Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Blog Party 37: Retro Party for the Hip

I'm headed to the Blog Party again this month and I'm telling you it is going to be a gas because our bad hostess Stephanie has opened the front door to her rad pad and she has bitchin' and twitchin' tunes spinning on the hi-fi as we all file in for the 37th edition of her popular blog party.

This month's theme is retro recipes from the 20's through the late 60's and I can't wait to spend some time hangin' with my buds.

Blog Party 37 Badge

If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm delving back into the Sixties again for this month's blog party but instead of the Camelot years of last month's contribution we are heading for the Summer of Love for my retro contribution this month with a trio of classic summer salads from the Better Homes and Gardens Salad Book circa 1967.

BHG Salad book circa 1967

It doesn't get more classic than these three salads: Four Bean Salad, Macaroni Salad and Cucumber Dill Salad.

Trio of Retro Salads from BHG Salad Book circa 1967

There wasn't a picnic or back yard party of that era that didn't feature these three salads and for the most part these salads are still mainstays of the picnic set.

The salad that I thought most captured this era was this version of Cucumber Dill Salad. It is from the "Slimming Salads" section of this cookbook and this recipe calls for 1/4 cup of liquid saccharin. I didn't use saccharin instead I made a sugar syrup to keep the liquid component of the recipe.

For my drink, I am sticking with the slimming theme and bringing a six pack of that defining diet drink of the 60's, Tab!

Tab: The last Sacchrine Holdout for Retro Blog Party

Yes, they still make Tab and if you are of a certain age, like me, this probably was your first diet drink and you stole it from the fridge where your Mom kept her stash. Amazingly, it still contains saccharin. Pretty keno huh?

It tasted just like I remembered it tasting but unlike today's diet drinks that are loaded with aspartame it didn't give me a headache. I'm not saying I'm going to be having a soda every day but instead of dumping the rest of the six pack down the drain, I'm stashing it into the pantry for those days I'm craving a soda.

Cucumber and Dill Salad
adapted from the 1967 edition of Better Homes and Gardens Salad Book

3 medium cucumbers
1/2 medium onion
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar syrup (1/4 cup sugar and 1/8 cup water, follow these directions)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup fresh dill chopped

Make sugar syrup and set aside. Slice cucumbers and onions and put in large plastic container with a lid. To sugar syrup add vinegar and salt, mix until completely combined. Pour over the cucumbers and onions and stir in dill. Let salad flavors meld for 6 hours or overnight before serving.