Eyeball Sandwiches

Stuffed Ham Slices a.k.a. Eyeball Sandwiches
from Family Circle Illustrated Library of Cooking Volume 14, San - Sea

1 loaf unsliced Italian bread (about 18 inches long)
1/4 c. mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/3 c. chopped parsley
1 8 oz. package cream cheese
3/4 c. finely chopped celery
1/2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
2 tbsp. very finely chopped onion
1/4 tsp. salt
2 packages (4 oz. each) sliced boiled ham
1 large dill pickle

1. Split bread; hollow out each half with a fork, leaving a 1/2 inch thick shell. (Save insides to make a crumb topping for a casserole.)
2. Spread mayonnaise or salad dressing over hollows in loaf; sprinkle parsley over mayonnaise.
3. Blend cream cheese, celery, cheddar cheese, onion, and salt in a medium-sized bowl; spoon into bread halves, packing down well with back of spoon and leaving a small hollow down center.
4. Quarter pickle lengthwise; roll each quarter inside a double-thick slice of ham. Place rolls, end to end, in center of bottom half of loaf; cover with remaining half of bread. Wrap loaf tightly in transparent wrap; chill several hours.
5. To serve, cut into 16 slices. Garnish with parsley sprigs, if you wish.

This looks like an eyeball sandwich to me. It is super 60's and weird, but pleasant. Sour pickly goodness with salty ham and creamy cheese. The real problem is that in order for it to keep its shape in slices it must be wrapped and chilled, which makes it soggy. It'd be a perfect 60's party snack if you could keep the bread from getting soggy.

I also ignored the part where it said to quarter the pickle.  It wouldn't have looked nearly so eyebally if I'd quartered it. 

Steak Night Sides Part Two: Tossed Lettuce Salad

Tossed Lettuce Salad
from 1966's Recipes on Parade: Salads

1 med. head of lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
2 lge. tomatoes, cut into chunks
5 med. green onions, chopped
4 slices bacon, fried and crumbled
3 slices American cheese, cubed
2 tbsp. vinegar
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Combine lettuce, tomatoes, onions, bacon, and cheese. Mix vinegar, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper. Pour dressing over salad to blend evenly. Yield: 6 servings.

Mrs. Henry E. Chriceol, V. Pres. OWC
San Vito dei Normanni Air Station, Italy

Okay, I'm a sworn enemy of American cheese. This recipe reminded me of those iceberg salads covered with Ranch dressing I couldn't stand as a kid. It sounded like the kind of salad I would typically pass on. In fact, I'd turn up my nose as I passed. I tried to keep an open mind and was pleasantly surprised by the good crunch and the flavor. I actually ate seconds. I'm not going to start making this on a regular basis, but it was pretty tasty.

Steak Night Sides Part One: Onions Au Gratin

Onions Au Gratin
from 1966's Recipes on Parade: Quick and Easy Dishes

1 lb. onions, thinly sliced
Salted water
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour
1/2 c. cream
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c. chopped parsley
1 c. buttered coarse bread crumbs
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

Boil onions in lightly salted water until just tender; drain, reserving 1/2 cup liquid. Melt butter in saucepan; blend in flour. Bring cream to boil; add to flour mixture, stirring vigorously. Add reserved onion liquid, salt, pepper, parsley, and onions. Turn mixture into casserole; sprinkle with bread crumbs and cheese. Bake, uncovered, in 375 degree oven until heated through and brown on top, about 20 minutes.

Mrs. Morton F Roth, OWC
Cinclant, Norfolk, Virginia

Heavy cream, onions, and breadcrumbs? This wasn't exactly risky. We were looking for comfort food and we found it. They were very rich, so a tiny serving is plenty, but they still went beautifully with our New York strips. I'd definitely make them again. I'd consider adding some gruyere to the sauce and mixing in other veggies. A yummy, basic recipe.

Welcome to The Retro Table

I am completely fascinated by old cookbooks. I suppose I always appreciated this kind of thing, but a few years ago I picked up a copy of 1967's Better Homes and Gardens Barbecue Book and fell in love. At first glance, the pictures knocked my socks off. The vivid hues not found in nature, the plastic look of all the foods, the super-cool tableware. What's not to love? Upon closer inspection, I learned the true beauty of the book. Recipes such as Nutty Pups (peanut butter slathered hot dogs) and Hobologna Bunwiches (American cheese and bologna wrapped in bacon, grilled, and served on a bun) revealed a big misstep in the American culinary journey. Of course, most of the other recipes in the book looked delicious. In that guilty-pleasure kind of way.

Since then, I've received and purchased a slew of old cookbooks. I read them recreationally, but until now I really haven't cooked from them. You see, usually I lean toward the natural or moderately healthy, and these recipes are anything but. I've decided to blog about them so I have an excuse to make some rich or ridiculous retro recipe every week or so. I'll share the recipes and their sources, share some really shoddy pictures of the finished product, and review them for taste or weirdness value. I hope you enjoy it!