Friday, 5 October 2012

Carnation Milk In 1947

Whether this is a true story or not, I hope it brightens your day.

A little old lady from Jervois had worked in and around her family dairy farms since she was old enough to walk, with hours of hard work and little compensation.

When canned Carnation Milk became available in grocery stores in approximately the 1940s, she read an advertisement offering $5,000 for the best slogan.  The producers wanted a rhyme beginning with 'Carnation Milk is best of all'.

She thought to herself, "I know all about milk and dairy farms.  I can do this!"  She sent in her entry and several weeks later a black limo pulled up in front of her house.

A man got out and said, "The makers of Carnation loved your entry so much. We are here to award you $2,000 even though we will not be able to use it."

I can't imagine such largess happening today, can you?


Joe Public said...

A lovely story Rosie

Ah, "Evap" - that brings back memories.

No offence to your other elderly readers, but what about "Condensed" milk.

I remember as a school kid with 2 or 3 mates pooling our pocket money to buy tins of Condensed, bashing a hole in the top with a brick & a nail, and savouring the viscous contents as it slowly drained out of the tin. ['Cos at the time we hadn't had science lessons & learnt that if you punctured a second hole to allow air in to relieve the partial vacuum, the flow-rate increased!]

subrosa said...

Ah Joe, do you know I just don't buy condensed milk because it's addictive. Somehow I think I always knew I needed to hammer two whole in a tin of it. Maybe that was because Carnation had two.

My mother used to thin down Carnation if she ran out of fresh milk. Sometimes it was more water than milk but at least we had our third of a pint at school.

Happy memories.

JRB said...

@ subrose @JP

Would the pair of you please stop! :)
What wonderful childhood memories this evokes …

Favourite was – when mother would take a tin of condensed milk, boil it stupid, then after what seemed an eternity the condensed milk turned into a sweet golden delight. We kids then attacked this wonderful sticky goo with teaspoons – delicious.

Off to buy a tin of condensed milk – only problem – how long did she boil it? – maybe Google knows - or can anyone advise me?

Oldrightie said...

Condensed milk as a spread!

Sue said...

I was born abroad, my dad was in the army. It was a hot country and so fresh milk was not really available (late 50's).

She said she was only able to feed me herself for about 6 weeks and the only thing left to give me was Carnation Milk diluted with water.

For something that gets so little recognition, its been quite important in some of our lives.

It's lovely in coffee too :)

subrosa said...

Ah JRB, your Mum must have passed on her recipe to the Russians.

I think a little of this would sooth my bronchitis, so it's on the shopping list. :)

subrosa said...

Oh OR, it never seems to get near the bread in this house if I'm here, but that sounds just the ticket as a dessert. Imagine serving your guests condensed milk sandwiches for pudding. :) With the crusts off of course.

Conan the Librarian™ said...

I remember opening the cupboard, standing on a kitchen chair to try and snaffle a whole tin for myself (four sisters, three brothers).

I got caught...

My mum used to boil the can too, except she used to put it on a base of crushed digestive biscuits and topped it with very thinly sliced bananas.

I'm off to the shops.

Clarinda said...

With butter and golden syrup added to a pan of condensed milk my grandmother would make a tray of either toffee, tablet or fudge depending on how long a conversation she was having with her grandchildren diverted her from timing the wonderful simmering mix. I still have all of my own teeth in situ.

JimS said...

I don't think the 'S' word was used as freely in 1947 as American film makers have made it now.

Condensed milk in the UK used to be sold under the Fussel's brand. It is an essential ingredient of tablet of course.

The caramelisation of condensed milk in the tin was popularised around the time of the introduction of Banoffee Pie. Just to confuse the customer the Carnation brand is now used on tins of evaporated milk, condensed milk AND ready-caramelised evaporated milk. It is very frustrating to get home and find that you have picked up the wrong variety!

Demetrius said...

It became a godsend to members of the labouring classes who liked to have milk in strong tea and the tea with a good belt of sweetness. Keeping ordinary milk fit to drink was a real problem.

George Speller said...

We would probably be jailed nowadays, but we bottle fed our two kids Carnation (properly diluted) as babies. They have grown into lean fit healthy adults.

Brian said...


Carnation milk is indispensible for making rice pudding in a slow cooker - mmmmmm bliss.

JRB said...

Many thanks for the link Subrosa; thank goodness it’s in English and not Russian.

Two tins now purchased and in the cupboard.
If, tomorrow, you hear of a load explosion that rocks the North of Scotland – you will know that I got the timing slightly wrong.

Joe Public said...

@ JRB 17:15

"If, tomorrow, you hear of a load explosion that rocks the North of Scotland – you will know that I got the timing slightly wrong."

I'm suspicious that the recipe instructing boiling the can for a couple of hours, emphasises that the can must be unopened.

Do let SR's readers (those south o' the Border, and out of earshot) know how you get on; or, if we should stock up on supplies of Cillit Bang! [No pun intended.]

Hamish said...

Happy memories SR of both condensed and exasperated milk.
But let's not forget the schoolboy joke about the benefits of breast milk: it comes in such cute containers.

subrosa said...

Sue you're not the only one to be brought up on it. A friend phoned me tonight and said one of her sons had been allergic to cow's milk so suggested Carnation. He's now 45, fighting fit and still has it in his tea and coffee. :)

subrosa said...

Jings Conan, now that sounds super. I vaguely remember boiling a can once myself because I thought I'd get fudge but it was just brown condensed milk. Obviously didn't do it long enough. Still, it tasted super - as always.

subrosa said...

Mmm Clarinda, I used to make good tablet with it but without the syrup. Unfortunately I've lost a few teeth but still have enough to manage tablet with a crunch.

subrosa said...

I think you can still buy Fussels Jim. The last tin I had was produced by them and that wasn't long ago.

As Clarinda says it was used way back in the 50s for tablet - once the sugar rationing stopped of course.

subrosa said...

Great point Demetrius. It was always in our house because we didn't have a fridge for fresh milk but had a pint delivered every morning. When that ran out Carnation was used.

subrosa said...

As I said to Sue (above) George, a friend brought a son up on it too with great results.

But you're right I suppose. The law would be on us these days for not following the 'guidelines'.

subrosa said...

Brian, that sounds just what I'll make for Sunday. Colds all round here right now and rice pudding should tempt the tastebuds. Thanks for the idea.

subrosa said...

I didn't find it at the Co-op today JRB but I didn't visit the main shop. Will go there tomorrow.

Take care although I'm sure you will and do let us know the results.

subrosa said...

It works Joe. Honestly. As long as you don't let the water evaporate.

subrosa said...

Ha ha Hamish. I hadn't heard that one before. :)

JimS said...

Nestlé is ditching its Fussell’s brand as part of a £2m facelift to take its two condensed milk brands more upmarket.
From next month, the Fussell’s brand name will be replaced with Carnation Condensed Milk Light, while Nestlé Condensed Milk will be rebranded as Carnation Condensed Milk.
The new branding is part of a marketing strategy aimed at re-positioning Nestlé’s condensed milk brands to a more upmarket and younger audience of ABC1 women aged 30-45. The Carnation brand could also be used to support new product launches, revealed milk business unit category manager Georgina Morgan.
Nestlé has signed up celebrity chef Phil Vickery to support the relaunch, which will be backed with press advertising, in-store media and a consumer PR campaign. While the revamped packaging will also feature on-pack recipes.
Morgan added: “Our research shows that consumers have a positive nostalgia towards Carnation as a brand.”

From "The Grocer" 15 May 2004

subrosa said...

Jings Jim, my last purchase must have been some very old stock. Thanks for this info because now I know what to look for.

I don't remember exactly where I bought it but it would have been in a Perth supermarket I think.

Anyway it was ok as I'm still here to tell the tale. :)

Sheila said...

My favourite when I was wee was "floofy" jelly.

Dissolve a packet of jelly with half the water. Let it just start to set. Whip in a tin of Carnation so it goes all "floofy" and let set properly.

subrosa said...

Jings Sheila, you're bringing back memories. I'd forgotten about that. It was a special treat in our house when we had puddings on Sundays.

Dr Rohen Kapur said...

Just made my version of Haagen daz with it..

So easy, just make custard with double cream, egg yolks ( using a thermometer,) and add the condensed milk ( after the sugar) and a little vanilla extract and then cool and then freeze. Tastes exactly the same Is delicious.

subrosa said...

Rohen, would you be kind enough to give quantities and procedure please then I can make your recipe a stand alone post?

Sounds superb. Why you need a thermometer I don't know though. :)

Dr Rohen Kapur said...

Three egg yolks,

A good quantity of demerara sugar about 4 dessert spoonfuls, 300 mls double cream and a tin of condensed milk along with a vanilla pod and a teaspoon of vanilla essence ( the £5.50 vanilla extract in a brown bottle found in the supermarkets in the baking section)


heat the cream and add the sugar and vanilla until starting to froth, let cool

Beat three egg yolks until they lighten in colour and then whilst stirring them pour your cream and sugar mix over them whilst stirring, make sure that the temp is not more than 50 degrees at this point ( remove vanilla pod) ( I use one that has been already used up and then just put them in a sugar container.

Once they have been mixed return the mixture to the hob and heat gently to 64 degrees Celsius This will make sure that the custard thickens and then take off heat and mix a tin of condensed milk in with the mixture, Mix well and then cool.

Once cool pour into suitable container and freeze

Tastes just like HaagenDaz Vanilla...

If you want strawberry ice cream miss out the vanilla and add enough strawberries to make the mixture pink ( frozen work best apparently)

Dr Rohen Kapur said...

You need the thermometer or your custard will become sweet scrambled eggs

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