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Mid-century fashion, vintage pop culture and retro cool... from Expo 67 and beyond.

10 November 2009

Fondue and Tabletop Cooking, 1970

Better Homes and Gardens magazine was first published in 1922 by Edwin Meredith, founder of the Meredith Corporation.

Originally called Fruit, Garden and Home, the magazine was renamed Better Homes and Gardens in 1924. By 1930, eager to capitalize on the success of the magazine, Meredith published the Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book. Magazine subscribers received complimentary copies of the first edition, and book sales grew rapidly.

By the mid-20th century, Better Homes and Gardens had established itself as a leading authority on home economics and gardening, with a plethora of specialized books and cookbooks, spun off from the original magazine.

This 1970 edition of Fondue and Tabletop Cooking put together "the most widely acclaimed fondues, from appetizers through desserts", promising that the reader would become "an effervescent, day-by-day fondue hostess."

Warm appetizers: Cheese-Bean, Sausage-Avocado and Shrimp dips.

An intriguing introduction:

"Fondues give menus seemingly new and exciting twists, yet the idea originated long ago. Out of a fervent desire to utilize hardened cheese and bread, the Swiss concocted a mouth watering cheese-wine mixture. The cheese was melted in wine, and the bread cubes were dunked in the mixture. The name 'fondue' came from the French word 'fondre' which means 'to melt'."

Fish and Seafood Fondue, featuring Salmon, Shrimp and Lobster.

Meat magic:

"'Beef Fondue' consists of beef cubes cooked in hot oil and then dipped in a zesty sauce. Similar fondues substitute other meat, fish, or seafood for beef.

"Dinner is easy on the hostess when the main dish is meat, fish or seafood fondue. The hostess sets the table, and the guests do the rest themselves. It's instant fun for everyone."

Mexi-Meatball fondue... ¡Ay, caramba!

Fondue Fiesta fun:

"Mexican food and music go hand-in-hand, so combine the two with colorful south-of-the-border decorations for a wildly enthusiastic dinner. To an accompaniment of recorded trumpets, guitars, maracas and castanets, serve a snappy 'Mexi-Meatball Fondue', soft tortillas and hot 'Mexican Chocolate'."

Fondue Italiano, served at a gay after-ski party. Look how happy everyone is!

After-ski amusement:

"Br-r-r-r, it's cold outside - so build a roaring blaze in the fireplace, bring on the fondue, and start swapping skiing tales. If you're not in ski country, plan this "warm up" party to follow some other winter activity."

Modern, portable appliances, used for tabletop cooking.

Tabletop truths:

"The myriad of smartly-styled appliances for tabletop cooking gives the modern homemaker another approach to dining. Some provide sufficient heat to cook table-side; others simply keep foods at serving temperature."

An electric skillet is used to cook vegetables and shrimp Tempura-style.

Tempura talk:

"Add a far-eastern flavor to dining with Japanese Tempura - batter dipped shrimp and vegetables deep-fat fried in an electric skillet."

Decorating directives:

"Guests will enjoy dining at a low table accompanied with plenty of soft floor pillows. Arrange a black or brightly colord lacquered tray at each place setting - they need not match - or, use bamboo placemeats. Chopsticks add authenticity, although it is wise to furnish knives, forks, and spoons. Provide small cups for warm 'sake' (rice wine)."

Waffles served with apple, pecan or coconut-orange peel toppings.

Waffle wisdom:

"Start the day with piping hot wafles for breakfast or wind it up with an ice cream-topped waffle dessert after the theatre. In between are occasions for sophisticated waffle entrées served with cheese, meat or seafood sauce."

The chafing dish, demystified.

Chafing dish chat:

"Ever dream of being a star? Even if your stage aspirations have long been forgotten, dust the cobwebs off that dream. Make your debut at your next dinner party by cooking at the table using a chafing dish. Chafing dish cookery not only caters to the showmanship in all of us, it also enables the hostess to spend her time with guests. They become the supporting players."

Wow, who knew that a chafing dish could do all that...?

Lemon Crêpes, drizzled with Royal Grape Sauce, and warmed in a chafing dish.

Mini Pastries au Fondue

Do-it-yourself dessert:

"Guests spear and cook surprise filled pastries. Easy to make, squares of refrigerated crescent-roll dough are sealed around bite-size pieces of fruit or candy."

And, yes, they're fried in oil...!

images: personal collection



Anonymous Suzanna said...

I remember reading that book. We also went through a fondue phase, remember Meatball Fondue? hahahahaha! and Crepes Suzette for dessert!

8:13 am  
Blogger Jason Stockl said...

We should have fondue for x-mas this year...!

7:00 pm  
Blogger Barbara Collishaw said...

Maryying in 1968, I missed the great fondue-pots-as-wedding-presents year, which was 1969 or 1970, but later received one from a friend who had got at least 4 sets.
Having lived in France, in the Jura next to Switzerland, we often have fondue or raclette, even now!

12:23 am  
Blogger Jason Stockl said...

So do we! We've always got some Swiss Knight cheese fondue hanging around in the pantry for an easy (and delicious) dinner, while raclette is great for dinner parties!

8:11 am  
Blogger Irene said...

A friend of mine had a popular fondue restaurant in San Luis Obispo during the 70s. I think it was called Wine Street.

12:50 pm  

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