December 12, 2011

Nobody bakes a cake as tasty as a Tastykake...

Ahhhhh, the delicacies of life all you non-Phillydelphians miss out on.  Not hoagies, Philly soft pretzels, or cheese steaks but....Tastykake!  A Philly delicacy since 1914 courtesy of the Tasty Baking Company.  All of us who grew up in Philly and South Jersey probably have that "Nobody bakes a cake..." jingle permanently etched in our memory banks.  And if you opened up the lunch boxes in an elementary school cafeteria you would undoubtedly see cellophaned packages of krimpets, tandytakes, cupcakes and pies. Tastykake also provided our first lessons in multi-taking.  Before the wrappers were cellophane they were wax paper.  Which meant  FIRST you ate your Tastykake, THEN you took the wrapper and waxed down the sliding board at recess for some really fast sliding and skinned knees!

While the average Philly family liked their Tastykakes (what wasn't to like?) MY family was linked even more so to the company.  My grandpop drove a Tastykake truck, my uncle drove a Tastykake truck, and my dad drove a Tastykake truck too.  Seeing the box-like truck in my driveway meant I could sneak on board at the end of a work day and see if there was a stray box of Peanut Butter Tandytakes laying around.  Unfortunately, it was usually boxes of coconut cream pies I found...YUCK!  Apparently NO ONE liked those!

Every Christmas growing up, our family would convene at my Granny's home on Fifth Street in Philly.  It would be there that my Granny, her five children, and all 15 cousins would gather in a row home where a front parlor, dining room, kitchen and basement with a wringer dryer would try to contain us.  Luckily before it got too dark out our parents would free us for a stroll up Fifth Street to look in the storefront windows.  But we had to be back in time for the grand finale...my Granny's presentation of the cookies.  Not home made cookies, but  a tub of Tastykake Christmas sugar cookies given to each one of us with such a flourish that only my Granny could muster.  These cookies were greeted with either delight or an eye roll depending on which cousin you were.  Mine was an eye roll and a reminder to say "Thank you Granny".  Regardless of the reaction, the cookies did morph into a family tradition as well as a family joke (sorry Granny!).



 Eleanor "Granny"







(Christmas 1967, Granny and her grandkids...front parlor)


Granny passed away, my generation all drifted into our own lives, and the family get togethers ceased 20 years ago.  Sometimes you need experiences and perspective that only life can give you (and Facebook doesn't hurt either!) to make you want to reconnect with family.  And that is what happened this past weekend at my home.  48 family members re-convened and guess what other family member was also there.....TASTYKAKE.  Do you know they STILL makes those tubs of cookies?


They were my house marker...




My dining room centerpiece (well UNTIL my cousin decided her boxes, and boxes, and boxes of bakery rolls needed to take the cookies' place on my table...okay, they WERE delicious!)...




A home made version of Peanut Butter Tandytake cakes....





And bread pudding made out of Butterscotch Krimpets...






Do we know how to run with a theme or what?!?  Note:  Coconut Cream Pies were NOT given an invitation!








Nobody bakes a cake as tasty as a Tastykake BUT....nobody holds them in their heart like my family.  Hey Granny....LOVE YA and MISS YA!



--Kathy



29 comments:

  1. Ooooh, nifty post! That Kim Klassen texture is just perfect on that portrait. A paean to your grandmother and to the ubiquitously wonderful and wonderfully ubiquitous Tastykakes, too. I really enjoyed this.

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  2. What a lovely woman your granny was. I'd never heard of Tastykakes, being from Ohio and all, but they look alot like Little Debbies. What a fun read thi was!

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  3. What a great post. I love the photo of your granny. Beautiful woman. It is sad that families grow apart, a wonderful event for you to get them all together. Never heard of the cakes either but they look yummy!!

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  4. For those of you wondering, Kathy is in the front row of that family picture with her eyes closed. To this day ,it is almost impossible to get her to keep her eyes open for pictures.

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  5. True...I'm rockin' that white bow in my permed hair, haha. I can't keep my eyes opened when there is a flash, which is why I'm more comfortable on the OTHER side of the camera.

    Kathy

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  6. Great post! I've never heard of Tastykakes...but you sure managed to make my stomach growl from your pictures and descriptions :) What a great thing your family had a get together after such a long time <3

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  7. I remember Tasty Kakes!! What a wonderful memory, and a beautiful photograph of "Granny!"

    Thank you so much for sharing today at The Creative Exchange.

    Have a wonderful evening!

    lisa.

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  8. This was a most awesome post - I love good stories and your the best!

    Hmmm, now you have me pondering the taste of Tastycakes!! lol

    Love the mailbox marker, classic!!

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  9. Beautiful memories & nice to see you carrying on the tradition! Love your pics.

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  10. I grew up on Tastycakes! At that time, you could only get them in PA. My eldest son bought a tastycake - butterscotch krimpet - his first week of college and kept it all 4 years. It looked exactly the same! Thanks for such a delightful post! P.S. I grew up about an hour from Philly.

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  11. What a great post! I'll have to ask my hubby about tastykakes he grew up in New Jersy. Beautiful pic of your granny. Are you in the family pic?

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  12. So great that you could have another big family party like in the old days! You granny was a lucky woman with so many cute grand kids. We have to treasure those memories of holidays past.

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  13. Fun post! I'd never heard of Tastykakes, but what a history they hold for your family :) Great that you could pull everyone together again!

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  14. You should tell Teresa O to come on over and try some.... I do believe I'm the only one in Ohio who currently has a freezer full of butterscotch krimpets! Packing an enormously large bag and then leaving half my stuff at home this weekend certainly left room to bring back some supplies for finals week :o)

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  15. I honestly don't remember Dad having Coconut Creme Pies, but I DO remember the Coconut Juniors and the Creamies fondly! I loved when those boxes were damaged :) To those of you unfamiliar with Tastykakes....you have no idea what you're missing! Great blog!!

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  16. Kim's texture is just right for the portrait. Never heard of Tastykakes, but they sound yummy.

    Great shot of your Gran and all the grandchildren.

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  17. Love it! And what a wonderful story to go along with it.

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  18. For some its putting up the lights or the tree, but for me it's not officially Christmastime until I buy that first tub of Tastykake Christmas cookies. Yum! Beautiful story and lovely photo. Kim's textures are the best for old photos.

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  19. Kathy -- this is such a heart-felt holiday post. What a unique tradition. Glad Granny's decendents still celebrate the "giving of the cookies." :) xoxo

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  20. Such a delightful post! I really enjoyed reading about your family's connection to Tastykakes. What great memories! I'll bet you had a great reunion!

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  21. What a wonderful post! I so enjoyed seeing the vintage photo with KK's texture. I have not been successful using textures on photos. Thank you so much for the inspiration. I will be trying this.

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  22. Your article is going good but I think your theme did the most attraction. You just posted a simple article as tasty as tastykake and match with a terrific theme! very great. I love it.

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  23. Beautiful post, thanks so much for sharing. What a lovely legacy!
    Have a wonderful Christmas from New Zealand.
    Blessings
    Suzanne

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  24. Love your post! Being a Philly girl, it tugged at my heart! We're originally from South Philly and our kitchen cabinets ALWAYS had Tastycakes. I chuckled when I saw you refer to the "front parlor". My mom still calls it the "parlor" instead of a "living room"! You must have had a blast getting your family together again!

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  25. Kathy....I love the way Kim’s texture worked with the old vintage photograph. It is beautiful. I really did enjoy reading your post and the story. Your grandmother must have been one very special lady. genie

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  26. Kathy, what a fabulous post! That is exactly what Christmas means to me, but sadly there are very few of my family left...
    Still, what a gorgeous edit on your Granny's photo!
    Happy Holidays!! =)

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  27. I love the photo of your Granny. Great work! fun post

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