The current economy plagues everyone from Europe to the Gulf Coast. Everyone is tightening their belts and trying to make their budgets stretch to cover increasingly high food prices while their income isn’t increasing at all…if it isn’t losing ground.
It isn’t easy, but there are answers that make sense, making the most out of a bad situation is something our grandmothers (insert greats there for the younger generation) learned during the Great Depression. Those recipes and cost cutting ideas are still out there, courtesy of old cookbooks and the internet.
There are a lot of resources out there, including a YouTube channel with demonstrations from someone who actually lived through the Great Depression herself–you can’t get any more first hand than that!
Here’s some choices to help you on your search:
Country Time Recipes–the recipes are pretty basic, without a lot of measuring, and relying on the reader’s basic ability to cook.
Taste of Home–a community forum has recipes, ideas, and stories from the Great Depression.
Home Ever After–this has a complete menu plan, along with shopping list. Can’t get any easier than that.
These are just a few sites with some ideas to start your thought process. There are many, many more available, as well as entire cookbooks devoted to the era’s recipes. Try searching both your local library and the internet for more.
There are many common threads among these, but one noticeable one will be the lack of highly processed ingredients and mixes. These products weren’t available as widely in the 1930s as they are today, and weren’t inexpensive even then. Avoiding these products today isn’t a bad idea either, as more and more fingers are pointed at them in terms of poor health and obesity.
Another common thread is that many of the recipes of that era have become “comfort foods” of today. Comfort foods are foods that usually have a strong emotional memory attached to them that returns us to our youth, as well as inexpensive ingredients and a high carbohydrate count. They also taste good!
There are also desserts that were common during the Great Depression, such as Mock Apple Pie and Crazy Cake. These recipes too used inexpensive ingredients and satisfied a desire for something sweet and tasty, whether it was for company or Sunday dinner.
Be creative, be frugal, drag out that slow cooker…and stay on budget!