Historic Colors and Flavors

Looking for authentic 1950s details?IMG_9177 adj

by Andy Scheer

As someone who lived through the 1950s and ’60s, if I were writing a novel set in that era I could be tempted to trust my memory. But recent visits to a few websites reminded me how much I’d forgotten.

Like the motels where my dad stopped the family’s Rambler station wagon on our cross-country trips each summer to image001-cropColorado. This fall on my own vacation trip through the state, I’d forgotten how much expectations had changed. No longer will a family stop at a motel simply because it advertises “steam heat,” “in-room phones,” “TVs,” or “every modern convenience.”

A visit to The American Motel refreshed my memory, with its state-by-state listings gleaned from historic advertising and postcards. I especially appreciated the shots of room interiors and happy people around the heated pools.

Once your 1950s-era travelers arrive at Aunt Lorene and Uncle Larry’s house, what will they enjoy for supper? If Aunt Lorene is on a budget, perhaps she’ll serve her guests (after all, they are family) Frankfurter Macaroni Salad Loaf. You’ll find the recipe, and lots of options for Jello molds, at MidCenturyMenu.

image005-cropAs proof that truth’s far stranger than fiction, there’s even a 1961 recipe for “Jellied Tomato-Olive Mold” made from unflavored gelatin, bouillon, tomato juice, 7-Up, Worcestershire sauce, and sliced green olives. Talk about historic flavor.


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About Andy Scheer

With more than 30 years in publishing, Andy Scheer has provided freelance editorial services since 2010. He has edited fiction and nonfiction for publishers including Moody, WinePress, and BelieversPress, as well as for clients including Dirk Cussler, McNair Wilson, DiAnn Mills, Heather Day Gilbert, and Sammy Tippit.

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