Our inflationary times are reminding me of what it was like back in the late 1970s. Food was precious during those years. It’s when Hamburger Helper was discovered. Back then, eating chopped meat was considered cheap. Today, at prices well above five dollars for a pound of ground beef, chopped meat is more of a luxury than a staple.
“Beef prices were soaring and the U.S. economy had weakened when the undisputed king of boxed dinners was launched on the West Coast in December 1970. Betty Crocker’s Hamburger Helper did as promised. It guided families who were striving to stretch a pound of meat into a dinner for five.”
I’ve gotten out my old hand-written recipe book and have started re-creating some of my old time favorites from that era. I used to make at least one veggie quiche every week. It was very economical as it required using canned evaporated milk rather than the very expensive heavy cream. I would toss in a ton of leftover cheeses, especially cheddar, combine it with any leftover vegetables of the week (especially spinach) top it off with a few mushrooms and paprika and voila’. I had me a delicious quiche that would last me a whole week of breakfasts.
Another low cost but healthy breakfast, lunch or dinner meal would be a frittata. I’d toss in some diced up, leftover potato, my favorite asparagus spears, sauteed onions along with at least six eggs and a handful of grated parmesean cheese and another meal is born. I’m bringing back the battered fish sandwich, home made tartar sauce (relish and mayo) sitting on a bed of lettuce and tomato all wrapped up in a hamburger bun. Delish!
I’m thinking of writing a cookbook highlighting all the recipes I used to enjoy during the hyperinflation years of the late 1970s, early 1980s. I think these retro recipes will come in handy for a lot of us. A simple desert of a scoop of vanilla ice creme topped with rainbow sprinkles. An old fashioned crumb cake. Oven fried brussel sprouts with garlic and olive oil. No Hamburger Helper included!
Like this post? Sign up for free emails whenever I write a new post. You can also follow this blog, for free. Sign up links are posted on the upper right hand corner. I also accept donations when you buy me a cup of coffee and a croissant. Links are posted on the right hand side wall. Thanks for reading my blog!