No matter how or where we grew up, food has the special ability to remind us of times gone by. Whenever my Dad makes his meatloaf recipe, it always makes me feel like a kid again. As soon as I take a bite of his famous meatloaf, I fondly remember every other time I sat at the dinner table and enjoyed a slice (smothered in ketchup, of course). Enjoying this time-tested recipe is an easy way to feel connected with my family and my childhood.
Aside from nostalgia, food can be a fun way to experience what it was like to live in another era. We have assembled this collection of old-fashioned recipes to give you a culinary tour through the decades. Recipes from every decade between the 1920s and the 1970s can be found in the collection below.
With all of the modern conveniences we have nowadays, it can be difficult to imagine what it would be like without a slow cooker, microwave, or even a refrigerator! That’s why it’s nice sometimes to think about how your life would be different without these helpful kitchen inventions.
Step into our time machine and experiment with recipes from other decades. These easy Southern recipes are a fun and delicious way to learn about culinary history. Get cooking; time waits for no man– or woman!
A Foodie’s Time Machine: 15 Old-Fashioned Recipes by the Decade
Believe it or not: the refrigerator first became available to the average homeowner in the 1920s! So a Jello pie was possible to make in the 1920s. Thank goodness for modern day refrigeration.
Old Fashioned Cornbread (shown)
This decade was of course shadowed by the Great Depression, which meant finding new ways to cook with what people could afford. These simple and comforting recipes are the perfect way to sample food from this era.
Since much of this decade was occupied with wartime, food rationing became a necessity. That meant making recipes like bread pudding so as not to let any bread go to waste. These Southern recipes are a great way to use up the ingredients you have on hand.
Following the food rationing and wartime 1940s, more types of food were available during the post-war boom. Besides, meatloaf is the first thing that comes to mind when I think about 1950s recipes!
This era saw an increase of slightly more involved recipes while still embracing the packaged food trends of the 1950s. Waldorf salad is simple to prepare, whereas chicken pot pie is somewhat complicated.
Lightened-Up Waldorf Salad (shown)
Slow cookers were first invented in this decade just as more women began working outside of the home. These easy slow cooker recipes allow you to enjoy a delicious dinner with very little effort.