Is Candy Making a Lost Art? Hundred-Year-Old Candy Thermometer Advertisement

Source: American Cookery (January, 1917)
Source: American Cookery (January, 1917)

I was surprised when I saw this hundred-year-old advertisement for candy thermometers.  Sometimes I think that making homemade candy is becoming a lost art – but I thought that this a a relatively recent phenomena. I was wrong. People have been concerned about the decline in candy making for at least a hundred years.

Hundred-Year-Old Heinz Baked Beans Advertisement

Source: Ladies Home Journal (March, 1916)
Source: Ladies Home Journal (March, 1916)

For some reason, beans – baked, canned, whatever – are one of my favorite winter comfort foods. Earlier this week I posted a hundred-year-old recipe for Bean Chowder. And, when browsing though old magazines I was drawn to this hundred-year-old ad for canned Heinz Baked Beans. I wonder if the beans tasted the same back then as what they do now – or if Heinz has changed their recipe across the years.

Nut Bowls

Mid-century nut bowl
Mid-century nut bowl

Many of my December memories are linked to food: cut-out cookies, homemade fudge,  fruitcake, and nuts in the shell. Yesterday I saw a display of nuts in the shell at the supermarket and bought a bag. When I got home I dug out my mid-century nut bowl.  Each time I crack a nut, my thoughts go back to chatting with my mother while cracking, and then nibbling on, nuts in the farmhouse kitchen when I was a child.

This morning I browsed through a hundred-year-old issue of Ladies Home Journal and saw an ad for a Parsons Nut Bowl. Nuts in the shell have been a holiday tradition for a long time.

Parsons Nut Bowl Advertisement (Ladies Home Journal, December, 1916)
Parsons Nut Bowl Advertisement (Ladies Home Journal, December, 1916)

1916 Jello Advertisement

Source: American Cookery (October, 1916)
Source: American Cookery (October, 1916)

They sure knew how to package Jell-O a hundred years ago. The “Safety Bag” would keep it “as pure and sweet” as the day it was made for years.

I checked the “best used by” date on a package of Jell-O in my cupboard. The date was November 16, 2014.  Time flies, and I don’t remember when I bought it, but I don’t think that it was real long ago.  In any case, I discarded the package . . .  sigh . . . I wish that modern Jell-O would keep for years like the old-time Jell-O in its Safety Bag.