Monday, March 25, 2013

25 March 1955 “Menu for Easter Dinner”

easterdinner1 With Easter soon upon us I thought we could look at this Easter Menu plan from one of my 1955 magazines. There are some lovely ideas and the novelty of the vintage recipes, as Beet Aspic, might perk up the more austere Recession Easter many may be facing.
makeyourowneastermeat For my non American readers it might be of interest to see the various regions idea of Easter dinner. As it mentions here Ham is the norm in some parts, the east coast, where I live, certainly does think of lamb as the appropriate entree’, though Ham is just as popular here now as well. I liked that Pennsylvania reports Baked shad as their expected Easter Sunday meal. I wonder if that is still true today? If any of my readers are from PA do let us know.

Now, for the lovely side-dishes for a 1955 Easter celebration.

Here we have the main recipes vor the crown roast of lamb or the sherry glazed ham. I think the sherry would impart a fine flavor and a little glass for the homemaker in the kitchen while she snips and glues her crepe paper Easter centerpiece wouldn’t go amiss either.

  easterdinner2Here we have a lovely Spring Salad and I might attempt this Beet Aspic. I will of course share the results, but I can be a sucker for a savory jelly with unflavored gelatin. It is often much better than one supposes. The tomato aspic I made with a mayonase center dressing was a big hit back in my 1955 year. Hubby said it was like a slice of delicious home-made tomato soup which made me consider having a slice of it on a grilled cheese sandwich. A rather fun kitsch meets gourmet luncheon, I think.

 springsalad beetaspic
easterdinner3I know I shall try these puffy potato ball. And any modern palette would adore them, as they would be such a delicious fried treat. They would be great for a brunch as well. As would the orange rice, because aromatic rice really does lend itself well to breakfast foods, I think, especially if served with kippers.

 fluffypotatoeballs orangerice

easterdinner4 The glazed turnips seem a simple way to dress up a good and hearty and easily stored winter root vegetable like a turnip.
glazedturnipsAnd of course the hazelnut custard sounds so dreamy. The lady Baltimore cake was the cake of the day in the 1940’s and 50’s. The soaked and preseved fruit and nuts were considered the height of decadence and treat in those days. As fruit and nuts were very dear. I have noticed this is becoming the case again and wonder if a move toward preserved fruit and nuts in desserts will make another go in the vogue of today, as they are an expensive treat today. And I think the Hawaiian Ice would be such a treat for and old alike.

 hazelnutcustard ladybaltimorecake
eastertablesetting And of course a table set in the Lenten shade of purple would make any homemaker proud on Easter Day.

Now, to close today’s Easter food post,  a lovely Home move from a 1950’s. I just love the joy and simplicity of these old home movies. The faded color and soundless smiles seem to enliven my heart. One almost wishes they could hop into them Mary Poppin’s style as if they were chalk drawings in a magical world.

I hope all have a lovely day and Happy Homemaking.


  1. I'm from Pennsylvania and I've never heard of baked shad. I was born in the late 70s and I always remember ham on Easter. I think maybe turkey on a few occasions.

  2. Interesting. I wonder, do you have any older relatives (mothers in 50's an earlier) who you could ask? I'm very curious. Being in a very coastal place myself, its odd that seafood isn't more of an Easter time treat, but its usually Lamb or ham or both for us.

  3. I grew up and spent my early adulthood in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is an interestingly diverse state for its size. The eastern and western halves are quite different from each other. I lived mostly in western Pennsylvania and dined on Easter ham. Eating shad for Easter, I believe, is a Pennsylvania Dutch (German) tradition in the southeastern part of the state.

  4. Hi Donna, these recipes look wonderful! I went back and read all your posts on diet and nutrition- thank you!! I have begun a "50's" plan of eating (just plain old common sense!) and am going to exercise with Jack Lalanne! I grew up in the 1960's and fondly remember watching him with my grandma. Such a refreshing change from the modern videos. Thank you again for bringing such a bright spot to my day. Blessings to you, Dee

  5. I forgot to add that I am from the Midwest and we always have ham for Easter, Dee

  6. Hi... I am playing catch-up for this year still but I am from the Philly area and I have never heard of baked Shad. I am also 24 but my grandparents never spoke of it eating shad. Interesting fact is that I am byzantine catholic so my Easter meal revolves around a blessed Easter basket (there is a whole ceremony in the church basement conducted to bless you foods you are going to eat for Easter). In it usually there is pork, hard boiled eggs, butter, kielbasa, ham, horseradish, and my absolute favorite... Pascha/Paska bread. That is Polish for Easter. My church is specifically Eastern European influenced. We also eat stuffed cabbage and have desserts mixed in. Every year my family holds an Easter buffet that is tradition from my great grandmother. I lost my job on October 4th and have been living as a SAHF (Fiance) and researching the 50's lifestyle. I have been religiously reading your blog daily since I found it Mid October. Many of your views of how today's youth and fashion revolving around youth has been my own personal view. And I agree with you on many of your "rants". The happiest I have been has been my current time homemaking. And this March I hope to purchase my own 1950's home with my future husband.


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