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iso ideas for a retro 1950s bridal shower

I am looking for ideas for a 1950s themed bridal shower that I am planning for a friend. Any ideas would be lovely. No nut based foods though due to allergies.


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  1. How about petit fours? And a "frosted" sandwich loaf? That is when you take a loaf of unsliced white bread, trim the crust off, slice it three or four times lengthwise, then you spread thinly with soft fillings, like veggies with cream cheese, or pimento cheese,ham salad, egg salad etc, then you put the loaf back together, and "frost" the whole thing with an herbed cream cheese, and sprinkle parsley all over it...When sliced, it looks really cool....There is an actual recipe for it on www.cooks.com under "Frosted Ribbon Loaf".. Another thing could be "pigs in a blanket"...A nice congealed fruit salad...Divinity, Clam dip...the list goes on and on...Good luck!

    1 Reply
    1. re: jinet12

      If you can find of copy of Jane and Michael Stern's 'Square Meals', the first chapter is called "Ladies Lunch". There are sub chapters entitled Smart and Cunning Entertaining as well as A Shower for Miss Alice Bride. A really fun read and the recipes in this book work beautifully. Although, I have not really cooked from this chapter. The above frosted sandwich loaf is included in addition to other tea sandwiches.

    2. The petit four idea is a great one...lots and lots of work though, but that was the era
      Apparently "teas" were the theme..so have a variety of finger sandwiches / cucumber is a must....
      blank on the rest though.

      1 Reply
      1. re: MiniMom

        If you want to go the petit fours route order them from Divine Delights, www.divinedelights
        Not only are they gorgeous to look at but the flavors are truly divine. Not cheap but worth every penny. Their bridal selection is stunning.

      2. Peruse the Food Timeline:

        I'm seeing the beginning Chex Mix, California onion dip, the invention of Jell-O...

        This sub-link is especially enlightening:

        7 Replies
          1. re: jinet12

            Don't forget that everything needs to be pink. Some frou-frou pink cocktails would be great. Or one of those punches made with soda and sherbet (raspberry, of course -- here's a recipe and you could spike it or not, as appropriate http://www.drinksmixer.com/drink6303.... ).

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              I like the pink cocktails or sherbet punch idea a lot... also here's a link to 1950s cocktails.

              Anything you can do to actually make the food good rather than really really really basic/weird 1950s would be great. I'm not sure what that would be though. I keep thinking pigs in a blanket and deviled eggs but really really nicely done ones.

              Here are more 50s food links.

              Oh by the way, here's a list of food *prices* in the 1950s in case anyone wants a diversion. (Heck if you're going for a 50s theme and there will be women there who were adults in the 1950s, if you're going to do games maybe you could even make one out of that.

              Or, not to be overlooked, films and film stars of the 50s. Grace Kelly's the only one who came to mind. Might be some 50s film you could even base the food or drink on.

              1. re: Cinnamon

                I agree that it should taste good even if it looks retro -- part of that is using real ingredients instead of canned/packaged ones. A fruit parfait, for example, makes a pretty dessert -- just make it with real cream and fresh fruit, instead of CoolWhip and canned fruit. Also, you can make pink cocktails that aren't sweet by using cranberry, pomegranate or ruby grapefruit juice instead of grenadine.

              2. re: Ruth Lafler

                The Pink Lady cocktail is always excellent as well...

            2. re: Carrie 218

              Jello was invented long before the 1950's. According to the above mentioned time-line, it was invented in 1897. It was Jello Instant Pudding that was invented in 1953. However, some type of jello concoction would still be an appropriate thing to serve.

              1. re: clamscasino

                I was thinking doing a "classic" jello mold BUT updating it by using some alcohol (vodka?) in it so it is actually a big jello shot! mmmm

            3. The previously mentioned pink sherbert punch. Ham salad on small cocktail buns. My mom still has all her 1950's cookbooks I but someone you know has a mom who still has all those retro cookbooks jammed in a cupboard somewhere.

              1. Devilled eggs, pigs in a blanket, cocktail sausages.

                Like the petit fours suggestion but they are really difficult to make. How about cupcakes frosted in cute/retro colours?

                1. you gotta have lil smokies cocktail weenies in that ketchup/barbacue sauce!

                  green Bean almandine.

                  one of those fruit salads in the watermelon baskets.

                  The "Gallery of Regrettable Food" has uploaded lots of old cookbooks with strange recipies. Maybe you could find stuff there!


                  1. Try to make sure you have at least one can't-miss item for the guest of honor. Not only will she likely need to eat, her usual repertoire may have diminished due to the regrettable combination of nausea and The Bionic Nose of pregnancy. And, naturally, a virgin version of any special drink.

                    I like the finger sandwiches idea, and wanted to make sure you at least consider watercress ones, which IMO are the best. :)

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Mawrter

                      Bridal shower, not baby shower. Although I guess these days a lot of brides are also pregnant (well, I guess a lot of brides have always been pregnant -- just not so open about it!).

                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                        Ooops, my bad! Thx for the heads-up.

                    2. As someone who was actually around in the '50s, there are some good suggestions here, and especially the pigs in blanket, a jello mold salad of some sort (they can actually be pretty good. Petit fours are labor-intensive and high-skill. I suggest an ice-box cake, such as the one made with chocolate wafers; the recipe may even be on the box still. Delish. Other possible items: onion dip, chicken a la king, coming of age in the 50s as people began to travel a little, Quiche Lorraine, which is excellent when made well if you want to be a little more modern. Whiskey sours if you are serving alcohol; Kool-Aid if not. Sounds fun.


                      2 Replies
                      1. re: janeer

                        I am now hungry for chicken ala king and sherbet punch. Love those ideas.

                        1. re: Cinnamon

                          The white cake mix with the jello poured over and frosted with cool whip and what ever berries you use for the jello is awesome. Poke holes in the sheet cake, pour on the jello, cool, frost and decorate with berries. What was that crab meat and jar of cheese on English muffins thing, that was pretty yummy!