The 1960s Tradition of Eating Together as a Family
One of the most important and memorable part of growing up in the 1950s and 1960s was my
mother's requirement that we eat our meals together. No such thing as sitting in front of the TV to eat
a meal. We started each meal with prayer and then ate our meal over conversation, jokes and laughter.
It was a great time to grow up and a fond memory of that time in my life.
I remember my grandmother and my mother made sure my dad got his plate first because as they
would say he was the "working man." I remember also when I got my first job I was treated the same way.
Does that occur now? Is it important? I don't know but back then it made me feel important and help me
understand how important working and supporting your family was.
I will never forget how great a cook my mom was. She could make a feast out of left overs
or make a typical Sunday chicken dinner seem like a banquet. Fried chicken has been and will was always
be my favorite. I always looked forward to Sunday dinners even when 9 times out of 10 we
would have fried chicken. My buddy next door and his family had their fried chicken on Sunday as well. Was
that a 60s thing or something? I remember Mom cooking in lard. For the past 20 years we have been told
that cooking in lard will cause clogging of your arteries. People cooked in lard for over 100
years. How did we manage to live back then according to today's standards?
My mom, who passed away in 1983, had recipes thrown inside a book and shoe box. Many of
her recipes were written on napkins, scraps of paper and old used envelopes. She had 100s of them. Many
still had old food and grease stains on them. She had so many recipes she had collected plus
many that were passed down from her mother and her mother's mother. The ones that were great tasting
she kept and those she didn't like she got rid of, although Mom hardly ever threw anything away.
When I was a teenager it was customary to bring your girlfriend or boyfriend home to meet the
family. I usually did that by inviting them to Sunday dinner for Mom's famous fried chicken. All my
girlfriends loved my Mom's cooking. One particular girl I dated loved beef and noodles, so when Mom discovered
how much this girl loved beef and noodles, she would prepare it whenever she came over. (There went my fried
chicken.) I stopped inviting this girlfriend over so much because it interfered with my fried
chicken dinners. A note is deserved here: I ended up marrying that girl and of course I got
all "noodled out."
I receive email and comments in my guest book all the time about the 60s and how great they are and how much fun growing up back then
was. The memories are so many but sometimes not as vivid as we grow older. One comment in particular
mentioned "that if you could remember anything about the 60s then you probably didn't live them." I
have no idea what she was referring to but I know I lived them and I remember much about that time and
of course these meals around the table with family was one of the most memorable times of my life.