Sunday, August 03, 2008


We decided the Stan Clan regular monthly household planning meeting meal would have a 1970s theme this time. No good reason, we just thought it would be a giggle

I decided not to go all out for authenticity and confiscate Stanetta's i-pod, Nintendo etc. and restrict the TV to three channels. That would have been too cruel - it would also have meant that she might not have let me listen to her rather excellent Rihanna CD "Good Girl Gone Bad" while I was was doing the ironing.

Mind you, as the Man of the House in the 1970s, I would probably be banned from ironing and would have had to spend Sunday afternoon at the pub drinking and smoking.

The 1970s were a very different age. Not just with the gender roles and technology. Olive oil was poured into your ears rather than on your lunch. It was also only available in pharmacists. Music was made with real instruments - if you wanted a bass-line you needed a bass guitar or a string bass.

We did try to make an authentic 1970s meal.

Starter - Cheese and Pineapple on Sticks. Centrepiece created by Mrs Stan from an orange wrapped in tinfoil.

Main Course - Chicken Kiev with "Smash" instant mashed potato and authentically overcooked carrots

The trick with Chicken Kiev is to smash the chicken fillet as flat as you can so that it will easily wrap round the stick of garlic butter and will also be thin enough to cook through before the deep-fat-frying chars the breadcrumbs. Actually quite tricky to make, so no surprise it was more popular in Ready Meal format - in fact it was Marks & Spencers' first attempt in 1976.

I found it way too greasy for my taste and the garlic repeats on you something rotten.

The "Smash" didn't go down too well - I had introduced Stanetta to the adverts thanks to YouTube and she did enjoy doing the hot-water magic. Unfortunately she described the final product as "like potato-flavoured cotton wool".

Fortunately she had ginger beer and we had some 21st century premium Dutch lager to take the taste away - plus :-

Desert - Black Forest Gateau (held proudly aloft by Mrs Stan - note the 1970s headscarf)

This started from a chocolate cake made by Nanan Stan (Mrs Stan's Mum) with some cream and glace cherries.

Music for the meal came from the Soundtrack album to the first series of "Life on Mars?". Stanetta didn't like any of it - but I enjoyed being reminded of how wonderful "Whisky in the Jar" by Thin Lizzy was. Stands up to modern scrutiny, sounds like edgy, dangerous fun and the guitar-work is a total joy.

All in all, it was a good change to the usual Sunday routine, but I don't think any of us are pining for the past. The present is great (and much less greasy), and hopefully the future will be even better.

I wonder what people will choose to celebrate when they throw a retro-party in thirty years time ?


Flitcraft said...

But where's the prawn cocktail and the Liebfraumilch!

Kenny said...

What flitcraft said, except "Party 7" (was it a 7 or a 4)?

Stanetta shows immaculate taste in her aversion to Smash. It is the devil's produce. There is *nothing* in this world more abhorrent. I spent the first twenty years of my life convinced I hated potatoes because of it.

Stan said...

Stanetta doesn't like prawns, otherwise it was a possible. I also seem to remember a small glass of orange juice was a valid starter in the 1970s, which would have been the lazy option. Mushroom vol-au-vent were also considered and rejected.

As far as booze went, the 1970s is not a great era. You can't get Party-7s for love nor money - I'm sure the beer was flat and feeble by modern standards anyway. Plus by now any unopened examples would probably need to be attended to by the Bomb Squad. You certainly couldn't just stick your bradawl in without getting shrapnel in your face.

As for Liebfraumilch ... not fit to take red wine stains out of your carpet as far as I'm concerned. We also decided to give Babycham and Pomagne a body-swerve for similar reasons.

Flitcraft said...

Yes, we had the small glass of fresh orange too - it was considered a rarity and a luxury compared to normal orange juice which was, of course, orange squash.

Oddly I liked Smash so much at one point, I wouldn't eat real potatoes (except as chips), but then perhaps that's due to my life-long hatred of vegetables.