1950s Potluck Party

This potluck party idea took a group of friends on a tasty trip back in time to the fabulous 50s, complete with aprons and potluck dishes.

Nostalgic Potluck Party Idea

Potluck Party Idea

Aprons make a fun theme for a nostalgic get-together, with favorite foods. Photo by Mike Peters. Aprons from Saucy Girl Aprons.

Three aprons on a clothesline are a perfect accent to a 1950s potluck party!

Aprons On A Line

Vintage aprons come in a wide range of styles and colors and are fun to wear at a 1950s Potluck Party. Photo by Steve Bigley.

Nostalgic Potluck Party IdeaThree aprons on a clothesline are a perfect accent to a 1950s potluck party!


By Patty Curtes
Hartland, Wisconsin

Not long ago, several dear friends were reminiscing about aprons, remembering how our mothers wore them while we were growing up in the 1950s. Each of us had stashed away at least one apron. We decided to resurrect them and have an old-fashioned ’50s potluck party.

My apron was the one my mother used to wear for bridge club. Mother would wear a full “utilitarian” apron with bib as she prepared the meal. But when guests arrived, and it was time to serve the food, she would don one of her “fancy” aprons. I regarded those as pure glamour.

With “Favorites from the ’50s” as the theme, every couple was asked to bring a dish they remember their mom serving during that era.  The ladies wore vintage aprons, many holding wonderful memories. Reminiscing began over highballs served in tall glasses with orange wedges and maraschino cherries skewered on tiny paper umbrellas. Appetizers included deviled eggs, miniature pigs-in-a-blanket and Lipton California onion dip with chips.

Our potluck buffet included bacon-wrapped meat loaf, macaroni and cheese, hot chicken salad and even a side of Spam (not the kind that clogs up email boxes)! Of course, no ’50s potluck would be complete without a Jell-O mold! Desserts were classics like blitz torte and pineapple upside-down cake.

No one updated or put a modern twist anything. We wanted the food to taste the way we remembered. Instead of turning to the web or Food Network, we all researched our best sources—the worn, dog-eared, stained cookbooks proudly passed down from our mothers.

The food had a natural way of prompting memories, and we chuckled over many lively stories from our childhoods. The men joined right in, recalling what they ate as kids, schoolboy pranks, their first cars and such. It was a great evening—one we’re still talking about!

Perhaps you too remember family dinners and get-togethers with comfort food like Bacon Water Chestnut WrapsSavory Pot Roast, French Dressing with Tomatoes,  Mother’s Rolls or Sour Cream Chocolate Cake.  Invite your friends, tie on an apron, and have fun.

Ramona Storm 1 April 8, 2013 at 7:00 am

What a fun idea! Does anyone recall eating what my children called “scrambled hamburger”? It was made very similar to biscuits and gravy but I ususally served it over mashed potatoes. And I still wear my apron when baking or fixing a holiday meal…I’m a bit of a messy cook.


Roxanne Busby 2 March 14, 2014 at 6:59 pm

Thanks for the article about the 50’s and Aprons. It brought back wonderful memories of my Grandmother. My Grandfather died when he was only 45 and Grandma never remarried. In the late 1950’s and 1960’s she and another single lady went into the Apron and potholder business. Grandma’s friend sewed the Apron’s and potholders and Grandma would go door to door and selling them. Some times she’d trade the Apron’s for trading stamps instead of cash or even more material for more Aprons! They didn’t get rich but Grandma enjoyed getting out talking to people and the exercise from all the walking. Thanks for bringing back these memories…I’m going to dig through some boxes and find Grandma’s aprons that I’ve saved all these years.


sharon 3 March 15, 2014 at 10:27 am

Hi, Roxanne,Thanks for sharing your treasured memories. Your grandmother sound like a lovely lady and quite the entrepreneur. I hope you find her aprons and wear them with pride! Sharon, CW Sr. Editor


lucy souza 4 August 28, 2014 at 11:21 pm

I have my great grandmother’s apron. It is the one that just ties at the waste and no Bib. I wear it when I cook or bake. She even embroidered it. Thank you for sharing the fun.


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