Last night I finally caught up with everyone else and binge watched the fab TV show Back In Time For Dinner. It features a family eating their way through the 1950s -1990s, the last 3 episodes are still available on the Iplayer and strongly recommend you watch them! They started in post-war Britain with the austerity of the 1950s, followed by a steady tide of change during the 1960s, including new tastes and ways to eat, like Vesta meals. I have fond memories of my mum giving me Vesta Chow Mein as a kid in the 90s, she had grown up with them in the 1960s. The programme then moved onto the convenience food of the 1970s, such as Smash and tinned everything! In this episode I even spied my own frying pan (a charity shop find for £3) and it reminded me of the time last summer that I threw a 1970s dinner party, in the style of the film American Hustle, for my friends. Originally blogged here on How I Partied.
My 70s dinner party menu was simple:
- Babycham on arrival
- Starter- Prawn Cocktail
- Main- Beef Bourguignon with instant mash and surprise (tinned) peas
- Buttered carrots (also tinned)
- Dessert- Black Forest Gateaux (from the freezer)
- All served with warm Black Tower wine and instant coffee
I took inspiration from the various cookbooks of the time I have found in local charity shops, a few great Fanny Cradock ones too like ‘Problem Cooking With Fanny’, how could I NOT buy that! I also searched Pinterest for food pictures and found that most foods at the time seemed to be orange, brown or sludge green in colour.
Cooking the 1970s menu definitely involved opening a lot of cans, something they discover on the show too! It also took a lot of arranging and it all seemed to be very much about how the food was displayed. I spent a lot of time arranging ham and cutting olives, eggs and tomatoes into fancy shapes. We decided to dress very glam 70s, this was the age of Disco after all and we even re-created one of the famous scenes from the film for a photo. I modelled my look on Jennifer Lawrence’s character, the highly strung and glitzy Rosalyn. Below is how it all turned out..
It was such a fun night and I’ve since hosted more themed dinner parties for friends including a Star Wars meal that you can see here, a Twin Peaks party that you can read all about that here, and a 1980s night (I’ll blog this after the next episode of Back In Time For Dinner) and a Game of Thrones inspired meal that I still need to blog too. The question is what will I do next or what would you like to see me do next?