Thanksgiving is a celebration of gratitude, family, and, of course, delicious food. The dishes we prepare are not just about taste; they also tell a story of generations, traditions, and memories. Why not take a journey back in time this year and incorporate some vintage recipes? And as you walk down memory lane, immerse yourself further with Retroviewer & Reels, viewing cherished moments from past celebrations.

Why Vintage Thanksgiving Recipes?

Health benefits of traditional ingredients:
Vintage recipes often embrace whole, natural ingredients, steering clear of modern-day additives, thus offering more nutritional value and genuine flavors.

Nostalgia and creating a unique celebration:
Reviving vintage recipes can evoke memories of family gatherings from years past, making the celebration doubly meaningful. It's a unique way to combine tradition with modern festivities.

The Significance of Dietary Needs

Importance of catering to all guests:
Every guest should have their dietary needs considered. It's a sign of respect and ensures everyone can partake in the feast.

How vintage recipes cater to modern dietary requirements:
While old recipes might seem rigid, many are inherently simple, allowing for easy modifications to suit vegan, gluten-free, or other dietary requirements.

The Art of Appetizers & Grazing

Before diving into the main course, it's essential to set the mood and entice the palate with a selection of appetizers that not only tantalize but also evoke a sense of nostalgia. These vintage starters remind us of gatherings from years gone by, the chatter of family and friends, and the joy of sharing. Here are a few timeless appetizers to consider:

Classic deviled eggs:

Creamy yellow centers in white egg halves, sprinkled with paprika.

Servings: 12 halves

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 12 minutes


Eggs - 6

Mayo - 3 tbsp

Mustard - 1 tsp

Vinegar - 1 tsp

Paprika - for garnish


  1. Place eggs in a saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer for 12 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat, drain, and cool the eggs in cold water. Once cooled, peel the eggs.
  3. Halve the eggs lengthwise, removing yolks and placing them in a separate bowl.
  4. Mash the yolks with mayo, mustard, and vinegar until smooth.
  5. Pipe or spoon the yolk mixture back into the egg white halves.
  6. Garnish each deviled egg with a sprinkle of paprika.
  7. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Enjoy!

Roasted chestnut soup:

Creamy, smooth soup, garnished with some roasted chestnut pieces.

Servings: 4

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 35 minutes


Chestnuts - 400g

Butter - 2 tbsp

Onions, diced - 1 cup

Celery, diced - 1 cup

Broth (chicken or vegetable) - 4 cups

Cream - 1/2 cup


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Make a small cross on the flat side of each chestnut. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes, or until the skins peel back.
  2. Once cooled, peel off the outer shell and inner skin of chestnuts.
  3. In a large pot, melt butter and sauté onions and celery until soft.
  4. Add peeled chestnuts and broth. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Use a blender to puree the soup until smooth.
  6. Return soup to the pot and stir in cream. Heat gently, season to taste.
  7. Serve hot, garnished with small roasted chestnut pieces. Enjoy!

Shrimp cocktail of the 60s:

Chilled shrimps served with a cocktail sauce.

Servings: 4

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 5 minutes


Shrimp, peeled and deveined - 20

Cocktail sauce - for serving

Lemon wedges - for garnish


  1. In a large pot of boiling water, cook shrimp for 3-5 minutes, or until pink and opaque.
  2. Remove shrimp with a slotted spoon and immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water to chill.
  3. Once chilled, drain and arrange on a platter or vintage glass.
  4. Serve with cocktail sauce and lemon wedges.

Tip: To make your own cocktail sauce, combine ketchup, mayo, and a touch of mustard. Adjust to taste.

The Golden Age of Sides

The main course, while grand, is truly complemented and enhanced by the sides that accompany it. Sides from the "golden age" provide a comforting touch, reflecting family traditions and culinary eras gone by. These dishes, often passed down from generation to generation, have withstood the test of time, proving that simplicity often reigns supreme. Let's delve into some classic side dishes that continue to grace our Thanksgiving tables:

Green bean almondine:

Vibrant Green Beans with Toasted Almond Slivers

Servings: 4

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 8 minutes


Fresh green beans, trimmed - 14 oz

Almond slivers - 1.7 oz

Butter - 2 tbsp

Fresh garlic, minced - 2 cloves

Fresh lemon juice - 2 tbsp


  1. Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Add green beans and sauté for 5-7 minutes or until tender yet crisp.
  3. In a separate pan, toast almond slivers over medium heat until lightly golden, about 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Plate the sautéed green beans, sprinkle with toasted almond slivers, and finish with a squeeze of lemon juice.
  5. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Traditional Stuffing with a Twist

Servings: 6-8

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 45 minutes


Dry bread cubes - 4 cups

Celery, finely chopped - 1 cup

Onions, diced - 1 cup

Broth (chicken or vegetable) - 2 cups

Sage, chopped - 1 tsp

Rosemary, chopped - 1 tsp

Bacon, chopped - 3.5 oz

Dried cranberries - ½ cup

Eggs, beaten - 2


  1. In a large skillet, sauté bacon until slightly crispy. Add onions and celery, cook until translucent.
  2. Stir in cranberries, sage, and rosemary, and sauté for another 2 minutes.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine bread cubes and vegetable-bacon mix.
  4. Add beaten eggs and mix until well combined.
  5. Gradually pour in the broth, ensuring the mixture is moist but not soggy.
  6. Transfer mixture to a baking dish, spreading evenly.
  7. Bake in a preheated oven at 375°F (190°C) for 40-45 minutes or until the top forms a golden crust.
  8. Serve warm and enjoy!

Scalloped potatoes from the 70s:

 Golden, bubbly layers of creamy potato.

Servings: 6

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 1 hour


Potatoes, thinly sliced - 4 cups

Cheese, grated - 2 cups

Butter - 3 tbsp

Flour - 2 tbsp

Milk - 2 cups


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Gradually add milk, whisking continuously, until sauce thickens. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of cheese until melted and smooth.
  3. In a baking dish, layer a third of the potatoes, then pour a third of the cheese sauce over them. Repeat layers until all ingredients are used, finishing with a layer of cheese sauce.
  4. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
  5. Bake for about 1 hour, or until potatoes are tender and the top is golden and bubbly.
  6. Let stand for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Desserts to Die For

Sweet endings are the crowning moments of any feast, and Thanksgiving is no exception. The nostalgic allure of vintage desserts not only satiates our taste buds but also takes us on a delightful journey back in time. Whether it's the creamy richness of a pie or the wobbly joy of a gelatin-based treat, these classics have earned their place at the table. Allow your senses to be whisked away to a bygone era as we delve into the indulgent world of traditional Thanksgiving desserts that are truly to die for.

Pumpkin pie 

A beautifully set, spiced orange filling in a flaky golden crust, best served with a dollop of whipped cream.

Servings: 8

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 50 minutes


Pumpkin puree - 2 cups

Spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves) - 1 tsp each

Eggs - 2

Cream - 1 cup

Pie crust - 1


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, spices, eggs, and cream until smooth.
  3. Roll out pie crust and fit it into a 9-inch pie dish.
  4. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the crust.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Then reduce temperature to 350°F (175°C) and continue baking for 35-40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!

Pecan pie 

A lustrous, caramelized filling crowned with a layer of pecans, all encased in a golden, buttery crust. The perfect blend of crunch and sweetness in every bite.

Servings: 8

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 45 minutes


Pecans, coarsely chopped - 1 cup

Sugar - 1 cup

Corn syrup - 3/4 cup

Eggs, beaten - 3

Pie crust - 1


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, corn syrup, and eggs. Mix until well combined.
  3. Stir in the coarsely chopped pecans.
  4. Roll out pie crust and fit it into a 9-inch pie dish.
  5. Pour the pecan mixture into the crust.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until the pie is set.
  7. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

Gelatin-based treats

A delightful, wobbly treat that's translucent, showcasing suspended fruit pieces that add color and texture. Perfect for a refreshing end to a hearty meal.

Servings: 6

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Setting Time: 4 hours


Gelatin - 2 packets

Fruit juice (like orange or pineapple) - 2 cups

Mixed fruits (like berries or diced pineapples), optional - 1 cup


  1. Heat half of the fruit juice in a saucepan until it's just about to boil.
  2. In a bowl, sprinkle gelatin over the remaining cold juice and let it bloom for 5 minutes.
  3. Pour the hot juice over the gelatin mixture and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
  4. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
  5. Once cooled, add in the mixed fruits if using.
  6. Pour the mixture into molds or a large dish and place in the refrigerator to set for at least 4 hours, or until firm.
  7. Once set, cut into desired shapes if using a large dish.

Cocktails with a Vintage Charm

Whiskey sour – the roaring 20s

A radiant golden liquid in a classic glass, garnished with a slice of lemon, capturing the essence of the Roaring 20s in every sip. 

Servings: 1

Preparation Time: 5 minutes


Whiskey - 2 oz

Fresh lemon juice - 3/4 oz

Sugar (or simple syrup) - 1/2 oz


  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Add whiskey, fresh lemon juice, and sugar to the shaker.
  3. Shake well until chilled.
  4. Strain the mixture into a glass filled with ice.

The classic old-fashioned

A translucent amber drink in a classic lowball glass, the aromatic bitters complementing the deep notes of the whiskey. Garnished with a twist of orange and a cherry, it's a drink that exudes timelessness.

Servings: 1

Preparation Time: 5 minutes


Bourbon or Rye Whiskey - 2 oz

Sugar cube (or 1/2 tsp granulated sugar)

Angostura bitters - 2-3 dashes

Water - a few drops

Ice cubes

Orange twist or slice and maraschino cherry, for garnish


  1. Place the sugar cube (or sugar) in an Old-Fashioned glass.
  2. Wet the sugar cube with 2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters and a short splash of water.
  3. Muddle (crush) the sugar cube using a muddler or the back of a spoon.
  4. Fill the glass with ice cubes.
  5. Add the whiskey to the glass.
  6. Stir to combine.
  7. Garnish with an orange twist or slice and a maraschino cherry.

The gin fizz resurgence

With the wave of craft cocktail culture and the nostalgia for classic drinks, the Gin Fizz has seen a notable resurgence. Its simplicity, combined with the refreshing play of textures from effervescence to its citrusy zing, appeals to both the modern palate and the longing for timeless tastes.

A bubbly, slightly cloudy cocktail in a tall glass, its effervescence capturing the modern revival of this classic drink. The refreshing blend of gin and citrus is accentuated by the fizz of the club soda.

Servings: 1

Preparation Time: 5 minutes


Gin - 2 oz

Fresh lemon juice - 1 oz

Sugar (or simple syrup) - 3/4 oz

Club soda

Ice cubes


  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine gin, lemon juice, and sugar.
  2. Fill the shaker with ice and shake well until chilled.
  3. Strain the mixture into a highball glass filled with ice.
  4. Top with club soda to fill the glass.
  5. Give it a gentle stir to combine.

Modern Takes on Classic Dishes

In today's culinary scene, vintage recipes are being rejuvenated with contemporary twists, striking a balance between nostalgia and modern tastes.

Adapting Vintage Recipes for Modern Palates

Modern-day flavors are bolder and more diverse. So, while a classic pie was once just fruit and sugar, today's versions might incorporate exotic spices or alternative sweeteners. This melding of old and new amplifies the essence of vintage recipes, making them resonate with today's food enthusiasts.

Integrating Popular Ingredients from Past Decades

Retro ingredients are returning with flair. The '70s avocado, once a prawn cocktail staple, now graces smoothies and toasts. Meanwhile, ingredients like quinoa and kale, foreign to older generations, refresh classic dishes. This blend creates dishes that exude classic charm yet feel fresh and modern.

These updated takes bridge past and present, honoring timeless recipes while updating them for current tastes.

The Power of Nostalgia

Nostalgia isn't just a feeling; it's an experience, a journey back in time. As you recreate these cherished vintage dishes, you're not only tantalizing taste buds but also stirring up treasured memories. But why stop at just reviving old recipes? Dive deeper into the past by pairing family photos with the very recipes that made those moments or memories of family times special. With the Retroviewer, you can craft a personalized reel, capturing both the image of the dish and its recipe! Family recipes stored in the most unique & ultimately nostalgic way- the RetroViewer & Reels! Better yet- order more than one…get one for every family member, and give them as gifts with their Family Recipe Reel! Imagine the joy of cranking through a reel that not only showcases a cherished family moment but also the recipe that took center stage. It's a delightful way to keep traditions alive, passing them down through generations. So, as you savor the past in every bite, ensure those flavors and memories are immortalized, always ready to be revisited and shared.


  1. Why focus on vintage recipes?

They offer a unique blend of tradition and taste, reconnecting us with our roots.

  1. How can these recipes cater to different dietary needs?

Many are naturally wholesome and can be easily adapted with modern substitutes.

  1. Are these dishes time-consuming?

While some dishes take time, the result is a labor of love, worth every minute.

  1. What makes them stand out from contemporary recipes?

Retro recipes are eclectic and have a vintage charm that encapsulates decades through aesthetics, ingredients & tastes!

  1. How do these recipes reflect the decades they come from?

Each recipe carries the essence of its era, from ingredients popular at the time to preparation techniques and finally presentation.

As you prepare for Thanksgiving, remember that it's not just about the food but the memories you create.