I have decided to devote the month of June 2019 to cooking and baking like was done back in the 1950’s. I own The New American Cookbook from 1953 and I have found so many interesting things in it.
Recipes are just one part of this cookbook.
Disclaimer: I will not be making anything with frog legs or calves brains, although I am sure they are tasty.
Menus are another part of this book I adore.
What to eat when you make $1,000 or less a year or how to throw a dinner party with or without a servant are two of my favorite menus. How can they even be in the same book?
Just paging through it gives me an insight into what kitchen life might’ve been like in that decade. I imagine June Cleaver with her apron and high heels, looking gorgeous after cleaning her house all day, providing her loving family with a new casserole recipe she whipped up. I’m sure life really wasn’t that way in every household, but that is the first image I picture.
Casseroles weren’t the only thing that was popular in the 1950’s. According to FoodReference.com, the 50’s provided us with the first foil TV dinners and fast food. New on the grocery store shelves were Cheez Whiz, cake mix in a box, Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, and Ore-Ida Tater Tots. Women were slowly entering the work force and needed to save time in the kitchen.
Fast forward to 2019 and cooking and food products are more natural and nutrient dense. A wave of super foods enters the market. Grains like quinoa and amaranth are used by more people. There are natural sugars like honey, agave, and coconut sugar. Plant based products like veggie burgers and oat milk are expanding their hold on the market as well. Drinks like kombucha and kefir are adding useful probiotics to our diets. I think it is great to have such a variety of products to choose from when making up a menu. But sometimes, I just get nostalgic for something old fashioned to eat that I can pronounce.
Menu items this month at my house are going to include pork chop casserole, hamburger and rice, lettuce with hot bacon dressing, and tuna casserole.
What is something your mother or grandmother used to make that you’re craving? Let me know in the comments and join me in going back to basics with cooking this month.