Friday, March 4, 2011

TV Dinner


As you may recall, the time machine has been malfunctioning lately. I thought for a while the dampers might be the problem, as there were some very inconvenient problems with queasiness. That seems to be getting a bit better, but now the automatic wardrobe adjustment circuit is having increasing issues with fit, especially around my midriff. I believe I have found out the underlying cause of all this, but it should still take some time for matters to resolve themselves. Anyway, the call for guest posts is still open!

On to TV dinners! Hey, give me a break, here.



TV dinners were developed in 1953 by Swanson, but really hit their stride in the 60's and 70's. The original TV dinner was $0.98, and consisted of turkey, cornbread dressing, peas, and sweet potatoes.*


When I told Husband of the plan for this post, he was understandably wary. Upon arrival in the frozen foods section, we were both surprised and disconcerted to discover that Banquet frozen dinners are still $1. He chose chicken fried steak, I chose Salisbury steak. We both avoided the "boneless pork ribs" made of "shaped meat patty."



Chicken Fried Steak Meal
Microwave 3 minutes. Stir potatoes around. Microwave 2 1/2 minutes.






Salisbury Steak Meal
Microwave 3 minutes. Stir potatoes around. Microwave 2 1/2 minutes.

Verdict:

Chicken Fried Steak meal: I think the chicken fried steak is mainly Things That Are Not Meat, but it was okay. Husband was dubious, but claimed the mashed potatoes were several steps above MRE mashed potatoes. So that's something! He also said that although the meal wasn't great, when it was finished he kept wanting to eat more if it.

Salisbury Steak meal: On the box, the Salisbury steak has grill marks and there is a small mountain of corn. These were lies. The corn was the best part, followed distantly by the mashed potatoes. I've had worse instant mashed potatoes. The Salisbury steak was like a meat-flavored sponge in a sea of oddly glutinous, glistening gravy. Every bite of it filled me with a great sadness.


*Thanks, Wikipedia.

18 comments:

LyndaB said...

Poor sad TV-dinner eatin' family. Maybe it's still a dollar because they downsized it by 1.5oz? (Must be the only food product that's actually gotten smaller since the 70s!

Jana said...

Probably. And maybe in the 70's, the meat was made all of meat!

Jackie said...

I've had the Banquet turkey dinner meal before. It actually wasn't half bad! I mean, compared to the salisbury steak, it's pretty much gourmet.

Jana said...

Many things are, compared to the Salisbury steak. Maybe some day I will buy another Banquet dinner. I will make sure it is turkey. Or really, anything but Salisbury steak.

~~louise~~ said...

So, the only difference in TV Dinners between then and now is they are microwavable? Hmmmm....

Nonna Beach said...

Not very appetizing but so funny to look back.

Those dinners were never allowed at our house when I was growing up. My Dad convinced us they were pressed mystery foods that no one should eat unless you living in a bomb shelter and Thermal Nuclear War was imminent...

Hungry Man Dinners are o.k. and might fill the MSG taste/more portions your Hubs was craving !

Jana said...

Your dad may not have been wrong.

Shay said...

Remind your husband almost ANYTHING is several steps above MRE mashed potatoes.

Jana said...

Well, yeah, that's a good point. :D

anje said...

Pick me! Pick me!
I will definitely guest post, I just need to choose a good recipe.

Jana said...

Sure! I'd be delighted. :D

Nurse Heidi said...

Hoooo boy. This brings back bad memories of my first year as a night shift nurse. The hospital I worked for back then didn't have any food available at night for the workerbees, and since we were still in poor student mode, I didn't want to go out for fast food each night. I went through dozens of different frozen dinners, each time hoping that I'd find something edible. They were 95% awful. Once or twice I accidentally found something that looked sort of like what was pictured on the box, but that was about it.

It's amazing to me that they're the SAME PRICE 50+ years later! That either means that the old folks were paying a fortune for them or else we're getting fed dog food for our dollar. Or maybe both.

Jana said...

Oh, Heidi! That is terrible. Have you seen Food in Real Life? it is good times. [http://foodirl.com]

Seriously, that sounds horrid. And I think both your theories are probably correct. Probably the 2nd one more so.

nikka said...

In reference to the first ad: Does it mean that if you have an unannounced guest, you feed him a tv dinner?

Jana said...

Of course! Lucky, lucky guest. It is right though; if you keep feeding guests that, you'll never have a problem with unexpected guests again!

Alison said...

Hahaha! The Banquet chicken nugget meal isn't too shabby even though the side of french fries are rather flaccid-looking and leave something more to be desired. And yes, my husband is still hungry after one, poor guys.

Jana said...

Urrghh, flaccid french fries!

Anonymous said...

A fantastic and yet uncertain sadness.