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What did you eat in the Seventies?

I just watched a light-hearted programme on the BBC about food in the seventies and it brought back memories!

For me, the seventies was the decade of Findus crispy pancakes (processed pies filled with ham and cheese, or minced beef - my brother and I thought they were a tremendous treat), crinkle-cut chips, prawn cocktail and black forest gateau. My mother also used to make a sausage casserole with tinned baked beans and some kind of packet sauce mix. Ditto chilli con carne and chicken chasseur - all made with some kind of powdered sauce (goodness knows what was in it). In the UK in the Seventies, burgers were exotic, as was pizza. Eating out was a rarity, and we thought Pizza Hut was the height of sophistication. Bizzare though it seems now, you couldn't buy olive oil in Britain then, only at the chemist, because people used to put it in their ears!

On the programme they drank an awful lot too, but I don't remember my parents drinking much at all, probably because they couldn't afford it. The party canapés they showed struck a chord though - vol au vents and Ritz crackers with various toppings!

What was interesting was that people ate a lot more calorific food - think everything fried, a lot of processed stuff, stodgy puddings, yet they were slimmer because they did a lot more exercise.

Anyway, what did you eat in the Seventies? I'm interested in whether it was any different in the States.

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    1. re: mrbozo

      Same here, only it was usually first the hash, then the pizza.

    2. jarred baby food and rice cereal :)

      1. Naturally it was quite different in the States because we have no stodgy puddings now nor did we then! (But I love hearing about what you eat there).
        I remember travelling to England as a teenager -- I loved the fish n' chips, remember how they liked Pizza Hut but it seemed awful to me, and was thrilled to get back to L.A. and order a huge green salad with alfalfa sprouts, sunflower seeds and avocado.
        In fact in the 70s I ate quite a few "health sandwiches" of wheat bread (wholemeal to you) with bland jack or muenster cheese, avocado and sprouts. The funny thing is that even though I grew up on the beach we rarely ate seafood. I don't think much decent fresh fish was available in L.A. at the time. My mom knew how to cook after a fashion and was starting to get into "health foods" so we didn't have much canned or processed food, except Rice a Roni which I loved! Mostly pork chops, hamburger, egg noodles, eggplant parmesan, zucchini fritters, salmon patties, artichokes and asparagus are what I remember her cooking. I discovered Thai food in 1977 and it's been a delicious ride ever since!

        1. A whole lotta casserole!

          1. Dominos Pizza with extra cheese. You couldn't have a slumber party without it. Cold for breakfast.

            1. Quiche & Waldorf salad.

                1. I may be older than the average chowhound....
                  I had emigrated to Canada with some deserter/draft dodger friends. Most of the people I lived with were vegetarians. We ate lots of casseroles, had a huge organic garden, traded our fresh eggs for the neighbor's honey. Splurges were trips to Vancouver's Chinatown and once in a blue moon, pizza. I learned about Nanaimo Bars, mmmmm.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ola

                    Good for you, ola, I salute you.

                    The 1970s, hmmmm. I remember bars (and disco, can you imagine?) and lots of them, so it must have been happy hour food, which they gave in quantity back then.

                    I remember a pastrami sandwich tasting awfully good in Montreal in 1970 while on vacation there.

                    I remember pomme frite and crepe with coupe de marron (sp?) during my trip to Paris.

                    Other than that, the decade is a blur. But it was fun, I remember that. And I ate to live and was happily thin.

                  2. Pizza (favorite: pepperoni, sausage, olives). Lots of tuna sandwiches, usually on toast.. Fish sticks seemed pretty tasty with good tartar sauce. Breakfast sausage with mashed potatoes and gravy. Hamburger steaks. Peanut butter sandwiches (often with mato and lettuce), and PB on Nabisco saltines.Hamburgers. Spaghetti with homemade sauce. Potato salad (no vinegar, please), Pot roast. Oven-fried chicken. Swanson frozen dinners and bird pies, before they sent downscale. Dungeness crab louis.

                    1. Why in the world would you ask the question? Some of us were in out 20s; and here is how it went for us:

                      70 - 72: Still undergrads in Fresno: Kathie and I did all sorts of Japanese (all that I grew up with), Mexican (her great Chile rellenos), Chinese, lots of Italian, fair Euro, and, you name it still in the counter-culture era and food stamps. The best was that we ate all sorts of ethnic and better-than-gourmet at my (extended) family’s get-togethers. We took advantage of all the good restaurant food then—from the chicken pot pie shop to Basque to the Fuji Café to the Yturri hotel to steak houses like Bruce’s Lodge with the AT6-Texan stuck into the roof.

                      72 - 75: Grad school in Eugene: Baking everything (pies, bread, scones, you name it), Kathie doing most of the cooking while we both did grad school; lots of great meals in the Oregon State Penitentiary for me--where I did a field study. More French and bistro foods, lots of use of local ingredients, including gathered wild blackberries and stuff from a big BIG garden. Remember a meal paid for my folks ($20 for two) when we arrived in 72 at the high-end restaurant on the street leading up to the U of O campus. Kathie later worked at Mazzi’s for a bit; and we ate take great home from work.

                      75 - 79: Bolivia The best of what we cooked from our past to the degree that ingredients allowed; and the best of Bolivia—fresh goat milk cheeses from the altiplano, some of the best wines in the world from the area, the BEST of campesino breads every afternoon from in front of the market, saltenas on the weekends, fresh juices, great BBQs on the weekends (lots of whole goats splayed angled over coals for 10 hours, chicha, wine, good local beer—Pacena or Astra), street foods like saice, … good wines, good bread, life, love!!!

                      79- 80: The move from PhD onward, the move from first divorce onward. Kathie became an established artist in the Monterey-Carmel area and (I’m sure) continues to cook as well as anyone on the planet. Yours truly has lived, eaten, and learned to cook all over the world.

                      1. greedygirl, I know you are asking the food-abused children of the 70s from the US and UK to respond with personal horrors. I provide my response as emergent adults in the 70s as a counter view.

                        1. Boston, MASS.
                          New York steaks at nice restaurant for $7.00
                          Mandatory shrimp cocktail and/or clam chowder.
                          Bottle of good Rioja for $2.00 retail.
                          Lousy ( i.e., very thin cut, fatty and kinda boiled ) pastrami.
                          Good egg sandwiches.
                          Lots of lunches washed down with milk.
                          No sushi. No tacos. No baguettes. No espresso. No croissants.
                          Nothing organic.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: RicRios

                            Also in Boston - the trendy ethnic restaurants in the early '70s were Greek, and several of them were quite good. Mid-'70s I lived in Germany and ate a lot of cheap Indonesian food (nasi goreng and the like). Later moved back to Boston and began cooking seriously, so got into all sorts of things. By the late '70s Indian restaurants began opening in the area.

                            Pizza, burgers and subs were available throughout, but nowhere near the variety of international options we have today.

                            By the by, RicRios, good pastrami was available even then, but only from the better Jewish delis of the time (Essex, B&D, S&S before it got gentrified, etc). You could even get rolled beef. I now have to go to NYC for my fix of that, alas.

                            1. re: BobB

                              You're probably right re. the better delis.
                              As far as Brandeis' cafeteria was concerned, forget it!

                          2. jeepers, Findus crispy pancakes, now that does take me back 30 something years. Yes Ritz crackers, vol au vents, mackerel pate, quiche. I seem to remember Kraft Cheese slices were a new thing in England, slicing our own bread even though you could get it sliced, milk in those long shaped bottles, Smiths crisps with the salt in the little blue twist of paper. Strawberry Mivvies, Rocket ice lollies, Fry's Turkish Delight, Fry's Chocolate Cream. McDonalds came to south London in 74.

                            1. What did I eat in the 70's?

                              Anything I wanted, any time I wanted.

                              Now (I'm 52 today, with diabetes and a small pot-belly), I have to be careful what and when I eat. How boring....

                              6 Replies
                              1. re: KevinB

                                Mum was (still is!) a great cook but we had our forays into the then-emerging "convenience food" fad. Anyone else burn the bejabbers out of the roof of their mouth on a packaged pizza from a box? You know the ones: with a little bag of dough mix, a tiny tin of pizza sauce, and a packet of scary pseudo-parmesan? Just add your own sliced pepperoni and hey presto, molten slabs of death!

                                Oh and of course those little taco shells that came in a cardboard box -- heat 'em in the oven, fill 'em with ground beef and "taco seasoning", add shredded iceberg, underripe tomatoes and some sharp grated Cheddar and voila, "Mexican food" a la seventies.

                                1. re: grayelf

                                  I felt deprived because my mother refused to buy something called Vesta Curry, which came in a box. We didn't have the pizza in a box, but we did have shop-bought pizzas that would make an Italian weep. We also had parmesan in a tub - for years I thought it was disgusting and smelled of vomit. I regularly had Pot Noodles for my lunch at school - the horror!

                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                    Heinz Macaroni Cheese in a tin. I still like that but they don't sell it it America. Heinz steamed puddings that is something we can get in the States in the British section.

                                    1. re: smartie

                                      Yes, there's a British import store a few blocks from me that stocks Heinz steamed puddings. Quite startling the first time you come across a can of "spotted dick". :-)

                                      1. re: weem

                                        Ah yes, I remember wondering what sort of den of inequity would be brazen enough to proclaim itself as "Spotted Dick Pub" (here in Toronto). Good food. :Lovely waitresses. No obviously exhibitionist or diseased members.

                                        1. re: weem

                                          I don't know anybody here who eats them!

                                2. VA Hospital chow, Pennsylvania Dutch & game college kid chow, New Mexico; Stacked red or green chile enchiladas, menudo, posole, stuffed soppaillas and then a master's degree on 100 lbs. of pinto beans and 4 bushels of chiles (2 red, 2 green), Norway; whale meat, reindeer, lots of lamb, fish, crabs, shrimp, potatoes and cabbage. Whew!

                                  1. Country Hippy food, all homemade: taboulleh, hummus, baba ganoush, caponata, pasta puttanesca, homegrown goat, lamb, fowl, pork, and beef. Huge parties with pit-roasted pig, homemad breads and cakes and pies and homemade beers and wines. Homecrafted cheeses, sausages, confit, and preserved meats like corned beef and homemade hams and head cheeses and salamis. Huge overflowing vegetable gardens.. a kitchen hung with garlands of onions, garlic, dried herbs, and drying salami. Good times.

                                    1. What many of us think of as the 60's were actually the 70's. I ate a lot of hippie food. It was all, almost without exception, ghastly. No one knew how to cook, really, but we made enormous pots of everything. Whole grains mixed with a million kinds of beans beans with a mixture of every herb we owned and nutritional yeast for extra oomph. This was baked with a layer of cheese on top or served in a heavy, home-thrown ceramic bowl (brown glaze, of course). This actually sounds better than it really was. The grains were never fully cooked or boiled beyond recognition. The beans were cooked to all different degrees of doneness, resulting in some types disintegrating while others remained crunchy. For desserts, we made fruit concoctions sweetened with honey or molasses. Special occasion dessert was - and I remember this one with particular horror - a carob cake that contained rolled oats (among many other things) and frosted with a mixture of homemade peanut butter, honey and carob powder.

                                      This is a cuisine that is best when only dimly recalled. Which is, thank god, the case for many of the survivors of this era.

                                      24 Replies
                                      1. re: Nyleve

                                        Oh yes.. the horrors of Commune Studge! I recall chipping a tooth on a bowl of some kind of undercooked grain studge at a commune in Woodstock NY. Commune Studge was the product of idealistic young thangs whose total cooking experience prior to their first hits of acid had been Bisquik pancakes. After reading Adell Davis, every dish these novice cooks made was seasoned with brewers yeast and wheat germ. shudder. Usually I was the only person around who could cook but my omnivorous ways shocked the newly-forged macrobiotics and vegans. I was NOT a commune studge Hippy.. I was one of the lusty country Hippies.. the ones with the good food,

                                        1. re: fromagina

                                          Great reports, Nyleve and fromagina!!! Thanks for letting your freak flags fly!!! SM

                                          1. re: HSBSteveM

                                            Adell Davis. Oh god. May she rest in peace. And macrobiotic food. Who remembers agar agar salad raise your hands!

                                            1. re: Nyleve

                                              Shudder! BUT I learned a lot from good old Adell and I can proudly say that I raised a fine healthy Adell Davis baby.. who is a disgustingly healthy 36 year old athlete now with GREAT teeth. I do remember making some extra healthy peanut butter cookies for my son's soccer team from a friend's recipe. The recipe was heavy in wheat germ and brewers yeast and molasses.. the kids ended up trying to break them by throwing them at a fence. Back to my nice sugary buttery cookies.

                                              I remember those 40 pound handmade bowls.. and big wobbly mugs.. and trying to eat a meal at some commune or other that only used wooden spoons. Ah.. those were the daze.

                                                1. re: Nyleve

                                                  Was that YOUR Healthy Peanut Butter Cookie recipe?

                                                  Okay.. okay.. 70's hippy macrobiotic pot-luck wedding "reception" at the Chohaundrabootie ashram commune.. India bedspread tablecloths, matching wooden bowls for the (emaciated) happy couple.. and 17 bowls of variations-on-the-theme-of-brown-rice. If you were there, I was the very pregnant one on the end with 3' long braids sitting next to the bearded guy with the Neapolitan afro. I was the one who's stomach was growling louder than the sitar combo. All I could think about was a bowl piled high with grilled pork ribs.

                                                  1. re: fromagina

                                                    Oh - different commune. I was in Canada by the time this lunacy hit me. Lived in various places by the names of "Settle", "Morning Glory" and "Caedmon". My favourite memory is the log house raising (to replace the cabin the idiots burnt down carelessly) during which the greasy, sweaty, long-haired guys shlepped logs while the women cooked brown rice and seaweed casseroles and naked children ran around entirely wild in the forest. I can't remember exactly what I cooked but I'm sure it contained many kinds of beans.

                                                    1. re: Nyleve

                                                      I think I was just a bit too cynical to ever be a good and willing commune dweller, but I visited many of them. Because I had been raised to cook and keep healthy livestock, I ended up being kind of a long-haired, long-skirted consultant to the city kids that were flailing around trying to get "back to nature". I rescued many neglected goats (keeping goats healthy takes a lot of skill and a lot of woooorrrk) and taught a number of zonked out would-be cooks about soaking beans and preserving food.. between tokes, of course.. those were fumerous times. I think that some of my best memories of those days include packs of little naked children! I remember summers when my kid could go days without clothing.. naked kids and mongrel dogs and long skirts-of-many-colors.. those were visually exciting times! AND slooowly the hippies learned how to cook and they eventually became the chef-supporting Yuppies of the 80's.

                                        2. re: Nyleve

                                          My parents proudly carried that cooking tradition well into the 80's. If my mom wouldn't let us live on a commune, my dad was determined that we'd still eat like we did!

                                          Canned black beans were a personal revelation for me. That there could be an entire serving of black beans all cooked to the same consistency.

                                          1. re: cresyd

                                            When my kids were little we had one friend who still cooked like that. Whenever we went to her house, the snacks would be of the heavy molasses and carob variety. Twenty-something years later we still get together but we don't let her bake anything.

                                            1. re: Nyleve

                                              Did she ever make brownies with carob and say "...and it tastes even BETTER than chocolate!"? My crystal-waving "sugar is poison and butter will kill you" friend from those days is now a beef rancher.

                                              1. re: Nyleve

                                                Yes...luckily my mother was a dietitian which prevented us from getting too deep into molasses and carob as she saw no major caloric differences. Still, the only cookies she's ever made are of the Jewish-Russian tradition, or they're swimming in poppy and sesame seeds. Some of which I've grown to have mild fondness for.

                                                That being said, for all of their hippy predilections I ended up getting the most generic trendy baby name given to girls in the late 70s/early 80s. Go figure.

                                              2. re: cresyd

                                                Someday I've got to ask my son what he thought of his hippy parents and their rather colorful lifestyle.. hey.. I know he's thankful I didn't name him Sitar Karma Moon Spirit. Several of his contemporaries have dropped their hippy-kid names. Morning Star is now something like Rebecca; Sequoiah (sic) is now something like Bob; but River seems to have almost entered the panoply of acceptable mainstream names and I know several. Gee.. the hippie's kids are only about a decade away from getting their first AARP letter..

                                                1. re: fromagina

                                                  Hahaha. Meer Kaur is now Robin, Sat Hari Kaur is now Sarah, Ravi Inder Kaur is now Christine. But Ram Das and Gobinde have retained their names and are now a stock broker and an elementary school teacher respectively. And, of course, Meadow is right up there with River as just-about-normal.

                                                  Fortunately, my own kids were born after I moved beyond that world so any weirdness they exhibit is of their own choosing, not mine. Should the hippie times return, both of my sons would be fully capable of properly preparing a meal of brown rice and tofu that you could actually enjoy eating. That's my legacy.

                                                  1. re: Nyleve

                                                    A fine legacy indeed! My son, who as a toddler could deftly remove bile sacs from chicken livers as I was butchering them, became a tofu brown rice vegan at age 14 and I had to learn the once scorned vegan cooking techniques if I wanted him to be fed. Luckily, as his athletic abilities developed, he evolved into a lacto-ovo vegetarian.. a lot easier on his cheese maker mother. It was shortly after he discovered rock climbing and mountain biking that he rediscovered meat protien again. Phew.

                                              3. re: Nyleve

                                                Ah yes, the dreaded lentil bake! For me that was more of an eighties/early nineties thing, coinciding with college days and a foray into vegetarianism.

                                                1. re: Nyleve

                                                  I had to laugh when I read this post. Not that I didn't do hippie cuisine myself - I cooked and ate plenty - but the most extreme manifestation that I remember was thanks to a friend who worked as a chef in a macrobiotic restaurant. I was at her house for dinner - I think it was 1976 - and she served a main course that was sort of a seven-layer multi-bean cake with a whole wheat top crust. Imagine a cylinder about ten inches tall and a foot across, probably cooked in a springform pan. There were red beans and black beans and white beans and brown beans - several different types, one layer stacked on top of the other and flavored with maybe a dab of soy sauce. Between cooking each bean variety and baking the overall assemblage, it must have taken forever to prepare.

                                                  My challenges were two: Eating it, and then - as a polite guest - complimenting it. The eating was just a matter of will and determined chewing. As for the compliment, I praised the different and subtle textures and colors.

                                                  1. re: Pumpkinseed

                                                    1. How was this served? In slices or scooped? The mind, seriously, boggles.
                                                    2. Karmically, I think you're pretty well covered for finding some way to praise this creation. Congratulations.

                                                    1. re: Nyleve

                                                      It was served in wedges. This way you got to experience the entire seven-bean layered structure in each serving. Scooping would have undermined the entire raison-d'etre of this creation.

                                                      And I especially appreciate your very lovely compliment. At the very moment that I was figuring out how to praise this dish, it occurred to me that I really deserved extra credit for coming up with something nice to say, and finally, thirty years later, my reward has come. So - thanks!

                                                      1. re: Pumpkinseed

                                                        Reminds me of the time that a very elderly member of my husband's family contributed the world's dryest sponge cake to a family dinner. This cake was so dry that when you put a bite in your mouth, it would suck all the moisture out of your entire face, leaving you looking like a cadaver. The only way to eat it was to drown it in stewed fruit (fortunately there was a bowl of it on the table). When asked how he was enjoying her delicious cake, my husband said, without missing a beat, "Zelda, your sponge cake is very...absorbent." She took it as a compliment. But then again, English was not her first language.

                                                        1. re: Pumpkinseed

                                                          Oh dear.. all I can think about when I think of that dish of layered legumes is the inevitable gastric consequence. Yes.. those WERE fumerous times!

                                                    2. re: Nyleve

                                                      As far as the hippie and commune era, my first wife and I were early in and early out. A buddy and I hitch-hiked around the US and back through Canada in 69. Having read Dharma Bums, we thought we'd see a lot of others on the road. Nope, just us. By 72 we had left that behind because of the bad food, the heavy boots, the bad pottery, the people who came from car-freak and jock backgrounds but who suddenly grew hair and talked different than they had before, the tons of pop philosophy, the encounter groups, ... We just kept the long hair, the nudity, and dope--and continued with good food. Course, when I came back from Bolivia at the close of the 70s it was all disco and cocaine--hardly an improvement!

                                                      1. re: Nyleve

                                                        I had friends who ate that slop. That's why I stuck to pizza and hash (and red wine: I was in Québec after all). Can't say that I'm presently any worse off than any of the misguided middle-class back-to-the-earth romantic urbanites of that era in terms of health and general awareness of what's going on around me.

                                                      2. Let me take a slightly different tack. Here are some of the good things I first ate in the 70s:

                                                        Szechuan food (China Inn, Pawtucket RI)
                                                        Yogurt (Hood's Firm and Fruity LOL)
                                                        NY System weiners
                                                        Deluxe Italian grinder, Sandwich Hut, Providence RI
                                                        Caserta's pizza, Providence RI
                                                        Steamed crabs (Baltimore)
                                                        Dagwoods and Italian sandwiches (Waterville ME)
                                                        Jelly Bellys

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Bob W

                                                          Yeah, during the early '70s I ate a lot of healthy semi-hippie food (homemade granola, etc.). But the late '70s was the beginning of the modern food revolution.

                                                          I worked in a kitchenware store from 1978 to 1981, and what sticks in my mind is that in the late '70s food processors were just becoming common home appliances, and with them a whole lot of foods that had previously been too labor intensive became easy and popular -- pesto being probably the best example.

                                                          There was also a big surge in the availability of imported foods, and the beginning of the modern wave of immigration from Asia. I vividly remember being introduced to "Northern" or "Mandarin" Chinese food in 1977 -- my college roommate was dating a rich guy who ate out every night and sometimes took everyone out to his favorite restaurants, including a Chinese restaurant where some of his Chinese engineering student buddies worked -- including potstickers, mu shoo pork, etc.

                                                        2. A-HA! I was expecting a few "quaaludes & granola" replies :-D

                                                          Having only lived my first 9 years in the 70s, in Germany at that, I have no such things to report.

                                                          My parents divorced early and each kept a daughter.

                                                          My (working) mom would make a lot of things that were fast, like canned ravioli (I loved that shit, but nowadays, you couldn't pay me to eat those mystery meat lumps),
                                                          or just the typical German Abendbrot, which, as the name implies, was bread with cheese and/or cold cuts, some cut-up tomatoes & cukes, and herring salad. Oh baby, do I lurv my herring salad.

                                                          My dad's specialty was canned chicken noodle soup....

                                                          Things turned brighter for me when, through American friends of my mother, things like chocolate pudding in a tin (does that stuff still exist???), Kraft M&C, and cereals appeared on the horizon.

                                                          Highlights of my school week consisted of being taken to the "Ranchkeller" for lunch, a burger joint in the American Embassy Club. I was crazy about their cheeseburgers, and Baskin & Robbins ice cream, as there was nothing comparable to be found on the German market at that point.

                                                          I knew better not to mention those visits to my dad, however, who during the Vietnam war became an avid Anti-American and would pull a guilt trip on me for being Americanized.

                                                          *Sigh*. Childhood.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                            Canned ravioli! I'd forgotten about that... I used to love the stuff. Might have to buy some just to see what it tastes like now.

                                                          2. Peach yogurt shakes at the Benjamin Franklin Electric Company in San Luis Obispo CA
                                                            OMG a revelation

                                                            I learned to eat mayonnaise and abhor MW (which I had been raised on)
                                                            Ditto butter over "oleo" (gross)

                                                            1. I was born in '76, so I ate a lot of forumla and pablum. Also my first ice cream cone at a year old. Other memories include homemade biscuits and honey, cinnamon buns, and cake. Grandma, mom and aunts were/are all amazing in the kitchen. One food memory my parents always refer to is my first trip to the fair. All these wonderful fair foods were available, but all I wanted was a pb and jam sandwich. Funnily enough, one of the church booths offered them, and still does to this day.

                                                              1. All I ate in 1977 I was placenta, coudn't get enough of it. Then in '78 I discovered strained peaches and pan fried soft tofu. 1979 for me was all about raisins, cheerios, yogurt and cold pasta. Man, those were the days.

                                                                1. There was a lot of boil-in-the-bag stuff like cod in a creamy sauce (there may have been a meat variety as well).

                                                                  Just slipping back a bit into the sixties there was the previously mentioned Vesta Curries but also I remember making a very passable Beef Stew and Dumplings all reconstituted from packets.

                                                                  There was also 'pop' made from a soda-stream type device which used a very radioactive-looking syrup to add that just like coca-cola taste.

                                                                  9 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Hermano Primero

                                                                    ooh Bird's Eye Cod in Butter Sauce and Smash potatoes from the powder (great advert with the martians laughing).

                                                                    1. re: smartie

                                                                      I've never had Smash. I was obviously a deprived child.

                                                                      1. re: greedygirl

                                                                        Smash was so bad even if you added half a pound of Blue Band margarine you could still taste the artificial flavour. Yuck.

                                                                        The scene is a group of Martian standing around in a circle in their spaceship.)

                                                                        Martian 1: On your last trip to Earth did you discover what the Earth people eat?

                                                                        Martian 2: They eat a great many of these (Shows the group a potato.)

                                                                        They peel them with their little knives.

                                                                        Boil them for 20 of their minutes.

                                                                        Then they smash them all to bits. (The group of Martians laugh.)

                                                                        They are clearly a most primitive people. (Even more laughter.)

                                                                        Jingle: "For mash get Smash."

                                                                        1. re: Hermano Primero

                                                                          Well what do you expect if you add Blue Band margarine to anything? Marge = vile stuff.

                                                                    2. re: Hermano Primero

                                                                      We had a soda stream! I'd totally forgotten about that. I seem to remember that the pop was disgusting, not remotely like the proper stuff.

                                                                      1. re: greedygirl

                                                                        I believe they're still around !

                                                                        I used to like making Angel Delight and there was a nice trifle that you made from reconstituted gunk.

                                                                        All washed down with TreeTop orange squash (I believe it may have been banned because it had contained deadly additive - but it never did me any harm.

                                                                        1. re: Hermano Primero

                                                                          I quite liked Angel Delight - but only the butterscotch version. To this day I can't stand the taste of artificial strawberry.

                                                                          1. re: greedygirl

                                                                            I remember the butterscotch flavour, it was indeed the best one.

                                                                          2. re: Hermano Primero

                                                                            oh my goodness Tree Top orange squash, they also did a lemon squash and I think one other flavour which might have been tropical. It came in those long bottles with the pointy lid.

                                                                            Kiora orange squash at the cinema with those awful hot dogs. I cannot remember what they were called but I only tried one once. The ads at the cinema used to show them with red sauce and mustard.

                                                                      2. OK. I was born in 67 and have a bit of a different take. Don't get me wrong, mom was and is a great cook. Grew up eating things like curry, frikadeler, and cow tongue. We had salad with every dinner. However, when I think of the 70s, I think of all of the processed quick foods:

                                                                        Snack n Cake
                                                                        Shake and Bake(and we helped....)
                                                                        Nu-Made Margarine
                                                                        Chef Boyardee Pizza kits
                                                                        Jello Instant Pudding
                                                                        and this makes me gag just thinking bout it...Chung King boil in a bag chicken chow mein.

                                                                        When I think of Dominoes, I think of the 80s...oh and back then, McDonalds was a big treat...

                                                                        Maybe I think of these because they were the exception, not the norm..who knows?

                                                                        Our neighbor's mom was into the organic...macrobiotic...we used to sneak them Wonder Bread...

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: rHairing

                                                                          I have a couple of friends who hated the hippy wholemeal bread made by their mothers, and begged for Mother's Pride (or sliced white sh*te, as it is also known) for their sandwiches.

                                                                        2. Tree Tavern Pizza
                                                                          Broadcast Corned Beef Hash
                                                                          SizzleLean Bacon
                                                                          Great American chicken with stars soup
                                                                          Meatballs with Guava Jelly
                                                                          Presto Burgers
                                                                          Blue Nun
                                                                          Crisp Shell Tacos

                                                                            1. Riding bicycle to school and work and dodging the V8 tailfins on the streets, careening between sewer grates and cadillacs to arrive on campus as the only individual wearing a backpack. Albeit a canvas backpack from the Boyscouts: Sierra Designs and Jansport had not yet hit the market.

                                                                              Backpack contained 2 nalgene bottles of home-grown yogurt, a ziploc of homemade granola, sandwich, and nuts and raisins.

                                                                              The sandwich was "beanloaf" with sprouts on whole wheat with homemade mayo. The beanloaf was from the seminal "Deaf Smith Cookbook". We could politely call it a precursor to today's veggieburger. The Bread was probably from same cookbook but had a density and specific gravity similar to zinc. This was probably because, as a 19 year old virile male, I had little patience with any organism, amalgam, or individual requiring a 4 hour rise and I had to slam it in the oven right away. The sprouts were a daily maintenance thing and did well. The emulsification of the mayo was, and continues to be, an enduring amazement at the simple joys of life.

                                                                              Coming from a Southern Baptist/lots of church suppers upbringing, there was nothing in my past to provide the impetus towards homemade granola and yogurt. A serendipitous moment in a shopping mall bookstore presented me with "The Supermarket Handbook: Access to whole foods", a lifechanger, for which I am forever grateful to the Goldbecks and their quest to bring healthy foods to the mainstream.

                                                                              In short, the late 70's were a time to easily immerse oneself into the food communities of "Back to the Earth", and in my experience there were lots of occasions elevated above "badly cooked beans". From Buddhist monks hiking in homespun dress subsisting on only brown rice and miso over twig-fires for their cooking, to pig butcherings with Appalachian old timers who still dried their own apple leather and green beans dried as "leather britches", to getting their spring greens from the foraging for creasy greens and branch lettuce.

                                                                              On a lighter note, as to "mainstream hippiedom eating":
                                                                              Homage, and a re-look at the lyrics, must be paid to one of the guitar-pickin' the bards of the era:

                                                                              1. Am loving all the former hippies on this thread!

                                                                                There's a great bit in "The Rotter's Club" by Jonathan Coe (set in the seventies and very funny) when the trade union reps go to a Bernie Inn with the boss to discuss industrial relations. The boss, being posh, has mushrooms with his steak.

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                  Anyone remember Chipos and Pizza Spins?

                                                                                  Other great goodies include Bel Air frozen pizza for 99 cents and 24-packs of El Patio cocktail tacos for $1.99. My brother used to eat two of the Swansons Salisbury Steak TV Dinners at a time.

                                                                                  Not much dining out back then. There was a Pizza Inn (always crowded) and Pizza Hut (usually empty). Shakeys was also big. I still remember when Red Lobster came to town. How times have changed!!!

                                                                                  1. re: Thefoodczar

                                                                                    Granted I was in the early years of my life, being born in 1969...but my memories of salami and pickle sandwiches on Wonder white bread, peanut butter, no jelly, sometimes fluffanutter, on Wonder white bread and Campbells soup in a thermos were the usuals in my lunch box.

                                                                                    My mother made alot of meat & potatoes. always a roast and some type of potato and canned veggies. O..and when it was really hot, she would do a cold tray of rolled up lunch mean, and boiled eggs for dinner. Go Mom!

                                                                                2. My mom was an awful cook -- even she admits it. It didn't help that we had two VERY picky eaters in the house, severely curtailing the options. So most of what we ate was very boring. Lots, I mean lots, of tough, flavorless roast beef with baked potatoes or Kraft mac&cheese and boiled frozen vegetables (spinach, broccoli, or a mix of peas/carrots/string beans/lima beans) topped with melted butter. <shudders> The only thing worse was having the same as leftovers.

                                                                                  Once my father proposed turning vegetarian (meaning all of us would become vegetarian). We sank into a depression that lasted several weeks until he abandoned the idea.

                                                                                  It wasn't all bad though, especially if my dad or other relatives were cooking. Amazing fried chicken and fried pork chops. Chili. Red beans & rice. Corn bread. Gumbo.

                                                                                  Of course, back then I was just a little kid. So a trip to McDonald's or Pizza Hut, or having Chinese takeout, was a cause for celebration.

                                                                                  1. Living in Southern California when Southern California Edison was promoting "all electric homes" the moms in our pack attended cooking classes thru SCE and the items I clearly remember are spinach salad with hot bacon dressing, shish-kabob (they purchased electric rotisseries- see the theme), fondue- cheese, meat in hot oil, and dessert, and lots of pass around with cocktails kinds of things like dates wrapped with bacon/stuffed with a water chesnut or pineapple and broiled, sweet and sour mini meatballs, toast with mayo/butter/green onion broiled, etc... And of course the infamous California Onion Dip made with sour cream and a packet of dry onion soup mix from Lipton. Not to say I did not torment them with the "classier" things from the Betty Crocker Cookbook like "baked Alaska". Oddly enough that was also when the ladies shared recipes and sometimes cooked together and we experienced baklava (a recipe I use to this day). It was an exciting time and mostly without Campbells Cream of Whatever. Sunset Magazine also played into the menus- they were ahead of their time.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: torty

                                                                                      I remember when that spinach and warm bacon salad first became popular, we thought it was the most amazing stuff. Sometimes I still crave California onion dip...I too first made baklava with my mom in the '70s.