Sunday, May 15, 2016

Butter believe it.

Today we have another amazing recipe pamphlet from the collection I inherited, mostly from manufacturers or their organizations promoting their wares (such as eggsbeer, booze, blenders, pasta, woks, cola, chicken, more booze). Today it's butter, baby, and you'd better believe it!


This almost doesn't count as a pamphlet. It's a 3x5 fold up, which may very well have come in a box of butter. But in that little pamphlet are no fewer than four different recipes for cakes (chocolate, spice, pound, and birthday) and five different recipes for frosting (vanilla, chocolate cream, chocolate fluff, butter marshmallow, and browned butter), none of them weird -- no Rum Cake Flambe here -- and all made from scratch.

I know it's hard to believe, in an era when cakes are bought or come out of a box mix, but there was a time when people had to make cakes from scratch. Why, if these were any more scratch, you'd be churning the butter yourself.

But what exact time was this? The front tells us it comes from the American Dairy Association, which copyright I find is owned by the Dairy Management Inc. and goes back to 1941. But this must be newer than that. For one thing, the name "American Dairy Association" is in all lowercased letters, which associations and companies did not do in the 1940's. This comes from a less serious time. The boys are wearing cowboy party hats, but those kinds of things were popular from the thirties to the seventies. And I don't know from girls' haircuts, but that looks early 1960's to me. My wife says it looks like the hairstyle that Patty Duke wore in The Patty Duke Show (1963-1966), so I think I am right. You actually could buy boxed cake mixes as far back as the Great Depression (says Wikipedia), but there was a lot more resistance to that kind of shortcut back then than we would ever see today.

Does it promote butter? You bet! Here, along with two recipes, is "The Butter Bonus":


You may wonder why anyone would have to push the butter; didn't Americans always drink butter and bacon grease with their coffee in those unenlightened days? Actually production of margarine, which was much cheaper, overtook butter in 1958 in the U.S., according to The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink. So what we have here is Big Butter fighting back.

Returning to the question of the date on this un-copyrighted publication, I draw your attention again to that cover art, specifically the platter upon which the birthday cake sits. It turns out that it turns, and plays "Happy Birthday," and you could buy it:



Tops off the gayety of a birthday party!

So I did a search, and found a photo of the platter in this ad from the Detroit Free Press, February 16, 1964:


So we can see that the plate also had a fairly cute clown on it. And the offer expires February 28, 1965.

There's been a lot of birthday cakes over the clown since then, as they say. A baby who celebrated his first birthday with that brand-new revolving clown platter would be at least 51 today. I did a search to see if any of those platters wound up on eBay, but couldn't find any.

Anyway, there's no expiration date on delicious cake recipes, which I've given you. If you want the frosting recipes, drop me a line at the usual place (frederick_key AT yahoo.com) and soon you'll be making cake and frosting from scratch too! I have no information on churning butter, though.
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