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AARP Online Community Memory Contest 2021 Week 3 of 3

 
AARPTeri
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When I got my first solo apartment, I would eat TV dinners for a few days, and then I'd cook a full meal, save the leftovers, and put them in the aluminum trays.  Then I'd freeze them and start all over again.  At least I didn't have to cook a meal from scratch every night.  I didn't really enjoy the TV dinners much, though.

Social Butterfly

@ElizabethS180477  Very resourceful and creative.  Welcome to the on-line community Elizabeth, glad to have you participating.  Look forward to hearing from you again.

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Myself and my 4 siblings were practically raised on Swanson's TV dinners, except for tuna fish sandwiches on Fridays.  My favorite TV dinner was the turkey.  Myself and my 3 sisters never learned how to cook but we did graduate out of the TV dinner habit and married men that cook. 

Yes! TV Dinners. My mom rarely bought prepackaged foods but I had a friend whose family had TV dinner nights every Thursday. Everyone could pick out their favorites. In my mind they were the luckiest kids on the block.  I’d always hope for an invite which came often. My favorite was fried chicken with corn and a cherry cobbler dessert. It was the dessert that drove my choice and still today, cherry cobbler is my favorite dessert! 

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Salisbury steak with corn and mashed potatoes. !!

I believe Banquet TV Dinner

Contributor

Hmm, I seem to recall eating something like this in about 1959. My dad would do the shopping but he would buy these on special. When mom worked a long day, he would offer to make these for dinner, and yes, we did watch TV while eating them on a set of those foldable trays!

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if you are asking if i ever had a meal like the picture, the answer is no

 

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Definitely had this stuff yucky. Only ever could tolerate the pot pies but even those were barely edible.

 

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What I remember is that they never tasted as good as mom's or maw maw's cooking.  The corn had a chewy instead of crunchy texture.  I have a vivid memory of scraping my fork against the tin tray while eating.  It is not something I'd eat today.  

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This was a "treat" growing up.  I would pick based on the dessert.  

Dee K from PA
Social Butterfly

@DonnaK730590 So funny. That's definitely how I  determined was the right option  for me.

Contributor

This was one of my favorite TV dinners.  We rarely had TV dinners when I was growing up, but. Loved it when we did. I didn’t have as many dishes to wash. 

Info Seeker

I have the chicken one every once in awhile, being on my own it's no fun to cook for yourself so I just throw it in microwave and dinner is done.

Social Butterfly

@LindaW617875  Cooking for one can be difficult.  You could always make two portions and freeze one for another day.

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A few years after my Father died of cancer our Mother had to get a full time job. This meant TV dinners several nights a week in place of homemade meals. Our favorite was chicken. We actually watched TV while we ate these!

Social Butterfly

@kathrynej Also, Welcome to the on-line community.  Glad to have you here!

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@kathrynej It must have been a very difficult loss as a young kid to lose your father to cancer.  I'm so sorry you had to go through that. Your mom sounds like an amazingly strong woman to work full-time, raise a family and process the grief of losing her husband.

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We rarely had,they were pricey for poor families!

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@ca58912032 I did it again.  Forgot to welcome a newbie to the on-line community.  So Welcome !  Glad you have joined us!

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@ca58912032  You really didn't miss much.  The food was high fat, sugar and salt. The quality of food ranged from yeck to so so.

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TV Dinners!!  Weekends were made for them back in the late '50s and on into the '60s and beyond!  Like so many others, my brother and I mostly had them for one weekend night each week (the other two nights being used for fish sticks, and hot dogs and baked beans).  For whatever reason, Mom didn't buy two of the same variety at the same time, causing much rivalry, gloating, and sulking when the dinners hit our tray tables in time to watch our favorite shows.

 

In the beginning, these dinners were fairly simple and not particularly interesting nor tasty.  I particularly remember the roast beef and gravy dinner being the most dreaded to emerge from the oven and land on my tray.  Bland in taste, bland in appearance, and the alleged star of the meal was akin to eating pieces of soggy cardboard covered in thin, brown fluid that tasted like a slightly diluted bouillon cube had visited it.  Flanking the meat were equally bland mashed potatoes on one side, and the thickest skinned peas that ever came off a vine.  Thankfully, later years brought improvements in flavor, quality, and variety, bringing us into the era of larger portions called 'Hungry Man' (apparently women didn't get hungry), and the inclusion of dessert in that magical square compartment between the veggies and potatoes.  Those were the days!  Now that we were older, my brother and I were allowed to venture into the freezer aisle and select our dinners for the upcoming weekend.  Much time and consideration were given as we weighed the combination options and, most importantly, the dessert!  Cherry Cobbler or a brownie were the favorites; Salisbury Steak and turkey with stuffing were great, but it was the Hungry Man fried chicken that took the prize every time, even into our teens, probably because Mom never, ever fried chicken...or anything else except eggs.  What's funny is, despite the fact that I probably did every now and then, I cannot remember ever serving my boys a TV dinner!

Contributor

Yes, I ate these when working. Very convenient for lunch. Enjoyed a hot meal. Especially liked the roasted potatoes and broccoli w/cheese. Smart Ones my favorite. These had less sodium.

Social Butterfly

@sandraw993796 potatoes, broccoli and cheese, that's delicious!

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We had them when we needed a quick meal like on scout night.  Both of my parents were scout leaders and all 4 of us kids were in scouts some Tuesday nights were a quick supper night.  Also Halloween night.  I loved the fried chicken and the pot pies.  Banquet also used to put out a family sized chicken and dumplings that was really good

Conversationalist

I remember "Libbyland" TV dinners, which were marketed towards kids, from the 1970s. But usually, we got Swanson. It's amusing to me to think of how we'd heat up the oven to cook those things back then — all that pre-heating time and cooking time...and the result was this lousy foil-tray monstrosity.

 

By the 80s, they'd repackaged them in paper trays so you could microwave them. The brownie somehow still came out as hard, burnt and bitter as a charcoal briquette. 

 

I haven't bought a full-on TV dinner for some time, but I do keep a bag of Kingsford briquettes here to snack on. I'm nostalgic that way.

Social Butterfly

@AvocadoDog That's so funny.  Good for the Christmas stocking too! 😄

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Yes, I have had at least two tv dinners and no, I  didn't like them at all. The meat was chewy like rubber and the vegetables tasted like cardboard. 

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I LOVED TV dinners and we typically had them when my parents were going out for the evening to play bridge. To make the experience enjoyable and tying it directly to the product name "TV Dinner", my Mom served our metal food trays on portable/folding TV trays or tables. We'd sit in front of the TV eating our TV dinner. My favortie dinner was the roast turkey with gravy, mashed potatoes, and a vegetable I rarely liked. The dessert was usually good although hot!! 😂

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