Happy Holidays Feed

Retro Holidays: Easy Karo Candy

Time to start making holiday candy. Here's an easy recipe to start off. 

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Easy Karo Candy
Recipe from vintage Karo advertising

1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup clear Karo corn syrup
1 lb. sifted confectioners sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

STIR CONSTANTLY butter, Karo syrup and half of sugar in 3-qt. saucepan over low heat until bubbly. Quickly stir in remaining sugar and vanilla. Remove from heat, stir until mixture just holds shape. Pour in greased pan. Cool until candy is lukewarm. Knead until smooth.

BonBons: Form Easy Karo Candy around nuts.
Roll in colored sugar or sprinkles.

Mint Patties: Flavor Easy Karo Candy with peppermint or wintergreen. Color with red or green vegetable coloring. Form into patties.

Filled Fruits or Nuts: Fill pitted prunes, apricots or dates with Easy Karo Candy. Roll in sugar.
Or place between nut halves.

Peppermint Popcorn Tree: Make these simple changes in the Easy Karo Recipe: Replace butter with 2 tbsp. water and increase Karo to 1 cup. Remove from heat; stir in 32 large marshmallows, 1 tsp. peppermint flavoring. Toss with 14 cups popped corn. Press into pan (13 x 9 x 2-inch) lined with greased aluminum foil. Cool until set (about 15 min.); remove from pan. Cut into pieces, two each: 5 x 5", 4 x 4", 2 x 2" and three 3 x 3". Stack with largest on bottom, alternating corners over sides. Decorate with candies and candles.

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 Here's some vintage holiday candy inspiration.

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Recipe via Shelf Life Taste Test


We have Rice Krispies Treats, the Brits have Krackolates

This is an old British recipe. I've converted it to US measures.

 The photo in the ad is a little misleading — it was to me, anyway. Don't the Krackolates look muffin-size? They're actually the size of chocolates.

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Chocolate Krackolates
Recipe from a 1953 English ad from Kellogg's and Cadbury's

7 tbsp. Kellogg's Corn Flakes
1 level tbsp. cocoa
1 tbsp. sugar or confectioners' sugar
1 tbsp. corn syrup (if corn syrup is not available, double the quantity of sugar)
2 tbsp. butter

To improve the flavor, add:
2 tbsp. shredded coconut or 1 tsp. grated orange peel

Melt butter and corn syrup in saucepan. Do not boil. Add the cocoa. Remove from heat, stir in sugar. Using metal spoon, quickly fold in coconut or orange peel) and corn flakes, until coated. Spoon into eleven or twelve portions. 

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Vintage Christmas cards and vintage ornaments equal twice the holiday awesomeness. 

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Recipe via totallymystified


Easy peasy spiked eggnog

This recipe calls for you to whip up some cream and fold it into store-bought eggnog. That makes the result homemade, as far as I'm concerned.

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Bacardi Eggnog
Recipe from 1955 Bacardi advertising

1. Pour 2 quarts of non-alcoholic eggnog into a punch bowl.

2. Stir in a fifth of Bacardi rum, light or dark.

3. Fold in a pint of stiffly whipped cream, then chill for at least 3 hours in the refrigerator.

4. Top individual servings with a light sprinkling of ground nutmeg.

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So, Vern got the macrame plant hanger from his craft-y mother.

Right before he snapped the photo, Dad referred to Mom's creation as a commie hippie rope contraption.

Mom didn't think that was funny but it cracked up Bobby Joe.

Recipe via Jon Williamson


Guinness Gingerbread

Okay, your mother probably didn't make Guinness gingerbread when you were a kid. But I bet you wish she had.

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Guinness Gingerbread

1 1/4 sticks (10 tbsp.) butter, plus some for greasing
1 cup golden syrup (you may substitute with corn syrup)
1 cup packed plus 2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 cup Guinness stout
2 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
2 cups all-purpose flour (I suggest you sift it)
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 rectangular aluminum foil pan or 13" x 9" x 2" cake pan 


Preheat oven to 325˚F.

Grease your aluminum foil pan or line your cake pan with aluminum foil and grease it.

Put the butter, syrup, brown sugar, Guinness and spices into a pan and melt gently over low heat.

Take off heat and whisk in the flour and baking soda. Be patient and whisk thoroughly to get out any lumps.

Whisk the sour cream and eggs together then beat into gingerbread mixture, whisking again to get a smooth batter. 

Pour this into your foil loaf/cake pan and bake for about 45 minutes; when it's ready, it will be risen in the center and coming away from the pan at the sides.

Let the gingerbread cool before cutting into slices or squares.

It's me again. Gingerbread tends to look too much like an unfinished cake waiting to be frosted, so I always dust the finished gingerbread with powdered sugar. Makes a big difference.

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 Can you tell what's driving me crazy about this old holiday photo of Mary Tyler Moore?

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It's the brown carpeting. It has nothing to do with the holidays. Details matter! So don't forget to dust your gingerbread with powdered sugar.    ; )

Recipe via Irish Central
Image via Vintage Everyday


Oh, fudge!

If you're making food gifts for the holidays, you're probably making fudge. Here are a few old fudge recipes for you to try.

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Marshmallow Cream Fudge
Recipe from 1958 Nestle's advertising

Bring to a full boil — stir constantly: one 5 to 10 oz. jar marshmallow cream; 2/3 cup evaporated milk; 1/4 cup butter; 1 1/2 cup sugar; 1/4 tsp. salt.

Boil 5 min. over moderate heat, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat. Stir in till melted: 12 oz. (2 cups) Nestle's Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels; 1 tsp. vanilla; 1/2 cup nuts, chopped (optional).

Pour in greased pan 8" x 8" x 2".

Chill well. Yield: approximately 2 1/4 lbs.

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C&H Potato Fudge
Recipe from a bag of C&H powdered sugar

3 squares (3 oz.) unsweetened chocolate
1/2 stick butter
1/3 cup cold mashed potatoes
1 tsp. vanilla extract
dash salt
4 cups powdered sugar

Melt chocolate and butter over low heat. Remove from heat and add potatoes, vanilla extract and salt. Mix well. Blend in powdered sugar and mix. When mixture is moistened, turn out on board. Knead until smooth and thoroughly mixed. Press into 8-in. square pan. Chill. Cut into 1 inch squares. Makes 1 1/2 lbs.

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Carnation Velvet Fudge
Recipe from old Carnation advertising

3 squares (3 oz.) unsweetened chocolate
3 cups sugar
2 tbsp. corn syrup
1 cup evaporated milk, undiluted
3 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla

Cut chocolate over sugar into 2-quart saucepan. Add corn syrup and evaporated milk. Place over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves and chocolate melts. Bring to boiling; cover and cook 2 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, to 234˚F or until soft ball forms when a small amount of mixture is dropped into cold water. Remove from heat. Add butter and let cool without stirring until mixture is 110˚F or pan is cool enough to hold in palm of hand. Add vanilla and beat until thick and no longer glossy. Spread in buttered pan. When firm, cut in squares. Makes 1 3/4 lbs.

Variations Just before turning beaten candy into buttered pan, add one of the following:
Nut fudge — 3/4 to 1 cup chopped nuts
Coconut fudge — 1/2 cup shredded coconut
Raison Roll — 1/2 cup raisins and 1/2 cup chopped nuts. Form fudge into roll, chill and slice.

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 Julie Andrews wants you to have a nice holiday season. And she wants to serve you a bread and cookie sandwich.

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 Recipes via Classic FilmRecipe CurioRetro Magic Shop
Image via The Julie Andrews Movie Club


The cutest Thanksgiving idea ever

This idea comes from a 1942 Ocean Spray ad.

Slice your jellied cranberry sauce and cut out shapes with a cookie cutter. The result is perfect individual servings of cranberry sauce.

This is so adorable, I can't stand it.

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Back in the day, to get the cranberry sauce out of the can in one piece, one just opened both ends of the can with a can opener and the jellied sauce slid right out. Today, the bottom of the can is often such that a can opener doesn't work on it.

What to do?

Open the can on one end. Then, gently insert a knife in between the cranberry sauce and the side of the can to loosen. You don't have to run the knife all the way around, just getting the knife in there should do it.

Click here to watch a one-minute demo. (Where would we be without YouTube?)

Recipe via Click Americana


Turkey AND Ham for Thanksgiving?

Make Thanksgiving a carnivore's dream with these easy peasy turkey and ham recipes.

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Both recipes come from the above 1987 advertising for Reynolds Oven Cooking Bags.

Thankfully Simple Turkey

1 tbsp. flour
1 turkey size (19" x 23 1/2) Reynolds Oven Cooking Bag
1 medium onion, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
16- to 20-lb. turkey, thawed and rinsed
2 tbsp. vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Shake flour in Reynolds Oven Cooking Bag; place in roasting pan at least 2 inches deep. Place onion and celery in bag. Remove neck and giblets. Lightly stuff turkey, if desired. Brush with oil. Place turkey in bag. Close bag with nylon tie; make 6 half-inch slits in top. Insert meat thermometer through slit in bag into thigh. Bake to 180˚F or 2 3/4 to 3 1/4 hours. Add 1/2 hour for stuffed turkey. Makes: 16 to 20 servings.

 

Take -A-Holiday Ham

1 tbsp. flour
1 turkey size (19" x 23 1/2") Reynolds Oven Cooking Bag
12- to 16-lb. fully-cooked hame, bone-in
whole cloves

Preheat oven to 325˚F. Shake flour in Reynolds Oven Cooking Bag; place in roasting pan at least 2 inches deep. Remove skin, trim fat from ham, leaving a thin layer. Lightly score surface of ham; stud with cloves. Place ham in bag. Close bag with nylon tie; make 6 half-inch slits in top. Insert meat thermometer through slit in bag. Bake to 140˚F or 2 1/2 to 3 1/4 hours. Makes: 16 to 22 servings.

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There is no explaining this old pinup.

 

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Why is the turkey on a leash? 

Why is she wearing ballet slippers with her skating outfit?

And why is she wearing both in a barnyard?

We will never know.

 

Click here to see more ridiculous Thanksgiving pinups fro the past. 


Two pies from the 80s

If there's one thing I've learned it's that recipes that call for Cool Whip and instant pudding mix are ALWAYS delicious.

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Both recipes are from the above 1987 ad.

Black Forest Pie

3 1/2 cups (8 oz.) thawed Cool Whip
1 Keebler Ready-Crust Graham Cracker Pie Crust
1 cup cold milk
1 pkg. (4-serving) Jell-O Chocolate Instant Pudding and Pie Filling
1 cup cherry pie filling

Spread 1 cup of Cool Whip on bottom of pie crust. Combine milk and pudding mix in medium bowl. Blend with wire whisk or electric mixer (low speed) for 1 minute. Fold in 1 1/2 cups Cool Whip. Spread over Cool Whip that's on bottom of pie crust. Spread remaining Cool Whip over top, leaving a 1-inch border and forming a depression in the center of the Cool Whip. Spoon cherry pie filling in the center. Chill at least 3 hours. Garnish with melted chocolate, if desired.

 

Creamy Pumpkin Pie

1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup cold milk
1 pkg. (6-serving) Jell-O Vanilla Instant Pudding and Pie Filling
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
3 1/2 (8 oz.) thawed Cool Whip
1 Keebler Ready-Crust Graham Cracker Pie Crust

Combine pumpkin, milk, pudding mix and pumpkin pie spice in small mixer bowl. Blend with wire whisk or electric mixer (low speed) for 1 minute. Fold in 2 1/2 cups of the Cool Whip. Spoon into crust. Freeze until firm, about 4 hours. Top with remaining Cool Whip.

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 I miss the 80s. I was in my 20s and had the most beautiful wardrobe I will ever own thanks to a FABULOUS Loehmann's in Swampscott, Massachusetts. 

What were you doing in the 80s?

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If you're unfamiliar with Loehmann's, it was a women's discount designer clothing store with the most amazing fashions at equally amazing low prices. The chain went downhill in the 90s and closed for good a few years ago.

 Image via Found in Mom's Basement


Barry Manilow Yam Bake

Okay, it's not a Barry Manilow Yam Bake — unless you read it really fast, as I did.

I've already posted a couple of other yam bake recipes from Kraft. Each has its own little twist on the basic recipe. This one features oats and cranberries. 

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Berry Mallow Yam Bake
Recipe from 1978 Kraft advertising

Combine 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup old fashioned or quick oats, uncooked, and 1 tsp. cinnamon. Cut in 1/3 cup butter till mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Toss 1 cup crumb mixture with two 17 oz. cans yams, drained, and 2 cups cranberries; place in 1 1/2-quart casserole. Top with remaining crumbs. Bake at 350˚ for 35 minutes.

Sprinkle with 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows. Broil till lightly browned. Makes six servings.

Great with turkey, ham or roast pork.

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You just know these 60s moms put mini marshmallows on their yam casseroles.

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Image via Robert's World


Retro Holiday Happy Hour: Modhouse Punch (made with or without alcohol)

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Modhouse Punch
1960s recipe from old Sprite advertising

1 6-oz. pkg. lime Jell-O
2 cups hot water
1/2 cup to 1 cup bottled lime juice (though I bet fresh lime juice would be better)
2 12-oz. cans frozen concentrate for limeade
90 oz. Sprite
1 tsp. almond extract (this is mentioned in the ingredients list but not the recipe; use your discretion) 

Dissolve gelatin in hot water. Then stir in frozen limeade concentrate. Add lime juice.

To serve, pour into bowl over 1 1/2 quarts of cracked ice. Add Sprite.

If you like, add a fifth of vodka.

Makes about 48 4-oz. servings.

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A little mod inspiration — Carnaby Street in London, all decked out for Christmas in the 1960s.

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Via Shelf Life Taste Test
Photo via Wiggle That Wotsit