Consider These Glistening Summer Desserts from 1960

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You know what you can still do for Memorial Day, even if you’re stuck inside? Replicate this spread of “Calorific Afters,” from around 1960, which includes “Fresh grapefruit, summer fruits and ice cream sundaes for the sweet toothed.” Pair it with this 1957 barbecue menu and you’re all set to kick off your the weirdest summer of your lifetime (let’s hope).


I can’t exactly pinpoint what, specifically, makes this spread look so dated. Maybe it’s the jauntily cut citrus with the cherries placed carefully in the middle? The specific shapes of the glasses? The heavy presence of grapefruit gives some off midcentury diet vibes, but I also think I see donuts topped in ice cream with little wafers tucked into the top. Is that ice in the bowl of jello? What are you supposed to do with the lemon slices? How fast can I make myself the greatest summer treat of all, a root beer float?


The Ghost of James Madison's Rage Boner

No. Just, no.

As a child of the ’60s, let me assure you that while what you’re seeing there may seem sort of tasty, there is a reason it all has the same peculiar look to it.

Whatever natural flavors might be there are buried under a cloying, over-processed, canned and preservative-laden terroir that I can still taste decades later. Kill it all with fire.