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Odd request....ISO 70's game show foods....

My place of employment is holding an "employee recognition event" (the official term...), and I'm in charge of food. The theme of the event is gameshows. We're going to put on a few gameshows (family feud, minute to win it, price is right, match game), and have some other electronic versions (computer based) for groups of folks to play.

We're going to ask folks to volunteer to bring in dishes, so we'll have several mains, sides, salads, etc. But in addition, I'm hoping to come up (buy, make, whatever) some dishes or items associated with game shows. I think many of these game shows were at their height of cheesy popularity in the 70's. But I'm having a hard time coming up with foods that folks would automatically associate with the 70's, and that would be easy to make/hold for a mid day event.

Before tons of people say "casseroles", I'm dialing in from Minnesota, the land of 10,000 casseroles, so there will already be plenty represented, and folks won't associate them with the 70's. Green bean casserole is a very here and now dish in Minnesota (for the record, I'm a transplant).

I was thinking about TV dinners? Like buying a bunch of Swanson TV dinners? Anything else? Thanks!

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  1. Whoopie pies for the Newlywed Game.

    1. Speaking of 'cheesy' , Fondue was quite the rage.

          1. re: Hanky

            Wonderful, gut-wrenching site. I was gonna suggest Jiffy Pop (which they have listed) because it was a staple AND it has the advantage of still being in aluminum foil, unlike Swanson's Frozen TV Dinners. I was thinking about the whole water chestnuts soaking in soysauce with whatever (ginger, garlic), then wrapped in bacon and skewered and broiled.

          2. Perhaps think gelatin molds? It seemed to me that a lot of the game shows in the 70s did have a little bit of "raciness" involved (think the celeb responses in Match Game...Charles Nelson Reilly could do cackling PG-raciness with the best of them, oddly), and the wiggle-jiggle of the gelatin mold might echo the giggle-at-the-jiggle that seemed to permeate seventies TV. Could you do a mold of a "Price is Right," um... 'spokesmodel,' for example?

            Caveat: I will often think of gelling odd things, but that's just me; and, I'm in MN too, so the gelatin mold, like the casserole, might not have completely died out here either. On the plus side, if you're at all handy with garnishes and decorating of a mold, you could have some fun. It's an interesting medium!

            (See my avatar, which is a tom kha gai and garnishes, molded.)

            Sounds like a very entertaining theme!


            1. Something made with Cool-Whip -- a yogurt pie or a Bisquick short cake

              Jell-o pudding cake

              Not gameshow food, but 70s food -- crepes and beef stroganoff.

              1. Rice A Roni the San Francisco treat was popular on Let's Make A Deal.

                Some kind of brownies (maybe rocky road) or bars for "Hollywood Squares." Or cookies shaped like Xs and Os.

                Something pyramid shaped for the 10,000 Pyramid. And I have no idea what that would be except maybe a cake.

                Something with tuna for Name That Tuna... ok my bad

                And you could draw happy faces on some small paper bags, open them up and place them over a small bowl of something making it "the unknown dish" a la the unknown comic on The Gong Show. One idea for that dish would be something with ham and cheese, two very Gong Show-like ingredients.

                1. I have a vague recollection of Sue Bee honey, which I think you were encouraged to use to make popcorn balls, being featured frequently on The Price is Right. I've never had a popcorn ball, but it sounds like it would be pretty good.

                  1. Love love love The Price is Right and was a contestant before the beloved Bob Barker retired, I say that some Lil' Smokies wrapped in can biscuits and served with a side of bbq and dijon mustard is a must...are they called 'pigs in a blanket'?
                    Fondue is a good one along with maybe a bread bowl filled with some bad onion dip.
                    You can get some wine coolers and Hamm's beer and you can have the guys wear some Jade East and the chickas can spray some Aqua Net and make some Chex mix..
                    Have fun!

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Beach Chick

                      <are they called 'pigs in a blanket'?>

                      I have a friend who calls them "teeny weenies," which I think is hysterical. I have the sense of humor of a third grader.

                      1. re: small h

                        love that!
                        I have the same sophomoric humor and I'm still in second grade..proud of it too!

                      2. re: Beach Chick

                        Beach Chick is onto something with TPIR...wasn't there a grocery shopping game on "The Price is Right"? Maybe a not-so-onerous game for coworkers to play? Guessing closest to the "retail price" of various food items, which then go to the *winner?* Not technically about food, but....

                        1. http://foodtimeline.org/fooddecades.h...

                          Check the above link for a rundown of typical foods and meals of that decade, plus a calendar of new product introductions.

                          Something cut into matchstick lengths (or canned potato sticks) for the Match Game?

                          1. Don't know how it fits in misc foods that I recall: Coquille St Jacques, onion dip, trout amandine, chicken a la king, taco salad, shrimp cocktail, Sanka (coffee) & saccharin sweetener.

                            1. Too bad you're not looking for casseroles; I just scored a Southern Living casserole cookbook from 1975 that has a dish named "Artichokes and chicken for the seventies." Not sure what's so 70s about it; could it be the water chestnuts? White wine? Or the artichokes themselves? I wasn't conscious enough in the 70s to remember the food. Though pigs in a blanket, fondue, and Jello do seem pretty 70s to me. And I like the X's and O's for Hollywood Squares.

                              1. Thanks all for the great suggestions, keep em coming.

                                What's been especially funny to read is how many suggestions for "70's food" are actually still part of the typical Minnesota party food:

                                Jell-o molds
                                Salad made with cool whip
                                Pigs in a blanket (though here in MN they're usually served with a god-awful bbq sauce made with grape jelly)
                                Beef Stroganoff (though not to be confused with any version that could remotely be called "authentic" - often times is uses Campbell's Cream of Mushroom)
                                Chex mix
                                Onion dip (really, anything excuse to use sour cream. There are sometimes more sour cream options in the supermarket than yogurt options...)
                                Taco salad - it rules here. I know someone that only makes taco salad whenever she has a dish to bring (with one exception - she makes an awesome torta rustica).

                                Many of the suggestions confirm my thoughts - foodwise, MN is stuck int he 70's when it comes to party and comfort food.

                                Please keep the great ideas coming. I'm looking into Swanson TV dinners. Love the Jiffy Pop. A crock pot full of Rice a Roni, plus some boxes for giveaways is awesome, as is X and O brownies.