Dishing (slightly) Dirty Fun

Abe’s Market, an online organic and natural products retailer, has come out with a new ad campaign that’s raising eyebrows … and getting them noticed. The new campaign, called “Dishing Dirty: The Filthy Truths of the Modern Woman,” pairs a photo of a woman, often in ’50s fashion, with a witty headline like “Toxins … I’m saving those for my cocktail,” and a factoid/commentary like “Women are exposed to an average of 128 unique chemicals daily through use of approximately 12 skin-care products. Isn’t it almost better to go out naked?”

Here are a few samples to tickle your funny bone:





Abe’s plans to upload a new ad weekly. Get your weekly dose of fun and facts here.

  1. Kay (Old Cowgirl) Montoya says:

    Thanks MaryJane. I have not seen these ads but they sure are an eye opener. I am going to mark those down “as do not use”. I have not been to a McDonald’s in a very long time and I do not intend to ever go there. As for the plastic bags, I put them all in a garbage bag and take them to the recycle place. My cans and bottles are taken to the grocery store, my papers and mags go to the newspaper recycle and any other paper product gets burned (saved in Summer for fall burn). I am using the vinegar solution you told us about on every thing I clean. Because of my moving I can not have a garden like I use to or a waist bin for the soil. However, I have taken down many bags of clothing, shoes, bedding, kitchen utensils, pictures, and anything else that comes along to Goodwill. When my Step-Son cleaned out my garage and basement we gave all the metal to my Granddaughters boyfriend to take and recycle at the metal place. I have also shared craft books with my Daughter that she can put on the computer program that helps people that can not afford to buy such things that they can get them through her. It makes me feel good to do all these things as there is just to much waist in this world.

  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    These ads are great. I love how clever they are staged as well with the 1950s flair. What I love is that they bring out the facts of daily living which most people are unaware of or just indifferent to. These ads are catchy enough to hopefully get some people thinking they better get more serious about finding out more and making changes. Of course a perfect way to start doing that is purchasing a subscription to MaryJanes Farm magazine! Eco living while glammed up in aprons and studded cowboy boots…. It makes change easy and fashionable all at the same time!!

  3. Karlyne says:

    Chickens living in cages the size of a piece of letterhead. Wow! And I thought I just stayed away from McD’s because the food was filthy…

    These ads are superb, and I hope I get to see more!

  4. Wow what an ad campaign ! it will hopefully get the message thru to some ” glam types” that might not be aware of these issues. Very slick but gets the point across and in a humorous way.
    Kudos to you ,Kay ,for all your recycling and upcycling as you move !

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To gel or not to gel?

Before we knew about the unsavory animal origins of traditional gelatin (a gelling agent made from boiling the skin, tendons, ligaments, bones, and even hooves of cows, pigs, or horses), we might have picked up a box of Safeway’s “Jell-well” gelatin dessert.


Savvy shoppers now choose to use my innovative ChillOver Powder—it’s vegan, but ends up like gelatin, sets up in half the time gelatin does, seals in flavors more quickly, and doesn’t melt at room temperature. (It’s fantastic for making jams, far superior to pectin, etc.)

But being a Utah native, where residents eat twice as much gelatin as anyone else on the planet and a staple of every community potluck was “gelatin salad”—a concoction of lime gelatin with grated carrots and celery trapped inside, topped with Miracle Whip—I’m genetically inclined to wax nostalgic about all things gelatin.

Like my propensity for collecting vintage gelatin molds:


… and decorating with them:

lily-7_1297lily-6_1296And, if you have any idea of how hard it is to choose and trademark a product name (I was once told I couldn’t use my own name on my magazine because of Mary Jane candies (read more about them here) and Mary Jane and Friends bread, a southern grocery-store brand), you’ll know I was amused to learn this bit of trademark history:

In 1927, when Jell-well tried to stop Jell-X-Cell from using that name as a trademark, they were overruled by provisions of the “Trade-Mark Act,” which forbade registration of words or devices “which are descriptive of the goods with which they are used, or of the character or the quality of such goods.” In the case, the judge ruled that “One of the prime objects and indispensable qualities of the substance is that, when it is changed by manipulation and the addition of water into a form available for use as an edible substance, it must ‘jell.’ To my mind, the words are so plainly descriptive of a natural and necessary quality of the concoction as to relieve the question of any doubt whatsoever.” He went on to say, “With the whole field of possible coinage before them, it is strange that merchants insist upon adopting marks that are so nearly descriptive.”

I was finally able to trademark MaryJanesFarm by removing the apostrophe and smooshing it all together in one word, thereby stylizing it and making it a recognizable logo instead of merely a name. (Important life lesson: If you’re persistent and imaginative, there are usually ways around the “rules.” It helps to be a Taurus—we’re known for our persistence, sometimes called “stubbornness.”)

If you’re gaga for the good old days of gelatin schmaltz too, how about this retro kitsch t-shirt from


Or this morsel of Utah lore:
Utah residents like gelatin so much that when Utah hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, one of the official pins was a green gelatin jiggler in the shape of the state.

Or this fun appearance of gelatin in the movies:
In the 1959 movie, Some Like It Hot, Jerry, played by Jack Lemon, says with awe when watching Sugar Kane Kowalczyk, played by Marilyn Monroe, “Will you look at that! Look how she moves! It’s like Jell-O on springs. Must have some sort of built-in motor or something.”

Comment below with your favorite gelatin anecdotes … and tell me how you like my non-gelatin ChillOver Powder!

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    I prefer your ChillOver Powder for all of my gel needs. When making jams and jelly, you can use less sugar, cook a bit longer and come out with a product that has more intense fruit flavor. It performs consistently and offers the bonus of being vegan and eco friendly. I have also used it to make a family favorite fresh cranberry salad at the holidays. Again, you don’t have all the artificial color and overly sweet characteristics of Jello to contend with. Instead, the salad comes out with a nice firm texture with only the natural flavors of the ingredients.

    Bonus? This month there is an online 20% discount! I am actually heading over to the store now because I will be using up my last pack with the Florida Muscadine grapes my daughter picked for me to make Jelly this week!

  2. Or as the old blues song goes: ” must be jelly, coz jam don’t shake like that ..”

  3. CJ Armstrong says:

    Well, we ate a lot of “jello” as we were growing up, but most of our meals were from what we raised on the farm . . . huge vegetable garden my mom planted and tended, our fruit orchards of every kind of fruit we could grow here in SW Colorado, eggs, milk, cream, butter, chickens, lamb, beef. We didn’t raise ducks, geese or pigs!
    I LOVE your Chill-Over powder and have used it in a variety of recipes. I need to get busy and make something again!
    Thank you for your Chill-Over!

  4. Polly says:

    Can I make freezer jam with ChillOver?

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Retail Therapy

With the kids back in school, I’m wondering if you heard my big sigh of relief? It was awesome to have enjoyed a wonderful summer focused entirely on them, but I look forward to getting back into the school routine. Even so, as a mom, I think it’s impossible not to miss them and wonder if they’re eating their lunches and hope they aren’t skinning their knees on the playground, etc.

Looking for a good distraction, my best girlfriend and I saddled up her SUV and went for a drive.

Destination = Glorious Small-town Antique Shops!

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Doesn’t this just make you smile? Especially when you find the sweetest owner inside and she just happens to be canning peaches in a kitchen attached to her antique shop. Of course she was! Even better, she had a faded Wave If You’re A Farmgirl bumper sticker on her door. And, of course, I found the perfect cast-iron Christmas tree stand (in August).

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Feeling all sunshine-y and wonderful, we hit the road again and happened upon a sunflower field. We don’t really have sunflower fields around here, so this required us to stop and jump the creek for a selfie. Is it still called a selfie if your BFF is in it, too?

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  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    I am not much of a shopper but I do love, love , love to putter through little old towns with antique stores. How special it was that the shop owner was canning peaches in the back room and had a faded Farmgirl bumper sticker. Your metal tree stand is a winner!

  2. Meg , that is my kind of shopping, I don’t do malls or anything, but antique shops- that is bliss!

  3. Cindi Johnson says:

    I love trips like that. That’s an amazing Christmas tree stand you found!!! Feeling the pull of my own road trip now 🙂

  4. CJ Armstrong says:

    Yup, it’s still a “selfie”! And, it looks like you’ve cut your hear, Megan!
    Sunflowers are beautiful, love them and especially when they just pop up anywhere and everywhere!

  5. CJ Armstrong says:

    P.S. Oops . . I meant “hair” . . 😀

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