This year at Thanksgiving, I uncovered an entertaining book from 1969 and the recipes — and the cocktails — enamored me. So many of these “vintage” favorites aren’t being made anymore so it only seemed appropriate that we host a party and try out some of these recipes amidst our vintage Christmas decorations.
Creating a theme to build a holiday party around adds so much to the excitement. When creativity is given limits, it seems to abound. When I started to tackle a 1969 Christmas I had more fun than I’ve ever had dragging out the same old thing year after year. And when my friends found out we were celebrating around recipes that our parents would have made at our age, they were enamored, too!
Setting up for our party was easy. Mostly because when you already have a bright-green floor, it doesn’t take much to create a whimsical setting. Adding a faux white tree and piles of vintage ornaments created a setting that is casual and fun — as well as festive and bright.
I always feel that glitter makes everything better. In this case, glitter turned an old thrift store Santa into a glistening centerpiece that anyone could make. I simply coated an old figurine with white glue using a brush and sprinkled on glitter. The excess glitter will fall right off.
Vintage recipes don’t have to come from a cookbook. Dig through family archives, recipe boxes, and look at old pictures to see what your family may have served at the holidays. The more personal the recipes, the more fun you’ll have, and the better the story. I always love a good story. Almost as much as I love glitter.
- Cheese Fondue
- Teeny Weenies
- Noel Fruit Bars
- Toffee Bars
- Coconut Macaroons
- Apple Cider
- Champagne Punch
- 1 pound cocktail weenies
- 2 cups grape jelly
- 2 cups yellow mustard
- In a large sauce pot, gently heat jelly and mustard together. When mixture is thoroughly warmed add the weenies.
- Cover and cook on low until weenies are warmed all the way through. Remove from saucepot and keep warm in a chaffing dish.
- ½ pound Emmental
- ½ pound Comte
- ½ pound Gruyere
- 1 cup white wine + 2 tablespoons
- 1 tablespoon flour
- Cut each cheese into a small dice or shred and set aside. Pour one cup of the wine into a small pot and heat until not quite boiling (this can be done in the fondue pot). When warmed, add cheese and stir with a wooden spoon. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and remaining wine. Carefully whisk flour mixture into melted cheese. Keep warm, but not hot.
- Serve with sliced bread.
Noel Fruit Bars
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup sifted confectioners sugar
- ¼ cup melted butter
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ¾ cup flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon
- baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup candied
- cherries, chopped + ½ cup unchopped
- ½ cup candied citron, chopped
- 1 cup dates, chopped
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Blend together flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl — set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine eggs, sugar, butter and vanilla. Slowly add flour to stand mixer, mixing until just combined. With a wooden spoon, mix in fruits and nuts. Spread batter into a greased 9×9 pan and bake 30-35 minutes. Remove from pan and cut while still warm.
- Let cool before dotting the top of each bar with frosting and a half of a candied cherry.
- ½ cup softened butter
- 3 cups confectioners sugar
- Whip together butter and one cup of sugar with a hand mixer or stand mixer. Continue adding sugar until frosting becomes light and fluffy.
Alexandra Hedin shares her love of food, design and good living in every issue of 425 magazine. You can get her book, “Entertaining at Home,” at alexandrahedin.com, as well as more recipes, crafts and inspiration.