Retro-blog: Mom & Dad’s 40th Anniversary Dinner (May 2009)

by byn on January 23, 2010

in Retro-blog

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Last May Mom & Dad had their 40th Anniversary! Instead of taking them out to dinner, I decided to update their wedding dinner to celebrate. It turns out that my Mom’s Mom (Grammy) and two sisters (Aunt Joan & Aunt Judy) actually prepared the wedding dinner for all the guests. My Mom said it was called a “cold plate” which consisted of ham and turkey, potato salad, pickles, and probably some dinner rolls. Their wedding cake was fruit cake  “…because that’s what all the wedding cakes were way back then!” Mom said in her defence when she saw the look on my face.

Research complete, I set forth to find some awesome recipes to bring their 1969 dinner 40 years into the future.

Ham: I brought Mom to the grocery store with me, because I was totally lost in the ham zone. Once we picked one out (fully cooked, bone-in), I just had to decide on a glaze to pour over the top and baste with once in the oven. A lot of recipes call for orange juice/zest, but I really detest citrus in savory things (I realize this project was not about me, but I was eating it too, so too bad), so I just picked an easy glaze from allrecipes.com (but just left out the liquid smoke).

Potato Salad: I’m usually not interested in potato salad because I don’t like the hard-boiled eggs in them, and the one Mom makes is kind of blah (sorry Mom!). This recipe from the Barefoot Contessa is 528963 times better – crunchy celery, red onions, fresh dill, and two kinds of mustard mean the whole thing is bursting with flavour: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/potato-salad-recipe/index.html

Pickles: Whatever we had in the fridge. Easy.

Cornbread Muffins: While these weren’t at the original wedding dinner, I thought they would go well with everything else on the menu. This is my go-to recipe for cornbread, also from allrecipes.com, just baked in muffin tins instead of a 9″ square pan: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Grandmothers-Buttermilk-Cornbread/Detail.aspx

Fruit Cake: Well obviously I refused to make fruit cake, so I decided to make a cake with fruit in it instead. I thought Pineapple Upside Down Cake was decidedly retro, and there is one on Smitten Kitchen that looks amazing: http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/05/the-sunny-day-yawn/

I should have overlapped my pineapple a little more aggressively, because it spread out so much, but other than that, it turned out great. Using fresh pineapple makes a big difference, and I loved the crunchy/chewy caramelized edges. The cake was moist and even better the next day and the day after.

Overall, it was an amazing meal, and Dad even said it was better than the dinner they went out for the night before. Yay!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Leianne February 22, 2010 at 1:45 pm

that’s a really sweet idea. and interesting how wedding cakes have changed LOL

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