Saturday, June 30, 2012

Retro Mimi Potluck - The First Guest is HERE!

Ding Dong!

Friends. I ask there anything more exciting than the sound of the doorbell ringing upon the arrival of your first party guest? My Twitter pal Mary is in the house, and she is bearing a covered dish that will knock your socks off. Mary was the first to step up to the plate when I asked for guest bloggers, so I felt she deserved to make the GREATEST SALAD OF ALL TIME! Thanks Mary, you are a salad superstar! 

Let the Retro Potluck Party begin! The Mackerel-Cantaloupe Salad has arrived!

Hello! My name is Mary, and I blog at My blog started as a place to keep myself accountable as I attempted to lose over 200 pounds; now, with over 150 pounds gone, I blog about everything from food to running to life as a smaller person, and everything in between!

I've lost my weight by eating better, eating less, and moving more - not any particular plan like Weight Watchers. The idea of the retro Weight Watchers recipes intrigues me, though - I love retro cookware and cookbooks, my kitchen is outfitted with avocado green vintage Pyrex and my bookshelves are lined with copies of used cookbooks from the 60s and 70s, featuring many, many, many salads like the one I've prepared here:

It's "Mackerel-Cantaloupe Salad," as featured in a 1974 issue of WW Magazine.

1 tbsp dehydrated minced onion flakes
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 medium cantaloupe
8 ounces drained canned mackerel, flaked
2 tiny dill gherkins, sliced
2 tsp lemon rind
1 tsp paprika

Combine onion flakes and lemon juice. Cut cantaloupe in half crosswise; remove seeds and scoop out each half. Finely chop cantaloupe; combine with mackerel and lemon juice mixture. Mix well. Using melon baller, scoop out fish mixture. Place 1/2 the balls in each cantaloupe shell. Sprinkle each portion with tiny pickle slices, grated lemon rind and paprika. Makes 2 servings.


Gathering the ingredients was the first task; I'd never had mackerel before, and was a bit taken back by the visual after opening the can, draining the liquid, and lifting the lid to peer inside.

Holy mackerel, indeed. Yikes! I eat canned tuna all the time, though, and figured it couldn't be much worse, so I pressed on. The recipe called to use a melon baller and scoop out the fish mixture; since I'm preparing to move across country and my melon baller was already in transit, I just used a spoon. The presentation with the lemon rind, paprika, and pickle slices was still quite lovely, though! And the verdict on the taste? 

It wasn't half bad.

Think about it: we squirt lemon on fish, so why not just mix it all together? The cantaloupe wasn't overly sweet, which helped, I think - it was actually pretty good. Maybe not something I'd make for a supper guest or dinner party any time soon, but it was a nice sweet-and-savory salad for a summer lunch!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Feeling Pot-Lucky?

A few weeks ago - I put out a call to all of my Retro WW buddies, and invited them to a very special virtual potluck party. As the RSVP's started coming in, I assigned each of my party guests a dazzling dietetic dish extraordinaire. Recipes started flying out of my inbox - surprising soups, colorful salads, "legal" beverages, delightful desserts, and of course mouth-watering main dishes!  

Oh the joy of virtual retro party planning!

 As the guest posts begin to arrive, and the party kicks into full swing - I have decided to consult my number one resource for all of the most important things in life: Better Homes and Gardens!

My 1969 BHG Guide to Entertaining has everything I need for planning the perfect party and being the best hostess I can be. After all, according to BHG, the emphasis on hostessing is an "important part of the American scene."

This book has everything!

There are colorful and festive decorations!

No one likes an over-achiever. Take it down a notch, darling.

As well as table settings to add atmosphere and theme!

I love her outfit. And hairdo.

And who can forget the Party Games!

I have no idea what these people are doing.

There are even tips for how to delicately remove a crease from your table linens or how to delicately remove an annoying guest who stays too long. Here's a hint for that dilemma: BHG says to start clearing the ashtrays and tell the lingerer that your husband has to get up very early for work. While this technique often works, you as the hostess must stay until the bitter end, even though your husband can be excused.

Hey. It ain't easy being a hostess.

I am really looking forward to my potluck party! I hope you are too! Soon you'll be seeing the daring and delicious guest posts as they arrive. Oh - and if you tweet, please follow along on Twitter using hashtag #RetroMimiPotluckParty. You won't wanna miss a minute of the fun!

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to finish preparing my hostess duties. There are candles to be lit, spoons to be polished and macrame vests to be adorned. And those ashtrays aren't going to put themselves on the tables!

See you at the PARTY!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Dad's Dishes

Hey fellas! I know it seems like most of the recipes we feature here on the Retro WW Experiment are geared towards the lady folks.

But today - I thought I'd share a couple of my favorite "manly meals".

If you want to keep dad "legal" for Father's Day, check out this delicious recipe any guy would love. It's like a day at the ballpark all rolled up in a Pyrex pie plate!

Or, if you really want to impress dad, why not make him a special gelatin mold? But, not just any mold for Heaven's sakes. Make him a man-sized DOUBLE DECKER tuna and lemon gelatin mold!

And - If you want to serve dad a refreshing "legal" cocktail, try a Sober Ox on the Rocks. It's a beefy brew that'll put hair on both of your chests.

Hope everyone has a great Father's Day! I'll be celebrating the day with my super-cool Daddy-O...

Jersey Shore, early 1970's

We've always made such a great team!

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Second Annual Retro WW Guest Post Challenge!

I'm looking for a few brave souls. AGAIN...

Last year, I held a little guest blogging challenge for anyone who wanted to try their hand at Retro WW cooking, and thirteen wonderful (and a little wacky) folks stepped up to the plate. I have to admit it was a blast. We all lived to tell about it, and made some new friends in the process. So we're doing it again!  

Are you a Retro WW fan? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to whip up a gag-tastic Retro WW recipe and serve it up to your horrified friends and family?

Well now is your chance to officially join the Retro WW movement...

Here's the skinny:
  1. Email or Tweet me and let me know you'd like to give it a whirl. I'll need your email address!
  2. Let me know what type of recipe you'd like to try--be it snack, dessert, soup, main dish, mocktail, etc. -- I'll try to find and provide one to suit you.
  3. Get the goods, get in the kitchen and get to work!
When it's done, just send me a short post (and a pic or two) and I'll add your Retro WW experiment to the bunch! I'll also be sure to link back to your blog (if applicable) if you link to mine. Blog pimping is highly encouraged, but non-bloggers are also welcome to participate!

Ladies and Gents--let's get ready to mold, roast, poach, whip and spread the Retro WW Love. I can't wait to see what we come up with this time.

Hold on to your girdles! It's gonna get crazy!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wednesday Weirdness

This week, I revisited a creepy little chapter in the 1972 Revised WW Program Cookbook called "Unusual Fruit Salads".

If you've been a long-time follower of the Retro WW Experiment, you will probably recall the last time we entered this shameful chapter. It didn't turn out very well. There was lettuce. And cocktail sauce. And a banana. Glurp.

This time around, I concocted a different "Unusual Fruit Salad". I combined a teaspoon of gelatin and a 1/4 cup of bouillon - then added a diced apple. And a chopped dill pickle. Then I poured it all into a coffee mug, and chilled until set.

Hold up.

Did she say a dill pickle? And an apple? In a chicken bouillon jello mold? Yep. You betcha.

This salad has no name. It makes only one serving. It packs a hardcore pickle/chicken/apple flavor punch. And it looks kinda like a freaky little alien from the planet Jell-o. It also scared the bejesus out of my poor cat.

Can we be serious for a minute?

I am begging you. Please don't make this. Ever.

Now go hug your loved ones and be thankful you will never have to eat this.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

It's Not About Cakes

About a year ago, the word "Caker" entered my vocabulary. From that day on, my life has never been the same.

I remember visiting the Caker Cooking blog for the first time. I fell in love. I saw rainbows. Karen Carpenter began to sing in my head. We've only just begun...

It would become my dream that one day, Caker Cooking and The Retro WW Experiment would be sharing horizons that are new to us. You know. Watching the signs along the way. Talking it over just the two of us. Anyway. You get the point. I really dig this blog, and I couldn't wait to team up.

So I recently stumbled upon a very "Cakerish" Retro WW recipe circa early 1980's, sent it along to my friend Brian at Caker Cooking, and dared him to give it a whirl.

Well guess what?

That's right. The Caker Cooking and Retro Weight Watchers worlds have collided in a scary union of Peanut Butter and Rice Krispy debauchery. So get over to the Caker Cooking blog right now and check out the renegade "Peanut Butter Cup Pie" Retro WW Recipe that is so "illegal", it was too scandalous to be published here.

Why? Because we don't use Peanut Butter on the 1972 Weight Watchers program, dear. I do believe you will get your ass thoroughly kicked by Jean Nidetch for that, my friend. 

On that note--I'll see you right back here later this week for a healthy dose of 1972 Retro WW gelatin, apple, pickle and chicken goodness. Totally legal.

Oh and  -Thanks Brian. You had me at Tomato Soup Cake.