It's almost New Year's Eve, so let's party like it's 1959! The General Foods Cookbook has a New Year's Open House menu to help get the party started.
Since this is from General Foods, you might expect the recipes to call for General Foods products. A glance at the beverage options on this menu will prove you justified in that expectation:
Of course Southern Eggnog starts with a package of Jell-O Vanilla Pudding and Pie Filling. The traditional Southern lady has always taken pride in serving drinks that combine brandy and pudding mix.
The kids will probably feel left out on the sweet drink front since they can't have the eggnog, so General Foods has a different suggestion to get kids to drink a dessert mix:
I'm not quite sure why this is called Apple Punch. Yes, it's based on apple juice, but the flavor of the Jell-O is probably way more assertive than super-mild apple juice. The kids won't mind, though, since they'll be buzzing from all the sugar in Jell-O plus apple juice plus ginger ale. Even General Foods seems to understand this recipe is a bit of a reach, adding a note at the end to explain "The flavored gelatin enhances the color and flavor of fruit punch." So just in case you were thinking of just mixing apple juice with ginger ale and calling it a day, there is a good reason you need the Jell-O.
The book actually does have a fair amount of recipes that don't call specifically for General Foods products, though. The questionable suggestions branch into all types of food. Take the Chopped Chicken Livers:
No branded foods at all-- just a mound of chopped chicken livers with egg yolks, onions, and seasonings, molded and left to un-congeal on a table for hours as the neighbors wander in and out, perhaps tentatively dipping into it with salty rye or Mebla toast slices if they are really hungry and/or foolhardy.
There's even a surprisingly-spicy for the '50s and guacamole-esque Tomato-Avocado Dip:
It calls for four dashes of Tabasco sauce. FOUR! Most "spicy" '50s recipes I see call for opening (and then immediately closing) the bottle of Tabasco while in the same room as the rest of the ingredients, assuming the air molecules that touched the Tabasco sauce will settle on the rest of the food and impart a just-barely-survivable heat level.
Like the chicken livers, this is my not be the best choice to sit on the table for hours during an open house since the avocado will darken "when left uncovered for long periods."
Interestingly enough, General Foods reserves its own branded ingredients for the recipe that seems most likely to give everyone food poisoning if it's left out for long:
I don't think the Good Seasons Old Fashion French Salad Dressing Mix will be enough to keep the eggs stuffed with crab meat from turning lethal after sitting for hours on an open buffet.
My favorite item, though, is one for which there is no recipe: "Herring Fillets on Apple Slices." This must sound fine to someone because a quick internet search yields plenty of herring and apple salad recipes. The thought of starting the new year with fish on fruit would only make sense to me if I wanted to start the new year with something so bad that the remainder of the year could only get better.....
Happy New Year, everyone! May 2015 be better than an apple topped with herring.