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The Magic Meal Maker

“The Planning Center — this is the heart and the brain of the RCA-Whirlpool Miracle Kitchen. For example, there’s a button that turns on a built-in color television set that brings entertainment into your Miracle Kitchen of the future. Other buttons select recipes, request an inventory of food stock, select food from storage, or complete the automatic meal from the Magic Meal Maker.”

March 1959. “Home economist Anne Anderson demonstrating appliances and features of RCA-Whirlpool ‘Miracle Kitchen of the Future,’ a display at the American National Exhibition in Moscow.” Cafe Jetson: 1959

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  • ghostsniper July 17, 2018, 9:04 AM

    The REAL meal maker was in that seafoam garment, like ALL mothers were in that by-gone era I was privileged (gasp) to have been part of. My mom made suppers from complete scratch for all 5 of us kids and my dad every dam day of the week and twice on Sunday cause she also prepared a hot lunch on that day for all of us. Once, she made au graten potatoes from a box and my dad went all the way through roof and that sort of thing never happened again. Us kids liked em.

    We had baked potatoes at school one time and luvved em and begged my mother to make em that way and she said “No.”, no explanation necessary. But we pleaded like kids do and in a few weeks she made em and my dad went through that roof again. “Peels is for the animals!” So we never had em again. Til I was an adult and bought em with my own coin. My dad didn’t like ground beef neither, said it was butcher floor sweepin’s. So we never had that, cept at school, and we luvved it. Macaroni and Cheese? Pleeze. Only at school. See the pattern here? My mom and dad were following a template that their parents, and their parents before them, had instilled in them, and the school marginalized it through us kids. 30 years later our kid went to the same sort of schools, ate baked potatoes, mac n cheese, and hamburgers out the ying yang. Sometimes when sitting on the porch I wonder what our grand daughter is going to feed her kids…..

  • Punditarian July 17, 2018, 9:39 AM

    They had the concept in 1959, but the technology to actually deliver it is only getting there now.

  • pbird July 17, 2018, 9:52 AM

    One of the weird things about feeding my grandchildren who were partially raised by their parents, is that they don’t know how to sit down to a meal and eat it. Regular stuff cooked in the kitchen by me. Pots of soup don’t work. They don’t know how to relate to home food. It was fast food and frozen food and sand wiches. They would never eat a leftover, even if it was carefully conserved. Etc. Its a generational thing I guess. I do wonder what they will feed their children.

  • Fred July 17, 2018, 10:39 AM

    There is a revolt of sorts among millennials but weirdly it’s on the more ‘liberal’ side. Many of them won’t eat frozen, or processed, or canned food at all, or preservative and chemical laden food. They like fresh, organic, natural foods. Many are learning to cook again.

    For all of the ‘conservative’s’ bravado and come and take it swagger they’re really just a bunch of fat, puffy, doughy men slavishly complying with the new world order. It’s sad.

    It’s the west coast and new england liberals that are starting to eat better along with the hipsters. I’m in a collage town and even though it’s in the south, the fresh, simple, home cooked style restaurants are booming here. And the crowds are 30’s and under.

    It’s not all bad news on the eating healthy front. More than 90 percent of chronic ‘illness’ and ‘conditions’ can be traced to diet. Eat what your grandma made you boy, and be healthy.

  • Dr. Jay July 17, 2018, 10:50 AM

    That photo brought back memories of my mother and her sister in our kitchen talking about the Bechdel test.

  • jwm July 17, 2018, 1:11 PM

    My wife and I are looking for a new range. Everything we saw was overpriced, cheaply built, and full of computer chips. The Jetsons kitchen above worked great in the ads and cartoons. In the real world none of the silly crap in those ultra sophisticated controls resembled anything useful. They were ranges designed by computer guys who never did any cooking. Seriously, who is going to put all the food on the range, program all the burners for delay start times, on and off simmer times, keep warm, re-heat, etc. and then just walk away from it. No one cooks like that, no matter how well it plays out in the cartoons. Maybe we’ll go vintage…


  • Gordon Scott July 17, 2018, 7:46 PM

    I tell people I’m learning to cook at age 57. Of course, I’ve made a living cooking and feeding small and large groups. But learning to make good biscuits is a joy. Last weekend I ran six racks of baby backs, three of St. Louis cut, some tips, and two pork shoulders through the smoker and finishing. The ribs are not quite done; they’re vacuum sealed and frozen for easy dinners. The pulled pork is portioned out in one pound bags. That’s about 40 meals for the wife and I.

    When you serve roasted pork loin to a crowd, and walk past a table and see a guest without a knife, you offer to bring her one. When she says, “Who needs a knife?” and proceeds to cut the meat with her plastic spoon, well, it feels pretty dang good.

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