Monday, July 13, 2009

Spry – It’s Triple Creamed! or, Aunt Jenny Wants to Kill You!

My scanner is broken but I managed to dig up some previous scans of vintage cook booklets. These are a couple from Spry, a vegetable shortening, like Crisco.

Here are the front and back covers of the earlier one, I’m guessing the mid 1940’s. All the graphics inside are illustrated like the covers. I wish I had a scan of the inside to show you what “Aunt Jenny’ looks like.



Now here is the later version, perhaps late 40’s very early 50’s.


The copy on these cracks me up. “So digestible even a child can eat them!” Thank goodness for that! Below is a good shot of Aunt Jenny before she went off her meds.


The inside is where things get weird for me. Aunt Jenny is no longer illustrated. She’s a “real” person. My mother was the first one to notice something about sweet Aunt Jenny was…off. Like they tried to make her look older and more grandmotherly than she is.


An’ they go a bit o’erboard on the country speak, don’t you know. But it’s so down home you know good things are comin’ outta this kitchen!

“Land sakes Ebeneezer…!” 

Here she is serving up one of her “magic meat pies”. Looks awful suspect to me. And where is Mr. Aunt Jenny? Does he approve of his wife serving meals to single men? I think they’re hinting that ole Aunt Jenny is a bit spry herself *wink, wink, nudge, nudge*



There is just something about Aunt Jenny that gives me the creeps. The fake “grandma-ness”, the overly beaming smile and the over the top country slang is too contrived. I hadn’t noticed her creepiness until after I scanned the booklet or I could give you some great examples of her crazed grin. Like she just served up her niece in the magic meat pie.

Here is the back cover and a glimpse at the original Aunt Jenny. She is in the very upper right. Now that is a sweet grandma figure! I believe that Aunt Jenny. Sweet and kindly with rosy cheeks, not a smile frozen in rigor.


I do not like the creepy Aunt Jenny. She reminds me of smiling, overly happy people that are hiding something. Like a knife behind their back.

You know..if I squint just right I can make the copy above read “Aunt Jenny stars as Bride of Chucky”. Come ‘ere you! Aunt Jenny wants to bake you in, er, bake you a meat pie! You’ll DIE for it!