Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Meal Planning and interesting ads from Family Circle, June 1950

I love this color-filled cover probably because I had a tri-colored collie growing up.  This pooch actually looks a bit like my beloved dog Howard.  The model looks relaxed, like she was just out with her dog picking flowers.  (Who wouldn't want to live that fantasy?  Ok, well maybe those who are dog- averse would prefer to go on a solo flower picking walk but everyone else...)   The pictures and articles inside are just as delightful.

On page 58 is an article about Mrs. Greene's meal planning advice to her daughter, Anne.  It doesn't say Anne's age but she appears to be in her last years of high school or her early 20's.  (Teens and young adults always look older in vintage pictures.  They're so well put together with their coiffed hair and lipstick.  Much nicer than an over made-up girl in low-cut yoga pants and a sheer t-shirt making fish lips at her iPhone camera.)  The idea is to teach young would-be brides home management.  (Something I doubt fish lips wouldn't care to learn.   Oops, I'm being b*tchy, aren't I?)  I just love articles like these.  The domestic arts, including home management, has been lost thru the years.  You could argue that home management isn't really an "art" but art is in the eye of the beholder, right?  And when a home isn't managed it sure isn't pretty!  

Here's a peek at the article.  Click the image to make it larger.

I love that Mrs. Greene starts with a "basic menu plan", which is a list of the foods needed for complete nutritional health, according to science of 1950 when this article was published.  It looks to be based on the Basic 7 which was developed during WWII to standardize Americans' nutritional needs during food rationing.  The Basic 7 was later condensed to the Basic 4 in the mid 50's.  When I menu plan I start with what is on sale and what my family likes.  Not a bad way to choose meals but probably not as nutritionally solid as Mrs. Greene's menus.  I also like how she incorporates her basic menu plan into only three meals- no snacks.  Seems like we Americans graze all day and the snacks we choose are more often treats and junk food than real food.  Just last week my high school sophomore was asked to bring snacks in for two of her classes.  One class requested Goldfish crackers and the other Smartpop popcorn.  Neither is horrible but the nutritional value is pretty low compared to what one would eat at the table.  I also have to ask why 16-17 year olds need a snack.  I understand it's the end of the school year and it's fun to celebrate but why is food necessary?  And in the case of the Goldfish why preschool food?  I don't think Mrs. Greene is giving her daughter Anne Goldfish in little single serve packages!

As you can see in the spread Mrs. Greene plans breakfast and lunch in addition to dinner.  I prefer to keep my meal planning flexible and serve leftovers for lunch but I kind of want to try planning breakfast menus.  We tend to get in a rut.  I make my two older daughters' breakfast when I'm just out of bed and half asleep so they get something simple- cereal, toast, or a pb and j with fruit.  I sometimes prepare these quick breakfasts only to find that one (or both!) of my girls isn't in the mood for it.  I make something else under duress not wanting to send the finicky eater(s) to school on an empty stomach.  My son gets up at 8am with quite a manly appetite often requesting leftover dinner for breakfast or eggs and toast.  So you may be thinking, "Poor Sarah sounds like a short order cook!"  That's what I'm thinking too.  I bet Mrs. Greene never felt like that.

Another page that caught my eye in this issue of Family Circle was the Libby's ad for fruit cocktail with a recipe for Creme Brûlée.  I love Creme Brûlée.  And I love fruit cocktail- in a nostalgic way.  But together it sounds like inedible.

A "cinch for any bride"!  Lol.

And on the back cover...SPAM!!  How 50's is that??  Did I ever tell you about the time my hubby had a craving for Spam at Costco?  (Do you know how many cans of Spam are in the warehouse size Spam package?!?)

In other news we have two new pets.  A mosquito fish named Kristen that my son's class used for their ecosystem project and her friend Monsieur Snail who serves as her maid.  (Son's word- not mine.)  I'm hoping to try out a recipe to post this week but with the end of school on Friday I may not make it.

I hope everyone is having a nice beginning to summer!



  1. My mother cooked with spam here and there back in the day. I bought it a couple years ago to see if I liked it because when I was a child it was only so-so to me. But it seems to have changed! It's not my imagination, is it? It's not as fatty/gelatinous as it used to be. When I fried it, it tasted dry and I did not care for it.

    1. Aileen, you mean Spam is now healthier? Go figure!