Depression-era meals or recipes wanted

Discussion in 'The Mess Hall' started by CallMeNugget, Jun 14, 2019.

    For example, boil whole chicken. While its cooking, make a dough of eggs and flour. Combine eggs with flour, roll out the dough, slice it in to noodle sized pieces, & when the chicken is done cooking, shred the chicken meat, then put the meat and noodles back in the water that the chicken was boiled in, and you've got dumpling style chicken noodle soup.

    Been making this for years. I may add salt to the broth, but those are the only ingredients I've ever used. I eyeball the measurements. Never had a bad batch.

    My grandma passed the knowledge to my mom, and they always called it Depression soup. I'm assuming because Grandma weathered the Great Depression on this type of food.

    What are your recipes for similar cheap meals?
  1. One of the best resources I can think of would be the channel Great Depression Cooking on YouTube, started by a woman who lived through that era. She has sadly passed on.
  2. Boiling water and a few squirts of ketchup. Tomato soup. Bon appétit

    DCRIII Contributor

    Roasted chicory root instead of roasted coffee beans for your morning Joe.
    Though relatively inexpensive to buy, I'm growing some in order to roast my own.
    Looks a lot like a dandelion plant, but with blue lavender colored flowers. The entire plant edible as well.
  4. I remember that one from the 70's - my construction crew hit a bar on the east side of Cleveland for lunch. One guy ordered a fishbowl and a bowl of hot water, then made tomato soup with the ketchup on the bar ..
  5. Here's one from Cowboy Kent Rollins that's at least inspired by depression era cooking, if not perfectly accurate. Poor Man's Sausage with Black Eyed Peas.
  6. Meat was a priveledge. only once and a while, we always ate good, just not expensive.
    I do remember boning out pork shoulders at like under .50 cents lb. and then hand grinding it, making broth from the bones and hand cranking kielbasi and italian sausages. Ha, casing could find in any store, now good luck.
    so kielbasi and cabbage, tomato from garden , made sauce for spagetti and sausage when we could afford it.
    everything was stretched.
    Being polish, made stuffed cabbage, added a lot of rice to stretched the burger
    Pierogis, some cheese some potato..
    Beet soup\
    Cabbage soup , add smoked pork hock, head of household had the hock, rest had soup
    of course chicken soup
    Lard on toast
    everything was home made. nothing frozen,
    zuchini bread, real cheap desert.
    Hell we made our own soap with leftover fat.
    I still have some old cook books and pressure cooking cook books to preserve foods,, most ppl wont touch
    whats in there in todays world.
    CHicken caccitore(sp) , from carcases made soup . cut up chicken for the meal.
    Ratatouille,, tomatoes zuchini , eggplant. sauce
    egg plant parmesian, to cut out meat..
    Canned stuff, I would find apple trees, pear trees, peach trees that were underpicked. Got the leftover for free,
    canned applesauce, pears, peaches,
    There are lots of cuts and lots of ways to stretch food if one has to.
  7. An bowl of pinto beans and cornbread.Peanut butter was invented during that time..
  8. Doc4

    Doc4 Moderator Emeritus



    "A whole tin can? We used to dream of eating a whole tin can for dinner!"
  9. Alacrity59

    Alacrity59 Moderator Emeritus

    You are making me hungry. Personally I'd not call any of this "stretching" Now adding sawdust to bread . . .
  10. My grandfather learned that trick during the Great Depression in Illinois. Always said if you’re really in a pinch order a cup of hot water at a restaurant and start throwing in the ketchup.
  11. oc_in_fw

    oc_in_fw Contributor

    My grandparents grew up during that time. Meat was hard to come by, and when they had it it was chicken that they had killed. Beef was an unthinkable luxury. Growing up I never once saw them eat chicken. As they were middle class by then, beef, and sometimes pork, was the meat of choice. Never, ever, chicken.
  12. TexLaw

    TexLaw Contributor

    My grandmother was the same way. Growing up during The Depression, her mother and siblings ran a small, railroadside restaurant that also had a few rooms to rent. They killed and ate more chickens than anyone could ever count. She never ate any sort of bird after that, not even turkey at Thanksgiving.

    It's actually sort of hard to find many true Depression era recipes because it was a time when you just did what you could with whatever you could get--lots of soups and stews. It's easier to find WWII recipes based on the rations, because many actually had some money for food, but nearly everyone had similar rationing.
  13. mrlandpirate

    mrlandpirate Contributor

    my dad told me he used to hunt robins, pheasant and quail alot
    and alot of tomato pasta
  14. oc_in_fw

    oc_in_fw Contributor

    Turkey was okay, but just once a year. Christmas was always ham.
  15. DoctorShavegood

    DoctorShavegood Ambassador

    My grand parents had a full garden and ate fish from the gulf and hunted deer, quail, dove and rabbit. Granddad was plump in his depression photos.

    Country folks can survive.
  16. Soup beans and cornbread. Cheap and fills you up
  17. Czarnina...or watch video's from that townsends fellow on YouTube. He makes video's about 18th century cooking
  19. my grandparents had to make do on meals sometimes with onion sandwiches and butter beans and dumplings. what was sad was their house payment 12.25 a month and they lost their house in 1931

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