Old-Fashioned Indoor Weenie Roast – A Mid-Century Recipe Test

Posted on Jan 29 2014 - 4:00am by RetroRuth

This week we have a fun recipe. This is a “1970’s does 1950’s” recipe that we found in our very awesome 2-in-1 International Recipe Card Collection from 1977. And it’s for an Old-Fashioned Indoor Weenie Roast! IMG_5453 Old Fashioned Weenie Roast001 The card states:

What better to go with an Old Fashioned than an old-fashioned weenie roast? This creation, which reached its apex in the mid ‘fifties, fell into low repute as fondue cookery caught on and upstaged it; but recently, as more and more apartment dwellers yearn for the pleasures of outdoor living, the humble indoor weenie roast is coming back into its own.

Old Fashioned Weenie Roast002

5.0 from 2 reviews
Old-Fashioned Indoor Weenie Roast
  • 1 large head cabbage
  • Frankfurters
  • Canned liquid Heat
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup prepared mustard
  1. Trim soiled outer leaves from cabbage head; slice off bottom of cabbage so cabbage sits upright steadily; hollow out top of cabbage to make well for canned liquid heat; place can in well.
  2. Finely grate cabbage pieces left over from making well in cabbage head; place in saucepan; add water and vinegar; bring to low boil and cook over medium heat 15 minutes. Remove from saucepan and drain; blend in mayonnaise and mustard.
  3. Cut frankfurters crosswise into thirds and skewer on 8-inch bamboo cocktail skewers. Spear into sides of cabbage. To serve, ignite canned heat; invite guests to roast their weenies over flame. Serve with Cabbage-Mustard Sauce as dip.

We took a look at this card and thought, “Why the heck not?” I mean, we’ve put liver and buttermilk together, made a cake with un-rendered pork fat, put canned spaghetti on a sandwich and made a hot dog taco. Why shouldn’t we set a cabbage on fire and roast hot dogs over it? IMG_5430 Here is a can of Sterno, stuffed into a cabbage. Just a side note, this is a can of Sterno I bought in the camping section. It is pretty big. I am not sure if they made a smaller version for chafing dishes or not, but if they do I would recommend using the smaller size. This size is huge. IMG_5438 Ah! 1950’s party perfection. IMG_5451 And he waits. And waits. And waits. Here is where I realized there was a small problem with this. Unlike fondue or sukiyaki, cooking a hot dog over a Sterno flame takes a bit of time and can really only be done by one or two people at once. This is presented as an appetizer and that is what it should be. I wouldn’t recommend serving this as a dinner where people are hungry and want to eat right away. IMG_5457 In the cabbage-mustard sauce! Tom TastesIMG_5468 “So? What do you think?” “Well, it’s a roasted weenie. And this cabbage mustard stuff is pretty good. “

The Verdict: Good And Fun

From The Tasting Notes:

The whole roasting things in the house made Tom a bit nervous, but I think if I would have given him a few more cocktails, that nervousness would have faded. It was actually kind of slow to cook the hot dog, and if you had a bunch of starving people it would be kind of a pain to wait for your turn. However, if everyone wasn’t very hungry and it was just something to nibble on with cocktails it would be a fun party novelty. The Cabbage-Mustard sauce is good, although it is sort of a waste on a hot dog. It would taste amazing on a brat. It was a nice, tangy sauce with a good crunch.

Come back on Friday, where we make the Old-Fashioned Cocktail that goes with the Old-Fashioned Indoor Weenie Roast!

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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit in...to the 50's. I have a passion for vintage recipes and an enormous vintage cookbook collection that I keep testing, even though by now I should know better. Creator of Mid-Century Menu (www.midcenturymenu.com), No Pattern Required (www.nopatternrequired.com), and I Ate The 80's (www.iatethe80s.com).

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10 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. veg-o-matic January 29, 2014 at 10:38 am - Reply

    I think I’m going to have to make that first picture of Tom my desktop wallpaper.

    You bring up an interesting point in the Tasting Notes about giving Tom a few more cocktails: how hilarious would these Mid-Century Recipe Tests be if Tom were drunk?

  2. Dorian January 29, 2014 at 11:59 am - Reply

    My sister and I did this for a fifties-theme birthday party, using the small can of Sterno and miniature cocktail wieners. I think our skewers were too short or thin or something because the skewers kept catching on fire and the wieners would fall into the flames. Entertaining but not very successful. Heavy duty skewers are definitely the way to go.

  3. Susan January 29, 2014 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    I have the amazing good fortune to live in a 1970s apartment that has a wood-burning fireplace. This reminds me that I really should roast hot dogs and marshmallows in my fireplace (and pop popcorn, if I could find one of those old metal popper-things).

  4. Erica Retrochef January 29, 2014 at 2:46 pm - Reply

    I am actually quite grateful you made this — Buzz has been suggesting cooking this for a while, and I’ve been running out of excuses! That cabbage-mustard sauce certainly looks right for a good sausage….

    • Buzz January 29, 2014 at 7:02 pm - Reply

      Aw, I was looking forward to making one of these. I like any food with open flames.

  5. Fiona January 30, 2014 at 4:44 pm - Reply

    It looks a health & safety nightmare to me. Help our cabbage has exploded with flammable liquids………

  6. Tyrannosaurus Chex January 31, 2014 at 3:00 am - Reply

    Hello there!
    Been a fan of the site a long time; your writing style is always entertaining and the pictures of Tom are always hilarious…especially for the more revolting dishes.

    I recently came into possession of a mid-century(kinda)cookbook: Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book, copyrights 1942-44…it eve has a “War-Time Postscript” about substituting ingredients in a food shortage! I’d love to send some recipes your way but, unfortunately the book was supposed to go to my mother from my great-grandmother but my Aunt got to it first and only handed it over to my mom after she, basically, ruined it. While every page in intact and still legible, it’s obvious some kind of…moisture got to it, the cover and binding is falling off, the whole thing reeks of mildew to the point it makes my nose tingle disturbingly and it’s much heavier than it should be and, honestly I’m afraid to read through it!

    But if I ever do, I’ll be sure to send some horror your way…and as a side-note, I bet that cabbage sauce would be really good with Polish sausage! And the fact that the recipe called for using a cabbage a a portable grill made me laugh harder and longer than I’m comfortable to admit.

    Anyway, keep it up!

  7. Abigail Grotke February 2, 2014 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    Wienie roasts play a big part in advice books for teens (at least from the 1950s and 1960s). I never truly appreciated how fun they could be until seeing these images! 🙂

    Here’s a taste: http://www.missabigail.com/advice/dating-advice/2010/07/sick-of-spontaneous-dates/

  8. Seamus February 2, 2014 at 6:07 pm - Reply

    So what do you do with the cabbage? Wrap it around the roasted hot dog pieces? Salad? Or was it just something to hold the hot dog pieces and make the Sterno more decorative?

    • Seamus February 2, 2014 at 6:08 pm - Reply

      —sorry, imagine I posted that comment on the Wienie Roast page.

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