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Baby Boomers RETRO Dinner Party

I'm looking for a few really good--not just overly obvious--courses to serve for a 60/70's slightly upscale Retro dinner (comfort food) party. I was thinking very upscale mac n'cheese; lamb chops; interesting squash or pea side dish. 1st course could include: clam chowder; or split pea soap; and mixed garden salad or cantelope. Desserta; Tapioca pudding; or bread pudding; or make your own sundaes (something like that). I thought I'd serve Gin & Tonics (or vodka tonics), and slow gin fizzes. The apps. could include: sardines on crackers, interesting dips, and maybe shrimp cocktail, or oysters. Oh yea and POPOVERS! Remeber those? Any takers? I'd love your ideasl

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  1. A bit more 50s-60s: Celerey and carrot sticks with the G&Ts; tomato soup or green salad w/tomato wedges, and bottled dressing; pork chops, frozen peas and carrots, mash (don't forget the parsley sprig); chiffon cake; Drambui. Carlo Rossi red jug wine w/ dinner.

    1. See if you library has copies od Jane and Michael Stern's American Gourmet and their A Taste of America. It will get you going in the right direction and focus a bit better.

      Onion soup to start or Vichyssoise
      Meat loaf Wellington
      Pan roasted Potatoes
      Brown and Serve rols
      Caesar Salad made with the coddled egg
      Baked Alaska or a Bombe

      2 Replies
      1. re: Candy

        Candy, this menu really brings me (way)back! I love the idea of Vichyssoise to start, pan roasted potatoes, Brown & Serve rolls (I S0 remember my mother serving these), Ceasar Salad, and maybe Baked Alaska. I have to find a recipe for Meat Loaf Wellington to decide to make it. Thanks so much for these great suggestions! Robbie 7ll

        1. re: Candy

          I second this recommendation--American Gourmet is one of my favorite cookbooks. No one loves "camp" cooking like the Sterns; the book is witty (e.g. a recipe for "A man's tartar balls"), instructive (they trace the rise of "gourmet" from the inception of Gourmet magazine through Julie Child (don't forget the impact SHE had on cooking in the sixties and seventies!) to "Gourmania"--aka back-of-the-box cooking. And the recipes work!

          1. re: LenaNE

            How could I forget Fondue??? Great idea, but now I have too many germ-phobes in my life to pull it off. I will think about it, though. Thanks!

            1. re: Robbie711

              The proper way to eat fondue is to use your fondue fork for swirling, and then push the morsel onto your plate and eat it with your own fork. For hygienic reasons, the fondue fork never goes into your mouth.

          2. When I was a kid, a couple my parents knew threw a Day After Christmas party every year and always served a crab bisque made of condensed split pea soup, condensed tomato soup, crab meat and sherry. Everyone thought it was so sophisticated. Can you imagine? To me, that's about as 60s/early 70s retro as you can get.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Glencora

              That was called Mongol soup. Another good source for some retro recipes is Sauce Pans and The Single Girl, reissued last summer. I still have my 1965 edition and the sequel How To Keep (After You Caught) Him ca 1968. They are full of the stuff that was going on then and was 'In".

              1. re: Candy

                When I was a kid in Pittsburgh in the '50s, my grandfather told me he had invented "Puree of Mongol"!

                1. re: The Librarian

                  Mongol soup is the dish that gives an entire engagement party food poisoning in Ruth Reichl's Tender at the Bone--her mother doesn't have enough space in her fridge, so she leaves the crab (purchased in bulk at bargain prices) out on the counter for a day or so. Not a problem with the dish per se, of course, but I was tickled to see it here!

            2. harvey wallbangers
              pigs in a blanket
              stuffed mushroom caps
              stuffed cherry tomatoes
              swedish meatballs
              scallops wrapped in bacon
              iceberg lettuce, cukes and tomatoes with either 1000 island or green goddess dressing
              cheddar cheese on ritz crackers
              roasted ham with pineapple slices cloves and maraschino cherries
              chocolate mousse
              banana pudding pie
              watermelon carved into a "basket" filled with melon balls

              9 Replies
              1. re: hotoynoodle

                I especially agree with swedish meatballs. But what is a harvey wallbanger? It sounds painful.

                1. re: Glencora

                  lol, it's vodka, galliano and orange juice. my mom actually used to make a "harvey
                  wallbanger cake" which was delicious.

                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                    A variation on that was the bacardi rum cake.

                    This is so funny. I stopped by a restaurant today .. the Beli Deli ... started in the 70's that time never touched. I was just thinking ... I'm surprised someone hasn't opened a retro 70's restaurant yet. One sandwich was called 'bodacious meatloaf' ... when's the last time you heard bodacious?

                    Anyway don't forget the sprouts if you serve salad ... maybe a lttle Green Goddess dressing on that iceberg.

                    Yes on shrimp cocktail. No on sardines and crackers.

                    Other good drinks ... black Russian, Tequila Sunrise

                    1. re: rworange

                      not to t/j... but we had a 70's restaurant in the Chicago 'burbs called Flourchild's...very retro with 70's record album covers everywhere (it was embarrassing how many of them we actually have in our record collection). They went out of business pretty quickly.

                    2. re: hotoynoodle

                      Brings back memories. We drank Harvey Wallbangers out of a boda bag during the speeches at my college graduation. I don't think I've had one since.

                      1. re: hotoynoodle

                        I used to make Harvey Wallbanger cake too, I liked it better than the drink (I think I actually have a partial bottle of Galliano in my liquor cabinet, maybe I should make one for my husband's big birthday coming up!)

                    3. re: hotoynoodle

                      I'm going to include pigs in a blanket and stuffed muchroom caps, and sweedish meatballs for appetizers, and think about the other items. BTW, what do you stuff your mushrooms with? TIA

                      1. re: hotoynoodle

                        This is a great menu to work with--appriciate your considered input! The stuffed mushroom caps and cherrys, and sweedish meatballs &/or the scallops really bring me back--perfect ideas (and,chocolate mousse is a must!) Thanks very much! Robbie

                        1. re: Robbie711

                          How about the little cheesecakes in individual cupcake holders, with a Nilla wafer on the bottom and canned cherry pie filling on top. Easy, delicious and they look good too.

                      2. A jello mold (there is a delicious frozen dessert with vanilla yogurt, black raspberry jello knockin around)

                        Can o cheese spread (are they still around) served with crackers

                        Pigs In A Blanket

                        Cream cheese filled celery stalks

                        1. When we used to entertain in the late 60's and early 70's the two most popular hor d'oeuvres were spicy meatballs and a crab dip made with some onion, lemon juice, crabmeat and cream cheese, cooked until hot and bubbly, served with triscuits!
                          Oh yea- Harvey Wallbanger Cake- delicious. Just came across the recipe the other day!
                          Sounds like fun.

                          1. On top of a leaf of iceberg lettuce, place a slice of canned pineapple, half a canned pear, dollop of Miracle Whip in the middle of the pear and grated cheddar cheese on top. My mother's go-to salad for a nice meal in the 50's and 60's.

                            1. I think hotoynoodle hit the nail on the head . Also I remember escarot in those snail shells being a big thing at the parents' parties. that and sherry or rose to drink.....

                              1. This is a terrific retro appetizer to serve with cocktails. Everytime I make them, people love, love, love them - and I love them also. Be sure to use small olives so they don't get too big when they bake. They are fun to roll around and prepare, as well.

                                BAKED CHEDDAR OLIVES

                                2 cup grated Sharp cheddar
                                1 cup flour
                                1/4 t cayenne
                                4 T softened butter
                                40 small pimento-stuffed olives, drained and patted dry

                                - Preheat Oven to 400
                                - Stir 1st three ingredients together
                                - Work in softened butter to form dough
                                - Drop dollop of dough on wax paper and place olive in middle
                                - Flour hands and roll olive in between your palms to cover olive
                                - Place all olives on a cookie sheet
                                - Bake 15 minutes
                                - Serve warm

                                Note: prepared olives can be kept in the fridge 2-3 hours before serving. Bring them to room temp. before baking.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Tom P

                                  Hi Tom P! I'm going to try these--they're different enough, and definitely retro. Thanks!!

                                  1. re: Robbie711

                                    I promise you will love them! Let us know what you think.

                                2. Water chestnuts wrapped in bacon. My mother used to make those. Whiskey sours.

                                  1 Reply
                                    1. I think of pinneapple upside-down cake. Don't know why.

                                      1. I love you guys, but pigs in the blanket are a standard feature at Jfood's Super Bowl Spread and they are due for production this saturday.

                                        But on the retro front (some are repeats) -

                                        swedish meatballs
                                        jello mold mixed will cool whip before placing in fridge (remember not to add pineapple)
                                        string bean casserole with cream of mushroom soup and those onion thingies (waaay too much sodium)
                                        macaroni and cheese made with velveeta
                                        fried shrimp
                                        fried flounder
                                        grilled sausage with mashed potatoes

                                        good humor bars

                                        1. I was having a conversation with my daughter about what I used to bring in my lunch box in the late 60's, and Drakes ring dings came up....we just found some and now she's going to have same in her lunch.

                                          Ring dings, yodels, devil dogs....go on, live it up!

                                          1. Oh my gosh, for a fancy drink, my mom and dad served Cold Duck! Don't you remember that drink??? And also Peach daqueries
                                            Twice stuffed potatoes, celery with cream cheese or cheeze whiz, deviled eggs, a mushroom and crab dip made with a gelatin mold served with crackers, and then we also had crab puffs.
                                            Oh and a "Fancy Sandwich Loaf" for a crowd.
                                            I'm looking at one of my cookbooks that we put together at a company that I worked at during the 70s and one of the interesting items is the "Impossible Pie" and there are 3 receipes! And and then the Ice Box Dessert. My gosh I am missing those days!!!!

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: chef chicklet

                                              Cold Duck ... don't do it.

                                              Andre just brought back cold duck and I thought I'd try it to see if it was as vile as I remembered it ... worse than the memory ... Now Boone's Farm Apple Wine ... the beverage that introduced me to the wine world ... the bouquet is that of apples.

                                              1. re: rworange

                                                I can remember being allowed to taste Cold Duck as a child, and screwing up my face in disgust. "Don't worry," they assured me. "Someday you will be able to appreciate wine!"

                                                That said, sparkling reds are big in Australia, and it's actually not so bad - light, fruity, fizzy - festive even. It doesn't taste like you're already on the wrong end of a hangover, as I remember Cold Duck. Two years ago I brought a bottle of Black Chook sparkling shiraz to a potluck Thanksgiving dinner as a kind of retro prank, and it was drunk in short order. Or possibly some kind soul poured it down the sink while I was out grazing the hors d'oeuvre, so as not to embarrass me.

                                                1. re: plum

                                                  I like sparkling red wines ... they are not the vile cold duck. I tried it recently ...

                                                  Bad burgundy made with mediocre sparkling wine with enough sugar to make it even more cloying and awful.


                                                  It got its start in Bavaria as a way to use up leftover sparkling wine.

                                                  1. re: plum

                                                    I had a sparkling merlot from a local vineyard and liked it enough to buy a few bottles for Easter last year. It had won top prizes at a San Francisco wine symposium and I could see why.

                                              2. Don't forget the rumaki!

                                                If you have the time, I suggest a trip to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army. I collect old cookbooks, and rare is a time that I don't find an old cookbook from the 50s-70s. If anything, you can scan some pictures for invites & decorations. Old recipe cards as well.

                                                (And sometimes you get really lucky-in a pile of books I bought yesterday I found not only old index cards someone's grandma put sugar cookie recipes, but two fan letters to the cast of "Peyton Place" -Barbara Perkins and Mia Farrow from a teenage girl in Michigan!)

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: RaleighRocker

                                                  You are so right RaleighRocker, I do the very same thing. I love reading the inscriptions and recipes that were passed down. I have some real jewels and have used them often!

                                                  1. re: RaleighRocker

                                                    I second the rumaki. I made them for a barbecue and they were a big hit...until I told people what was in it.

                                                    Also, clam dip was big in the 70s (chopped clams, onion soup mix, sour cream) served with Ruffles potato chips.

                                                  2. How about also considering Waldorf salad & deviled eggs...

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: synergy

                                                      I second the deviled eggs, served on an avacodo green deviled egg tray, of course!

                                                    2. 70s as I remember:
                                                      quiche lorraine
                                                      Mateus wine
                                                      green salad topped with canned mandarin sections and sliced almonds

                                                      1. Onion Soup Mix party dip and chips
                                                        Lettuce wedge with bleu cheese dressing
                                                        Filet Mignon
                                                        Twice baked potatoes

                                                        1. When company came over, my mom made a Cheese Ball from some kind of processed cheddar cheese, rolled in crushed walnuts. Serve with Wheat Thins for that elegant touch. There's also the string beans baked in Cream of Mushroom soup with those canned french fried onions on top. But that's really too disgusting to serve to your guests.

                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: redchair

                                                            My mom made a cheese ball, too. It was with cream cheese, I think, and pineapple. Ewwww. I used to love Wheat Thins, though.

                                                            1. re: Glencora

                                                              My mom's cheese balls were just like redchairs, but her "elegant touch" --of course, in name only-- was her use of RITZ crackers!

                                                            2. re: redchair

                                                              Don't be a food snob! The Green Bean Casserole with the Crunchy Onions on Top is as delicious as ever. Somethings never lose their appeal.

                                                              1. re: Fleur

                                                                Agreed fleur. The famous casserole is, so very dare I say it, Sandra Lee (ugh, I'm cringing), and completely unchowish but, like pigs ina blanket, still mighty tasty.

                                                            3. Lipton onion soup mix and sour cream....the dip.....the ultimate dip that says America...no raw veggies please. Chips only

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: gato

                                                                And Buglse and/or Fritos. The both go perfectly with the Lipton dip and particlarly the Bugles hold the dip so well.

                                                              2. And I wonder what dishes will scream "2000 through 2010 !!" (Whatever *this* decade is called.)
                                                                My first thought is balsamic vinegar on strawberries.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: BangorDin

                                                                  Molten chocolate cakes and parmesan stuffed dates wrapped in bacon!

                                                                  1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                    LOL--exactly! And, of course, spiced pecans! This list would be great fun to compile!

                                                                  1. I remember being thoroughly impressed when, at one of her ubiquitous cocktail parties, my mother served a whole pineapple painstakingly carved (but not peeled) and poked with toothpicks so that guests could pull out bite-sized pieces of the fruit as an hor d'ouerve. I think she added marachino cherries and maybe some other fruit to the toothpicks to make them into festive fruit kabobs.

                                                                    As for one poster's suggestion of Jello mold mixed with Cool Whip, I remember this concoction being called a Bavarian. Gosh, I loved it as a kid. I still have an old cookbook with the recipe. My mother also made a frozen version of the Bavarian, mixed with fresh fruit--cranberries for the holidays and white grapes in the summer, I recall.

                                                                    No one's mentioned cocktail weenies in barbeque sauce. That was the proverbial fondue pot favorite of my childhood.

                                                                    The mention of Harvey Wallbangers made me laugh out loud. It's been years since I heard them mentioned, but I remember them as being so popular! Don't forget Brandy Alexanders, either--another fave from the early 70s.

                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                    1. re: laurie

                                                                      Glad to see my mom was not theonly one to put cranberries and cool whip into jello. If made today the color would scream for the EPA to come and designate the table as a Superfunds site.

                                                                        1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                          which you graduated to after the sloe gin fizz.

                                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                                            Now I think I need to host a retro cocktail party with all of these great throwbacks to the 60s and 70s. I still order Amaretto Sours at my favorite old hotel lounge--the only place I ever order it, and only because of the retro vibe.

                                                                        2. re: laurie

                                                                          I just made a Bavarian the other day after not having had one in years. I used raspberry jello and sour cream - extemely yummy!

                                                                          1. re: The Librarian

                                                                            I'm gonna have to dust off that old cookbook and make one, too!

                                                                        3. Our friends had a retro birthday party and one of the things they served were wedges of Iceberg Lettuce served with homemade Russian Dressing. It was really delicious.

                                                                          1. Cheese fondue what else.

                                                                              1. Get yourself a copy of the The Back of the Box Gourmet by McLaughlin, and go to town. This book has all the boomer favorites, and would be a perfect resource for some ideas for your dinner party. From Lipton onion soup dip on through casseroles and desserts, a 60's bonanza.

                                                                                1. For drinks, how about ... "Martini and Rossi, on the rocks, say 'Yessss'!"

                                                                                  Anyone remember that commercial? I still sing that in my head from when I was a kid. Martini and Rossi sweet vermouth on the rocks with a twist.

                                                                                  This sure has been fun to read. I agree to be sure to include Miracle Whip and Cool Whip in some way. My grandmother, who was otherwise a wonderful and inventive cook, always made her salad with half a pear and a dollop of Mayo or Miracle Whip, and then the sprinkling of shredded cheddar cheese.

                                                                                  My mom’s friends went through a phase where everyone made this layer salad of iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, frozen green peas, Baco's (imitation bacon bits) and mayo or miracle whip on top. There was some other ingredient I cannot remember.

                                                                                  Broccoli Cheese casserole was a big one at our house, made with frozen broccoli, cream of mushroom soup, a roll of Kraft Garlic Cheese (hard to find anywhere but in the south), canned mushrooms, lots of salt and pepper, Wooster and Tabasco and, if you felt like it, rice. Sounds awful, actually tasted really good. It is how my mom turned the kids onto Broccoli initially. Later, we would eat it steamed, just right.

                                                                                  Also, you could do up some Hamburger Helper. We kids loved the cheesy Cheeseburger Macaroni flavor best, although the taco flavor came in a strong second. After all… ‘Hamburger Helper helps your hamburger help to make a great meal.” (I think that is how the jingle went.”

                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Tom P

                                                                                    That salad you mention is called 24-hour salad and it's delicious. I make it about once a year. The recipe I have layers romaine, spinach, swiss cheese, red bell pepper, peas, and red onion. It's all covered with a mayo/sour cream/parsley dressing and sliced hard boiled egg. You make it 24 hours in advance and the recipe specifies "must be layered in exact order given". I don't know that I've typed them that way and I've probably omited some ingredients. Right before you serve it you toss it and add bacon.

                                                                                    Always get raves on this one. I'm sure there are lots of recipes on the internet for this.

                                                                                    It's a retro keeper (unlike tomato Jell-o).

                                                                                    1. re: Pate

                                                                                      Boiled eggs! Yes, the forgotten ingredient. Yours does sound good - much better with some fancier ingredients than the Baco's and plain mayo, etc. Thanks for the recipe. They used to do the Bacos as its own layer and just cut the salad in big square wedges from the tray and served it that way. Tossing it sounds much better to me.

                                                                                    2. re: Tom P

                                                                                      I can still hear that song in my head too, it was "Martini and Rossi, Imported Vermouth, On the Rocks!" very jazzy.

                                                                                    3. My mother's go to dinner was a grilled flank steak marinated in soy sauce, ginger, brown sugar, lemon juice, a partial beer and a splash of milk (never understood that one), along with sauteed mushrooms, garlic bread and a big salad, usually iceberg, radishes and tomatoes and croutons (hey, we live in California), and for dessert, the standard package of pudding bundt cake with rum in it and a rum glaze. Given our proximity to Napa, there would some some decent red, or if we were true to family ties, a jug of Almaden wine.

                                                                                      1. I remember tomato aspic from my parents dinner parties in the 70's. I also remember a cream cheese based dip with cocktail sauce and imitation crab meat. I loved it as a kid.

                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: cheapertrick

                                                                                          I have never had Tomato Aspic. Is it worth a try or is it as awful as it looks?

                                                                                          1. re: Tom P

                                                                                            Out of all the types of aspic I've ever tried it's the most palatable. I would even say I kinda like it. It's in essence Bloody Mary flavored Jello without the vodka although I suppose you could add a little for some Bloody Mary Jello shots.

                                                                                            Most recenty I had aspic with smoked carp suspended in it at a Polish restaurant and I would be hard pressed to recommend that however. I'm not sure which I found more disturbing the fact I was eating carp or the that I was eating aspic.

                                                                                            1. re: Tom P

                                                                                              Tomato aspic = Tomato Jell-o. Some things go out of fashion for a reason.

                                                                                            1. re: Mr. Cookie

                                                                                              But you have to make it from scratch right? No cheating and buying the bags they sell now.

                                                                                            2. For inspiration, don't miss these recipe cards from 1974:

                                                                                              1. If it's a '70's party, stuffed crepes. Remember The Magic Pan?

                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Gin and It

                                                                                                  OMG, I loved the Magic Pan. It was my grandmother's favorite restaurant. I still have a recipe for a mandarin orange salad with slivered almonds, similar to the one served at the restaurant. Probably haven't made it in over 20 years. A poster above mentioned this dish; I agree that it's quintessential 70s, and would add that it's a great accompaniment to crepes and quiche.

                                                                                                  1. re: laurie

                                                                                                    They were one of the first "casual dining" sit-down chains. It was where your boyfriend took you for a "fancy meal". I also remember Souper Salad, and of course The Ground Round (still around, of course).

                                                                                                  2. re: Gin and It

                                                                                                    I heard the Lettuce Us Entertain You restaurant group bought the naming rights to Magic Pan. Supposedly they are making a comeback. I think they even have couple locations. I don't know if they were able to preserve the magic but I could go for some chicken crepes.

                                                                                                    1. re: cheapertrick

                                                                                                      LEYE bought the rights to Magic Pan - there's a Magic Pan Crepe Stand at Northbrook Court, but it's just a walk-up kind of a place - nothing like the original restaurants. That was where my husband took me on our first date (the one in Old Orchard). Ahhh... the memories.

                                                                                                  3. Quite right, ginand it and laurie. I see that crepes are becoming popular again. there is a crepe restaurant here in Westchester at the mall that is always crowded. During the early seventies I was a member in a fund-raising organization that ran "progressive dinners". No, it didn't refer to our politics, it meant we traveled to three different houses to eat. the first house hosted the drinks and appetizers, the second the entree and the third, the desserts. We fell all over ourselves cooking for these things and seafood stuffed crepes were THE fancy first course. Chicken Kiev was a popular main dish wish white rice. There was nothing more awe-inspiring for dessert than Baked Alaska or something flaming.

                                                                                                    1. Anyone with a good sense of humor and an interest in this subject - and I guess that means everybody here, should get a copy of James Lilek's HILARIOUS "Gallery of Regretable Food" maybe out of print but available online at used book websites. He also has an equally funny blog/website where he pokes irreverant fun at the embarrassing food of our American past. But, sophisticated chowhound epicures beware - momento mori - in a few years the chowhounds of tomorrow will be busting a gut when they think about the hilarious foods we currently think are oh, so cool.

                                                                                                      1. Make a Buzz Aldrin:

                                                                                                        4 parts Tang
                                                                                                        2 parts Peach Vodka
                                                                                                        1 part Triple Sec

                                                                                                        Combine ingredients in a shaker and shake over ice. Strain into a Tang rimmed cocktail glass.

                                                                                                        recipe from http://www.brooks-bilson.com/blogs/fo...

                                                                                                        1. My mom's dish was Ambrosia..something gooey with coconut and fruit and mayo..icky!
                                                                                                          Dad's ONLY dish was Bourbon Balls - crushed up cookies, cocoa and nuts mixed with something and bourbon, rolled into balls, then rolled in powdered sugar. I loved them as a kid but can't imagine eating them as an adult.

                                                                                                          I've got a Galloping Gourmet (pre-sobriety) cookbook around here somewhere..remember him?

                                                                                                          1. Reading this is so much fun! Being an old girl and just married in 1966 I used to feel so cool making my 5 Cup Fruit Ambrosia Salad.

                                                                                                            1 Cup Drained Pinapple Tidbits
                                                                                                            1 Cup Drained Mandarin Oranges
                                                                                                            1 Cup Coconut
                                                                                                            1 Cup Minature Marshmallows
                                                                                                            1 Cup Sour Cream Mix all together and let sit in the fridge overnight.

                                                                                                            Also the Sunset Appetizer recipe for cocktail wieners in Frenche's mustard and red current jelly. Your party sounds like a lot of fun.

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: suzannajoy

                                                                                                              Add to that the meatballs in ketchup or Heinz chili sauce and grape jelly. And fwiw, you can use Imo imitation sour cream for a version of the ambrosia salad if you need to lose the lactose or tthe butterfat.

                                                                                                              1. re: CynD

                                                                                                                My husband's relatives still make a version of this mixing the grape jelly with barbecue sauce. It's served every year at the Xmas Eve family reunion. Go figure.

                                                                                                            2. I completely forgot about the grape jelly & ketchup or Heinz chilli sauce marinated meatballs my mother loved to serve. I actually loved them, and may consider--dare I say--making them!! Most likely this will just remain a threat not a promise. Thanks to all have supplied such memorable ideas for the party. I've had to postpone the actual date for this soiree--but it's even fun just remembering that era...it seems now like such an innocent/uncomplicated time of life!!

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: Robbie711

                                                                                                                You should definitely make the meatballs with no apology. Some foods go together, like peanut butter & jelly, and will always be classics. The meatballs with grape jelly and Heinz sauce are in this catagory. They are timeless.

                                                                                                              2. Okay, maybe it's just me - or is it a New England thing? - but I don't see clam chowder or popovers or bread pudding as "retro" or particularly 70s at all. I eat those things all the time, and so did my grandmother, so I would consider them old-fashioned, but not retro. When I think 70s, I think Fondue, Swedish meatballs on toothpicks, Lipton onion soup mix dip, crab dip for the suburban crowd; or brown-veg stuff for the hippies (lentil loaf, etc.). For drinks, Harvey Wallbangers, Tequila Sunrises.

                                                                                                                1. My dad (a baby boomer) makes a hot clam dip that he serves with Ritz crackers, and it's excellent -- canned minced clams, a block of cream cheese, horseradish, and a little of the clam juice to thin, baked at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the edges start to brown. He said the original recipe had crab meat, but the clam is really terrific, and everyone I serve it to loves it.