Tuesday, June 23, 2009

This takes the cake.

I picked up this 50's picture online somewhere and had mixed feelings about it. It's so quaint and idealized. All the "ladies" are prim in their rigid, permed hair styles, shirtwaist dresses and aprons. They have smug grins on their faces as they happily fulfill their destiny making a three-layer cake for someone else. (A three-layer cake was for a special occasion, not just the family. A cake made for the family would be baked in a 9 x 13 pan.)

Cake mixes were the new thing back then and it was considered a cop-out to use a mix. Real housewives baked from scratch. In fact, any labor saving foods or devices were suspect.

I remember watching the Ed Sullivan Show and stand up comedians would mock the lazy housewives who used the new frozen food items. TV dinners were the latest thing and frozen foods were becoming more commonplace.

But, you can't stop progress by making jokes about it. I can just run over to the Dairy Queen now and buy a superb frozen layer cake. The grocery store sells frozen Pepperidge Farm cakes plus a big assortment of bakery cakes (not to mention, a wide assortment of cake and frosting mixes).

Viva la easy life!

3 comments:

Mimi said...

Do you remember the tv commercials that Betty Furness did? Always in a shirtwaist dress and high heel shoes. In the mid-60's I read the Feminine Mystique which was the beginning of the end for all that bound American women almost as badly as China bound their women's feet. Wow, did that ever feel good when the girdle came off! And I wasn't even overweight yet!

Olde Dame Penniwig said...

I think the 50's, in many ways, were a dreadful, sterile (despite the birthrate), and crushing decade. You who love to read might enjoy the book "Populuxe," which is a very interesting yet scholarly work on the Baby Boom era.

Bevie said...

I remember making things from "scratch". Bread. Cake. Cookies. Pancakes. Don't even know how to do it anymore.