Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Yummy McDonald's Happy Meals, Kraft Mac & Cheese and Mashed Potatoes

My Three Favorite Meals At Age 11



Big shocker, another food blog from the chubby kid ... oh well. Don't hate. What you're about to read is disturbing and unhealthy and none of it was my mother's doing. Be kind.

Today's kids are worldly eaters. Trust me, even though I don't have any kids of my own, I just know. My little cousins and our friends' kids eat crazy foods I won't even touch as an adult! They wolf-down mushrooms, sushi, Chinese food, crab legs, eggplant and more. Me?


At 11, my three favorite foods were as follows...



The McDonald's Happy Meal




The very first Happy Meal was sold in 1979 in Kansas City for $1. The idea came about in 1977 from an ad man trying to figure out a way to better market McDonald's to families.  Back in 1983, I don't think parents allowed their kids to eat at McDonald's very often--at least we weren't there more than once a month. I remember the excitement every time we'd pull into the parking lot of the Franklin Square McDonald's. I'd wonder what toy or cool drinking glass I'd snag.




Instant Mashed Potatoes & Real Mashed Potatoes




Still crazy about 'em after all these years, the mashed potato is one of the most incredible way to serve a potato. My little friend who l lived next-door to us didn't really have a mom and her dad worked long hours. I loved going over to her house because she'd make us instant mashed potatoes. I had never seen anything like it. They were soft white flakes that came in a red or brown box and watching her prepare them was truly an amazing site. She'd boil up milk and water, mix in some butter and salt--that was our snack. A heaping portion of fake potato goodness washed it down with a Coke. Gag, I know.



Kraft Macaroni & Cheese

My mom didn't take many shortcuts when preparing dinner for us kids, however one thing she did treat us to every once in a while was the blue box Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. I must say I'm somewhat surprised to learn that Kraft first introduced the dinner back in 1937 calling in Kraft Dinner. It was a stick-to-your-ribs meatless option during World War II. Who knew?





39 comments:

Hagler Happenings said...

OMGosh! The Muppet glasses! We had 2 whole sets. Why don't they do that anymore? I'm a sucker for mashed 'tators too.

Ms. Anthropy said...

I LOVE instant mashed potatoes! I fix them with a little chicken bouillon and then add the toppings, just like a baked potato. I even make potato cakes for the granddaughter that hardly eats ANYTHING. She loves granny's tater cakes. You may now call me Gourmet Granny. (and I have boxes full of Happy Meal toys, unopened, as well as plenty that are)

Cheeseboy said...

The Happy Meal hasn't changed much. The toys have gotten a lot better. I love the Happy Meal burger still though. I always hope my boys can't eat them all.

Copyboy said...

I too could never resist the creamy goodness and lure of the blue box. The instant spuds I always thought were too lumpy. Sorry.

Bossy Betty said...

Oh yes. These look VERY familiar! Very bad, but familiar!

Amy said...

1. I still order Happy Meals at McDonald's. I have no children.

2. I DO, however, have a friend who claims her grandfather invented the instant mashed potato.

3. We still call it Kraft Dinner in Canada! Actually, we mostly call it KD. And I will always put ketchup on it!

Sara Louise said...

I love my mac and cheese (and it has to be Kraft, no velveeta for me) so much, that I have it delivered to me in France! I need it!

Hope Chella said...

These all are so yum (and I still like them!)...However, when I was 11 I was really proud to have a growth spurt that justified getting a grown up meal: 2 Hamburgers, Medium Fry (with sweet and sour dip of course!) and Coke. Yum!!!

xoxo
http://hopechella.blogspot.com/

Miss Kitty Boo said...

Wow... Mac and Cheese is still one of my favourite meals and I am 19! hehe. It has to be the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese deluxe though, with the cheese in the can... mmm... yum. :)

TS Hendrik said...

It was all about the toy with the happy meals. I couldn't have cared less about the food.

I can remember being in a Mcdonalds in London Ontario at 3 in the morning and crawling around with a wind up Hamburglar.

Pat Tillett said...

When I was young enough to eat happy meals, they didn't exist.
DAMN...

Riot Kitty said...

I still love mashed potatoes and mac and cheese, but now I make them from scratch.

RawknRobynsGoneBlogWild said...

Those are still 3 of my favorites.
Cheers,
Robyn

Jen said...

I only recently (at the age of 28) discovered how to bake my own mac and cheese and mash my own potatoes.

Way better, BUT I still have a soft spot for the the boxed variety. I love some Kraft shapes mac covered with a good dash of pepper. Yum. And I'll admit to making instant mashed potatoes for dinner. And eating nothing else.

And I also have really fond memories of McDonalds Happy Meals.

Jerry said...

I still to this day love all three of those and that's probably why I am over my ideal size for my body.

Momma Fargo said...

OMG! I think we are related. LOL.

Fireblossom said...

I'm sorry, but I eat nothing but alfalfa sprouts and arugula. Then I sprout wings and fly to the moon.

Okay okay, troof: I was 24 in 1979, so no happy meals for me, though I bought them sometimes for my son.

I used to LOVE those instant taters from that big box. Still love 'em, but now they come in little packets and are all sorts of fancy butt flavors. I'm about sure I'm going to make mashed potatoes from scratch. Grammaw's dead, deal with it.

The only mac n cheese i got as a kid was my mom's home-made kind which was EXCELLENT. Now I like the Kraft deluxe kind with sharp cheddar. Fifty billion calories, 110% of it from fat. But when I come home on a Jaunuary evening after playing mail lady all day long, it is quick, hot and yummy.

I love your blog. :-)

Joe Cap said...

Except for the Happy Meal, I like all of these still!
The Daughter enjoys mashed potatoes, so I can't argue with that. Also, she will eat vegetables...brocoli, Brussels Sprouts, asparagus...I love that!
But she also eats way too much fast food.

♥ Jennerific ♥ said...

The Mashed Potato was the best invention up until the instant Scalloped Potato came on the market. That shit revolutionized potatoes.

Samantha said...

I loved everything you listed! Especially Mac & Cheese. I still love a good happy meal here and there :)

bbcd mama said...

I totally remember collecting the glasses form Happy Meals!

Mainland Streel said...

I loooooved Happy Meals! And I totally understand the instant mashed potatoes... there's just something about them. :)

Sadako said...

All of this is making me uber hungry! I've replaced the Kraft with Annie's Mac and Cheese, though. Love it!

I didn't have Muppet glasses but we did get Flintstone ones. Also, Batman glasses. And we still have them, yes.

Blast from the Past said...

I was 19 on '79 - have never had or purchased a Happy Meal (maybe I should some day just to "experience" it!

What's funny is that I never had either the boxed Mashed Potatoes or Mac & Cheese until after I got married.

The Mac & Cheese was WAY too easy to make for a quick kids dinner... even I could do it, and I tend to be all thumbs in the kitchen.

My wife used the boxed mashed potatoes as a base for making meals for the kids as they were transitioning between baby food and "real" food. But once I tasted them, I was amazed how good they were. And again - My non-cooking skills weren't challenged beyond my capabilities.

Great post Ally! Took us all back again!

MoonDoggie said...

I always lived in small towns growing up so McDonald's was only a treat on holidays when we went to the big smoke. I remember only ever having the fries and a chocolate thickshake. I eventually included chicken mcnuggets into the mix later on - wish I was still so choosy.
They don't sell that kraft mac and cheese here in England but I was lucky enough to try some when I lived in Japan (they sold it in an import store I used to frequent) and I became a fan. Am craving it now!

Marlene said...

HA!!! So that's the story!! We still call it "Kraft Dinner" in Canada. I was surprised to find it called "Kraft Macaroni and Cheese" here in the U.S. Thought it was a different product - but nope - same shit!

As for the boxed potatoes - I will pass.

McDonald's though?! Crap. Stick a fork in me. I'm done. I love that shit more than anything. And you thought YOU were sad? I'll eat a Big Mac ANY day of the week. Yeah....I know.

Christiejolu said...

My Grandmother lived in Franklin Square.

My parents hardly ever took us to McDonalds. It was meant to be a treat. I kind of do the same. If it wasn't for the toys the kids wouldn't even want to go.

But I am guilty of the instant potatoes too. I don't have time to peel potatoes.

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

Instant is way better than real. i can not make real mashed potoatoes to save my soul and I buy them premade in the refirg section!

FYI, I think I speak for most moms that kids these days do not eat worldly foods! Mine would KILL for mac-n-cheese every night!

Joann Mannix said...

Okay, see the opposite thing happened to me. My mom was an instant food cook. The easier, the more preservatives, the better. With the exception of 1 of my 7 siblings, the rest of us, are gourmet foodies who are extremely nutritionally conscious.

One of my girls came home after eating dinner with a friend and was shocked to tell us that their Parmesan cheese came in a green can instead of freshly ground from the Italian Market.

I'm sure it'll have the opposite effect on my kids. They'll be shoving their pieholes full of chicken wings and Cheese Whiz the moment they have their own say so.

Mamma has spoken said...

Wow I remember when the happy meal came out! Prior you could go to McDonalds and get a hamburger, small fry and coke for 60 cents. My parents wouldn't let me get the happy meal because they said the toy wasn't worth the 40 cents difference.

Letherton said...

love kraft mac and cheese


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Take a minute an check my blog out
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Amber said...

I love Kraft Mac & Cheese. My boyfriend, who fancies himself a cook, thinks I'm totally creepy for eating the stuff. It's just so delicious to me. Especially when you melt extra cheese on top of it.

Sadly, I haven't had too many great experiences with Kraft's Easy Mac. Ironically, I always mess it up.

Michelle Pixie said...

Thankfully I have the kids who like sushi and eggplant. My daughters birthday is on Monday. She is turning 6 and has already put in her request for a sushi birthday dinner. Yum!

I have say those were probably my favorite foods as a kid too. ;-)

Lady Hill said...

those are still my favorite foods.

Powdered Toast Man said...

Did you know that Kraft is owned by Phillip Morris?!?

Go vote on the Battle of the Game Show hosts!

Just The Cheese

Amanda said...

Hi, I'm 30 years old over here and could *totally* go for some mcnuggets right about now.

Mom Mayhem says: said...

I love those foods too! And yeah McD's Happy Meals started when I was born -And people wonder why it's hard not to eat there ;) It's just such a part of most people's childhoods that I know.

Dan Alexander said...

All sound yummy and nutritious!

ASBLACKASOBAMA said...

Thpse are three of my favorite food groups!

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