Sometimes People In 1967 Didn’t Know About Italy and Stuff


 Meet Ruth Conrad Bateman. There are a couple of things you should know about Ruth. Ruth is a Professional Home Economist, Ruth has a “genuine feeling” for food, and Ruth doesn’t take any guff.

Now, Ruth has always been a restless soul and back in 1967, before the invention of transportation, Ruth apparently stumbled upon a little known country name Italy where they eat “Italy” food and stuff.

That’s when Ruth got a wonderful, very good idea. She would compile a booklet with “instructions” on how to make “Italy” food. And here it is:

Now look closely at this cover. There’s wine, scallops and overly large wooden utensils that Italy people are so fond of cooking with. If that doesn’t smack of Italy — Ruth Conrad Bateman doesn’t know what does.

Also note that Ruth has included valuable coupons inside. That adorable, irrepressible Ruth! Let’s see what gives with that:

See you learn something every day! Who knew “Prune Shine” was Italian? Prune Shine is the natural way to stay regular, day after day! And when viewed in a prudential light, this could be considered a good thing.

However, if it turns out not to be a good thing due to having to urgently leave the room every ten minutes, Ruth has thoughtfully included a coupon to make you feel better about the situation:

 Because Ruth knew that back in 1967, there really wasn’t much a person wasn’t willing to put up with for a nickel.

It’s also interesting to note that the makers of Sunsweet Prune Juice felt it necessary to use six adjectives to get you to drink it. Just a fun fact!

Now on to the Italy food! Or as Ruth puts it, “Lookee what I made!”

Here’s where Ruth really gets into the nuts and bolts of Italian food! Except instead of using nuts and bolts, Ruth is using jumbo shrimp. For you see, Ruth wanted an opportunity to tell us that jumbo shrimp is a delicacy that is available in many fine Italian restaurants which serve Italy food.

But Ruth doesn’t want us to feel embarrassed if we’ve never heard of jumbo shrimp before because they were only recently discovered by Ruth Conrad Bateman, herself, when she accidentally fell overboard while sailing in the Adriatic and surfaced with jumbo shrimp stuck in her hair net! So you see it’s nothing to feel unsophisticated about.

And finally, what Italian Cookbook would be complete without this helpful hint fresh from the lips of the Italy Food Diva, herself, Ruth Conrad Bateman:

And if that little treasure of wisdom doesn’t save you at least a nickel, Ruth Conrad Bateman will eat her hair net, jumbo shrimp and all!

Until next time . . . I love you

25 thoughts on “Sometimes People In 1967 Didn’t Know About Italy and Stuff

  1. Ruth Conrad Bateman was the woman who made everyone think Marco Polo stole pizza from Canada just to make her Italy Food seem that much more authentic.
    I’m amazed that such a noteworthy historian as yourself is working to perpetuate these myths instead of exposing her for the Prune Pushing shrimp catcher she really is.
    Love the cleanser preservation tip tho!

    • It breaks my heart when I hear these rumors about the noble Ruth Conrad Bateman. Those are simply lies perpetuated by the Canadian Italy Food powers-that-be in an effort to marginalize her contribution to prunes and leave her hairdo out of this!

  2. I gagged when I read “jug of Prune Shine.” I can’t decide if it sounds more like something you’d stir up in your tub or something you could also use to eliminate soap scum. Or, alternatively, it leaves each person shiny and new with each glass.

    • I know, people were weird back then. I’m sure I was even weird back then. And can you imagine going to all the trouble of clipping a coupon for 5 cents for prune juice! The world was suffering from temporary insanity!

      • As a chef, with a number of years experience cooking Italian food, I was going to pass on this, as just thinking about what Ms. Bateman did to, er, for, er, well… what she said about Italy food made me both nauseous and sad. She probably put Italian/American culinary traditions and international relations back a hundred years… and that was just in Philadelphia! I shudder to imagine what wines she might have suggested to go with that…sorry, can’t call it Scampi, because it bears no relation to any scampi I’ve ever cooked, or heard of….

        So, I wasn’t going to comment, but then I saw the comment you made about the nickel, and I was moved to respond… I remember 1967 pretty clearly, and a nickel would still get you a good sized candy bar some places, and you could still make a local call with no time limit to your girl friend for two nickels…. Now that I’m the age I am, I’d probably feel good about a even a nickel off how much they charge for that product now (no matter what form it’s in, or who makes it); it is a lot more important diet ingredient these days than it was for me then…. :-) Just a little personal history, no doubt TMI….. TTFN!

        • Ha ha! Poor Philadelphia! HA! Yes Ruth Conrad Bateman was definitely a force to be reckoned with, I’ll wager, even if she didn’t know the difference between jumbo shrimp and scampi or the difference between Italy and France or the difference between up or down.

          Oh I remember being able to buy candy for a nickel. In 1967 I was a sophomore in high school and once for lunch I ate a giant Sweet Tart, the size of a hockey puck. And I got my fill of Sweet Tarts that day that has lasted right up into the present moment. And I think just the word “Prunes” is too much information! :)

  3. Hi,
    That is just hilarious.
    Saving on prune juice I wonder if anyone actually used those coupons.?
    Scampi is native to the waters of Adriatic, only in name, clearly she did not get out much. :lol:

  4. Nothing like a warm cup of Prune juice to start your day. Especially since your day is sure to be filled with Italy cooking. I printed this article and clipped the coupon and plan to take it to the local Silperson’s to get my savings. Thank you.

  5. OMG!! LOL! This is way too funny!
    All I can say is, thank heaven for Ruth Conrad Bateman! Without her, America might never have been introduced to real Italy foods and cooking. She seems to have a wealth of knowledge regarding international waters. (The Adriatic and stuff.) I don’t know about you, Linda, but when I think of Italy food, I always think of shrimp skewers. The fact that she has a “genuine feeling” for food makes me trust her that much more.

    • Ha ha! I agree, Lisa, anybody that can skewer an Italy shrimp with as much “genuine feeling” as Ruth Conrad Bateman is Aces in my (Italy) (cook) book! In fact, I may even die my hair red and change my name to Ruth Conrad Bateman to give myself a little more credibility! HA! :)

  6. I really feel like I understand Italy Food now and the very best part was the cleanser tip. – I did it right away and he results were immediate – all mykids wanted a turn with the cleanser can and the result is sparkling clean toilets and sinks.. :-) Yay!

  7. Oh yes, ‘salad oil’ on my jumbo shrimp (she neglects to point out the oxymoron) makes it gen-you-wine italian.
    They actually used more buzzwords to describe the prune juice than I do for wine. Imagine – a prune juice tasting event?!

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