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    Let’s Cook, 1950s Style

    Spring has sprung, and with it comes the overwhelming urge to gather your friends and family for a dinner party of epic proportions - outside, of course. Forego the tried-and-true tropes that generally define an outdoor dinner and kick it up a notch with a 1950's-themed party. Whether you decide to cook everything yourself or organize a potluck, there are a number of interesting recipes you can use to transport you and your guests back to the decade of Spam (you don't have to use Spam, we promise - unless you really want to). 

    Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

    One of the most popular ingredients in the 50s was pineapple. Having a dessert that was topped with glazed pineapple was basically the pinnacle of classy. The Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, in particular, was quite the crowd-pleaser. Give it a whirl with this version of the sweet treat from The History Kitchen:


    ¼ pound butter
    1 medium can pineapple
    1 cup brown sugar

    Melt butter slightly in heavy frying pan. Spread over this the brown sugar and then lay on pineapple.


    3 eggs
    1 cup flour
    1 cup sugar
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    5 tablespoons pineapple juice

    Beat egg yolks, add sugar, pineapple juice, flour sifted with baking powder. Fold in beaten egg whites. Pour over first mixture and bake in moderate oven. When done place cake plate on top of pan and reverse. Serve with whipped cream. (Pan should be eleven inches in diameter — and three inches deep).

    Ham Loaf with Pickle Stuffing

    This next dish seems a little odd, but trust me on this one. This is pure 1950's and, yes, it includes Spam. If you're going for an authentic 50s style dinner, you should bust out this bad boy. May I present to you the Heavenly Ham Loaf with Pickle Stuffing:

    Meat Layer

    2 12-oz. cans luncheon meat (code for Spam)
    1 1/2 cups fine dry bread crumbs
    1/4 tsp. black pepper
    1/4 tsp. powdered thyme
    1/2 cup finely chopped onion
    2 eggs
    2 cups evaporated milk

    Pickle Stuffing

    2 tsp. prepared mustard
    1/2 cup evaporated milk
    1 cup fine fry bread crumbs
    1 3/4 cups sweet pickle relish

    In mixing bowl, shred luncheon meat into bits by running tines of fork over meat. (Or put through food chopper using medium blade). Add the 1 1/2 cups crumbs, seasonings and onion. Mix thoroughly. Beat eggs slightly with a fork, then add 2 cups evaporated milk. Add egg-milk mixture to meat mixture. Mix thoroughly. Pack half the meat mixture into well-greased loaf pan (10 1/4 x 5 1/4 x 3 inches). For the pickle layer, stir mustard into 1/2 cup evaporated milk. Add 1 cup crumbs and pickle relish and blend. Spread pickle stuffing evenly and firmly on meat layer. Pack remaining half of meat mixture over pickle layer. Bake in moderate oven (375˚F) 1 hour and 15 minutes. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

    Peas Juliette

    If you can't bear the thought of consuming Spam, another popular ingredient from the 50's was canned vegetables. Serve this unique main course to your guests - Peas Juliette:

    1 1-lb. can Del Monte Brand Early Garden Peas
    1/3 cup chopped onion
    3 tbsp. butter or margarine
    1 tbsp. cornstarch
    1/4 cup chopped pimiento
    3 cups hot cooked rice
    1 6 1/2-oz. can chunk style tuna, drained and flaked
    1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
    salt and pepper

    Drain peas, reserving liquid. Saute onion in butter or margarine till tender. Add cornstarch dissolved in liquid from peas. Cook, stirring constantly, till thickened. Add peas and pimiento; heat. Combine hot rice, tuna and cheese. Season to taste. Pack into 1-qt. ring or other simple mold; turn out on hot serving dish. Serve with hot peas mixture, as shown.

    While you get ready to head to the supermarket, here are a few other popular dishes from the 1950's. How many of these would you want to try?

    Melon ball cocktail
    Seafood cocktail

    Canapes: Deviled ham, savory mushroom, hot cheese puffs

    Sardine and bacon rolls
    Marinated mushrooms
    Cheese balls

    Deviled eggs

    Chilled canned tomatoes
    Lettuce or mixed salad with sour cream

    Vegetables in sour cream
    Potato salad (both hot and cold)

    Grilled kabobs
    Scalloped chicken supreme

    Spaghetti with meat sauce
    Turkey or chicken casserole with vegetables
    Chicken pot pie
    Hamburger-olive loaf

    Baked beans

    Ice cream with cherries

    Angel Food Cake

    Throwing a 50s dinner party is not just about the food - you've got to ensure you look the part, too. Shabby Apple's aprons will give you the right dash of retro style combined with function (you need to wipe off your Spam covered hands sometime). Try the full coverage Carrot Cake Apron or the half-style Blueberry Pie Apron. Either way, you will not only act like the hostess with the mostest, but you'll look the part, too.

    Photo Credits:

    50s Groceries: Etsy (

    Pineapple Upside-Down Cake: The History Kitchen (

    Ham Loaf: Hey, My Mom Used to Make That! (

    Peas Juliette: Hey, My Mom Used to Make That! (

    1950s Supermarket: (

    - See more at:

    Jasmin Bollman

    How-to: Throwing a 1950s Inspired Dinner Party

    The 1950s was a time of flourishing styles, lively music, and positive energy. Women wore full skirts, men carried briefcases, and at the end of every day people in suburbs everywhere gathered around the table for a home cooked meal. Although we might not spend as much time around the table these days, hosting a [...]

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