A visual & vintage cookbook smorgasboard

pancake mix

I’ve been meaning to post about this for a while, but recently while on a trip home I got out my mom’s old cookbooks that she used back in the early 60’s…and boy was I in for a treat.

If there was one thing I wish I could do art-wise, it would be to know how to illustrate in the 1950’sesque style. I love the kitschy linework and adornment along with the colors they infused into their work…just love it. I’m sure there are plenty of artists out there still doing this style (I met one named Suzie Millions at the CHA show last year who replicated this look to a T and had them featured in her book Retro Crafts.) But there’s definitely something to be said for the unadulterated whimsy and fanciful shapes and designs and linework. I guess it goes back to it be a simpler time…when it was much easier to hire an illustrator to do a cover than to have it photographed. I would def. love to meet one of these illustrators today and hear about their craft. It just amazes me.

Well, I’m going to post a whole slew of photos below of covers, quirky foods, and those beautiful illustrations. I guess back then, the domestic housewife had a lot of time on her hands and could utilize it by ‘whipping up’ a 5 layer cake or several batches of homeade cookie bars. I know very few people today who even attempt a daunting task like that even once a year (actually my sister Angela does around Christmastime-must applaud her for that effort). It seems like Thanksgiving and Christmas are the only real times we actually cook. It’s kind of sad that we don’t “play” as much in the kitchen cause our lives are so overwhelmed by work, kids, and social obligations. I do notice a lot of people have been doing more simple baking like cupcakes which are relatively easy and pretty and are rather quick craft of sorts. I guess it’s all about finding the time to create something – even if it is a 30 minute meal. hope you dig these illustrations and retro foods as much as I did!

sorbet fantasy


coconut layer cake

wagon cake

table talk

practically cookless cookbook

frozen assets

do ahead party book

Until tomorrow Swellions!



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