A Mad Men Cocktail Party - Fondue, Gimlets, & Gourmet Hot Dogs of Yore

Last night was the season premiere of Mad Men, and to commemorate the occasion we--along with some fellow SASOU'ers--joined for a circa-1964 cocktail party. Apart from the new episode itself, the evening was made by two things: a vintage Betty Crocker Cookbook, and some serious fondue. We'll address the fondue later, but first get a load of this:

And you thought hot dogs were low-brow American cuisine! Learn the techniques above and you'll wow everybody at your next backyard BBQ! Impress the hell out of the boss and his wife, and maybe even land a date with Darlene, that hot little number from accounts receivable.

So the very tattered Cookbook, from whence the above photo was taken, was an heirloom handed down from our host's mother to him. The book is full of seriously dated recipes that slant heavily toward jello salads and casseroles. You'll find a couple more excellent photos from the cookbook at the bottom of this post.

The gathering was also a perfect excuse to break in the new Cuisinart fondue set (one of many gadgets from the registry).

Ours is a metal, non-stick, electric fondue pot, which provides for very nice control, but ... non-stick interior, sharp metal fondue forks? How is that a good idea? In any event, the cheese fondue was good. Our host's fondue set was made of cast iron, and instead of electricity is heated by the flame from an alcohol burner.

The heat control seemed a bit trickier than on the electric set, but I like the cast-ironness of it. We used his set for the chocolate, coating both strawberries as well as mint-flavored marshmallows that the missus made from scratch (perhaps we can get her to post the recipe in the comments? Hint hint!) (Also, for this blog, we're still waiting on a better name than "the missus.").

The vodka martinis and the gimlets flowed, and the first episode of season four left us grateful that Mad Men is back, disappointed that Salvatore seems to be off the show, but relieved that Thally finally lotht her lithp.

Dora, the Hindu goddess of 1950s suburbian domestic entertainment

This is a recipe for a pineapple cake which our host actually made. And it was good! I'm not so sure I would say the same if he had made the casserole with enormous chunks of (pork?) loin resting in the midst of what seemed to be macaroni mixed with cream of mushroom soup.


Pamela said...

The Missus here! Technically I'm a "Ms." but we're still working on the nickname. The recipe for the minty marshmallow's came from one of my favorite cooking blogs: http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/06/springy-fluffy-marshmallows/.
I did make a couple of adjustments. I added mint extract and I'd recommend using less than a tablespoon as suggested by smittenkitchen -- the 'shmallos were a little strong, although a good compliment to the chocolate fondue. I also bought a small tube of hard copper pipe (about 1.5 inches in diameter) from the local hardware store and used that as my cookie-cutter. So instead of getting the square bites as shown in the original post, I achieved the more familiar round 'shmallow. Thrifty missus ;) The only trouble now is what to do with a tupperware full of leftover minty 'shmallows...

Scott said...

S'mores tonight!

Pamela said...

Ah ha! S'mores indeed. Future post on minty smores and other barbecued yumminess to come...?