As a child of the 1960s, I was well acquainted with what is featured in the ad shown here. This was the classic TV dinner of old, packaged in a foil tray. Sometimes the taste of foil would bleed into certain foods, such as fish sticks or tater tots. I don't remember it happening so […]

As a child of the 1960s, I was well acquainted with what is featured in the ad shown here. This was the classic TV dinner of old, packaged in a foil tray. Sometimes the taste of foil would bleed into certain foods, such as fish sticks or tater tots. I don't remember it happening so much with the turkey dinners as shown, although the stuffing often dried out after 35 minutes or so in a hot oven.

Younger readers: Of course there were no microwaves then. Aside from ice cream, we didn't even have good frozen food in those days.

Admittedly, my mother served a lot of TV dinners to me while I was growing up, but I don't think it ever crossed her mind to actually serve one on Thanksgiving Day as depicted in the above photo. If nothing else, our cat wouldn't have stood for it. Frisky was always trying to sneak Thanksgiving turkey carvings when no one was looking. I don't remember him doing this with TV dinners.

My father's main complaint about TV dinners wasn't so much based on his tastes, but rather mine. You see, I am a lifelong hater of peas. As shown in the photo above, peas were often the sole vegetable featured in TV dinners. If it wasn't peas, then it was peas and carrots. Each week, my father would cruise the frozen food aisle at Loblaws or Chicago Market in Rome in a sometimes fruitless search (or should i say veggie-less search?) for a TV dinner with corn instead of the dreaded green pellets. Sometimes,Dad had no choice but to come home with TV dinner with peas, but at least he didn't make me eat them like my grandmother did at her house. Ugh!

For a while in the late 60s, I remember Swanson including a small portion of tomato soup in some dinners as a “first course,” but that didn't work out too well for us. Some of the soup usually wound spilling into another part of the dinner when my mother removed it from the oven. It wasn't so bad if it landed in the meat, but the chocolate brownie would pretty much be history after that.

Ah, the things my own children have never known.