Life in the 1960’s in America
Welcome to America in the 1960’s, baby! We’ve jumped into the time-traveling VW hippie van and landed in the sixties. While the fifties were inundated with processed and canned foods after the war ended, the 1960’s saw a revival of unprocessed foods along with co-ops, vegetarian diets and DIY peanut butter. It was almost like a blast from the past from the 1940’s, when food was natural and even grown at home in Victory Gardens during World War II. In the sixties, people used food as a form of activism to express their feelings towards many issues. The Civil Rights Movement, fear of nuclear war, the ongoing Vietnam war, and other government policies were just a few. So, let’s learn a bit about the history and life during that time while cooking vintage recipes from the 1960’s!
Cocktail Party Food in the 1960’s – Cheese Fondue
Fondue was a major craze in the 1960’s. It was a great dish to serve at your cocktail party alongside your booze and hors d’oeuvres. And I don’t know why it took so long to gain immense popularity in the U.S. because this stuff is amazing!! Switzerland has been making fondue for ages. All you need is to find yourself a little stale bread, some moldy cheese and BAM you got yourself an indulgent snack! Of course, you don’t have to use moldy cheese, but that’s just how I envision they invented this masterpiece somewhere in the Alps. I personally love dunking sourdough bread, spicy sausage and apple chunks into cheese fondue.
The recipe for this fondue was based on the instructions on the back of the cheese package.
More Cocktail Party Food in the 1960’s – Stuffed Celery
If you watch any movie set in the 1960’s in America, you’ll probably find people with a cigarette in one hand and a drink with a heavy-handed pour of liquor in the other hand. The popular cocktail parties of the sixties actually got their start back in the 1920’s speakeasies. You saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, right? Or maybe Great Gatsby? Anyways, the spirit of these parties lived through the decades and became wildly popular again in the sixties. Hard-working parents would send their kids off to bed and break out the martini glasses and finger food!
I found the inspiration this party food on Pinterest.
Dinner in the 1960’s – Chicken a la King
Okay, I know this dish doesn’t scream food activism, since it’s full of chicken and cream sauce and served with bread. BUT this 1960’s recipe has sherry in it, so the adults probably enjoyed this more. I changed the recipe a bit to suite my modern palate, by forgoing the sherry (I just added a splash of apple cider vinegar) and replacing the sour cream with dairy free plain Greek yogurt. And YOU GUYS! This chicken a la king is amazing! It’s creamy and savory and so deliciously comforting! I served it with the remaining baguette leftover from the fondue (see above). It’s not hippie-vegan-flower-power food, but it is nourishing and scrumptious. I’d highly recommend this dish, and you can find the recipe that I (sort of) followed here.
Thanks for following along in our journey through the decades as we were cooking vintage recipes from the 1960’s! Stay tuned for the next decade as we move and groove our way into the 1970’s with political scandal and hamburger helper!
Does your family have any vintage or family-heirloom recipes that have been passed down?