I love retro cookbooks! I found these two books in a kickass thrift store called Class ‘n’ Trash in Salinas, CA for only $1 each. Some of the recipes in them are a bit funky, but I love the photos and trying some of the odd meals. These are circa 1963 and came in quite handy for my ’60s cocktail party I told you about a few days ago.
For the cocktail party, my boyfriend made a Western Chili Casserole from the Better Homes and Gardens Lunches and Brunches book, and I got the idea for my Pineapple Upside Down Cake from the Better Homes and Gardens So-Good Meals one. I ended up using my grandma’s recipe because it sounded better than the cake mix-based recipe in the So-Good Meals book, but the idea is the same.
Just look at this spread!
One thing I realized was that jello was THE THING in the 1960s. Everything had jello in it from desserts like the Bing Cherry Mold (pictured below) to more savory dishes like the Tune Ring pictured in the center of the image above (yuck!).
Don’t forget to get the kids involved in the kitchen!
This also must have been when the whole eating healthy movement started, because one of the books even has a low-calorie cooking section.
Even if I didn’t use these books for cooking, I’d still love them because they are perfect little snapshots of times past.
Do you love vintage cookbooks as much as I do? Where do you find them? Have you inherited any from family?
Skeetie Salad is a fruit salad that’s been in my family for years. My family renamed it Skeetie Salad after my uncle Scott, because as a child he loved to make and eat it so much. (Skeetie was his childhood nickname).
I made this recently for a ’60s themed cocktail party, along with a Pineapple Upside Down Cake. It is not hard to make and only uses a few ingredients (although others could be added)
Skeetie Salad a.k.a. Fruit Salad
- 28 oz. canned pineapple tidbits (I used one 20 oz and one 8 oz can)
- handful of maraschino cherries
- 2 - 11 oz. cans of mandarin oranges
- 6 bananas
- half of a 10.5 oz. bag of mini marshmallows (about 2-3 cups)
- Approx. 1/3 cup mayonnaise (to taste)
- Strain the pineapple and mandarin orange juice into a bowl. Drain as much liquid off of the fruit as you can and put into a large separate bowl.
- Dump mini marshmallows into the juice and allow to soak while you prepare the rest of the salad.
- In the bowl with the pineapple and oranges, add cherries and sliced bananas.
- After marshmallows have soaked up some of the juices, strain the juice and discard, and put the marshmallows in with the fruit.
- Add the mayonnaise and mix it all together.
This salad often tastes even better the next day, although slightly mushier. The mayo measurement is approximate because we never really measured it before.
I went to a ’60s themed cocktail party last week and wanted to bring something of the era as a treat, so I scoured my mom’s recipe box and found my grandma’s recipe for a Pineapple Upside Down Cake that seemed perfect. I love how it turned out.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
For the topping:
- Large can of sliced pineapple (save the juice)
- Maraschino cherries
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
For the cake:
- 2 eggs (separate the yolk from the whites and put both aside)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup boiling pineapple juice
- 3/4 cup cake flour (I used all-purpose flour and it worked just fine)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- Preheat oven to 325*F.
- In a small pan over medium heat, melt the butter and brown sugar until completely mixed together and caramelized. Don't let it burn.
- Pour into an 8" cake pan, making sure to coat the whole bottom.
- Arrange pineapple slices in the bottom of the cake pan on top of the caramel mixture. I put one in the middle and six around it.
- Place halved cherries inside and in between the pineapple slices.
- Beat egg yolks until very thick.
- Gradually add sugar to yolks and continue beating.
- Boil pineapple juice in a small sauce pan and add to egg/sugar mixture. Combine well.
- Then add the dry ingredients slowly to the wet mixture; mix until smooth.
- Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the batter.
- Bake for 50 minutes, checking it every so often.***
- It should be done once a toothpick comes out clean or almost clean.
***Notes on baking time
The recipe I used somehow forgot to put how long to cook the cake on it. At 325*F, mine took 50-55 minutes to completely cook. Since it was taking so long, I ended up changing the temperature to 350*F for the last few minutes. My experience may be different from yours, so check on the cake occasionally to make sure you don't over bake it.
Here’s some other great photos from the cocktail party:
Fruit Salad http://wp.me/p2cIDm-AN
The food spread
Wearing my best ’60s outfit.
Crazy ’60s inspired veggie and cheese skewers