Tepid punchbowls of homemade eggnog (replete with raw eggs) dubiously “cooking” in mass amounts of rum. Pillaging leftovers in sweats. Crooked trees with mis-matched ornaments. (Insert holiday tune) These are a few of my favorite things...NO. Where has all the glitz and glamour gone? While Boulder is full of bohemian dreamers and gypsy wanderers, the holidays are the perfect time to channel a bit of 1950s glitz and glam with heavy retro flavor.
What to Eat: (As told by a Frisk gal who recently hosted an amazing 1950s inspired cocktail party).
When faced with the self-imposed task of cooking for 20+ guests at my birthday cocktail party, a revamped retro-themed menu with seemed like the perfect way to ring in 29 (for the first time).
The ingredients: a pinch of nostalgia combined with a dash modern glam, a recipe that is a go-to for us Frisk ladies. My main challenge was to infuse the right amount of kitsch in foods that tasted great; nothing would be more distressing than sub par deviled eggs and lukewarm spinach dip lacking the appropriate amount of irony. I made sure to carefully choose each item on the menu (also to take into consideration the range of dietary preferences among my guests) and deliver each with a degree of originality. The result? A funky, vibrant smorgasbord as festive as the season. And, of course, nothing makes you want to sit back and take it all in more than a nice warm hot toddy. I prepared a large batch kept hot in a coffee carafe, with extra lemons, agave, and cinnamon sticks for my guests to add to their liking (which let me enjoy the wonderful evening rather than pose as a faux fancy mixologist). Cheers to that.
A fabulous retro-inspired menu
Deviled eggs The twist: truffle oil; cream cheese, lox and chives
Bacon-wrapped dates The twist: Dates stuffed with spicy mango chutney
Cheese ball The twist: tiny versions covered in pistachios, pecans, and spicy paprika
Shrimp cocktail (don’t mess with perfection)
Mini meatballs The twist: coated in a sweet-spicy bourbon glaze
Whoopie pies The twist: Infused with peppermint extract and coated in chopped candy canes
What to Wear:
The fashion of the 1950s was elegant- nipped waists, full skirts, the jewelry was glittery and plentiful. Glamorous and structured- these aren’t fashions to twerk or lounge in- they’re ensembles to be seen in. This holiday season infuse a bit of 1950s retro into your style. While it may not be practical to wear a two piece suit or full length chiffon dress to dinner at Grandma’s, you can easily take inspiration. Jewelry is the easiest way- a glitzy bracelet of rhinestone earrings adds flair to any dress, or a great pair of jeans. Not really a brooch gal, but feeling extra old school? A glitzy necklace does the trick.
How to Decorate: One word: Tinsel! Okay, maybe two words: Tinsel! And...Kitsch! The shinier the better. To achieve that mid century mod- looking tree think pops of color. Tinsel covered with bulbs in neon orange, lime green and hot pink. Real trees aren’t your thing? Extra points for a faux, metallic tree in a fun hue like pink. Now is the perfect time to dig into those old family boxes with random holiday junk- those tacky but adorable stuffed reindeer in bright red? Perfect. Mice dressed like drummer boys? Even better.
Food, fashion, decor... Have yourself a very nice little retro holiday.