16 May 2010

Meals & Nutrition of the 50s

Sweet merciful Papa Smurf, help me through this.

Handling the meals for the 50s Housewife Experiment is going to be tough for a few reasons: I’ve come to appreciate vegan cuisine (something I started getting into for health, ethical and environmental reasons); I generally try not to eat too many simple carbs (potatoes, rice, white bread, white sugar) as they’re not great for your blood sugar / insulin levels (I’m not diabetic but I also don’t want to become one); and I usually aim for fresh, local, seasonal foods.

This all flies in the oleo-smeared face of 1950s cuisine. If you think today’s Canada Food Pyramid is outdated (and it is), you should see what it was like then (clicking on images will expand them):

The American food guide was essentially the same thing, except it was called The Basic Seven Foods. You can see what was involved from this page from my Betty Crocker Picture Cook Book:

Forget an apple a day. Then, it was a potato a day. Ugh. And plenty of whole milk. And FOUR pieces of bread, covered and smothered with lard. UUUUGGGHHH.

There was also a big thing in the day for gelatin-based molds. Like, as dinner. And marshmallows on vegetables. And canned everything. And salt and pepper as the sole seasonings for food. And shortening. So. Much. Shortening.

My household guides range from semi-sane menu suggestions of a breakfast of juice, toast, jam and milk to maniacal morning spreads that will require an angry 6am rising to create, only to inevitably have my husband complain that it’s too much food. His inability to even eat half of it will add to my not-exactly-perfect-wife-more-like-angry-Hulk disposition. Here are a few breakfast suggestions that will test our marriage:

Who can eat ham, eggs, muffins, hot cereal, and a glass of orange juice, coffee and milk (each) on a regular basis in one sitting immediately after rolling out of bed? Well, I’m going to see if I can stuff it in my husband without having to haul out a bucket.

They also had dessert once, if not twice a day. So, we’ll suffer through it. Somehow.

Image Sources: Retroflections; Food and Management; The Searchlight Homemaking Guide


Molly,  6:59 pm, August 01, 2012  

Your posts are sooooo funny. You crack me up.

Xia 4:42 pm, September 08, 2014  

Honestly, this is the way my husband eats. He is 215lbs of brawny muscle, maybe that's why. I really enjoy when he practically devours all of the food I good for him. Call it backwards, but it makes me feel appreciated. That and his "thank you" + belch after every meal.

CallGirlMahi 1:19 am, March 03, 2018  

I found this blog and your experiment a month or two ago, and I read "Meals & Nutrition of the 50s" within a few days! I love how you write -- so funny and creative. I'd like to follow your blog to get a regular dose of it and, of course, remain in the loop for future experiments!

Good Luck for the future posts.

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