The Good Old Days: Volume 5467

I once had a plastic box filled with cards about different types of animals.  There were thousands of cards that you were supposed to index, and then flick through at your leisure.  Even when I was a kid I couldn’t see the point of this.  Maybe there was a point if you lived in the kind of household where people had conversations likes this:

“Hey son.  I was wondering.  What is the gestational period of an elephant?”

“Gee, I don’t know Dad.  Let me check my wild life index.” 

Otherwise, not so useful.

Seems like index cards were popular in a world before the internet.

Lots of little things amuse me in this ad.  “Put the pleasure back into your family.”  A sure sign of a family that needs to get out a lot more is when Mum or Dad suggests they crack open the recipe card index box for a little “family pleasure”. 

Also, I like that they say on the coupon that if you’re under 18 you need to get a parent to sign.  This suggests that the people at the New Zealand Cookery Club had an extensive database (probably on index cards) of all the signatures of children’s parents in New Zealand that they could cross reference against all coupons they received.  If they had this system then they were fraud proof.  If not, I wonder how many parents got stung with a “surprise” recipe index system from their loving children?

But let’s not beat about the bush.  The centrepiece of the ad is clearly the standout.

The main dish appears to be ham steaks with pineapple next to whole heads of broccoli.  I would like to know what recipe card  this dish came off.  How are you supposed to eat the broccoli?  Why are the ham steaks so big?  Why so many pieces of pineapple per steak?  So many questions.  I don’t like my head to fill with questions when I see my main course: “Will I live through this?”, “Is that still moving?”, “Where is the nearest toilet?”.

For a little while I thought that the girl had made some huge meat mountain, but I think it’s a chocolate cake.  This is not a happy confusion.  I think the girl is smiling because she knows she just owned her mother in this little cook off.  Also, she has a cool top.

Down the side of the page are a selection of other recipes with the name of the dish, the nationality of the dish, and a photo.

This appears to be salad in a beaker with ten-day old celery on the side.  The flag looks familiar. 

Isn’t this the flag for the third level of hell?

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I wrote a book called Kaitiaki o te Pō

12 thoughts on “The Good Old Days: Volume 5467”

  1. Hello there! Angie sent me. (she is pretty powerful) I’m glad I succumbed to her mind control. I’ve been studying that chocolate cake for hours and have determined it is in fact a mystery meat cake, very popular in the early 70s. Something my mom used to serve us as kids. Along with a tower of white bread and a gallon of whole milk. And they say cholesterol is determined by genetics.

  2. I love how they have to tell us in the title that it’s ‘exciting’. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be sure…

  3. Clip Snark – I just visited your blog. Inspirational. Love the one with the guy with a briefcase sauntering across the “bridge of suicides”. I am pleased you have the full set. It means one less card set is in a landfill somewhere.

    Elyse – I’m coming to the conclusion that Angie is actaully some form of mind control.

    Curly Carly – Wow. Your post about helmets is impressive and brave. I didn’t actually realise you were wearing a helmet when I orginally read the post. I would do quite a lot to have one tenth of the hair on your head (sigh). Actually, that sounds a bit weird. I don’t want you to send me your hair. Just so we’re clear.

  4. What is wrong with you people? My wife and I still use our cards, though we turn the internet off first, to avoid conflict of information. Hawaiian steaks were very exotic in the 80s and everybody knows that broccoli is very good for the uthreta, or something.

  5. Angie sent me. I always listen to Angie. Usually I’m sorry, but not tonight!

    My mother gave me recipe cards like these. She was a terrible cook.

  6. I have the set of animal cards! A couple of years ago I mentioned to my mom that I loved those cards (probably the only one) but I only got the starter set and none of the additional cards (bitter much?) and she found the full set on eBay. So now instead of having the starter set collecting dust, I have the FULL set collecting dust.

  7. Speaker7 – See, my brain just assumed they were strawberries, but I think you’re right. They look a lot like cherry tomatoes. This cannot be possible. Can it? I do like the cake though because it looks like it is finished to my level of skill (like I used a trowel and a shovel).

    Angie – That kid probably grew up and won every pub quiz that ever existed.

  8. When I read this last night, my husband was sitting next to me. And when I mentioned the index card thing, we immediately both recanted the American commercial where the kid says (and I swear to God this has got to exist somewhere still, right?), “A platypus has feet like a duck but it’s furry…” All the while staring at an index card. And probably having the time of his life.

    I also immediately thought “meat cake?” when I saw the Cookery Club picture.

  9. I’m more confused by the white cake with the cherry tomatoes on top and the black circles of mold? olives? charcoal? in the white frosting. And what is a decorative cooking wall chart? I don’t know, but now I need one desperately.

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