Posted in Cinquain

The Summer of ‘48


Image of margarine in a squeezable bag
Image Credit—from http://www.oldtime.com: Delrich E-Z

In my

Grandpa’s kitchen

A Sarsaparilla

As my reward, I sit kneading

Oleo

Cinquain

I was 4 years old, and it was my delight to have grandpa ask me if I wanted to come inside his old country kitchen and knead his package of margarine for him.

As a treat, he would reward me with a bottle of sarsaparilla from his refrigerator.

During World War II there was a shortage of butter in the United States, and oleomargarine (later called Oleo) became popular, except the dairy farmers banned the artificial colorings put in it that made it look like butter, therefore it was not yellow looking like butter, it had a whitish un-appetizing look kind of like lard. So to get around that law and enable a change to its looks, to make it more marketable, margarine makers created a capsule of yellow dye and placed it inside inside the plastic package of margarine.

After purchasing, the consumer could break the capsule that was inside the package, and then knead the package to distribute the dye, thus turning the margarine to a yellow color.

Around 1955, the artificial coloring laws were repealed, and margarine could once again be sold colored like butter.

That is when Oleo became very popular and was banned in many dairy states across the US.

I grew up in Lake County,

Illinois, just one mile from the Illinois-Wisconsin state border.

In Illinois Oleo was legal, in the dairy state of Wisconsin, it was not legal.

During the early 60’s there was a lot of illegal Oleo buying going on across state lines. People would come from Wisconsin into Illinois to buy cases of Oleo.

Many of the Truck Stops and gas stations along the border would sell Oleo and thus “Oleo Wars” took place as businesses would compete with each other to have the lowest prices.

NaPoWriMo-Facebook Page–Day 6–Prompt: Grandparent’s Kitchen

Margarine–

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margarine

Sarsaparilla Soft Drink–

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarsaparilla_(soft_drink)

Author:

A born and raised Midwesterner who traveled to Oregon in 2006 via the Oregon Trail route, fell in love with Oregon and now call it home. I am retired and pursuing my life long dream of becoming a Freelance Inspirational Writer.

One thought on “The Summer of ‘48

  1. I remember doing that, and I remember before that when there was a packet of powdered color that had to be mixed in with a spoon. We used a wooden spoon. I grew up on margarine, and after moving on my own many years ago determined to buy only butter. I never did like the margarine. My mother would use butter when we had company for dinner, and of course the butter left on the butter dish would have to be used until it was gone. I always liked those times.

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