Great Depression Cooking

Since it looks like we're in a second Great Depression, 91-year-old Clara's Great Depression Cooking videos on youtube seem timely. She shows how to cook all the cheap meals she ate as a kid. But Wow! she adds a lot of salt.

I tried her "Poorman's Meal" for Saturday dinner. It was 2 large potatoes (cubed), 1½ onions (chopped), and 3 sliced hot dogs. Just fry all this up and serve. It was more than enough for my wife and I, and cost around $4 for the two of us. I give it a thumbs up! The thumbnail shows my meal. Below is Clara.

     Posted By: Alex - Sun Jan 25, 2009
     Category: Food

Wow, and I thought all you could do was look for a nursing mother and suckle your hunger away. Thanks Clara! I was just about to post MLFLactatingW on craigslist.
Posted by Pablo on 01/25/09 at 02:00 PM

1 can tuna
1 can cream of mushroom
1 lb. egg noodles

total $2.39 in the store I shop in, feeds 4

we ate it 2-3x per week when I was a kid (still love it!)
Posted by mrjazz on 01/25/09 at 03:47 PM
Fried potatoes and pinto beans!
And if you are feeling extravagant you can throw a fried egg on top.
Now THAT is good eats.
Posted by AGFH on 01/25/09 at 04:08 PM
i'm a trained butcher patty, when you are ready for the details about kischa, blood pudding, black pudding or morcellas (all made from blood) give me an email, I'll let you know all of the details.
Posted by mrjazz on 01/25/09 at 06:41 PM
whoa, whoa, whoa! You mean we were poor? My fondest memories include beans and cornbread and chow-chow, sauerkraut and wienies, and bread and gravy. I really had no idea that gravy was something other than bacon grease (sausage grease was special), flour and milk for YEARS. mmmmmm... SOS.... I really knew that I'd keep my husband when I figured out that his mom's chow-chow recipe was the same as my grandmother's!
Posted by larriann on 01/25/09 at 09:20 PM
patty, all of the mentioned are made with beef blood. some are smoked, some cured, blood pudding has bits of pork fat and lots of spices in it. (very yummy!)

I'll give you my reader's digest history: raised lower-middle class in CT, I was a butcher for 15 years, left that for grateful dead tour from '89 until the death of Jerry Garcia in '95. Then I moved to Bermuda for 8 years where I continued to work in the grocery biz, got married and had a family (wife's canadian so I spend lots of time there as well). Moved back to CT where now I hire all exempt management, executives and corporate field staff for a large chain of supermarkets!

I definitely belong in Weird Universe!!
Posted by mrjazz on 01/26/09 at 06:32 AM
and starthrower, you are correct, chow-chow is a type of relish, just a bit more coarse and contains mustard as well.
Posted by mrjazz on 01/26/09 at 06:38 AM
patty, wanderlust is born of discontent. To be fulfilled and happy with what you have and where you are is truly a blessing itself.
Posted by mrjazz on 01/26/09 at 07:29 AM
I can't say I/we every wanted for much but "rich" was a long way off. Regardless of that, most the meals y'all're talking about hit our table too. Spuds & onions, tuna casserole, SOS, and chicken on Sundays. Maybe coming from farm country helped in this department but I don't remember ever going to bed hungry.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 01/26/09 at 09:45 AM
In my neck of the woods, I hear some of the old timers call gopher tortoises 'Hoover Chickens' due to the fact that most people were too poor during the depression to buy chickens, and these critters were all over the place, and of course because everybody at the time blamed Pres. Hoover for the depression.
Posted by Matt in Florida on 01/26/09 at 10:14 AM
Patty, sorry this took so long, but my m-i-l and grandmother's chow-chow is made of green tomatoes, cabbage and peppers with salt, sugar, vinegar and spices. Sort of a pickle relish, but no cucumbers. Very tasty with pinto beans in my experience. White beans were considered sort of "exotic" when/where I grew up.
Posted by larriann on 01/26/09 at 10:27 AM
We had the tuna casserole twice a week, broken up by Hamburger Helper meals, and random things made with almost-expired food in the fridge. I'm pretty sure that's why I became a lawyer -- fulfilling a promise to myself to never be poor enough to need Hamburger Helper or Spamburgers again.
Posted by BikerPuppy on 01/26/09 at 11:59 AM
My mom used to go to the deli in the local supermarket and request all center bones from the fish they would fillet every day. You'd be surprised how much meat they left on them things.

Also, roast and rice was a staple in our house. On Fridays during lent (when mom and dad were catholic, before their born-again freakiness started) mom would fry up the center bones and do some fried rice and egg with leftover rice. Good stuff!
Posted by Madd Maxx on 01/26/09 at 12:15 PM
I wanted to say also that we did alot of crabbing during the summer and alot of crawfishing during late winter early spring. Regular fishing all the time.

We also raised chickens and rabbits. And I didn't grow up on a farm. I grew up in the New Orlean suburbs.

I never gave it much thought at the time but now I realize my parents did what they could to feed 4 growing boys (5 if you count dad).
Posted by Madd Maxx on 01/26/09 at 12:21 PM
Im not reading any of the comments on this one, cause im sure theyll annoy me. Whats so strange about this meal, you can get this at about any restaurant for breakfast just with sausage or bacon instead of hotdogs. And its awesome with cheese.
Posted by One of them guys on 01/26/09 at 08:54 PM
not being funny one of them guys, but what could be annoying about a bunch of people melancholy about all of the cheap foods they ate as kids?

and if everyone's posts would 'annoy you' why would you be compelled to be annoying yourself?
Posted by mrjazz on 01/26/09 at 10:01 PM
I figured the thread would descend into internet politics (Im sure it did somewhere). I posted cause I wanted to put in a good word for skillet potatoes with bacon, onions and cheese though. Thats good eating!
Posted by One of them guys on 01/26/09 at 10:17 PM
thanks for the tip! I'll give it a roll tonight. (bacon, onions and cheese are my three favorite foods)
Posted by mrjazz on 01/27/09 at 02:39 PM
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