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Old 12-18-2017, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
71,682 posts, read 83,258,368 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filmsniffer View Post
Having done research into this very thing, I find your defence to your individual experience quite dubious. Older cookbooks didn't even list salt and pepper, and those two things are absolutely required if you cook anything, anything at all. Much older ones (like 1900s-1930s) sometimes did.

Poppy Cannon released "Can-Opener Cookbook" in 1951. It was an instant hit with inexperienced cooks everywhere. Her cookbook claimed you can whip a meal within ten minutes!

Before WWII, food was unchanged for the most part. Family farms were common, suburbs not so much. After WWII, that changed. Family farms started disappearing across the country, suburbs being built at lightning speed.

When did the green bean casserole come into use? The 1950s! 1955, to be exact. Campbell's soup company came up with it. Why did they and how did they? Simple. They wanted to create a quick and easy recipe around two things most Americans always had on hand in the 1950s - canned green beans and Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup.

Look at this thread again. People were talking about this meatball porcupines again and again. Beef and rice. MEAT AND STARCH! All the popular meals are. Here is a short list.

Fried chicken
Tuna noodle casserole
Spaghetti & meatballs
Steak & potatoes
Chicken pot pies

Did you know that kale was not considered food, let alone a vegetable, in the USA till a few years ago? Who purchased all those kale before that, you ask? Pizza Hut! A pizza chain? You bet. For? Salad bar decoration.

I reiterate once again, if the food was so good in the 1950s, then Julia Child would not have happened.
oh for heavens sake. I am just giving you my experience as a child of the 40s and 50s and how we ate. Yes, Julia Child's introduced us to a lot of wonderful gourmet cooking, but in our house we always had dry spices, lots of garlic, chili powder, hot peppers and some fresh herbs but of course not like today. We could use the same logic addressing all the cook books out today and on line. Why if Julia Child's was the best do we need anything else and yes, we did eat mostly fresh produce with spices. OK, I never heard of cilantro, or kale as a matter of fact. It still isn't a favorite of mine. I can think of many foods that are popular today but not then. Still our food wasn't bland except maybe for people who were still living on the farm and did cook mainly with grease and only salt and pepper. I am just giving you my opinion based on my persona experience eating lots of Asain foods, Mexican foods and yes American foods. I can also base some of my opinion on classes I took in College in the mid 50s when my major was foods and nutrition.
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Old 12-18-2017, 10:59 AM
 
Location: too far from the sea
19,622 posts, read 18,693,933 times
Reputation: 33345
Quote:
Originally Posted by filmsniffer View Post
Having done research into this very thing, I find your defence to your individual experience quite dubious. Older cookbooks didn't even list salt and pepper, and those two things are absolutely required if you cook anything, anything at all. Much older ones (like 1900s-1930s) sometimes did.

Poppy Cannon released "Can-Opener Cookbook" in 1951. It was an instant hit with inexperienced cooks everywhere. Her cookbook claimed you can whip a meal within ten minutes!

Before WWII, food was unchanged for the most part. Family farms were common, suburbs not so much. After WWII, that changed. Family farms started disappearing across the country, suburbs being built at lightning speed.

When did the green bean casserole come into use? The 1950s! 1955, to be exact. Campbell's soup company came up with it. Why did they and how did they? Simple. They wanted to create a quick and easy recipe around two things most Americans always had on hand in the 1950s - canned green beans and Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup.

Look at this thread again. People were talking about this meatball porcupines again and again. Beef and rice. MEAT AND STARCH! All the popular meals are. Here is a short list.

Fried chicken
Tuna noodle casserole
Spaghetti & meatballs
Steak & potatoes
Chicken pot pies

Did you know that kale was not considered food, let alone a vegetable, in the USA till a few years ago? Who purchased all those kale before that, you ask? Pizza Hut! A pizza chain? You bet. For? Salad bar decoration.

I reiterate once again, if the food was so good in the 1950s, then Julia Child would not have happened.
You weren't replying to me but I want to set the record straight. Fifties meals were kind of bland with the main seasoning just being salt and pepper. If you didn't see s&p listed in ingredients maybe it's because people didn't have to be told. Most women back then already knew how to cook and knew that you would add s&p to taste.

The 50s were the era of the good housewife. Women took pride in cooking and taking care of their families. The cookbooks back then (and from the 1920s) had entire sections on how to set the table, how to cook for "invalids", how to get kids to eat, how to balance a meal (usually a starch, a meat, and two vegetables), even a section on household tips (spot removal, silver polish). Dessert may have been sugary but dessert usually contained fruit. Apple pie, peach cobbler, and sometimes just a bowl of canned peaches or canned pears. At least they aimed for fruit and vegetables even though canned was the best they could do in winter.

The cookbook was only a backup though because most women already were good cooks. They'd been taught by their mothers and they probably had grown up doing some of the cooking. Big families, more rural lifestyle in many cases. But even those who grew up in a city were taught how to cook by their mothers.

I used to collect cookbooks and the 1920-40s books had good recipes. My mother used (although she didn't use a cookbook very much and didn't really need it) The American Woman's Cookbook, a thick green covered book c. 1941 or c. 1951. IIRC, there was one other very popular cookbook similar to it.

Fried chicken
Tuna noodle casserole
Spaghetti & meatballs
Steak & potatoes
Chicken pot pies


We NEVER had fried chicken--we did not live in the south. The only fried foods we had were home made French fries and corn fritters using canned corn served with maple syrup.

Tuna noodle casserole--yes. Campbell's Soup probably wanted to sell more of their soup. They marketed these things as modern and time saving.

Spaghetti and meatballs--Never had. We were not Italian. I'm sure Italian families ate this though. We ate Franco American spaghetti from a can--for part of lunch, but it wasn't for a main dish.

Steak & potatoes. We only had sirloin steak-it was cheaper but not that good. We did have potatoes at nearly every supper. Potatoes were mashed, baked, home fries, boiled, French fries.

Chicken pot pies--yes. They were new and convenient. They were loaded with vegetables so it was a "balanced" meal. Good on a wintry Sunday night when you'd had a huge dinner of roast beef, gravy, mashed potatoes, butternut squash, peas, etc.

I have never heard of the porcupine thing. People ate "American chop suey" a lot, that's what they ate. When I grew up and met my husband, his mother even made his childhood recipe for it, a little bit different from my mother's recipe. It contained Worcestershire sauce as a seasoning plus the tomato sauce. You'd have two vegetables along with it. It was a pretty good meal and I'd still eat it today. (Elbow macaroni, tomato sauce, ground beef, seasonings.)

We didn't use the spices people use today. Spices were something for desserts and desserts were a BIG DEAL in the 50s. You were not a good housewife and mother if you didn't fix a dessert. Nutmeg was the spice for rice pudding, allspice and some others were for pumpkin pie, cinnamon for apple crisp and apple pie, etc.

Our food may seem bland compared to what's available today but we liked it. It didn't contain the additives that today's food contains either. And it wasn't without nutrition. Meat, potato, and vegetables--that's what we had. Then a fruit dessert. Meals were probably high in salt and the desserts were high in sugar. But almost everything was made from scratch.

In winter here in the north, we couldn't get many fresh vegetables--not our fault that there was no such thing in winter. But people used real root vegetables like butternut squash, carrots, and turnip (rutabaga). Apples could be kept over the winter--especially if you stored them in the basement. We had orange juice that was squeezed from fresh oranges.

If Julia Child had to teach people, I think she was teaching them to go back to the old ways and not be totally taken over by the shortcuts that were being marketed by the Campbell's Soup people and such. It got worse in the 60s and finally mass marketed junk food took over later on--and we have what we have today.
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Old 12-18-2017, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Florida (SW)
39,235 posts, read 18,773,208 times
Reputation: 46578
Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
You weren't replying to me but I want to set the record straight. Fifties meals were kind of bland with the main seasoning just being salt and pepper. If you didn't see s&p listed in ingredients maybe it's because people didn't have to be told. Most women back then already knew how to cook and knew that you would add s&p to taste.

The 50s were the era of the good housewife. Women took pride in cooking and taking care of their families. The cookbooks back then (and from the 1920s) had entire sections on how to set the table, how to cook for "invalids", how to get kids to eat, how to balance a meal (usually a starch, a meat, and two vegetables), even a section on household tips (spot removal, silver polish). Dessert may have been sugary but dessert usually contained fruit. Apple pie, peach cobbler, and sometimes just a bowl of canned peaches or canned pears. At least they aimed for fruit and vegetables even though canned was the best they could do in winter.

The cookbook was only a backup though because most women already were good cooks. They'd been taught by their mothers and they probably had grown up doing some of the cooking. Big families, more rural lifestyle in many cases. But even those who grew up in a city were taught how to cook by their mothers.

I used to collect cookbooks and the 1920-40s books had good recipes. My mother used (although she didn't use a cookbook very much and didn't really need it) The American Woman's Cookbook, a thick green covered book c. 1941 or c. 1951. IIRC, there was one other very popular cookbook similar to it.

Fried chicken
Tuna noodle casserole
Spaghetti & meatballs
Steak & potatoes
Chicken pot pies


We NEVER had fried chicken--we did not live in the south. The only fried foods we had were home made French fries and corn fritters using canned corn served with maple syrup.

Tuna noodle casserole--yes. Campbell's Soup probably wanted to sell more of their soup. They marketed these things as modern and time saving.

Spaghetti and meatballs--Never had. We were not Italian. I'm sure Italian families ate this though. We ate Franco American spaghetti from a can--for part of lunch, but it wasn't for a main dish.

Steak & potatoes. We only had sirloin steak-it was cheaper but not that good. We did have potatoes at nearly every supper. Potatoes were mashed, baked, home fries, boiled, French fries.

Chicken pot pies--yes. They were new and convenient. They were loaded with vegetables so it was a "balanced" meal. Good on a wintry Sunday night when you'd had a huge dinner of roast beef, gravy, mashed potatoes, butternut squash, peas, etc.

I have never heard of the porcupine thing. People ate "American chop suey" a lot, that's what they ate. When I grew up and met my husband, his mother even made his childhood recipe for it, a little bit different from my mother's recipe. It contained Worcestershire sauce as a seasoning plus the tomato sauce. You'd have two vegetables along with it. It was a pretty good meal and I'd still eat it today. (Elbow macaroni, tomato sauce, ground beef, seasonings.)

We didn't use the spices people use today. Spices were something for desserts and desserts were a BIG DEAL in the 50s. You were not a good housewife and mother if you didn't fix a dessert. Nutmeg was the spice for rice pudding, allspice and some others were for pumpkin pie, cinnamon for apple crisp and apple pie, etc.

Our food may seem bland compared to what's available today but we liked it. It didn't contain the additives that today's food contains either. And it wasn't without nutrition. Meat, potato, and vegetables--that's what we had. Then a fruit dessert. Meals were probably high in salt and the desserts were high in sugar. But almost everything was made from scratch.

In winter here in the north, we couldn't get many fresh vegetables--not our fault that there was no such thing in winter. But people used real root vegetables like butternut squash, carrots, and turnip (rutabaga). Apples could be kept over the winter--especially if you stored them in the basement. We had orange juice that was squeezed from fresh oranges.

If Julia Child had to teach people, I think she was teaching them to go back to the old ways and not be totally taken over by the shortcuts that were being marketed by the Campbell's Soup people and such. It got worse in the 60s and finally mass marketed junk food took over later on--and we have what we have today.
Growing up in the 1940's....the only time I saw an orange was at Christmas. A tangerine in the toe of my stocking and a bowl of fruit and nuts and figs in the dining room on the sideboard for the holiday.

I still have my mothers copy of The Boston Cooking School cookbook by Fanny Farmer. She updated cookbooks to include standard measures and she taught nutriton at Harvard to medical students. Later when I was getting married "The Joy of Cooking" was the bible for new homemakers.
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Old 12-18-2017, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
71,682 posts, read 83,258,368 times
Reputation: 41529
Quote:
Originally Posted by elston View Post
Growing up in the 1940's....the only time I saw an orange was at Christmas. A tangerine in the toe of my stocking and a bowl of fruit and nuts and figs in the dining room on the sideboard for the holiday.

I still have my mothers copy of The Boston Cooking School cookbook by Fanny Farmer. She updated cookbooks to include standard measures and she taught nutriton at Harvard to medical students. Later when I was getting married "The Joy of Cooking" was the bible for new homemakers.
living in So. CA we did get oranges in our stocking. I had forgotten about the tangerine in the toe, but we also got an orange, a $ bill and usually nuts. We also didn't have socks that said Merry Christmas, we used our own socks.

The two cook books I remember having when I first got married was Better Homes and garden and Joy of cooking.I still have the old Better Homes and Garden book.
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Old 12-18-2017, 12:53 PM
 
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
15,474 posts, read 17,637,856 times
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Even though I grew up in the late 70s - early 80s, I ate a fair bit of "1950s" food when visiting my lower Midwest German-American grandparents who lived in a small city in farm country.

What I associate with is idea is in part comprised of the following:

Headcheese: homemade headcheese is a far cry from the commercial type. Big chunks of delicious, soft pork with peppercorns and onions in the "cheese". Eat it room temp or fry it up.

Source:https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...3%BClze001.jpg

Limburger with onions on rye: Don't let the smell put you off. Fairly cheap and delicious. This may even be more of a depression era treat than 1950s.

Source:http://www.wisconsincheesemanblog.co...eese-block.jpg

Sliced, garden fresh tomatoes and cucumber spears. A little bit of salt. That's it.

Source:http://www.grow-it-organically.com/i...2015-1sq-l.jpg

Source:https://stpetersburgfoodies.com/wp-c...n-drink-02.jpg

And, of course, the perennial favorite, liver and onions.

Source:http://img.enjoyyourcooking.com/wp-c...beef-liver.jpg

Never really had the jello salad thing unless ambrosia salad qualifies.
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Old 12-18-2017, 03:06 PM
 
2,993 posts, read 1,995,529 times
Reputation: 5857
Quote:
Originally Posted by upsadaisy View Post
I'm really obsessed with that time period and I love watching recipe vids on youtube where they show you how women shopped and cooked in the 1950s. Stuff like casseroles, meatloafs, and desserts. Some of the recipes have weird ingredients or others are very simple. I also like watching those videos because a lot of times they include some history in there as well or talk about how much things cost back then, which is nuts because everything was so cheap compared to now!

Anyone here have any 50's recipes they could share? I'm making a list that I could try eventually.
This site contains many vontage recipes, from the 1900s to the 70s, including some handwritten ones:

RecipeCurio.comVintage Recipes | RecipeCurio.com
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Old 12-18-2017, 04:01 PM
 
3,225 posts, read 1,306,742 times
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I don't know what year the Campbell's Soup Cookbook first came out, but I remember quite a few recipes from my childhood, like "Swedish" meatballs using Campbell's cream of mushroom soup. I remember macaroni and cheese with cheddar cheese soup and some chicken concoction with cream of celery soup as a main ingredient. I mentioned this once to my father long decades after they had divorced and he said I LIKED that one! I don't know how a whole thread on 50s cooking can have missed Campbell's soup recipes.
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Old 12-18-2017, 04:55 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
19,622 posts, read 18,693,933 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYC refugee View Post
I don't know what year the Campbell's Soup Cookbook first came out, but I remember quite a few recipes from my childhood, like "Swedish" meatballs using Campbell's cream of mushroom soup. I remember macaroni and cheese with cheddar cheese soup and some chicken concoction with cream of celery soup as a main ingredient. I mentioned this once to my father long decades after they had divorced and he said I LIKED that one! I don't know how a whole thread on 50s cooking can have missed Campbell's soup recipes.
Those Campbell's soup recipes were usually found in the newspapers under the Women's section or in a women's magazine like Better Homes & Gardens or Good Housekeeping.

I still have quite a few handwritten recipes in my recipe box--here's one with cream of chicken soup. The noodles are probably those flat egg noodles:

Baked Chicken & Noodles

Saute 12 oz sliced celery with 4 oz chopped onion in 3 Tbs butter
Blend 1 can cream of chicken soup & 3 cups milk
Add 1 1/2 quart cooked noodles, cooked chicken, 1 tsp salt, & 1/2 cup diced pimiento.
Pour into pan (12x18x2)--[they mean a Pyrex casserole dish.] Bake, uncovered, for 15 min in 350 oven.
Uncover, sprinkle top with 1/2 cup browned, buttered bread crumbs and return to oven for 15 min.
20 servings. (Must have been for a pot luck crowd!)
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Old 12-18-2017, 05:48 PM
 
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I grew up in a housing project.

We didn't usually have dessert after dinner, but when we did or if we had guests, it was often canned fruit cocktail or canned peaches in syrup.

My mother really didn't collect or use recipes. She learned how to cook from her own mother and pretty much just eyeballed amounts, something that I do a lot too, except when baking. Her main spices of choice were salt, pepper, sometimes white pepper, paprika, onion powder, maybe some garlic and for a few recipes, sour salt. She also used fresh parsley and fresh dill for certain foods. Later, she began to use more "exotic" spices like oregano, tarragon, etc.
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Old 12-19-2017, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
71,682 posts, read 83,258,368 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coney View Post
I grew up in a housing project.

We didn't usually have dessert after dinner, but when we did or if we had guests, it was often canned fruit cocktail or canned peaches in syrup.

My mother really didn't collect or use recipes. She learned how to cook from her own mother and pretty much just eyeballed amounts, something that I do a lot too, except when baking. Her main spices of choice were salt, pepper, sometimes white pepper, paprika, onion powder, maybe some garlic and for a few recipes, sour salt. She also used fresh parsley and fresh dill for certain foods. Later, she began to use more "exotic" spices like oregano, tarragon, etc.
oh God, how we can all remember the fruit cocktail or canned peaches. They were not desserts in our house but were used quite a bit for salads. I used canned peaches after we were married, but never used fruit cocktail or not often. I never liked it.

the more I think this tread over the more I think, more than 50s food being bland, it had and still has more to do with the region of the country one was raised and whether they were small town/rural or raised in a major large city.
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