Musing: TV Dinners- Do you have a favorite?

Emily's TV Dinners

September 10th, 2011: TV Dinner Day
Food of the Day: One-Year Goal
Day: #66

Emily was off to a White Sox game

but before she left, her kids picked out TV dinners to make for lunch. The cost, $11.76, was not too bad for seven meals but the convenience factor fell way below her expectations. Four different dinners, 3 different cooking times, all cooked in a conventional oven. Thankfully the cooking temperature stayed at 350 degrees for all the dinners but the cooking times ranged from 25 to 45 minutes! Emily did not find TV dinner fast or convenient.

I made Joe his first TV dinner.

One night when he came home from work and asked if I had given any thought to dinner, I said yes, I had! Surprised, he inquired what was on the menu and I told him he had a choice of Meatloaf or Salisbury Steak. At this point he looked around the house to make sure he had come home to the right place and then chose the meatloaf and went to change his clothes. Ten minutes later I called Joe and Cole to dinner. I placed a Home-Style Hungry-Man Meat Loaf dinner in front of Joe, and Cole had picked out a Kid Cuisine Carnival Corn Dog, and I chose the Swanson’s turkey dinner.

Joe dug into his dinner with gusto and told me it wasn’t awful. He especially liked the little brownie. He even admitted that he had always been curious about TV dinners; when he was a kid he had wished his mother would make them. My mother did not serve them for family dinners but did fix them for me on babysitter nights.

Clean up was a snap.

I told Joe there were lots of different kinds of Hungry-Man dinners and wondered if he had ever had, my personal favorite, a Swanson pop pie. He hadn’t. Visions of hungry man dinners, pop pies, manwiches, and hot pockets flashed before my eyes, filling the blank spots on my wannabe dinner menus.

And then…

Joe, who knew me too well, hugged me and said he was glad he had eaten a TV dinner, it wasn’t half bad, but he did not need to have another any time soon.

Drat! Foiled again.

Cole loved Kid Cuisine so much he asked if he could have a TV dinner night once a week. So I gave in and allowed him to pick out his own Kid’s Cuisine dinner on Thursday nights. Joe had a class on Thursday nights and forged for his own dinner.

TV dinners have disappeared from most dinner tables, and are now archived with potato chip-topped tuna casseroles and Kool Aid, but did you or do you have a favorite TV dinner? The kind of TV dinner that comes with mash potatoes, colorful veggies, baked apples, and brownies? A REAL TV DINNER.

For TV dinner day, Cole had a corn dog Kid’s Cuisine and I dined on a Swanson’s fried chicken, corn and a brownie that burned my tongue…


5 thoughts on “Musing: TV Dinners- Do you have a favorite?

  1. I will admit that I like Stouffers mac and cheese once in awhile. Banquets Fried Chicken. My kids love to “pick out dinner” every now and then but I agree with Emily it is far from fast and easy.

    Thanks for including me in your muses.

  2. I don’t remember having a particularly favorite TV dinner and we really only ate them rarely when my parents were out. I probably favored fried chicken, something my mother never made. But I do remember feeling something ranging between disappointment and utter outrage if I pulled back the foil and found some of my [insert vegetable here] in the [insert dessert item here]. That just spoiled the ambience of the TV dinner for me. If only such were my worst issues now…

  3. I like sweet and sour chicken from Marie Callendar’s TV dinner, they’re not bad!! Tyra actually also like the Kid Cuisine chicken nuggets. Hubby won’t touch TV dinner – yeah.. tell me about it! – and I haven’t try it on Kalia yet. I guess they’re okay once in a while. But after a while, I started to notice most of them actually taste the same.

  4. Katybeth loved it when we went out and she got to pick out a TV dinner. Of course, she’s also the kid who took a home made tuna and mayo sandwich to school for lunch every day for 12 years. She wouldn’t eat in the cafeteria at school because they ALWAYS served the same thing!!!!

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