“Nice Family Meals” from the Fifties

June 28, 2016

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This book was apparently written by Helen McCully who was then the food editor of McCall’s Magazine. She was a prolific cookbook author (and the person who introduced Julia Child to her neighbor, Jacques Pepin).

I doubt Ms. McCully had all that much to do with this particular book, which you could get by sending 25 cents in stamps to the magazine.  It’s a genuine time-machine, filled with advice, photographs, and menus for “Nice Everyday Dinners” and “Tasty Casserole Meals.”  “Flavorful Eating for Four” features chili con carne and “Your Friday Dinner” is, of course, pan-fried fish fillets.

I love this glimpse into a long-gone America.  Here, for instance, is the magazine’s take on France, where, of course, the natives normally served  their meals with antipasto salads.

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I love the idea of these stuffed frankfurters and chickens…

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And I could not resist this suggestion for a weekly dinner.  (Imagine trying to force your family to eat calves liver once a week.)

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How to Make Hashed Brown Potatoes

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And finally, where would America be without a tuna casserole? This one makes “A Very Good Supper.”

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12 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    My mother made us eat liver once a week growing up! she sometimes froze, cut in strips, breaded and deep fried and served with ketchup YUCK! we fed it to the dog…

  • Elyse says:

    Pumpkin is also a particular favorite en France, n’est pas?

  • Linda Bissinger says:

    My mother would cook us “baby beef” liver, which was not as strong as beef liver and not as expensive as calf’s liver. With enough onions fried in bacon fat and smothered in ketchup, I would eat it. She also made beef heart with bread stuffing and tongue, which she would serve hot or cold in jelly (maybe like French aspic?) The tongue I loved, not so much the heart.
    Now, it is really expensive to buy a cow or calf’s tongue; then it was very cheap. She would have been 100 in 1918! And I just turned 70!
    Linda Bissinger

  • JamieK says:

    I still make the stuffed Franks sans the pickle

  • Judy Knudson says:

    How could Linda Bissinger have a mother who was 100 in 1918 yet she is 70?? I’m 75 and I was born in 1941!

  • Joy Kramer says:

    I believe her mother would be 100 in 2018, yes? Ah, slip of the computer key…

    None of these foods appeals to me, sorry.

  • MartyL says:

    My mom’s credo was “I made it – you’ll eat it”. Mercifully, liver was the one exception, and to this day my brothers and I loathe it.

  • ff says:

    I’m confused by the tip to rinse a measuring cup with cold water before measuring molasses, syrup, & honey, so they won’t stick & will slip right out. Shouldn’t it be hot water? Seems like cold water would have no effect.

    I never saw my mother do either (sometimes she’d measure oil first, if she remembered). Then PAM was invented & the problem was solved forever.

  • Judi Buckingham-Perlstein says:

    I love calves liver! Fried with onions and bacon it is fabulous. With a raspberry vineagrette sauce it is one of my favorite dishes when in Paris. I also adore sweetbreads and kidneys. Must be my Montreal heritage !

  • Janet Johnson says:

    I’m so glad we don’t have to remove the pin feathers from chickens anymore! It’s hard enough to eat chicken when we have three pet laying hens!

  • irma says:

    LOVE calves liver. My Mom breaded and fried it, long. But the best, sorry Mom, was when I discovered the Italian way and never looked back. Lightlly floured on one side only, in and out of pan as soon as pink gone, Carmelized onions, a little vinegar or white wine & done! Always have it at least once on any trip to Venice. A favorite there and on many menus.
    My family?? Never! Ahh well!

  • irma says:

    LOVE calves liver. My Mom breaded and fried it, long. But the best, sorry Mom, was when I discovered the Italian way and never looked back. Lightlly floured on one side only, in and out of pan as soon as pink gone, Carmelized onions, a little vinegar or white wine & done! Always have it at least once on any trip to Venice. A favorite there and on many menus.
    My family?? Never! Ahh well!

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