The Real 50's Housewife my Grandma.
I have always called my grandma Ninny. Somehow Grandma, Nanny, Nanna etc. turned into Ninny. My Ninny was the real 1950's Housewife. Dorothy Jean born in 1931. She was married in 1956. While I am trying to learn everything about how 50's housewives lived I realized I have had a true one so close to me!
Ninny does not live here anymore, but we still have a weekly phone call to each other. On a recent call I talked to her about when she was a young newly wed housewife. I was inspired to write a post dedicated to her.
The Typical Day of a 50's Housewife
First she would get up and get dressed. Dresses and peddle pushers (capris) were worn on normal days. Days she went out for church or to parties, hats, gloves, pearls, heels, and fancy dresses were worn.
After getting dressed and putting her face on (she always calls putting on her makeup this) she would make her husband and children breakfast. Breakfast consisted of what ever everyone wanted, pancakes, oats, scrambled eggs, or cereal like rice krispies. After breakfast was over her husband and children would leave to work and school. They lived only a block from school, so kids would walk. She would then clean up breakfast.
Most of her cleaning was done in the morning. She would keep the house clean by daily doing normal household chores like dishes, dusting, sweeping/mopping, laundry and changing sheets. When first married they did not have a dryer and she would hang up all of the laundry in their backyard on a clothesline.
At lunch time her husband and children would always come home to eat. They would usually have leftovers from whatever was made for dinner the night before, or small things like sandwiches and cereal.
At home or driving she listened to the radio all the time. Was never without music. Some of her favorite were Elvis, The Beach Boys, and Patti Page. Afternoons were filled with more cleaning, hobbies, meal prepping and meal preparing. She learned to cook, sew, and knit in high school and always has done so since. She would make most of her children's clothes, and has made me many outfits, blankets, and everything else you can think of.
Meals were planned out weekly in advance, then shopping for the supplies needed, and make them on the day planned. There was never a guessing game of "what will we have for dinner tonight?"
Have you ever asked your Grandma for a recipe of a food she makes? Every time I do it usually goes about like this.. "Oh about a cup of this, and little bit of that... Pour some in until it looks like enough..." This is how it usually goes, but I have gotten them figured out! Great cooks do not need exact recipes, because they have made so many they perfect it to there own. Like anything for anyone it takes work to be great at something. When she got engaged and found out she was getting married the first thing she did was go buy a Betty Crocker Cookbook. Any wife needs this book she has told me, even if you know nothing about cooking.
I found my cookbook the exact same 1956 edition as my Grandma's, on Amazon. Link below!
Here are some things she would make for meals and the recipes for them.
Porcupine Meatballs with mashed potatoes and vegetables.
Fudge Brownie Cake (This cake is a family favorite! You have to try it!)
Evening & Entertaining
Evenings were filled with relaxing and leisure time. They had a TV and would watch it together. A lot of the time in evenings they would have friends over. They would throw or go to parties. On casual evenings with friends the men would work in the garage on different things, and the women would sit in the backyard and watch the kids play while they drank coffee.
This post is for my NInny. She is the 50's Housewife I will always strive to be.