From Cottage Cheese To Sinful Condiments!

Cottage Cheese Goes With Everything!

Dole Ad

The design of these ads definitely evokes the era, not to mention the exotic food of Middle America, which ended up mixed with pineapple, that exotic fruit from (at that time) Hawaii.

Anyone remember those Jello salads? The lime Jello with pineapple chunks in the top photo reminds me of church potlucks and after-church Sabbath dinners. My mom put diced celery in her lime Jello salad. There might also have been whipped cream cheese in the center of the mold….

The pineapple rings topping the cottage cheese in the lower photo brings back other memories–cottage cheese was a staple food during my childhood. We ate cottage cheese with lots of different cooked or canned fruits, including cooked prunes! Another favorite of my mother’s was pineapple and cream cheese sandwiches–that would be diced pineapple mixed into cream cheese to make a sandwich spread. I guess it was the Midwest’s answer to the tea sandwich and was considered a bit festive, so good for picnics or a Sunday supper with a guests!

Here’s an ad from an earlier decade which may help explain why cottage cheese was so popular (and maybe especially with us largely vegetarian Seventh-day Adventists):

"Eat More Cottage Cheese...You'll Need Le...

“Eat More Cottage Cheese…You’ll Need Less Meat…A Postal Card Will Bring Recipes…Cottage Cheese or Meat^ Ask… – NARA – 512542 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cakes–the Devil’s Food!

Cakes from 1950

Cakes from 1950

The yellow cake with the chocolate frosting looks like it could have been the one on the Duncan Hines cake mix box. The devil’s food cake above it would be a slightly racy choice in our circles, just because the name had the word “devil” in it. We took the devil very seriously, so one didn’t say that word lightly.

Cakes were big at Adventist potlucks or dinners with company too, usually homemade. Sometimes we’d save time and make a cake from a mix for a birthday party. I made a lot of cakes or both kinds with my mom growing up, along with Christmas cookies and pies. I’m glad I did, because I learned the basics of baking, like how to get pie dough the right texture, how to make meringue, and how to butter and flour a pan. I teach my own kids the same skills when I bake (which isn’t very often). Baking is still pretty low-tech–at least the way I do it!

One of the fanciest cakes we ever made when I was a kid was a Lady Baltimore. It was the vision of my best friend’s older brother. He was interested in fine food even though he was a thirteen-year-old boy in a small-town in the late 60s. He also started a temporary fad for fresh mint tea at our house, which was an unheard of concoction. (Do I even need to add that he was gay and ended up in New York?)

Those Evil Condiments!

This ad shows a condiment that we never dreamed of using when I was a kid:

Tabasco ad

Tabasco ad


Now add the bacon to the illicit hot-pepper condiment, and you have something no Adventist of our acquaintance would have dreamed of touching! Following Ellen G. White’s Counsels on Diet and Health, we avoided spicy food and black pepper because they were evil stimulants which aroused the ‘animal nature,’ and that was very bad. So no pepper, mustard, or hot sauce in our house! Bacon–being pork and so unclean–was beyond unthinkable, an unpardonable sin.

Even though I don’t eat Jello or cottage cheese anymore, I do like the graphics, the colors, and the typography of ads from that time, though the food in the photos looks just a little too real!