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Hamburger Helper

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This morning the wife and I are sitting at the kitchen table and I notice a box of Hamburger Helper on the counter. It’s been many a year since I’ve seen a box like that in our house. ” What pray God are we doing with that,” says I. The little lady answers with, “I just thought a trip back to the fifties might be something different”

I am shocked. We eat quite well mostly, no strict diet of one kind or another. Our diet is what I would call well rounded. None of that scheduled fasting, no Vegan, Ketogenic, Mediterranean, Paleo, Weight Watcher’s, Carb Cycling or what ever. I’d like to call our diet a good old sensible 1950’s real food diet. I mean, for goodness sakes, I’ll be eighty (80) in a few months, we must be doing something right.

So, getting back to the Helper. No Hamburger in the freezer, so the lady breaks out a pound of ground Pork. “How about some Green Beans with that.” “No,” Hamburger Helper I’m told. You see, I love Green Beans. I could most likely finish a #10 can of the beans all by myself. I’m told there may be some Spinach mixed in. Wouldn’t Popeye be proud of us. So, tonight, it’s back to the fifties.

Our daughter Kathryn and son-in-law Jeff have Jeff’s dad living with them for a few months. Jeff’s heading to Austria and Slovenia for a few weeks soon and we shall prepare some of the meals. I’m guessing Jeff will eat quite well on someone else’s dime. Daughter Kathryn gets busy at work so we shall help with a meal or two on the table for her and her father-in-law. 

Some great meals from the fifties, Beef Stroganoff, thanks Hamburger Helper. Next on most everyone’s list, Meat Loaf. The beefy, robust flavors come together like nothing else and have become cherished by every American across the country. How about Skirt Steak on the grill? After World War II, American families could finally get more access to meat and with the advent of outdoor grilling, steaks became the hot item that continues to define American cuisine.

Chicken and dumplings trace their roots back for centuries. Our dumplings are called Slicks. Auntie Ems has them all ready to boil and frozen should you wish to shop in our Food Lion or Acme. A bit of Green Bean Casserole on the side would be lovely. My good Irish friend Ed O’Leary uses the word LOVELY quite often. Hands across the sea you know. I have a cousin, haven’t seen her in years, Patty was her name. For family functions we could always depend on Green Beans and Onion topping. If you’re reading this, “Hi Patty.”

Chili, we eat this with a bit of frequency, thanks to son-in-law Jeff. It’s especially good during football season. On the side you’ll always find a bowl of Jalapenos. His gut must always be in turmoil.

I could go on and on, how about Chicken Pot Pie, a Sunday Beef or Pork Roast with mashed potatoes and roasted carrots, and weekend meals are sure to transform forever. Don’t forget to go to Sunday School.

We in our suburban Philadelphia home always had, it seemed like a weekly staple anyhow, Fish Sticks. To this day, I deplore Fish Steaks.

At any rate, should you be old enough to remember, perhaps I’ve stimulated your brain and taste buds. Eat well, eat often, and don’t go to be hungry.

Turn off the TV and internet fifteen minutes early, pick up your favorite book, and read a few pages. It really helps you sleep. Currently, I’m Reading “Fall of Giants” by Ken Follett. It seems lately it’s either history or the life and times of Stone Barrington that I’m reading. Stuart Woods writes about Mr. Barrington.

25f on 12/06 on Md’s Eastern Shore this AM. It was a bit chilly when I let the chickens out of the hutch. Now, if we could just have a few more eggs girls. They’ve reached the terrible twos, The egg count is down.

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.


  1. jandick5 says:

    Hi Prince of the Eastern Shore I do remember those foods and ate them regularly too How are you and MA doing?A lull in our medical saga now. Except for me. Went for the injection in my back and lo and be hold the shots are not working anymore. It has to be treated with medication. My back is a mess with stenosis and scoliosis Hopefully the pain will go down soon. Enjoying our 19 month as I am sure you enjoy your little ones Lots of love❤️🤟 Jan

  2. shoreacres says:

    You forgot one: the Swanson tv dinners that came in the aluminum divided trays: a big spot for the meat and potatoes, one place for the veggies, and one for the baked apples that passed for dessert. The pot pies were Swanson, too, as I recall: individual, and quite good. We were good midwesterners, though, and our dumplings were puffy, drop biscuit-like things that floated on top of the pot. Now I want some.

    • My father-in-law colected those devided trays, hundreds of them in his pantry room. He would make up his own dinners and set them on his wood burning stove to heat. A day of the time Microw wave. I loved thos puffy drop bisquets also.

  3. I enjoyed reading about your nostalgic meals. They sounded familiar from my childhood.

  4. I wasn’t quite around for the 50s, but I still often make chicken and dumplings. It’s one of my FAVORITES from my grandma’s recipes and I bring it out if there’s even a hint of a sniffle in the house. Way back in the 80s, when I first moved out on my own, Hamburger Helper was a budgetary staple–cheap and easy to prepare. I’m happy my cooking skills have improved and I’ve learned to incorporate more vegetables into the mix. I, too, am a green bean fan! You brought up a lot of childhood memories!

  5. No fish sticks for me, but Lasagna hamburger helper has been added to this weeks shopping list

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