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The Poor Man's Feast

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posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 11:45 AM
I went to the cabinet today and the cabinet was bare.

I decided several months ago to clean out my pantry. I had quite a bit of stuff that I don't normally eat, but had stored for a time when choice was no longer a factor. I found out a lot about myself doing this, and I found out that some stuff doesn't really keep as well as I thought.

I learned that canned items can rust from the inside as well as the outside. Canned and bottled items can lose color and flavor. Canned and bottled items are for staying in place, they can be difficult to travel with. Packing too many items in an air and water proof container, means you risk losing all of it, if there is a breech or a mishap with the container.

I live in an area where it is not unusual to lose power for days or weeks. The longest I was without power was three months. It was not the nightmare you think it would be. It was quite pleasant actually. It reminded of me of when I was a child, when we had no running water in the house, and no electricity.

For those of you that think that this is unthinkable, remember there have been more generations that have lived without electricity and running water than those that have.

Anyway, while I was looking for recipes for how to cook tasty meals from cheap food items, one does not usually eat, I ran across Clara. She was 91 at the time she made the video in 2007. She has since passed.

Clara Cannucciari (née Bonfanti; August 18, 1915 – November 29, 2013) was the host of the web series Great Depression Cooking with Clara and author of the book Clara's Kitchen

I found her videos interesting and informative and would like to invite others to share their recipes for preparing meals for when you are down on your luck.

This one my mom used to make when I was a child.

posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 11:59 AM
a reply to: NightSkyeB4Dawn

I have watched every one of Clara's videos! She reminded me of my grandmother who lived thru the Depression. I heard many of the same stories.

posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 12:06 PM
a reply to: NightSkyeB4Dawn

Peasant food, when done right is filling, comfort and nutritious. The trick is discovering how simple ingredients can be turned into something special. As a European, the staple here is pretty much potatoes and vegetables and cheap cuts of meat, if you can afford the meat. Eggs can also be a good substitute for meat, rich in protein and energy.

I have a few favourites, roasted potatoes (preferably with some herbs and spices sprinkled over them after parboiling and before roasting). Rice can be a good filler too. Fried, boiled, whatever, plus some veggies and a little sauce and possibly meat. Bacon, eggy bread and tinned tomatoes is also heavenly.

posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 12:20 PM
a reply to: LightSpeedDriver
Potatoes are a main staple and easy to grow, indoors and out. I love a potato. You really have to try hard to screw up a potato dish for me.

This video says they can even be grown without soil. I may give it a try.

posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 12:31 PM
a reply to: NightSkyeB4Dawn

I must admit to preferring vegetables (and other plants) grown in soil but hydro/aqua ponics are also a viable option. Plants generally need 3 things correctly, regardless of location. Water, temperature and light. Unfortunately I live in Holland and temporary accommodation but people with a balcony or a garden can supplement their vegetables fairly easily.

posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 02:36 PM
a reply to: LightSpeedDriver
I am having a lot of luck so far with growing my container tomatoes in well draining soil, and daily watering.

I fertilize weekly and they are growing and flowering like crazy. I learned a trick from my brother that is also working. He removes all nonviable fruit and plants it in a container, most of the nonviable fruit grows beautiful plants.

Substitute fresh tomatoes for almost anything that calls for tomato sauce or tomato paste for a lighter and flavorful meal.

posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 02:48 PM
A easy, fairly quick, cheap and complete meal.

Shepard's Pie
1 pound ground beef
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Garlic powder or raw garlic to taste
Onion powder or raw onions to taste
1 (10.75 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
2 (15 ounce) cans green beans, drained; can use peas, carrots, tomatoes, any canned or raw vegetables you prefer
5 cups mashed potatoes
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Cook and stir ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat until browned and crumbly, about 10 minutes; season with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
Drain excess grease.
Stir cream of mushroom soup and green beans into ground beef and bring to a simmer.
Spread ground beef mixture into a 9x13-inch casserole dish.
Spread mashed potatoes evenly over ground beef mixture.
Sprinkle Cheddar cheese over the top.
Bake in the preheated oven until heated through, about 20 minutes.

I rarely cook the same thing the same way every time.
I add stuff, and play with flavors, and if times are tough, you will have to use what is available, so don't be afraid to try new things with your recipes.

posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 02:59 PM
Tuna casserole.....or pasta dishes are filling too.

posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 03:21 PM
a reply to: Meldionne1
I haven't had a tuna casserole in years. That was my sister's favorite when she was in college.

My go to meal in college was chili. I think I will see if I can remember how to make the tuna casserole and give it a whirl sometime this week.


posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 03:23 PM
Mmmmm....poor people food. I was fortunate enough to grow up with two great-grandmothers who could do amazing things with cheap ingredients. Plus, there were times that things got pretty thin while I was a kid. I can remember my dad going out and killing supper - quite literally. We ate lots of frog legs and more rabbit than I care to admit (don't get me wrong, rabbit is delicious).

Anyway, this is what I make when I'm either broke or just too lazy to put myself thru the hell that is walmart... I call it 'Everything-in-the-Pantry Stew'

You will need:

meat - some cheap cut of beef, or ground beef

an onion

canned veggies

either canned tomato sauce, paste or ketchup

Brown the meat, onion and any other spices like garlic, that you want. Add tomato paste and water, or tomato sauce. Add in the canned veggies (drained). Cook the whole mess together at a low simmer for thirty minutes to an hour. This stew is much better after sitting in the fridge overnight. I recommend serving this with saltine crackers.

You can also add pasta to this recipe if you're trying to get rid of stored dry ingredients.

ETS: You may be wondering about amounts and measurements... I don't use any actual measurements with this dish. I just "eyeball it" and taste it along the way and then adjust accordingly if something tastes off. Generally speaking, I probably use a pound of meat and a minimum of four cans of veggies.
edit on 7-3-2017 by DustbowlDebutante because: added stuff

posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 03:54 PM
a reply to: DustbowlDebutante
I have made a many Pantry Special Casseroles.

I am not very fond of beans. My mother said when she was a little girl, in the heart of the Depression, she had to eat cold bean sandwiches.

They were made from whatever bean they had had for dinner the night before, mixed with some pickled relish and homemade mayonnaise, spread on homemade bread.

She said it was good, but when you are hungry everything tastes good.

posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 04:12 PM
a reply to: NightSkyeB4Dawn

I can remember some strange stuff being cooked at my great-grandmother's house growing up... Fried tongue sandwiches and head cheese are the first that come to mind.

I actually ate the tongue sandwiches as a child, right up until one day, I opened the fridge and there on a plate sat a huge tongue that nevertheless looked way too human to be eating...

I love beans. Red beans and rice are practically a staple in our home. How does a bean sandwich work? Wouldn't all the beans fall out every time you pick up the sandwich?? Or does the relish and mayo hold them in place?

Once you explained that the sandwich had relish and mayo, I thought it actually sounded kind of tasty....

posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 04:19 PM
a reply to: DustbowlDebutante

Once you explained that the sandwich had relish and mayo, I thought it actually sounded kind of tasty....

I really am not fond of beans. To me, they taste like a mouth full of chalk, so I really get that they may sound nasty to some, but my mother said they tasted good. Of course, she did also say, that when you are hungry everything tastes good.

She said they also ate ketchup sandwiches, now that really sounds nasty.

posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 04:33 PM
a reply to: NightSkyeB4Dawn

I agree about ketchup sandwiches, although my son used to beg for them when he was younger. Lol.

The grandmother who made the tongue sandwiches and head cheese, she lived thru the depression and her thing was canning. She turned her entire back yard into a huge garden and then canned it all. After she passed away, all the kids went to the house to start going thru things and whatnot, and every spare space, cabinet and closet was stuffed with jars upon jars of food she had canned. A good deal of it was so old that the contents of some of the jars had turned black! But living thru the depression had given her the mindset of never throwing anything away, living frugally and squirreling everything away that you can. It's amazing what going hungry can do to the human psyche.

posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 04:35 PM
a reply to: NightSkyeB4Dawn

I hate to be "that guy" but Shepherds Pie is never made with beef. That is Cottage Pie.

posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 05:01 PM
a reply to: LightSpeedDriver
I misspoke. My mom called it shepherd's pie because they always had lamb when she was growing up.

She made it with beef because that was all we had when I was growing up.

Thank you for the correction.

posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 05:09 PM

originally posted by: DustbowlDebutante
How does a bean sandwich work? Wouldn't all the beans fall out every time you pick up the sandwich?? Or does the relish and mayo hold them in place?

I don't know how they did it, but I eat bean sandwiches sometimes by mashing the beans with a fork first. That way, it almost becomes a spread.

posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 05:22 PM
Here we make something called "nail soup"

You put an iron nail into water and boil it, and eat it with bread.

At least you get some iron.

posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 05:25 PM
a reply to: kaylaluv
They got some what mashed up in the mix, but from what I understand it was almost the consistency of chunky peanut butter.

posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 05:32 PM
a reply to: NightSkyeB4Dawn

Chicken legs and thighs were cheap when I was growing up, and my Mom would make the most delicious Chicken Cacciatore.

Brown the chicken in a little oil, remove the chicken and set aside.

In the oil, saute garlic, onion, green pepper and zucchini and mushrooms lightly. Or really, almost any veggies work.

Dump in a couple of cans diced tomato.

Add chicken.

Simmer over low to medium heat until chicken is falling off the bone.

Serve over pasta, rice or (my fave) extra crunchy garlic toast.

If you like the veggies crunchier, add them later when the simmering is about done.

Great thread, s & f!!

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