November 12, 2012

Sharing Memories (Week 46): Ooey Gooey Squishy White Margarine!

Sharing Memories of Kneading Bags of White Margarine to Spread the Yellow Dye
Welcome to Week 46 of our 52 weeks of Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey for 2012.   I hope you'll join in writing your memoirs and childhood memories for your descendants.

If you are just joining us, please take a peek at over 150 earlier prompts by clicking on the Sharing Memories tab at the top of Olive Tree Genealogy blog. You can jump in at any time and you can skip topics that you don't like. There are no rules, it's all about getting your memories down on paper. The prompts are here as a guide to help if you are stuck for ideas.

We're one day late with Sharing Memories this week. Yesterday being Remembrance/Veteran's Day, I wanted to honour the heroes in my family who have served their countries.

Today a change of pace - and I'm going to tell you about margarine! Yes. Who remembers the clear plastic bags of white margarine with the circle of yellow dye in the middle? The bags were similar to our one liter milk bags.

To get a nice yellow margarine you broke the circular seal with your thumb and then started squeezing and kneading that bag. It took forever to spread the yellow dye throughout! I used to help my mom by doing it but my hands would get very tired.

Once my brother-in-law and I were goofing around, taking turns squeezing the dye through. Well, we began tossing the bag to each other and of course we had to outdo every throw with a much better one! We tossed under our legs, turned backwards, long throw, short toss, high, low - we were having a great time.

My mom wasn't impressed and warned us we better not drop that bag. Of course we did - and SPLAT -the entire bag fell on the floor, broke open and margarine oozed out. We stood there quite horrified waiting for my mother's wrath. But all she did was tsk and shake her head, then she took a big spoon and scooped up every bit of margarine except what had touched the floor.

And that is what we ate for the next few weeks.

Anyone else remember margarine like that?


  1. I remember that kind of margarine. I still prefer real butter.

  2. Oh, Lord, I remember the icky white margarine, where you had to mix in the yellow, proving once more that it wasn't really yellow and buttery but yukky and white.

    Also they told us in those days that margarine was good for us, better than butter. And then margarine turned out to be trans fats! Did not help our hearts one little bit. So now we all eat butter instead. There's always another medical discovery lurking just around the corner . . .

  3. I remember being the one that had to keep squishing the white stuff, inside the bag, after you poped the red button inside the bag to make it turn yellow to look like butter.

  4. I don't ever remember that kind of margarine. I grew up in the 60's and 70's, and if it was still around then, it wasn't something my mom ever bought. It does sound like fun, though!

  5. I don't remember that kind of margarine. I guess we used butter until margarine was already mixed and in sticks when you bought it. I was born in 1946.

  6. Anonymous4:51 PM

    I remember "needing" those bags of "socalled butter"
    couldn't have been good stuff health wise - but must be we were all active enough to use up the calories and what ever else was in it, to have survived .

  7. I forget how old I was, maybe about 7 or 8 and it was my job to mix that stuff. Proud to do it too! :-)

  8. I remember squishing the tab to make the butter/margarine yellow, at my grandmother's home. I thought it was butter being mixed up though, I was only about 5 years old at the time so maybe I just assumed it was butter that I was mixing the color into. I never did it at home thogh, so I don't know what we used

  9. Anonymous8:15 PM

    I have a distinct memory of squeezing the yellow and the margarine in the plastic bag, it seems like I was four or so. My mother insisted that that was impossible because they only did that during WW II. I was born in 1945. So I've recently been reading up on false memories and have been thinking that's what that memory was. But it seemed so real. I have been searching on the Iternet and discovered that Truman signed a law repealing the requirement that magarine had to be sold white. Unfortunately all my family of that generation are gone now. Does anyone know when they started selling yellow margarine in Connecticut?

  10. I was squeezing margarine after my sister was married (it was with her husband that we had the disaster) and after my dad died - and he died in 1960!

    So don't be sure your memory is wrong.

  11. Anyone who wants more details of the Margarine Wars (the reasons it was sold white and the dates) might want to take a look at my latest post at Ancestors in Aprons. If you allow links, that is