Happy Holidays Feed

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


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.


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


Via Shelf Life Taste Test
Photo via Wiggle That Wotsit

Happy New Year!

Thank you so much for your visits to my blog. I hope you've had fun. I have a gazillion more recipes to share in 2015.

Sending you and your family my best wishes for a wonderful 2015!

— Paula


I just love this cake. So festive. And made even better with the marching band toys.

I'm married to a man who loves watching the Thanksgiving Day and New Year's Day parades on TV. Alas, he's not much of a cake eater.

Image via sandmarg.

Retro Holidays: Christmas Belle Cake

 The ad promises this cake is as dazzling as a Christmas tree.


Christmas Belle Cake
1952 recipe from old Swans Down advertising

2 1/2 cups Swans Down Cake Flour
3 1/4 tsp. Calumet Baking Powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. almond extract
4 egg whites, beaten to meringue with 1/3 cup sugar

Combine sifted flour, baking powder, salt and 1 1/3 sups sugar in sifter. Stir shortening just to soften. Sift in dry ingredients. Add 3/4 cup of the milk and the flavorings and mix until all the flour is dampened. Then beat 2 minutes (or use electric mixer for 2 minutes on medium). Add meringue and remaining milk and beat 1 minute longer.

Pour batter into two round 9-inch cake pans, lined on the bottom with wax paper or parchment paper. Bake in moderate oven (350˚F) 30 minutes, or until done. Cool, then frost.

Yuletide Frosting and Filling

Cream together 6 tbsp. butter, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. vanilla. Add 1 unbeaten egg white. Then add 3 1/2 cups sifted confectioners sugar, alternately with 2 1/2 tnsp. lemon or lime juice, beating well after each addition. Add 2 1/2 tsp. grated lemon or lime rind and beat until of right consistency to spread. Tint a delicate green.

To 1/2 cup of the frosting, add 2 tbsp. each chopped raisins, nuts, candied cherries and citron; spread between layers. Then cover top and sides with remaining frosting. Decorate with silver dragées and tiny red candies.


Here's a 1950s living room. With a linoleum floor and I Love Lucy on the TV set.


Recipe via tikitacky
Image via Ladylike Lady

Holiday Baking During Wartime Rationing

This 1940s recipe uses very little sugar — which was rationed during wartime.

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Honey Nut Cake
1940s recipe from old advertisement

2 cups sifted Swans Down Cake Flour
2 tsp. Calumet Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup butter or shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
3 eggs
1 cup finely shopped nuts
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Sift flour once, measure, add baking powder and salt, sift together three times. Cream butter or shortening; add sugar gradually, and cream thoroughly; then add honey in thirds, beating well after each addition. Add 1/4 of flour and beat until smooth and well blended.

Beat eggs until thick enough to pile up in a bowl; add to cake mixture and beat well. Add nuts. Add remaining flour in thirds, alternating with milk in halves, beating very well after each addition. Add vanilla. Bake in greased 9-inch tube pan in slow oven (325˚F) for 1 hour and 5 minutes, or until done. Spread Honey Butter Frosting on top and sides of cake. Decorate top of cake with wreath made of candied cherries and angelica or citron.

Honey Butter Frosting

Cream 2 tbsp. butter; add 2 tbsp. honey and blend. Add 1/3 cup sifted confectioners sugar and cream thoroughly. Add a dash of salt. Then add 1 egg white, unbeaten, alternately with 2 cups of sifted confectioners sugar, beating well after each addition. Add 1/2 tsp. vanilla. If necessary, add more sugar until of right consistenct to spread. Makes about 1 cup of frosting.


 This is what a World War II ration book looked like. Among other things, the cover warns that violating Rationing Orders and Regulations is punishable by $10,000 in fines and/or 10 years in prison.

Holy moly.


Recipe via VintageKitten
Image via Antique Trader

Retro Holidays: Ribbon Fantasy Fudge

When a fudge recipe tells you to stir constantly, it means STIR CONSTANTLY.

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Ribbon Fantasy Fudge
1981 recipe from vintage Kraft advertising

3 cups sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter
6-oz. pkg. semi-sweet chocolate pieces
2/3 cup evaporated milk (5 1/3 oz.)
7-oz. jar Kraft marshmallow creme
1/2 cup peanut butter (crunchy or creamy style)
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine 1 1/2 cups sugar, 6 tbsp. butter and 1/3 cup milk in heavy 1 1/2 quart saucepan. Bring to full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Continue boiling 4 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Remove from heat; stir in chocolate pieces until melted.

Add 1 cup marshmallow creme and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla; beat until well blended. Pour into greased 13×9 inch pan. (Personally, I line the pan with aluminum foil and grease that; makes it much easier to get the fudge out and cut nice neat pieces later.)

Repeat above steps substituting peanut butter for chocolate pieces. Spread over chocolate layer. Cool at room temperature; cut into squares. Makes 3 pounds.


When keying in recipes for this blog, I use the term aluminum foil. But when speaking, I give away my age and call the stuff tin foil.

Tin foil is the new icebox. 


Recipe via ClickAmericana
eynolds ad via Pinterest

Holiday Baking: Peppermint Stick Cake

Betty Crocker claims this recipe is "easy double-quick." Why don't I believe her?

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Peppermint Stick Cake
1951 recipe from old Betty Crocker/Gold Medal Flour advertising

Have ingredients at room temperature (70˚ to 75˚). In hot weather, use milk and eggs directly from the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 350˚ (moderate).

Grease generously and dust with flour 2 round layer cake pans, 8" x 1 1/2".

Sift the flour, then spoon lightly into cup and level off. Do not pack.'

Sift together in a bowl 1 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. of sifted flour; 1 1/2 cups sugar; 1 1/4 tsp. baking soda; 1 tsp. salt; and 1/2 cup cocoa.

Add 1/2 cup shortening; 1 cup milk; and 1 tsp. peppermint extract (not peppermint oil).

Mix with your electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes, constantly scraping bottom and sides of bow.

Add 1/3 to 1/2 cup unbeaten eggs (2 medium).

Continue beating 2 minutes more, scraping the bowl constantly. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes in moderate over (350˚) or until top of cake springs back when lightly touched. When cake is cook, frost.

Candy Mountain Icing

Stir until well blended in a small saucepan 1/2 cup sugar; 2 tbsp. water and 1/2 cup white corn syrup. Boil rapidly to 242˚ (or when mixture spins a 6- to 8-inch thread or a few drops of mixture form a firm ball when dropped into cold water). When mixture begins to boil, start beating 1/4 cup egg whites. Beat until stiff enough to hold a peak. Pour hot syrup slowly in a this steady stream into beaten egg whites, beating constantly with electric mixer until mixture stands in very stiff peaks. Blend in 1/3 cup crushed peppermint stick candy (or you could crush these or 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract.


 More vintage peppermint goodness.


Recipe via Millie Motts
Image via Pinterest

Retro Holiday Happy Hour: Athole Brose

According to this 1971 advertisement, Athole is a small town in Scotland. And Brose is the Scottish word for brew.

Athol Brose is something like egg nog without the eggs. 

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Athole Brose
1971 recipe from old Dewar's advertising

1 cup honey (heather honey from Scotland, if you want to be 100% authentic
1 1/2 to 2 cups heavy sweet cream
2 cups Dewar's White Label Scotch Whisky

Heat honey and, when it thins slightly, stir in the cream. Heat together, but do not boil. Remove from heat and slowly stir in the whisky. It may be served hot or cold. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

For complete authenticity, soak 1 cup of oatmeal (not the instant kind) in two cups of water overnight. Strain and mix the liquid with the other ingredients. (Still want to be 100% authentic?)


"No, Grandma, I swear Athole is not a cuss word!"


Recipe via Maria

Retro food garnish looks neither like food nor garnish

Vintage cookbookFrom a vintage cookbook full of weird interesting ideas for food garnishes comes this Christmas-y horror treat.

It's Randolf, the Red-Nosed Rainmoose. (Shouldn't that be Reinmoose?)

Looks like it's made with a pointy potato, ginger roots, radish slices, half a cherry and the root ends of a couple of small onions.

Happy Nightmares Holidays!

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Via Yuckilicious