The 1960s were a pivotal time for food at home. Both Coles and Woolworths opened their first ever supermarkets in Australia at the very beginning of the decade, Tupperware parties were taking their first step towards the whirlwind success they would soon see and, most importantly, Tim Tams were introduced.
As kids, it’s hard to forget the different, mouthwatering smells that would fill the house as soon as mum stepped into the kitchen to prepare dinner. From the classic Sunday roast to delicious finger foods, it’s safe to say dishes were much simpler back then.
Of course the most memorable meal of any Baby Boomer’s childhood has to be the Sunday roast. At the end of every week, the family would gather together to enjoy a nice, filling dish complete with meat from the leg or shoulder of lamb sided with roast veggies and coated with a generous serving of gravy. It was one of those special occasions where the table would be set, the fancy cutlery was brought out and everyone would be dressed in their Sunday best.
Any left-overs of the carved meat would then generally be served up in a range of different meals the next day including cold sandwiches or different types of fritters.
Other nights throughout the week, mums would pop on their aprons to cook up quick and easy dishes like stews, rissoles or beef bourguignon but also newer and more exciting foods like meatloaf and crumbed cutlets. With the help of brand new refrigerators and freezers, prepackaged foods meant cooking was a whole lot easier and could be much more flavourful compared to previous decades.
Entertaining was all the rage in the ’60s which meant there was a fantastic array of finger foods available. Prawn cocktails, cheese fondue and devilled eggs were the perfect options for hungry guests at evening get togethers while classy morning or afternoon tea parties were filled with mini cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches.
Although eating out for breakfast wasn’t even an option back in the ’60s, if you were lucky enough to get takeaway for dinner one night, you were most likely heading to either your local Chinese shop for some chow mein or to the fish and chips joint on the corner to enjoy your meal wrapped in the newspaper from that day.
While some of these recipes have stood the test of time, other traditions have disappeared without a trace. Not many families gather together every Sunday night for a roast anymore and most people choose a strong coffee over a calming tea. Even though these things have been forgotten about today, there’s no doubt the ’60s were a time all about simplicity, family and really tasty food!