!

  8. I thought the same thing! Once they cut the fat off that thing there isn't going to be any meat left. It's really disgusting. But then I think it was at the Texas State Fair a month or so ago they were deep frying butter so some people still haven't learned. I still can't wrap my head around deep fried butter. Or the donut bacon cheeseburger I saw online.