Sunshine Golden Raisin Biscuits – another blast from the past

So I had another Marcel Proust moment last night.

A group of empty nesters had gathered in the home of a neighbor for our weekly Family Home Evening, and our hosts for the week were a delightful couple from the UK. They spread out a groaning board of goodies, chips, dips, cupcakes, fudge, and other treats… and something that caused a massive flashback for me.

Growing up in New York, my mother used to get these little flat biscuits filled with raisins that we simply called “raisin cookies.” I loved them – they were one of my favorite treats as a child. And then in 1969 I moved away from the city and never again thought upon them.

Until last night.

There they were, in all their glory. These were a currant version, but they were the same, the same, the same.

Our hostess graciously gave us a packet to take home, and I discovered they are called Crawford’s Garibaldi biscuits, and have long been a treat in the UK. I mean, long – with a history spanning 150 years.

After re-discovering these, I wondered why I knew of them, and it turns out that Sunshine produced a version of these which it called “Golden Raisin Biscuits.” When Sunshine was acquired by Keebler in 1996, the expanded “Golden Fruit” line was quietly discontinued, but apparently the later incarnation was nothing like the original.

I’ve found several recipes that purport to be a fairly close approximation of the packaged version, and I’ll try one at some point – but for now, I’m delighted to know that these can still be had.

Now, if I can just convince Sara Lee to bring back their All Butter Frozen Brownies, (scroll down a bit) and get TGI Friday’s to resurrect Rockslide Pie. It astonishes me that there are no pictures out there – based on the number of other people who remember it fondly, I would have thought someone might have captured an image or a vintage menu.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

1956: The Oldsmobile Golden Rocket


I love concept cars. I don’t care how impractical they are, they fire the imagination. I remember going to a car show at the New York coliseum in 1962 or thereabouts and seeing one of these:

1963 Chrysler turbine car

It’s a crime that experimental runs of cars like this and the EV1 have been recalled and scrapped. I think it’s a gross disservice to the industry and the public. For an informative experience, watch “Who Killed the Electric Car.”

The Old Wolf has spoken.


Los Angeles: Odd Restaurants

The Zep Diner

Found at L.A. Taco

The Zep Diner was located at 515 W. Florence Avenue in Los Angeles near Figueroa. The Zep was open “all night” and was the “Home of the Hinden Burger”.

The Brown Derby

Operated from 1928 to 1980, originally conceived as an eye-catcher. More at Wikipedia.

The Encounter Restaurant

The Theme Building is synonymous with Los Angeles, and particularly LAX. It was opened in 1961, and after multiple renovations, one by Walt Disney Imagineering, continues to operate today.


In 1949, Sidney Hoedemaker founded Hody’s Restaurant Inc.  (Hody – as in Hoedemaker). Hoedemaker’s restaurants were all about service, efficiency, cheerfulness and courtesy. One was always greeted with a smile. The Hody’s at 3553 La Brea (at Rodeo) featured expanded service, circular drive-in and a sign pylon rising from the roof was designed by Wayne McCallister.

This restaurant was not so odd, but I include it because it’s where my father met his third and final wife, to whom he was married for 20 years. She was a car-hop in the drive-in section; I remember eating there a number of times and it was fun to have the girls come around on roller skates with our orders.

Vintage Toys I have Loved

Vintage Items I once owned and loved.

(And wish I still had… some of these suckers are worth real money.)

Mr. Machine

This was the grand-daddy of cool toys – for its era. You really could take him apart and put him together, and lo and behold, he still worked!

The Great Garloo (1961)

Garloo was awesome to a 10-year-old. He would bend over and pick stuff up, and you could steer him around with the wheel. Of course, the commercials made stuff like this look a lot neater than they were, but I remember this toy well, and he lasted quite a long time.

Ideal Astro Base

This one was tragic. What a cool toy… and I had one. But apparently mine was defective, and so back it went, to be exchanged for something else.

Remco’s Fighting Lady

The Fighting Lady was one awesome toy. To a kid my age, it was big. It had a plane launcher, a runabout, primary gun, depth charge launchers, and other stuff. I loved this one. More pictures here.

The Petal Camera

This one breaks my heart. If I had only known… this is exactly how mine looked, I think I paid $25.00 for it, and now they can be worth up to $5,000. *sob*

Wff ‘n Proof

This game of symbolic logic was first produced in 1961, I think – I acquired my copy at the NYC World’s Fair in 1964. I had it until the foam packaging that held the cubes crumbled into dust. I’m working on acquiring another copy one way or another.

The Digicomp I

This binary flip-flop computer kit was popular enough that one enterprising engineer has replicated it. It’s on my list of things to get. Again.

The Chemistry Set

This is not the exact set I had, but darn close. I don’t think mine had a radiation detector, but I know it contained a small glass jar of powdered uranium ore. It had glassware, small Erlenmeyer flasks, boiling flasks, beakers, the test tube rack, the alcohol lamp, measuring spoons, a scales, pipettes that you had to heat and draw yourself, and yes, I burned the living piss out of my fingers on more than one occasion – and no one got sued. Today’s chemistry sets have been castrated by lawyers until they barely have any chemicals worth sneezing at, or none at all.

This kit causes us to lament the general state of affairs we have come to thanks to litigiousness, chemophobia, and flagging scientific literacy.”

How pathetic is that? Another interesting article here.

Kevin Kunstadt: The Dolomites

“I took these photographs in August 2010 in the Dolomites — a section of the Alps located in northeastern Italy. The Dolomites are named for a type of carbonate rock that has a distinct pale rosy-orange hue. I have tried to capture the specific grandeur of this range, as well as present a document of the myriad ways in which people interact with and experience it for themselves.”

Visit Kevin Kunstadt’s home page.