The Odessa Record -

Throwback Thursday harks back to recipes of the 1970s


Facebook has a custom of post called; “Throwback Thursday.” Participants post photos of past events and friends respond with remembrances of those events. We are in the season of wedding and baby showers and my “Throwback” is recipes for shower refreshments from the 1970’s.

Lemon Fluff was a staple for showers and teas in the era. For variety change the gelatin flavor for, Cherry Fluff, Strawberry Fluff or Lime Fluff. The recipe was given to me by Ada Larsen of Marysville, WA around 1974.


1 can (14 ounces) evaporated milk

1 package (3 ounces) lemon gelatin

1 3/4 cups boiling water

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 cup granulated sugar

2 1/2 cups vanilla wafer or graham cracker crumbs, divided

1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, well drained

Chill can of evaporated milk until very cold (3-4 hours). Dissolve gelatin in boiling water in a large mixer bowl. Chill until partially set (mixture will look like thick egg whites). With electric mixer, whip until gelatin is light and fluffy. Add lemon juice, sugar and the pineapple.

In a separate mixing bowl, whip chilled milk until peaks form. Fold into gelatin mixture.

Line the bottom of a 9 x13 inch pan with 2 1/4 cups of the crumbs. Pour in gelatin mixture. Sprinkle with remaining crumbs. Chill until firm, over night is best. Yield 12-15 servings.

Refrigerated Cheese Cake was another favorite in the 1970’s. I received this recipe from my sister, Billie O’Mack in 1976.

Refrigerated Cheese Cake

15 whole graham crackers, crushed fine

3 Tbsp melted butter

2 eggs, separated

1/2 cup milk

1 cup granulated sugar

2 packets unflavored gelatin

1/2 cup cold water

16 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup whipping cream

Mix together, graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Line a 9 x 13 inch pan with mixture, and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, mix egg yolks, milk and sugar, Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat and add unflavored gelatin dissolved in cold water. Cool to room temperature.

In a mixer bowl, beat cream cheese with vanilla. Blend in cooled mixture.

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff but not dry, and fold into cheese mixture.

Beat whipping cream until mixture just begins to hold its shape. Fold into cheese mixture. Pour into prepared pan and chill until firm., 6 hours or overnight. Yield 13 to 15 servings.

Note: to prevent salmonella poisoning ( something we didn’t worry about then) heat egg white in a microwave in 15 second intervals just until a thread of white appears at bowl edge. This will take about a minute and a half.

No event would be complete in the 1970’s with out Lipton California Dip. One envelope of Lipton Onion Soup Mix and a pint of sour cream, mixed well and chilled for one hour. Serve with ripple potato chips and your retro event is complete.

Mixed nuts and Cream Cheese Mints were standard accompaniments to the featured dessert. Many a bridal party gathering was spent making hundreds of tiny molded mints in the brides wedding colors. Flexible candy molds are still available at most baking supply shops and online stores. I retrieved this recipe from

Molded Cream Cheese Mints

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

2-4 drops peppermint oil

Paste food coloring

2 1/4-2 12 cups powdered sugar

Small amount of granulated sugar

Combine all ingredients, except granulated sugar, and knead until smooth and creamy. Chill 1 hour only.

Roll mixture into small balls, dip in sugar and press into molds. Un-mold and set on waked paper lined trays and let dry several hours. Store in airtight containers in freezer until 1 hour before serving time. Separate layers with waxed paper. Yield: about 100 small mints.

Alternative shaping: roll chilled mixture into 1/2 inch ropes and slice 1/4 inch thick. Set on waxed paper lined trays to dry.

Those hostesses who wanted to show their culinary expertise, would wow guests with an impressive jelly roll. Jam or custard filled, they are delicious and not nearly as difficult to make as they appear.

Jelly Roll

3 eggs

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 Tbsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a large rimmed cookie sheet and cover with waxeover bake. Cool slightly. Spread with jam (seedless raspberry was a favorite at the time) or custard while still warm. Lift waxed paper to begin rolling, removing waxed paper as you roll. Roll in powdered sugar when cooled. Refrigerate until serving time. Cut into slices and serve topped with whipped cream. Yield 10-12 slices.

Fondue was popular at the time and adding Crab Cheese Fondue to the menu turned the event into a fun luncheon. Bread cubes were served for dipping into the rich cheesy sauce.

Crab Cheese Fondue

8 ounces process American Cheese, shredded

8 ounces natural cheddar cheese, shredded

3/4 cup milk

2 tsp lemon juice

1 can (7 1/2 ounces) crabmeat, drained

In a saucepan, slowly heat cheese over low heat. Stir in lemon juice and crabmeat. Heat through and pour into fondue pot, set at the lowest setting. Yield 6-8 servings.

Share your favorite recipes by sending them to: Welcome to My Kitchen, c/o The Odessa Record, P.O. Box 458, Odessa, WA 99159, email therecord@odessaoffice,com or drop them in the Welcome to My Kitchen mail tin in The Odessa Record office.

Remember Mother’s Day Sunday, May 10th. Then you can think about setting out plants.


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