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Old 10-16-2006, 10:37 PM   #21
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If you are looking for a meat dish, beef bragiole is one that I remember at least from the sixties.

The prep work is not overly onerous but it does take some time.

Antipasto platters have been around for years and you can get ingredients in most supermarkets (OK, most of it will be from the can and jar and some deli meats, but have done some that are quite respectalbe. Of course if you can find an Italian deli you would be all set). Prep takes almost no time and covered with cling wrap the dish can be made a few hours before.

Also an antipasto always gives people a chance to relax, have a glass of wine (or two) and talk.

Then a pasta course. Maybe fettucine with clam sauce, or shrimp fra diavolo over spaghetti, or can make a baked ziti (can be prepped the night before and cooked before service, or cooked and warmed at the party).

Meat course, or seafood, and some sort of veggie dish.

Or salad.

And if you can find some desert that will travel from an Italian bakery/deli before you leave NJ, one that will keep a day or two, you have that knocked.

Don't know if this is too much.

The most important thing is you are all together, so don't kill yourself. It is wonderful you still have your parents.

If it doesn't quite match what was at the first event, well, your parents may not even remember the menu themselves. I don't remember mine, of course we ate almost nothing because we had to mingle so much. And that was a little less than thirty years ago.

Enjoy.
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Old 10-17-2006, 01:25 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeraBlue
Good evening everyone

My parents are going to be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in November. My sister and I have planned a small dinner party of approximately 20 guests to celebrate. Some of the guests were actually guests at the wedding in 1956....other than my parents, that is.

We were hoping to recreate the entire meal, but unfortunately no one has been able to help. It seems memories have clouded as a result of age and alcohol consumption at the original event. All we've been told is that the meal was 'Italian'.

I can easily do a google search for meals popular in the mid 50s, but I was wondering, and please excuse me if this seems insensitive, but does anyone here have first hand knowledge of popular meals in the 50s?

I won't have time to do any prep work, other than the day of the party. Both my sister and my mother live in Florida and I am traveling from northern NJ just a day before.

Thank you for any thoughts.
Vera, Italian food in US in the mid 50's was very much Italian American," that is to say red sauce nd the like. A very popular dish in many restaurants was callead "Half and Half" -- half an order of spaghetti with meat sauce, and half an order of ravioli (either cheese or sponach filled). If your family IS Italian, the menu could have been almost anything from the region they came from...

Have you tried asking any of the attendees about whether specific food was present? Almost surely an Antipasto platter with sausages and veggies... did they have stuffed artichokes? How about stuffed shells or manicotti? This is the type of stuff we had called "Italian" back then... and of course, Spaghetti and Meatballs! My mom always made her meatballs small (one of her good friends was from Palermo and told her Italians never ate those tennis ball sized meatballs) but restaurants served fairly large ones...

Lasagna wasn't popular yet outside Italian families.... that came in the 60's as I recall. It's all good!
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Old 10-17-2006, 06:03 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchenelf
Are you saying the food wasn't "real" Italian? You better make sure those little ladies still have the knitting needles in their hair!!!!

You might have missed the post about her mother being Italian! lol You better run for cover - here comes her mother! Just pretend that hammer is a cast iron skillet!
Yes, My mother is Italian, Sicilian, to be exact. My father's family is Italian, as well...Napilatano. His mother was famous for her undercooked pigeon, roasted squirrel and blackbird stew. In other words, she'd cook whatever she saw wandering into her yard. I recall my dad mentioning eels, as well.
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Old 10-17-2006, 06:06 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auntdot
If you are looking for a meat dish, beef bragiole is one that I remember at least from the sixties.

The prep work is not overly onerous but it does take some time.

Antipasto platters have been around for years and you can get ingredients in most supermarkets (OK, most of it will be from the can and jar and some deli meats, but have done some that are quite respectalbe. Of course if you can find an Italian deli you would be all set). Prep takes almost no time and covered with cling wrap the dish can be made a few hours before.

Also an antipasto always gives people a chance to relax, have a glass of wine (or two) and talk.

Then a pasta course. Maybe fettucine with clam sauce, or shrimp fra diavolo over spaghetti, or can make a baked ziti (can be prepped the night before and cooked before service, or cooked and warmed at the party).

Meat course, or seafood, and some sort of veggie dish.

Or salad.

And if you can find some desert that will travel from an Italian bakery/deli before you leave NJ, one that will keep a day or two, you have that knocked.

Don't know if this is too much.

The most important thing is you are all together, so don't kill yourself. It is wonderful you still have your parents.

If it doesn't quite match what was at the first event, well, your parents may not even remember the menu themselves. I don't remember mine, of course we ate almost nothing because we had to mingle so much. And that was a little less than thirty years ago.

Enjoy.
Thanks for your suggestions, Aunt Dot! I pictured myself trying to board an airplane with a wrapped antipasto platter. "but,....it's not liquid, it's just salami"! would be what I'd have to tell security
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Old 10-17-2006, 06:08 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefJune
Vera, Italian food in US in the mid 50's was very much Italian American," that is to say red sauce nd the like. A very popular dish in many restaurants was callead "Half and Half" -- half an order of spaghetti with meat sauce, and half an order of ravioli (either cheese or sponach filled). If your family IS Italian, the menu could have been almost anything from the region they came from...

Have you tried asking any of the attendees about whether specific food was present? Almost surely an Antipasto platter with sausages and veggies... did they have stuffed artichokes? How about stuffed shells or manicotti? This is the type of stuff we had called "Italian" back then... and of course, Spaghetti and Meatballs! My mom always made her meatballs small (one of her good friends was from Palermo and told her Italians never ate those tennis ball sized meatballs) but restaurants served fairly large ones...

Lasagna wasn't popular yet outside Italian families.... that came in the 60's as I recall. It's all good!
My sister has tried pumping our aunts for information...but my parents are 70 now, and my father was the 'baby'!

Thanks for the thoughts and ideas.
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