Do you ever wax nostalgic for those good ol’ family dinners of yore?  Everyone sitting around the table sharing a meal that (of course) mom prepared…in retrospect, with modern standards applied, often not the healthiest. 

As I’ve worked over the past 9 months to lose a few (!!!35!!!) pounds I did have memories of the meals my revered mother put on the table.  And when someone over on Plurk asked what to make for dinner the other night, I remembered that all those many years ago, when I first married, my mother made a list of favorite dinners and included it in the brand spanking new “Joy of Cooking” she gave me.  The same list that she had actually written on the inside of a cupboard door so that she would have inspiration when she was stuck on the “what to have tonight” train of thought.

I share that list with you now.  Just in case you need some inspiration.  Now when you read the list, be sure to picture it in all it’s 1950’s and 1960’s glory, repleat with a plate of sliced white bread in the middle of the table, tall glasses of milk at the setting of each child (my two brothers and I), tea for daddy and coffee for mom.  Dinner was, of course, followed by cigarettes (dad: Viceroy, mom: Chesterfields, I think!).

  • Chinese dinner (this was bought by daddy and brought home…no wonder it’s on the top of the list – no cooking!)
  • baked ham (must have been less expensive than it is now!)
  • corned beef and cabbage (more than a St. Patrick’s Day dinner!)
  • roast chicken
  • roast beef
  • broiled chicken
  • macaroni and cheese (homemade only-no blue box for us)
  • chipped beef on biscuits (does anyone still make this?)
  • meat loaf
  • spaghetti
  • pork roast or chops
  • hamburgers
  • mexican dinner (not sure what this was…she didn’t make burritos, or rellenos…probably only tacos)
  • meat pie
  • broiled fish
  • broiled lamb chops
  • beef & macaroni (NOT hamburger helper.  It hadn’t been invented yet!)
  • baked beans
  • weiners and beans (canned beans of course)
  • frozen chicken pie and artichokes (the pie was frozen not the artichokes.  It was chicken pot pie – the little ones Swanson made.  One for each of us.)
  • beans with hot dogs wrapped in bacon; brown bread (canned).
  • barbequed spare ribs (Dad did all the barbequeing!)
  • fried chicken (a personal favorite, usually served with mashed potatoes and peas, unfortunately canned)
  • enchiladas
  • tacos
  • sausage and sweet potatoes
  • shish-ka-bob (her spelling, not mine)

I do think the last four were added to her list in the late 60’s-early 70’s as I don’t recall eating them too often in my childhood.

So now GO.  Make dinner!  (The photo is mom, dressed up for some ocassion, but getting the table ready for dinner.  BTW, she drew the pictures in the background. The one on the left is me.  The other is a friend of mine (one of our Bluebird troop I believe!)

Mom setting the table in the 60's