DINING IN THE FIFTIES. Kids, I was taught to order new things at restaurants, but we went to restaurants rarely, unless we were away from home. My mother cooked almost every meal. Dinner was meat, potatoes, a vegetable, and dessert. My mother never used garlic. Lettuce was usually iceberg lettuce. Zucchini arrived as a new vegetable sometime in the fifties. (Before that there was yellow summer squash). Pizza wasn’t widely available. The first time I had pizza was when my mother’s friend Mrs. Moreno made white pizza and brought it over to us. The fast food place in town was the White Castle. What is generally consideredt he first McDonald’s in the country opened in a neighboring town in 1955, and I remember when the sign about sales read in the millions. I don’t recall any Chinese restaurants in town, but one of our favorite meals was the chop suey my mother made for us.

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  1. Nick says:

    It really is incredible the foods that I have taken for granted in a lifetime. Seasonal food didn’t mean simply “when it was available” – but rather, simply when it was particularly good. To think now that I live in Manhattan I can walk 4 blocks in any direction and have food from dozens of countries is unbelievable when put in this context. Thanks for writing this, Dad.

  2. Philip says:

    It made a big difference in the last 70’s when the Korean greengrocers arrived in Manhattan. Suddenly, the produce was noticeably fresher.

  3. Mary Jane Schaefer says:

    I can remember when Phil and I lived in Manhattan in the seventies and early eighties. One early spring, we were taking a walk in Greenwich Village, passed a green grocer, and there was the first asparagus on display. (Those of you who love fresh asparagus/and spring will appreciate how important this was.) I said to Phil, “Oh, honey, look! Asparagus!” and everybody walking by smiled. I must have sounded so happy.

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