The “Party Book” and a vintage dip recipe (circa 1960)

During the holidays, I often wax poetic and get nostalgic about my childhood.   This is going to be one of those posts.   (Please bear with me.)

My mom and aunt were both home economics teachers.   (Today they would be called FACS teachers for Family and Consumer Sciences.)    They would often discuss the latest food trends, innovations, and recipes.   They would also swap cookbooks.

I remember often looking through these cookbooks, loving the artificial colors of the photos.

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From a vintage Betty Crocker cookbook.

On the same antique outing that I found Cookies for Children, I found an oldie but a goodie—Betty Crocker’s Party Book (1960).    I was instantly transported back because this was one of the books Mom (or my aunt) had that I loved to peruse through and dream about planning the ultimate holiday party.   (For another post about this vintage cookbook, click here.)

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For a walk down memory lane, this cost me a whopping $3.50!

This book is full of hostess (with the mostest) ideas, tips, suggestions, and recipes.   I planned many a party as a child—imagining the fun I would have as an adult and as a most coveted hostess.   (This was, my friend, before Martha when Betty Crocker ruled.)   Not only was every major holiday covered, but there were menus and ideas for engagement parties, showers, bridal dinners, weddings, anniversaries, and birthday parties.

This was a complete party book as well with instructions for crafts and decorations to make your entertaining complete.

Since it is the Christmas season, I obviously revisited the Christmas section and found ideas and menus for the following festivities:

  • Cooky Swap Party (with Orange Caramel Bars)
  • Santa’s Little Elves Party (with Mac ‘n Cheese)
  • Holiday Club Luncheon (with Surprise Ham Loaves)
  • Christmas Eve Supper (with Oyster Stew)
  • “On Christmas Day in the Morning” (with Creamy Scrambled Eggs with “special” garnishes)
  • Chicken for Christmas Dinner (with California Cream Soup utilizing the best of Campbell’s)
  • Lamb for Christmas Dinner (with Parsley-Buttered Rutabagas)
  • Beef for Christmas Dinner (with Orange Beets)
  • Supper Starring Leftovers (with Stuffed Turkey Slices)
  • Skating and Caroling Party (with Christmas Relish Tree)
  • Holiday Buffet (with Crab and Shrimp Casserole)
  • Progressive Party for Teens (with Pizzarinos and fruit-flavored soft drinks)    Was there some sort of political statement being made here, I wonder?

There were many more holiday menus but I will stop with that.   I could go on-and-on and you can imagine how an idealizing young girl would imagine all the dinner parties she would one day give, utilizing every idea and recipe from this colorful book.

But enough nostalgic waxing today.   Let’s get back to sharing a recipe, shall we?

It was hard finding a recipe from this book that didn’t used canned condensed soups or cake mixes, but a found a couple in the “Eggnog and Wassail Party” menu.   The entire menu includes:

Hot Wassail Bowl
Shrimp-Anchovy Sandwiches
Tangy Holiday Dip with Potato Chips
Celery Stuffed with Cheese and Bacon Bits

Chilled Eggnog
Slices of Mystery Fruit Cake and other Holiday Cookies
Warm Toasted Cashews

It was tough not to choose the Mystery Fruit Cake, but I chose to update and share the Tangy Holiday Dip!

Tangy Holiday Dip
Updated from Betty Crocker’s Party Book

1 T. red wine vinegar
2 (8 oz) pkgs. third-less-fat Cream Cheese
1 T. onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 t. Sriracha sauce
1/4 c. ketchup
1/4 c. mustard

Blend all ingredients in food processor or a stand mixer equipped with the whisk.     Blend until creamy.   Serve at room temperature with baked pita chips and veggies.

Optional:  Drizzle with just a bit more Sriracha!

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This is a unique, tangy, dip.

What a great gift idea!   Find a vintage recipe book (and give yourself a price limit—nothing over four bucks), update and whip up a recipe, wrap the book and the updated food up, give it to a most appreciative foodie friend.

I for one, would love to get this!

The holiday party of my dreams.  :)

The holiday party of my dreams. 🙂







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