Vintage Kitchen Kitsch on eBay

Posted on Aug 17 2013 - 5:00am by RetroRuth

Whoa. It was a good week for kitchen kitsch! Grab some coffee and strap in, because this week we have crazy gelatin, bunches and bunches of bananas, and finding love 50 ways with Manwich.

 Davis Dainty Dishes Cookbook 1941 Vintage Gelatine Recipes Book

Davis Danties

Why I Want This: Oh my god. That gelatin mold. I am pretty sure that is canned asparagus on the side (though it may be pickles) and those are either onions or cloves of garlic on the top. Either way, I am IN!

 50 FAMOUS MANWICH RECIPES cookbook 1971

50 Ways With Manwich

50 Ways With Manwich III

50 Ways With Manwich II

Why I Want This: What the what? 50? They really thought of 50 ways to make sloppy joes? Well, I suppose. That girl on the cover looks like she would have no problem thinking of many ways to use a can of sauce to get into a man’s heart.


 Vintage Cookbook The American Family Cook Book 1955

American Family Cookbook

American Family Cookbook II

Why I Want This: How adorable is this cookbook? Plus, I LOVE the juxtaposition of a glistening gelatin and a super fatty roast.

 1949 Vintage downright delicious sun maid raisin Recipe Booklet

Downright Delicious

Downright Delicious II

Downright Delicious III

Why I Want This: Little known fact: I actually hate raisins. So why do I want this? I might hate them a little less in a Puffed Raisin Pie. Or in a hearty loaf of Breakfast Mush. (!)


 Old Vintage 1947 CHIQUITA BANANA Recipes Booklet

Chiquita Banana Cookbook

Chiquita Banana Cookbook II

Chiquita Banana Cookbook III

Why I Want This: The green sauce! The gelatinous green sauce!

 Vintage 1956 TEMPTING BANANA RECIPES Cook Booklet

Tempting Banana Recipes

Tempting Banana Recipes II

Why I Want This: I want to find out if anyone is EVER tempted by bananas on top of tomatoes.

 Vintage Bananas how to serve them Recipe Booklet

Bananas How To Serve Them

Bananas How To Serve Them II

Bananas How To Serve Them III

Why I Want This: Banana. Mixed. Grill.

 Vintage Bananas take a bow Recipe Booklet

Bananas Take A Bow

Bananas Take A Bow II

Banana Take A Bow III

Why I Want This: I want to place that Banana Pineapple Round thing in front of Tom and just…see what he says. Plus, I’ve heard those Banana Scallops are TERRIBLE.


Drink Tray

Drink Tray III

Why I Want This: Drinks for Vintage Cocktail Friday deserve to be served on this tray!


Fireside Cookbook

Fireside Cookbook II

Fireside Cookbook III

Fireside Cookbook IV

Why I Want This: James Beard’s Cookbook? Oh yeah, I WANT this.


Foods Men Like

Foods Men Like II

Why I Want This: I need to know what kind of pie astronauts prefer!

 TRADER VIC'S Pacific Island Cookbook 1968

Trader Vics Cookbook

Trader Vics Cookbook II

Why I Want This: Tiki Time!


Cook Book Rack II

Cook Book Rack

Why I Want This: Sure, I have a serviceable stainless steel cookbook holder, but this one would be awesome. Comparing the two is like asking whether you want a bran muffin or three layer pink cake with icing roses.

 Vintage Sunkist Lemons bring out the Flavor Booklet

Sunkist Lemons III

Sunkist Lemons II

Sunkist Lemons

Why I Want This: Making my own lemon gelatin would be fun. And then adding cottage cheese to it and ruining it would be even more fun.

 1938 Vintage Cranberries Recipes how to cook them Booklet

Eatmoor Cranberries

Eatmoor Cranberries II

Eatmoor Cranberries III

Why I Want This: Cranberry. Omelet. Also, when did cranberries have to pretend to be cherries?

 Vintage 22 best fresh Cranberry Recipes Ocean spray Booklet

22 Best Fresh Cranberry Recipes

22 Best Fresh Cranberry Recipes II

Why I Want This: That Cranberry Cream Dessert Salad and those Kitchen Cookies look really good. Plus, there is the Pineapple Cottage Cheese Mold!

 VTG Advertising Cookbook – 44 Wonderful Ways to Use PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese

44 Wonderful Ways

44 Wonderful Ways II

44 Wonderful Ways III

44 Wonderful Ways IV

44 Wonderful Ways V

Why I Want This: Did you see those gelatins? Plus the frosted sandwich loaf? Love. It.

 VTG Cookbook – Pillsbury's Best BUTTER COOKIE COOKBOOK Vol II

Butter Cookies II

Butter Cookies

Why I Want This: Bowlegged gingerbread men? Why didn’t I think of that?

 1955 "Easy Livin' Paper Napkin Recipes

Easy Livin Paper Napkins

Why I Want This: Mushed-up canned meatballs on hot dog buns. Sounds like my kind of sandwich!

Whew…thanks for sticking with me, guys. This was a long one! As a treat, why don’t you guys go make yourself a nice Cranberry Omelet or some Banana Scallops. Yum! And if you don’t want the kitschy fun to end, head over to my other blog to check out some more picks.

*Disclaimer: Mid-Century Menu is part of the eBay Partner Network, and that means that when you click on our eBay links we may earn a very small commission.

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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit the 50's. I have a passion for vintage recipes and an enormous vintage cookbook collection that I keep testing, even though by now I should know better. Creator of Mid-Century Menu (, No Pattern Required (, and I Ate The 80's (

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13 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Kriz August 17, 2013 at 6:37 am - Reply

    This is why I restrict my collecting to flea markets and tag sales. If I went to E-bay, I’d have no money, and no space for cooking in. Or eating. Or anything, really ….

    • RetroRuth August 17, 2013 at 10:49 am - Reply

      I hear you, Kriz! That is actually a real danger at my house… 🙂

  2. Beth August 17, 2013 at 9:28 am - Reply

    Do you ever order any of the items you feature? Some are irresistible, and seeing the look on Tom’s face with some of these would by priceless.

    • RetroRuth August 17, 2013 at 10:51 am - Reply

      Nope, haven’t ordered a single thing! I started doing these posts as a way to show everyone what great stuff was left over AFTER I spent my weekly allotment of eBay money. So however awesome these things are, the stuff I bought is even better!

  3. Joan August 17, 2013 at 9:45 am - Reply

    I have that Trader Vic’s cookbook. The incidental racism and sexism is rather shocking in its casualness. One advantage to the current day, people who think that way have the decency to lie to us about it. But the photos and recipes are cool. I have that drink tray too, and I don’t use it nearly often enough. Too bad it is currently only 9:45 in the morning. I need that cookbook holder, but I really can’t pay that, maybe I’ll get lucky at the estate sales. You really could run out of money pretty fast on eBay.

    • RetroRuth August 17, 2013 at 10:53 am - Reply

      I agree about running out of money! The fact that I can’t get that cookbook holder is KILLING ME!

  4. Eartha Kitsch August 17, 2013 at 10:38 am - Reply

    That’s some incredible stuff! Please tell me you ordered it all! At least the Manwich cookbook. 50 ways?? really?

    • RetroRuth August 17, 2013 at 10:52 am - Reply

      I wish I was able to get everything! That Manwich cookbook especially!

  5. Kari S August 17, 2013 at 3:25 pm - Reply

    I think I speak for everyone here when I say that we all want to see pictures of Tom and the Banana Salmon Salad from the “Bananas Take a Bow” cookbook. Bananas, pineapple and… canned salmon. Maybe you could incorporate it into a gelatine mold?

  6. Mariah August 17, 2013 at 8:39 pm - Reply

    First off: love, love, LOVE that the second cookbook has “Manwich” in the title. (Doesn’t sound dirty at all, does it? 😛 ) And of course, everything *has* to focus on teh menz. The psychedelic drawings are cool though.

    Quite an array of banana cookbooks you’ve got there! (Apparently, during the early-to-mid-20th century there was a big push to produce recipes for this “exotic” fruit.)

    Am I the only one who feels vaguely terrified by the illustrations in the 1970 cookbook? The illustrations in the 1949 Beard book, on the other hand, are really charming and cute! They look almost Victorian.

    Love this great series!

  7. Ronda August 18, 2013 at 4:39 am - Reply

    I love this post. The books themselves are funny, but your captions had me really laughing. 😉 Have I mentioned how much I love your blog? Thanks once again for a great post. R

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