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Old 10-16-2006, 06:35 PM   #1
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Recreating a wedding menu

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.

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Old 10-16-2006, 09:06 PM   #2
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While I was alive and well in the 50s, I was a mere child. Well, a teen, part of the time. I have a sister who is a LOT older than I. I'll check with her.

Goos luck, it sounds like it will be a hectic time but imagine the memories you will be giving your parents!
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Old 10-16-2006, 09:34 PM   #3
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Vera, this doesn't have Italian meals as such but it gives you tons of 50s salads, appys, sides, entrees...

http://www.foodtimeline.org/fooddecades.html#1950s
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Old 10-16-2006, 09:34 PM   #4
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What a wonderful thing to be able to do for your parents!

We all have Italian recipes, that's no surprise. Was it a buffet or a sit-down meal? Just knowing that will cut down on what could be a huge variety.
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Old 10-16-2006, 09:41 PM   #5
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I know an italian woman in her mid seventies, and recall many fond memories of eating dinners at her house. Three things that stood out for me was the antipasta, the seafood (red) sauce with pasta (shrimp, lobster, mussels to name a few), and lots of italian pastries and lovely liquors to sip. Sometimes she would make a fish soup, not a chowder based soup. She made something called gardoon I think, but I have no idea what type of vegetable it was but she fried it (probably not appropriate for an anniversary dinner though). Also, her lasagna was fantastic, made with tiny meatballs, so yummy.
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Old 10-16-2006, 09:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchenelf
What a wonderful thing to be able to do for your parents!

We all have Italian recipes, that's no surprise. Was it a buffet or a sit-down meal? Just knowing that will cut down on what could be a huge variety.
From the pictures it looked like a very posh posh sit down meal.
By the way...I happen to have my mother's wedding gown. I wore it in 1983. It was beautiful. It had a 'gone with the wind' hoop and a 9 yard train. If this party was at my house, I'd have had it cleaned and displayed for the guests.

They got the wedding cake from Sorrento's in Lodi, NJ. Again, if the party was here, I could do things a little differently.
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Old 10-16-2006, 09:44 PM   #7
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There should be Italian Wedding Soup!!
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Old 10-16-2006, 09:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amber
I know an italian woman in her mid seventies, and recall many fond memories of eating dinners at her house. Three things that stood out for me was the antipasta, the seafood (red) sauce with pasta (shrimp, lobster, mussels to name a few), and lots of italian pastries and lovely liquors to sip. Sometimes she would make a fish soup, not a chowder based soup. She made something called gardoon I think, but I have no idea what type of vegetable it was but she fried it (probably not appropriate for an anniversary dinner though). Also, her lasagna was fantastic, made with tiny meatballs, so yummy.
I have a feeling my sister and I are definitely leaning towards a antipasto platter.

Someone thinks there may have been a tiramisu, as well. I saw a recipe for a pumpkin tiramisu that I'd like to make...but think it may be a bit too modern for this party.
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Old 10-16-2006, 09:45 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by kitchenelf
There should be Italian Wedding Soup!!
yes!perfect!
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Old 10-16-2006, 09:46 PM   #10
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Where was the reception? Would it have been in an Italian function hall hotel or such where the food was actually authentic?
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Old 10-16-2006, 09:50 PM   #11
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There was a reception, I've seen the pictures in their photo album. I just don't know where it was. Considering 1956, and knowing the bakery was practically right next to the church, my guess is the reception hall was very close, as well.
This might be easire if I could actually ask her these questions, but we really do want this small party to be a surprise.

The food would have been genuine Italian, made by women with knitting needles in their hair, at least one gold tooth per mouth, and at least one of them dressed in all black.
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Old 10-16-2006, 09:52 PM   #12
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Don't you think there would have been a roast of some kind??? Would there not have been a meat course?
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Old 10-16-2006, 09:53 PM   #13
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That's a great description!!!!!

Don't you DARE make pumpkin tiramisu!!!!! Only the traditional will do for this occasion. You made me about fall out of my chair with that one! lol

Braciole for the meat sounds perfect!!!
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Old 10-16-2006, 09:58 PM   #14
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All bets are off if the wedding food was made by little old Italian ladies wearing black cotton stockings with their hair in buns.

I could guess what limited Italian food an American wedding in the 50s might have but not the real thing.
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Old 10-16-2006, 10:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.
I could guess what limited Italian food an American wedding in the 50s might have but not the real thing.
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!
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Old 10-16-2006, 10:05 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amber
I know an italian woman in her mid seventies, and recall many fond memories of eating dinners at her house. Three things that stood out for me was the antipasta, the seafood (red) sauce with pasta (shrimp, lobster, mussels to name a few), and lots of italian pastries and lovely liquors to sip. Sometimes she would make a fish soup, not a chowder based soup. She made something called gardoon I think, but I have no idea what type of vegetable it was but she fried it (probably not appropriate for an anniversary dinner though). Also, her lasagna was fantastic, made with tiny meatballs, so yummy.
Amber,
the veggie you are thinking of is cardone, it looks like a giant bunch of celery. It's a pale silver green and looks almost velvety. You pull the stgins from each stalk as you do celery blanch it then dip in an egg batter and flour and fry it. I fix it here during the winter months when it comes into ceason.
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Old 10-16-2006, 10:06 PM   #17
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I'm saying the food at VB's parents weedding would have been the real thing.

However, the Italian food generally available to, and familiar to, the average American in the 50s would have been much more limited. Back then it was spaghetti and meatballs, ravioli and maybe lasagna. Desserts were pastries like canoli and lots of different cookies.
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Old 10-16-2006, 10:08 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.
I'm saying the food at VB's parents weedding would have been the real thing.

However, the Italian food generally available to, and familiar to, the average American in the 50s would have been much more limited. Back then it was spaghetti and meatballs, ravioli and maybe lasagna. Desserts were pastries like canoli and lots of different cookies.
Boy did I read that wrong! lol
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Old 10-16-2006, 10:13 PM   #19
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As kitchenelf suggested, braciole would be good.

Thanks for the info on the cardoon kadesma! It does resemble celery, and it was quite tasty fried up in the batter.
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Old 10-16-2006, 10:14 PM   #20
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It seems Italian foods are pretty popular for weddings We had a buffet for our reception that included..simple antipasti tray of salami, garbanzo beans,cheese,olives, peppers, the meal was ravioli with med meat sauce, chicken, roast beef,rice torta, stuffed zuchini and onions,.. green salad, baby artichokes in evoo and butter with parsley and garlic, sliced Italian bread and butter, coffee,tea,wine,etc.Our cake was Italian rum with a wipped cream like frosting, and of course the ever present jordan almonds and Torone candy to pass out to guests

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