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Hwlp with late 1950's recipes

I have been ask to put together a dinner menu for a frinds mothers 75th birthday. She wants to do a late 1950's theme. Not bugers and fries more upscale. Can some of you suggest what people cooked back in those days. I want to do a couple of appetizers then a 3-4 course dinner. The meal will be buffet style and there will be about 50 guest.

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  1. I have a pillsbury flour cookbook from 1953 I'd be more than happy to send or post some recipes from. I don't have time this morning, but I'd be more than happy to post whatever recipes you might like from the book tonight. The recipes are:

    almond coconut twinkles, apricot thins, brazilian jubilee cookies, candy lasses, cherry malted cookies, chocolate almond bonbons, chocolate pixies, chocolate tips
    chocolate ties, fig chewies, golden nut drops, grandma's special tea cookies, greek sesame twists, lemon mardi gras squares, peanut brittle cookies, peanut butter apple cookies, pineapple brownies, pineapple masquerades, sesame circle cookies, snappy turtle cookies, sour cream walnutties, strawberry buttons, surprise zookies, swedish toscas, tea timers, wheat sweets,

    banana fruit cake, butterscotch dandy cake, caramel marble cake, caraway ring cake, choco-truffle layer cake, chocolate cloud cake, chocolate mocha sponge cake, citron jewel cake, cloud topped cakettes, french chocolate cake, frosty snow berry cake, hurry up spice cake, lemon wonder cake, malted coconut marble cake, merangue cradle cake, midnight mallow cake, parisian sophisticates, rasberry nut cake, sour cream walnut cake, sweet chocolate cake, toasty coconut orange cake,

    almond filling, butter frosting, butterscotch frosting, brown sugar chocolate frosting, broiled coconut frosting, caramel frosting, chocolate and vanilla filling, chocolate cream cheese frosting, chocolate frosting, chocolate fluff frosting, cinnamon glaze, cinnamon icing, fluffy maple frosting, fluffy marshmallow frosting, french frosting, lemon frosting, mocha filling, nutmeg frosting, orange coconut topping, orange icing, pineapple frosting, pink fluffy frosting, pink rasberry frosting, speedy caramel nut frosting, ruffle filling,

    dinner bell corn pie, down east crabmeat pie, liver and onion dinner, pork and corn bread bake, pork and tater pie, salmon cheese pie, waffle enchiladas,

    apple rollups, cornmeal fantans, doughboys, garlic cheese toast, hamwiches, hey gang snack buns, lucky apple coffee cake, old fasioned nut loaf, peanutbutter bread 'n rolls,

    cheese caraway nips, cheese nibblers, cheese nut loaf, cranberry crisscross coffee cake, crunchy caramel pecan loaf, merry mince brown bread, orange prune coffeee cake, orange upsidaisies, peppy apple cheese bread, pineapple bake ins,

    apple butter pumpkin pie, banana split pie, caramel candy pie, coconut crunch pie, fig nut foldovers, fruit in cream pie, golden nugget orange pie, hidden treasure tarts, marmalade mince pie, orange fluff pie, pea-co-nut pie, peanut scotch pie, rhubarb crumble pie, two crust slice o lemon pie,

    apple peanut spoon dessert, blushing beauty dumplings, delicate meringue tarts, fruit filled gingerbread, lemon dream dessert, magnolia manor dessert, penuche topped cake, rainbow cream whips, saucy sundae cakes, spun gold apricot dessert, strawberry puff ring, venetian cream filled layers.

    1. Hmmm....upscale late 50's for a buffet. I remember mom making Chicken Divan and Chicken a la King on toast points which could be made in quantities for a buffet. Even if not serving burgers, grilled ground sirloin with mushroom beef gravy used to appear on menues as Salisbury Steak. A large chaffing dish of shrimp Newburg with rice, the perennial green bean cassarole with crispy onions and potatoes au gratin were all staples of the Eisenhower years. As for salads, tomato aspic or plain old "hearts of lettuce" (iceberg, that is) with Russian dressing, bacon bits and croutons comes to mind.
      I'm blanking on desserts except for Neopolitan ice cream bricks and grasshopper pie.
      I hope this helps.

      CP (child of the 50's)

      1 Reply
      1. re: Chefpaulo

        Salisbury steak is more than just the ground beef, though. I'm having leftover salisbury steak for lunch right now, as we had it over the weekend. Chow has a fantastic recipe that we really enjoy, and it will hold well in the mushroom gravy on a buffet.

      2. This handy site gives you foods/recipes by the decade: http://foodtimeline.org/fooddecades.h...

        1. I have a Jane and Michale Stern book, "American Gourmet" which "chronicles the passion of America's midcentury gourmets." Here are a some of the recipes in the book:

          Cold Appetizers
          Clam Dip
          Brandied Blue Cheese Dip
          Deviled Eggs
          Chicken Liver Pate

          Hot Appetizers
          Coquilles Saint-Jacques
          Hot Crabmeat appetizer
          Oysters Rockefeller
          Rumaki

          Beef and Lamb
          Beef Stroganoff
          Beef Wellington
          Cassoulet
          Mussaka
          Ossobuco alla Milanese
          Pot-au-Feu
          Steak Diane
          Boeuf Bourguignonne
          Sukiyaki

          Chicken and Duck
          Coq au Vin Rouge
          Chicken Kiev
          Chicken Marengo
          Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
          Duck a l'Orange
          Julia Child's Poulet Roti
          Chicken Cordon Bleu

          Seafood
          Baked Stuffed Shrimp
          Lobster thermidor
          Paella

          Side Dishes
          Green Bean Bake a la Campbell's
          Ratatouille
          Rice Pilaf
          Potatoes Dauphinoise
          Potatoes Suzette (twice-baked potatoes)

          Desserts
          Babasd au Rhum
          Crepes Suzette
          Cherries Jubilee
          Flaming Baked Alaska
          Chocolate Mousse
          Pots de Creme
          Souffle au Grand Marnier
          Ultimate Famous Chocolate Wafer Roll: Nesselrode

          Drinks
          Martinis
          Sangria

          The 50's were a time of discovery for American home cooks, and it's interesting to note the proliferation of classic french dishes. If you want upscale I don't think that there's good food that will specifically evoke or recall the 50's: the good stuff then as now are classics. It's more the goofy things that people tried like spaceship salad or polynesian food a la Trader Vics that make you think "retro". Good luck!

          1. You might want to look at the original Joy of Cooking or an early Julia Child cook book for some ideas. You might be able to do small beef wellingtons, and scalloped potatoes, that can be very elegant. For dessert you could do a cherry jubalie type dessert or get one of the those chocolate fountains for a fondue effect.

            Good luck.

            1. Of all the dishes mentioned so far, I would say that beef stroganoff and/or chicken divan would be best suited for a buffet style dinner. You could even prepare these dishes a day ahead. I would serve the stroganoff with egg noodles and the chicken divan with rice pilaf. Just add a vegetable dish and parkerhouse rolls and you'll have a fine 50s dinner.

              Tomato aspic (previously suggested) and molded jello salads were also popular items in the 1950s.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Sam D.

                I think you are dead-on (although we always had stroganoff with wild rice or, if skimping, the Uncle Ben mixed rice). Charlotte russe was a big hit, too. I think coctail snacks should include the stuffed escargot shell..cream cheese with nuts....you know. Made blue cheese stuffed olives, certainly the green onions with the frizzled tips and the celery dish....or stuff the celery...that's very 1950's.

              2. This thread made me hungry for some comfort food: deviled eggs, iceberg/roquefort wedges, chicken a la king, salisbury steak, tomato aspic.

                1. I remember something known as City Chicken being all the rage at some point in the 50's. There are a number of recipes for the dish, but here's one that looks to me to be fairly typical of the recipes I remember.

                  http://recipes.robbiehaf.com/C/224.htm

                  The only flaw I see in the referenced recipe is that their ingredients lists either/or pork/veal, where my recipe includes both pork and veal placed alternately on the skewers and a few other ingredients that I prefer.

                  1 lb. pork, trimmed, in 1-inch cubes
                  1 lb. lean veal, in 1- inch cubes
                  1 egg, well beaten
                  1 1/2 cups freshly made bread crumbs (panko preferred
                  )Salt
                  Freshly ground pepper
                  5 tbsp. butter
                  7 tsp olive oil
                  1 cup chicken broth
                  1 tbsp cornstarch

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: todao

                    I'm a child of the 50s and city chicken was my favorite!

                    1. Thanks for all the great suggestions. am presenting a menu today. Once I get it put together I will post it. This party should be a lot of fun I got a lot of people involved with idea help and there are about 4 dishes that everyone kept coming up with. I will post the menu later today.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Analisas mom

                        So how was it? What did you have? I've got the same predicament for my Mom's 70th birthday, however I am looking for appetizer type foods. You know, things rolled up and speared with toothpicks.

                          1. re: weez

                            Rumaki, angels on horseback, italian sausages grilled then sliced and skewered with roasted red pepper squares, deviled eggs, skewered frankfurters cut into 1" pieces, little meatballs (maybe the classic cocktail chafing-dish meatball cooked in a sauce comprising chile sauce and grape jelly), crab puffs, cheese puffs. These are all classic 50's cocktail party fare.

                        1. I remember creamed chipped beef on toast, steamed lobster, chicken pot pies, LOTS of STRING BEANS & CAULIFLOWER HOPE THIS HELPS and of course apple pie

                          1. Tamale pie is SO Fifties! I have a cookbook from that era which lists seven different recipes for it.

                            Chicken 'n dumplings is also a mid century classic.

                            Waldorf salad and/or green goddess salad with shrimp provided an upscale touch to company dinners.

                            1. Mmmmm...chicken Kiev. I'm a child of the 70s, but my mom, a child of the 50s, used to make this dish and it was absolutely wonderful. I shall have to procure a recipe. I know hers had tarragon butter in it.

                              PS--I wonder if Fanny Farmer or the NY Times had editions that date from the Ike Age?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                Fanny Farmer has cookbooks that date from the Stone Age.

                              2. Crab Imperial...I have a cookbook from that era and it was one of the faves back then...