A dinner party that starts with a strong martini accompanied by cheese straws and salmon mousse, followed by a classic Julia Child-style boeuf bourguignon, and ends with a stunning baked Alaska sounds like a perfect meal. Why is it that this menu hasn’t been seen on anybody’s dining table since the 1970s?
There were so many dishes that were the height of fashion in the ‘60s and ‘70s, which were cooked repeatedly in kitchens throughout America, and have now all but disappeared from our culinary repertoire. The classic retro menus served at every dinner party for decades have now become part of cookbook history. As fashion changed, the once-loved chicken Kiev and Cobb salad became considered clichéd and outdated, and they have rarely been seen again.
These dishes, which were deemed to have been so overused that it was no longer socially acceptable to serve them to your family or friends, or to order them from a restaurant menu, were once unbelievably popular party favorites. And they were definitely favorites for a reason. Now, it’s time that we welcomed all those dishes that we really miss back into our lives and onto our dinner tables: We’ve spent too long without them.
We can still happily ignore the ambrosia salad, the gelatinous dessert terrines, and the frankfurter casserole — there’s very comprehensible reasoning explaining why we stopped cooking those dishes. But let’s all start a movement to bring back Swedish meatballs, potent cocktails, and the brilliant black forest gâteau. We don’t want these recipes to be banished any longer. It’s time to put on those pearls, cat-eye glasses, and glinting cufflinks, cook a retro feast, and party like we’re living in the set of Mad Men.