Cooking Vintage Recipes from the 1960’s

stuffed celery with Greek yogurt and cherry tomatoes on a serving board

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.

overhead view of a pot of melted cheese for fondue by a bowl of vegan sausage, apple chunks and pieces of sourdough bread
one of the best meals from Cooking Vintage Recipes from the 1960's was this cheese fondue served with sausage, bread and apples
a fork lifting bread out of fondue with a long cheese strand hanging off of it
the most decadent meal from Cooking Vintage Recipes from the 1960's was cheese fondue, shown by the 6 inch long strand of cheese hanging off the bread

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.

Fleischmann's Mixer's Manual Circa 1960 BN0061 Page 09 | Flickr
overhead view of a table spread for a 1960;s cocktail party with finger food and cocktails
stuffed celery and cherry tomatoes on toothpicks next to two glasses of cocktails

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.

the best dinner recipe found during Cooking Vintage Recipes from the 1960's was chicken a la king
a large serving plate of chicken a la king next to another plate with sliced bread
close-up view of chicken a la king, which was the most well-rounded recipe found during Cooking Vintage Recipes from the 1960's

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?

33 Replies to “Cooking Vintage Recipes from the 1960’s”

  1. Hilary Tan

    I grew up eating stuffed celery. Usually my mom would make them with peanut butter and raisins aka. “Ants on a log.” She’s also a fan of finger foods/cocktail appetizers. I’ve had fondue before and it was amazing. I would definitely eat it again! (My 13th birthday party was a fondue party!) I haven’t had chicken a la king and haven’t actually heard of this dish prior to reading your blog post.

    • strawberryandcream

      That sounds like a much tastier way to eat celery!! 🤓
      A fondue bday party sounds so fun! 🥳 I am seriously now considering to have that as my next birthday party! 😁😁
      Thank you for sharing!

      • Hilary Tan

        My mom rented the fondue equipment because we ended up having 3 different kinds of fondue and 13 guests (makes sense for a 13th birthday). This was many many years ago and I still think that a fondue party would be a fabulous idea! 🤗

  2. Markus + Micah

    The food looks amazing but I am more grateful for the history lesson. Thank you! I find it cool that people in this period returned to unprocessed food. Markus told me a little about this, how his grandparents filled their yard with fruiting trees post-war. And food activism is also a nice concept. I could see how it could work out.

    • strawberryandcream

      It was surprisingly to learn that there’s this back-and-forth where companies innovate new processed food to make life easier which some people embrace, but then there’s also push-back from people who don’t want chemicals in their food. Which is still ongoing today!

  3. Jim

    Having been born in 1960 I am a true product of this generation. I remember it all so well. Celery sticks with cream cheese and peanut butter were a favorite snack. We had the fondue pot in the cupboard above the refrigerator we used during the holidays. I’m sure for our fondue used stale Wonder Bread and the cheese was most likely moldy. Love your “History through food” postings.

  4. DC/Seasons of Parenting

    Your writing is so, SO much fun!! Your wording, your pace, your ideas and this subject all had me, uh, relishing (sorry!) this delightful post. I’d go whip up some chicken a la king for an early breakfast right now if I weren’t in the ZONE with my no-cream-no-bread-lose-weight-now diet. Celery is in the plan, though ~ I can definitely make something work here! 🙂 Thank you for starting my day off with a smile.

  5. intrepid8

    I love this! I bet they were done with canned food by that point!
    I’m currently working on a novel set in the 1950s and I’m having a blast doing the research on what they ate and listened to. Seeing this not only prepares me for the part of the story set in the 1960s but also makes me want to get started on dinner!

    Thanks for sharing!

what do you think? :)

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