Not your mama’s charcuterie board…
…probably more like how her mom or grandma did charcuterie
In the 1950s, the charcuterie board generally didn’t go by that name. While the concept is mostly the same, more likely they would be referred to as “meat and cheese platters” or even just a “cold cuts platter.”
Back in those days, when air conditioning was a luxury not afforded the average American household, menus featuring meals of cold cuts with various fruit and vegetable salads would be welcome dinner inspiration for weary housewives on sweltering summer afternoons.
They could even still include baked goods and casserole sides that would have been made ahead during a cooler part of the day.
The August 1955 issue of Woman’s Day magazine stepped up to the — er — plate, with 15 ideas for a charcuterie board to prep on hot nights.
For the variety and novelty, you might want to add these vintage ideas into your own menu plan — your kids will be sure to appreciate cold homemade mac and cheese studded with olives and green onions [ed note: I’m trying not to judge, but… gag!].
See how to make a vintage charcuterie board made with retro-style cold cuts along with 1950s nibbles, like casseroles, old-school salads and more. -BB
Meaty menu ideas for a charcuterie board from the 1950s
They look so good… they taste so good… they’re so easy to serve and so economical, too. Cold cuts, that is — and the side dishes we’ve combined with them in these 8 menu suggestions, with recipes
by Glenna McGinnis, Woman’s Day Kitchen
Vintage charcuterie board: What to serve with cold cuts?
Cold cuts and… Macaroni ring, tomato aspic
For this meal, the macaroni ring and the tomato aspic are prepared a day ahead.
For 4 servings: Allow 4 ounces, unsliced, each kind of cold cut.
To make macaroni ring: Cook and drain well 8 ounces broken macaroni. In saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons butter or margarine. Blend in 3 tablespoons flour, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and 1 teaspoon each salt, Worcestershire, prepared mustard. Add 1 cup undiluted evaporated milk, 2 cups water.
Cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese. Add macaroni; cool. Add 1/2 cup sliced stuffed olives, 2 chopped green onions with tops. Pour into oiled 5-cup ring mold; chill overnight.
To make aspic: Put 1 can (1 pt 2 oz) tomato juice in bowl (reserve can to use as mold). Add 1 teaspoon each Worcestershire and horse-radish, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and dash each Tabasco and pepper.
Put 1/2 cup in saucepan; sprinkle with 2 envelopes of plain unflavored gelatin; let stand 5 minutes. Dissolve over low heat; add to first mixture. Pour into can; chill overnight. To serve, slice, cut each slice in half.
Menu: Assorted cold cuts (we show chunks of bologna, cooked salami, and liverwurst), macaroni and cheese salad ring, tomato aspic, radishes, carrot curls, watercress, buttered toasted frankfurter rolls, orange sherbet, chocolate cookies.
For 4 servings: Allow 1/2 pound of each kind of bologna.
Vintage charcuterie board: Deli meats with succotash casserole, pear salad
This casserole can be made in the cool of the morning and baked while you’re preparing the salad. Biscuits bake at same time.
For 4 servings: Allow an 8-ounce roll of liver sausage and 3 ounces each of the other cold cuts.
To make casserole: Cook and drain 1 box each frozen cut corn and Lima beans (or 2 boxes frozen succotash). In saucepan, melt 1/4 cup butter or margarine. Blend in 3 tablespoons flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and 1 teaspoon Worcestershire. Add 1 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup milk.
Cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Add to vegetables, mix lightly and pour into shallow baking dish. Cut stem end out of 2 medium tomatoes.
Cut tomatoes in half and put on top of succotash, cut side up. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Bake in moderate oven, 375 F, 30 minutes, or until bubbly. Bake quick cinnamon rolls at same time.
For the salad: Peel 2 medium Bartlett pears, cut in half lengthwise, and core. Dip in fruit juice; put on romaine leaves. Fill with mixture of diced green pepper and celery, small amount minced onion, and French dressing.
Menu: Assorted cold cuts (we show liver sausage, sliced hard salami, ham-and-chicken loaf, blood-and-tongue bologna), succotash-tomato casserole, pear salad, cinnamon rolls & butter, black-raspberry gelatin dessert with custard sauce, sugar wafers.
Vintage charcuterie board with vegetable salad, sour-cream dressing
Fresh garden vegetables make a delicious salad to serve with cold cuts. Cooked beets, celery, and raw cauliflower can be added or substituted for some of the vegetables shown.
For 4 servings: Allow 4 ounces each bologna and luncheon meat, 8 ounces ham.
For the salad: Cook separately, cool, and chill 1 box frozen Lima beans, 4 scraped medium carrots, 1/2 pound cut snap beans, and 2 cups fresh (or 1 box frozen) peas. Just before serving, cut carrots in pieces and arrange with other vegetables on a bed of chicory.
To make salad dressing: Mix 1 cup sour cream and 1/2 cup mayonnaise. Season to taste, and add 1/2 medium cucumber, diced, and 6 sliced radishes. Put in bowl, and garnish with more radish slices. Serve with the salad.
Bread: Use bought corn muffins or packaged corn-muffin mix. (If mix is used, a double batch can be baked for breakfast.) Split, butter muffins; toast under broiler.
Menu: Cream of tomato soup, crisp crackers, assorted cold cuts (we show sliced Lebanon bologna, luncheon meat, and boiled ham), vegetable salad, creamy cucumber-radish dressing, toasted corn muffins, fresh pears, Camembert wedges.
Vintage charcuterie board: Deli meats with mixed vegetable souffle, country salad
The souffle is made with egg whites, but there’s no need to worry about leftover yolks — they’re cooked and crumbled over the salads.
For 4 servings: Allow 4 ounces each ham and corned beefk and 8 ounces bologna.
To make souffle: In large bowl, mix 3/4 cup mayonnaise, 6 tablespoons flour, 1/2 teaspoon each salt and Worcestershire, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, small amounts grated onion, and 2 tablespoons chopped parsley. Gradually stir in 1/3 cup milk.
Add 1 box cooked frozen mixed vegetables. Fold in 6 egg whites, stiffly beaten. Put into buttered 2-quart baking dish. Bake in moderate oven, 325 F, 1 hour, or until firm. Serve at once.
For the salad: Cook 6 leftover egg yolks in a small amount of simmering salted water; cool. Cut 4 medium tomatoes in quarters. Slice 2 peeled cucumbers, 1 green pepper, 1 sweet onion. Arrange vegetables in salad bowls. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; add vinegar to taste. Crumble yolks over top.
Menu: Assorted cold cuts (we show sliced pressed chopped ham, corned-beef brisket, and bologna), process swiss-cheese slices, vegetable souffle, country salad, heated fantan rolls, butter, apple pie a la mode, coffee.
Vintage charcuterie board: Cold cuts with broccoli-stuffed tomatoes, potato salad
Here’s a colorful platter to eat on the porch or wherever it’s cool.
To make potato salad: Lightly mix 5 cups sliced cooked potato, 1/2 cup minced celery, 4 sliced radishes, and 1/4 cup French dressing. Let stand in refrigerator several hours. Just before serving, mix in 1 cup sour cream. Season to taste. Arrange on platter, and sprinkle with cut chives.
To make stuffed tomatoes: Cut tops from 4 medium tomatoes. Scoop out pulp, and reserve. Sprinkle inside of tomatoes with salt, and turn upside down to drain. Drain pulp, and chop.
Cook and cool 4 stalks broccoli. Cut off blossom ends, and chop remainder coarsely. Add to chopped tomato pulp, moisten with French dressing. Fill tomatoes, and top with blossom ends of broccoli.
Menu: Assorted cold cuts (we show sliced bologna and Lebanon bologna), sour-cream potato salad, broccoli-stuffed tomatoes, crisp breads, whipped butter, fresh green-apple sauce, orange chiffon cake, iced tea.
Vintage charcuterie board: …Fresh fruit, curried cottage cheese
A watermelon shell makes a bright container for fresh-fruit salad, and this all-cold meal is a snap to prepare.
For 6 servings: Allow 6 ounces each salami and Thuringer and an 8-ounce roll braunschweiger. Cut braunschweiger roll in eighths lengthwise. Arrange meats on chop plate.
Season one pound cottage cheese with salt, pepper, and curry powder to taste. Put in bowl; chill.
To make fruit salad: Buy 1/2 small watermelon. Scoop out red part, and cut edge of shell with a sharp knife, sawtooth fashion.
Cut some of the watermelon pieces, quartered bananas, sliced fresh pears dipped in fruit juice, and honeydew or cantaloupe balls. Garnish with mint sprigs.
To make salad dressing: Mix equal parts honey and lime juice. Add dash paprika and salt to taste.
Menu: Assorted cold cuts (we show sliced hard salami and Thuringer, wedges of braunschweiger), curried cottage cheese, fresh fruit salad in watermelon shell, honey-lime dressing, seeded hard rolls & butter, chocolate ice cream, cookies.
Vintage charcuterie board: Cold cuts with hot creamy potato salad, two melons
Potato salad is a usual accompaniment for cold cuts. This one is special. Served hot, it can be made ahead, reheated.
For 4 servings: Allow 3 ounces of each kind of cold cut.
To make potato-egg salad: In large double boiler, melt 2 tablespoons butter or margarine; blend in 2 tablespoons flour, 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Add 1 cup milk and cook until thickened, stirring constantly.
Add 4 cups diced cooked potato, and heat gently. Just before serving (or when reheating), add 1 minced onion, 1 chopped pimiento, 1 cup diced celery, 1/3 cup minced ripe olives, diced 1/2 green pepper, and 2/3 cup salad dressing.
Coarsely chop 6 hard-cooked eggs, and add to mixture, reserving some for garnish. Add more salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve hot.
Menu: Assorted cold cuts (we show sliced Thuringer, hard salami, meatloaf, luncheon meat, and blood-and-tongue bologna), cantaloupe wedges with honeydew balls, hot creamy potato-egg salad, dark breads & butter, store-bought golden sunshine cake.
Vintage charcuterie board: Creamed potatoes, onion blue cheese salad
Here’s a new and easy way to cream potatoes. There’s no white sauce to make — potatoes are just cooked in light cream.
For 4 servings: Allow 6 ounces pork roll, 8 ounces ham, 4 ounces salami.
Cook 1/2 pound whole snap beans, and chill. Just before serving, put “bundles” of beans on chop plate. Arrange cold cuts around beans, and garnish with thinly sliced unpeeled cucumber.
To make creamed potatoes: Dice enough peeled potatoes to make 4 cups. Put in skillet with 2 cups light cream, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Cover, and simmer about 30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with parsley.
For the salad: Peel and slice 3 medium mild onions. Separate into rings. Pour bought creamy French dressing over onions, crumble 4 ounces blue cheese over top. Chill several hours.
Menu: Assorted cold cuts (we show sliced pork roll, boiled ham, and hard salami), chilled snap beans, cucumber slices, skillet creamed potatoes, onion and blue-cheese salad, seedless grapes.