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A Retros Sixties Cocktail Party

by Eva Pasco

A Retros Sixties Cocktail PartyWe often venture through the rabbit hole from inside  Alice’s Looking Glass, tunneling through Sixties television, music, fashion, games, and gadgetry. Though I was just a child during dawn’s early light of that era, I’ve gathered my wits about me to conjure what it must have been like to attend an adult cocktail party stacked with 45 rpm singles or 33 rpm albums on the stereo…It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to…(Lesley Gore, 1963).   


Zoom in to harvest gold or avocado green kitchen appliances. Note the Tupperware containers on the counter which will come in handy for storing leftovers. Enter the hip contemporary living room where you can snare a space on a curved orange sofa able to accommodate four. Let the party begin as we swirl and swivel our Vodka gimlets while balancing a Melmac plate on one knee—those lightweight, unbreakable, plastic dishes were a godsend, weren’t they?  


As pot luck will have it, a banquet is spread before us:  


Chex Mix


Jello salad


Ambrosia salad


Watercress salad with Green Goddess dressing


Shrimp cocktail in a glass


Stuffed mushrooms


Gherkins wrapped inside a cream-cheese-slathered slice of salami held together with toothpicks


Rolled up cold cuts


Prosciutto wrapped melon


Cherry tomatoes stuffed with tuna


Celery stuffed with cream cheese


Cocktail franks


Cheese fondue


Mini meatballs cooked and served in an electric skillet


Deviled eggs


Lipton onion soup mix or Velveeta for dipping Bugles and Ruffles


Casserole made with Campbell’s condensed cream of mushroom, celery, or chicken soup


Ritz crackers with standby canned cheese  


Desserts: Impossible Pie, Impostor Pie made with Ritz crackers, and Wacky Cake.  

Since the early Sixties were a throwback to the late fifties, many housewives hustled and bustled in the kitchen, proud as June Cleaver, to preside over cocktail parties held together by toothpicks and molded with Jello. Many a fond memory was culled by fonduing, inspiration for the “no double dipping rule.” Bidding you a fondue adieu. 



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