Tag Archives: 1970s

In cupcake limbo

While cruising flickr recently, I came across someone’s photo of a box of Stouffer’s cupcakes from the 1970s, and I instantly had a flashback to those days: those cupcakes were one of the few concessions to sweets that my mom would allow. And darnit, they were good cuppies: not-too-cloyingly-sweet frosting, a tender middle. Three bites and you’re done. Stouffer’s stopped manufacturing them somewhere between the 1st and 2nd Reagan administrations, I’m not really sure when.

Now, I’m even less of a dessert-eater these days, but I’d love to see those cupcakes make a stunning comeback. I imagine myself sitting down with a cup of hot chai and the deep, lascivious darkness of the chocolate-chocolate flavor. As I fantasized about the different ways I could re-love Stouffer’s cupcakes, I decided to pop an e-mail over to the fine folks who banished the treat sometime during my middle school days. The fine folks being, of course, Nestle, who own Stouffer’s.

Monday, 11/16/09
To: NestleFrozenFood@casupport.com
Dear Nestle,
I’ve lately become nostalgic for the wonderful Stouffer’s cupcakes that I used to enjoy in the 1970s. They came six to a box and were frozen, so you could thaw them out as needed. My favorite was the coconut. Just a suggestion: I’d love to see Nestle/Stouffer’s bring them back!

A day later, I got a response from ‘Danielle’ at Nestle Customer Support. I was certain they would thank me for being such a hip consumer and so fondly remembering a product from days of yore. Instead, I received this:

November 17, 2009

Dear Kristi,
Thank you for contacting us.
Please be advised, Nestlé is not the manufacturer of the product you mentioned in your letter. You may be referring to Stauffer’s Biscuit Company. If you would like to contact them you can access them directly by clicking here, or via phone at 800-673-2473.

Once again, we thank you for thinking of us and look forward to serving you in the future.
Danielle O’Day
Consumer Response Representative

Ref: N17116686

Whoa, time out Danielle. I’m NOT confusing the two companies. While I also like Stauffer’s Animal Crackers, I DO know there’s a difference. So, me being me (one who likes to win a fight), I replied back:

Thank you for your reply. Stouffers/Nestle did indeed make cupcakes back in the 1970s. I have attached a photo of the box for you to see…There was also a great crumb cake made as well. Thanks for listening!

No response back.

I wonder if I should ask them to revive their crumb cake?

Time for Timer (whose experiments were weird)

If you’re an American about the age of 40 or so, and unless you’d been living under a rock or with a Nevada cult in the 1970s, you undoubtedly recall these Saturday morning PSAs. “Time for Timer” featured a lemon-shaped gremlin in a top hat and bow tie (evoking a citrusy Rodney Dangerfield) with ideas on how to help latchkey kids make life choices. ‘Timer’ taught you the proper way to brush your teeth, to choose real cheese over Cheetos, and, weirdest of all, how to make “sunshine on a stick.”

This particular PSA I remember well, because some friends and I actually took the little shit’s advice and tried to make fruit pops from toothpicks and ice trays.

It never worked right. Saran Wrap in the ’70s was clingy stuff and not meant to be wrassled with by a 7 year-old. Ice cube trays in those days had that weird separator bar that you had to jiggle to free the ice, and I could never find a) enough fruit juice or b) toothpicks. I think once we had to go ask a neighbor for toothpicks. Timer’s little PSAs ran aground long before we aged. When the Saturday shorts came on, in between cartoons, it was no longer time to pay rapt attention, but rather time to head to the kitchen for more King Vitaman.

Timer’s time was up by the late ’70s, though he managed to flip and swagger his lemony self into the 1980s by the way of reruns. By then I, and my like-minded generation, had long found other things to “turn us on.”