Retro Cooking

Retro Cooking: A Very Retro Thanksgiving Meal

Most holidays are a fun times to try retro recipes. Thanksgiving didn’t disappoint. Since none of my vintage cookbooks has anything too exciting to try for Thanksgiving, I went to my trusty friend Google and found a few gems.


  • Cranberry Surprise, from Hellman’s Mayonnaise (1960)
  • Spam Birds, from Hormel (1940’s)
  • Pepperidge Farm Stuffing (1965)

This was my chance to make my first molded gelatin dish and to revisit a childhood fire-pit favorite, Spam. You know it will be a great dish when there is not a single fresh ingredient in it!


First, I worked on the gelatin delight. Instead of making individual ones, I used my new vintage mold (yay Goodwill!) to make one large masterpiece. Haha! It was scary to make as I was very worried it wouldn’t set and I would end up with a counter full of gelatinous mess. Thankfully, it went pretty well.


Then, I worked on the bird and its stuffing. I followed the package instructions for the stuffing, which was simple enough. The Spam only needed to be thin-sliced. After making my little Spam/Stuffing boats, I baked them on the broil setting for 10 minutes or so. Easy peasy! And talking of peas, they were the easiest part of the meal, of course! Open can, pour out liquid, serve peas.


The result, while appalling-looking, tasted fine. It would have been much better with gravy as the spam/stuffing combo was a bit dry. The cranberry surprise had a fresh taste to it despite its heavy use of mayonnaise. I did forego the serving suggestion of adding an extra spoonful of mayonnaise on top of the jelly. A girl has her limits.

I hope you all enjoy your Thanksgiving meal, whether it is traditional, canned, healthy or modern. You can’t go wrong with food! (…well…most of the time. Haha!)


Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

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