What were you, your mother, or grandmother cooking in 1954, the year that Rusty and Kit went to Europe? If you didn’t live through it, and the recipes have long been thrown away, consider these facts: in 1953, Cheese Whiz and Saran Wrap were invented. In 1954, the first TV dinner, Trix cereal, and peanut M&Ms were introduced, Burger King was founded, and food rationing finally ended in Great Britain.
If you’ve been searching for an old family recipe, you might want to check out these blogs and cookbooks.
Mid Century Menu is a blog devoted to remembering and trying out recipes from the mid 1900s. There are lots of recipes for jello salads, hot dogs, casseroles, cocktails, and even Spam!
Another blog, Hey, My Mom Used to Make That! is devoted to vintage recipes. The blog is organized by decade, with old photos to complement such recipes for Tuna N’ Waffles (made with that versatile ingredient, cream of mushroom soup), and Crisco’s Chocolate Fluff Cake.
Taste of Home published the winning recipes from 1954 Pillsbury’s Grand National Recipe Contest. The winning recipe was My Inspiration Cake, a pecan and chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. The second place winner was Blueberry Boy-Bait! Other recipes posted include Cinnamon Nut Crisps, Ye Olde Saffron Braids, and Maple Syrup Layer Cake.
For more savory recipes check out the book Feeding the Nation: Nostalgic Recipes and Facts from 1940-1954. Recipes include Steak and Potato Pie and Stuffed Marrow and Eggless Sponge Pudding. Hmmmm.
Photo from Seattle Municipal Archives licensed by CC under 2.0.