Well, that's true, necessity probably was a cause in cooking anyway, probably to get a good taste they did this, when as you say today, a stuffing, say, can be pulled from a box (even though not half as good as homemade). Also, people would have to make do often with less expensive cuts which required longer and more imaginative cooking than say a chop.
Take something like devilled sandwiches, who makes that today? It requires chicken or other meats finely minced with flavourings and spices, takes time to prepare, but it was done to get a good taste. Burgoo same, many ingredients, long cooking.
Maybe all home cooking really falls into this category and that is the change mentioned, that people don't cook in the same way at home anymore, just too much time and trouble.
As for drinks, what happened to the old punches..? All disappeared mostly. Some egg nog tradition survives because of Christmas. But the old punches, cups, flips, most cocktails except the simplest kinds, all seemingly in the past.