Green River soda has a history going back to Prohibition when the brewery had to find something to keep them in business. When I was a child, Green River was something you had at soda fountains, or at restaurants-we didn't have it at home. I'm sure it wasn't only sold as a syrup, but I don't remember bottles or cans of it being routinely available. We were more of a Tab/Fresca sort of family anyway.
Ice Cream Soda (any flavour, same recipe more or less):
In a tall glass pour in a bit of syrup (green river syrup, chocolate, Coke, etc.). Mix in a couple tablespoons of whipped cream until it is sludgy looking. Pour in some soda, then add your ice cream, top it up with more soda, and then top it all with more whipped cream. That is how you make an ice cream soda. Wafer biscuit optional. I'm told they are rarer than hen's teeth today, so consider this my part in preserving a bit of regional food history.
Speaking of Chicago food history-Maurice Lenell cookies are no more. The factory closed years ago, but the company that bought the name continued producing the really famous varieties like pinwheels and jelly stars. Expensive equipment, and a ban on trans fats pretty much sealed their fate. I remember going to the factory to purchase bags of broken cookies (assorted, of course because they just dumped all the broken bits in a bag) with my dad because he liked a bargain. "It all gets jumbled together in your stomach, what's the difference?" he'd ask when I'd protest that once in a while it would be nice to buy a proper tin of intact biscuits. Sometimes, he'd relent, and buy a tin of Danish butter cookies, but most of the time it was Maurice Lenell's smashed jelly stars. Being nut allergic it would have been considerate to purchase something that wasn't crumbled together with the cashew variety. How I lived to adulthood is really a wonder. I'd pick out the pinwheels, dust them off and hope my throat didn't start itching. Most of the time they didn't cause too much of a problem. It was an attractive biscuit though (in the unbroken state) with a chocolate and vanilla pinwheel and a coarse pink sugar edge. Somehow, they never quite lived up to expectations. For me anyway-I hear people in Chicago are going crazy right now trying to get the last few available boxes. Sometimes you have to let things die.
Years later, when I moved to Boston my dad would stop at the factory, buy me a bag of cookies and ship them out to me (as they were already damaged before shipping it wasn't like the postal service would do it any more harm). The more I'd ask him not to, the more he'd send. He just couldn't get it through his head that I didn't like them, and that for the past forty some odd years they had been making me mildly ill. I had a friend that got a kick out of the idea of shipping broken cookies halfway across the country, so they usually ended up with her.
Well that was a fun trip down memory lane, eh? Back to the green stuff now.
Know what else is emerald green? Prell shampoo, that's what. I was amazed to see it is still being made, so I bought Danny a bottle remembering how good it was at stripping colour out of my hair when I'd dyed it too dark. If it could handle Clairol Nice-N-Easy Blue-Black dye, it can handle a ten year old boy's oily hair. Indeed, his hair has never looked cleaner, or smelled better. I couldn't resist the bright jeweled bottle in the shower, so I gave it a try as well. It still smells more or less the same, and it did a better job of removing residue from styling products than Neutragena ever did. I wouldn't use it often, but my hair did feel fuller and look incredibly shiny.
Chicago gets stupidly hot in the summer. The humidity is awful, the lake is little comfort, and from about June to October insects that thrive in warm, moist environments are everywhere. Imagine our surprise to find the shampoo was not herbal, but Green Apple scented. Imagine our further delight at being bombarded by fruit flies the entire summer. That was a memorable summer.
Need more evidence that the 70's were the decade of green food and cosmetics? Raise your hand if you remember, Yendi. I have yet another bottle ordered and on the way to me as I type. I think my growing Yendi stash will be happy in the drawer with my Emeraude stash-though Yendi's green is far flashier.
So you've washed your hair, sprayed on some Yendi, and now you need to do a roller set. There's only one product that's going to work here in the land of 70's green products...
I'd be lying if I said I never tried green eyeshadow. Mine never looked quite as freakish as this...
Oh no! You've run out of Midori Mellonball, and company's coming. Better get in the car, and go to the store...
Vintage Florsheim shoes-Goodwill
Metallic shopper with lucite handles-New Life Thrift
Tank top-K Mart
Vintage green crystal clip earrings-Hand-Me-Ups
Bakelite bangles-all over
Pair of matching brooches-Goodwill
What about you? Have any avocado green kitchen appliance memories, or fluorescent food you'd like to share?