Category Archives: Jell-O

Mrs. Roper Party

kaftans on the lania, Mrs. Roper Party guestsA few months ago on Twitter, I admitted that I was shopping for kaftans. I’ve been on a huge Three’s Company kick all summer, finding myself more interested in Mrs. Roper’s wardrobe than the storylines. If you’ve ever watched Three’s Company you know that every episode revolves around some sort of misunderstanding. But Mrs. Roper’s kaftans just keep getting better and better! The kaftans are so over-the-top fabulous and comfortable looking that I decided I needed one of my own. While I was deciding, we started chatting (on Twitter) about kaftans and Mrs. Roper and we all decided that we should get together and wear kaftans and lounge on the lanai. The Mrs. Roper Party was born.Zero bird Three's Company postcards, screen print I didn’t need to send invitations, but I had these fantastic Three’s Company theme song postcards from Zerobird Studio, so I sent them as little reminders about the party. crab dipcheese ballI had so much fun looking through old cookbooks and Pinterest for late 70s/early 80s recipes. For appetizers, Katie made crab dip, served on a groovy platter and I made a cheese ball, (I cut this recipe in half and used pimentos instead of green chiles and chopped cashews instead of pecans.) served with classic Ritz crackers. Peaches and Cream Jello MoldAnd I made a Jello mold! It wasn’t beautiful (My peach slices didn’t stay put and ended up floating around instead of making a pretty ring…rookie mistake) but it was delicious. And it was my first time using my vintage Tupperware mold and worked like a charm! For dinner we ate pineapple chicken (I used this recipe, but substituted canned pineapple for fresh, because 1970s…) and store bought fried chicken.Sidecar cocktail, Mrs. Roper PartyAs much as I wanted to stay on theme and make a Southern Comfort punch for the party, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Instead, I made a classic cocktail, the Sidecar. (Thanks, Kathy, for the photo above!) I was going to serve Brandy Alexanders with dessert, but we finished the brandy thanks to bartender Naoto keeping our glasses constantly filled. chocolate fondue, 1970s fondue potWe had chocolate fondue for dessert. My parents gave me a vintage 1970s fondue pot and this was the first time I used it. (Fondue was so easy that I’m not sure why we don’t do it more often.)lanai, balcony lightsThe weather couldn’t have been more perfect for lanai lounging. My only regret is that we didn’t get a full-length picture of us all in our kaftans. Other than that, 1970s entertaining is easy living. Not only did I get to throw on a breezy kaftan, but I could have made most of the recipes out of my pantry. Normally I’m rushing around buying fresh produce and chopping fruits and vegetables for party recipes. This time, I opened cans and boxes–Jello, canned peached, canned pineapple, crackers…everything just got tossed together. 1970s hostessing is amazing!
eating 1970s party food, Mrs. Roper Party, kaftans in the kitchenThanks to Katie, Donovan, and Kathy for being up for a kaftan party and to Naoto for taking care of all of us Saturday night.

Next up…sometime in the future…a Golden Girls party complete with cheesecakes!

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I Heart Snack Sets & 1950s Entertaining

vintage snack setLast week while thrifting with my parents, I came across these snack sets. They were only $1 per set, so I bought all four. I justified this purchase (I already have another collection of four smaller snack sets) by noting that the plates on these are almost dinner-sized, so they would be more useful for luncheons and larger servings. The ladies at the thrift store encouraged me to buy all of the snack sets, but I resisted. (It was hard to resist.)

I have an obsession with snack sets. They make me think of well-dressed ladies getting together and playing cards or having a wedding shower, eating tiny sandwiches and homemade Jell-O salads and drinking tea or coffee from the tiny cups. I feel like now, when I get together with my friends, we are wearing yoga pants as we crack open a bottle of wine and some cheese and crackers and call it a day. I long for the days of more polished entertaining.

On Sunday night I had some friends over for paper crafting. We ate veggies and homemade dip, chips and salsa, cheese and crackers, roasted tomato caprese salad and other tasty treats off of the snack plates. We drank summer red wine out of the tiny cups. (There were frequent refills.)

I’m thinking of hosting a snack set luncheon when I return…maybe as a last hurrah for the summer? I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime…do you get all fancy when you entertain? I can’t be the only one who dreams of fancy parties with homemade salads and tiny glass cups, right?

 

 

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Knox On-Camera Recipes

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Knowing my love for all things vintage & gelatin, my friend Karen snagged this book from her grandmother’s collection (don’t worry–we gave it back!) It is the Knox On-Camera Recipes Gel-Cookery Guide. Printed in 1960, the guide is a print-version of TV demonstrations and (according to the introduction) “gives you a new look at the many rewarding uses of Unflavored Gelatin(e).”

Basically, the recipe book takes delicious dishes–like gazpacho, spinach salad, Waldorf salad, deviled eggs…and gelatin-izes them…which creates beautiful and yes, slightly weird, molded presentations (as seen below).

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DSC_0016While I am super-interested in trying to make a savory gelatin dish just for the nostalgia of it all, the thought of molded avocado and tuna kind of makes my stomach turn. Part of me thinks that there’s a reason Jello survived in its sweet form…and maybe we should just leave savory gelatin in the past.

How about you? Have you ever had a savory gelatin dish? Would you ever try one?

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J-E-L-L-O, the Vintage Way

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Letter Month is over, and my letter writing has slowed down quite a bit. I have letters that came in during the first week of March that still need to be returned. I’m slowly making my way through the pile before I go to bed each night. Thankfully, my outgoing mail timing has been good, because some amazing mail has been trickling into my mailbox.

Last week I got this amazing vintage Jell-O pamphlet from Donovan. It was printed in 1928 and it has all sorts of Jell-O recipes and many of them are featured in Jell-O molds. It makes me wish I had a Jell-O mold! (Confession: I spent an hour on Ebay last night checking out my vintage Jell-O mold choices!)

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My favorite part of the booklet is the line: Jell-O is like the princess in the fairy tale: it is as good as it is beautiful. So true! I remember being so excited when I saw a bowl of Jell-O in the fridge when I was little…my favorite has always been Lime. From reading through the pamphlet, I learned that lime must be a “newer” flavor, as the only five flavors listed in the pamphlet are Lemon, Orange, Strawberry, Raspberry and Cherry.

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I am completely enamored with the illustrations of the fluffy Jell-O desserts and the perfectly shiny Jell-O molds sitting atop beds of lettuce or whipped cream. Everything in the first half of the booklet is expected–Jell-O with fruits and whipped cream served as molds or in stemmed dessert glasses. So pretty!

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Then there’s the second half of the booklet–the Jell-O salads. Back here, we are mixing up Jell-O with tuna and olives and cabbage and horseradish. I was really excited about the Shower Salad…Strawberry Jell-O with pineapple, apple and maraschino cherries?? Sign me up! But then, I read the last line: Garnish with Hellman’s Blue Ribbon Mayonnaise. Hmmmm…ick. I guess I shouldn’t knock it until I’ve tried it…but quite frankly, I think if I made the Shower Salad, I’d be garnishing it with Dream Whip! Little did I know that the Shower Salad is probably the least offensive salad in the section…tuna and lemon Jell-O…eeks! It all reminds me of that Friends Thanksgiving episode where Rachel makes the traditional English trifle (and accidentally adds meat!)

Have you made anything interesting with Jell-O lately? Have you ever had it with olives or meat or other savory bits mixed inside?

Thanks, Donovan, for the sweet ephemera and for feeding my Jell-O obsession!

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