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Food from the Sixties?

I am going to a party and need to bring a dish from the Sixties (1963 specifically). As I'm only in my early thirties, I'm having trouble deciding what to make. I'd like it to be delicious as well as true to the theme. Here's what I've brainstormed with my mom so far:

Chex Mix
Stuffed mushrooms (? were those 60's-ish?)
A gherkin inside a cream-cheese slathered slice of salami then sliced and held together with a toothpick
Cherry tomatoes stuffed with tuna salad
Spinach dip

Any other ideas?


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  1. Wow... this could be scary. But definitely check out the Gallery of Regrettable Food at:
    which has (annotated) recipes from period cookbooks. These might not qualify as "delicious" though.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jmasek

      That's the first thing I thought of too! :)

      1. re: jmasek

        Please, please just bring the book for everyone to look at it -- and bring some good food to eat.

      2. The French Chef first aired in 1963. Maybe a Julia recipe from that series?

        1. I love 60s appetizers! They're so delightfully tacky and kitsch.

          Some more ideas for you:
          * Devils on horseback (prunes wrapped in bacon and then broiled until crisp)
          * Rumaki (water chestnut and chicken liver wrapped in bacon, marinated in soy and then broiled until crisp)
          * Cocktail weiners, either plain or wrapped in puff pastry (pigs in blankets)
          * Pimento cheese spread with Ritz crackers

          ...and don't forget...
          * JELLO SALAD!!

          3 Replies
          1. re: tartiflette

            Rumaki certainly were all the rage before the 60's....I remember them from the mid-late 50's because they were popularized by Trader Vick's Restaurants on their "Pu Pu Platter".

            The 60's I remember would have every kind of food imaginable due to the "munchies" craze due to I dare not say what.

            1. re: tartiflette

              I remember devils on horseback as oysters wrapped in bacon, but maybe thats because Im from arster country

              1. re: tartuffe

                Oysters in bacon were always called "angels on horseback" in my house.

                I assume this is because prunes are black and oysters are white (well, more like beige-ish)... so devils = black and angels = light.

            2. any of the above pinned to a whole pineapple with toothpicks - truly tacky and 60's

              4 Replies
              1. re: KaimukiMan

                Does that mean that you take a whole pineapple, stick the food (whatever it is) with a toothpick, and then stick it to the pineapple? Hilarious. I've never seen that so I'm trying to envision it.

                1. re: Fig Newton

                  For another riff on the Jello Salad, you could always do an Ambrosia Salad (be sure to make it pink - did you see "Edward Scissorhands"?) !

                  1. re: Fig Newton

                    exactly..and yes, it is as bizzare as you are envisioning. sort of a fruity porcupine. i had forgotten them until one of my friends did one for a party a couple of years ago.

                    pimento olives on a piece of cheese on a piece of salami, cheese and cold cuts rolled up, rumaki, almost anything wrapped in bacon, stuffed cherry tomatoes (has to be a "thick" stuffing), cream cheese or peanut butter stuffed celery, fresh fruit chunks (of course including pineapple)... it can be quite colorful. Be sure to get a pineapple with a healthy looking crown.

                    1. re: Fig Newton

                      I was going to suggest thi!. Think of it as antipasto on a stick. You could use good olives and cheeses- 40 years ago people used canned black and pimento stuffed green olives and cracker barrel for cheese. And cubes of ham and pineapple often completed the Hawaian theme
                      And antipasto was big in Boston- the traditional kind with marinated mushrooms, pepperocini, salami, provolone. cherry tomatoes etc.on a bed of lettuce.
                      Of course 40 years ago we didn't have Trader Joe's or we would have done a lot better!

                  2. See if you can find a copy of James Beard's Fireside Cookbook - actually I think from the late '50s, but there was no sharp transition as far as cocktail-swilling grownups were concerned. He got his start as a caterer in New York, and was always the go-to guy for party snacks. He also did a book entirely on party food, Menus For Entertaining, that has pages and pages of hors d'oeuvres and canapes. We threw a party on the theme of Your Parents' Cocktail Party, based almost entirely on these two books - we even used an illustration from the Fireside book on the invitation!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Will Owen

                      Brilliant! I do believe I've found the theme for my next dinner party. :)

                    2. I remember my mom got a fondue pot in the sixties and that was all the rage! Also the grape jelly meatballs were one of her favorites for parties.

                      14 Replies
                      1. re: danhole

                        The best (and easiest) hot buffet item using grape jelly is cocktail weenies in a chafing dish (fondue pot will do) in a 50-50 mixture of Heinz Chili Sauce and grape jelly, with a good supply of toothpicks alongside. Still a perennial favorite at old-money Nashville parties. You could of course buy a bag of the frozen meatballs and use those instead.

                        1. re: Will Owen

                          I had this dish with vienna sausages dipped into a hideous concoction of grape jelly and yellow mustard. Faughhhhh!

                          1. re: oakjoan

                            Oh, thank you SO much for putting that into my imagination! Do you suppose someone was just trying to remember the recipe and thought "mustard" instead of "ketchup"? Because you can in fact just use ketchup, although it's less interesting that way. Mustard, I dare say, would be excessively interesting.

                            1. re: Will Owen

                              It was no mistake, it is an old Sunset recipe from the sixties. As written it is a jar of mustard and a jar of red current jelly over cocktail wieners. It actually tastes pretty good.

                              1. re: suzannajoy

                                Oh, goodie! I can recreate this!

                                Actually, it was the vienna sausages (the texture alone can transport me into a paroxysm of disgust) that put the dish over the top.

                          2. re: Will Owen

                            similar--meatballs with sauce of cranberry sauce and chili sauce. Actually not terrible

                            1. re: coney with everything

                              Now the meatballs sound pretty good. Sort of Swedish.

                            2. re: Will Owen

                              <The best (and easiest) hot buffet item using grape jelly is cocktail weenies in a chafing dish (fondue pot will do) in a 50-50 mixture of Heinz Chili Sauce and grape jelly, >

                              My mom did that with meat balls. There were never any left!

                            3. re: danhole

                              Cheese fondue was popular, but in the late 60's came the craze for meat dipped into a common pot and then served with dipping sauces. Also that was the first time I ever had Chinese "Hot Pot". (Huo Kuo?)

                              I ditto the Julia Child's suggestions. We cooked a LOT from her first book.

                              I also keep noticing that this 60's thread is leaving out a huge segment of the population - hippies and students. Their food was verrrry different from what's on this list.

                              Diet for a Small Planet was very popular in the late 60's. Also Alice B. Toklas cookbook

                                1. re: mlgb

                                  That's right. But the late 50's and early 60's had the Beatniks, anyone remember?

                                  1. re: aurora50

                                    Don't recall that there was any special cuisine attached to the beatniks, other than jugs of Dago Red. They were probably going to those amazingly generous family-style Italian places in North Beach, and slurping up cheap noodles a little way down Grant Ave. in Chinatown.

                                    1. re: Sharuf

                                      Don't forget, the Beatniks were among the first to popularize espresso!

                                      1. re: Marsha

                                        Yeah. Coffeehouses for hangouts, a lot of coffee, and a LOT of (non-food related) cigarettes.

                            4. This reminded my of the movie with Cher in it! Mermaids!.....The mother only made party food. Everything was on a stick.

                              Hey, how about fondue!

                              1. My mother used to take a slice of salami and put a slice of provolone on top (same size). Then she'd put on a plop of prepared tuna salad (no celery) in the middle, then lay an anchovy across it, roll it up and put a toothpick in the whole thing. Then she'd throw back a Grasshopper or a Pink Flamingo, throw on her Doris Day wig and call it a party.

                                1. was quiche 60s or 70s? Fondue was but not easy to bring. Pinneapple and cheddar sticks. devilled eggs. dips.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. is the class green bean/mushroom casserole with the canned crispy onions on top from the 60s?

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: pescatarian

                                      No, the green bean casserole was invented by the Campbell Soup Company in 1955.

                                      1. re: GloriaSwansonsTVdinner

                                        It was created in 1955 but not served at dinner parties in the 60s a few years later?

                                        1. re: pescatarian

                                          This brings up a good point that I was discussing with friends the other night. Just because a dish was in Gourmet magazine, say, in 1963, doesn't mean that it wasn't cooked for a long time after that.

                                          1. re: Fig Newton

                                            I thought you were looking for foods invented IN THE YEAR 1963, not BY THE YEAR 1963. Lots of edible things were invented by 1963. I know this for a fact. I was there.

                                            I did some googling and found this site:


                                            Maybe it will give you some ideas. I say take something really delicious and lie and say it was from 1963. (Also be sure to do a little visual aid on a cardboard easel to set next to your dish. A collage with food facts, etc.) Is there a prize for this endeavor? Good luck!

                                        2. re: GloriaSwansonsTVdinner

                                          I first encountered the green bean casserole in about 1960.

                                      2. Hash brownies were always popular among my set.

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: whs

                                          Glad SOMEbody finally came out and said it!

                                          1. re: ozhead

                                            Swedish meatballs. Pigs in a blanket. Cheese cubes with toothpicks that have the multi-colored ruffled cellophane ends. Pimento cheese with Triscuits. Celery sticks with cream cheese.

                                            Quiche is more 70s, and I think rumaki might be, too.

                                            1. re: brendastarlet

                                              In the area I lived in, it was celery sticks with pimiento cheese.

                                            2. re: ozhead

                                              HA! I misread it and thought it said hash BROWNS.

                                            3. Sauce Pans and the Single Girl was published in 65. I still have my copy. It was reissued last year in paperback. You'll find plenty of good ideas in there.

                                              An old favorite for us was sausage balls. Just take a couple pounds of bulk breakfast sausage and roll into bite size meatballs. In a kettle combine about a qt. of catsup with an equal amount of beer. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and drop in the meatballs simmer until the sauce is thickened.

                                              Crabbies were popular then too. A hot crab salad with cheese on toasted english muffins and broild and then quartered.

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: Candy

                                                Cheez whiz?
                                                has anyone said anything with cheez whiz yet?

                                                1. re: alltummy

                                                  Beef bourginonne. Anything made with Campell's mushroom soup as the "sauce." Or am I also in the wrong decade?

                                                  1. re: alltummy

                                                    didn't the crabbies use Cheez Whiz?


                                                    I just googled for a recipe and it is cheez whiz or Kraft Old English

                                                    1. re: Candy

                                                      Sophisticates used the Kraft Old English.

                                                  2. re: Candy

                                                    I still make these and they are always a hit. Our recipe uses butter, canned crab, Kraft Old Englisj Cheese, garlic powder and Englisj Muffins. I think the change in the English muffins In the store has effected the recipe though.

                                                  3. Olives with Bleu Cheese
                                                    Cheese Straws
                                                    Cheez whiz on celery boats
                                                    Deviled Eggs

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: chef chicklet

                                                      My Mom made olives that had a dough around them and then were browned and baked...

                                                      And we had oysters on the half shell too. Sometimes with a sauce, and sometimes just lemon and tobasco.

                                                    2. 1. Pitted olives forming a belt around some julienned carrots.
                                                      2. Celery sticks filled with peanut butter.
                                                      3. Eggplant casserole using Campbell's Cream of Mushroom with crumbled potato chip topping.
                                                      4. Chicken fried steak.

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                        Eggplant was around in the '60's???

                                                          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                            Swedish meatballs served in a 60's chafing dish

                                                            Lobster Newberg on toast points

                                                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                              Yeah Sam, when did they invent eggplant? We used to get served a dish called Chicken Chip - it had some canned soup in it (of course) and also a potato chip topping. Yech.

                                                              One good appetizer from the sixties is shrimp stuffed with blue cheese. Slit cold boiled shrimp almost all the way through lengthwise. Fill with a mixture of blue cheese and cream cheese. Top the cream cheese with chopped parsley.

                                                        1. I saw a recipe in a vintage cookbook of a mock pineapple- made of liverwurst, decorated with sliced olives, and topped with, I think, a real pineapple crown. The picture looked so awful I had to buy the cookbook. (I was at a yard sale.)

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: rat under paper

                                                            Tamale pie is very 1950s and into the '60s.

                                                          2. Seven layer bars aka Hello Dolly Bars

                                                            1. I have a number of my mother's old cookbooks from the 60s. A Cook Book for Entertaining from Sunset magazine is organized by the type of party and they get pretty elaborate on their menus.

                                                              Now, my favorite 60s thing from my childhood (that I still make because it's tasty) is a pear salad which is a leaf of lettuce on which you place a canned pear half. Top with a small spoonful of mayo and then shredded sharp cheddar cheese. It's pretty tasty.

                                                              I culled some of the appetizers from the book:


                                                              Mushrooms a la Greque

                                                              Prosciutto-wrapped melon

                                                              Shrimp toasts

                                                              Ham-filled mushrooms caps

                                                              "Hawaiian Meat Sticks" which are essentially beef sate

                                                              Stuffed eggs

                                                              Cheese balls (this one combined cream, Roquefort and cheddar and was covered in pomegranate seeds and served with Melba Toast)

                                                              Scandanavien liver pate with pumpernickel

                                                              Grapefruit and avocado salad

                                                              There are also recipes for aoli, tamales to be made by the guests, sushi, shabu shabu, abalone ceviche - Most of the menus have at least some things that are foodie by today's standards as well.

                                                              Now, if you want to go gross, a cocktail weenie skewered with a piece of canned pineapple is the way to go.

                                                              1. Tomato aspic or salmon mousse....yuck!

                                                                1. And don't forget American chop suey if you have to bring an entree. We could expect to eat that once a week until Julia changed my mother's life (and her family's) in the mid-60s. My mother's American chop suey was just a mix of cooked hamburger (seasoned with a little salt and pepper), canned tomatoes, cooked macaroni and some cheese baked in a casserole dish.

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: ccferg

                                                                    I have also heard of this called goulash although it has nothing to do with Hungarian goulash.

                                                                    1. re: kdbroussa

                                                                      It's pretty close to what they called goulash. I think my mother added sour cream to the mix when she called it that.

                                                                      1. re: kdbroussa

                                                                        My mother cooked this dish a LOT when I was a kid. I have a name for it too, but it is unprintable here.

                                                                      2. re: ccferg

                                                                        Australian Chop Suey of the 60's was dodgy mince, browned, add a diced onion, some jullienned carrots, lots and LOTS of sliced cabbage, a splash of soy sauce and a packet of chicken noodle soup.

                                                                        A staple in my Mum's 60's repertoire

                                                                      3. My mom was a 'creative cook'. She used to make flaming dishes (yes, for our family dinners on a random Tuesday night.) She also liked to make crepes. As a kid, I used to beg for fondue and jell-o salad (layers of red jello, whipped cream, berries, usually red/white/blue.)

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: JojoSF

                                                                          Oh, yes, flaming dishes. Remember steak diane? I think in the right hands that can be a respectable dish, but my mother would take cubed steaks, saute them in butter and then add alcohol (and fire) and bring it triumphantly to the table.

                                                                        2. You could do fluffernutter sandwiches. That's marshmallow fluff and peanut butter on Wonder Bread. Cut off the crusts and cut the sandwich to make triangle tea sandwiches.

                                                                          Although we never ate fluffernutter sandwiches in our house -- we had friends who ate them a lot!
                                                                          I also think S'mores might be a thing from the Sixties. Very popular in my brownie troop.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Jill Brazil

                                                                            smores go back a long way before the 60's. My grandmother liked to talk about how many smore's my mom used to eat when she was a little girl (that's about when mom went for the second glass of wine and then smiled sweetly at her mom)

                                                                            1. re: Jill Brazil

                                                                              the fluffernutter is still a big hit around my house.

                                                                            2. I remember "California Dip" (aka Lipton onion soup mix dip) being big in the 60s

                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                              1. re: coney with everything

                                                                                Omigod! I used to LOVE that onion soup/cream cheese dip. My sister and I could eat whole bowls of it.

                                                                                What about chopped olives and green onions mixed with cream cheese?

                                                                                1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                  Don't forget clam dip either, scoop it up with potato chips or pretzels

                                                                                  1. re: Candy

                                                                                    ....and don't forget to use RIPPLE potato chips with that clam or onion dip!

                                                                                    Rice a Roni--perfect when served in Melmac (melamine-ware plates). Target has some nice retro ones now.

                                                                                    Minute Rice casseroles using chicken parts and cream of chicken soup

                                                                                    Anything (like mini meatballs, etc cooked and SERVED from an electric skillet--remember those?

                                                                                    Cruise your local thrift stores for great kitchy serveware and linens.

                                                                                  2. re: oakjoan

                                                                                    I've been scrolling down to see if anyone posted cream cheese and olives!

                                                                                2. Great thread... I use to assume all this food was from the 50's and thought of the '60s more as the Hippie Food, Chinese, Indian, Sushi & Fondue

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                    The first five years of the 60s were the 50s. Look at the high school year books.

                                                                                    1. re: ccferg

                                                                                      Sirts were shorter and hair was bigger in the first 5 years of the 60s than the last five years of the 50s.

                                                                                  2. I remember Velveeta as a popular ingredient in dips.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Remoulade

                                                                                      eeewww....velveeta, I had forgotten about that nuclear sludge haha

                                                                                      1. re: Remoulade

                                                                                        Velveeta and Ro-Tel! Yum. Still good today.

                                                                                      2. First, the early 60s were actually more like the late 50s. There was not a sudden change in our culture in 1960. What most people think of as the 60s with the hippies, mini-skirts, and ultra-modern decor occurred after 1965 and into the early 70s. So, 1963 was a transition period between the 50s and the hippie, counter-culture, anti-establishment generation of the late 60s and early 70s. 1963 had more characteristics of the late 50s. Stuffed celery was very popular in the late 50s and early 60s, as some have mentioned. In addition to peanut butter or cream cheese, I remember celery stuffed with pimiento cheese or Kraft Old English or cheddar with bacon cheese spreads. These now come in a jar in the supermarket. Just wash the celery well and cut into 2"-3" pieces. Fill with the cheese spreads. A nice presentation is to serve some stuffed with pimiento cheese, some stuffed with Kraft Old English cheese spread, and some stuffed with Kraft cheddar and bacon cheese spread. The American Movie Classics (AMC) network's series Mad Men takes place in 1960 and is authentic to the period. In one episode, one of the wives was stuffing celery as an hors d'oeuvre for a party. Also, I remember dips being very popular for home entertaining. In fact I have my mother's dip tray from the period. One dip in particular which I remember was made of sour cream, potted meat, and diced dill pickles. If I remember correctly, use 8 ounces of sour cream, one to two cans of potted meat depening on how meaty you want the dip, and 4-5 dill pickles (not the big ones) diced. Mix well and serve with Fritos for dipping. Also, as someone already mentioned, fondue served in one of those metal electric fondue pots that came in various colors, was also popular. Casseroles made with Campbell's condensed cream of mushroom, celery, chicken, etc soups were still popular through the early 60s. Just remember that all of the health-conscious, low-fat, low-carb foods we have today were not in vogue during the late 50s and early 60s.

                                                                                        17 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: kdbroussa

                                                                                          You're absolutely right-on (get it?) about your time periods. I was there, too.
                                                                                          The early 60's were all about "innocent sophistication", housewives staying at home, entertaining, cocktail parties, "Moon River", all pastels, you get the picture. All very fine and twee.
                                                                                          The mid-60's and 70's were almost a complete turnaround from that - a "Revolution", if you will. Colors, food, clothes, music, and attitude all changed drastically. That's when all the long hair, hard rock, and psychadelic colors came in.
                                                                                          And it was all reflected in the food we ate.

                                                                                          1. re: aurora50

                                                                                            Yeah, my mother discovered Julia Child. And my hippie friends discovered the color brown. I had to go with my mother on this one.

                                                                                            1. re: aurora50

                                                                                              In the late 60s and early 70s, my first wife and I ate with our fellow tribesmen and women when called upon: near tasteless veggie dishes, brown bread the weight of the combat boots the women wore, carob this and that, brown rice as crunchy as gravel, herbal teas... Fortunately, the two of us cooked and ate well at home.

                                                                                              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                Carob - I had forgotten about that. Wow, what a great (NOT really) memory. We should not bring it back. Totally tasteless.

                                                                                                1. re: kdbroussa

                                                                                                  NOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Not Carob!!!! I still have childhood trauma from packing my own carob ship cookies to birthday parties.

                                                                                                2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                  Being the child of foodie parents and being pretty well traveled and having spent a great deal of my HS years on the east coast, north and south I was and mainly pretty preppy. The carob stuff and combat boots etc. never was on my radar. I knew there were people out there that bought in to that stuff. I liked my triple creme cheeses and the like to ever consider that sort of thing.

                                                                                              2. re: kdbroussa

                                                                                                Stuffed celery was the height of class growing up in my house. Just make sure whatever you serve, it is sprinkled with paprika. I think that, and curly parsley, was the universal food topper. I think my mom still has a jar from 1963 in her pantry.

                                                                                                1. re: kdbroussa

                                                                                                  What is potted meat?
                                                                                                  I would like to nominate baked ziti to this thread.

                                                                                                  1. re: JOJOGIRL

                                                                                                    Speaking of baked ziti, I actually liked my mother's macaroni and cheese the way she made it in the 60s (but she's in a dementia unit now and can't remember how she did it.) She didn't start with a cheese sauce the way they do it now. I believe she just took cooked ziti, chunks of cheese and poured in some milk or half and half. Then she'd bake the hell out of it. It would brown just beautifully along the sides of the glass casserole. We all begged for "the sides." And it had more texture than today's mac and cheese.

                                                                                                    1. re: ccferg

                                                                                                      Yes - my mother made macaroni and cheese this way (and I still do). She used a can of condensed milk and the sharpest cheddar cheese, cubed (and lots of it), she could find. My future kids aren't going to know what the Kraft box thing is about. But then, there are a lot of things I plan to not expose my kids to, surely paving the way for taunts and ridicule...

                                                                                                      1. re: happyincofornow

                                                                                                        Hah, it'll make them better people (says the voice of experience)

                                                                                                      2. re: ccferg

                                                                                                        Mac-n-cheese, my Mom's way, from the 60's. I am glad I learned it from her when young because she doesn't remember how to make it now, either. The basic technique here is the same, however, I also have updated the seasonings to suit my own family now. This gets rave reviews from anyone who eats it, so try it out! Here goes - cook pasta very al dente (not Mom's term!), drain. While mac is cooking, melt butter, then add milk, white Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt and pepper, and heat in microwave until warm. In a large mixing bowl, toss mac with bags of shredded white cheddar cheese. Pam spray a 13 X 9 cake pan, put mac/cheese mixture in. Pour milk mixture over until liquid is visible from the top view. Spread top with panko bread crumbs mixed with Italian bread crumbs, then respray with Pam. Bake until top is nice and crusty, yummmy!

                                                                                                      3. re: JOJOGIRL

                                                                                                        Potting meat is a means of preserving it (or more often a meat mixture using very cheap cuts) by cooking it to death and then canning it. Before the canning process was invented it was put into an earthenware pot with a covering of fat to keep the air out, hence the name. The consistency ends up being a kind of paste.

                                                                                                        Spam is actually a variety of potted meat, but there are many others.

                                                                                                        1. re: BobB

                                                                                                          Another form of potted meat that you may recognize, is Deviled Ham.
                                                                                                          (Got a can of it in my pantry right now ) -

                                                                                                          1. re: aurora50

                                                                                                            My mother sent me to school with deviled ham sandwiches three times a week. The other days she made sandwiches out of something called "sandwich spread," which I believe is supposed to be used as a condiment.

                                                                                                            1. re: aurora50

                                                                                                              I have 2 cans in my pantry. Pikawicca probably does too. it was something readily available in our commissaries over seas and we sort of grew up with it.

                                                                                                            2. re: BobB

                                                                                                              Sounds like confit is a high-falutin' form of potted meat.

                                                                                                        2. LOL wasn't spam from the 60's? Now that's "Class" haha. I agree on the piggies in a blanket, they are always gone no matter what age or dress code you are serving them to.

                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: FunLovingFoodie

                                                                                                            Actually, I believe Spam was first used in the 40's as food for the soldiers in World War II. It was canned and could last in the field, that was why it was used.
                                                                                                            But it also became popular later.

                                                                                                            1. re: aurora50

                                                                                                              The "I Hate to Cookbook" by Peg Bracken was an early sixties classic. It was funny and full of quick recipes including Stayabed Stew, Hurry Curry and Saturday Chicken. I still use some of these recipes today when I have a hankering for comfort foods from a simpler time


                                                                                                              1. re: aurora50

                                                                                                                according to the spam website, spam came out in 1937 (70 years this year).

                                                                                                            2. Tuna noodle casserole, topped with crushed potato chips. (Box of Kraft Mac 'n Cheese, can of tuna, can of Campbell's cream of mushroom soup, Lays chips.)

                                                                                                              1. I remember eating lots of jello cut up in cubes and tossed in gobs of cool whip, served on a leaf of iceberg lettuce. Can I have another serving of that "salad", mom! I also seem to remember frozen desserts with layers of rainbow colored sherbet and more cool whip of course.

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: donali

                                                                                                                  ate plenty of that myself....but cool whip is a little later than the OP's 1963 date, it came out in 1967 (missed it by that much) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cool_Whip

                                                                                                                2. One dish that hasn't been mentioned was baked chicken pieces slathered in a mixture of apricot jam, onion soup mix and another ingredient I can't quite recall - maybe mayonnaise?

                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: EllenMM

                                                                                                                    Ellen, could it have been bottled Russian salad dressing? I have an old recipe for a dish called "Hawaiian Chicken" that lists Wishbone Russian Dressing, Lipton Onion Soup Mix, and a choice of apricot jam or pineapple preserves.

                                                                                                                    1. re: pattisue

                                                                                                                      Yep - that's it. Thanks. Strangely, I have no desire to recreate this gooey mess. When I was newly married, in 1969, it seemed soooo exotic, but then, so did my first husband!!!!!

                                                                                                                  2. Watercress salad was a big ta-da thing at parties then says Colin Cowie and I remember my grandmother making it for her many fabulous dinner parties. So how about watercress salad with green goddess dressing...ha! Can you make something that you finish in the stove after you get there? If so you could really wow 'em with Baked Alaska. Imagine the oohs and aaahs.

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                                                                                                                    1. re: SugarFrosted

                                                                                                                      Wow, what a classic! Green goddess dressing; I have not had that in years! That is very retro.

                                                                                                                    2. There used to be a show on the Style Channel called the "Brini Maxwell Show." It was a witty play on Martha Stewart with a drag queen host demonstrating retro-DIY projects. They often featured recipies from the 50's and 60's to go with themed coctkail parties. http://www.brinimaxwell.com/show_main...

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                                                                                                                      1. re: MrsT

                                                                                                                        My mom grew up in this era, and meat was still very popular in EVERYTHING because people could remember shortages during the 1940s when they were little kids.

                                                                                                                        Also what about date nut bread and cream cheese finger sandwiches--very popular because of the automat, it was a common coffee shop staple.

                                                                                                                        Don't forget marichino cherries in the Jello salad, in cocktails, and also on toothpicks with chunks of pineapple!

                                                                                                                        Pineapple and cottage cheese salad with melba toast.

                                                                                                                        Forget hash brownies--according to my mom, the biggest difference between today and then is the predominance of highly caloric, highly alcoholic beverages back then like martinis, Rob Roys, etc. Remember "Bewitched"--pour me a drink, Sam?

                                                                                                                        White bread

                                                                                                                        1. re: MrsT

                                                                                                                          OMG! Brini! I had almost forgotten. She was, indeed. stuck in the 60s with the go-go boots and Marimekko prints. Groovy! Hard to believe that show is not in syndication somewhere.

                                                                                                                        2. Emeril did a show on the "Swinging Sixties" on the food network. Beef Wellington and Lobster Thermidor are included. Here are the recipe links:

                                                                                                                          1. Tuna noodle Casserole
                                                                                                                            Spagetti bean Casserole(canned franco american spagetti & red kidney beans)
                                                                                                                            Cheese fondue

                                                                                                                            1. This has been a fun thread.

                                                                                                                              I'm remembering chicken tetrazzini, chicken a la king, beef stroganoff, and liverwurst sandwiches made with Wonder bread. Oh, and city chicken. Some kind of meat on a wooden stick, veal maybe? Breaded and deep fried. And chiffon pie.

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                                                                                                                              1. re: slofood

                                                                                                                                City chicken! Now, there's an oldie. It was alternating cubes of veal and pork. My mother could get them already skewered at the butcher shop. She just browned ours and braised them. I think the premise was that city folks didn't have chickens running around in the backyard, so this was made to look like a chicken leg. Also, a more upscale meat for Sunday dinner, more "citified."

                                                                                                                              2. We recently had a 60's party along with retro-inspired food. I also wanted to steer away from the kitschy foods that would would be funny be also terrible tasting. That seemed like too much money and effort for a laugh.
                                                                                                                                Our line-up included:
                                                                                                                                Swedish meatballs (frozen from Ikea, warmed in a crockpot)
                                                                                                                                Lil' Smokies in BBQ sauce (this was gone very quickly)
                                                                                                                                Ritz crackers with cans of cheese
                                                                                                                                Bugles and Ruffles chips with onion dip
                                                                                                                                Cheese fondue
                                                                                                                                Deviled eggs
                                                                                                                                For cocktails, we had vodka gimlets.

                                                                                                                                1. My mom always made some kind of wacky mold with flavored Jello. I would tell you what was in it, but I don't think she ever made it the same way twice. She just referred to it as "Jello Mold". The stuff in it was a testament to why I would never try it. Olives and orange flavored Jello just are not right.

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                                                                                                                                  1. re: diablo

                                                                                                                                    Red jello with bananas. Its third grade all over again (1963) .... am I really that old?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: diablo

                                                                                                                                      we had a rabbit jelly mold in the 70s. Orange jelly with canned mandarin orange slices was my fave. The jelly wasn't in a powder form but little, concentrated jelly cubes.

                                                                                                                                    2. Reading through some of this, makes me realize that I still like some of that retro food!

                                                                                                                                      1. I have had laughs reading. Cannot believe no one has mentioned pimento stuffed olives wrapped in Old English cheese,butter and flour. I make them all the time but also serve them to 60's someones.

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                                                                                                                                        1. re: mgebs

                                                                                                                                          mqebs, please tell me that you cooked the olives after wrapping them in cheese, butter, and flour. Please.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Marsha

                                                                                                                                            Yes, Marsha,
                                                                                                                                            1 C flour
                                                                                                                                            1 stick soft butter
                                                                                                                                            1 jar Old English
                                                                                                                                            Roll into balls and bake 400' 10 -12 min. My husband learned to like olives after I had made these for 30 years and he finally tried them.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: mgebs

                                                                                                                                              I don't think I can resist these. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                        2. We had a potluck themed "food you ate in the 1960's"

                                                                                                                                          Meatloaf with ketchup on top
                                                                                                                                          Tuna casserole (the potato chip one)
                                                                                                                                          Tater Tot Casserole (disgusting with cheese sourcream and butter)
                                                                                                                                          Baloney sandwiches (on white bread) Big Hit
                                                                                                                                          Bob's Big Boy hamburgers and shakes
                                                                                                                                          Fish sticks
                                                                                                                                          "Golden Glow" jello salad orange jello and carrots
                                                                                                                                          Mashed sweet potatoes topped with mini marshmallows
                                                                                                                                          Chocolate Icebox Cake
                                                                                                                                          Assortment of Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Snowballs,etc
                                                                                                                                          Hawaiian Punch

                                                                                                                                            1. This is not terribly helpful, but I get the impression that a lot of this food is just "food you grew up with" and is largely independent of decade. I missed growing up in '63 by 20 years, but I still ate a lot of these foods when I was a kid at adult parties or in the school cafeteria.
                                                                                                                                              Red jello with bananas
                                                                                                                                              Jello in general with fruit cocktail
                                                                                                                                              Pigs in a blanket
                                                                                                                                              Meatballs/vienna sausages in grape jelly+ketchup
                                                                                                                                              California Dip

                                                                                                                                              A lot of them I still eat and still see at parties. I guess a lot of these things began in the 60's and just haven't died (and probably never will).

                                                                                                                                              My actual contribution: food irradiation was approved by the FDA in 1963. You could do a platter of foods which would otherwise be unavailable in the US if it hadn't been approved. (Mangosteens pop immediately to mind...I'm sure there are others, hopefully cheaper) And no, I don't usually know useless facts like that off the top of my head, but I was just reading an article about food preservation tech and the date stuck just long enough for me to share it with you. Aren't y'all lucky? ;)

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                                                                                                                                              1. re: wawajb

                                                                                                                                                In the same vein, I think changes in American eating habits have moved through the regions at different times. I also missed that decade, and never ate any of the foods mentioned because (a) we ate a pretty nuts and berrys diet and (b) I grew up in the south where people have tended to stay with pretty traditional regional food for longer than other areas. I'm not asserting this as fact, it just seems like....

                                                                                                                                              2. Back in the Sixties, my kid sister and I would serve canapés to my parents dinner party guests. I remember:

                                                                                                                                                Poached shrimp with cocktail sauce (chili sauce, horseradish, lemon juice, Worcestershire)
                                                                                                                                                Cheese ball and crackers (8 oz. cream cheese blended with 8 oz. blue cheese, 1 stick butter, form into a ball or log, roll in chopped pecans)
                                                                                                                                                Port wine cheese (cheddar spread with streaks of red) and crackers
                                                                                                                                                Block of cream cheese with a jar of caviar poured over, with toast triangles
                                                                                                                                                Whiskey sours

                                                                                                                                                (Yes, my sister and I polished off THOSE leftovers, too!)

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                                                                                                                                                1. re: WendyBinCT

                                                                                                                                                  My mom used to keep a few of those refrigerated pre-made shrimp cocktails in the fridge. Just pop off the top and serve!

                                                                                                                                                2. The photos from the party look fabulous!! And delicious!!

                                                                                                                                                  Cucumber mousse - BRILLIANT! and beautiful. And... the wooden pineapple thingy with toothpicks and smoked oysters. I have one of those things - that's a perfect way to serve smoked oysters!! Pure genius.


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                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GloriaSwansonsTVdinner

                                                                                                                                                    the cream cheese /bologna thing reminds me of cream cheese/salami rollups that my mom always made for us. still love them. ate them pregant when everything else made me sick. but that was the late 70s early 80s (the first time - just pregnant in the 00s)...

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: AMFM

                                                                                                                                                      Ah, yes, tasty canapés of salami spread with softened cream cheese, rolled up, cut in half and held with toothpicks. My mom wrapped hers around a sliver of pickle. Didn't think of those as Sixties fare, because I still love 'em and make 'em for parties... but now I use cornichons in the middle.

                                                                                                                                                  2. I just found one of my old cook books. It's a mighty fine collection of home recipes that are from the 60s and 70s. While looking at it it jogged memories of being at friends, relatives and my own house and some of the food things. My parents and friends either brought over or my mom and dad made.
                                                                                                                                                    I was young so I probably would not of eaten it but I remember a dip made with gelatin and mushroom soup with crab. It was usually made in a Jello Tupperware (greeen) mold. Remember?
                                                                                                                                                    The other was something called "Fancy Sandwich Loaf" - a whole loaf of white bread sliced lengthwise. Chicken Spread, beef spread, ham spread, egg salad and cream cheese to frost the entire thing and not to forget the ever decorative spice paprika.Then sliced showing the different layers.
                                                                                                                                                    The olives were Hot Olive Cheese Puffs" wrapping stuffed olives with cheese dough and baking them.
                                                                                                                                                    Impossible Pie, the apple pie (sort of an impostor) made with Ritz Crackers. Wacky Cake and Crazy Cake (same thing)
                                                                                                                                                    Bisquick and Ritz Crackers were around during that time so any appetizer made with those would work as well.

                                                                                                                                                    What fun it was to go back and read these recipes.
                                                                                                                                                    Actually I see hope for some of them!

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                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                      I don't know. Most of the foods my mother prepared in the 50s-60s and what my first wife and I prepared in the 70s are still respectable and not weird today.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                        I actually have no complaints, in fact, the only off thing which today would probably be considered "daring and innovative" would be the beautiful crab cocktails (served in sauce like a shrimp cocktail) in a beautiful wine glass. Left for me and my brother after school to enjoy as a before dinner snack from our Dad. We were quite happy until I spent about a half an hour trying to figure out why there was a tiny fish bone in my cocktail. My Dad hugely disliked Trout, and he had caught some that day, deciding to not waste it, made an appetizer.
                                                                                                                                                        I swear it tasted just like crab.

                                                                                                                                                      2. okay...port wine cheese was mentioned...but when we got fancy we opened a can of smoked oysters.....and I, too, had to serve canapes to my parents guests

                                                                                                                                                        1. Best thread ever! I'm late for work, but I just HAD to finish reading this. I'm throwing a 1963 themed 50th birthday for my husband and this has been so very helpful. Thanks!