Andrea hosted a Beatles 50th Anniversary Celebration dinner last week. It looks like it was quite a night, and her post is below. There are a lot of additional posts which are linked throughout including their recipes and the beer pairings. Enjoy!

1964 Beatles Concert 50th Anniversary Meal

Fifty years ago — on September 12, 1964 — Barbara Gibbs and I were at the Beatles concert at Boston Garden.  We didn’t know each other then, and learned only in the last year that we had both been at the concert.  Since we were both pretty young, we were there with friends — and parents.  I was there with a friend, her father and uncle and my father.  Barbara was there her parents and a girlfriend.

When we realized the significance of this anniversary, we decided we needed to mark the occasion in a special way (not that we need much excuse to plan a celebration).  Menu planning took weeks, a fact that will likely surprise you when you read about our final food selections!

Decorating was easy.  I had a plastic storage crate filled with Beatles-related items I had collected back in 1964, including confetti and a flash bulb from the stage, my tickets stubs, a piece of a sheet that the Beatles slept on at the Hotel Madison (certified as authentic, I might add!), a Beatles wallet and pocketbook, and various scrapbooks filled with newspaper clippings.  We decided to dress in Beatles-appropriate attire, too.

 

We settled on food that we would have eaten in 1964.  Fearing that we wouldn’t be able to find family recipes for comfort food from that era, I bought a 1964 Betty Crocker cookbook on eBay.  Convenience, rather than gourmet anything, seemed to be the name of the game.  The Jellied Chicken Loaf seemed to be a favorite but its resemblance to dog food knocked it from consideration.

Mini The Table Is Set

In the end, we chose meat loaf, macaroni and cheese, two jellied salads, and carrots.  Barbara found Wally’s mother’s meat loaf recipe and it was remarkably like the one in the cookbook so we used Doris’s.  It featured both beef and pork.  The macaroni and cheese recipe in the cookbook was very much like my mother’s.  And I found my mother’s handwritten recipes for her Lime Pineapple Salad and Dee’s Tomato Aspic (Dee was a friend of my mother’s aunt, Spitzie).  That one we served in lettuce cups since that seemed to be a popular technique in 1964 (at least according to the cookbook).  Although we didn’t mix up any of Rich’s mother’s recipes, we did serve the meatloaf and carrots on surviving pieces of her yellow Fiestaware.

For hors d’oeuvres, Barbara made both authentic 1964 Chex mix (with peanuts) and an upscale version with mixed nuts (our mothers would never have spent the money on the mixed nuts!).  She also served a cheese ball with Ritz crackers.  For an appetizer, we had shrimp cocktail.  Barbara tried to find Sau-Sea Shrimp Cocktails.  Back in the day we thought they were gourmet.  But, alas, she could only find the cocktail sauce from Sau-Sea.  She mixed a can of small shrimp in with the sauce and it was just like we remembered.  Thank goodness she upgraded the serving by hanging large shrimp off the side of the serving dish.

We finished the meal with Barbara’s Peach Blueberry Cobbler which she served with Brigham’s vanilla ice cream.  Fabulous!

Obviously, when we were eating these delightful dishes in 1964, we weren’t sampling cocktails or beer or wine.  But, since we’re now ‘of age,’ we knew we should have an adult beverage to wash down all that nostalgia.  Barbara broke all records and paired beers with each course (click here for a full description).  Each was selected for either its connection to the Beatles era or because the name or image on the label brought to mind a Beatles song or songs.  It was indeed a “Magical Mystery Ride.”

 

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