We all love to eat in front of the TV sometimes, so instead of feeling guilty about it, why not make it a celebration? After all, when the first TV dinner—called the TV Brand Frozen Dinner—was introduced in 1954, owning a television was a big deal and watching it was a proper occasion.
Many baby boomers fondly recall the golden age of TV dinners, when they'd gather around the set as a family at the end of a long day to watch the evening news or a sitcom. And in the early days of the tube, there weren't a lot of channels, so whatever was on TV tended to be a shared national event. Just think of the images of the lunar landing in 1969: Pictures of people gathered around their black and white sets are as iconic as those of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin taking their first steps on the moon.
While these days we have hundreds of channels and multiple streaming services, you can still make eating dinner in front of the TV a special event. Here's how:
1. Invite some friends over
While vegging out solo in front of the TV with your favorite meal certainly has its appeal, if you want to form special memories, invite some friends over or gather your family for a TV dinner night, whether that means binging a favorite series or gathering for a season premiere or sportscast.
2. Do up your decor and dress
If you are having people over for a TV party, put out a few decorations that match the theme of what you're watching, and consider dressing up in appropriate garb. Or make the theme of your TV party the '50s, in homage to that first TV dinner, and don a fedora or pencil skirt.
3. Eat turkey and stuffing!
According to popular lore, the first TV dinner came about because of a surplus of Thanksgiving turkeys, so why not make the bird the centerpiece of your meal? Add peas, sweet potatoes, and cornbread stuffing if you want to go for a full replica of the first TV dinner.
4. Make it special
If turkey and stuffing isn't your thing, no worries! Just order up whatever TV dinner makes you feel like a million bucks. To make it fun, pair your meal to your favorite show. Just remember that when you're eating in front of the TV, it's a little difficult to slice up a steak or whole chicken, so think about foods that require just one utensil (or no utensils).
5. Serve it in style
These days, most frozen dinners come in microwavable plastic trays, but the first TV dinner came in an aluminum tray with compartments for each dish. To replicate that old school experience, transfer your meal to reusable plates with multiple compartments—they come in paper, plastic, and metal and are great whenever you don't want your foods to touch, not just for TV watching.
If all this nostalgia has your tummy rumbling, then head to the Uber Eats app to have your favorite meal delivered.