The Most Popular Family Dinner from Every Decade
Find a quintessential family dinner for every decade over the past 100 years.
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Croquettes were a favorite meal of thrifty home cooks, who could combine leftover bits of meat and vegetables with cheese, potato or rice. The mixture was formed into small mounds, rolled in egg and breadcrumbs and then fried.
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A flavorful, home-cooked roast was as popular for family dinners in 1910 as it is today. A popular accompaniment was Franconia potatoes: small, whole potatoes that were parboiled, then added to the cooking roast to baste in the juices.
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Chicken a la King was created by a chef at an upscale hotel. Which chef it actually was is in contention, as there are several claims to the creation of this recipe. The dish of diced chicken and vegetables in a rich cream sauce was a 1920s family dinner favorite.
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Growing up in the ’50s you either loved or hated this popular family dinner! Convenience foods ruled the decade, and this casserole was a great way to use canned tuna, packaged pasta and frozen peas.
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What a perfect dinner for families in this decade who wanted more wholesome, natural foods. At its simplest, it’s pasta tossed with fresh, lightly cooked vegetables. Some versions also add in a creamy sauce and diced chicken.
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Tex-Mex, the American take on spicy, vibrant Mexican food really exploded in the ’80s. (Remember the salsa commercials? “New York City?!”) There were chain restaurants like Pollo Loco, Chi-Chi’s and Taco Bell, and at home, families dug into nachos, enchiladas and loaded tacos.
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Originally Published: November 11, 2019