The Old Hollywood Experience


The evolution that Hollywood has undergone over the past one hundred years is baffling. With social media, we are now more connected to our favorite actors and actresses than ever before. A day in the lives of celebrities is no longer controlled by that of the paparazzi, but by the celebrities themselves.

Despite the trends of Hollywood in the digital age, I can’t help but imagine Hollywood in the twenties and early thirties. For one thing, the general public was out of touch of the lives of actors and actresses. There were no Academy Awards to watch on television. There was no television! Going to the cinema was a special occasion. Film stars were idolized for their craft rather than their relationship status or Instagram popularity.

For the Academy Awards over the past weekend, I decided to bring back some of the elegance of Old Hollywood with a nineteen twenties inspired menu for my family’s annual Oscar viewing. This menu is idyllic for a twenties themed cocktail party. To add to your roaring twenties themed event, I recommend also making DIY Project: Art Deco Place Setting to go with your menu.

 Libations & Fare – Menu for Six Guests

Rye & Ginger When researching the popular cocktails of the era, I kept coming back to the simplicity of the classic Rye & Ginger. Its plainness reflects the limited supply of liquor during the prohibition era.

-Ingredients: Rye Whisky, Ginger Ale, Strawberries (freeze in advance)

For each cocktail use one shot of rye and ½ cup of ginger ale. Instead of ice, use frozen strawberries.

Curried Waldorf Salad This is a twist to the original Waldorf Salad recipe. The added curry, caramelized onions and cashews (as a replacement to walnuts) adds a savory flavor to the traditional sweet salad.

Ingredients: 6 apples (assorted types – chopped into bite sized pieces with skin on), 3 celery stalks (chopped thin), ½ cup of cashews, ½ cup of cranberry raisins, ½ purple onion (sliced thin), 1 Tb Butter, 3 Tb of fresh cilantro (finely chopped), 1 Tb lemon juice, 1 Tb mild yellow curry, ½ cup mayonnaise

Mix chopped apples, chopped celery, cashews and cranberry raisins in bowl, set aside. Warm butter in frying pan on medium-low and add onions. Cook onions until golden and slightly crispy, let cool. Mix mayonnaise, lemon juice and curry into apple mixture. Add onions to salad. Chill and serve, garnish with chopped cilantro.

Tuna & Dill Party Sandwiches Everyone loves party sandwiches, regardless of the era!

-Ingredients: 1 small package of cream cheese, 2 cans of tuna, 2 Tb olive oil, 2 Tb of fresh dill (finely chopped), 5 chives (chopped), 1 cucumber (sliced with skin removed), 1 Tb lemon juice, 1 loaf of rye bread

Drain cans of tuna and transfer contents to mixing bowl. Chop with fork. Add lemon juice, dill, olive oil and chives to tuna and mix together. For each sandwich, spread 1 Tb cream cheese over one slice of rye and place 4-5 slices of cucumber on top. On second slice of rye bread, spread 1.5 Tb of the tuna salad. Remove crusts on completed sandwiches and cut into rectangles. Chill and serve.

Sausage Pastry Rolls This was the first time I have ever made pastry home-made. I found this recipe online and it worked out great! I recommend making the pastry in advance and freezing 1-2 weeks before your event.

-Ingredients: 1 batch of frozen pastry (thawed), recipe available on Best Recipes Ever,  8-12 of your favorite brand of hot dogs, yellow mustard, 1 Tb butter

Grease cookie sheet with 1 Tb butter. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Once pastry has thawed, roll out into a large rectangle. Place a line of hot dogs horizontally along pastry and roll pastry around. Chop the pastry roll-ups into bite sized pieces and place on cookie sheet. Complete process until all hot dogs have been rolled up and chopped. Bake at 375 degrees until golden (app. 12-15 minutes).

Doughnut Holes & Ice Cream For dessert I went for cinnamon sugar baked doughnut holes along with chocolate ice cream. For this recipe, you will need a mini-muffin tin, but if you don’t have one I would recommend just using a regular muffin tin and then chopping them in half.

-Ingredients: 1 cup of unbleached flour, ¾ Tsp baking powder, 1/8 Tsp baking soda, 2 ½ Tsp Cinnamon, pinch of salt, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1 large egg (beaten), ½ cup milk with 1 Tb lemon juice, 3 Tb of plain Greek yogurt, 1 Tsp vanilla extract, 2-3 Tb of Butter, ½ cup of brown sugar, 1 quart of chocolate or vanilla ice cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease muffin tin with 1 Tb of butter. In a mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and granulated sugar. Mix together and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk egg, milk and lemon juice and vanilla extract. Slowly mix in the yogurt until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until combined. Pour the mixture evenly in the muffin tin. Bake at 350 until cooked (mini muffins: 10 mins, regular muffins: 15 mins).

While muffins are cooking, prepare the cinnamon-sugar topping. In a small bowl, mix brown sugar and cinnamon. Melt 2 Tb of butter. When muffins are cooked, let cool for 5-10 minutes. For each muffin, dip the top into the melted butter and then dip in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Serve warm with ice-cream.