by Connie Lacy
When my new novel comes out later this year, one of the things you’ll notice about 1962 is the food they ate. One of my personal favorites, which my own mother fixed for a weeknight supper, was tuna roll-ups with cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup for gravy. You have to understand that my mom made roll-ups with biscuit dough, spread the tuna on thin squares of dough, then rolled them like a croissant before baking them to a golden brown. Accompanying the meal – mashed potatoes and green beans. For dessert – half a canned pear on a bed of Iceberg lettuce with cheese grated on top and a dollop of Miracle Whip. Yummy! What? You don’t agree? I’m shocked. LOL
The 50s and 60s were full of dishes that might not appeal to us today. Like the unbelievably weird Franks & Spaghettios Jello Mold Cake above. (Sheesh!) But those recipes were featured in women’s magazines of the time and busy young mothers like my mom whipped them up for their families. Another of my favorite weeknight meals was creamed beef on toast. My mother bought a tiny juice glass sized jar of Armour dried beef, which was so salty it would give you prune mouth. She put the dried beef in a warm bowl of water twice to remove some of the salt. Then she made her best butter gravy, tore the thin slices of beef into small pieces and voila! Creamed beef on toast made with white bread, of course.
We also enjoyed chili and rice, Chef Boyardee spaghetti, Mom’s hamburgers and homemade French fries, salmon patties, meatloaf and a variety of other easy meals. Weekend meals were fancier – pot roast, fried chicken, cubed steaks with mashed potatoes and gravy. It was heaven… if you were used to it.
Desserts we loved – pineapple upside down cake, strawberry shortcake, (both made with a yellow cake mix,) banana pudding and Jello with fruit cocktail. Not to mention my mother's to-die-for Lemon Ice Box Pie. This picture is of one of my own Lemon Ice Box Pies using Mom's recipe, which, by the way, came off a can of Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk. It is SOOO good!
So as you prepare to read my next novel, get your taste buds ready for a high class culinary visit to 1962!
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