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Saturday, November 14, 2015

Weekend Cooking- 100 Years of Family Dinners

This post is part of Beth Fish Reads' Weekend Cooking.  If you have anything related to food, cookbook reviews, novel or non-fiction book reviews, recipes, movie reviews, etc., head over to Beth Fish Reads and add your post. Or, if you want to read food related posts, head over to read what some interesting people have to say about food.

As I began to write this post, I was interrupted by a matter that needed attention in the kitchen, which is either ironic or appropriate depending on your point of view. I took care of the issue, and so I am back to work.

I saw a post on Facebook this week from Mode.com which created a video "100 Years of Family Dinners". They started in 1915 and showed a plate that represents what American families would eat for dinner.

It was fascinating, and only takes a few minutes to view.

It begins in 1915 with Roast Beef and Franconia Potatoes, which I thought looked very appealing. Fast forward ten years and in 1925, we get Chicken a la King, which sort of surprised me.

We see how the economic times changed the meals. During the Great Depression, 1935's meal was Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast with Buttered Peas, and in 1945 as WWII was ending, we see Spam, Baked Potato and Lima Beans, not my favorite meal, but representative of the depravation of the war years.

In 1955 TV was king, and so the invention of the TV dinner was popular. They show my favorite, Roast Turkey, Gravy, Mashed Potatoes and Peas. (I used to eat this after I got home late at night from work at the movie theater when I was in high school, which was the late 1970's so its popularity continued on for decades.)

The "Mad Men" decade brought us Chicken Kiev, Potatoes with a Cream Sauce and Boiled Carrots in 1965, while in 1975, Cheese Fondue with Ham and Bread Cubes celebrated the Me Decade with a communal dish. (Now that is ironic.)

When so many women entered the work force, 1985 saw Sloppy Joes and Boxed Macaroni and Cheese on family tables, a meal that could be put together quickly.  Ethnic foods entered supermarkets, and in 1995 we see Tacos and Refried Beans, followed by Sushi in 2005.

As people turned to healthier fare for their families, we end up in 2015 with Grilled Salmon and a Quinoa and Kale Salad.

Which one of these meals is your favorite? Let me know in Comments.


  1. I want the china from the 1915 meal! And the potatoes looked pretty good too. I'm looking them up now to see if I can find a recipe. I might take a pass on the rest of the food though my family adores Sloppy Joes. What a fun video!

  2. I enjoyed the video! It's very interesting! My favorite is what I eat a lot of today - grilled salmon!

  3. Although I don't eat it withQuinoa and Kale Salad. I usually eat it with brown rice.

  4. Fun video!! I watched with my 2 and 4 year old and they had fun yelling YUM and EW with each new decade. Tacos and Sloppy Joes is a favorite here--guess I'm still cooking what my mom cooked for me when I was little? What was interesting to me was to watch the vegetables come and go--first from little greens to ending up with quite a bit.

  5. I'm intrigued - I'm going to look into food history a bit more! Cheers from Carole's Chatter!

  6. I like today's meal of salmon the best... what a fun video!

    BTW, I made the chicken meatball and orzo soup this week. It was delicious!

  7. We didn't get to have TV dinners that often (too expensive?) but the roast turkey was my favorite, too! (I was also in high school in the late 70s.)

  8. That was fascinating. Carl and I just watched it and I mentioned that the only time we had TV dinners was when my parents went out which wasn't all that often. I guess of all those meals, the fondue is the one I like the best.

  9. What a great video -- fascinated. I agree that I want some of that china! I too like the grilled salmon, but I'm all for the taco meal too.

  10. Cool video, thanks for sharing it.
    The chicken kiev looked quite good, but I have to say that I'm partial to a good feed of sloppy joes and mac and cheese. Maybe it is just my generation? Or the fact that it is just a go-to comfort food.