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Boob Toob Dinners

Unless there was a really big football game on, my mom basically forbade chuffing in front of the teevee. Therefore, there was no particular dish that was a go-to staple for television dining. But I imagine most famblies were not like that.

So what about yous guys? Did you have Swanson's or did mom whip up a batch of tuna noodle casserole when it was time for Gilligan's Island to air? Was there any special dish-to-show pairing in your home?

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  1. No we weren't allowed to watch TV while we were eating...the exception being my father and football on Sunday, if he happened to be home. But he sat at the dinner table with it on in the background, eating whatever was the meal of the day. I might be a little younger than you though? There were only 3 or 4 channels then, and TV wasn't a major part of our life.

    3 Replies
    1. re: coll

      We're about the same age. When I was a little spark, there was NBC, CBS, ABC and PBS. No Home Shopping Newwork. No porn.

      1. re: Perilagu Khan

        UHF stations were around before PBS.

        There was no eating in front of the TV at my house. TV dinners (a special treat) were eaten at the dining room table like all dinners.

        1. re: Perilagu Khan

          Same here, and if you went out of your area, the programming was totally different.

      2. we got to eat in front of the tv if and only if there was a national geograpic or jaques cousteau special on. it was never a tv dinner from a box. something like the afore mentioned tuna casserole, maybe burgers, or spaghetti - something that you could eat from a plate on your lap, nothing that required cutting.

        3 Replies
        1. re: KaimukiMan

          Oddly enough, we had frozen dinners often enough (I loved the Swanson turkey), but they were always served at the table.

          1. re: KaimukiMan

            "tv if and only if there was a national geograpic or jaques cousteau special on."

            Children's dinners after 8:00 pm? As children, we were only up after 8:00pm the night the Flintstones were on - and then (according to my sister) only when Dad was out.

            1. re: FrankJBN

              Our family always ate dinner at 7pm, which - at that time - was when the specials came on in the San Francisco area, an hour after most people ate dinner.

              And if anyone is wondering I liked and still like tuna casserole, guess my mom made a good one. I should ask her if she added anything special, no peas or other frozen veggies, and never a crunchy topping. It was always served with some kind of vegetable on the side, or maybe some sliced pineapple.

          2. Only Saturday night. Hamburgers, chips and (dread) either canned baked beans, canned Mac and cheese or canned wax beans. PBS in chicago was channel 11. I think before UHF...first channel 32.

            1. No eating in view of the television until I wa in high school. When I was in ninth grade we moved to a new home that had a television in the kitchen. Then it was tuned to NBC news at breakfast. No television during supper, that was time for family conversation. We did not eat lunch at home.

              We never ate frozen TV dinners as you mentioned, they were not available in kosher varieties in the 50s and 60s. We had television in the den and bedrooms, but no eating was allowed outside of the kitchen or dining room.

              The sole exception, each New Year's eve from the time I was 7 until I was 16, my father would bring home a cheese apizza from Sally's on Wooster Street in New Haven, and I was allowed to eat it on a paper plate in the den while waiting for the ball to drop in Times Square (while watching Guy Lombardo and the Royal Canadians from the Waldorf Astoria in NY).
              To this day, we don't allow eating in rooms besides the kitchen or dining room. There is a television in the kitchen, but the rule is that it may only be watched if only one member of the family is in the kitchen. Two or more means time for family conversation. My kids eat frozen prepared food, but wife and I eat food we've cooked from scratch, although we do freeze portions for convenience.

              BTW, my mom never made tuna noodle casserole in her life.

              1. No dinner in front of tv in my house. Dinner was at 6 pm, with all family members around the kitchen table. The only exceptions I can recall were Super Bowl Sundays and New Years Day (back when all the big bowls were played that day).

                We never had frozen TV dinners either. I remember begging my mom to buy me one (there must have been a great advertisement behind that). She finally relented and she was right, I hated it.

                We only had 2 TVs in the house: the living room and the basement. And the second was really only to keep the peace on Friday evenings when, IIRC, Brady Bunch was on at the same time as Wall Street Week was on PBS. (And yes, we had the 3 networks, PBS and 3 UHF stations.)