Give a nod to dining history by celebrating TV Dinner Day, observed annually on September 10. We have all enjoyed at least one of these quick, easy meals. The TV Dinner is one of the most iconic symbols of American food culture.
During World War II, women entered the workforce locally while men served our country overseas. This foreshadowed the introduction of the TV dinner, postwar, during the 1950s.
This complete meal, packaged as individual servings of each course nestled into a compartmentalized aluminum tray, presented a modern convenience that enabled families to serve up balanced dinners after half an hour of oven cooking time.
As it so happened, a marvelous invention called the television was making its debut into American homes. Family time was often enjoyed in front of the novel entertainment source while savoring TV dinners, hence their name.
Early dinners included fried chicken with mashed potatoes, fish and chips and Salisbury steak. Each dinner provided a vegetable and a dessert along with the headlining entrée.
By the 1980s, microwave-safe trays replaced aluminum trays and over the years, selections have included gourmet fare and heart-healthy nibbles. The term ‘TV dinner’ now refers to any prepared meal that is heated quickly for consumption.
Celebrate TV Dinner Day by grocery shopping with the family. This will give everyone an opportunity to choose a favorite. Tonight, there will be no squabbles over what’s for dinner or who likes or doesn’t like this or that.
Unfold those TV-tray stands and take a seat in front of America’s most favored electronics. Although a distraction-free dinner is preferred, tonight, you can turn it on and leave it on. And for a truly authentic experience, consider watching a 1950s classic comedy or cartoon.