Monday, February 04, 2013

Retro Week

I inherit the full-on dinner every night from my mother who I think was "encouraged" by my father to be more like his mother and cook a big dinner every night. Or maybe it was from her mother who got it from her mother who had to feed 12 people, her six still at home children, my grandmother who lived with her and her three daughters, including my mother, who ate a full-on dinner every night. I also get it from Mary Anne Mohanraj who cooks curries every night (except who in the comments says that her family gets by on Annie's Mac and Cheese and quesadillas half the time) and my sister who uses her new double ovens in her new house in Twin Falls to make turkey breast at 325 and roasted potatoes at 400 and on Chopped who every night makes delicious and crazy dinners in less that 30 minutes for an entree. Perhaps I read too much Facebook and watch too much TV to get ideas about dinner. But I don't like mac and cheese from a box that much and quesadillas are our go-to lunches. You can't have quesadillas twice in one day can you .(Can you? I don't know. There's so much you people, you television and Facebook and blog and double oven people, that you haven't told me.)
However, sometimes, my dad was out of town. And sometimes my parents went out and we had a babysitter and we had not a full-on dinner. Sometimes, we had TV dinners.
I'm thinking of having retro week.
Jiffy mix pizza.
Swanson's Pot Pies.
Swanson's Fried Chicken TV Dinners.
Totinos Frozen pizza.
Tater tots (my kids don't like tater tots. The traitors.)
Mac and Cheese (my mom used to keep the noodles plain for me, adding just butter and salt. The twins like the cheese sauce. She'd add that in later for them).
Spaghetti (no sauce again for me. She'd fry up some hamburger and serve that on the side for me. Butter and salt and pepper on the noodles. Don't judge! They say those with picky palates grow up to have refined taste. Which forces them to cook a full-on dinner every night).
Tacos. We had tacos every Friday night growing up. I do make tacos once a week. Maybe even tonight. (Pork belly tacos coming up on not-retro week.)

What did you eat then that you don't eat now that you wouldn't mind eating for nostalgia's sake?


radagast said...

My mother was in a deep and powerful rut, when it came to cooking dinners. I'm sure it had to do with having six kids and finding things they would eat that didn't cost much. But I could tell what day of the week it was by what she fixed for dinner: macaroni and cheese, stew, chili, fish sticks,"porcupines"(sauced and enhanced [i.e. stretched] hamburgers, basically), fried chicken, pot roast. When I got older I was bold enough to suggest that she branch out a bit. Hey, mom, what about tacos? At first she was hesitant--what? wild and crazy tacos?--but she came around. Goodness, though, I miss her fried chicken.

Nik said...

I want fried chicken. Did she make fried chicken so fast and easy once a week? That is a dream.

Lisa B. said...

ACK so many many things! I have often said that I would eat fried chicken if it was prepared by the ancient method, aka the way my mom prepared it. She swears her fried chicken was as dust compared to her aunt's. Etc. The fried chicken dinner had, also, always, steamed broccoli, rice with pan gravy (OMG THE LORD HIMSELF EATS THIS FORTNIGHTLY) and five cup salad, which is made of canned pineapple tidbits, canned mandarin oranges, sour cream, coconut, and mini marshmallows (although not the colorful ones, the white ones). THIS. This is the best dinner the universe can dream up.

Nik said...

Why does fried chicken seem so hard to make. I've made it only once--fried in bacon fat--Jeffersonian style.
Also, we had similar salad growing up. Called ambrosia. Similar? Maybe identical. That, I never made. But I love!
Do you have this fried chicken recipe?

Mary Anne Mohanraj said...

For parties, I'm occasionally tempted to make one of my mother's stand-by appetizers: Velveeta cheese, cubed, Oscar Meyer weiner, chopped, and a piece of canned pineapple. On a toothpick. Damn -- now I want some.

Nik said...
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Nik said...

Mary Anne,
A retro hors d'ouvres party would be so fun. A cheeseball. Rumaki. What else?

Lisa B. said...


Well, you have to have bacon-wrapped shrimp because it is an epic classic of the hors d'oeuvre genre. This is indisputable.

Dr Write said...

I made a Bisquik coffee cake that I would still eat right now. I swear. Maybe it was the brown sugar/butter/nut topping. Seriously. So. Good. I made it once when we were trapped at home on a snow day. Delicious.
I also love, and have made not to long ago, the enchiladas my mom made which have cream of mushroom soup from a can and a can of milk and chicken and a small can of jalapenos. Oh yes.
and it is not from my childhood, but I do love the velveeta/rotel dip. Disgusting. And delicious.

D. E. Steward said...

Kippers out of their flat oval Scottish can. They used to be a big deal in the Northeast. You can't get them any more. DES (Thks for your positive reaction to that Beziers month.)

Ann said...

You know what? I seriously wouldn't mind some Spam.