tv dinners

memory lane
memory lane

Simple, happy memories are a part of the puzzle of who we are.

When I was about ten or eleven, I can remember getting extremely excited every time Mum announced that Dad had a meeting, and wouldn’t be home till late. Sorry Dad, it’s a great memory that you helped to create by not actually being there! It wasn’t regular, it was usually on a Tuesday, and Mum would often make one of my favourite meals, which was mince stew with tinned pineapple, and a pile of mashed potato on the side. If it was cold and wintry, she would top it off, by whipping up a self saucing steamed chocolate pudding with custard for dessert.

I am someone who remembers events based on the food I ate, however the crux of this story, is that with Dad out of the picture for the evening, we got to eat our dinner while watching TV. The sense of illicit freedom I felt on those evenings was huge. Essentially Mum was being the good cop for a night, revealing to us through her actions that it was Dad who dictated the rules on strict TV control which were normally in place. I’m not sure what we would have done if he had arrived home earlier than expected. It wasn’t spoken of as a secret, but we all knew that it was, even though looking back now, I’m certain Mum would have shared it all with him when he arrived home late at night, for his over-cooked stew (she always left his dinner on a plate in a blazing oven until he arrived home…perhaps she was not all that happy about his meetings).

I have replicated the screen dictatorship of my parents, but Friday night is movie night in our house, and it’s bliss. Sometimes we all watch…sometimes I write and pretend to watch…and sometimes if I’ve had a tough week, I take a bath, do yoga or just meditate. There is so much excitement and anticipation running up to the night. What are we watching? Whose turn is it to pick the movie? What’s for dinner? The build up is almost as much fun as the night.

My food isn’t as classy as my Mums. I haven’t mastered the art of using tinned fruit in my dinners yet, and I don’t imagine I ever will. I’m not sure if that was a fad of the seventies, or if it was just my family. There are many more food memories down that lane.

Linked with Essentially Jess for IBOT

21 thoughts on “tv dinners

  1. I live alone and even though I know it’s bad I eat in front of TV every night. Which means I need to pre-cut my meat as I don’t use a table etc… I sit on my sofa with a bowl or plate and fork! If I have visitors then of course I sit at a table, but otherwise… it’s me and the TV. Sadly.

    1. If I’m eating alone I enjoy the peace of watching TV while I eat, but I understand if it seems as though it’s your only option, it wouldn’t be as enjoyable. Dinner time with little kids isn’t always the most pleasant time! I guess that’s the reason we love TV dinners every so often.

  2. I often connect stories with food. We ate at the table every night except when my parents were going out – then we literally had to dinners – they came as a tray with compartments and you cooked them in the oven (included a dessert section). Loved eating those on TV tray tables !!!

  3. I love the little rituals of childhood that make memories. When we were kids mum and her best friend would take we five girls in total to McDonalds for dinner when our respective dads were out of town or working late. We used to spend the whole time in the playground and hardly ate but we had a ball and our mums were left to chat in peace and didn’t have to prepare meals. As a mum myself now I can fully appreciate their motivation for these catch ups.
    I too am a child of the seventies so I can relate to the use of timned fruits and frozen vegetables in meals 😉

  4. I have a similar memory of fish & chip nights when my dad was home late – my mum & my sister & I would sprawl out in front of the TV and have a carpet picnic with our greasy delights. I remember feeling like we were co-conspirators in some wicked secret, it was great 🙂

  5. Oh last night we did pizza and a movie too and it felt weird but good! Gosh I love illicit food and extreme laziness on occasion 😉

  6. The Saturday night ritual sounds like fun! We sometimes do fish and chips and movies on the weekends, it’s a real treat for the boys to have dinner on the coffee table in the lounge, not so much the TV (guilty of letting them watch a little too much this winter given the bad weather and the boredom and my sanity!). I so know what you mean though, when my dad was working night shift I loved that alone time with mum and girly nights in front of the tele.

  7. Lovely memories 🙂 You know what I can’t remember if we had the tv on when we ate dinner as kids. Actually, I think it was off. I distinctly remember scoffing down my food, having a bath and then getting dressed in front of the TV as Young Talent Time started. My sister used to think the people in the TV could see her. Ha!

  8. We also have had TV dinners on Friday nights for years, although this year we have had to move it to Saturdays sometimes :O
    Our girls are teenagers now, but still love the routine, which is a bit different to yours. They watch a movie of their choice and we provide an easy dinner that they are sure to eat (being somewhat fussy eaters). Then we shoo them off to bed and sit down to a more adult dinner and movie, tonight it’s baked salmon with roast veges. Enjoy your Friday nights!

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