Recipe for a Nostalgic 1960s Inspired Christmas

Recipe for a Nostalgic 1960s Inspired Christmas: This nostalgic 1960s Christmas tablescape and Waldorf Salad recipe are inspired by childhood memories and the December issue of Southern Living Magazine.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Southern Living®. The opinions and text are all mine.

One of the things I really look forward to every holiday season are the beautiful Christmas magazines that hit the stands right around Thanksgiving. Although I'm a Yankee, born and bred, Florida has been my home for more than two decades, and the Southern Living Magazine has become a favorite of mine, particularly around the holidays.

Find recipes, decorating ideas and more in the Southern Living Magazine Annual White Cake Issue

Southern Living Magazine's Annual White Cake Issue

This year, Southern Living is celebrating both their 50th anniversary and 20 years of producing their Annual White Cake edition for the holidays. With these milestones in mind, it's not surprising that the magazine's editors gave a good deal of thought to the concept of tradition when creating the content for the December issue.

Flipping through the pages, I began thinking about the holiday celebrations of my childhood - the style of decorating, the food and the table decor, and I decided it would be fun to re-create a few of those memories for this year's Christmas celebration.

Christmas Memories from the 1960s

Being of Hungarian descent, our holiday get-togethers always included a delicious array of Hungarian baked goods for dessert, but the meals themselves were decidedly American. Growing up in the 1960s, our dinners always included classic entrees like turkey and ham, but the side dishes often reflected the recipes that were trending at the time (likely what was featured on the pages of the most popular homemaking magazines of the decade).

The 1960s were a time of new-found conveniences in the kitchen like frozen vegetables, ready-made whipped topping and instant coffee, and this trend ushered in an era of "quick to fix" style recipes that became incredibly popular. One of these easy and popular dishes that graced every Christmas table I can remember was a Waldorf Salad.

Without sacrificing simplicity or ease, I've updated the '60s version with a few extra ingredients and added a bit of a Southern twist by adding toasted pecans in place of walnuts. You'll find the recipe below.

Another effortless little extra plate to add to your holiday table is a pickle dish filled with pimento-stuffed olives, gherkins and everyone's favorite, cream cheese-stuffed celery dusted with paprika.

DIY Retro Christmas Centerpiece: Made with cake stands, ornaments and tinsel garland

Retro-Inspired Table Decor

To follow through on my nostalgic theme, I dug out my Grandmother's Fostoria glassware for my holiday table. If you're not familiar, Fostoria was made by the Fostoria Glass Company, which produced the American pattern of glassware seen here for nearly 70 years. It was very popular throughout the '50s and '60s, and its trademark facets are the perfect choice for adding extra sparkle to a holiday table setting.

I also decided to make a retro-style Christmas centerpiece by arranging ornaments and bits of tinsel garland on two stacked glass cake stands. It's such an easy concept, yet it makes a stunning presentation in the center of the table.

Southern Living's #MySouthernHoliday Sweepstakes

You're sure to find some inspiration for creating your own holiday traditions (or reviving some from your childhood) in the pages of the Southern Living December issue.

From whole-house decorating themes to holiday recipes and travel information, Southern Living has ideas that will make your holiday season merry and bright.

Their special double issue is on sale now through December 23rd at retailers including Publix, Target, and Walmart.

Receive a $1.00 off coupon for the magazine plus a free digital version of "10 Recipes Every Southerner Should Know" by visiting #MySouthernHoliday Sweepstakes.

In addition, you'll get a chance to win one of the following prizes:

  • Two Grand Prizes: Each grand prize winner will receive a $1000.00 Visa gift card!
  • Seven First Prizes: Each first prize winner will receive a $25.00 Visa gift card and
    a copy of "Southern Living Made Fresh Cookbook".

Enter the Southern Living #MySouthernHoliday Sweepstakes now through December 19th.

Southern-Style Waldorf Salad Recipe

For our modernized version of a Waldorf Salad, we've added dried cranberries and freshly grated orange zest for added flavor and lightened up the dressing a bit by replacing some of the mayo with plain yogurt.

Southern-Style Waldorf Salad: An updated version of the Waldorf Salad of the 50s and 60s
  • Ingredients:
  • 4 medium (1-1/4 to 1-1/2 lbs.) Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • Zest of 1 orange (2 to 3 teaspoons)
  • 1 cup red seedless grapes, halved lengthwise
  • 1 cup celery (3 to 4 stalks), sliced
  • 1 cup toasted pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Green leaf or romaine lettuce

Whisk the lemon juice, mayonnaise, yogurt and orange zest together in a large mixing bowl. Add the apples and quickly toss to coat to prevent browning.

Add the grapes, celery, pecan halves and dried cranberries. Season with a pinch of salt and a little black pepper, then toss to combine.

To serve, line a bowl with lettuce leaves and spoon in the salad.

Makes 8 servings.

Set a nostalgic 1960s holiday table: Fostoria pickle dish with gherkins, olives and stuffed celery

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