Friday, January 18, 2013

Inspired by the 1950's~Food Molds

Although I am a 1940's gal at heart, there are many things about the 1950's that inspire me and intrigue me. One of these things may sound silly but I find it fascinating. Have you noticed while skimming through 1950's recipes and cookbooks at the way women presented their meals? They were always very colorful and decorated but almost always you will find the meal of the day shaped by a mold!

I find that to be so creative and then I asked myself after a long day of working at home and tending to the children, why would these women want to take such pains in making sure their meal was pretty?
Of course I had to find out for myself. And in typical 1950's fashion I had my hair set in rollers (hot rollers) and in typical stay at home mama fashion I had my bummy clothes on with stickers that the baby so happily placed on my shirt hehe 

I normally don't cook while I have my hair set but time was of the essence and I had to multi-task so I could get some food in my hubby's belly. I asked him if he was intrigued with the use of the mold and if he cared that the food was presented in a creative and attractive matter and of course his response was, as long as it tasted good hehe So why would these women go through these great pains?

I figured out why after I tried it out myself! Below I am cooking up some quick chicken season in garlic and adobo, which is Spanish seasoning. I do not normally fry but when I do its with olive oil and I like my chicken crispy. *wink*

I borrowed what looks like a jello mold from one of my SIL's and warmed up some veggie rice from Trader Joe's yum!). Then after I placed it in the mold, I flattened it out and I could have put it on the dish it came with but decided to use one of my servers from Crate and Barrel. I had a borderline obsession with that store for years! 

It didn't come out as big and puffy as I have seen when people have used molds, I probably needed to have more rice in it. Also, my plate looked naked on the left side but I didn't have any garnish or lettuce to decorate with at the time. Women often used that to make the meal look prettier.

What did I learn you may be wondering? I learned that woman really wanted to put their best foot forward and do something extra special for their spouses after they can home from work. Cooking changed drastically in the 1950's with frozen food being introduced more as well as canned foods. Taste was important to these woman but also utilizing their time wisely was  important. Making the meal whether it was out of a can or not look attractive must have made them feel good knowing they were trying to do something special for their families.

Next step for me is to attempt an actual 1950's recipe. They make me nervous-they have such wild stuff in those recipes..hummm? Must ponder it some more hehe I do know that I now want molds of my own, all shapes and sizes and also a bundt cake mold which they used a great deal. I like the idea of making your meal look pretty before eating it. It was just as much for the family as it was for the wife to do that. I enjoyed it and would defiantly do it again!

Have you used molds? What are your favorite 1950's recipes? Stay tuned for tomorrow where I show you what I did after those hot rollers came out!!



  1. Everything was so big and colourful in the fifties, glorious Technicolor! I expect rice would need a lot of packing down and to be slightly sticky to stay in shape. Great photos of you in your rollers! x

  2. PS So glad you don't cook in your finery - l get changed too! I don't want my beautiful clothes to smell of cooking food..!

  3. Presentation was such a fun part of mid-century cuisine! From the far-out to the eyebrow raising to the wildly elegant (beef Wellington, for example), there isn't much of it that doesn't set my culinary loving heart aflutter. :)

    There are so, so many fantastic recipes that came about and/or were popular in the 1950s that it's hard to pick favourites, but since you asked, I'd lean towards pineapple upside down cake, potato chip chicken (that will always stand as one of my favourite dishes my paternal grandma made when I was growing up), and Spanish rice. I'm getting peckish just thinking about these tasty mid-century foods! :)

    ♥ Jessica

  4. The closest to a mold I have used is a spring form pan which I love. I do use a lot of vintage Betty Crocker cake recipes, the secret ingredient is Crisco!

  5. MMMMMMMMM!!! I love adobo- I put it in everything., I usually get the canned chiles in adobo sauce and freeze them in an ice cube tray. So smoky and yum! I'll have to send you some copper moulds, I find them in the thrift stores all the time!

  6. So what time is dinner? Ah Goya Adobo, my seasoning of choice as well. :) I'm glad that I'm not the only one who cooks with hot rollers in my hair. hehehe ... you look so cute!

  7. Thank you ladies! I had a funny and silly time cooking with my rollers but hey mama has to multi-task right? hehe

  8. I bet you could never get bored with all the abundance of 50s recipes out there:) My mom would make bundt cakes. I love the cinnamon streusel but they were from packages lol. I now doing my baking with almond flour which I know isn't too 50s lol. It's fun to see you cooking in the kitchen keep it up mama lol!

  9. I have never used moulds to decorate my food but I do like to present my food Masterchef style at every meal. Its really satisfying!


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