Superman Peanut Butter

Superman Peanut Butter

It’s funny how some things can just pop into your head that you haven’t thought about in many years. This is one of those things.

Peanut butter is a staple in most American homes.  You can find it in cabinets, in lunch boxes, and in lunch pails all across this great country.  It’s patriotic….right behind apple pie. And you know what else is patriotic? Superman by gosh!  If you slap Superman’s name and image on a jar of peanut butter, you have the ultimate weapon against communism. 

At least that’s what a lot of us kids growing up in the ’80s in the rural area I lived in thought anyway.  We’d spend a lot of our time at recess after lunch playing Superman vs The Russians on the school playground.  No joke. We had our bellies full of Superman peanut butter and were battling the red menace to keep our playgrounds safe…just like in Red Dawn.  It was serious business. I even started a super-secret spy club in school to help combat the threat that we were exposed to on the news every night.  But I digress. 

Anyway, I’m not sure Superman peanut butter tasted any better than Skippy, Peter Pan, or Jif.  Actually, from what I’ve read online, Superman may have even been a cheaper variety than those others listed.  No matter the cost, that brand of peanut butter with Superman on the label is what I still identify as the epitome of peanut butter from my childhood. 

As a sidebar, I can explicitly remember one distinct point in time when I was eating Superman peanut butter.  It was January 28, 1986. We were out of school that day due to snow. I was sitting on the floor of our basement where I usually played, with a Superman peanut butter sandwich in front of me as I watched the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger.  It was one of those moments where you always remember where you were and what you were doing….and I had Superman peanut butter to make me feel a little better as I watched those events unfold. 

McDonald’s Christmas Treats from 1988

For the Christmas season of 1988, McDonald’s was offering up not one, not two, but THREE limited-time offerings for the Christmas season.

There was the 9-piece or 20-piece Holiday McNuggets, which featured a limited-time orange sauce for dipping and came in a festive “gift” box inspired by the season.

There was also the frosty Eggnog Milkshake and the rarely seen Peppermint Sundae.

As much as my mom and I would go to McDonalds, I have zero memory of ever getting to try any of these fantastic-looking treats. Back in those days, the thought of egg nog grossed me out so I wasn’t missing anything there, and I’ve always been a die-hard caramel sundae man so I may not have given the peppermint one a try. But those nuggets with the orange sound amazing, and I’m very disappointed that I never got to try them.

Willow Magic Cups From Wendy’s

Willow was a movie that captured my imagination in a big way back in 1988. When I first saw the trailer for the movie, I was excited as hell. Not even really knowing the whole plotline didn’t stop me from acting out adventures based on it before it even hit theaters. But that excitement was tempered by the fact that I knew the chances of going to the theater to see it were slim and none, and I could practically go ahead and strike slim from the options.

Usually, when I would get pumped up for a movie that I wasn’t going to get to actually see in the theater, I was comforted by the fact that there would be movie tie-in merchandise to enjoy. But when it came to Willow, I hadn’t seen a thing that was due to come out. That was until I saw a commercial advertising Willow-themed kid’s meals at Wendy’s. The box art featured in the commercial piqued my interest but the show stealer was the Magic Cups that you could get there.

I knew I wanted them when I first saw them. Mainly because they were for Willow, but also because of their “magic” ability. The cups had a base scene printed on them, but the rest of the scene became filled in when cold liquid was added to the cup. That was a cool feature at the time, and certainly was deserving of the moniker “magic cup”.

While I may have never been able to convince my parents to go to the movies with any kind of regularity, talking them into going to Wendy’s was pretty easy since it was a favorite for both of them. So on the next trip there, I got my Willow Kids meal and my first and only Magic Cup.

I never really cared much for cups that were offered by fast food places, but these Willow Magic Cups were one of the exceptions. I only managed to get one of them while they were available, but I held onto it for years. In fact, I held on to it so long and used it so much that most of the paint wore off of it. Once the paint was gone, so was the “magic”, but the memories remain.

Here is a photo I found online of the cup that I had:

Hot’n Devilish Chex Snack Mix Recipe from 1988

Here is another old recipe for you to try out at home in the modern age. I looked over the list of ingredients, and everything you need is still on the market today. This twist on the traditional snack mix looks really good, and should fit the Halloween season really well. I’ll be making a batch of this for Halloween night as my snack of choice while enjoying that night’s TV viewing. If you make this, drop a line in the comments with how it turned out.

Pumpkin Spice Frosty

The 2023 Halloween junk food season is a good one so far. I highlighted a variety of our finds last week, but the hunts continue so there is probably another couple of those posts to come. But for this post, I want to focus on a single item…the new Pumpkin Spice Frosty from Wendy’s.

I didn’t have to seek this one out…it came to me. About three weeks ago, our friend Tony from Retro-Daze posed a question to everyone in the TRN Clubhouse. He asked if anyone had heard anything about a Pumpkin Spice Frosty. Until I read his question I had not. But I have an inside source as my youngest daughter works at Wendy’s. I immediately went to her and posed the same question. She gave me a look and said that she really wasn’t supposed to say anything. I kept staring at her until she said she didn’t know, but that a button for a Pumpkin Spice Frosty had appeared on the cash register. That was all the confirmation I needed.

I told her that when they were available I’d like to try one. Then a couple of days later the official news broke that it was indeed a thing. Fast forward to this past Sunday when she came home from work with a sample size of the new fall treat for me to try.

I want to say something before I go any further. I’m a guy who feels like there is only one kind of Frosty, and that’s the original chocolate version that we all grew up with. A few years ago they started rolling out vanilla and strawberry options, but to me, those aren’t Frostys. The only thing I have to say to defend this position is that I’m old, stubborn, and set in my ways.

Anyway, I gave this new Pumpkin Spice Frosty a try and it’s not bad. It’s certainly good enough to have another before the season is over. Mine was a little melted by the time it reached my hands so that may have something to do with my feelings on it. As in, it’s good, but not over-the-moon good. I still prefer the chocolate.

But at the same time, it’s good enough that it’s worth going to get one if you like pumpkin spice things in general. I just wish they would call their non-chocolate creations something besides a Frosty. That name should be reserved for the original. And if you want to know more about what I think about Wendy’s and its offerings through the years, you can check out my post The Things I Miss About Wendy’s. Everyone else on the internet has, and you should too.