Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sandwich Loaf for Ladies Luncheon - Popular in 1960's

My Luncheon Table featuring the "Layered Sandwich Loaf"
(Source:  Photo by Jackie Nelson)

A Favorite in the 1960's:  8-Layer Rainbow Jell-o
(Source:  Photo by Jackie Nelson)

Champagne Dessert:  A Special Request
(Source:  Photo by Jackie Nelson)

My 1960's Ladies Luncheon
     Yesterday I hosted a ladies/girls luncheon at the farmhouse.  We call ourselves The Lunch Bunch.  I wanted to make something special and as I looked through my cookbooks for ideas I landed on a theme:  an old fashioned ladies lunch menu from the 1960's.  

Old Fashioned Bride's Champagne Punch

Luncheon Sandwich Loaf

8-Layer Rainbow Jell-O

Veggie Votive Cups with Ranch Dressing

Champagne Cake


     This is an elegant lunch that was made often by my mother and hosted at the farmhouse in the 1960's.  Mom had four sisters, all who loved one another dearly, so you can imagine the joyful flurry of activity that surrounded the planning of my cousin's bridal and baby showers.  As a young girl, I watched and learned how to entertain a large group with calm, attention to fine detail, and organization.   Our little eat-in farmhouse kitchen was small.  I can still see mom and her four sisters, all with pretty aprons, all talking at once, and all transforming our kitchen table into a beautiful buffet.  And of course, a fresh pressed cotton table cloth was a must.

     Although the luncheon menu sounds like something that would be more suited for a country club or New York City, I was often reminded that money had nothing to do with graceful entertaining and making your guests feel special.  Mom had a knack for it.  I would define her entertaining style as endearing.  The many hours spent to make everything special was her gift.  When you walked into the house and saw the decorations, flowers, wrapped gifts in the bag for game prizes, and a table full of favorite foods in all colors, textures, sizes, shapes, hot and cold, you knew there was a reason why you wore your nylon stockings, fancy shoes, and Sunday dress.

     I hope this story and the photos inspire you to lunch with the girls.

Mom and her Sisters - Thanks for the Memories!!

My Mom, Vicki
(Source:  Photo by Jackie Nelson)

My Mom's Sisters
Julie, Gerty, Marion, Helen
(Source:  Photo by Jackie Nelson)


Luncheon Sandwich Loaf from Mom
One large loaf of bread
Softened butter
4 sandwich fillings, purchased or homemade
3 - 8 oz. packages of whipped Kraft Cream Cheese
3/4 cup of Mayo
Garnish for decorating:  dill, radish, edible flowers, etc.
Assemble loaf on your serving dish as described below.
Cover with plastic wrap, UNFROSTED, and chill overnight so the flavors blend and the bread becomes moist.
Frost the day of your event so the cream cheese and garnish look fresh.  Cover and refrigerate until an hour before you serve.
Serves 12
(Note:  You can keep leftovers for a few days in the frig)
1.  Order large loaf of bread from your bakery and ask them to cut it horizontal instead of vertical.  I ordered mine from Racine, Wisconsin's famous O & H Danish Bakery.  I ordered the pastel color as shown below, however any large loaf is fine.

O & H Danish Bakery, Racine, Wisconsin
Horizontal cut pastel bread loaf
Trim loaf to fit your serving platter.  I trimmed the crust on the short ends but forgot to trim the long ends.  It didn't make any difference.  Actually, I thought it gave the loaf a little more structure and shape.

2.  Buy sandwich fillings or make from scratch.  If you have a great deli that makes fresh quality fillings, then I do not see why you need to make from scratch, unless you want to.
You need 4 fillings:  Buy one pound:  chicken salad, egg salad, ham salad, tuna salad, or salmon salad.

3.  Butter the top of each slice.  You may be tempted to skip this because of the calories but I suggest you don't.  The butter protects the bread from falling apart and getting soggy from the fillings.  Keep the butter and eat a smaller piece.

Butter top of each slice.

4.  Spread generous amount of filling completely to the ends.  I started with chicken, then tuna, then egg, and then topping with ham.

5. Cover the top filling with the last slice of bread.  Cover with wrap and chill overnight.  Frost and garnish the day of your party.

Top with last slice of bread.

Wrap and chill overnight.
Frost and garnish the day of the party.

6.  With a mixer or whisk, blend softened cream cheese and mayo until smooth.  Spread or "frost" all sides of the loaf.  Garnish and keep covered and refrigerated until an hour before serving.  You may notice I have little lines in my cream cheese.  I used a fork.  You can make any pattern in the cream cheese - just be creative.


7.  Wha-la!!!!!  You are finished and ready to enjoy.  This is not a difficult recipe.  It does take time but won't it be nice to have this finished the day of the party? 

8 Layer Jell-O Dessert
(Source:  Mrs. Frances Wozniak, "From Our Kitchen",  St. Stanislaus Home and School Association, Racine, Wisconsin, 1971)

Very attractive when served cut in squares.  Make in a  9 x 13 glass baking dish with tall sides.
2 - small packages of orange Jell-O
2 - small packages of lime Jell-O
2 - small packages of lemon Jell-O
2 - small packages of cherry Jell-O
3 - 12 oz. cans of Carnation Evaporated Milk.

1-1/2 c boiling water
1 small pkg orange Jell-O
Mix well and pour in 9 x 13 pan.  Spray with pan first so you can get slices out easily.
Cool and refrigerate.
Let set in refrigerator before you pour another layer.

3/4 c boiling water
1 small pkg orange Jell-O
Mix well and cool.  Then add 3/4 c Carnation Evaporated Milk.  Mix and pour over the first orange layer.
Cool and refrigerate.
Let set in refrigerator.

Repeat this procedure for the Lime Jell-O, Lemon Jell-O, and Cherry Jell-O (top layer).

Old Fashion Bride's Champagne Punch
(Source:  Lorraine Bittel, "A Book of Favorite Recipes",  Compiled by Allons League, Jr. Woman's Club of Kenosha, Wisconsin.  Date approximately late 1970's)

1 can of Hawaiian Punch, made into ice cubes.  I use two trays.
3 Qts. of Ginger Ale
3 Bottles of champagne.  I used a $6. bottle of sweet Rose' champagne but you can use anything.
Your favorite Sherbet.  I used raspberry but multi-color is pretty too.

Combine ginger ale and champagne in a punch bowl.  I used a large salad bowl with high sides because I don't have a large punch bowl.  Add Hawaiian punch ice cubes.  Top with scoops of sherbet and stir.

This recipe can be reduced for smaller parties.  Make about 30 minutes before guests arrive.  Ladies love this one!!  People don't make punch anymore so when they receive a glass of punch as their "welcome" beverage, there is a big smile on their face because it reminds them of baby and wedding showers from the 1960's and 1970's.  Very retro!

Champagne Dessert
(Source:  This recipe was always a favorite and special request, made by Mary Ferch, telephone operator at Kenosha National Bank in the late 1970's.  Mary was a great cook and very popular with the employees.  She always had a homemade treat.)

1 Jiffy Yellow Cake Mix
1 small Instant Vanilla Jell-O pudding package
1-1/3 cup milk
1 - 8 oz Kraft Whipped Cream Cheese, softened
1 - 9 oz Cool Whip
1 large can and one small can of crushed pineapple (drained completely)
1 package of chopped nuts - walnuts or pecans

Mix cake according to directions on box.
Spray with pan or bank in non-stick pan.
Bake in a 9 x 13 pan.  Batter will appear to barely cover the bottom, but it is OK.
350 degrees for 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Mix pudding with milk - beat well.
Add softened cream cheese to the pudding.  Mix well.
Spread this mixture over cake.
Spread drained pineapple over the pudding mixture.
Spread cool whip over pineapple.
Top with nuts.

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