Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

From a Lifesighs card by Chris Shea.

Monday, December 24, 2007

God Rest Ye Merry, Yumkins

As promised back in April, here are the Del Monte Country Yumkins Christmas ornaments. They were released in 1991, almost 10 years after the initial Yumkins debuted. The six plush ornaments vary from about 3 to 5 inches tall and were made by the company Greystone.

Sweetie Pea with candy cane:

Cobbie Corn in stocking:

Reddie Tomato with holly:

Lushie Peach with reindeer antlers:

Precious Pear with angel wings:

Juicie Pineapple in a Santa hat:
The popularity of the Country Yumkins continues to grow, and there is even a new Wikipedia page about the Yumkins since my post in April.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Frosty, the S'mores Man

Here is one of the popular S'mores ornaments from Seasons of Cannon Falls. Two marshmallows make up his body, and he sits atop a couple of squares of Hershey's chocolate and a graham cracker.

This is one of the original, unadulterated s'mores, but if you like fancier things, a vast array of costumed s'mores are available.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

We Three Things of Orient Are

Today's collection of ornaments features some non-food anthropomorphic objects. I felt it was appropriate to include them in this season of peace on earth and goodwill toward all.

Here are Lumiere the Candlestick and Babette the Feather Duster from Disney's Beauty and the Beast. This ornament is by Enesco.

Here are two more Enchanted Objects from Beauty and the Beast: Mrs. Potts and her son Chip. These ornaments are by Hallmark.

And, lastly, a plush, grinning Christmas present. This ornament is by Dan Dee International Limited.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Peanuts Roasting on an Open Fire

Here we have a trio of Mr. Peanut ornaments. The first one, by Enesco, features Mr. Peanut with his highly-detailed nut cart:

The next ornament, also by Enesco, is Mr. Peanut posing as a nutcracker with an elfin friend:

And last, Mr. Peanut, adorned with a simple red scarf and standing by a pile of peanuts:

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Hark! The Herald Hot Dogs Sing!

This ornament is a hot dog featuring mustard facial features and pickle feet. He carries a stick, presumably to use for roasting himself. Nothing symbolizes the magic of Christmas like an anthropomorphic frankfurter.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It Came Upon a Mushroom Clear

This happy wooden mushroom was a souvenir from Austria.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Deck the Halls with Smiling Holly

Here we have another Hallmark stuffed ornament. This one, from 1982, features three smiling holly berries backed with metallic leaves.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas...

Now that we've had our second major snowfall, and the made-in-China artificial tree is up, I'm finally in the Christmas spirit. Christmas means many things to many people, but to me Christmas has always been about food with eyes. As we count down to Christmas I'll share with you my treasured anthropomorphic ornaments. Today we have an assortment of stuffed treats from Hallmark. Made in 1986, these are in the same vein as the Crazy Crop series, but feature holiday goodies.

Here we have Peppy Peppermint:
Trudy Tree-T:
Cane D. Stripe

The series also features three other characters not in my collection (yet!).

Dee Licious:

Sweet Starlet:

And a lollipop whose name I don't know:

I've also found Cane D. Stripe in a larger size not meant for tree-hanging. Because you can never have enough food with eyes for the holidays.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Gaga for Yaya

One of the best things about Vancouver is its large Asian population. In addition to great restaurants, this means an abundance of stores selling Asian imports you just don't see outside of large metropolitan areas. My favorite was a Japanese one-to-three dollar store called Yoko-Yaya123. NabiscoMan waited patiently while I perused this store's large stock not just once, but twice. Knowing I had limited room in my luggage, I was able to contain myself and came away with just a few choice items including the following:

Adorable vegetable lunch box dividers:

Outside of the packaging:
Each strip is thin, clear plastic to separate and decorate your lunch.
And to make your lunch even cuter, some tiny mayonnaise containers:

Out of the package:

Each one is only two inches long and has a tiny spoon for dispensing mayonnaise or other condiments. Why can't American products be this cute?

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Short Stack

While vacationing in Vancouver, I made a point of visiting a delightful shop called Occupied. I found out about it on one of my favorite websites/blogs, My Paper Crane. The store features works by Heidi Kenney as well as others in the “kawaii” tradition. I couldn’t resist a souvenir and picked out my very own Short Stack:

Here’s Short Stack in his new home. Note the cute cherry napkin and glass, finds from my favorite local store, The Katbird Shop.
More souvenirs later...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Vancouver Veggies

Last month, NabiscoMan and I took a much-needed vacation to Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia. We had a wonderful time and agree that B.C. is, indeed, "the best place on earth." We visited in all the famous sites like the Vancouver Lookout, the Vancouver Aquarium, the Capilano Suspension Bridge, and the Parliament Buildings in Victoria. But what vacation would be complete without food with eyes? Victoria and Vancouver did not disappoint!

Here is the sign for the Sour Pickle Cafe overlooking Victoria's Inner Harbor:

(Note that the pickle is holding a ladle, not a harpoon as I originally thought.)

Here we have a sign for the Vancouver Vegetarian Resource Centre:

Only after returning home and looking at their website did I realize the Resource Centre also housed a shop selling a variety of items including the children's books The Organic Adventures of Tucker the Tomato and Benji Beansprout Doesn't Eat Meat. Oh well, there's always next year's vacation.

And here is a sign for an organic grocery store, Energanic, in Vancouver:

(The running banana also doubles as the "i" in their sign. Food with eyes as "i"s.)

I observed one other food with eyes site in both Vancouver and Victoria, but was unable to get a photo. Fortunately, the Pita Pit is a chain and their website features a variety of their ingredients with eyes.

Next up: Anthropomorphic food souvenirs of the Pacific Northwest...

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The Case of the Missing Doughboy

My elementary school sponsored a young authors' contest where every child would write an original story, and the best one from each grade was chosen by a panel of readers. The author of the winning story went to a day-long conference with the winners from all the other elementary schools in the district. Each student read their story, and a copy was even bound and placed in the school’s library. For three years my stories about an adventurous hermit crab were deemed tops. In my final year of elementary school I decided to break new ground and reveal a bit of my unconventional interest. I wrote a story about food with eyes. I didn’t win.

Now, for the first time since 1984, I give you “The Case of the Missing Doughboy:”

(click to read text)

In case it wasn't obvious (and I'm told it's not), the narrator is the enormous stalk of broccoli shown in two of the drawings. I guess I should have stuck with hermit crabs.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Maltee and Mrs. Shake

Yesterday, my husband and I took a leisurely drive through the Mohawk Valley of Central NY to explore some decaying manufacturing towns along the Mohawk River. Ever vigilant for food with eyes, I spotted two great examples. The first was in the window of a printing store in the town of Herkimer (best known for its cheese and quartz “diamonds”). The window display featured an array of antique printing equipment. In the middle was a large plate for an advertisement. As I looked more closely, I realized engraving was of two popsicles and an ice cream sandwich skiing!

Regrettably, my photos didn’t come out very well, but the gist of the ad involves adding Maltee malted milk powder to ice cream treats to make them more appealing in the off-season. Here’s a reversed enlargement:

The text reads: Do your novelties hibernate in cold weather? Here’s a tip – give them a hypo – a Maltee Hypo!! Maltee products are easy to make. Maltee powder is used like any flavor. No change in mix formula required. Maltee crunch floats in the chocolate coating. Build your cold weather sales with Maltee products. Children love malted milk. Extrax Co.

In nearby Mohawk we stumbled upon Mrs. Shake, a small ice cream parlor/restaurant. Of course, this demanded a stop for a photo. And since we stopped the car anyway, why not get some ice cream?

Mrs. Shake is a great original character, and her image graced the sign and door. Although the interior was lacking food with eyes, the yummy homemade ice cream made up for that. Be sure to stop by if you're ever in Mohawk, NY.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Food Circus

I was asleep, and I heard a noise. It sounded like music. It was coming from the refrigerator. I got up and opened the refrigerator door.

I didn’t believe my eyes! It was a food circus! The cheese was on a merry-go-round, the milk was swallowing fire, and the grapes were on a roller coaster!

All the food was having fun, but suddenly the food went back to its spot and the rides were gone. So I went back to bed.

In the morning I remembered about what I has seen. I went and looked in the refrigerator, but the rides were all gone. The End.

This c. 1979 story marked my first foray into the food with eyes genre of literature. It would probably have been better titled as “The Food Carnival” since there were amusement rides, as well as sideshow acts like fire eating. Although it was somewhat lacking in terms of plot and character development, it did earn me the following Richard Scarry sticker featuring Huckle cat and Lowly worm:

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Mushrooms in your Menu

This 1956 cookbooklet from BinB Mushrooms suggests dozens of ways to incorporate more mushrooms in your diet with the help of their special butter-broiled spokesmushroom.

The front of the pamphlet shows their mushroom chef following a recipe in this very cookbook, no doubt utilizing his own savory juices (I have always admired this artistic device since first seeing a Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen comic book with a cover featuring Superman -or was it Jimmy?-sitting in a barber chair reading the same comic book ad infinitum).

The first page shows Mr. Mushroom attending a costume party dressed as Mr. Peanut, arm-in-arm with Miss Gourmet Magazine (I believe this is Miss Fluffy Rice underneath the costume).

Only one of the 24 pages of recipes shows our mushroom character. Here he is in stylized form lifting two shrimp barbells. Note the recipe on the left for Sweetbreads and Ham. That's what I typically serve my guests for luncheon.

And one last look at our BinB Mushroom friend.

This last picture is a bit disconcerting as we have a clear view of his stem hole. Shocking.