Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Cooking: Great Depression Style!

Here we go again, folks, and it's time we dust off those skills our great grandmothers and grandmothers could have taught us. I'm sure every family has some home grown recipes, some sort of kitchen lore on what was for eatin' during hard times.

Perhaps hard times are here again. Anna, over at Veiled Glory posted a charming YouTube video of Depression Era Cooking. The meal has some remarkable similarities to my newly dubbed "Deliciousness"

This has inspired this post: What Depression Era cooking lore does your family possess which might be resurrected, dusted off, and reinvented for these coming hard times?

Two things that come to mind: My mother always made this hideous soup when I was a kid, and swore the recipe came straight out of the Depression. I think it might have been dubbed "Depression Soup", and that's certainly how I felt when I had to eat it. But it was food. And it was never quite as bad as the anticipation of it: The soup consisted of potato chunks, sliced onion, and tomato. Not bad, over-all, but it could have benefited from some road-kill or an overly loud rooster. Thanks for feeding me, mom, even when I didn't fully appreciate it.

Nowadays, what with skyrocketing grocery prices and all, just thinking of that soup gives me a special thrill. It would be VERY cheap to make.

Another recipe I've only ever heard about, since the maker died in 1981, I think, was Mama Brown's famous vinegar cobbler. Yes, that's right. Pie crust dough, layered with sugar, butter and vinegar. I guess that's what you do when you want dessert and you are out of fruit. Or can't afford it. Or the crops fail. Now this one sounds yummy!

Perhaps I should make some, to go with that soup.

OK, ladies, call your grandmothers, if you are still blessed to have them. Find out what they cooked during the depression, blog about it, and point me to your blog.

5 comments:

H and S said...

I interviewed my grandmother for many hours and wrote a book about her life. She cooks pretty much the same now. Chicken feet soup, plain yeast buns, rock cakes, rice, any kind of vegetables that she can coax out of the ground in her yard.

Alana said...

What are rock cakes?

bjm said...

Reckon Mama Brown's Vinegar Cobbler would be in the family cookbook that Jennifer created? And the soup you described was called Mama Jones soup from your Dad's family or tomatoe soup by Meemaw. Don't remember it ever being called Depression Soup. But, yes, it was a fairly regular meal, served with cornbread. :)

Alana said...

That's what it was! You are right. My bad. I had a niggling feeling I was getting the name wrong.

I do remember you saying that she cooked it during the Depression though.

Any other recipes?

pinkpowerlink said...

Dear Alana, Sandra here. You know, Sandy Taylor. I well know the soup of which you speak! It took me a few years in the family to develop a taste for it. Bacon on the side improves it. Or Polish sausage. But now it is a comfort food to me. Memories of Doris and others. Her kitchen. And laughter. OK; now I'm just sad. I need some soup! Love you.