Friday, June 19, 2015

I wouldn't marry these cookies

As one stage of the KonMari-inspired tidying I've been dealing with papers. A huge chunk of research papers from my thesis have now been discarded, but in the process I decided to try out some recipes from advertisements I'd kept.

First were some oat biscuits from a 1923 Uncle Toby's advertisement. Tasty and didn't last long enough for me to think to take a photograph!

Then I turned to one of my favourite ads.
Condensed milk advertisement, True Story Magazine, Feb 1929
 I've always had a soft spot for the way advertisements use romantic narratives, these young women beset by problems to which the products had solutions, and food advertisements did this cliche better than most.

The coconut macaroons with which Julie attempts to ensnare Paul and convince him that she is not a frivolous young woman are fairly simple so I decided to try them. For those who have trouble reading the recipe in the above image, you mix 1/4 cup of condensed milk with 1 cup of shredded coconut, add 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla, then fold in one stiffly beaten egg white.  Drop by teaspoon onto a buttered tray, bake for ten minutes in a moderate oven, and according to the story, serve warm with hot chocolate to friends.

These were pretty bad actually. I think the problem is modern eggs tend to bigger, so the egg white to rest of ingredients ratio was out, but they were insipid. I think she can be assured Paul was going to marry her anyway, as these are not proposal-worthy.

Also, without the rest of the recipes in this cookbook, I still have most of a tin of condensed milk with which to find something else to do. Any suggestions?


  1. As a woman whose love blossomed with the sharing of cookies, I love this :)

    Shame they weren't up to the macaroon standard that my grandmother-in-law set, but I love that you are trying these recipes. I hope you will post more!

  2. "I think she can be assured Paul was going to marry her anyway, as these are not proposal-worthy." *snicker*

    Honestly, that's probably for the best. If I were Julie I'd want a husband who loved me even if I made dreadful macaroons. I might even sabotage my own cookies as a test ;)

    1. Side note: your captcha thing requires me to identify birthday cakes in order to prove I am not a robot! This may be the most thematically appropriate captcha test I've ever seen.

    2. I think the way they present love as so conditional is one of the things that fascinates me about these romantic narrative advertisements. A change of washing soap or deodorant, taking a tonic to clear up 'partial constipation' so she has more energy, even a hair rinse can be presented as the difference between "I think I'm losing him" and the proposal.

  3. There are few things better than condensed milk sandwiches...just ask Winnie-the-Pooh.