Tuesday, April 21, 2009
RETRO FANTASY DINNER PARTY
It's one of the Season's most desirable invites...
One simply can't wait for their invitation to arrive!
It's certainly not a Party that one just "shows up to"
That just adds to the excitement...
The Party Premise was a challenging one, though not exactly taxing...
First a visit to a Retro or Costume Store...
Perhaps an appointment made at the Hairdresser's/Manicurist
Now...once those tasks are accomplished..
There are just a few requirements concerning the Food...
First, each participant or couple must bring a RETRO DISH...
Your particular requested category is included in your invitation...
One may bring anything within the category requested as long as it is...
3. Pre-1970s if possible (known as "Retro")
4. Something that you personally have either made before, was on your family
table growing up, or a recipe that your Mother or Grandmother is infamous for.
5. Cholesterol/carbs/or calories must be tossed to the wind..
6. Lastly, recipes of your dish must be provided for all that attend.
The very best thing about this "FANTASY RETRO DINNER" is that nothing particularly
HAS to go together, so no pre-planned menu coordination necessary.
We DO hope that we will have some categorical variety though...Need starters, main dishes, vegetables, salads, desserts....That was essential..hence the
requested categories included in the invitations..
The Host/Hosts will provide the cocktails, drinks, and appetizers...
Also provided, will be the music....
Included will be recordings by Connie Francis, Frank Sinatra, Elvis, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Fats Domino, Donovan, Bobby Darin, and The Supremes,
and last but certainly not least, The Doors...
Those in attendance are requested to don "Retro Attire"...
There are quite the "Fashionitas" in attendance, clothed in relics from different
As we scan the room, we take in the "scene" consisting of "Bobby socks" and "Pedal Pushers", short cropped sweaters with "Poodle" skirts, men in their 50s'
"pleathered bomber or flan gab jackets"..
Why, it is the most impressive sight!
Some women choose to display lacquered and coiffed hairdos with glamorous velvet padded shoulder jackets and sparkling "diamond" brooches..Gotta love the 40s'...
Hey..look over there! A couple of "flower children" have arrived.
The lovely lady (hmmm, wonder who that could be?) is in a floor length paisley empire waisted "Granny Gown Dress", along with small yellow flowers woven in her hair. No one can ignore her striking/glaring, "in your face", white patent "go-go boots" wrapping her legs...
Her date's impressive brown suede "fringed" jacket with a large silver dangling peace sign roams about his polyester striped shirt.
One wonders how he can walk in his ultra groovy platform shoes.
Dancing and music is all around us, and champagne glasses toast the night away...
Images of years past gloriously glisten before our eyes....
The guests are sparkling in their costumes
A "strobe" light turns the room around and round
Is that couple in the corner actually "necking?"
Why this is a bit RETRO isn't it?
RETRO PARTIES ROCK!!!! C'MON...YOU'RE ALL INVITED! HOPE YOU'RE HUNGRY!
DRINKS: Sweetened Iced Tea, Sweet Milk (whole milk), Bottled Beer, and
Walt's Frozen Whiskey Sours
APPETIZERS: Doris's Hot Broccoli Dip with Corn Chips, Gran's Olive Cheese Nuggets,
Amy's Chinese Cheese Wafers, Small wedges of Julie's Quiche Lorraine.
SALADS: Cherry Coke Salad, Jay's Cucumber Salad, and Larry's Avocado Mousse
VEGETABLES: Stuffed Baked Tomatoes, May's Okra Patties, and Potato Casserole
MAINS: Mary's Meat Casserole, June's Beef Stroganoff, and Classic Cordon Bleu
BREAD: Nicole's Refrigerator Rolls
DESSERTS : Daniel's Divinity, Orange Pound Cake, Jeffrey's Bourbon Balls
APERITIF: Black Russians
No recipes for sweetened iced tea, sweet milk (whole milk), or bottled beer.
Walt's Whiskey Sours (Frozen), the "Yawin' and Pitchin' Variety" Serves 10-20
1 quart water, 5 lemon rinds, 1 cup sugar, 1 pint lemon juice 1 1/2 quart whiskey
Boil rinds in sugar and water 5 minutes. Cool. Remove rinds. Add remaining ingredients. Put in freezer overnight. This will not freeze solid. Serve as slush
in champagne glasses. Is very potent.
Doris's Hot Broccoli Dip: Serves 12
3 stalks celery chopped medium fine, 1/2 large onion, chopped, 1 small can mushroom
pieces, drained, 1 pkg. frozen chopped broccoli, 1 can cream of mushroom soup,
1 roll garlic cheese (if you cannot find, then mix some garlic powder with small box of velvetta cheese.)
Saute' celery, onion and mushroom pieces in small amount **"oleo" or butter. Cook broccoli as directed on pkg. and drain very well. Add mushroom soup undiluted.
Melt cheese in double boiler. Combine all in chafing dish or any dish with a warmer. Serve with the large sized Fritos. Can also double as a "party vegetable". Freezes well.
**"oleo" is another name for margarine
Amy's Chinese Cheese Wafers:
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated, 2 cups Rice Krispies, 2 sticks oleo, 2 cups
flour, 1/4 tsp, garlic powder, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/8 tsp. red pepper.
Mix all ingredients well. Roll in balls and press with fork. Place onto ungreased
cookie sheet. Cook in 350 degree oven 20 minutes or until light brown.
Gran's Olive Cheese Nuggets: Makes 2 to 2 1/2 dozen
1/4 lb. sharp cheese, 1/4 cups soft butter or oleo, 3/4 cup sifted flour, 1/8 tsp.
salt, 1/2 tsp. paprika, 24 to 30 large stuffed olives
Grate cheese, mix with butter or oleo. Mix salt and paprika with sifted flour.
With a mixer, add flour mixture to butter cheese mixture, adding flour in two
additions. Make dough into balls and shape around the olives. Bake at 400 degrees
for 12-15 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Julie's Quiche Lorraine:
Ingredients: One pie crust, 6 slices rather thick bacon, cooked and drained, 12
thin slices of Swiss or Gruyere cheese (about the same size as the bacon), 4 eggs,
1 tablespoon flour, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. salt, Cayenne pepper, 2 cups light
cream (half and half), 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter.
Line 9 inch pie plate with the pie crust. Cut bacon slices in half, cover the crust with overlapping layers of cheese and bacon. Beat together 4 eggs, 1 tablespoon flour, a generous grating of nutmeg, the salt, and a bit of cayenne. Add 2 cups of light cream, stir in 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter. Strain this custard over cheese and bacon. Bake in moderate oven at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes or
until custard is set and top is browned. (May have to cover the edges of the crust if they start to brown too much, with some strips of foil). Cut into small wedges for hors d'oeuvres or 6 pieces for a main course.
Cherry-Coke Salad: Serves 6-8
2 cans of cherries, (not maraschino), 1 large can crushed pineapple, 8 ounces
of Coca-Cola (not Diet), 1/2 cup chopped pecans, 1 pkg. cherry jello.
Heat cherries and cherry juice to boiling. Take off heat and add Jello and stir.
Add pineapple juice and crushed pineapple. Pour in Coca-Cola and nuts. When cool,
put in refrigerator to congeal.
Jay's Cucumber Salad: Serves 12
1/2 onion, 2 cucumbers, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar, 1 tsp.
chopped parsley, 1 clove garlic, crushed, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. sugar, 1/2 tsp.
coarse ground pepper.
Peel, grind, and drain well, the onions and cucumbers. Mix with the rest of ingredients. Let ripen at least 6 hours. Serve with tossed mixed greens. (alternately, grate onions and cucumbers and drain well.)
Larry's Avocado Mousse:
1 tablespoon gelatin dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water, 1 pkg. Lemon Jello,
2 cups hot water, 1 cup mashed ripe avocado, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 2 cups of
grapefruit cut into small pieces, 1 tablespoon grated onion juice, dash of salt.
Dissolve gelatin mixture and lemon jello in the hot water. When partially
congealed then stir in remaining ingredients. Rinse mold in cold water, pour
mixture in, and let it set in fridge until congealed. When ready, dip mold
quickly in warm water and turn out on crisp salad leaves. (Sometimes it is not
a bad idea to either lightly spray your mold with Pam, or lightly coat with a
little Mayo before filling it..Careful when dipping not to get the salad wet!)
Stuffed Baked Tomatoes: Serves 6
6 medium tomatoes, 3 tablespoons chopped onions, 1/4 cup chopped
celery, 2 tablespoons bacon or chicken fat, 1 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, 1/2
tsp. basil, 1 pkg. frozen baby Lima beans, 1/2 cup fine bread crumbs.
Remove pulp from tomatoes, but save the pulp. Do discard the juice and the seeds.
Cook onions and celery in fat until tender. Add cooked limas, tomato pulp, bread
crumbs, and seasonings. Bake in greased muffin pans at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Can stuff succotash inside tomatoes for variation (Lima beans and corn)
May's Okra Patties: Makes about 12 patties
1 pkg. chopped okra, 1 finely chopped onion, salt and pepper to taste, cornmeal.
Boil okra as directed on pkg. Drain, add onions and enough meal to make it stick together. Spoon in skillet with just enough oil to fry. Fry like salmon croquettes.
Potato Casserole: Serves 8-10
6 large potatoes, 2 cups sour cream, 1 cup milk, 2 cups grated cheese, 1 stick
butter, 2/3 cup onions, tops and all.
Boil potatoes in jackets. Chill until cold. Shred on grater. Melt butter in double boiler. Add cheese, small amount at a time. Mix together sour cream and milk. Add to cheese mixture. Add onions. Stir all together. Add to shredded potatoes. put in casserole and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Save a small amount of cheese to sprinkle on top the last 5 minutes of baking.
Mary's Meat Casserole:
One 5 oz. pkg. of egg noodles, 1 cup sour cream, 1 cups cottage cheese, 1 lb.
ground beef, 1 can tomato paste, 1 small chopped onion, salt and pepper to taste,
garlic salt to taste, dash of Accent! for flavor. Small amount hoop cheese for
top (hoop cheese is a mild cheddar/longhorn cheese.)
Cook egg noodles until done in salted water then drain. Add sour cream and cottage cheese. Cook beef in skillet with small amount of Wesson oil with onion until slightly brown. Add small can of tomato paste. Alternate layers in casserole dish, starting with noodles mixture and ending with the meat. Cook covered in 325 degree
oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Sprinkle grated hoop cheese over top and let melt.
June's Beef Stroganoff: Serves 4-6
Ingredients and Method together:
Select 3 lbs. of round steak (1/2 inch thick.) Remove skin and fat.*Tenderize with
a mallet and cut into 2 inch long strips, cutting ACROSS the grain. Heat in large
frying pan, 1/4 cup butter. Brown meat. Add one large onions (thinly sliced.)
Cook several minutes. Sprinkle 1/2 cups sifted flour over the top. Stir until
flour is well blended, (at least one full minutes to get rid of "flour taste"),
then add one can beef consomme, undiluted, and one tomato soup, undiluted.
Continue to cook, stirring until sauce is thickened. Add 1-3 oz. can mushrooms and
1 1/2 tsp. Accent! and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook over low heat one to
1 1/2 hours or until meat is tender. Just before serving, add 1/2 cup thick sour cream. (Best to add a little stroganoff sauce to your sour cream and stir, then
add the sour cream mixture to the skillet, to avoid "curdling")
Can sprinkle a little parsley on top, if desired. Serve over rice or noodles.
* I ALWAYS ask my butcher to tenderize the meat when I buy it...He probably hates
to see me coming...
Classic Cordon Bleu: Serves 5
10 veal cutlets, 5 slices of boiled ham, 5 slices of American cheese,
1 egg, 2 tablespoons water, 2 tablespoons flour, 1/2 cup cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup
Wesson oil, salt and pepper, and horseradish mustard for side dipping.
Place 1 slice ham and 1 slice cheese in between two veal cutlets. Press edges on
all sides to enclose ham and cheese completely. Season cutlets with salt and
pepper, dip in flour, then in beaten egg mixed with 2 tablespoons of water, and
then in cracker crumbs. Place immediately in skillet with hot oil and cook until golden brown at medium heat. Serve with horseradish mustard.
Nicole's Refrigerator Rolls
1 cup whole milk, 2 sticks butter, 1 cup sugar, 4 tsp. salt, 4 eggs (well-beaten),
2 pkgs. yeast, 1/2 cup lukewarm water, 6 cups flour.
Scald milk. Add butter, sugar, and salt and stir until dissolved. Pour into a
large bowl and cool. Add eggs and yeast (pre-dissolved in water). Mix flour,
(3 cups at a time) into mixture. Let rise in warm place until it doubles in bulk
(I always place a warm pan of water on the lower shelf of oven, and the dough
is placed on the top shelf). Punch down and refrigerate overnight. Roll on a
floured board. Cut with a biscuit cutter. Brush with melted butter, fold over,
and top with MORE BUTTER. (shameful! yum!)Let it rise again. Bake at 375 degrees
Mix 2 pkgs. of yeast in 1 cup of warm water for 5 minutes. Combine one cup of
boiling water, 2/3 cups sugar, 1 cup solid Crisco, and 1 1/2 tsp. salt. When cool, add 2 whole eggs (in your mixer if desired). Add yeast mixture and then 6 cups of
UNSIFTED flour and blend. Refrigerate for 24 hours or longer. Put on lightly
floured board and knead well. Roll out, cut in shapes and let rise until doubled
in size. Bake at 375 degrees until browned.
Daniel's Never Fail Divinity: (though I recommend that you skip this on a rainy
Ingredients and Method together:
FIRST COOKING: Cook 3 cups of sugar, 1 cup clear Karo syrup, and 2/3 cup of water
until it spins like a thread. While this is cooking, beat 3 egg whites in a mixer
until they are stiff. Pour this first cooking into the stiff egg whites slowly. While you are pouring first cooking into egg whites, start your SECOND COOKING of
1 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water until it forms a hard ball. Add this to the first mixture until almost stiff. Add 1 tsp. of vanilla and 1 cup of chopped pecans. Drop on wax paper or foil, using two teaspoons. ( I think that I would use a candy thermometer for this recipe! There is NOTHING better than wonderful freshly made
Divinity...Tastes like a sweet cloud! Note to self..."taste like a sweet cloud"
could certainly be utilized in poem not written yet..Like that phrase...)
Orange Pound Cake:
Cake: 1 box of Yellow cake mix (without pudding), 4 eggs, 2/3 cups Wesson Oil,
1 pkg. of orange jello, 3/4 cup orange juice (from frozen orange juice)
Sauce: 2/3 cup of orange juice and 3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
Bake in a greased and floured tube pan at 325 degrees for 45 minutes. Let cool a
bit and turn out on a rack and while cooling more make the sauce. Cook juice and powdered sugar until dissolved and bubbling 3 to 5 minutes. while it is hot spoon
it over the cake.
Jeffrey's Bourbon Balls:
2 1/2 cups crushed vanilla wafers, 1 cup pecans, 1 cup sifted powdered
sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa, 3 tablespoons clear Karo syrup, and 1/4 cup Bourbon.
Grind vanilla wafers and pecans in food chopper (today it would be the wonderful
food processor), then mix it with the cocoa and sugar. Stir Karo into the Bourbon, and then pour it over the dry ingredients. Mix until all is moistened and shape
them into small balls. Roll them in additional sifted powdered sugar.
Mix equal parts of GOOD Vodka (i.e. Grey Goose, Chopin, Belvedere, etc) with
Suffice it to say that a SPLENDID TIME WAS HAD BY ALL!
Well, let's summarize..what have we experienced/learned here?
1. Parties are a lot of fun when they are "themed" and part of the fun has to
do with the guests being a part of the "making and planning" as well...
2. Children are not the only ones that like to play "dress up" (transvestites
like to as well...) OH, NICOLE...THAT IS SO VERY, VERY TACKY!
3. Clothes today can be a bit boring comparatively
4. People of that era, did not know what cholesterol was, but even so, there
was obviously a more laid back approach to calories, fats, and carbs..
i.e. Amount of cheese, butter, cream, etc in these popular dishes...
5. Wesson oil was either the only oil around or people had a serious lack of
imagination when it came to the type of oil utilized in recipes!
6. I miss the "Granny Gown Dress", as a whole lot of caloric mistakes could be
hidden under them...Not that anyone really needed to do that at that age...
7. Love the music...What a great combination of talents represented at this bash!
8. People should give more parties!!!
Hope you enjoy this Retro Fantasy Dinner Party...
I look forward to the kinds of parties that you will throw!