Eating in the 50s and 60s….oh, how times have changed! 593



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  1. Pasta was not eaten in Australia.
  2. Curry was a surname.
  3. A takeaway was a mathematical problem.
  4. A pizza was something to do with a leaning tower.
  5. All potato chips were plain; the only choice we had was whether to put the salt on or not.
  6. Rice was only eaten as a milk pudding.
  7. Calamari was called squid and we used it as fish bait.
  8. A Big Mac was what we wore when it was raining.
  9. Brown bread was something only poor people ate.
  10. Oil was for lubricating, fat was for cooking.
  11. Tea was made in a teapot using tea leaves and never green.
  12. Sugar enjoyed a good press in those days, and was regarded as being white gold. Cubed sugar was regarded as posh.
  13. Fish didn’t have fingers in those days.
  14. Eating raw fish was called poverty, not sushi.
  15. None of us had ever heard of yoghurt.
  16. Healthy food consisted of anything edible.
  17. People who didn’t peel potatoes were regarded as lazy.
  18. Indian restaurants were only found in India.
  19. Cooking outside was called camping.
  20. Seaweed was not a recognised food.
  21. “Kebab” was not even a word, never mind a food.
  22. Prunes were medicinal.
  23. Surprisingly, muesli was readily available, it was called cattle feed.
  24. Water came out of the tap. If someone had suggested bottling it and charging more than petrol for it, they would have become a laughing stock!
  25. And the things that we never ever had on our table in the 50s and 60s: elbows or phones!

Do you remember these things from the 50s and 60s? What was dinner time like in your family?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Yep, I remember (and I would have been in trouble for saying ‘yep’ instead of ‘yes’!

  2. Are we talking about “fair dinkum” aussies – what were the lovely “ethnics” eating in the 50s and 60s?

    5 REPLY
  3. Well I grew up in the 50s and o rember spaghetti and macaroni at least once a week … And also curry altho that was always too hot fore!’

  4. and we ate at the table

    25 REPLY
  5. still make tea in a tea pot with black tea leaves.. [do have other varieties – also tea bags – yuck !]

  6. We had to Lop the Head off one of our Chooks,,Use the old Copper to defeather!!!Usually leg of Mutton Sundays,,Ahh Good old Days!!!!

    25 REPLY
    • june i so remember the headless chook running amok before collapsing ,dad plucking the fearthers ,i will never forget

    • I always tell my kids and grandies they haven’t lived until you see a chook running around with out a head

    • I loved helping dad lop of chooks heads and put them in the old copper to defeather I also loved rabbiting with him think I was his tomboy wouldn’t have had it any other way

    • Did the same thing and nearly everyone grew some vegies. Good to see some people growing veggies again.

    • My Dad camped out all week,,It was up to the older kids,, my brother held the chook,closed his eyes,moved,poor chook ,s beak first,, he held it after I said his head or,,,,?,Good To talk to all!

    • Nah, I would rather go to the frozen section of the supermarket and select … Been there done that with chooks, sheep, pigs, geese, ducks, no electricity, no natural gas, no sewerage, cutting and keeping wood dry for the stove and open fire etc etc – made a promise to my kids 40 or more years ago, that I would not subject them to that way of living – I kept the promise.

    • our poor chooks hung from under the tank stand ,was a good chemical free life ,a bit of smoke happened from lighting the stove and old copper ,but nearly everyone had fruit and vegies of some kind growing ,but the chooks did smell terrible when plucked . takeaway was only fish and chips for some Friday nights but a good meal at the table always too .

    • I too remember the headless chook running around the backyard. My dad used to have to get the next door neighbour to do the chore as it upset hime so much. Many years later my dad became a vegetarian.

    • Rex Kendall, you forgot cleaning the flue and filling the kero fridge, the shellite iron, the primus stove and the pump up kero lights. Who wants to go back there, not me for sure. On the positive side we had freedom like kids now can’t imagine, we were taught manners and respect for our elders.

    • I remember the headless chicken & the horrid smell of wet feathers. I also remember the old boiler chickens, Mum would boil the chicken for stock, then roast it. Can no longer by boilers.

    • Yep remember doing that and they ran around for a while with no heads, gross coul’nt imagine doing it now days

    • Haha my brother had to catch the chook & cut its head off on the stump of an old apricot tree. Then he’d let it run around the yard & scare me half to death!

    • Yes brings back memories our chook got to hang on our clothes line the long line propped up by pole….what I miss is the family all sitting at the table to eat their meals best era

    • Remember a couple of days before Christmas, we would drive from Whyalla to Pt. Pirie, with a couple of huge snappers wrapped in ice and canvas in the boot. These were for our uncle, a farmer, who would exchange them for half a dozen chooks and a couple of geese for our Christmas table. With extended family we always had 12-14 for christmas lunch or tea. Wonderful memories.

    • Would make an annual pilgrimage to cousins in Kurri Kurri (not too far from Newcastle) at Xmas to exchange presents and to bring the Xmas chook back with us for slaughter- never got over the kill as a young child & remains with me!

    • I can still smell it. Not a great smell a mixture of chook poo, wet feathers and blood. I can’t understand why I like chicken now I think about it

  7. We had Italian and other ethnic neighbours who allowed us as kids to have dinner at their place. I think this post is a bit ignorant.

    10 REPLY
    • Yes I do rememember curries but I think the only pasta I remember was spaghetti but pasta was probably more common in areas where there were a lot if Italians. I remember the first place I had spaghetti was a little spaghetti place in Innisfail. When I was at college in Brisbane we used to go to a place called Mumma Luigis which had amazing spaghetti and it was cheap.

    • Well that’s good for you. That’s not the majority. We did have any Italian neighbours to help educate us about pasta etc.

    • We had Italian German Dutch Croatian friends very mixed lot of friends from all walks of life school was the same

    • I had Polish neighbours and I was always sampling their food. When I got home for lunch or dinner I then couldnt eat, too full. Lovely times.

    • I had wonderful Italian friends they ate from huge plates or bowls, food I had never heard of and even drank wine for lunch …..fabulouso!

    • Wow arguing even over how we ate food back in the 50’s & 60’s , on the comments ,I don’t think we did that then ,it is a Facebook thing sad !

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