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 ...
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Krispy kremes? Yum!
I wish I had recorded all of my dad’s stories about growing up in the depression/WW2 era. The whole family picked cotton during some points.
No! Get your fish fresh. Sure, it might cost about $7 a pound but worth it. Set oven for 350 degrees, pour some olive oil on the bottom of a baking dish and then toss in the fish. Top with a few spices and drizzle more olive oil on top. Then bake for exactly 21 minutes. Remove from oven and begin to eat.
Remember when the Hudson river used to be clean? That is a huge amount of water right there. Ever travel over the Tappan Zee or the George Washington bridge? You are driving at least a mile and a half just to get across the river. A lot of water and a lot of fish.
Fish and olive oil. Very good for you.
Creamed chipped beef......or as we called it.....sh*t on a shingle.
The sad looking fish on the sign is funny.
During the worst of it, my father’s family ate cucumbers, mustard sandwiches, and hot milk and rice gruel. My mother’s family was better off because they ate cracked eggs that they couldn’t sell.
Lordy that picture is cute.
Here in the Florida panhandle, several animals were just about made extinct. Deer, Wild Turkey, Gopher Tortoise (Hoover Chicken), even alligators.
All of them except the Gopher have made spectacular comebacks and even the Gopher is not really in danger.
Then, it's not only good for you, it's edible.
Well, they figured out how to do stuff with nothing, and she continued the tradition so I got to learn about these dishes.
Several years back a lady at the office who worked with charitable groups in some of the bad spots in DC needed some recipes.
She asked me for some help ~ I think the Lord led her to me because I whipped up a couple of dozen.
One was for folks with one pot. One large potato. Water. Salt and maybe pepper. They could use cheap hamburger. You cut it all up. Cooked the potato. Crumbled in the hamburger.
The charitable group (a multi-denominational rescue operation for the poorest of the poor) got donors, they got the stuff, they had well over 100 children do just that dish.
I was humbled by the response and in awe of my grandmother who turned that into Sunday dinner every week.
I’m already planning for the coming season...
This year, I grew New Zealand spinach. Took a while for it to get started, but once it got going, it was pretty prolific. I harvested lots of spinach and lots of seeds...
I recently ordered and got golden purslane seeds. Also, a type of what’s called “purple spinach”. Will try to get them started as soon as it warms up a bit.
All three of these plants are fundamentally what would be called “weeds” by most folks, but edible weeds, and highly nutritious.
Of course I have tons of cabbage seeds, broccoli seeds, onions and dried peas from this year...
I was thinking of that too. haha. I know that came from that era!!
I know from my grandparents that they ate lard on bread rather than butter because lard was very cheap.
My Mother also ate these with her 10 person family. When we were younger, she wanted our family to sorta experience what they did so that we appreciated what we ate. BIG PROBLEM THOUGH......We loved them. lol.
Bacon grease sandwiches. My grandmother got sent out to work and live with another farm couple because her folks couldn’t feed all the kids. The woman she worked for would inspect her potato peelings to make sure none of them would snap or she would get in trouble for wasting potatos.
My grandmother made sugar sandwiches for the unemployed men who came to the door in Omaha.
We all had hot dogs and baked beans every Saturday night.
Some of my family remember eating road kill because they didn’t want to waste the meat. Nearly every culture has food that to others seems disgusting. I imagine that most of that type of food, when traced back, comes from a period of near famine.
During the Obama Depression, you just take you EBT card to the store and load up on junk food,
Another reason to pimp my tagline!
Do you know what can grow and be eaten without a lot of sunshine? I have big trees on my property and the spots that get sunlight get it only for 5 to 6 hours. I really like them but growing food has been a problem.
but I digress
I'm on a primal/paleo/whatever diet and eat a ton of eggs and apples. I eat a lot of other stuff, too, but eggs and apples work great for me, are healthy, and are dirt cheap. I'm over 40, and carry absolutely zero extra weight.
My wife is Korean and often will make a simple soup like seaweed, kimchi, or radish and will have it with brown rice. Very healthy and super inexpensive.
Excellent! I grew up the youngest of a very large family. It sounds exactly like a dish my mom made us at least a couple times a month. Honesty? I liked it :-). Salt and pepper come in handy and the grease was great on those potatoes. Simple stuff when one doesn’t have much and they are HUN-GRYY! :-). Bless you for giving these families recipes to build strong children and parents.
We still have what is called chipped beef on toast around the kids. The Army version wasn’t near as good.
Clara sure uses a lot of cooking oil. Was it not rationed during the depression? I know sugar and some other things was.
Not the Depression. World War II.
stir-frying potatoes and hot dogs we still do to this day because its cheap;
Dandelions were originally brought to the new world as a food crop.
Ridiculously easy to grow, a perennial that will come back year after year and the bigger it gets, the higher the yield...
Mrs. LaybackLenny looks at me like I'm from another planet. LOL!
I was trimming up some vegetables for dinner one night as my grandson watched. I pointed out to him that everything I was putting in the mulch container was edible.
My dad used to put big slices of onion between a couple pieces of bread. He’d eat the whole thing.
That brings back an old memory. I remember my grandmother
telling me pretty much the same thing. She used to put some
cinnimon or other spice on it and butter.
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!!