Nothing could be easier; these delectable little canapés may become a routine in your home after the first bite. Promise!
I was told by an old family friend, Hilda, who lived to her 100th year, that this was a recipe for a party canapé in a pinch, popular in the 1950s, quick and easy. They are still delicious, and after the first time I made them, they became a family favorite. I named them June Cleaver Toasts because I could imagine this character, coiffed and bedecked in pearls, calmly whipping up a batch of these delights when unexpected guests arrived.
My grandkids learned to make them when they were about five, and they make them at most gatherings, and sometimes for a snack after school. Easy and delicious.
Let them guess what’s in them!
Ask anyone who has ever had them, and they will tell you how addicting they are, and guests often try to guess what is in them! Crabmeat? Artichokes? Nope. Four ingredients, and none of them fancy.
Everyone loves these, and I can’t count the number of people who have asked for the recipe, and quickly included it in their own family’s routine! Chris, Caitlyn, Deb, Sandra, Leslie, Bonnie. No modern twists or updates, these canapés don’t need it. The recipe is easy to remember, too, each ingredient half of the last, so you can make it in any quantity you like! Big blob, half blob, quarter blob.
June Cleaver Toasts
- 1 cup of Hellman’s mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup finely minced onion
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Mound this by teaspoonful on top of lightly toasted baguette slices (our preferred), toast points, stale bread, or party rye.
Sprinkle with paprika and a little more Parmesan.
Pop under the broiler for eight to ten minutes or so, depending on your broiler, or until the tops are bubbly and just start to brown. They are good even if you take them a bit too far, but try to remove them when they are brown and crispy around the edges. Remove and let cool on a plate just until you can eat them without burning your mouth. A bit of caution here.
OK, you can make them fancier, but you don’t need to.
My son likes these with a little chopped, cooked bacon or sausage on top! You can add other things, but they really don’t need them!
I’ve used vegan mayonnaise and vegan Parmesan with great success here! Actually, no one knew the difference.
Fuss them up, or not
Yes, if I’m having a party, and I want to fuss a bit, I’ll add a little sprig of parsley or sliver of jalapeño, perhaps a few crushed red pepper flakes, but that’s just me getting carried away.
Tomorrow, the party continues:
Lake House Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms, a cross between comfort food and elegance, these stuffed artichoke bottoms are a simple and satisfying hors d’oeuvre or starter for a dinner party.
Hilda, the family friend who gave me this recipe, worked as a cook for “the best houses” on Long Island, as she often told us. She immigrated here from England as a young woman to work first arranging flowers for the Gimbel (department store) family in New York City and said that was one of her favorite jobs. She became a popular cook, working for many socially connected families on Long Island and even cooked for Edward the Duke of Windsor, and his wife Wallis Simpson, after his abdication. Hilda had lots to say about that!
I have quite few recipes, or more accurately techniques, up my sleeve from this remarkable lady, who was known as the “cow woman of Randolph,” Vermont, because she collected cow-themed items. She planted an incredible cutting garden and won most of the local flower club awards until one year she decided to not enter and let other people win. She also had an immense kitchen garden, and had a dinner party every week, always inviting lots of younger folks, including the local vet, who faithfully followed her rules, below.
- Always serve hot food on hot plates, and cold food on cold plates.
- If you have a dinner party, make them bring their own booze and meat.
- Make friends with younger people, they’re more fun, and they don’t die on you
- You can never have too many ovens (she had four plus a microwave).
- At some point, you actually can have too many cows.
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