Archive for Sunday, December 7, 2008

Kick back for New Year’s with ’60s-themed party

December 7, 2008

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 Gruyere cheese, dry white wine and diced peppers creates great fondue for bread, ham or whatever you may want to try.

Gruyere cheese, dry white wine and diced peppers creates great fondue for bread, ham or whatever you may want to try.

It wasn’t such a great year for many Americans. Foreclosures, job loss, credit problems. No wonder many people felt nostalgic. The show “Mad Men” developed a cult following, while talk show hosts cast the Obamas as the new Kennedys.

A bit of nostalgia can also work as a theme party for New Year’s Eve. Throwing a 1960s-themed New Year’s Eve party means creating a flashback food and drink menu.

Not alive during the 1960s? Determined to keep Jell-O off the menu? Here are five ways to enjoy the old while ringing in the new:

1. Fondue was popular in the 1960s. And while dipping bread into hot chocolate or cheese never goes out of style, heating by candle is quite outdated. There are modern updates, and the Electric Fondue Pot from Cuisinart has a heating element with an adjustable thermostat built into the bottom. The pot can be used to prepare chocolate, cheese, oil or broth. It is made with brushed stainless steel and can hold three quarts. Dishwasher safe, includes eight fondue forks and a three-year limited warranty. $59.95 at CuisinartWebStore.com or houseware stores and department stores.

2. The cocktail was the drink of choice in the 1960s. Your guests may enjoy a martini, whiskey sour or sidecar. No blush wine allowed. Prepare drinks in an elegant shaker. The Black Damask Cocktail shaker has a black pattern on frosted glass and a stainless steel top. The strainer is also stainless steel and will not react with liquids. It is 11 inches high and holds 22 ounces. Hand wash only, available for $30 exclusively at Sur La Table stores or SurLaTable.com.

3. Not all guests can handle the hard drinks that were hugely popular in the 1960s. A lighter punch is an alternative. Spiked with champagne, of course. The Punch Bowl Set from Pier 1 has a modern shape and is made with clear glass. The set includes eight glass punch cups and a glass ladle. $38.95 at Pier 1 stores.

4. Flip through a 1960s cookbook and most recommend that hostesses serve a dish of salted nuts as an appetizer. Not exactly healthy fare but this was the decade that permitted smoking on airplanes (and in the office). A more modern update is a covered candy dish that can be used to hold candy, dried fruit or salt-free nuts. The Footed Candy Dish is an elevated bowl and lid made from handmade glass. The bowl is 7 inches round and 8 inches high. $24.95, available at Williams-Sonoma.com or Williams-Sonoma stores.

5. The 1960s was a time when many hostesses insisted on protecting furniture with plastic. This caused guests to stick to the furniture but at least it was immaculate. Instead, stylishly protect your tables with place mats. The Modern Twist Placemat in floral has a minimalist style and an easy to clean surface. Made with nontoxic silicone, available in grey, black, brown or orange. $17 each at GreenerGrassDesign.com.

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