When this ad came out, America was about to enter the age of convenience foods. Everything modern was glorified, including food. Home-cooked meals made from scratch went out of fashion.
In 1950s suburbia, Americans preferred their food canned, boxed, frozen or reconstituted. Not only did they prefer convenience foods, they were convinced that processed food was better for you.
There's a great book on the subject, very cleverly written and full of fun photos, that I highly recommend: Better Than Homemade by Carolyn Wyman.
Dude Ranch Beans
Recipe from 1950 A&P advertising
2 cans baked beans, any style
1/2 lb. franks cut in 1" cubes
1 tbsp. prepared mustard
5 small cooked onions
10 slices dill pickles
2 tomatoes cut into wedges
olive oil or cooking oil
Place beans in shallow baking dish. Spread frank cuts with mustard. Arrange with onions, pickles and tomato slices on five skewers. Brush with oil, place on beans. Bake in hot oven (400˚F) 30 minutes or arrange on broiler pan and broil until hot and lightly browned.
PS If you're using bamboo skewers, don't forget to soak them in water for about 30 minutes before threading them with food.
Ranch House Salad: Crisp salad greens, small cubes of American cheese, chopped chives, thin strips of ham, tongue or chicken; just before serving toss together with French salad dressing.
Everyone's favorite 1950s housewife is Lucy Ricardo, though I think this still is from the movie The Long, Long Trailer. In it, Lucille Ball and then real-life husband Desi Arnaz are newlyweds who decide to spend a year traveling the country in a mobile home. As expected, hilarity ensues. It's a cute movie.
Recipe via Leif Peng
Image via The Nifty Fifties