Cookbook offers retro recipes

he Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Sixties Cookbook" is by Rick Rodgers and Heather Maclean from Running Press ($20). BenFink Photography Inc./MCT)


he Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Sixties Cookbook” is by Rick Rodgers and Heather Maclean from Running Press ($20). BenFink Photography Inc./MCT)

The title plays off a classic 1963 comedy “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” and the recipes come from the first half of the decade.

Rick Rodgers and Heather Maclean have modified the original to make them healthier. Their recipes have more of an emphasis on making recipes from scratch rather than opening a can of ready-made soup to provide a base for Chicken a la King.

One of the most eye-opening charts is on grocery inflation. “$1 in 1963 had the buying power of $7.10 in 2010.” A 1960s gallon of milk was $.49 — it’s now $2.79 and up. And who wouldn’t prefer 30- cent-a-gallon of gas verses today’s prices?

Sixties food favorites include Pupu platters with crab rangoon, coconut shrimp, spam and pineapple kebobs, piggies-in-blankets, sloppy joes, candied yams with marshmallow topping, and the absolute ’60s classic: tomato gelatin aspic salads decanted from a copper fish mold.

Nostalgia reigns in the “Don’t mess with Mom” tuna and noodle casserole — an eternal classic using condensed cream of mushroom soup and frozen peas.

If you feel daring, you can try to whip up Beef Wellington or Lobster Newberg, which starts with instructions on how to successfully cook a lobster.

Finish with a dessert like pineapple upside-down cake or grasshopper pie (chocolate crumb crust, crème de menthe, crème de cacao and heavy cream.)


1 quart small strawberries, hulled (or use large strawberries, quartered)

2 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier

½ cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup vanilla ice cream, slightly softened

Candied violets (available at specialty food stores or online) or fresh mint leaves, for garnish

1. Toss the strawberries with the liqueur in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 2 hours.

2. Just before serving, whip the cream, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla in a chilled medium bowl until stiff. Mash the ice cream in another medium bowl with a rubber spatula. Stir about ¼ of the whipped cream into the ice cream, then fold in the remainder.

3. Divide half of the strawberries and their juices among 4 chilled glass serving bowls. Top with half of the whipped cream mixture. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Garnish with the candied violets and serve immediately.