Let’s Have a Party! We’ll serve June Cleaver Toasts, of course!

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

They look like a humble little bit of bread and topping, but one bite, and you’ll be wanting more…

Mix together:

  • 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!

Vegan option

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 Wisdom

Hilda and my husband at our wedding. She lived to her 100th year, but didn’t quite make it to 100.

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.

Hilda Wisdom

  1. Always serve hot food on hot plates, and cold food on cold plates.
  2. If you have a dinner party, make them bring their own booze and meat.
  3. Make friends with younger people, they’re more fun, and they don’t die on you
  4. You can never have too many ovens (she had four plus a microwave).
  5. At some point, you actually can have too many cows.

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  1. Suzassippi says:

    Oh, my goodness, but I love this entire post! The Hilda rules (wish I would have known her!), and the June Cleaver toasts. My son made these once when we were still back in Texas during his Emeril Lagasse phase. We loved them…and we used slices of baguette toasts also–superb. Thank you for the reminder; I think I need to make these! I finally bought all the stuff for the chocolate clementine cake today, so I am making progess!

    1. Wonderful! I’m delighted you have had these! I guess this was a widely used technique and I can’t imagine why it went out of fashion since they are so good!
      I can’t wait to see how you like the clementine cake. I just finished another one for our family gathering on Thursday and it will be topped with the chocolate too! Bon appetit my friend!!!!

  2. These sounds so good! I have all the ingredients, so will try them soon.
    The “Hilda Wisdom” rules are hilarious! 🙂

    1. She had the same things she said over and over, and these were among her favorites. She was quite a character.

  3. Really clever toasts 😋

    1. Thanks! Simple but simply delicious!

  4. I like the recipe, Hilda, and her rules. I can only imagine the stories she could share, and I don’t ever imagine she had trouble filling the chairs around her table.

    1. She had a full house for her weekly dinners and had a wonderful time. Lots of stories, and name dropping!

  5. c.a. says:

    I tried to make a bunch of young friends but they all said they did not want to be MY friend, ‘cause I would die on THEM! 😔

    1. Hilda did all the cooking, I think that’s what lured them there! But older friends are good too.

    2. You are too funny!

  6. CarolCooks2 says:

    Love Hilda’s rules…never had or heard of the toasts but they sound like popular party bites …Happy New Year x

    1. Here’s to a hopeful New Year!

      1. CarolCooks2 says:

        I do hope so…x

  7. Love the story about Hilda, Dorothy. Such a character and I bet a real source of fascinating tales. Lucky you:)

    1. She was quite a woman who lived a long and amazing life! Thanks for stopping by!

      1. I just adore women like that:) Thanks for sharing her story!

      2. You’re very welcome! Happy New Year!

  8. Chef Mimi says:

    Well, my husband wouldn’t go for these at all. Unless I didn’t tell him there was mayo on these toasts! They sound wonderful to me!

    1. No Mayo! Well, he might just think it’s all cheese! I

  9. leggypeggy says:

    What a great post. I wish I’d know Hilda.

    1. Hilda was memorable, and left a lovely legacy in her cooking and gardening. The Vermont Folklife Center interviewed her many times. She had some great stories.

  10. Nancy says:

    Oh I have had these before… my friend use to make them and then she moved away. And that was that… no more toasts. lol
    Hilda sounds like a fun one! And her rules are fabulous.

    1. Love Hilda’s rules! She repeated them so often, it wasn’t hard putting them together.

  11. BERNADETTE says:

    You are so blessed to have Hilda in your life. Love the photo and the recipe.

    1. Thank you! She was definitely one of a kind!

  12. I know what I’m having for lunch now! I make a similar cheese toast with mayonnaise and cheddar, sometimes simple is quite frankly the best! Love the name of these toasts, thanks Dorothy!

    1. You’re welcome! They are so tasty, and I’m sure they’re great with Cheddar as well! Have a lovely lunch!

  13. NativeNM says:

    So simple, a must try!

  14. Wonderful. Happy new year xx

    1. And a happy and hopeful New Year to you too!

  15. Wow this is so simple and sounds amazing Dorothy!

    1. You’ve got to try this one Diane, it is crazy simple and everyone loves it! I’ve been asked for this recipe more than any other!

  16. Hilda sounds very wise and her canapes sound delicious!

    1. She was a character indeed!

  17. Leah says:

    Hilda seemed like a really fun lady! I love her wisdom. Thanks for sharing them. I have not heard of June Cleaver Toasts before but they look and sound so good! I have yet to try vegan mayo. If I like it, I would be able to enjoy many of my favorite dishes with less guilt including trying June Cleaver Toasts! 🙂

    1. I named them June Cleaver Toasts which is most likely why you never heard of them before! But I didn’t invent the recipe, and some day I may find the original.
      I’ve tried a lot of vegan mayonnaise and my favorites are Just, which is hard to find, and Hellmans Began, which is in the supermarket.

      1. Leah says:

        Thank you. I will look for those vegan mayo. I love vegan butter. I pretty much use it in everything and no one can tell the difference. 🙂 Vegan parmesan tastes good as well but the sodium is a lot higher than the dairy one.

      2. There’s a smoked vegan provolone that is pretty good and melts well, but most of the vegan cheeses are not so great.

      3. Leah says:

        I”ll check it out! Thanks!

  18. Americaoncoffee says:

    It looks real yummy! I love your theme too! ❤️🥐🎶

    1. Thank you so much. June Cleaver would approve!

      1. Americaoncoffee says:


  19. Judee says:

    I am retired and living in South Florida with lots other retires . Socializing in a daily occurrence and I’m always looking for an easy appetizer. These sound great and easy. Love your title and the story behind them. I will probably try the vegan version

    1. Thanks Judee! The vegan version is every bit as good as the original! Hope your friends enjoy as much as we do!

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