Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas from Food With Eyes!

When I think of my favorite things, food with eyes and diners immediately come to mind (followed closely by schnitzel with noodles). So what could be better than a diner with anthropomorphic food? How about a Christmas diner with anthropomorphic food? That's just what M&M's was thinking when they released their Official M&M's Brand Christmas Village Diner in 1996.

Here are the M&M's listening to the jukebox and ordering their burgers and fries:

Spinning some platters and playing music:

Sipping an ice cream soda:

Looking cool and hula hooping:

Open 24 hours!

It's all very official:

Apparently, M&M's released a whole series of tins from 1995-2005. You can find them here. Photo booth and recording studio? They were really grasping at straws toward the end. At least they didn't get to nursing home and funeral parlor!

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Green Saturday

If you're like most Americans, you overindulged on pumpkin pie, candied yams, and mashed potatoes on Thursday then gorged on shopping on Black Friday. Today, Green Saturday, you can make up for your excesses by returning to a healthy diet of food with eyes. Here are a few activities to remind you what you should be eating (click for full size image):

These activity pages are courtesy of the children's activities table at the year-round Schenectady Green Market.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Let Them Eat Cupcakes!

Last week, I was surprised with a fantastic birthday package from my sister Maria of Curly Wurly. Inside were some delightful items from artist Modern Radar featuring these happy cupcakes:

Tote bag:
I'll be the envy of Schenectady with this adorable bag on my arm! Thank you, Maria!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Welcome Home

Welcome home to the Food with Eyes gang who have just returned from an unprecedented two month showing at the Schenectady County Public Library's children's room display case!

I was told by the librarian that many children were delighted by the display, and I did witness at least one child being delighted myself. I would like to think the display stayed up for two months instead of the customary one month because it was such a success, but I suspect they couldn't find another collection for October. I haven't seen the November display yet, but I heard it would be bears.

I had selected two books from the library to tie in with the theme. When I took down the display I checked them out of the library and will share them with you here:

First we have The Talking Vegetables as retold by Won-Ldy Paye and Margaret H. Lippert and illustrated by Julie Paschkis:

This is a traditional story from Dan people of Northeastern Liberia.

The story goes like this: all the animals except Spider help to plant a garden. Spider refuses to help, but come harvest time he decides he would like to eat some of the vegetables. So Spider goes to pick a tomato, who to Spider's surprise, vociferously protests.

Next Spider decides to pick some cucumbers, but they, too, tell him he can't since he didn't help with the garden.

Not getting the point, Spider tries for a pumpkin who again castigates him for not helping.

And then the vegetables gang up on him:

I suspect the next scene, which was not illustrated, was something like the tree scene from The Evil Dead.

The second book, Peanut Butter Party by Remy Charlip, lacks a moral about cooperation, as well as a nightmare-inducing vegetable attack.

Instead, this book offers up a host of party ideas centering around peanut butter, such as a costume party:

Featuring a menu of peanut butter on round crackers:

For entertainment, a play where smooth and chunky peanut butter debate their relative merits. The illustration at the bottom depicts the final scene from the all-peanut butter production of Hamlet.

Many thanks to the Schenectady County Public Library for allowing me to share my collection and hopefully inspire future generations of anthropomorphic food enthusiasts.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Food with Eyes: The Exhibit

Today marked the realization of a dream I've had for years: to have a collection of mine on display for the public. I've always loved museums and thought it must be wonderful to donate your collection to a museum for permanent display. I hoped to one day see a placard next to some wonderful exhibit reading "From the Collection of Lushie Peach." That day has arrived, although it's not at the Smithsonian or the Met, but at the Children's Room of the Schenectady County Public Library.

The glass display case there features a monthly exhibit, usually someone's collection or maybe crafts or miniatures. I make a point of looking at it every month. A few months ago it hit me that my collection might be a candidate for the case. I spoke to the librarian who seemed somewhat confused about what I was proposing to put in the case. Nevertheless, she took my contact information. I heard nothing and figured they had a full schedule of the usual collections of frogs or pigs or whatnot. But then I got a call asking if I could bring my collection in for September! Of course I immediately said yes, and gathered my items together.

This morning I installed the exhibit (ok, I put the stuff in the case). I also found a few books to tie in with the theme. So without further ado, Food with Eyes: The Exhibit:

Look for the exhibition catalog soon. I actually changed the setup a little after I took the pictures, using some stands and easels to prop up some things. I'm tempted to go there everyday now and watch to see if anyone looks at the case. I expect the Smithsonian, or maybe MoMA, will be contacting me soon to see about a traveling exhibit.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Stuck in Schenectady

I was walking along State Street in Schenectady yesterday when I came upon this sticker stuck to the sidewalk:

It features Appleby, spokesfruit for MVP Health Care, a regional HMO based in Schenectady. I can only guess a real live Appleby was recently walking around doling out stickers and health care advice.

Last week I visited Hudson, NY, known for its many upscale antique shops. I didn't buy any antiques, but I did spot this adorable picnic basket filled with stuffed food with eyes:

This play set is by Melissa & Doug. Further investigation has also turned up a cute Candy Jar Fill & Spill set. The age range for both toys is for 6 months +. I initially began to rationalize that 440 months is greater than 6 months, making the toy appropriate for me, but in the end I decided to settle for a picture.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

From Soap to Nuts

I often shop in thrift stores; you never know what treasures you'll find there. Most stores have a glass case at the cash register where especially valuable or fragile items are stored. This usually consists of dollar store figurines, gaudy costume jewelry, and out-dated computer software. Imagine my surprise when I discovered a genuinely valuable item in the case at the local Salvation Army: a mint-in-box Mr. Peanut Avon soap set! At just two dollars I couldn't resist adding it to my Mr. Peanut collection.

Here's the lime-green box with Mr. Peanut on one side and non-anthropomorphic peanuts on the other:

The top - Avon Nutty Soap Dish:

And the back with the carefully packed soap:

The soaps themselves, nestled in their plastic peanut shell dish:

This soap dates from 1975, the height of the 70s novelty soap craze. First came soap-on-a-rope, then all kinds of strangely shaped soaps followed - I even had a box of Soapaghetti! Truthfully, the soap and dish are a little disappointing. The soaps are very realistically shaped, but they don't smell like peanuts, just a generic pleasant soap scent. The plastic dish can be used for serving real peanuts, as the inside lid flap suggests, but there's no trace of Mr. Peanut on the soaps or dish. Still, a very good find!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Recipe for Success

I recently got a baggie of old recipe booklets and clippings at a flea market that had a few great food with eyes finds inside:

This little pamphlet, "How to put Variety in your Milk Beverages" was produced by Carnation Evaporated Milk. Variety would be a sun bathing orange and an Eskimo pineapple complete with snowshoes and igloo. Kind of a Heat Miser and Snow Miser in fruit form.

This low-budget cook booklet was produced by the New York State Department of Agriculture to extol the many virtues of eggs. Not only are they incredible and edible, but they are also economical, plentiful, rich in Vitamin D, combine well with other foods, etc., etc.

A close-up of the top illustration:

And the bottom:

The rich egg doesn't look very happy about it.

This newspaper clipping recipe for creamed vegetable soup must be from the World War II years as it mentions using veggies from your Victory Garden (and provides a bit of trivia about tongue).

The veggies and milk bottle all look so friendly, but that cauldron is really terrifying!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Kingdom of the Crystal Spud

Just in time for the fourth Indiana Jones movie, Hasbro has released a special "Taters of the Lost Ark" Mr. Potatohead!Here's Indiana Potatohead complete with fedora, jacket, whip, and gold potatohead idol:

Can a Marion Potatohead be far behind?

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Farewell, National Sticker Month

Closing out the first annual National Sticker Month we have a couple more examples of anthropomorphic stickers.

This set of ice cream cones, cake, and a cupcake is by Heartline, a division of Hallmark. I found these a couple years ago.

And lastly, these whimsical fruits and veggies are by American Greetings. I got these in the early-mid 90s, and in a fit of temporary insanity I actually used them! These are all I have left. I think the empty spots are peas in a pod, a pair of peppers, and cherries.

That does is for this year's National Sticker Month. Check back next year for more!