My mom was born in , my dad in Hmmm, can you "can" hot dogs? She explained that I had a wound that needed to heal, basically an ulcer. I appreciate you penning this post plus the rest of the site is really good. See an Athlete for workout programs or a professional trainer, but not a bodybuilder!! Hi, thanks so much for explaining. Is there a place where you could talk to a gentle soul who would help you find a doctor and a counselor?
Great Depression Meals
If you drink soda, sports drinks, flavored coffees with sugar and cream, or other high-calorie beverages throughout the day, try replacing them with water. You'll get the same level of hydration and fullness while cutting down on your calories. Keep it up and you can achieve mild weight loss without any extra effort. The health benefits of water are well-documented. Drinking water energizes muscles, keeps skin looking healthy and clear, and provides a boost of energy.
See our tips on working water into your daily schedule for more great ideas. Don't be fooled into swapping soda for fruit juice, which is full of calories.
The process of juicing removes all the healthy fiber from fruit and leaves nothing but sugar behind. Eat smaller meals more frequently. Instead of three large meals a day, try eating several smaller meals of a few hundred calories. This can reset your hunger cues so that you will know when you are actually hungry versus eating out of habit. One convenient way to reduce your portion sizes is simply to use a smaller plate.
Smaller plates can make the same amount of food appear larger due to something called the Delboeuf illusion. Measure out each serving of food. Don't trust your eyes to tell you how much to eat — instead, use your brain.
With recent trends in commercial cuisine tending towards large portions, many people now have a distorted idea of what a normal portion of food looks like. Use measuring cups and the information on the "Nutrition Facts" section of your food's packaging to ensure you eat one serving at a time. You may even want to invest in a simple food scale. Many common foods have serving sizes that are easy to visually memorize. A few common examples are below you can view more here: Many Americans skip breakfast  and then overcompensate for their resulting hunger by overeating at lunch and dinner.
Ensure that your breakfast contains at least one item from three food groups: The important thing is that food intake in the morning actually gets your metabolism going, and you do not remain in the fasting state A healthy breakfast for a pound adult is about — calories.
Make smart food choices. A healthy diet is more friendly to the waistline than a non-healthy one, even if the calorie content is the same. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables instead of processed snacks. Processed foods have added preservatives, artificial ingredients, and are often full of carbohydrates, sugar, and fat.
Fresh foods give you more nutrition per calorie than processed, carbohydrate heavy snack foods like chips or crackers. Processed foods also tend to contain more salt, which retains fluid and can lead to excess weight stored around the midsection.
Never snack directly out of the bag or carton. Instead, pour one serving of the snack into a bowl, then put the package away. Keep your portions under control when you eat away from home. Controlling portions at home when you sit down for a meal is often easier than at a restaurant, where portions sizes for one meal often contain the recommended calories for one person for an entire day, or at a friend's house, where you cannot control what goes into the meal.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to control your portion size in places where you don't have perfect control over your food: Many restaurants have websites with complete nutritional information for their menus, so you can make a smart choice before you even leave your house.
Measure out one portion, then put the rest in the container right away. You'll be less tempted to mindlessly continue eating as you talk with your companions. When dining at another person's house, don't be afraid to ask for a small portion. This way you can clean your plate, instead of leaving a portion of food behind and potentially offending your host. When shopping, pick individually-sized foods, rather than foods that come in large containers.
For instance, instead of buying a carton of ice cream, pick up a package of popsicles or ice cream sandwiches. Switch to foods that leave you feeling fuller longer. When it comes to reducing your tummy line, it's not all about how much you eat, but also what you eat that counts.
Certain foods give short "bursts" of energy and satisfaction, but leave you hungry before your next meal. Instead of these foods, focus on alternatives that offer long-term satisfaction. Filling foods that offer longer periods of satisfaction include whole-grain breads, rices, and pastas, oats, nuts, water, lean meats and fish, eggs, green vegetables, beans, and legumes.
When you eat quickly, you can swallow a surprising amount of food before you start to feel full and satisfied. On the other hand, eating slowly gives you plenty of time to feel full and stop eating before you've consumed more calories than you need. There is even evidence that this can promote the release of specific hormones that are responsible for the feeling of fullness in the brain.
Concentrate on chewing each bite 10 — 20 times and take sips of water between each bite. Set the fork or spoon down between each bite. If you can, eat with someone else so you can pause to chat during your meal. Try setting a timer for 20 — 30 minutes at the start of your meal. Pace yourself so that you don't take the last bite until the timer goes off. When you finish your food, take a break from eating, even if you still feel a little hungry.
Give your body a chance to register as having a full stomach, which can sometimes take a while. Only help yourself to seconds if you still feel hungry after another half an hour.
Eat in peaceful, quiet locations. Research suggests that eating in relaxing environments leads people to eat less overall. On the other hand, eating in loud, busy, chaotic environments can lead to over-eating. While the root cause isn't certain, this may be because these sorts of situations distract from feelings of fullness by creating mild anxiety.
Fixing this is a matter of adjusting your schedule. Consider getting up earlier so you have a chance to enjoy a relaxed breakfast before you leave. Merely keeping track of what you eat can be an enlightening experience. You may be surprised to learn that you normally eat more than you think you do. Try writing your meals and snacks in a notebook you carry with you every day. Be sure to note the number of servings you eat for each as well as the calorie content per serving.
There are also a variety of free websites and apps that make it convenient to keep track of your daily food choices. In one week, the most you could do is the temporary slimming ideas listed above. Not Helpful 33 Helpful After a C-section, you need to be patient with yourself, and not do too much too soon.
Not Helpful 26 Helpful There is no type of food that shrinks or reduces stomach fat. Not Helpful 12 Helpful Drinking water removes all the extra sodium trapped in your body, which causes water weight in the first place. Not Helpful 18 Helpful Not Helpful 6 Helpful Try walking every day after you wake up and every day after dinner. Remember, consistency is better than walking 20 miles in one day, then forgetting to walk for the next week.
Not Helpful 13 Helpful If you do it several times a week, that should start helping you. There are also many dance exercise videos you can find on YouTube, or you can look for a class in your area that teaches dance as a weight loss technique. Not Helpful 0 Helpful Find some form of exercise that you do like doing, whether it be walking, biking, swimming, playing tennis, whatever.
If you find something you like, you'll keep at it. Once you begin to lose the weight, you'll feel a little better about yourself and that confidence may help you become more committed to a healthier lifestyle. Do core exercises every day for about 15 minutes, and jog or walk for about 20 minutes. Also, eat a healthy diet and drink a lot of water. Not Helpful 11 Helpful How do I lose weight after having a stomach operation?
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Tips There is some evidence that certain teas particularly green teas boost your body's ability to burn fat. Alcohol can be a surprisingly high source of calories alcoholic beverages often have more calories than similarly-sized portions of carbs or protein. Try to restrict drinking to special occasions. She has talked about making grass soup among other things.
I too ate many of these meals growing up in my grandmothers home. I remember her telling me, you started with a handfull of hamburger, add a bit of celery, if you had it, onion…. It was one of my favorites. Native Americans been eating like this for thousands of years. Many Native Americans are still eating this way because of the Reservation and how society treats Native Americans today. I just stumbled onto your article, and it brought back some memories, some good, some..
I was in junior high school at the time. My dad used to make this snack that was delicious—he would mix peanutbutter, butter, and honey then spread it on crackers—yum!! I eat dandelion greens in springtime, and just found out that a weed growing in my back yard is purslane—very edible and high in omega 3 fatty acids.
I feed it to my jungle fowl: My hubby and I fish and hunt—and I have learned a lot about how to prep and cook those things. Oh, and winter squash is easy to grow, stores without refrigeration very well! Thank you, I will be back to your website! This makes me so nostalgic for my Grandma!
She was a wonderful, practical, thrifty woman who was a kid during the Depression. She always had a kitchen garden, even in her 80s.
She grew the tomatoes herself, and told me that during the Depression beefsteak tomatoes were the only kind of steak they could afford. Having been brought up in a foster home in upstate NY Saratoga County the parents had both lived through the depression.
I have eaten 28 of the meals listed above. I still eat most of them today. I had five sons and they learned to eat those meals from time to time. I grow my own tomatoes and green peppers in the back yard of a townhouse in the ground and have grown lettuce in those green plastic hanging flower pots they were pretty too along the fence.
When out of work one summer it came in handy: Had enough for two of us to eat and gave so much away, even dug up 2 pepper plants for an ex co-worker too. Canned the late green tomatoes still eating them a year later fried they are good — have shared them too. Froze the green peppers great for cooking and omelets Cost first year: One of my favorite dinners as a child was potato pancakes sprinkled with granulated sugar, We had this meal often when Grandpa was between jobs.
Another favorite dinner was pancakes , sprinkled with powdered sugar if Grandma thought we were low on syrup. When Grandpa was out of work, Grandma always took the time to make homemde bread, biscuits, coffecakes, and cookies.
I loved everything she baked, and felt really lucky when we ate her homemade bread. As an adult looking back, I can see how well Grandma managed her stored flour , potaoes, etc. During my childhood my mother made a couple of the dishes you listed. So I was truly surprised to see Hot Milk and Rice listed. Since rice is such a big part of our culture, I always thought this dish was original to the island how naive of me!
There was another dish which I absolutely loved and called my favorite, it was canned corned beef cooked in a skillet with tomato sauce, sofrito and mixed with some vegetable served over white rice. And it continues to feed generations of people afterward. We also would take slices off the second rising of the bread, poke a hole in the middle and deep fry it.
When we would hit bottom, mom would mix flour and water, cook this paste and then after it was in our bowls,sprinkle sugar and cinnamon. She had had that as a child too. Split pea soup was a stock item as well. You can bet the ingredients for the above are all in my storage cupboard!
But since I have had a chance to expand the basics, I will eat well for a long time. Wheat is a problem for us. My husband and I took your advice and got our health squared away now. We feel great now, but discovered that we have Gluten, Wheat, Dairy and Egg issues.
The upside is we can eat a plateful of steak and fried chicken wings and loose weight every month. Great news if you are flush with income, problem if you are trying to Prep.
Trying to keep weight on makes the hamburger grease look good to us. A lot of people feel great and lose weight when they give up carbs. Look up our recipe for Super Rice here on the blog.
Oats are another very versatile grain. Also, start trying grains that are new to you, such as millet, spelt, and kamut. Also, look into einkorn www.
I wonder if our genetically modified wheat is the problem. That would include your cupcakes and the loaf of Cinnabon bread I bought on impulse last week!!! My husband will love that the bill will be so much smaller. I posted a link to this on my blog too. My concern is that all these foods we grew up eating that have been mentioned, are not foods the young people of today would fix to survive.
We still still eat all of these things today. Being a homemaker and taking care of your family ,while pinching pennies is very time consuming , but worth it. Menu planning , shopping wisely , canning and preserving, all a part of it. There is so much waste in this country that has never had to be.
It is so good too. It is almost scary to admit I have had many many of these growing up! Hot dog, bacon sos was another, served over toast,rice or maccaroni whatever you had if you didnt have anything then just plain. One was bone soup.. Lots of bones and whatever else you had on hand.
Water,and some vinegar to extract the good stuff from the bones.. Another was jack mackeral loaf,with old bread they would cut the mold off of,egg they had chickens and veggies from the garden. Hoe cakes was another one. My one friend told me he never knew a chicken had anything but feet and wings. When he went into the marines,he found out there was more parts on a chicken.
Greens,pigs feet and ears was big as well. Mom used to make us pinto bean sandwiches. We could open a can of what ever we wanted. My favorites were a can of peas or pork and beans, never bothered heating the pork and beans we liked them cold. Grandma taught us to like bread with milk or even better saltine crackers with milk which is my all time comfort food. We also ate hamburger gravy where you brown some hamburger and then add flour and then milk to make as much gravey as you need to stretch the meal.
You serve on biscuits or toast. We were a upper-middle class family but this is how my parents grew up during the depression. My parents grew up during the depression and said they never realized they were poor. Bread and butter always had to be on our table. Broken up saltines in milk, fried eggs over rice, rice and beans cooked with a ham bone or bacon.
Spaghetti and spam in spaghetti sauce. We still make it once in a while for we like the taste. I have it stocked for these unsure times. Cheap easy to stock and taste pretty good. Not the best for your health but better than lard sandwich. Boiled Spaghetti noodles coated with butter sprinkled with ground garlic. I too have eaten most items on this list — still do a lot today due to tight finances. Basic soups and rice or pastas macaroni, elbows, spirals, any low cost pasta broth made from chicken carcasses with pasta and sliced tomatoes.
I do not have many concerns if SHTF food wise, my children, partner and myself are willing to do what we need to survive. We are investing in chickens, rabbits and cattle. Although not living through a depression, we never had much money as my dad always gambled it away playing cards, and sometimes there was no money left at all.
Other things included sugar sandwiches, not very good for the teeth, but delicious. Another would be a boullion cube mixed with water with a slice of bread.
The foods I used to hate were offal, like heart, kidneys, liver, then things like pigs head, pigs trotters. I used to love fresh veg from the garden when it was in season. My mom would also may a soya meat pie on a sunday which i loved. I used to also enjoy oxtail soup, and potato cakes. My Dad remembered a time when he and his cousins were sick of fish and wanted gravy.
The next morning they had fish gravy with toast. I never had that, but Dad would boil potatoes or noodles and add a can of cream of chicken soup. Mom taught me to make hamburger soup where you boiled the hamburger and added potatoes and carrots. I loved that with jelly bread. I never knew sugar bread was a depression food. I just thought it was something Mom picked up somewhere and really loved.
As long as our home was warm and there was food, Mom was happy. As long as Mom was happy, I was happy. My dad used to make fried bologna and for our traditional Polish Christmas meal, we eat rice and milk. Fried bologna is about the only thing my dad can cook! Still love fried bologna sandwiches and rice with milk sugar and if we had it cinnamon!
My mom was a kid during WW11 in England the big deal was a slice of white bread, whatever butter they could get their hands on and topped with sugar. I never thought of them as poor man food. In our family I suppose it had just become tradition from my great-grandparents and grandparents. We made fried bologna all the time growing up. Milk toast was like french toast without the crispy outer edge that eggs give you.
We used it in place of biscuits or rolls at dinner often. Hot milk and rice was a super filling breakfast, akin to oatmeal or cream of wheat. Slice up a loaf of white bread, douse it with gravy, and serve. Have to agree on the milk on rice. I used to love putting milk along with a little sugar and cinnamon on cold leftover white rice when I was a kid. Still enjoy it today. What a treat to see so many things listed that I ate growing up and are still my comfort foods.
I kow that my father didnt have a job and made bread eveyday for his family easy to see why. Many of the dishes listed my mother fixed while I was growing up, so they are not the least bit foreign to me.
Many I still fix today for my family. Plain simple eating I say. Yes we had a lot of these things too.
I grew up in the 60s and 70s. Bread with butter and sugar was one of my favorites. The hole was fried separately and we dipped it in the egg yolk.
My husband loves crackers and milk. I eat leftover rice with milk and sugar for breakfast. Our butter, of course, was margarine..
Had most on the list. I was born during WWII and my folks were poor for a long time after. One not on your list is mock apple pie, made with soda crackers.
Or a flour and water paste, cooked, and sprinkled with sugar. I was born in to a father born shortly after the Great Depression. Seeing your list helps me understand some of the things we kids ate in the s and 70s. Dad shared some stories with me about rations and bartering and more. Thanks for your enlightening article!
Another main stay they had was pinto beans…at every single meal my grandmother ever cooked there was always a pot of beans! I remember when my mom started her asparagus — it takes about 3 years before much is produced but that first couple of years we had a few stalks.
Guess what — creamed asparagus on toast. Any vegetable or meat that needed to be stretched for a large family was creamed or in a gravy and always on bread of some sort. Im 55 and I remember eating sugar and milk with our rice, sugar bread, boiled cabbage, ketchup sandwiches and a healthy slice of tomato on our peanut butter sandwiches.
We ate what my dad caught fishing and what my brothers shot in the woods. I hate to think of all the buckshot I probably swallowed back then. Once I came home to find a headless snapping turtle hanging from a branch on a tree in our back yard. We ate it as kids, and I still love it.
Cook the macaroni, melt butter on top of it, then add milk to barely cover macaroni. Both of my Parents were raised during the depression.
My Father born in , Mom in They wed after the war in and started their family in with the birth of my brother. I came along a few years later, Dad was in the Army Air Corps, and was recalled for Korea, and decided to make a career of it.
While growing up, we were subject to the Military once-per-month pay schedule. Dad was TDY overseas quite a bit when my brother and I were quite young, mainly because of the pay bonuses for the duty.
Dad was trying very hared to provide the best for his family. We ate sandwiches made from miracle whip dusted with sugar, tomato soup, potato soup, many, many pinto beans and cornbread meals. For a treat, we sometimes got a strawberry preserves sandwich as dessert. One assignment my Father took moved the while family to Alaska for a four year stint.
That was probably the best move he made for us. A group that worker went hunting the first winter we were there. Dad got a moose, and we had to buy a freezer to store all the meat. For the next three and a half years, our family of four ate fairly well because of that, It eased the financial burden for groceries to the point where we actually ate very well. Food storage and hoarding were pretty much ingrained into me my whole life.
Good, simple meals can be made wholesome with a little imagination and creativity. Hopefully, they will wise up before it all goes south. These were common in my house growing up. My mom was born in , my dad in My dad grew up in the Wisconsin northwoods, my mom in dust-bowl Oklahoma. I was the last of 8 kids born, and I grew up in the 70s. My dad and brothers were great hunters, and my grandfather was an excellent trapper and forager. My family of 5 always eats well in the summer.
Something missing off the list is hamburger gravy either over bread or mashed potatoes, and there was always a side of green beans my mom had canned over the summer not that I liked them.
My mom made HB gravy at least twice a week for dinner…she could make a pound of HB stretch to fill all of our hungry bellies. My brothers would bring home squirrels, pheasant and quail, and we all knew how to fish from a very young age. Haha…I love it because they had less heart disease and cancer back then even eating that food, it says a lot about the rubbish that is eaten now days!
My parents were very resourceful or else we would of probably starved. We were lucky, my Dad shot an elk every season for venison and during the summer my mom would go fishing.
They also had a very large vegetable garden and my mom canned a lot of what we ate. It was so much better than anything in a can from the grocery store. I remember my Dad eating cold pinto bean sandwiches. We also had rice with cream, butter and cinnamon for breakfast sometimes and also fried bologna and eggs..
I still love biscuits and cream gravy. We never felt poor or deprived in any way. Chicken feet are actually very good to put in your bone broth. Lots of good stuff in chicken feet. I could probably live on a lot of those things. A few sound truly horrible, though. I still like boiled cabbage, fried Spam and mayonnaise sandwiches. I grew up eating a lot of what is on that list still eat most of it too. My Dad and Mom were born right at the start of the great depression, so they grew up with their parents my grandparents making many of these dishes.
What they grew up with, spilled over into their adulthood. I was born in the s, but I recognize half to two thirds of this food here, and versions thereof. I even cook some versions of the listed items with and for my husband. My maternal grandparents helped raise me while my single mother worked overtime to keep a roof over our heads, and my grandfather hunted, fished and grew a lot of their own food, and my grandmother foraged and processed the rest.
I bring this up, because foraging is rarely mentioned as a survival strategy for low times. Italian chefs pay big bucks for certain types of mushrooms, so some people spend a great deal of time gathering those specifically. Young tender stinging nettles cooked until soft in a bit of water, with some milk, and potato or corn starch to thicken.
It was usually served with half a hard-boiled egg and some bread, that was either dipped in the soup, or served with things like homemade pickles of some kind.
Seems to have the bread, milk and eggs in common with the above list. Some of my first childhood memories involve me going to the garden to pick nettles with gloves, a small pair of scissors, and an empty plastic jelly bucket so my Mummi could make me yet another soup.
A little unrelated, as the conditions in Europe were a bit different, so this was during war years… My paternal great-great-grandmother Anna, who was in charge of a large household during the peak shortages of WWII, served a lot of inventive five course meals at her estate.
A sample menu, as reported in the memoirs of a contemporary, younger relative; crows caught from the field disguised as more conventional game birds probably squab , fish caught ice fishing from her lake, veggies and some kind of fruit preserves from the dwindling supply in the root cellar and soup from mushrooms dug out from under the snow from a patch she remembered seeing earlier in fall.
In war-ridden Europe, food was in short supply, but the laws of the land in a lot of countries allowed for expansive foraging of wild food, that was preserved by everyone who had the ability to do so. Penny, Thank you so much for sharing your story. You are right foraging is a valuable way to acquire food. I live in a fairly densely populated area. I am afraid if times got really bad these foods would become sparse. I just learned that stinging nettles are a wonderful way to combat sinus issues or allergies.
We have stinging nettles everywhere. I must try them. Nettles are one of the most versatile plants I know of! They can be dehydrated and used for teas, hair rinses, added to bread dough… the fibers in older, mature plants are strong, and can be woven into fabric that was considered so luxurious in medieval times, that there were laws in some European countries, banning peasants from making and wearing nettle fabrics.
My references list uses for leaves and seeds in stews, pancakes green pancakes sound icky, but are really good , bread and soups, and can be used for making juice, tea, tinctures, hair rinse, nettle syrup, mead and ale. Dried nettle powder can be sprinkled into foods like any other herbs.
You can add nettles to water for an oral rinse, mix with shampoo, use in poultices and topical treatments for arthritic joint pain. Nettles are also said to have an allergy relieving effect, as well as a generally strengthening effect on the immune system, just to mention a few uses. In some places, witches were burned with a shirt made out of stinging nettles on her, to ward off any last ditch spells she might attempt to rescue herself with.
And if you have kidney or heart issues, or diabetes, it may be wise to consult with a doctor before trying nettles in excess for medicinal purposes. How about Velveeta Cheese Rarebit? I loved the melted cheese poured over cubed toast. I still have milk toast, milk and rice, fried bologna, etc.
It is my comfort food when I feel low because I dont have the money for a refrigerator full of food. I do not however, remember spam being mentioned during the depression days.. One major problem with stocking up on bread ingredients. I am stocking up on rice, beans, peanut butter and oatmeal though. One of the things they ate was blood sausage. I helped my parents make it you freeze or smoke it when I was younger and then cook it in a skillet.
It was one thing I never could learn to eat. Definitely one way to get your iron though. My Dad used to eat Farm Sandwiches. Open face apple sandwiches. Bread, smear of applesauce and super thinly sliced apple so everyone gets one , under the broiler. We use to eat onion, pickle, lettuce and mustard sandwiches — everything but the hamburger. I still eat hot cornbread crumbled into chunks and eaten with sugar and milk, yum!!
We also had spam pancakes when we were young — you take a fried slice of spam and pour pancake batter around it for a surprisingly good breakfast. I still enjoy many of these items.. Hey, I grew up in the Soviet Union with food shortages, so somewhat similar.
Pig fat sandwiches for sure. Russians love them though. Smoked pig fat belly? My favorite was mayonaise and peanutbutter sandwiches! Anyone remember surpluse food? I loved their peanut butter! It was great mixing in the oil with the drill! I grew up eating a lot of these. BTW an onion sandwich is a good way to treat a cold or sinuses.
Rice with milk and sugar add a little butter for taste and it is excellent. You find a LOT of Southerns still eat many of these, especially in rural areas. I have a turn of the century cookbook from my husbands grandmother with lots of frugal recipes using turtle, raccoon, rabbit, and lots of wild green, etc. This list is very familiar to me.
I am 41 now, and I remember my grandparents eating a lot of these things. At almost every meal he would eat bread dipped in gravy- no matter what else was being served. He was the first of 12 kids so you can imagine how hard it was to feed a family that big after the depression!
My Grandma Mayberry always fed me toast with milk to dip it in. I still do that till this day. And creamed chipped beef over bread- delicious!! I agree with the commenter above who spoke of how healthy that generation was.
My Grandparents were all very healthy until they were very old. I learned to cook from my Grandma Schryver who made everything from scratch and wasted nothing. We are lots of these in the 50s. Big families and we only bought what we could pay for with cash. Sometimes Moms had to get creative toward the end of the month. We are a lot of soups from anything left over. If you could chop it up, you could make a sandwich out of it. Sardines on saltines too. My father and mother were both born in , and therefore lived through the Great Depression.
Mothers had to be creative to feed their families and turned to some old-timey farm recipes that their mothers and grandmothers may have used as well as simply combining whatever ingredients they had on hand. Squirrel, rabbit, groundhog, and any fish or amphibian frogs were easy for little ones to catch… everybody pitched in were often, if dad and grampa were lucky, the main meal.
Tomatoes were easy and took little room to grow and most people had a garden where they at least could grow enough to feed the family and neighbors, and can enough to last through the winter. My own favorite when I was growing up in the fifties and sixties was stewed tomatoes and day old bread with a little sugar. I liked it mostly because I helped mom weed the garden daily and can the tomatoes at the end of summer.
Simple, but nearly a free meal since when she was young bakeries gave away day old bread, they grew the tomatoes, and the sugar along with cheese, powdered milk, peanut butter, flour, butter, dried beans, and occasionaly tinned or dried meat were available free of charge from the government.
No one went too hungry when everyone chipped in. We loved them then, and my kids learned to like them too. Ahh… the good old days…. A favorite sandwich of mine is a peanut butter and dill pickle sandwich. We also ate sugar sandwiches and I probably have hot rice with milk and sugar once a week. Another favorite is to make Cream of Wheat or Farina, place in a plastic container and let it firm up in the fridge. Take it out, slice and fry in some butter and serve sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon.
Reading this article and the comments was a nice trip down memory lane. This use for leftover oatmeal is great:. Just put it in a loaf pan, I use a bread pan. Refrigerate it until the next day. Slice it up like bread slices, it will be pretty solid.
Fry in butter, both sides. Add maple syrup or some sugar and cinnamon. Just let it firm up to fry the next morning. Better than pancakes, kind of chewy. I was born in to a middle class family, lived in the suburbs, and never went without central air and heat, or meat at least once a day, and we never had a garden.
I never even saw a mason jar and have still never eaten anything home-canned. I am learning now how to grow a garden, shoot a gun, chop firewood, dehydrate, vacuum seal, store food, and am soaking up survival info like a sponge. My parents both were born in the middle of the depression…but felt the effects of the rations during the second world war. We had a freezer the size of dining table and a cellar full of jars preserves and pickles and a root cellar for potatoes and onions.
Everything tasted so much better then. I am now making as much as I can from scratch and fresh foods. We had all of the Depression dishes except for squirrel, gopher and roadkill.
I never realized they were from the Depression. My dad also made hamburger mixed with onion soup on toast and creamed anything on toast. As for the health aspect of these foods?!? He lived until the age of 97 with all of his faculties.
I was born during WWII. Some of my favorites from that time and still today are red beans and rice with hush puppies, mustard sandwiches, maple syrup sandwiches, margarine sandwiches — with or without syrup or sugar, ground beef with white gravy on toast and macaroni and tomatoes — macaroni with a can of diced tomatoes — this was our preferred after school snack.
My mother-in-law raised five sons alone during the depression. She always had a garden and fixed home canned blackeyed peas and cornbread every day.
She melted margarine in a skillet, added brown sugar and cinnamon and cooked it until the sugar dissolved. She poured the mixture over toast and cut it into quarters. Beats candy or cake any day for me.
His parents, grandparents, and 2 widowed uncles along with their children a total of 13 children between them moved North into Missouri by mule-drawn wagon. They settled and became share-cropper farmers. These meals were all common. Because the men and older boys were needed for manual labor in the fields, meals were seved in shifts.
The men and boys ate first and the rest of the family second. My aunts have told of many meals where after the first group had eaten, the second only had bread often cornbread and pot liquor to eat.
Pot liquor is the cooking broth left over. One year had a bad growing season. The only crop that did well was field peas. The price fell and the farmer would have taken a loss to sell them. Therefore, that winter their diet mainstay was dried field peas. Dad said they ate them breakfast, lunch and dinner. Even when money was tight when I was growing up, the one thing he did not want to see on our table was field peas. Most of the foods on your list were considered normal, regular items on the menu.
However, I think you will find that they date much farther back that the Depression, but were often common fare for people since the beginnings of this country and probably back to the Middle Ages.
Mom fried a small amount of hamburger and added a lot of cream of mushroom soup then poured it over the potatoes. Going to suggest the same to my sister. My grandparents grew up in the Depression, and I remember eating many of the items on the list as a kid…and my kids would too, because I continue to make a lot of them myself…might have come about out of desperation, but ended up becoming comfort food for a lot of folks!
Not to mention, stretching the budget when I was a single mom! Thanks for all of the memories and stories shared! Baked bean sandwiches, fried muskrat, fried eel, tomato sandwiches, fried green tomatoes, tomato gravy on bread, and fried spaghetti with scrambled egg are some of the frugal dishes that we ate when I was growing up. We ate a lot of these growing up. I guess it was because we were super poor and my mother was raised by her depression era grandmother. My mom always made sheep herder beans, pintos with a big venison, elk or mutton roast cooked in the pot and biscuits.
She canned fruit and veggies and we ate a lot of homemade bread with blackberry jam. I remember when we started getting cold cereal and had to poor the huge pickle jar full of milk from the neighbors cow over little or huge bowls of cereal.
That started when I was about when all of us kids were finally in school and mom could work more than part time, so i guess around ! I got embarrassed at a high school basketball trip because one of my friends asked what kind of sandwich my mom had packed me. It was elk heart with homemade pickles on homemade bread. Now I just wish I had some elk to eat! I remember my mother eating crumbled crackers in buttermilk and we kids grew up with mashed potato pancakes and mashed potato sandwiches…I also grew up skinning and scaling for whatever my dad brought home.
An elderly woman friend of mine talked about frying left-over grits…? I never knew how to make jerky until very recently; within the past year.
So far, I have canned hamburger and strained off the grease for the tallow for homemade soap and candles…cubed beef and chicken. That just means more for me! I used to be embarrassed, because other kids would make fun of me for wearing clothes from K-Mart, or Wal-Mart, and I would remember dad telling us about having to put cardboard in the bottom of their shoes to plug up the holes, and being laughed at if you had patches on your jeans… and I got over it.
I do wish now that I had paid more attention to the way mom did stuff while I was growing up. She was born in , my dad in My Mother-In-Law taught me a few more: Until recently, one of the cheapest meals around was a bologna sandwich and a package of Ramen noodles was able to build that for under 50 cents total.
The scalded and cleaned feet make the BEST chicken stock ever. The outer layer of the scales and claws strips off like the feathers do and you get a very clean foot to boil down with the carcase for stock. It makes a very smooth, unctuous, gelatinous broth with tons of minerals.
The more I learn about Asian cooking, the more I learn to use what I thought was the throw away parts of my livestock. Being a true southern boy, who grew up during the Great Depression, there were two choices, eat anything available, or starve. We lived on a farm, with a two acre garden, and several acres of apple and peaches, and lots of wild plums. Even one sweet gum tree the was the support for a huge muscadine vine. Wild blackberries, and strawberries when in season, and maypops, sometimes twice a year.
Hunting was a way of life with rabbits, squirrels, birds, ducks, and whatever we found in our sights. So with lots of work, daybreak till dusk, we ate quite well. We had a few hogs, and lots of chickens that gave us enough eggs, an a old hen for Sunday, and a young rooster for in between. Hog killing was a time of feast and hard work.
I was the neighborhood shooter for killing the hogs, and it was a neighborhood project scalding and scraping, dressing and hanging. Then the following day cutting and packing in sugar and salt for preserving.
The fat was rendered, and supplied the lard for the year, with the crackings ready for cornbread and nibbling. Although we were never hungry, we still ate those foods mentioned in this article, nothing went to waste.
Over the years I was often told that I should not eat this, or that as it was not healthy. I still eat MY foods, and have none of the afflictions of those eating healthy foods.
I think a great depression might be good to repeat. Maybe the spoiled young folks might then appreciate the bounties of real life. An old family favorite is egg gravy over toast.
Hard boil eggs, separate the whites from the yolks. Make a bechamel white sauce and add in the egg whites. Serve over bread usually slightly stale bread and sprinkle the top with egg yolks, salt and pepper. Its a makeshift waffle, so says my mom.
You just toast the bread, spread some peanut butter on it, then poor some syrup on top, then enjoy! And its pretty fast to make. Creamed anything on toast. When I was a child, we started growing our own asparagus. When we had a few stalks, mom made a white gravy with the chopped up asparagus and served it on toast. Tuna gravy on toast, hamburger gravy on toast. Another good one is creamed new potatoes small reds and peas. It is one of my go to comfort foods.
Many of the dishes on the list are things I ate growing up — Mom and Dad lived through the depression. I also recall my Dad pulling an onion and eating it like an apple.
Not something I will likely do, however. I grew up poor. My Granny would boil a squirrel ,put rice in it. Anything to keep from being hungry.: Grandma froze her leftover gravy and use it at another meal and saved the bacon grease to use to fry other things.
And of course there are potato sandwiches thinly sliced potato fried and put between buttered bread and lightly salted to make a sandwich. Potatoes fries with sliced onions. Rice cereal, cooked rice with milk and sugar or cinnamon. My ex-husband came from a family of ten children and he always fried bologna for our daughter. He also talked about eating eggs and oats eggs mixed with leftover oatmeal and fried in bacon grease and eggs and gravy eggs mixed with leftover white gravy and heated.
My mom ate popcorn with milk and we loved leftover rice with milk and sugar. I always have bacon grease in my refrigerator and love greens and fried potatoes. Hot milk toast with sugar and cinnamon is food of the gods!!! One thing I wonder about is why so many people have food allergies and intolerances now. It never happened when I was growing up. Must be the processing. I have only eaten a few of these, and only even heard of a few more. My folks grew up in that era, but one in Holland, and one in Israel.
I hear horror stories from my mom about her family living on boiled tulip bulbs, except that she could never keep them down, no matter how her mom would try to disguise them. She talks fondly about how her dad came home once with a bag of field corn and how her mother made absolutely heavenly food out of it, She wonders if any of it would still taste good today since she is no longer starving.
Being that my children and I can not tolerate wheat, we have basically given up all breads. This list would change a lot for us. I think I will try to experiment with some of the non-bread meals…. I grew up with a dad who was in medicine, and I had stomach aches and migraines all my life.
I grew up carrying a bottle of Kaopectate in my school bag. I was 40 years old before my allergies were diagnosed. Once I gave up all dairy products, all the stomach aches went away, and no, it is not a lactose intolerance, but rather casein. Once I gave up wheat, all the migraines went away. Medicine has come a long way in the past 50 years. Pour hot milk with salt, pepper, and butter over a stack of hot buttered toast.
Creamed toast—toast added to white sauce. Milk toast—split biscuits in half, toast, butter, break into pieces and add to white sauce. Then WWII hit and it became a source of pride to try and grow the food and help the military feed the troops. I loved butter and sugar sandwiches sometimes with peanut butter too when I was little.
I had no idea they originated during the Depression. Oh, how we hated green beans!! But, we learned how to appreciate the food we did eat, and the value of hard work!! OMG, Hot milk and rice was and is my favorite dinner.
My mom only made it occasionally during Lent as a meatless meal. I have it at least once a month. My mother was raised during the depression and I, as a child, remember well a lot of the dishes on the list. We just thought we were a normal average family. During the lean times my father was a carpenter and during the winter months work was slow I remember how creative she became. I tell so many people that she could make 5 meals out of 1 potato. What a cook she was. I remember stewed tomatoes with bread so well, not realizing it was a Depression meal.
Yes, we were spread over many years. My Mama would serve us what we called Cush. It was fried cornmeal served with sweet coffee poured over it. She would caramelize the sugar in a pan, then pour in the coffee with lots of milk. Even now when I feel homesick, I will make myself some. My husband thinks I am crazy. Mama would also buy a bushel of tomatoes and we would eat them like apples.
I dearly love tomatoes to this day. Oh, and yes, I would eat butter and sugar bread for an after school snack. Never had sweet snacks like the kids have now and the butter sugar bread had to do. Mama was very thrifty with all our food and we never threw anything away. Chipped beef on toast.. Beef,hamburger,chicken,ham,pork Cucumber and mustard sandwiches…just cucumber and mayo Mayonnaise sandwiches……with tomatoes.
Potato soup — water base, not milk…sort of.. Barbara Ruth, not sure what you mean by sugar bread, but my grandmother used to make something similar for us kids: Also, beaten egg yolks with sugar slurped right out of the bowl, bean soup, yogurt soup with bread soaking in it, lentil soup, etc.
Bean soup and lentil soup are still favorites. We also eat gizzards, as someone mentioned above. Wow im not that old but my grandmother raised me and I still like alot of these foods now!! Another thing not on the list, is side pork or uncured bacon.
Mom would dredge it in flour, salt and pepper and fry it crisp. Made into a sandwich with yellow mustard, so good. I remember eating at least fifteen items from list, some I still do. I was born in Remember the old New England proverb: Use it up; wear it out; make it do; do without. I recognize many of these and my kids grew up with them. Now my husband and I cannot have wheat, but we eat a lot of millet, buckwheat etc. You would have open sandwiches with margarine and jam, or margarine and sugar, or a slice of cheese or cold cuts.
But always only one topping per piece of bread, and in my family, if you ate more you had to have your bread just with margarine. We also had rice pudding rice, milk, sugar, cinnamon or oat porridge for breakfast, or a piece of bread with jam. Eggs we only had once a week — one egg per person on Sunday. And my mom would make a gravy from a can of corned beef and a can of oxtail soup served over rice — sumptious!
Only Sundays would we have regular meat, and that just a small piece. The other meal would always be bread. Basically some pancake batter mixed with the leftover rice, served with syrup. They used quite a bit of rice for these and I always thought it was just a different breakfast food. I love all the names for one eyed Sam. Ours was egg in a basket. I always wanted an extra circle of fried bread on the side! I could make any of that more appetizing.
I ate milk and cornbread. We ate Poke salad, beans, fried potato cakes with onions from leftover mashed potatoes. We had beans and hot dogs, chipped beef in white sauce on toast, any fruit we picked, the garden we grew and canned for the colder months.
The bread with an egg in the middle drizzled with pancake syrup. I never cared for Spam or fried bologna, no chicken livers except to make gravy, and apples to make apple cake or a cobbler. We also had banana pudding with homemade pudding to go over it. People can survive on a lot less than they think. That included breakfast, packed lunches, and dinner. Biscuits, cornbread, beans, rice, mac and cheese macaroni salad with cold leftover mac and cheese , a head of cabbage, you can make many meals with just some basic things.
People raised cows, chickens, pigs, etc. My brother-in-law and brother hunted for meat, but I would never eat wild meat. Turns out people DID eat those. I can make cornbread and biscuits, eat wild greens or grow them, cook beans and grow potatoes. I pick wild fruit to make jam and cobbler. I am not worried about having something to eat.
M MOm never ver threw away bacon grease. She had a Maxwell house coofee can and saved it untilwe had enought to fry chicken. I sill use part bacon grease to fry my chicken. We all have great cholesteral and are very healthy.
Pheasant, Squirrel, partidge, venison, turlte yuck and once even raccon. My father fished and hun ted, my parents had a huge garden. I still love tomato and mayo sandwiches. My mom fed 5 kids and 3 adults with 1 pound of meat and alot of vegtables. She would simmer hamburger or ground venison and cok mashed potatoes, Then we would have veggies because theywere free.
I still love mince!