About gDonna
The photo is my son and myself. Now days you can get a photo made to look old like this one. This photo was taken when this was the new look.

Harry S Truman was president when I was born and world war II had ended. I grew up in a time when lunch was put in a brown paper bag and a sandwich was wrapped with wax paper. There was no such thing as pantyhose, we wore stockings that attached to the rubbery clippy things that attached to the girdle. Convenience stores were not common and when we took a trip we packed a picnic basket because many places did not have fast food. Highways had places to pull over and stop, some with picnic tables. Read more ....
 

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Comments On Article: Fill The Belly And The What To Put In The Tin.

1,602 posts (admin)
Fri Jan 13, 23 6:29 AM CST

If you would like to share your comments for article Fill the belly and the what to put in the tin., this is where to do it! 

Click the Reply To This Topic button below to post yours.

L
11 posts
Fri Jan 13, 23 6:51 AM CST

Hi

I add vegetables to mince pork/turkey/beef (whatever is cheapest). Grated carrots, grated courgette (zucchini) peas and so on. I can make a lb of mince last 6-8 meals for one person and I suppose 4 meals for 2. Generally I split the meat into two and freeze one. There is a limit to how many similar meals I want to eat. If times are hard I put plain scones (? biscuits) on top of the meat in a dish and bake it altogether. That makes the meat go even further. I also make rice dishes where there is almost no meat (chicken)  which is added as a flavouring. That tastes better if made with stock. 

Another cheap meal is vegetable stew with dumplings. Again a meal and a filler. 

H
5 posts
Fri Jan 13, 23 7:07 AM CST

I finally learned at age 60 how to make chicken soup from a chicken carcass ;).  I can blame having a busy career for my lack of cooking interest…Now I buy a Costco baked chicken, take off the two chicken breasts (makes four meals since they are so big), then put the carcass in water in the crockpot overnight…turning it into a huge pot of soup the next day.  That pot of soup makes another eight meals, which I freeze in two meal portions so I am not faced with eating soup every day.  Amazing it took me until age 60 to figure this out ;).   Overall cost is $6-7 for 12 meals!    Your comment about knowing the cost of each meal is very important as well.  I remember Brandy at the Prudent Homemaker making a similar comment, understanding the cost of a meal helps focus you on reducing that cost, or at least spreading out expensive meals with less costly ones.

H
3 posts
Fri Jan 13, 23 7:59 AM CST

When I cook a larger cut of meat, example, Christmas,  a small bone in ham. Roasted ham for dinner,  extra meat off the bone, the  bone went into the lentil soup for flavour. The bits stuck to the bone became the meat in the soup. Other left over slices put into containers with left over mashed potatoes & vegetables as ready meals for the next week. Trimmings cut off the bone before it went for soup were in a container to use up in egg scrambles, on bread as a sandwich or on a salad.  That ham that cost $17 (4.99/lb) provided over 15 meals. There were the cost of the other items  in the meals but we used that one ham for over a week. Do the same with rotisserie chicken. If we plan it right we can get 8 to 10 meals from one bird... plus soup at the end. Like Grandma Donna said in her blog, you can eat the same things over and over. It is better for your budget because it allows you to plan. A different meal with a different meat every day can become expensive and wasteful. 

Edited Fri Jan 13, 23 8:00 AM by Heike L
K
36 posts
Fri Jan 13, 23 12:24 PM CST

Fishing... you need a license to fish lakes and rivers in NZ. There are 10 different types and whether you're a resident, non resident, a child!!, the area you want to fish,limits and so on. Average cost $145 NZ resident. 

Lately there have been stories here of trawlers Fishing close to the shoreline which means recreational sea fishers don't get the same opportunities.  For us the cost of fuel to get to a beach now makes it prohibitive HOWEVER all is not negative and when the Hoki is in season it is cheap and you can freeze it.

Last week Snapper was $54 kilo so no way.  I buy canned smoked fish and we can get 2-3 meals from 1 can.

I have 2 GD books here where people were so desperate they canned the weeds from their backyards.

Many had chickens and didn't buy the chicken feed like we have today. They free ranged in the yard and were fed chicken scraps.

This topic is vast and I look forward to what others will share.  To make the budget stretch you can soup most things and rolled oats is a good breakfast but also can be added to ground meat dishes.  Zucchini can be grated and frozen.  When you defrost squeeze the liquid out of it.


S
80 posts
Fri Jan 13, 23 1:35 PM CST

Cacio e pepe is our cheap and filling meal. It's spaghetti. You put some olive oil and pepper in a pan, and you can toast the pepper in the oil if you want it spicy, but take it off the heat so the pan cools a little. Add some of the water you cooked spaghetti in (salt your water when you cook your spaghetti) and some grated Parm or Romano and whisk it together until you have a small amount of sauce, a few tablespoons or so depending on how much spaghetti you cooked. If your pan is too hot, your cheese will clump and you don't want that. Stir in your spaghetti and more pasta water if you need it. That's it! The lazy way is to drain your spaghetti, put it in a pan, add oil, pepper, cheese and pasta water, mix it together and hope for the best. :) 

When I make mashed potatoes, I save the cooking water for my bread dough. 

K
36 posts
Fri Jan 13, 23 1:58 PM CST

In The Waltons series they often had pie on the Supper table. Most did not want to eat rhubarb pie hahaha

T
1 posts
Fri Jan 13, 23 2:40 PM CST

Hello everyone,

I am Tami.  I made four meals out

of my roasted chicken. the chicken pieces minus a chicken breast

for the first, a casserole with the breast, soup with the bones 

and drippings, then chicken pot pie when our soup got to  its low

point. I hope this is helpful.

Tami

13 posts
Fri Jan 13, 23 4:20 PM CST

I loved this post, Donna!  You reminded me of my childhood, when the men in my family went hunting, trapping, and fishing. We always had some kind of meat as a result, whether it was rabbit, squirrel, or pheasant. (I remember having squirrel stew once and found some buckshot in my bowl!)  We always had a mess of fish in the freezer. During hunting season, hunters were allowed to kill one deer, and then that was divided up among the family. My mom could make any number of dishes from these animals. We raised chickens and geese and my aunt raised turkeys; we always had big gardens and fruit trees.  We also picked dandelions and ate the leaves, and my dad used the flowers to make dandelion wine.  

I have none of these things in my life right now, so I get very imaginative with what I do have.  Yesterday I processed a big pumpkin and all the liquid that remained was used as a broth; I emptied out a bag of parings, peelings, and leaves and such I save when I chop vegetables and keep in the freezer and added that to the broth, along with the vegetables in the fridge that needed to be used, as well as a remaining sausage I chopped up.  Pumpkin broth soup!  Half will go into the freezer and the rest I'll eat over the weekend with some cornbread I'll make. I love "scrounging" and putting together simple but tasty meals like this.  

This was a truly inspiring post!  Thank you so much!

a
3 posts
Fri Jan 13, 23 6:21 PM CST

I live on my own, so I get several meals out of what I make.  I love fettuccine with lemon juice, fresh garlic, parmesan cheese, and softened cherry tomatoes.  It's cheap and delicious.  I make enchiladas or fajitas with the leftover roast chicken.  The broth is delicious as a warm drink, or used in Mexican rice.  I make several baked potatoes at once to save on energy.  I love anything with potatoes.  They are cheap, too.

B
1 posts
Fri Jan 13, 23 11:06 PM CST

I think looking at the various possibilities of an ingredient rather than eating it as a single item certainly helps stretch food. I have a handful of M & M's I'm saving for when I make cookies. I'll decorate the tops with them and that way everyone gets a little bit of chocolate instead of one person just eating the whole handful. 

My big cooking meal each week is Sunday dinner when the family comes over. 

Before our Sunday meal I put out snacks/appetizers while everyone waits for the meal to be ready. Everyone's hungry coming from church but I'm careful what I put out. It's always something that didn't cost much but is satisfying. For example, I make my own salsa either from my own tomatoes or a can of diced tomatoes.  I bake my own tortilla chips from a package of 12 corn tortilla rounds I buy for 50 cents. That makes a lot of chips!  If I put out cheese I don't put the whole block out. I'll cut some up in small pieces and serve with crackers but then I'll have cut up apples or some other produce to fill them. Otherwise, they'd make a meal off the cheese and it's too expensive! Sometimes I put out homemade bread & jam. Anything I put out I consider part of the meal. If I put out bread & jam then I don't put out more bread or rolls with the meal. This takes the edge off their hunger and they're less likely to overdo at the meal. 

I often impose a subtle portion control by only putting out so many servings of something like my cheese example.  No one ever leaves hungry though. (I might only bring out one serving for each person in the bowl or platter to the dining room. If the person truly wants another serving they're welcome to go to the kitchen and have more.) Also, I find if folks know there's dessert coming they probably won't take the lone piece of meat left on the platter. 

If anyone lingers long enough to need a snack later it's often the leftover snack/appetizers from earlier.

I brew tea for the beverage and have water available.  

If I wasn't careful this meal would cost more than all my meals for the week!


S
6 posts
Sat Jan 14, 23 1:48 AM CST

Great post Donna - I will call it an article rather than a post!

I hadn’t heard of corn dodgers before - similar to firm polenta only with an egg from what I have read online. So much inspiration from you and others replying to your article.

I always budget for my groceries. I then compose a list as I go when I have used things up or am running low. The night before I put down the meals I will make, starting with any leftovers or what needs eating in the freezer. I make sure that I have enough for 2 weeks until the next shop. Then I price all items based on my estimate which is usually pretty accurate - compare total to budget and adjust accordingly. With preserved tomatoes, flour and eggs, and what’s in the fridge I can always make pasta, or pizza etc.

I always buy my meat at a wholesale butchers because the meat is local, they are cheaper overall, there are always a few specials if I need something cheap and they have real butchers there who can, and will, cut and prepare anything to my liking. You can even get lamb shoulder which is hard to find in supermarkets here.

I always buy whole chickens on the day of delivery to the butcher (Tuesday). I joint the chicken myself and use the pieces for different meals. For example I will use one breast and tenderloin for schnitzel or stir fry or pasta or to add to a soup, and the other my husband will use to make enchiladas! Then I will use the thighs, drumsticks and wings either marinated, baked and served with fried rice, or with vegetables as a tray bake - 2 meals for the 2 of us out of those pieces. Sometimes I will use the leg and wing meat for a chicken pie. If a new recipe call for just thighs, well it gets made with thighs, legs and wings!

The carcass (or frame) plus the wing tips, and neck if included by the butcher, goes into the stock pot with an onion, older carrots, trimmings from celery or other greens plus herbs and seasoning. I always have stock in my fridge and reduced stock in the freezer.

Any cooked meat left on the frame after making stock goes into soup or pie or enchiladas - never thrown out.

I water bath preserve fruits, jams and pickles etc, and lots of tomatoes, but am looking forward to buying a pressure canner for those non-acidic foods like meat, fish and stock.


K
27 posts
Sat Jan 14, 23 5:02 AM CST

So much good information - I love to read what others do and incorporate what I can into our lives. With the price of groceries so unpredictable (and high), I have opted to cut back on our meat purchases. We always ate several non meat meals per week and I've maintained that. On the meat days, I use half the amount I normally would and make up the volume with vegetables and grains. Last night I made stuffed peppers. Green peppers were on sale and I had a pint sized jar of meat sauce that I had canned last fall. Quinoa was added to that as well as a few more seasonings. The quinoa added a nice source of additional protein and the meal was quite filling. We topped it off with 1/2 roll each and some cranberries canned in 2021 (odd combo, I know but they had passed a year mark). I love the idea of buying a whole chicken instead of the parts and will start doing that. Eggs will need to take a back seat in our diet as the price has skyrocketed. I have toyed, however, with the idea of backyard chickens...

D
1 posts
Sat Jan 14, 23 5:52 AM CST

As always your posts are so interesting and inspiring. Some of my favorite frugal memories are stickies from leftover biscuit dough , fried leftover biscuits, rice pudding from extra rice and potato cakes or reheated mashed potatoes topped with cheese. 

E
7 posts
Sat Jan 14, 23 4:03 PM CST

This post made me smile when I read it last night Donna and I agree we are eating so many different foods that quite possibly we don't need to, not really. There is something to be said for simple and seasonal food. Children often enjoy a simple diet too which is an added bonus!

Yesterday we had hot scones(biscuits) with butter and honey, I made bread, and oatmeal biscuits (cookies) and we had shepherd's pie with kangaroo mince(cheaper than any other mince)  and bulked it out with lots of veggies. It was topped with a mix of potato and sweet potato mash as sweet potato is significantly cheaper here at the moment. I could have stretched the meal further by giving the kids a slab of warm bread with their meal, but the mince was near date so needed to be used up.

Today we are going fishing and swimming and will take the bread, along with butter and honey and oatmeal biscuits for a simple picnic. One of the hardest parts of budgeting for our family is that I am coeliac and can't eat barley, rye, oat and wheat or any food that may have been contaminated by them during the manufacturing process. So I cook meals I can eat but it is significantly cheaper to bake in bulk using 'normal' flours etc, so I keep my food separate. Cooking meals is simple enough to do gluten-free, however.  I can easily sub flour with corn flour for thickening and frying, rice and potatoes make for good carbs and I just cook my own special pasta separately if necessary as it is significantly more expensive to buy.

Hunting is tricky where we are, most of the animals available to hunt are native (like kangaroo and wallaby) and we can't really shoot them without a licence. Deer are becoming an increasingly common pest here, but they are not on our property as of yet. We like to fish, but are not great at actually catching fish! LOL! We will eat our boer goat bucks and we do eat our roosters. This year we will be adding a couple of dairy goats to the homestead. We don't have the freezer space due to not having a big enough solar system as of yet to process a steer, so they will be sold before winter.  


xx




K
36 posts
Sat Jan 14, 23 5:00 PM CST

Has anyone else noticed how lunches for children have really changed?

When I went to primary school 1965 to 1972 my lunches had 2 pieces of bread with EITHER jam , marmite, peanut butter, cheese as a treat.  There would be a bottle of cordial or you drank water from the water fountain,  a piece of fruit , 1  homemade biscuit and sometimes a packet of raisins. 


Now it's ham sandwiches every day,  packets of whatever like chips,  muesli bars, packets of juice, or manufactured tiny biscuits and the list goes on.


Breakfast was porridge or weetbix or toast. 

Every Saturday in Winter mum made a pot of vegetable soup that we had for both lunches in the weekend either with bread or scones.

I feel for parents today as many haven't been taught how to cook and bake.

I wonder if scones (biscuits) were made most days as they used less flour to make than bread and you could have them on the table in 20 minutes.

G
155 posts (admin)
Sat Jan 14, 23 6:07 PM CST

Grandma Donna wrote, hi everyone, I have been reading along all of your comments and I enjoy so much reading your thoughts, ideas, questions and stories. Each of you have so much to contribute to this forum and I thank you for that because this is how we can all make a difference.  

I feel we are painting a picture of what it looked like during the great depression as we are figuring out the importance of understanding about this era.  

I was thinking how it takes years for some of us to recognize that we should have been watching our budget and learning skills such as how to feed our family when money is tight. Some people go right through life never stopping to take count until something happens such as a job loss or large medical expense and even worse get to retirement age with no money.  But wherever we are we can start this very moment. 

 Grandma Donna

S
6 posts
Sat Jan 14, 23 6:08 PM CST
Kathryn P wrote:

So much good information - I love to read what others do and incorporate what I can into our lives. With the price of groceries so unpredictable (and high), I have opted to cut back on our meat purchases. We always ate several non meat meals per week and I've maintained that. On the meat days, I use half the amount I normally would and make up the volume with vegetables and grains. Last night I made stuffed peppers. Green peppers were on sale and I had a pint sized jar of meat sauce that I had canned last fall. Quinoa was added to that as well as a few more seasonings. The quinoa added a nice source of additional protein and the meal was quite filling. We topped it off with 1/2 roll each and some cranberries canned in 2021 (odd combo, I know but they had passed a year mark). I love the idea of buying a whole chicken instead of the parts and will start doing that. Eggs will need to take a back seat in our diet as the price has skyrocketed. I have toyed, however, with the idea of backyard chickens...

We started keeping chickens for eggs about 8 years ago and would never be without them now. They are easy to care for, often great fun, and the best eggs I have ever eaten.

The lady who runs our local fodder store breeds very good ISA browns and white leghorn x ISA and sells when the approaching point of lay. They are great layers and also robust birds. They are so cheap buying this way that I don’t think I will bother with either breeding or hatching eggs, but I know people who do both. So I just keep 2-3 hens and no roosters.

Try it Kathryn - you won’t look back.

S
80 posts
Sat Jan 14, 23 6:45 PM CST

Grandma Donna I am so glad you're feeling better, well enough to comment. I was worried about you!

Edited Sat Jan 14, 23 6:45 PM by Stephanie G
K
36 posts
Sat Jan 14, 23 7:20 PM CST

Question 

It is common to buy feed pellets and mash to feed chickens now but even those are rising in price so what do you think people fed their hens in thr 1930s??

I made ours porridge this morning and gave them kitchen scraps. They have grass and fresh water each day too

K
56 posts
Sat Jan 14, 23 7:44 PM CST

I think knowing or learning how to cook and bake from scratch is key to feeding family nutritious food on a budget, regardless of dietary needs or choices.  I have cooked from scratch during years of vegetarianism, veganism, and totally gluten free years.  I've cooked from scratch during paleo challenges.  I can usually work with any food allergies or intolerances.  Most of all, I've learned how to cook and bake from scratch on a budget.

There are many foods I never buy, such as cartons/cans of broth or stock. Tonight I'm making a soup with ham stock I cooked using the bone from our New Year's ham plus scrap vegetables.  The soup will have tortelloni because I defrosted it but we ended up having a busy day and had sandwiches instead of the pasta. Once we finish the frozen filled pastas in the freezer we are going to learn to make them.  The soup also has carrots and zucchini, as one of the zucchini in the fridge looked like it needed to be eaten ASAP.  Of course it has chopped up ham leftover from the when I made it on New Year's day.

For my 1930s study, we aren't buying meat.  I will use what we have frozen, and stretch it with the hopes that we make it through 2023 with what we have.  If that doesn't happen I will shop for specials and stretch the meat to feed my family (they aren't doing the study and as such I won't make them go without completely).

I've long considered rice a great filler to feed my children.  One of them has celiac disease and can't fill up on bread and other wheat products.  My children eat their rice with olive oil, and my youngest has learned to make fried rice.  My husband and I, along with my oldest, do fill up on homemade bread, homebred muffins, and other grain based foods.

I also think that knowing how to cook and bake from scratch elevates the level of the food so that eating more simply isn't even noticed all that much.  Soups are delicious when begun with homemade broth, and the fact that they are served weekly or more often is celebrated rather than dreaded.  I cook from a limited number of vegetables, both for economic and dietary reasons.  If all I knew how to do with broccoli was steam it, we might tire of it easy, but it can also be sautéed or roasted, or combined with other vegetables, cooked into casserole or soup, slipped into a quiche, and more.  When we have sandwiches we enjoy them greatly for being made with home baked bread; a simple grilled cheese sandwich is lovely made on homemade sourdough, and avocado on homemade whole wheat bread is one of my favorites.

I would add that I didn't grow up with cooking from scratch or even baking from anything other than a mix.  While I was introduced to the stove very young, it was making things like Hamburger Helper, boxed macaroni and cheese, TV dinners, canned soup, etc.  We ate sliced bread from the grocery store, packaged cookies, and vegetables from cans (we did not eat fresh vegetables).  I learned everything about cooking from scratch on my own, and since I was vegetarian from age 19 - 30 and then a pescatarian until I was nearly 40, I only learned to cook meat a little over a decade ago.  I feel like I'm proof that anyone can learn to cook from scratch and to bake bread and other baked goods. And every year I learn more!

Where I live we are not permittee to keep chickens, despite much lobbying from the citizens of our city.  Only residents in residential agricultural districts may keep chicken or any fowl, and they must live on at least 1 acre to do so.  I know people who go against the rules, but our lot is small and we don't want to make enemies of our neighbors.

K
30 posts
Sat Jan 14, 23 8:01 PM CST

I really need to start planning food a bit better. I find the biggest problem is low energy levels which often leads to me buying something easy like frozen pizza or ready meals. I need to start making soups more often too I think. 

Also what are biscuits?? Here in the U.K. biscuits are sweet like cookies. Chocolate biscuits, vanilla wafers, oat biscuits etc. I’ve never really understood what American biscuits are. 

K
36 posts
Sat Jan 14, 23 8:16 PM CST

Kasia... biscuits in the USA are what we in NZ and other countries call scones.


What we call biscuits people in America call them cookies.

Hope this clears it up for you

L
12 posts
Sat Jan 14, 23 9:42 PM CST

You said something so poignant!  "A Food Preparation Routine."  That is something you don't hear everyday and boy howdy it should be heard :-)  It sure throws me off if we travel or have an event to attend - especially last minute.   What we have for supper, we also have for our lunch the next day.  If we eat out for supper then we don't have lunch the next day unless I've planned ahead.  We don't eat out very often so it's not usually a problem, but things do come up here and there and that FPR is important.

Also, it's only Hubby and I now.  I know when the kids left home, I had to adjust my cooking and over the last couple years (dare I say, as we've aged) I find we don't eat as much as we used to so I've again had to adjust so I don't end up with a ton of leftovers. 

I am with the others in that I'm glad to hear you are feeling better.  I too have had a cold and am finally caught up reading your posts :-)  Have a great day.

R
10 posts
Sat Jan 14, 23 11:00 PM CST

Ladies, Donna went back to bed after she posted here. She'll probably be absent for another day or two.

There's such wonderful information being shared here. Focusing on the study and Grandma Donna's posts shows us various ways to put food on the table for minimal cost. You'll save money if you stop wasting food too and planning meals ahead of time is another skill to add to your 1930s research.

K
27 posts
Mon Jan 16, 23 5:12 AM CST
Sharon H -

Thank you for sharing your experience with the hens. We are strongly considering this!

K
5 posts
Mon Jan 16, 23 5:46 PM CST
Karen S wrote:

Question 

It is common to buy feed pellets and mash to feed chickens now but even those are rising in price so what do you think people fed their hens in thr 1930s??

I made ours porridge this morning and gave them kitchen scraps. They have grass and fresh water each day too

I have raised chickens for 7 or 8 and I think that I am going to slow on the layer feed..way too expensive..I feed them whole corn, black sunflower seeds,oats (stocked up on all these 3)  someone gave me a case of lintels and I soak( 1/2 a cup or so) them over night and put them in a Mason jar with a cloth over the jar...keep them wet by rinsing and draining them every day until they sprout...chickens love them... think protein, protein, protein....oh and scraps veg, fruit.

Just no greasy fatty foods..like chunks of fat off a steak. Feed.that to the cats ? 

Edited Mon Jan 16, 23 5:49 PM by Kathleen W
K
5 posts
Mon Jan 16, 23 5:55 PM CST
Kasia A wrote:

I really need to start planning food a bit better. I find the biggest problem is low energy levels which often leads to me buying something easy like frozen pizza or ready meals. I need to start making soups more often too I think. 

Also what are biscuits?? Here in the U.K. biscuits are sweet like cookies. Chocolate biscuits, vanilla wafers, oat biscuits etc. I’ve never really understood what American biscuits are. 

Almost same as a scone.. ? 

D
2 posts
Mon Jan 16, 23 8:20 PM CST

Another thing about stretching your money for food is being aware of the expiration of foods you have.  This is a topic for each individual to research for themselves I think to make sure you know the whys and how’s and are comfortable with your knowledge.  Particularly in the case of commercially canned foods many are still good to eat years past the “expiration” dates.  There have been government studies done on this topic.  I remember awhile back a couple ladies tried to “help” their sick friend by cleaning out her pantry.  Without knowing they actually threw away a large amount of very good safe food.  The poor lady was so sad about that.  As with anything in our kitchens, knowledge is always key.  I think it is helpful to gain knowledge from vegetarian websites on what foods to combine to make complete proteins without using meat.    Donna, my Mom wrote her remembrances of the Depression for our kids when we were homeschooling.  She noted that biscuits were ever present and that although her family (there were 7 children) were extremely poor, they were very thankful to live in the country because they ate bette than some living in cities.   Her parents were sharecroppers.  The owner of the land allowed them to raise some cattle along with his herd.  They had chickens and I imagine a pig or two as well.  They had a large garden.  And the kids were always on the lookout for wild things to eat.  They had plenty of wild pecan and plum trees around.  Those along with blackberries, dewberries, and persimmons helped fill little bellies.  I know she mentioned eating poke weed, and I think possibly dandelions.   I remember years ago a woman telling me she had been concerned that her picky eater son wasn’t getting all the nutrients he needed.  She was working hard on that.  The doctor told her to stop worrying…..that she should look at what he consumed over several days time, not just a single day.  I’m thinking just maybe that kind of thinking helped the folks get through the Depression shortages.


C
1 posts
Mon Jan 16, 23 10:15 PM CST

I grew up in the 1970s in the country, in Arkansas, very poor but not knowing it. My family had 5 kids. My Dad would set rabbit traps all over the fields and we would eat wild rabbit sausage and stew. He hunted squirrels and we had squirrel stew with dumplings. We kids would catch crawdads from our pond and ditches. Sometimes my Dad would catch a huge frog and we would have froglegs. We also ate lots of fried potatoes, okra, tomatoes and other garden vegetables, homemade saurkraut. I remember one unusual meal we had was some kind of tomato soup with cornmeal dumplings in it. It was pretty good. 

For breakfast, Mom made lots of pancakes. For syrup, she would boil peach peelings and add sugar and boil until it made a syrup. Sometimes she made apple fritters. Good memories.



This reply was deleted.
G
155 posts (admin)
Wed Jan 18, 23 11:46 AM CST

Grandma Donna wrote, Kathleen W you are right a biscuit here in the United States is very similar to a scone but it is not sweet, it has no sugar. I love to make scones and eat them too. :)  

Hi Dell O, I am so glad that you talked about the expirations, this is very important for everyone to know.  You have such a wonderful treasure that your mother left, oh if all of them would have known to do this.  There were so many more rural families during the great depression and where have the days gone where there was wild plumbs and berries and nut trees, everywhere to pick. My mother could never leave one pecan left on the ground and she could spot a four leaf clover from afar. Thank you for sharing that with us.

Hi Cynthia O, a lot of people today might not understand that kind of eating but during that time and before that time that is the way it was for many people.  I have not eaten frog legs in years but I have eaten them and it tasted like chicken but better to me. My grandparents lived in the Northwest corner of Mississippi and my younger years I lived in Memphis until I was about thirteen and then got shifted to southern Alabama so understanding these threes states long ago, your Dad probably set out a few trotlines too unless he did not like to eat fish. We are losing important skills today and we need to plant more native plants in the area we live no matter where we live. We need to help nature to survive or else things will decline even more.  Thank you for your posts.  

T
6 posts
Wed Jan 18, 23 1:03 PM CST

The videos are still on You Tube but I'd encourage you to buy the cookbook for Clara's Kitchen. She talks about how her family made it through the Depression. The difference is they were Italian and I was surprised that they still bought olive oil and parmesean cheese. 

Hillbilly Kitchen is also on You Tube with some Depression era recipes. 

G
155 posts (admin)
Wed Jan 18, 23 1:16 PM CST

Grandma Donna wrote, Teri P, thank you for this suggestion of Clara's great depression cooking because this comes straight from someone who remembers the great depression.  Clara passed away several years ago and I mourned for her because I had watched every one of her videos. They are still up to watch. Her grandson filmed her when she was in her 90's years of age as she cooked her great depression meals for everyone to learn how they ate through the great depression. 

M
4 posts
Wed Jan 18, 23 4:09 PM CST

Food has changed so much over the last couple of generations. My grandparents ate bread and dripping and a lot of rabbit during the 1930's, which was in plague proportions in Australia at that time. They didn't have fond memories of those years but it did influence how they ate for the rest of their lives. Stews were always served with dumplings on top, with a drizzle of golden syrup if you were lucky. Jams were always made with whatever was to hand, pineapple jam, tomato jam, passionfruit jam. Not a lot of meat was eaten, but fish was plentiful and they always had a freezer of freshly caught fish.

At one of my older aunties houses it was always tomato sandwiches if we called in. Sometimes with ham but sometimes without. They were amazingly delicious on fresh bread with real butter. 

Pikelets and scones also feature heavily in our families when visiting older relatives and I also love to make these items. I always have the ingredients on hand and visitors love them and my family and I do too.

G
155 posts (admin)
Wed Jan 18, 23 4:55 PM CST

Grandma Donna wrote, Michelle K , today is so off balance that great depression times seem oddly soothing right now, I think it is the slowing down, the simplicity of things and getting back to basics.  You have wonderful memories that makes me wish I could have visited them. Our stores do not normally carry the golden syrup here where we live but one has a international section and Charles found a tiny bottle of the golden syrup last year, he was so proud and held it up and said, "we can finally taste it". Oh it is so delicious, we use it sparingly because it is very pricey here.  I had to look up what a Pikelet is, I thought you were saying pickles and scones. So is it like our pancake?  

M
4 posts
Wed Jan 18, 23 5:15 PM CST

Grandma Donna, you are so right. There is something so innately soothing about simpler times and the older I get (I'm 48 now), the more I am drawn to it which is why I very much love and enjoy your studies. A pikelet is kind of like a pancake but smaller. You pick it up to eat it with one hand, and you wait until they cool off to eat them. They are delicious with jam and cream, butter and jam, lemon and sugar and I also like them with Vegemite but that is an Australian thing. :)

I'll give you the recipe so you can see if they are similar to a pancake.

- 1 cup self raising flour

- 1/2 - 3/4 cup of milk

- 1 egg

- 1 tablespoon of sugar

- a pinch of salt

- 1 teaspoon of melted butter

To give you an idea of the size, I would cook four at a time in a greased cast iron frypan, so a tablespoon or two of batter per pikelet.

Golden syrup is a very old-fashioned ingredient these days, but I do still love a drizzle on a savoury stew.

G
155 posts (admin)
Wed Jan 18, 23 6:19 PM CST

Grandma Donna wrote, Michelle K, thank you for sharing your Pikelet recipe with us.  Yes, this is the same as our pancake recipe.  We use all purpose flour with baking powder "or" self rising .  So it would be just adjusting the amount of batter and we would end up with what we call here  "Silver Dollar Pancakes" that are often served with toppings.   I am going to leave this recipe here but copy the recipe to move to our recipe section so others will see it there as well.  I enjoy learning the different names we have for so many things and I am sure others do too. I do enjoy the saying the name Pikelet.  :)

H
4 posts
Thu Jan 19, 23 11:25 PM CST

My mother in law was born in 1940. Her father never borrowed a dime so they rented until she was older and he saved up enough to buy a house. He worked as a grounds keeper at the college, so would have many people give them produce. He grew tomatoes and a small garden where they rented. They only had meat in Sunday. All other meals were vegetables and peas or beans.

* I save the last tbsp of green beans, carrots, corn, peas, and juices in a bag in the freezer. When I make a soup I add this to the soup. I even save Mac and cheese, rice, scalloped potatoes. It all adds depth to a soup. When I open tomato paste and only need half the can I portion out tbsp on a baking sheet and freeze then put in a bag in the freezer. Add to chili, soups, sauce. 

* I buy pork loins and slice my own pork chops. I package and food saver them.

* I cut lasagna, breakfast casserole, scalloped potatoes, dressing, etc in squares and freeze. I like to wrap in aluminum foil so they don't get freezer flburned. I have 5 slices cheesecake I wrapped each one in foil and froze. Just put in the refrigerator to thaw. 

* I make a big pot of turnip greens and freeze in cottage cheese and sour cream containers, just enough for my husband and me for supper. Or to add to a soup. I do the same with soup, Chili, red beans from red beans and rice, etc. 

* Right now I am trying to eat up frozen items as I have too many precooked items. I just looked at top shelf today and made a menu. Brisket and some Chipotle in Adobe sauce will be carnitas, smoked pork loin I will dice and make quesadillas, cooked chicken will be chicken and dumplins. 

* One big stretcher is to learn to make a white sauce.You can add parmesean, seasonings, mozzarella, etc to change the flavor for cheese sauce. With a bit of chicken, ham, pork, beef and vegetables and some pasta you have a great meal. 

H
4 posts
Fri Jan 20, 23 12:11 AM CST

My husband hunts. He got a buck Monday. He got 3 last year so our freezer is full of venison roasts, stew meat. cubed steak from the backstrap, ground, and sausage. 

* I have 5 kids and we went through a phase when they were young and money was tight to eat grilled cheese and Ramen soup after church on Sunday. I could get it on the table quickly after church. I added a piece of sliced cheese to the Ramen soup and 2 packages fed us 7 with a grilled cheese. 


S
9 posts
Fri Jan 20, 23 1:18 AM CST
Michelle K wrote:

Grandma Donna, you are so right. There is something so innately soothing about simpler times and the older I get (I'm 48 now), the more I am drawn to it which is why I very much love and enjoy your studies. A pikelet is kind of like a pancake but smaller. You pick it up to eat it with one hand, and you wait until they cool off to eat them. They are delicious with jam and cream, butter and jam, lemon and sugar and I also like them with Vegemite but that is an Australian thing. :)

I'll give you the recipe so you can see if they are similar to a pancake.

- 1 cup self raising flour

- 1/2 - 3/4 cup of milk

- 1 egg

- 1 tablespoon of sugar

- a pinch of salt

- 1 teaspoon of melted butter

To give you an idea of the size, I would cook four at a time in a greased cast iron frypan, so a tablespoon or two of batter per pikelet.

Golden syrup is a very old-fashioned ingredient these days, but I do still love a drizzle on a savoury stew.

I love Golden syrup but have only ever used it as a sweet topping, on pancakes usually.  I've never thought to try it on  a stew.  I have syrup and the ingredients for a beef stew... I can see an experiment coming on this weekend!

S
80 posts
Fri Jan 20, 23 4:39 PM CST

Cynthia O I love the peach syrup from peelings idea. If my peach tree produces fruit this year, I'm going to do that. If it doesn't, I'm going to try and find some unsprayed peaches. That syrup sounds so delicious!

m
1 posts
Sun Jan 22, 23 4:20 PM CST

Thank you for this article.  I am reading all the past ones.  Such encouragement here! 

Maria 

B
10 posts
Tue Jan 24, 23 9:15 PM CST

On YouTube Grandma Feral has a lot of depression era recipes. They are made from cheap ingredients. Sometimes she tells the story behind the recipe too. It is very interesting!

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