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Custard’s First Stand – Rennet Custard Desserts

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Vintage Junket & Rennet Custard Dessert Catalog – 1941


The title of this booklet immediately attracted me. Who knew desserts could be both tempting and nutritious? Better yet, according to this, desserts are the answer to diet problems too! They sure must be good desserts– just look at those kids running with big spoons (safer than running with scissors). Even the dog is racing on his way to the kitchen – perhaps Kibbles just didn’t cut it.

So what did children of the 40s eat that was so delicious and nutritious? Let’s look:

Image (37)
A well-balanced meal includes fruit, vegetables, milk and “other food” (does that mean cookies?), plus a pint of whole milk, an egg, and three squares of butter per day. Cows and hens must have worked overtime back then!

According to the vintage pamphlet, races that have consumed milk have been stronger than other cultures. Tell that to Ghengis Khan and other Asian people lacking lactose enzymes. Of course, there’s no mention of milk from non-bovines: goat, llama, platypuses

On the next page we see family a happy family. Mom looks on smiling at Dad who laughs and looks at the daughter whose custard he not-so-secretly envies. Baby sits in the high chair studying the cup whose contents she so desperately wants to get at. Her uninterpretable cries of, “Throw away those mushed peas and give me custard, Mommy!” have finally been answered. Now if she could just manage to grasp the spoon and get the jiggly custard goodness.

The next strip shows just how Junket Rennet custard tablets transformed the arduous task of feeding the baby.



Apparently, parents in the 50s literally bent over backwards in attempt to feed their baby. But all they really needed was Rennet custard to please the child. Just listen to that extra contented “Goo” the baby makes after getting her Junket custard. Mom and Dad look pleased, “How cute darling, it’s baby’s first flan!”

To continue to delight the family, mothers needed to learn the recipes:

                                   mince                  Jiffy Prune Renent Custard

   Mmm…Prunes! Popular with old folks.               I never figured out mincemeat.                                  But not baby’s diaper.                            But meat in pudding is just scary.

 Image (54)

The childhood joy of gelatin continues with a birthday party. Eggs, beans and plain sandwiches—what a birthday treat! The orange sherbet wafers afterward sure better be worth it . Laughing Baby

And that baby is still laughing. I’d laugh  in joy too if all I got to eat was Rennet custard.

Perhaps the “nutritiousness” of these foods may be debatable. But then again so can many of the foods today with hidden sugar and syrups.

Still, I don’t really think the average modern kids need butter, eggs and whole milk every day. Unless, with of course, they spend all day running around with spoons in their hands.

Next up: I attempt to re-create recipes from the book with modern Rennet tablets and Junket dessert packets.

What do you remember about Junket or Rennet tablets? Did you have any of these recipes? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

All pictures and recipes copyright 1941 by Junket Desserts, a RedCo Foods company. Used by permission.


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About Adam

I'm a wannabe chef, house spouse and recovering English major. Food has always been my source of metaphors. But art and language insert their similes and lend flavor to my creativity too. I see the little odd details of life that make the ordinary full of humor. I enjoy creating old and new foods, watching cartoons, reading literature, learning language, and sharing ideas with others. Feel free to contact me with ideas for future posts.

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