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Some Early Beginnings Frozen Foods .....

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1 Some Early Beginnings Frozen Foods ..... on Tue Sep 13, 2016 10:59 pm

UNCLE JIMMY

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I was going through the freezer downstairs, and I found Steak-Um's minute steaks. Then scrambling around, I found some minute steaks from the butcher shoppe that were made from frozen eye round steak. The ones sliced thinly from the eye round are much better, and not greasy like those steak-Ums.

Then, I came to thinking about those first frozen Minute Steaks from the late 50's. Haaaaa.... They were like eating rubber bands and grizzle. Loaded with fat.
A lot of family fights and arguments over Me or Brother Rich digging out the stringy grizzle from our mouths, half gagging, and whilst mom was looking out of the corner of her eye, and saying, "God gave you teeth...use them!"
Then brother saying, "Mom, I can chew it, but I cant swallow it!"
And there was dad putting his 2 cents in, saying, "You S O a B of a kids don't know how good you've got it!" LOL

There were no store brands that I could remember, until later in the 70's.

I remember the Swansons TV dinners. The Salisbury Steak was mine. Sometimes it was Turkey. Only if it was Swanson's.
They did come out with Morton's TV dinners later on, and they were like $0.30 per dinner.
They came a long way with Frozen Dinners. With Micro waves, even more different foods to cook up fast. bounce

Any one have experience with any of those first modern foods?

Mom liked Chinese food, and we had no Chinese places in the area, so she would buy Chung King I think it was called, Chicken Chow Mein in the can.

2 Re: Some Early Beginnings Frozen Foods ..... on Wed Sep 14, 2016 6:17 am

bethk

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Chow Mein from a can was a big deal.....Mom made sure it was boiled long enough to kill off any 'bugs' that might have survived the canning process. LOL And she served it with Minute Rice (Yuck).

Swanson was the brand to buy ~ Morton's wasn't even close, although it was cheaper. We always got those as a 'treat', salisbury steak or fried chicken. Nobody liked the turkey with the pale geletin like gravy.

We didn't get minute steaks that I can remember ~ or maybe we did and it was so awful that I've blocked it out of my memory. But we had a freezer full of beef and pork and quite a bit of chicken as I recall. Between the freezer meat and the garden we were far from starving. But by the end of summer the freezer meat supply was pretty well depleted (butchering was always done in the fall). I can remember one summer that was always referred to as the 'Summer of Pork Neck Bones' as that was all we had to eat besides the garden vegetables. Amazing how long you can pick and chew and suck the meat out of a charcoal grilled pork neck bone. But, hey, we survived.

3 Re: Some Early Beginnings Frozen Foods ..... on Wed Sep 14, 2016 8:49 am

Crybaby

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Beth wrote:I can remember one summer that was always referred to as the 'Summer of Pork Neck Bones' as that was all we had to eat besides the garden vegetables. Amazing how long you can pick and chew and suck the meat out of a charcoal grilled pork neck bone. But, hey, we survived.

Cracked me up, Beth!

Jimmy, you always make me laugh with your stories about you and your brother, too. "I can chew it but I can't swallow it!" and then your Dad's response. Too funny!

I remember having TV dinners a couple of times but only because we begged for them. I remember my mom fussing 'cause my father kept buying Banquet Roast Beef in the family size package. She said it was always one piece of beef "floating in a quart of gravy." I remember them being kind of expensive compared to making dinner from "real food."

4 Re: Some Early Beginnings Frozen Foods ..... on Wed Sep 14, 2016 1:13 pm

UNCLE JIMMY

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Haaaaaa..... BTW... the minute steaks that were loaded with fat and grizzle, were "Quaker Maid" Brand.

Those TV dinners helped Mom because she was a seamstress in a sweat shop when we kids were old enough to be home alone ... ( like 8 for me and bro was 5 )
On week ends.. Mom cooked real food.

Almost forgot...we had a chicken store. That's all they had, was live chickens, and they killed them right there, and plucked the feathers on those rubber rotating straps, and scalding hot water.
He was known as the Chicken Man. No one knew his name, except as the "Chicken Man".

And Stink....Phew! .. that place was a Gag Shop!
Mom sent us there to get FREE Backs and necks. Mom would cook them in soup, and she and dad would sound like a couple of Dentists Saliva vacuum pipes sucking the juices and slivers of meat from the bones. God only knows how brother and I would pray that they would choke on the bones.

We were never forced to eat them. Although, I will admit, chicken bones do make good tasty soup.

5 Re: Some Early Beginnings Frozen Foods ..... on Wed Sep 14, 2016 2:33 pm

bethk

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I can still see those crazy chickens 'chasing' me around behind the garage where my uncle lopped of their heads with the hatchet.  Somehow seeing a chicken get it's head whacked off didn't bother me nearly as much as when it got thrown in my direction and it flopped and ran, headless, right at me.  I couldn't have been more than 4 or 5 years ago.  How was that an appropriate activity for a baby to participate in?

After the headless chicken got done chasing me it would get hung by it's feet from a clothesline type line to complete the bleeding out before it got taken down to the basement 'kitchen' to be gutted and plucked......and, yes, it was the most awful smell in the world.

6 Re: Some Early Beginnings Frozen Foods ..... on Thu Sep 15, 2016 1:05 am

UNCLE JIMMY

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bethk wrote:I can still see those crazy chickens 'chasing' me around behind the garage where my uncle lopped of their heads with the hatchet.  Somehow seeing a chicken get it's head whacked off didn't bother me nearly as much as when it got thrown in my direction and it flopped and ran, headless, right at me.  I couldn't have been more than 4 or 5 years ago.  How was that an appropriate activity for a baby to participate in?

After the headless chicken got done chasing me it would get hung by it's feet from a clothesline type line to complete the bleeding out before it got taken down to the basement 'kitchen' to be gutted and plucked......and, yes, it was the most awful smell in the world.

OMG....that would be a Chicken Nightmare for Jimmy here!... affraid

Would you believe, when growing up, our pillows were filled with feathers?
When that pillow got wet or let me say, damp, boy did it stink.
I remember my mom taking the feathers out of the pillows, and washing them somehow! I remember her buying bags of new feathers at Woolworths to add to the pillows. Talk about a heavy pillow! O M G !!!
Sometimes, the quills would poke through and pick me as I slept.

Between that, and the buttons coming out of the holes in the mattress, and in the dark, trying to fit them back in the place where they belong, was a nightmare in itself! Many times I would wake up with button marks on my side or back.

7 Re: Some Early Beginnings Frozen Foods ..... on Thu Sep 15, 2016 8:47 am

NormM

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I have seen a few chickens killed because I had relatives who had live chickens for eggs and occasionally killed for dinner but the first time this city kid remembers the death of a chicken, it was when mom and I went to a store that had live chickens like some places have live lobsters. Mom picked out a chicken, it was dropped in a hopper, loud chicken protests, then quiet as it passed through a tunnel, steam arose at one point along with various other machine noises and the cleaned chicken came out the other end. I don't remember if the machine gutted the chicken or if it was done after it came out of the machine but that is how we got a really fresh chicken one time to take home for dinner. It was for a dinner with company. Mom couldn't tell that it was all that much better than grocery store bought so we never did it again but I will always remember that.

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8 Re: Some Early Beginnings Frozen Foods ..... on Thu Sep 15, 2016 11:50 am

Crybaby

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I haven't been to the Vietnamese fresh market in years (it opens at 5:30 a.m. and closes around 8:30 a.m. and is way, way out in East New Orleans, but they had fresh chickens and goats out on the sidewalk as you enter into the market; you selected one and then they killed it for you. We hurried by that section without saying a word, as we didn't want to be there for a kill...

I have no problem eating meat of any sort but I really, REALLY don't want to see it before I think of it as "meat." I went with my friend, Marianita, years and years ago to pick up a goat for a party where it was to be smoked. It was in Mississippi, right over the LA line, and it was a beautiful cold day. When we walked into the place, it was covered in blood, had drains in the floor and all the men had aprons on just full of blood. The stench was like nothing I'd ever smelled before, and yours truly has a weak stomach for that type of thing. Mary asked for the guy who had our goat and he suggested we step out back to "select" the goat. We were both mortified, told him we thought we were just picking up a dead one and that neither of us had any plans to point the finger at some poor goat. I lasted about 90 seconds prior to beginning to gag and ran out the front door. Mary followed shortly thereafter! We just waited outside until the man came out with it wrapped in freezer paper with the visible legs hanging out. We were mortified.

We had to drop it off at a friend's restaurant as that was the only fridge it would fit in. I was dying to try the smoked goat but when I got to the party the next evening, there was no goat! Turns out the guy smoking it had left the house for a while and his mom didn't tend to the smoker as he'd asked and it was burned and not salvageable by the time he got home. All that misery at the death house for nothing!!!!

That was over 40 years ago and we just howled about it a couple of weeks ago on the phone. Mary and I were in jeans but dressed really nice with makeup on and hair fixed. While we waited leaning against the hood of her car, I think every man and boy that worked at that slaughterhouse made a trip out to the front of the store to check us out. Some of them were smoking cigarettes and some not, but they just stood there and stared at us. We developed the giggles, especially when I said to Mary, "I guess word spread fast about the 'painted ladies' sitting out front," and she just about choked laughing. A miserable but kind of fun day -- one neither of us forgot, that's for sure!

9 Re: Some Early Beginnings Frozen Foods ..... on Thu Sep 15, 2016 2:25 pm

bethk

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I worked free-lance auditing at one time and helped a friend out who had purchased a slaughterhouse as an investment. The bookkeeper he had was clueless about computer accounting so I was hired to review and re-enter all the transactions in the accounting system. It was a lot of work but I always enjoyed the challenge of a new assignment.

The manager of the place was super nice. He was the type who would answer any and all questions about how the business operated. Even on slaughter days it was one of the cleanest businesses I've ever seen....all stainless and white tile. Everything got sanitized daily and nothing from the slaughter process went to waste. It was fascinating.

The equipment used was so interesting and efficient. Although I declined the offer to watch the process I did get the 25 cent tour on a non-kill day. I knew every slaughterhouse had a USDA inspector on site but I wasn't aware a Rabbi was also in attendance for all kills to assure it was done in a humane manner. I always wondered if the Rabbi also watched when the hogs went to slaughter.....never did find out the answer to that question.

I worked there fall through spring and for Christmas the manager sold me the best dry aged prime rib of beef we'd ever had for our holiday meal.....and it was the least expensive I've ever purchased because it came from the 'source' without any middleman cost increase.

10 Re: Some Early Beginnings Frozen Foods ..... on Sat Sep 17, 2016 5:27 pm

Crybaby

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Beth wrote:I worked there fall through spring and for Christmas the manager sold me the best dry aged prime rib of beef we'd ever had for our holiday meal.....and it was the least expensive I've ever purchased because it came from the 'source' without any middleman cost increase.

Wow! I'm pea green with envy, Beth.

Last time I went to the grocery we use, Rouse's, there was a large glass-enclosed kiosk type of setup at the end of the aisle where it transitioned from in-store bakery and produce to the meat department. There were a couple of huge pieces of meat (like a portion of a side of beef) hanging in there. I got close to see what it was and it was dry-aging beef right in the middle of the store in this contraption. The price of each of the two giant things of beef with bones and all (I really don't know if this was a "side of beef" or a portion of same, so forgive me, as I'm just not familiar with that type of thing) was astronomical but there was a placard indicating you could buy a portion of it. I really didn't see any prices for smaller pieces though. It was pretty cool and the next time I'm in there, I'll look closer to see what I can find out.

11 Re: Some Early Beginnings Frozen Foods ..... on Thu Sep 22, 2016 6:07 pm

Bugster2

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The worst chicken story I have ever heard came from my mom. She had a pet chicken named Bay-Gee. It would follow her around and came when called. One night mom had chicken for dinner. Only after she ate did she find out it was her pet. No wonder she was crazy. That would put me off chicken for life.

12 Re: Some Early Beginnings Frozen Foods ..... on Fri Sep 23, 2016 12:01 am

UNCLE JIMMY

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I was refreshing just now, to see what posts I may have missed . And I'm reading Norms and crybaby's and Beth's posts, and enjoying them. Actually every ones posts.
Then, my new refurbished eye veers left (  pirat  ), and strikes upon the join dates of each of us.
I was like ....
"EEKS" OMG"   "Talk about Early Beginnings!"
It's hard to believe.... Where the heck did that time go? Were the prayers answered that we prayed? Like for Norms slip and fall on the ice at the other house, and he was laid up for a while!! .... And poor patient bugster2 putting up with her border, and cats. Beth, scrambling in OHIO to get rid of the overly stocked s t u f f to pack up and move to the retirement Villages.

Then there were trying times for poor Crybaby with her back and other illness, and trying to get them under control. And her God Loving Husband Brian helping her and even whilst hurting with his health. God Bless Him. He's a Prince if you ask me!

I think a lot of those prayers, that have been, and are now being answered.
Just being here, and everyone being here together, just in mention, and in thought. It is so nice to feel a part of, in our little gathering here; together, like great friends. ( And, like our own little family, separated by distance,........but being close together, by thoughts and feelings ) I love you  



13 Re: Some Early Beginnings Frozen Foods ..... on Fri Sep 23, 2016 12:19 am

UNCLE JIMMY

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Bugster2 wrote:The worst chicken story I have ever heard came from my mom. She had a pet chicken named Bay-Gee. It would follow her around and came when called. One night mom had chicken for dinner. Only after she ate did she find out it was her pet. No wonder she was crazy. That would put me off chicken for life.

When Tina was little, her Grandmother had chickens, and a nasty as heck rooster. That rooster, would wait for Tina to come home from school, and as soon as Tina entered the field, near the back yard, he would chase her all the way to the house.
One Saturday, the rooster jumped on Tina's back, and clawed her with his talons.
Next day, she watched her grandpop chop off the roosters head, and they ate him for Sunday dinner. She remembers pointing at him and saying " See you nasty chicken, we are eating you cause you were bad to me!".....
It never bothered her that it was alive a few hours ago, and she was finally eating him. LOL

14 Re: Some Early Beginnings Frozen Foods ..... on Fri Sep 23, 2016 5:51 am

bethk

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Jimmy....you are just too sweet and sentimental for words! It really is amazing we've all been on this forum since 2013. We bought our villa in December, 2012 and I was back & forth that first year (until it got cold in Ohio). And we are like family.....a great big dysfunctional family that is. LOL

Hahahahahaha....

I kill me! (sorry)

15 Re: Some Early Beginnings Frozen Foods ..... on Fri Sep 23, 2016 6:58 pm

Crybaby

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Uncle Jimmy wrote:I think a lot of those prayers, that have been, and are now being answered.
Just being here, and everyone being here together, just in mention, and in thought. It is so nice to feel a part of, in our little gathering here; together, like great friends. ( And, like our own little family, separated by distance,........but being close together, by thoughts and feelings )  

Beth wrote:Jimmy....you are just too sweet and sentimental for words! It really is amazing we've all been on this forum since 2013. We bought our villa in December, 2012 and I was back & forth that first year (until it got cold in Ohio). And we are like family.....a great big dysfunctional family that is. LOL

You know, Jimmy, I was just thinking basically the same thing yesterday. It's a lot of fun having you guys as friends. We all tell stories to one another -- stories of our childhood, stories of your kids, stories of our spouses, and even stories our parents told us about their lives. We share good times and bad times, warts and all, and even though this forum is basically about food, we all share more than just food. And we worry about one another if someone hasn't made a regular appearance for a while. Because that's what friends do.

Thanks for verbalizing how much this forum means to most of us, Jimmy. It's important that every once in a while we take stock of something nice we all share. And laughter is a big part of it, too! You're a doll, Jimmy!

16 Re: Some Early Beginnings Frozen Foods ..... on Tue Sep 27, 2016 12:06 am

UNCLE JIMMY

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Crybaby wrote:
Uncle Jimmy wrote:I think a lot of those prayers, that have been, and are now being answered.
Just being here, and everyone being here together, just in mention, and in thought. It is so nice to feel a part of, in our little gathering here; together, like great friends. ( And, like our own little family, separated by distance,........but being close together, by thoughts and feelings )   

Beth wrote:Jimmy....you are just too sweet and sentimental for words! It really is amazing we've all been on this forum since 2013. We bought our villa in December, 2012 and I was back & forth that first year (until it got cold in Ohio). And we are like family.....a great big dysfunctional family that is. LOL

You know, Jimmy, I was just thinking basically the same thing yesterday.  It's a lot of fun having you guys as friends.  We all tell stories to one another -- stories of our childhood, stories of your kids, stories of our spouses, and even stories our parents told us about their lives.  We share good times and bad times, warts and all, and even though this forum is basically about food, we all share more than just food.  And we worry about one another if someone hasn't made a regular appearance for a while.  Because that's what friends do.  

Thanks for verbalizing how much this forum means to most of us, Jimmy.  It's important that every once in a while we take stock of something nice we all share.  And laughter is a big part of it, too!  You're a doll, Jimmy!

Awwwww!....So nice of you to mention this Michelle, and your feelings are mutual, as far as I'm concerned.

17 Re: Some Early Beginnings Frozen Foods ..... on Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:06 am

cookingirl

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I feel as if we are all 'friends' on this forum. I am so honored to be a part of such a wonderful, kind group of friends.

I may not post much because I am not really cooking, but I lurk so much.. I love reading everyones posts...

(((hugs))) to all...

18 Re: Some Early Beginnings Frozen Foods ..... on Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:36 am

Crybaby

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cookingirl wrote:I feel as if we are all 'friends' on this forum. I am so honored to be a part of such a wonderful, kind group of friends.

I may not post much because I am not really cooking, but I lurk so much.. I love reading everyones posts...

(((hugs)))  to all...

Just remember to say hi every once in a while, Cyn! Very Happy

19 Re: Some Early Beginnings Frozen Foods ..... on Sat Oct 01, 2016 8:51 am

NormM

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Getting back to early beginnings, Clarence Birdseye is credited with inventing in 1924 the quick freezing method, which produces the type of frozen foods that we know today. If I recall, he got the idea when he found a frozen animal in the Arctic that had been dead for a while but the meat was still fresh.

Swanson introduced the first frozen dinner in 1953 and the very first one was turkey, dressing, peas and sweet potatoes. It was served in the same kind of divided aluminum tray that airlines used.

http://r2j1cp@gmail.com

20 Re: Some Early Beginnings Frozen Foods ..... on Sat Oct 01, 2016 10:48 am

Bugster2

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I remember eating those turkey dinners in the late 50's. It was turkey, gravy, dressing, peas, mashed potatoes and a small compartment of cranberry sauce. I loved them.

21 Re: Some Early Beginnings Frozen Foods ..... on Sat Oct 01, 2016 1:59 pm

UNCLE JIMMY

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Oh yes! ... The foil trays. My mom treasured those trays, and carefully washed them and saved them. She made frozen dinners with whatever leftovers we had at a meal. I hated them!
We kids would ask,"Whats for supper ma?"....and she would say,"TV dinners!".... Then we would say ,"Real ones, or yours mom?".... She would say,"What's wrong with my tv dinners?"
We would just sit there, with visions of our finger in our throat!

22 Re: Some Early Beginnings Frozen Foods ..... on Sat Oct 01, 2016 8:33 pm

bethk

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It amazes me that your mother didn't put you up for adoption, Jimmy.

Hahahahahaha!

23 Re: Some Early Beginnings Frozen Foods ..... on Sat Oct 01, 2016 10:37 pm

UNCLE JIMMY

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bethk wrote:It amazes me that your mother didn't put you up for adoption, Jimmy.

Hahahahahaha!
 She did pack my clothes, and threaten she was going to ship me over to mean, old,  Mrs. O'malley to straighten me out!  affraid

24 Re: Some Early Beginnings Frozen Foods ..... on Sun Oct 02, 2016 5:56 pm

cookingirl

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UNCLE JIMMY wrote:
bethk wrote:It amazes me that your mother didn't put you up for adoption, Jimmy.

Hahahahahaha!
 She did pack my clothes, and threaten she was going to ship me over to mean, old,  Mrs. O'malley to straighten me out!  affraid


Mrs O'Malley???? I think of Bing Crosby and the movie, "Going My Way"... oh!!! Dating myself.....

In my defense, I love "old" movies....Turner Classics...YES!

25 Re: Some Early Beginnings Frozen Foods ..... on Sun Oct 02, 2016 9:38 pm

UNCLE JIMMY

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cookingirl wrote:
UNCLE JIMMY wrote:
bethk wrote:It amazes me that your mother didn't put you up for adoption, Jimmy.

Hahahahahaha!
 She did pack my clothes, and threaten she was going to ship me over to mean, old,  Mrs. O'malley to straighten me out!  affraid


Mrs O'Malley???? I think of Bing Crosby and the movie, "Going My Way"... oh!!! Dating myself.....

In my defense, I love "old" movies....Turner Classics...YES!

My brother and I never even knew who and where there was a Mrs. Omalley!
It was a person that my mom invented, and characterized it to be one who hated kids, and punished them for the littlest infractions. i.e. If Mrs. O said to eat fat, You as a kid ate it! Or Else!

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