Saturday, January 7, 2012

Vintage vittles

I've had a fascination with vintage food and vintage food photography for a while now, partially, I think, borne of the stacks of 60s and 70s cookbooks left behind by the previous owner of our last house. Seriously odd foods resulting from limited ingredients and misguided trends, coupled with grainy photography and often kitschy ornamentation, create images that can border on the grotesque. It is a phenomenon definitely worthy of emulation.

In light of this, each month I'm going to attempt to further my education in vintage food creation so I can finally fulfill my dream of becoming an oppressed 1960s housewife who ends up in the chair after slipping arsenic into her husband's after-work whiskey.

This month's gastronomic adventures were inspired by this little number I picked up second hand (obviously).
It included guides on creating all of those wonderful decorative pieces that salads of the 60s could not do without, lest you attract the derision of all the other neighbourhood housewives. Unfortunately the instructions rarely came with illustrations, so I found myself improvising a lot.
Cucumber flowers
Radish flower with cucumber base

There were also pages of "moulded salads" - basically all manner of things set in some form of "aspic", a jellyish substance that, though beautiful, should never really see the light of day as food.

See what I mean?


  1. You made those? That's commendable - well done. I love those vintage recipes.

  2. Thanks! And yeah, those old school recipes are cool. It's a bit like watching a car crash sometimes.