Friday, 3 February 2012

Fifties Fabulousness & galloping gourmets (well, just the one gourmet actually)

I am a very lucky blogger indeed.  Before Xmas, the gorgeous Curtise from The Secondhand Years sent me a fabulous parcel of lovely things.

Curtise remembered that I'd commented elsewhere about Graham Kerr aka The Galloping Gourmet (celebrity chef back in the 70s).  

The GG used to do his cooking in front of a live (I think) studio audience and at the end of the show invited a lucky audience member to come up on the stage and eat the yummy meal with him.  When I was little, I used to sit at the dinner table playing with my food and in my mind I was the Galloping Gourmet preparing a magnificent meal.  I'd be cutting up my sausages lengthways and stuffing them with mash and then getting someone from my imaginary audience to tuck in with me.  Aaaaaah, such happy memories.

A "fascinating" fact:  Graham Kerr cooked a lot with butter and cream and it wasn't until his wife had a heart attack that he learnt the error of his fat and cholesterol filled ways and started cooking low fat meals.

Curtise also sent me the Woman's Journal from 1958.

It's fascinating. Every little bit of it. From the short stories and their amazing illustrations:

Oooh er


to the knitting and dress-making patterns:

and the recipes:

Ummm, yes that is a big pile of bacon and waffles you can see

But the biggest thrill for me has got to be the adverts.  There are literally hundreds of them and every one's a classic.  Here are just a few of them for your delectation:


More nylons

That bed looks on the verge of collapse to me

Those biscuits don't look very inviting

Love this Persil advert.  Who'd have thought I'd be drooling over washing machines?

And pedal bins.

Lovely bedspreads:

How amusing:

Curtise also gave me a lovely pinny and hankie.  As she put it, I'll need a pinny while I cook and then "a sit down with a nice magazine and a hankie.  Because you are a lady."  Thank you soooooo much, Curtise. *Mwah!*

One last thing before I toddle off.  I've actually been CUTTING UP SQUARES TO MAKE A PATCHWORK PICNIC BLANKET.  *Squeal*.  Sorry about the attention grabbing capitals and the shrieking, dear readers, but this is exciting news in my world.  Yes, little old moi has been snipping away merrily on a project that I started, ummmmmmmmmm, a mere two years ago.  Watch this space.......

Right, I'm orf.  Pip pip. xx


  1. Great parcel of goodies! That story is so cute. Did your imaginary audience like your cooking??

  2. I have to tell you that I took eight, yes EIGHT, years to finish my first, basic, patchwork quilt! So embarrassing!! But so worth it when it was done - you'll be so proud!!

    SO pleased to have you back!!


  3. wow - what a bundle of treasures!

    ha - the Galloping Gourmet - remember him well! his wife had the same name as my mum; Trina and Trena respectively.

    my parents got married in '58 - trying to imagine my mum pouring over magazines like that and getting excited about buying all those luvverly household things (as far as I know she bought things one per week at woolworths til she had a set..alas she never bought the Homemaker pieces)

    have fun sitting down with your magazines and being a lady! ;) x

  4. What is it about old advertising?
    What a lovely gift you had. I used to watch the Galloping Gourmet on television in the seventies. He once showed how to de-bone a chicken whole, then dad somehow had to do it a few days later.........think he must have watched the programme too!
    Julie xxxxxxxxxx

  5. Ooohhhh what a lovely gift! Those adverts are great, much more entertaining than most we have today.

    Hurrah! for getting round to working on the picnic blanket, although with the chilly weather I'd be tempted to turn it into a snugly blanket for keeping warm!

    Tally ho!

  6. Loo - I remember the Galloping Gormet too - he was very sophisticated! Do you remember House Party as well? Used to be on in the afternoons and a bit like Loose Women but with more household tips and less OAP sexual bragging LOL! Thank you for the chance to virtually browse the mag - how much things have changed in such a short time really. I expect the woman in The Staircase is getting a slap for not doing the housework properly! xxx

  7. Love the magazine - yes, the bed does look a bit unstable! I remember the Galloping Gourmet too - always thought he was a bit smarmy!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  8. What great pressies :) I love the old adverts..they can turn such a bland everyday item into something that appears glamorous..haha :P
    Do share the patchwork picnic blanket when you are done..I would love to see it, sounds lovely!
    Happy Sewing :)

  9. I too remember slitting my snags down the middle, stuffing them with mash and garnishing them prettily with peas. I thought I was so classy! Don't remember G.G. though. Love the mag, such a pretty cover.

  10. Lucky you getting a parcel from Curtise. Love the old mag....I love looking at the old ads inside too. Looking forward to seeing your blanket completed! Xx

  11. I'm very jealous of that mag! It's beautiful. I'm in love with the illustrations. Lovely presents, how generous of Miss C!

  12. That magazine is fab and so evocative of its time. The adverts are amazing but the best for me is the hand drawn picture of the boy and his dog to kick of the start of a story. And no celebrity story in sight!

  13. Some wonderful gifts were sent to lucky you. I haven't thought about the Galloping Gourmet in for every, what a blast from the past. Love the magazines and you are right the ads are the best.

  14. aahhh what lovely gifts. I love old magazines and those adverts are fab they make everything so much more inviting than they do today. That wallpaper one for crown is fab love the patterns and the colours. Enjoy your patchwork ;-)) Look forward to seeing that. have a great weekend, dee x

  15. Curtise rocks! I don't remember the Galloping Gourmet on TV although I know the name.
    Vintage ads are just lovely, I can spend hours leafing through old magazines.
    Good luck with the patchwork. x

  16. Those adverts are amazing, just got to love them - they never fail to make me smile.

    Im squealling over your blanket project too! Ive got patchwork on my craft list to do but it looks very labour intensive so have been putting ot off, i will therefore me green with envy over your picnic blanket :o) Scarlett x

  17. How very lovely for you, such a shame we don't have such lush publications any more

    I too was GG fan - my ambition as a child was to the one he chose, I spent hours fantasising about how I'd behave when he picked me!

  18. OMG- am I actually that old? I remember all those products and the GG- even tried my hand at his recipes when I had dinner parties!!
    I adore the style of the adverts, not sure if that is because I grew up with them or if its because the retro look so appeals to me!

  19. I remember Graham Kerr, though my mum (being an old school plain cooking kind of woman) was always very scathing of his flamboyance!
    Goodness knows what the recipes in that book are like - have you tried any? In your pinny, of course!
    The adverts in old magazines are always brilliant aren't they? If you want to cut them out for framing, I give you permission, Loo!
    Now get sewing - we need to see that patchwork blanket, I'm not waiting another 2 years!
    Have a lovely weekend, my dear. xxxxxxx

  20. Hello! Just read all of your posts and have to say that you must have a wonderful selection of charity shops in your area. I know of 11 where I live and nearly all of them are 'chains' where I would never be able to find anything as lovely as what you've bought...

    I'm now following you and looking forward to seeing all your future posts. :)

  21. Although Graham Kerr was English, he got his start as a TV chef her in NZ. My sister and I were at the Industries Fair one year (we were teenagers) and he was demonstrating seafood and he called us up and tried to get us to eat eel. We wouldn't try it and he was quite cross with us, oh the humiliation, oddly enough I haven't tried eel still to this day, and it must be nearly 40 years.

  22. Oh what lovely gifts you received.
    I love all the ads in that magazine.
    (I also do drool over bedding... so I totally feel a bond with the woman on the bed.) (Not the one that's on the bed that is about to fall apart.... *LOL* but the other one.)

    Patchwork Picnic blanket??? CAN'T WAIT TO SEE IT!

  23. I love looking through old magazines, especially the adverts and recipes...

    Good luck with your patchwork picnic blanket xx

  24. Patchwork picnic blanket?! Sounds fantastic!

  25. I've got a few old mags which I bought purely for the great ads.I'm still plodding on with my crochet'll have your patchwork done before I'm finished I should think! :0)

  26. What a glam ad for a pedal bin! Lovely parcel of goodies. Hope you get to use your picnic blanket this summer!
    Lisa x

  27. Love your blog!!! xoxo from Rome

    Ps. Follow each other???

  28. That's a lovely stash there, especially the magazine, I love those old ads too. Looking forward to reading updates about your patchwork adventure! xxx

  29. What a fab parcels! admiring the beautiful vintage ads, the persil ads is just adorable! the pinny and hankie are lovely and i cant wait to see your patchwork project!

    x susan

  30. What a fantastic stash of goodies - they would be right up my street too! Thanks for sharing the piccies, I love old ads.

  31. ....hahahaha....SQUEAL away Pip.... I couldn't right a post myself without a SHRIEK or five....**wink**....!!

    Aren't those adds AWESOME....So wholesome & simple.... Do you think you might have a couple framed or will you leave them as they are & flick through them from time to time....?

    Hope you're having a WONDERFUL week....!!

    Tamarah :o)

  32. Oh I love looking at those ads. We found lots of old newspapers under the lino in this house when we moved in..... of course I had to read them all xx

  33. Ooh oh vintage ads, love 'em. I agree, it looks like the babe in the wood is going to end up in the leaf mulch at any second. And good ole Curtise, sending you lovelies.

    I only usually show the quick projects on my blog, precisely because I have so many started years before which I haven't finished! Crack on with blanket while there's still snow on the ground and you'll be ready for picnic season (when is that these days? September?)


  34. You lucky lady!
    I love vintage cook book ads.
    that Curtise is a jem.