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still recovering from 29-9 and found this...

donmedeirosdonmedeiros Posts: 3,379 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

My mind is still a bit numb after watching last night's Braves romp on replay this AM. Happened to come across this and wondered how many of us still remember eating "original" frozen TV dinners.


National TV Dinner Day is observed annually on September 10th. In 1953, C.A. Swanson & Sons changed the prepackaged meal business forever. Introducing the TV Dinner revolutionized frozen food.

In 1962, Swanson stopped using the name TV Dinner. However, in the United States, the term remains synonymous with any prepackaged dinner purchased frozen from a store and heated at home.

The first Swanson TV Dinner consisted of a Thanksgiving meal of turkey, cornbread dressing, peas, and sweet potatoes. Originally, Swansons made the tray of aluminum. They separated each food item into individual compartments, too. At home, the cook heated the dinner in the oven. The cooking time was usually 25 minutes. Today, nearly all frozen food trays can be cooked in the microwave or a conventional oven. 

When Swanson’s first sold TV dinners, they priced them at 98 cents. In the first year, production estimates reached 5,000 dinners. To their surprise, Swanson far exceeded that amount. In the first year, they sold more than 10 million of them.

TV Dinner Facts
  • 1960 – Swanson added desserts to a new four-compartment tray.
  • 1964 – Night Hawk name originated from the Night Hawk steak houses that operated in Austin, Texas, from 1939 through 1994. The original diners were open all night, catering to the late-night crowd. The restaurants produced the first frozen Night Hawk TV dinner in 1964.
  • 1969 – The first TV breakfasts were marketed. Great Starts Breakfasts and breakfast sandwiches followed later.
  • 1973 – Swanson markets the first Hungry-Man dinners. The meals included larger portions of its regular dinner products.
  • 1986 – Microwave-oven safe trays debut on the market. 
  • 1986 – The Smithsonian Institute inducted the original Swanson TV Dinner tray into the Museum of American History.

Much has changed since the original TV Dinner. They also remain a popular choice for a fast and convenient meal, fun to eat in front of the TV!

The Salisbury steak and mashed potatoes was always my favorite closely followed by the turkey and dressing. Indeed, much has changed in the world of frozen foods since Bill Mazeroski put the stake in the Yankees' heart.


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    AnotherDawgAnotherDawg Posts: 6,761 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    The Salisbury steak was my favorite too, Don.

    Much like a trip to McDonald's when I was young, I remember TV dinners being offered up as a special treat. Especially if we got to enjoy them on a TV tray in front of the TV!!!

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    DvilleDawgDvilleDawg Posts: 2,698 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    This brings back memories. My dad hated them and wouldn't let us eat them when he was there but every time he was in the hospital for some surgery or another, my mom and I would stock up on TV dinners and that's what we would eat the whole time he was in the hospital.

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    carnivorecarnivore Posts: 170 ✭✭✭ Junior

    also pot pies and those bacon-wrapped burgers and filets. staples growing up

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    BarkingDawgBarkingDawg Posts: 2,607 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    29 runs after being shut out 24 hours earlier. Typical Braves see-saw of ups and downs.

    Speaking of TV dinners, I saw one of those Food Lists recently that said only baby boomers knew what they were anymore.

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    LowcountryDawg21LowcountryDawg21 Posts: 3,404 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    My wife and I went to see the Phillies play the Rockies when we lived in PA. It was dollar dog night at CBP, and the game was over by the fourth inning. The Phils won 20-4 (or something like that). Unfortunately, the denizens of the upper level got bored and decided to start throwing dollar dogs down to the lower decks.

    Philadelphia at its finest. We decided the next game we went to would be when hot dogs were at their regular price.

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    donmedeirosdonmedeiros Posts: 3,379 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
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    Cid23341Cid23341 Posts: 56 ✭✭✭ Junior

    We loved when Mom and Dad were going out for dinner and left us home with TV dinners, they were awesome. Salisbury steak and the fried chicken were my favorites, the mashed potatoes in those dinners were great, my dad was a potato farmer and hated any type of potatoes that were processed but when he was going out...well out of sight out of mind.

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    mattmd2mattmd2 Posts: 2,409 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    And somehow after heating it up, the potatoes were always still a little frozen in the middle, while the brownie was burnt to a solid crisp.

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    CondorFactsCondorFacts Posts: 162 ✭✭✭ Junior
    edited September 2020

    Ah, c'mon man. Peel the brownie out with a fork (you could get about 90% of it out) and heat it seperate wrapped in a paper towel! So many memories. I always burnt my mouth on the spicy apples in some kind of gel, like an idiot. Everytime.

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    Canedawg2140Canedawg2140 Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Lava is only slightly hotter than microwaved cinnamon-apple goo...

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