About the Project

So yes, this is a very Julie & Julia-type endeavor. I am aware of that. But instead of doing something challenging and classy, like mastering French cooking or attempting Gourmet‘s greatest hits, I will be cooking what I am sure will be some weird-ass food. The 70’s were a very interesting time in America. There is a lot of Jell-O in these things. And relish trays. Lots of relish trays.

These are the parameters of the Dinner is Served! Project:

My goal is to make each and every recipe on all 118 cards (I am not giving myself some insane deadline–I do have a job and I do have friends). I hope to do at least 2 meals a week: one weekend and one weeknight. I will finish whenever I damn well finish.

Even though I am making each and every recipe on said cards, I am going to be flexible in the following ways:

1. I have limited resources (money, ingredients, and cookware) so some substitutions will have to be made. Still, the full meal will be completed with a reasonable facsimile for each dish. Lord knows what I’ll do with #74. Tongue (Italian Style) ***actually, I did finish Tongue (Italian Style). The results were surprising.

2. I have limited time because I work full time (I hope not to be unemployed at any point. If so, then I will go all Amy Adams on this thing and bang it out like I’m on amphetamines). Short cuts will be made due to time constraints.

3. I have lost 30 pounds on Weight Watchers ™ and I don’t want to gain that back (although looking at these meals…). Therefore, I will make ingredient substitutions such as low-cal, low-fat, or non-fat ingredients whenever it is appropriate and/or possible.

4. The majority of the meals have 2 or more elements for which there is no recipe. So that means I am going to pull something out of my ass or find a recipe online, in another cookbook, etc. If this happens, I will make a note of it.

Finally, like that Julie girl had her grand finale–de-boning a duck or whatnot–I have my own Mount Everest, my own piece de resistance: #99. Chicken-Aspic Vegetable Salad. Seriously, this one looks very involved and extremely nasty with its bouillon and its gelatin molds.

This will be the finale of my 1972 project!

I hope that I have the persistence and the sticktoitness to get there, and I hope that you will tag along with me.

17 Responses to About the Project

  1. Nicolai Brunyev says:

    you’re funny. are there any meat pies?


  2. Salome says:

    This was hilarious.


  3. Eileen Dean says:

    OMG I lost one of these recipes and have searched for it for years.
    It was Stuffed Peppers, filling included hamburger, rice, tomato sauce, and cinnamon.
    Please do you or anyone else have this card.

    Eileen Dean
    Henderson NV


  4. Danny says:

    I have a set of 205 recipe cards only one I am missing is #153 Sweet-Sour fish. My index cards stop at #118 so I figure the rest were available as other promotions.


  5. Erica says:

    Oh, geez… speaking from personal experience, a jellied salad that calls for bouillon is terrifying. At least you’ll have fun until that point though :D this is a very neat project idea!!!


  6. Dawn Ruby says:

    I just found your site & am very excited. I too have these cards & have lost or loaned # 47 Mexican Chili Con Carne. It is by far the best Chili recipe I have ever tasted or made. Please post the recipe. I have searched for years. I will bookmark this site & check daily as to any new postings you have. Thank you.


  7. Kathy Newman says:

    Tamale pie was my mom’s go to pot luck dish! This is a very cool idea. Thanks for the shoutout at the Working Class Studies blog! Professor Newman!


  8. You are my inspiration. I never thought I would be considering having a go at Bette Davis’ Mustard Gelatin Ring until I saw your blog. This will be my equivalent of #99. Chicken-Aspic Vegetable Salad, Keep up the excellent work. You may single handedly bring back into fashion rings of jelly with things suspended in them and other stuff bunged in the middle x


  9. I think I’ve got a new food blog crush! I love the Julie-&-Julia-gone-retro concept and the fact that you’ve set your own rules. Recipe triumphs or fails- it all looks pretty darn fun!


  10. Conor Bofin says:

    I love the concept. Happy to tag along and see how it goes. I was around in the 70s and can remember a lot of the kitch.


  11. SprungAtLast says:

    Brilliant idea. I love going through these old cookbooks and seeing what constituted cookery back in the day. That said, I grew up in the 70’s – not sure I’d want to go back. Even to visit.

    Just brilliant.


  12. Omg, I love this! Can’t wait to check out your recipes. Wanted to thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting.

    Sherri @The Kitchen Prescription


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