Thursday, February 13, 2014

Thrifty Acres: Valentine's Day Parties, 1960 Style

Hello! It's almost Valentine's Day, so let's take a look back to see what parties for this holiday looked like in 1960 - at least, according to:

There are six pages in this book devoted to Valentine's Day, but strangely, they were printed with purple or yellow accent colors - not a speck of red to be found. 

But then again, there's no red to be seen in any part of this book; the closest the Betty Crocker folks seemed to have gotten was a fuschia on some of the pages. Why no red? Had they run out of that color? Were they worried they'd be labeled as Communists? (joking here) I have no idea!

Well, red or no red, it's time to show off some pages:

Here's a menu from the first page in the Valentine's Day section. Looks like a rather fancy supper, but the only recipe that accompanies the menu is the one for the Heart-shaped White Coconut Cake - likely it's included because it calls for Betty Crocker's White Cake Mix and Fluffy White Frosting. 

Oh, wait - there was a paragraph on how to make Heart Croustades. But I guess people were on their own for the Lobster Newburg that was supposed to go in them!

Want to show your family how much they mean to you? Here's what Betty Crocker suggests:

Why yes, all you have to do is make a colorful tablecloth! I don't know about your family, but I know mine could care less what the tablecloth looks like on Valentine's Day - they're far more interested in the foods I'll make to put on the tablecloth!

Anyway, we are shown an example of how nice a Valentine's Day tablecloth can look:

Again, no red to be seen - although the description for making the tablecloth mentions using a red cotton border edged with red braid. The letters and shapes are to be cut from remnants - presumably not in yellow and white as shown here!

Two more menus for the holiday:

Today's young girls would still like cupcakes, of course. These were to be made with any Betty Crocker Cake Mix and topped with Fluffy White Frosting. A small red-tinted homemade frosting heart and pink-tinted coconut completed the cupcake decorations. I'd make things easier by just using a red-tinted frosting and sprinkling untinted (because it's already white, naturally) coconut on top. 

"Strawberry Milk", by the way, is just milk with either strawberry jam, strawberry ice cream topping or thawed frozen berries mixed in. Sounds okay to me. 

But the menu for the Valentine Supper doesn't, at least in my opinion. Creamed Chicken in Pimiento Mashed Potato Nests - yuck. Celery Hearts and Radish Roses - rather boring. Ice Cream and Milk - the only part of the menu I'd really like.

Well, kids' parties aren't just about food anyway; there needs to be some activities pertaining to the event. Of course, Betty Crocker knows this:

After having made "lots of simply decorated heart-shaped cookies", mother supplies the party with clean, empty food containers and various materials for decorating them.  I think this would still be a fun party activity for kids, and it sounds like something I would have seen in Family Fun magazine when our daughter was younger. 

Some decorating ideas for the "Valentine-decorated Cooky Boxes" are given:

If you eat oatmeal or cakes made from mixes, you can do this too!

I wouldn't make "bows of rose-colored pipe cleaners", but I do like the idea of decorating a tea tin for a gift presentation - and I like the idea of filling it with tiny cookies! It could be really quite charming, I think. 

But alas - while cruising a local thrift store earlier today, I forgot to check to see if there were any tea tins for sale there. My poor family and friends - they'll have to make do with the printed cardboard gift containers I already had on hand for the holiday. Such a disappointment. :) 

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