When we finished the remodel of our kitchen a few months ago I took Mr and Mrs Vegetable out of the drawer where they have been living for the past two decades. I remember these from my childhood when they hung on the kitchen wall in New York when I was about five (1945) and then in the farm kitchen in Charlotte, Vermont. My brothers and I found them in a big storage closet along with our childhood Christmas ornaments after my mother died in 1990. We split up the ornaments, but neither of my brothers wanted Mr and Mrs Vegetable so there was no bickering when I happily took them away.
However I never put them up on the wall until now. Now my kitchen wall is worthy of these wonderful ‘sculptures.’ My husband and I have taken to greeting each other with open arms when he arrives home at night. Somehow, after some months, this still makes us laugh. Two silly people. What can we do?
This morning as my husband prepared his morning coffee he gazed at Mrs Vegetable and said her head, and Mr Vegetable’s head, and declard they were garlic bulbs. Garlic bulbs? I don’t know if any American housewife c. 1945 even knew what a garlic bulb looked like.
All the other vegetables that make up their bodies are easily recognizeable: potatoes, tomato, carrots, lettuce, peas, green pepper and beans. I never gave it much thought but always assumed the heads were some kind of turnip. We disagreed, but by the time he left for work I was coming around to his way of thinking, and he was coming around to my way. What do we do now?
Do you have vegetable sculpture in your kitchen or dining room?
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As a matter of fact I do have a Mr Garlic Head sculpture. Cute as a button to me. Almost as cute as your Mr & Mrs. They are quite the charming couple. My Mother certainly knew about garlic heads. I bet yours did too. My Mom didn’t want “that smell” to get on her fingers. ha…
We’ve nothing like that here though I love how you’ve incorporated those lovely items into your new kitchen. As a child I would have loved studying each of the characters and seeing all their details.
I have no such sculptures, but I am certainly admiring yours from afar. And I love to think of you and Henry assuming the position! As for the garlic heads, I agree with Lisa. The 1940s housewife absolutely used garlic heads. At least my grandmother and my mother did! They tended to press their garlic, whereas we are now more likely to mince it, but they used it.
Lisa – Ican tell you my mother had no truck with garlic if she could help it. Terrible smell!
Rosie – It is funny the things that hold fascination for us as children, and memories as we get older.
Tinky – From comments I’ve gotten online and in person I guess I have to give 1940s housewives more credit. My father was Italian (my mother Swedish) and my mother considered garlic Italian, and there were Italian things she took against. She also thought his putting a cut up summer peach in his wine was an odd idea – and we know how that is considered today. He was a man ahead of his time – or firmly anchored in Italian culture.