Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Heres a 1950s article(adaptation) on "cocktail snacks" . I find it amazing how these tips seem to be timeless and still useful 50 years forward.
Having a crowd in for drinks (or football viewing) Not a splendid affair with a hired butler handing around hot hors d' oeuvres, just a friendly party that should not give a headache to the hostess...or the guests either. 
You want to keep the food simple. Not quite so primitive as peanuts, olives and potatoe chips, with or without the onion soup mix sour cream dip that graces too many cocktail parties these days. But Simplicity must be the keynote.  Even for those people who really enjoy going to a good deal of trouble  it should be recognized that the proper occasion to make a "fuss" over is..THE DINNER PARTY ( which is another entirely different subject).  For the casual gathering she/he has to forgo the rolled and stuffed extravaganzas. With less frenzy beforehand, you (the host) will have more fun and so will the guests.
Pleasing both before and after dinner. Just remember to take it out of the refrigerator  a couple hours ahead of the party. Make the platter interesting...a blue cheese, a soft strong cheese like Camemebert, a mild cream cheese like a Boursin with or without herbs, and a cheddar or a Monterey Jack. You can cut Swiss Cheese into cubes and spear them if you want the additional trouble, but it really isn't necessary. It tastes just as good any way you nibble it.
Next to the cheese add some shiny red apples for looks and for taste. Provide a knife for each cheese. Set out an assortment of crackers, water biscuits and bread and butter. 
(hey how about my last post that would be the perfect cheese and fruit!!)
well-chilled winter vegetables are colorful, crunchy and delicious. Try cauliflower, sliced fennel, carrot and celery, cherry tomatoes green pepper rings and radishes. Stuff the celery sticks with roquefort and make roses out of the radishes... but you needn't bother, things are better "au natural". 
You could serve with "bagna cauda" (hot bath)only if serving wine instead of cocktails.
in a small saucepan heat together 1/2 cup olive oil, 6-8 cloves of garlic peeled and sliced(or pressed in garlic press) let steep for 15 minutes
stir it occasionally, without letting it come to a boil Add a 2 ounce can of anchovy fillets. Stir and blend anchovies over low heat to prevent burning until dissolved. Serve in a chafing dish to keep warm.This sauce is unusual and tricky to serve, but tastes good with wine. (cocktails do not suit its robust flavor)
the article  recommends hummus and guacamole, but be creative there are so many to choose from.
Natural foods are very fashionable these days. So why not take a taste trip at your next party (hmm maybe this article was written in the 60s) Fill a wooden bowl with sunflower and pumpkin seeds, some raw nuts and dried fruit.
Small Maine Shrimp are excellant party fare and they take exactly one minute to cook in boiling water. The frozen ones come in various ways, but for party purposes peeled cooked and individually quick frozen ones are best.
and at least one.....
 WARM DISH, again the article recommends those little weiners with a toothpick, but Im sure you all can come up with something a little better than that! Have fun


Elisabeth said...

So nice of you to stop by my blog again, to comment, BTW...petite chef duchess is my sweet granddaughter, and cake duchess is my daughter, so we are now 3 generations of bloggers.
My granddaugher wanted to make sure that she's following you back, so I helped her out.

Great post re: the party true that not much has changed over the 50 years span.

I love bagna cauda, and your simple recipe for it, is basically the way I make it. This is such a great appetizer, especially when you're stuck at the last minute to make something, as with shrimp, which is always a welcome!

Petite Chef Duchess said...

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