Peach Dump Cake for dessert.
I have a reworked retro 50/60's dessert book that features this and I make it several times a summer. Good warm, but can be served room temp and even over ice cream. IIRC, it's a Betty Crocker side-of-the-cake-box or BC cookbook recipe from the late 50's or early 60's.
If your pryrex baking dish is not cleaned out by hungry friends in record time, i 'd be amazed.
It happens every time with mine.
5 ingredients. No muss no fuss no stirring. Open packages and dump. Add butter and fling in the oven. Done.
Wow, thank you for all the responses. That Cornell Chicken sounds awesome and I love the idea of the Santa Maria BBQ but it might be out of my access range. I loved the drink and app suggestions, too. Lots of reading and links to check out! Thanks again! :) I will update with my menu choices. It is for mid July so a bit of time but not tons. :)
How about some actual 1950's BBQ recipes?
Barbecue Dishes for the Picnic - July 8, 1951
Spicy Barbecue - Mar 8, 1953
Barbecue Delights - Aug 24, 1957
Barbecued Meat Balls Are Delicious Appetizers - Jun 12, 1958
Chicken Barbecue Secrets Given - page 1 - Jun 17, 1958
Chicken Barbecue Secrets Given - page 2 - Jun 17, 1958
Marinade Sauce Spices Barbecue Food - Jun 26, 1958
Homemade Relishes Give Flavor to Barbecues - Jul 11, 1958
More 50's BBQ menus and recipes
Hawaiian Barbecue - Jun 25, 1959
Meals in package (foil) are good for a cookout on Fourth - Jun 30, 1955
Warm Weather means cooking outdoors - May 20, 1956
Grill Can Be a Labor Saver - Aug 21, 1958
Keep It Simple, Cookout Rule - Jul 18, 1957
Salute Two New States With Party Dinner Menu - Jul 31, 1959
Cookout for Labor Day Weekend - Aut 28, 1958
Entire Menu for Cookout can be stored in freezer - Jul 1, 1955
Family Weekly - Summer Drinks - Jul 12, 1959
Family Weekly - Grilled Meat Favorites - May 15, 1960
I think your proteins are right on the money. If you play around with marinades and sauces, you can have some fun presenting the two meats two ways each; classic '50's style and something updated, like classic bbq sauce vs. a salsa baste or chimichurri for the chicken, and something likewise for the steaks. Otherwise, you could keep it super-classic to that era and serve chips w/ California dip and guacamole, deviled eggs and vegetable tray with black olives to start, with sides like potato salad, slaw, beans, rolls and butter etcetera. You might investigate the menu and methods for Santa Maria Barbeque, as a riff for the steak, also - absolutely delicious and the smallest bit out of the ordinary. And think maybe a teriyaki or ponzu marinade for the chicken as well, with a rice or noodle salad with veg. and almonds, and cold spinach tossed with sesame oil, rice vinegar and toasted sesame seeds. Enjoy your party; sounds like fun. Don't forget a really cool retro apron. It would be a fun theme party.
Unless OP happens to have or can get seasoned red oak wood, it ain't no Santa Maria BBQ.
Drinks could be like these : Champagne Punch, Negronis, Sidecars, Pimms Cup, Sazarac, Grasshopper, Singapore Slings, Moscow Mules
Apps can be: a ham mousse ring, of course, the deviled eggs are classic and rumaki and a jello mold or two
Mains can be: tuna casserole, or the tuna ring, made w Bisquick, Veg All Pie Plate salad, original green bean casserole, meatloaf, salisbury steaks, or chicken chow mein, the OLD style with everything from a can.
I'm sure you'll have fun finding dessert recipes. Sorry, the 50s are a tad before my time, so these links might help. Have fun, what a great idea!
http://www.gourmet.com/recipes/1950s/1951/12/peacock (go to bottom of page for 19502 link
Did they just want to BBQ the food?? Some people use the term "BBQ" to mean a "cook out" or any other outdoor get-together. Guess I didn't get that out of the post. Sorry, if that's the case, never mind (as RosanneRosanaDanna used to say!)
I just did a google search and found some cool recipes that I recognized, that's all I posted.
PS - you can bbq meatloaf, fyi
There is actually a Retro BBQ cookbook - http://www.amazon.com/Retro-Barbecue-...
The used copies are under $5 and if you've got the time to do the order and wait for the book, it might be worth your while. If not, try your local library or bookstore to see if you can get a copy. I have the Retro Pie cookbook and it's very, very good. I've made a number of the pies in it and none have been a dud.
The first thing that comes to mind is Cornell chicken. The pdf found at the following link not only has the recipe, but also has instructions on how to build your 1950's "fireplace" out of cinder blocks.
Here's a video too.