Skip to comments.This Is What People Ate When They Had No Money During The Depression
Posted on 11/18/2011 7:47:54 PM PST by blam
This Is What People Ate When They Had No Money During The Depression
Nov. 18, 2011, 12:25 PM
Image: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA-OWI Collection
If you've ever visited anyone's house for dinner and a big, sloppy "secret family recipe" dish is flopped down in front of you, chances are high that the messy goodness could have originated from the Depression era.
Families were taught to creatively stretch out their food budgets and toast, potatoes and flour seem to be the popular, inexpensive ingredients. Expensive meat was typically eaten only once a week.
Some foods were invented during the Depression, such as spam, Ritz crackers, Krispy Kreme doughnuts and Kraft macaroni and cheese, according to livinghistoryfarm.org.
We've compiled some simple, easy recipes from 90-something Clara who shares her childhood dining memories during hard times. They may help you save money during our own Recession.
Click here to see what people ate>
(Excerpt) Read more at businessinsider.com ...
My dads family could afford anything as fancy as a freezer when he was a kid in the depression. They would often send him to buy a block of ice which would be half as big by the time he got it home. This was put into the “ice box” to keep food cool.
My grandfather survived the depression and WWII as a farmer. His credo was “chickens, chickens, chickens”. As long as you have chickens you will eat and survive. Chickens were easy to cultivate, just toss them some hard corn and they will be there for Sunday dinner, was a standard saying for him.
My Mother came from a family of 12 children. They lived on a large (over a thousand acres) farm. They hardly suffered at all from the depression. Also the children were considered a blessing for more reason than one. They were all farm hands or helped their Mother.
My Father’s family had to worse. Granddaddy was a school principal and was sometimes paid in script which most stores would discount. They still were better off than most.
I had a cousin once removed who died from appendicitis because the local hospitals would not take her in as her family had no money. Her Father was injured in a lumbering accident and was crippled. Their kin was pretty much able to keep them in food as they all had farms but money was hard to come by. Finally Baptist Hospital in Pensacola agreed to take her but she died on the way.
Obviously these kids have been subjected to Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” program ....their palates have also been adjusted and they’ve lost a ton of weight!
There are a lot of “weed” plants that are edible and actually brighten up a salad.
Then there are foods one can find in the woods: Pine nuts off pinyon pines in the west, wild mushrooms (you MUST know what you’re doing if you seek these out), as well as all manner of pests that can be poached. No one will miss squirrels, for example. Squirrels are nothing but rats with a good PR department.
Rabbits are often in abundance for people who know where to look.
Down south now, they have this wee beastie called a “nutria.” Matter of fact, there are places down south where I don’t think a man could starve unless he’s lazy or stump stupid. Louisiana is one of those places. Fish and game abound in that state, and with only modest effort (compared to other regions of the country), you could be eating your fill every day without a job.
Of course, city slickers like the OWS crowd, are simply too wussified to know how to live off the land.
“I know from my grandparents that they ate lard on bread rather than butter because lard was very cheap.”
Chicken fat on bread and deep fried chicken skin. My father called it grivinas(sp). Like pork rinds for Jews.
Paleo/primal diet is great. Basically eating healthy food :-).
Cabbage and Kale are good. Onions, either starts bought as early in the season as possible, or seed starts. Dandelions. Beets can be started, depending on the soil, you may or may not get actual beet tubers, but if you start them early you can get tons of beet greens, which are excellent in salads.
Potatoes of course. Various spinach types.
I shoot for things that can start early in the cool weather here in the Pacific Northwest, but won’t take off crazy and bolt as soon as it warms up.
I musta harvested 10,000 lettuce seeds this year! Literally!!
I didn’t know that Ritz crackers were new then. My mother’s main story about the depression involved Ritz crackers.
My mother was one of 10 children and she was very lucky because her best friend’s widowed mother had a small pension and made sure that my mother had lunch every day and often that was her only meal.
One day she came home from school and her mother was crying because their youngest sister hadn’t had anything to eat all day. My mother went to the corner grocery store whose owners were so good to her family and stole a box of Ritz crackers. It haunted her all her life and she was still very ambivalent about it because her sister needed food but she stole from someone who had treated she and her family well.
We used to spend every other summer in her home town and the corner store was still there and we spent a lot of money in that store. She did tell them what she did and she tried to make amends and they said that they knew what she’d done and understood.
Corn bread crumbled into a glass, then covered in milk. One of my favorite snacks until I figured out how many calories was in that. Cornbread was white, no sugar or eggs. To this day I cannot abide yellow corn bread with eggs and sugar. That’s a muffin, not corn bread.
For all FReepers: Read Reminisce magazine. They have a whole section devoted to what people ate in the “good old days”. One man wrote about how he took lard sandwiches to school during the Depression. He was so ashamed because he could never “trade” lunch with the other kids, lest they find out how poor he was.
My husband’s family called those egg and toast sandwiches “egg in a hat.”
Mustard sandwiches, yes I’ve done that too, still do. I did mayo sandwiches when it was available.
Gravy & Bread anyone?? Yes, as the main course.
Anyone try peanut butter & syrup sandwiches?
My mother made that from time to time. She also made the ground beef and onion version of it.
We did exactly the same with fried corn bread and milk. Sometimes with buttermilk too.
I found these pictures on Shorpy.com - there’s a whole section on the Great Depression which was acerbated by the Left’s hero FDR. The economy was just coming out of it by 1935 and his mandates in 1936 put them into a double depression. Higher income people were paying out 75% their income in federal taxes. What FDR did was a crime against humanity of Americans.