Check Out These Prices! Food & Prices

by Ann HertzlerFood Prices - A&P  – [published in September, 2009 FPHPS Newsletter]

Food prices have changed in Kure Beach since the 1920s. A&P ads for July 4 specials in the Wilmington Morning Star were compared for 1927, 1937, 1947, and 1957. All A&P stores were closed during the July 4th holiday.

Ground beef did not appear in any July 4th A&P newspaper ad during this time.

  • In 1957, Ham was featured in every July 4 ad – 29¢ a pound in 1927; 53¢ a pound.
  • In 1957, Hot dogs (Frankfurters, Franks) were 23¢ a pound in 1937; 49¢ for 12 oz. in 1967. The price doubled and the package size decreased in this time period. All meat hot dogs were advertised.
  • In 1957, Peanut Butter was 19¢ a jar (size not listed) in 1927, and 55¢ for a 24 oz. jar.
  • In 1984, Food Lion advertised 5 lb. ground beef at 98 ¢ / lb (fresh daily); Ground Chuck 58 ¢ / lb
  • Ingredients for making baked beans, coleslaw, and potato salad were advertised, but not the finished item.

Food & Prices In 1978 in the Island Gazette, Food Lion advertised Cucumbers or Green Bell Peppers – 4/$1

  • Thompson Seedless Grapes – 69 ¢/lb.
  • Chuck Roast – $1.18 / lb.
  • broccoli – 79 ¢ /bunch
  • Coke 6-Pack – $0.99
  • pound sugar – $0.27
  • gallon milk – $1.01
  • dozen eggs – $0.87

Convenience mixes advertised in 1978 were Hamburger Helper, Shake n’ Bake, Stove Top Dressings, Coffee Creamers, Frozen Pie Crusts, Green Giant Frozen Foods.

Lunch in a restaurant was $1.56. Popular food items at beach restaurants were fried fish, sweet tea, one pot meals, French fries, and corn meal items. (Island Gazette 1978- 2003 Collectors Edition)

Oral History – Teens On the Beach – 1940’s and 1950’s

From interviews conducted by Ann Hertzler and Jeannie Gordon – Oral History Committee
Compiled by Ann Hertzler from interviews with Andy Canoutas, Glenn Flowers, Margaret Ford, Isabel Foushee, Jeannie Kure, Jack Lewis, Ed Niedens, Mike Robinson, Ray Rothrock and Dub Hegler)

Swimming:
Some mothers went to the beach with their children. One family had a little dog that walked in front of their young son to keep him from going in the ocean. Some children could go to the beach in the day time where they could be seen, but not after dark. Older kids would sit on the pier or on beach blankets. No one had chairs. They’d play in the water, walk on the beach, look for shells, talk, and be teenagers. It was an innocent time. Lawrence Kure told 14 year old Isabelle Lewis, Punkie Kure, Roberts Hall, and Sun Waters not to jump off the end of the pier (1943-44). They nonchalantly walked out, and then ran to the end ironing_board_surfof the pier, jumped in the water, and swam back.

Surfing:
In the 1940s, the ocean had big waves. You used an inner tube or jumped on a wave and body surfed. Surf boards or boogie boards hadn’t been invented yet. Body surfing was swimming with the crested wave, going down like a surf board, and skidding in. A perfect surf board for riding the waves was mother’s ironing board – a flat board about 5 ft long – 2 ft wide that lay between 2 chairs or on the kitchen table. “When the wave breaks, you’ve got to keep the nose of the ironing board up. If the nose goes down, the point digs into the sand and you “could flat get a belly ache.” Some Moms didn’t know her son used her ironing board until he forgot to bring it home. Some surfers got a wide board and cut it bow-shaped. Later Andy Canoutas obtained a 15’ surf board made by a friend, hollow on the inside so water had to be drained after each use. Mike Robertson brought in surf boards to rent at Kure Beach Pier.

Life Guards: surfers
Andy Canoutas was the first paid life guard by local businesses at Kure Beach when he was 15 (1950). Andy guarded up to 1963 from the first jetty south of the pier to the next jetty with a stand for him to sit on. He wore short, tight suits like boxer shorts. Tourists from nearby cottages crowded the beach with the life guard. Parents would look after the little ones; but the 8 to 11-year-old boys were the wild ones. In times of danger, Andy had a whistle to get their attention. He used a buoy to rescue a lot of people because of rip currents. Bobby Ford and Eddie Neidens were life guards. No radio or phone was available to call for help; but the lifeguard had a key to the Town Hall to get to the oxygen system. Individuals also saved lives of friends and neighbors stepping in a hole in the beach with tremendous sand bars at low tide and quickly going from waist deep to neck-deep, or caught in the rip current.

Mrs. Fry’s Recipe Collection – 1932

Oral History
Interview and narrative by Ann Hertzler

MaFry 2Before the 1900s, favorite recipes of family and friends were recorded in a manuscript cook book, usually recipes that needed proportions such as fancy desserts. In the 1930s, home economists developed recipes for new super market products for use with new gas and electric ranges.  In a journal labeled Cooking Receipts – Mrs. C.B. Fry – 1932  Mrs. Fry filed print and picture recipes from magazines, newspapers, and food labels. The manuscript is now owned by her granddaughter, Brenda Fry Coffey of Kure Beach.

Mrs. C. B. Fry (Ada Sessoms Fry), alias Ma Fry, came to Kure Beach in 1943 with husband Pa Fry (Charles Brover Fry), their son (Therman J. Fry), his wife (Mary Lee Tyler Fry), and granddaughter (Brenda Lee Fry). Ma Fry and her daughter were wonderful cooks for “Fundy’s”, their family restaurant in Kure Beach after World War II. Mrs.

Fry was the secretary of the Progressive Association which applied for official town status of Kure Beach in 1946 and granted in 1947. She also rode on the first Kure Beach Float in Wilmington’s first Azalea Parade. The float depicted a fishing scene with adults and children fishing. Large plastic fish dangled from fishing lines.

Mrs. Fry’s recipe collection provides a look back in history. Home economists were teaching homemakers how to care for the electric refrigerator which could now store ice cream in limited amounts. Many of the recipes of the 30s continued to promote use of cream, butter, and gelatin. Favorite recipes in Mrs. Fry’s collection were baked calf’s heart and jellied tongue.   

scanMany of the printed recipes in Ma Fry’s book were advertised as developed and tested by – food scientists in government – Dr. Louis Stanley, Bureau of Home Economics, USDA. – home economists working for General Foods Inc, Better Homes and Gardens, and the Good Housekeeping Institute.
– columnist -Mrs. S. R. Dull, Atlanta; Housewives’ Exchange: The Charlotte Observer.
– home economists in food companies- Libby, McNeill, & Libby, Heinz, Minute Tapioca, Knox Sparkling Gelatin, Jello, Crisco, Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk, Baker’s Best Chocolate, Coconut; California Prunes, Swift’s Premium Ham, Red Label Karo, Eatmoor Cranberries, Calumet Baking Powder, Swan’s Down Cake Flour, and Washborn Crosby Gold Medal Flour, the latter promoted by Kate Smith and Aunt Jenny.

Clipped recipes were kept in kitchen drawers, recipe files, and indexes as advertised in 1933 by Better Homes and Gardens. This was before the days of television.

Ads in Ma Fry’s collection pictured women in dresses and aprons preparing:
– homemade cookies, cakes and  gelatins;
– freshly caught fish;
– homemade biscuits, pancakes, waffles, muffins;
– home made sauces with fresh ingredients, canned soup, or bottled sauces;
– whipped cream from rich milk (cream) – (no fake whipped cream toppings);
– recipes with high sugar syrups canned fruits.

Men and boys in cooking ads in the 1940s were distinguished by chef’s hats and aprons preparing a special dish. By the 1950s men were shown “grilling out.”

Mrs. Fry’s Recipe Collection – 1930s & 40s

AuntJennyMost recipes were made from scratch except for a few canned goods available on the market. Canned foods advertised in newspaper clippings in Mrs. Fry’s book were tomatoes, pork ‘n beans, cream soups, canned milk, baby food, and condiments such as Worcestershire Sauce, ketchup, mustard, hot sauces, mayonnaise, and vinegar. Cooking fats were Crisco, lard, and butter. Margarine was mixed in a clear plastic bag. Kids fought over who popped the bubble to blend the yellow color into the white margarine.

Foods advertised in Ma Fry’s recipe clippings from the 1930s to the 50s were Instant Potatoes, Cheese Whiz, Kraft Singles, Reddi – Whip, Dannon Yogurt, Frozen French Fries, TV Dinners, and Instant Rice. Pizza was not yet a household item. Fast Food of the 1950s were not yet on the Island.

Ma Fry’s recipe clippings from The Charlotte Observer (ca 1939) included a column -Teach Children To Cook. It was written by a Charlotte Housewife for little girls with the “urge to cook.” Two-year-olds learned to make fancy pies and cakes in the sand box.  Lessons suggested helping mother stir custards, prick holes in the piecrust, and make food for parties and grandparents. Recipes provided for children were Jellied Waldorf Salad, Pineapple Chiffon Pie, Pig in Blankets, Brochette of Bacon and Sweetbreads, Creamed Onions and Bacon, Kidney and Bacon Grill, Frozen Tomato Cottage Cheese Salad, Crisp Bran Cookies, Scrambled Dried Beef with Bacon. A column on a Teen-Age Kitchen Party suggested teens cook their party foods: frankfurters, Chili-con-carne, and pork sausage patties. The Charlotte News Grocery Editor, Florence Thomas, featured ideas for Tea and Picnic Sandwiches – rolled, checkerboard, and ribbon shapes for the attractive tea table.

Mrs. Fry’s collection included the following recipes. Any look familiar? Straight from her recipe collection of 50 or 60 years ago, they are still delicious today.

ChefHatsOyster Sauce
Fry small oysters in a little fat for 3 minutes. Add a little cream and heat thoroughly. This is delicious with any broiled or baked white fish.

Hobglobins
Parboil frankfurters, drain and cool. Roll baking-powder biscuit dough out thin, cut it into squares and roll one frankfurter in each. Bake 15 minutes in hot oven – 375 – 400 o. The dough may be spread with mustard before rolling up.

Savory Wilted Lettuce
1 cupful diced salt pork, 3 quarts cut lettuce, 2 tablespoons vinegar, salt, onion juice
Wash lettuce and cut in pieces. Cook salt pork in a heavy skillet until brown and very crisp, remove from the fat.  Add the lettuce to the hot fat and sir until it wilts.  Add the vinegar and cooked salt pork.  The time of cooking will very with the time to wilt the lettuce.  A small quantity of onion juice may be added.

Crunchy Cookies
½ c sweetened condensed milk        2 cups shredded coconut
Drop by spoonfuls on a well-buttered pan about an inch apart. Bake in a moderate oven (350o) until a delicate brown about 10 minutes.

Molasses Candy
The ingredients are 2 cups of molasses, 3 tablespoons butter, 2-3 cup of sugar, and 1 tablespoon of vinegar.  First, melt butter, than add molasses and sugar, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil over slow fire until brittle when tried in cold water. If you use a confectioner’s thermometer, it should register about 255 o. Just before removing from fire, add vinegar, which will make the candy foam up. Pour into well-buttered pans.  
When the candy is cool enough to handle, you may pull until it turns light colored. Draw into sticks and cut into inch lengths. If you wish, molasses nut candy, add 1 cup of chopped nut meats and a pinch of salt, just before taking candy from stove.

Trifle
2 cups cake crumbs or Crumbled Lady Fingers, 4 tablespoons Sherry Flavoring,  
3 tablespoons strawberry Jam, 1 Banana, ½ cup walnuts, ½ pint whipping cream
Place the cake crumbs in the bottom of a pudding dish and moisten with the sherry. Cover with a layer of whipped cream.  Add a layer of the sliced bananas and strawberry jam. Cover with whipped cream and sprinkle the top with the chopped walnuts. Refrigerate for several hours and serve.

Banana Pudding
5 bananas                   ¾ cup evaporated milk
½ lemon, grated rind and juice    ¾ cup water
1 ½ tablespoons butter         2 eggs
Fine bread crumbs            1/3 cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla            ¼ teaspoon salt
Line the bottom of a well greased baking dish with banana slices. Dot with bits of butter, sprinkle with lemon juice, and cover with fine bread crumbs.  Repeat the process. Mix milk and water, add lemon rind and scald. Combine the slightly beaten eggs, sugar, and salt. Pour the hot milk over the egg mixture, add vanilla and pour over bananas. Set dish in a pan of hot water and bake in a moderate oven (350o) until set – about 30 minutes.    

– Ann Hertzler  – Federal  Point Historic Preservation Society – Oral History Project. (Commercial illustrations from  clippings contained in the manuscript book.)

 

Oral History – John, Mae, and Glenn Flowers – ‘Early Kure Beach’

Interview conducted by Ann Hertzler

Glenn and Marie Flowers

Glenn and Marie Flowers

 

Kure Beach Liars Bench

Kure Beach Liars Bench

In 1937 John and Mae Flowers started renting a cottage for the summer near the ocean front road near Kure Pier. Owned by Will Kure, a third Kure brother, the cottages had a small kitchenette with an oil cooking stove.  

John and Mae moved permanently to Kure Beach in 1941, during the war to work in the ship yard. In Kure Beach John opened a 3 chair barber shop in a room back of Clarence Danner’s fish market. Outside was a “liars bench” so dubbed because the men sat there, talked, gossiped, and told tales.

John built their first house on South 5th Avenue, a dirt road between J & K Streets hauling dirt to fill the swamp. In the 50s he made the house two story and built cottages nearby.                                                                                  
Son, Glenn Flowers (1928-2009), dropped out of school at about 12 years of age. At 16 (he was really 15) he worked a Civil Service position in the Ft. Fisher Post Exchange running a beer garden – 10 cents for a regular bottle of beer. Glen also worked at the main PX next to the radar building. He passed the test for the Coast Guard, spent 3 years in the merchant marines, and married Marie in 1947. He served as Kure Beach fire chief for a number of years.

comet_boatHe carried people in a motor boat out in the bay to the cribbings and inlets to fish. The first day was very busy with 75 new recruits from Fort Fisher.

For several seasons he and his wife ran a little snack shop at the bay where they rented poles and sold bait. Glenn ran boats for deep sea fishing for 30 some years at Carolina Beach and the end of Fort Fisher Bay – the Comet (40s), the Linda Marie (50s), and the Stella May (60s). He furnished bait and a hand line with about 5 per boat and charged $5 each.

Before Wilmington had a TV station Glen bought a TV from a Kannapolis salesman receiving stations from Charlotte, NC and Omaha, Nebraska. The government bought their 7th street property in the buffer zone behind the Baptist church. They moved their 4 room army barracks house to J Street and added a living room and bed room. About 1980 Glen gave up boating and worked on construction, piping, welding, repairing lawn mowers, and building race cars for Sunday afternoon races at Carolina Beach.