February 18, 2010 at 8:52 a.m.

Taking you back to the 50's with tid-bits and tasty dishes

Taking you back to the 50's with tid-bits and tasty dishes
Taking you back to the 50's with tid-bits and tasty dishes

Recently one of our friends loaned me a cookbook that featured recipes and information from the 50's. What fun reading through it. It was basically a "tasty recipes for the grillin' guy" cookbook. With all the snow and cold we've been having, we're not into grilling at the moment. However, there are some interesting little quips from 1955 (the year I graduated) that I'd like to share with you along with recipes. The colored pictures in the cookbook brought me back to barbecue parties where the gals or women wore "poodle skirts", up-sweeps (hairdo), crinolins under full skirts, mid-length dresses that looked like house dresses and high heels. The guys wore sport coats, long sleeved shirts and a tie, plaid shirts and long pants or jeans, or plaid pants (yikes), and printed (Hawaiian-type) shirts along with white buck shoes or penny loafers. Oh, brother!

The food was much like we serve today so I chose to use side dish recipes from this book, along with some tidbits from the middle 50's.

The first TV dinner was invented by the Swanson Frozen Food Co. in 1954.

+++++

MILWAUKEE HOT SPINACH SALAD

1 lb. small spinach leaves, washed and trimmed

6 slices lean bacon cut in 3/4-inch pieces

4 green onions, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 c. cider vinegar

1/2 t. salt

1/4 t. coarsely ground black pepper

Pat spinach leaves dry and refrigerate. In a small skillet, cook bacon until crisp, 3-5 minutes. Drain saving fat. Return fat to skillet. Put bacon bits on paper towel. Put spinach in a bowl. Combine vinegar, salt and pepper in the skillet; bring to a boil. Pour over spinach, tossing to combine. Sprinkle with bacon bits. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.

Lipton Soups put their famous "California Onion Soup Mix" on the market in 1954. Chips and dip were never the same again.

+++++

YUPPIE CHEATER BEANS

4-28 oz. cans good quality pork and beans

12 slices lean thick-sliced bacon, cut in 1/2-inch pieces, fried crisp

3/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar

1-1/3 c. ketchup

2 t. dry mustard

2 medium onions, finely chopped

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Turn into a 3 qt. oiled baking dish (casserole dish). Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes or until beans are bubbly through.

Makes 10-12 servings.

In 1950 only 21% of the American public owned a TV. By 1955 that number jumped to 66%.

+++++

BIG SUR BEAN SALAD

1-15 oz. can each, cut green beans and red kidney beans, drained

1 c. black olives

2-4 oz. cans whole mushrooms, drained

1-4 oz. can artichoke hearts, drained

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

1-1/2 c. celery, sliced 1/4-inch thick

Dressing for salad follows

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, mixing gently. Set aside.

Dressing:

1/2 c. oil or canola oil

1/4 c. apple cider vinegar

1 t. salt

1 T. sugar

1/2 t. paprika

3/4 t. celery seed

1 t. dry mustard

In a medium bowl or pint jar, combine all ingredients until thoroughly mixed. (I mix it in a deep bowl and beat with a hand beater).

Gently toss dressing with veggie mixture, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Makes 8-10 servings.

Note: This salad will keep for 3-4 weeks.

The 50's saw American teenagers become the major market for record sales. In 1953 album and single sales were $213 million. By 1959 they jumped to over $600 million.

Oh, I remember my mom making this kind of cabbage salad.

+++++

GRANNY'S CABBAGE SALAD

Dressing:

3/4 c. mayonnaise

3 T. sugar

2 T. apple cider vinegar

1 t. dry mustard

dash celery salt

1/2 t. salt

1/4 t. pepper

Salad: 8 C. shredded cabbage (a combination of 1/2 green and 1/2 red cabbage makes the dish more colorful)

1/2 c. finely diced sweet onion

1/2 c. shredded carrots

1/4 c. finely diced celery

In a small bowl, combine dressing ingredients; set aside. In a large bowl toss together rest of ingredients. Pour dressing over veggies and toss. This is best if refrigerated 4-5 hours before serving.

Makes about 8 c.

There were many more "tid bits" in the book that I enjoyed reading, but not enough room to share all of them with you. It brought back a lot of things I had not thought about over the years.

TFD: I've learned... that no one is perfect until you fall in love with them!

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