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The Poor Man's Feast

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posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 08:44 PM
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So this is where I sound like an uppity ass.

I never knew any of my family growing up. My grandma was born in 1898 and died in the early 1980's. I was born in 77 but moved to LA from London when I was not yet four.

My mom always cooked for me, my brother and stepfather after working 12 hour shifts at the hospital she worked and it was always a proper sit down dinner always.

She learned to cook by being the youngest of 8. The thing though like all of us is she hated being poor growing up and worked her behind off so she wasn't. She from the (London) Times cookbook and some other nice cookbooks. The times cookbook from the 70's is mostly french technique cooking.

I went to the french culinary institute in NYC and I cook here still. I am actually helping to open an Israeli restaurant off union square.

Here's the rub. My girlfriend was raised in Birmingham Alabama by her great grandmother. My gf grew up eating food the her ggm learned her to cook during the Great Depression. My gf skimps corners on every possible cooking task and will never let me interfere if she is cooking.

Her food is terrible. I hate it. She doesn't use love (butter, lard) like a normal southerner but cooks with margarine which actually is an oil. Her Great Depression food really is that in my belly. A great disastrous depression.




posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 09:13 PM
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a reply to: TheAlleghenyGentleman
That is the secret to great Depression Era cooking.

The true masters were able to take the parts that were normally discarded, take tiny amounts of what was available, throw them together, and make it taste good.

You were lucky enough to have grown up eating well. Many people during the time of the Depression considered themselves lucky just to have eaten, they were not too picky. When you are hungry enough, even sewer chicken is considered a delicacy.

May we all, never see those days again.




posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 09:55 PM
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a reply to: NightSkyeB4Dawn

I understand that. One Does not need to have top shelf ingredients to make good tasting solid food. But mixing cans of corned beef in with a stew is gross.

A lot of the recipes talk of lamb or beef in this thread. That's top shelf.



posted on Mar, 8 2017 @ 02:31 AM
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My grandmother used to eat cream cheese and olives sandwiches .....she would chop up the green olives and mix them into the cream cheesee. ....I just remembered that !!



posted on Mar, 8 2017 @ 02:14 PM
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a reply to: DustbowlDebutante

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.

My mother's mother was born and raised on a reservation in Arizona. When she married my Irish Jewish grandfather and moved to the hills of Pennsylvania during the depression, she learned to prepare and eat a wide variety of strange and unusual food items. They ate just about anything they could put together, and very little was ever thrown away.

Mother said they ate a food item called scrapple, which was just about every piece of the hog that was left over after butchering. They ate rabbit, squirrel, pokeweed, dandelions, wild asparagus, just about any edible weed that was available.

They took living off the land and stone soup to the max. Even with having so little, my mother said that her mother never turned anyone away from her door empty handed when they came asking for food.

Till this day when my mother cooks she put an extra potato or measure in the pot, just in case we have an unexpected guest. One for the pot is how she calls it.



posted on Mar, 8 2017 @ 10:46 PM
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originally posted by: kaylaluv

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.


There's the Texan reply i've been waiting for.

 


Around here its easy:

have lots of corn meal and lard. This can make tortillas, gorditas, or tamales. Tortillas can make tacos, enchiladas, or just be used as a side bread. If you have flour, too, you can make flour torts, which allow you to make burritos, quesadillas, and sopapillas.

then you need a meat. Buy some carnitas (pork butt and shoulder cuts/trimmings) and roast until tender. Now you have a meat to make tacos, enchiladas, burritos, etc, etc.

Need some cheese to make it all stick together and gooey.

A bag of beans for charro beans, pinto beans and cornbread, and refried beans.

A bag of rice if you want to be fancy.

Stock up on the tomatos, onion, and garlic. Maybe jalapenos

Mexican food is made from a few simple ingredients done many, many different ways. Its as cheap as anything you can eat, and is delicious. You can feed a person 2 meals a day for less than $5/day. If you buy the big bag of corn meal, flour, etc.



posted on Mar, 9 2017 @ 10:50 AM
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a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan

Yep! Flour or cornmeal can go a long way at little cost to fill an empty belly.

Breads, dumplings, thickener for bulk or just to stretch a meal, they are your best bet for staving off hunger and desperation.

Flour, a little salt, and water. Just sift the flour and salt into a bowl and slowly add enough cold water to make a stiff dough. Want them softer? Add a little more water to make dough sticky, a sticky dough makes a soft pasty dumpling.

Knead together in the bowl or on a lightly floured board until smooth.

Break off small pieces about the size of a walnut and roll between your hands. Make whatever size or shape you want.

Immerse into salted boiling water and cook for 15-20 minutes. You can eat them like that or you can add to soups and stews and cook for the same period or longer.

Want flavor but can't afford meat? Use bullion and eat with vegetables or anything else you have available.



posted on Mar, 9 2017 @ 11:57 AM
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a reply to: NightSkyeB4Dawn

The way we used to stretch proteins was usually potatoes. A simple technique: grate potatoes into your hamburger meat for tacos and burritos. If you use a lower fat content in the meat, the taters will soak it all up and provide a very rich, filling meal in just 1 burrito.

If you pay for the fat, might as well eat it too.



posted on Mar, 9 2017 @ 03:09 PM
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a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan

BFFT, the one huge upside to Depression cooking is that nobody worries about dieting.

In fact, the one that is the biggest, the fattest, and furriest, may have a better chance at living the longest.


Seriously, potatoes are a great food stretcher, right up there with milk, and rice. I still put milk in my scrambled eggs, not to stretch them, but because I like the way they taste.

Potatoes make a nice dumpling too.



posted on Mar, 9 2017 @ 05:34 PM
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a reply to: NightSkyeB4Dawn

at 9cal/gram, fat is much, much denser as an energy source than sugar at 5cal/gram.

We spend a fortune washing fats from our foods, which leaves us feeling empty and wanting more. And "more", being starved of fats, typically has sugar replacing it. The general notion is sound: calories in/calories out. Glycemic index, however, is where hunger is driven.

Anyway, off topic to the gist of the thread....

....so ill throw in another one: gravy is cheap and fills in the spaces your proteins don't. I typically "budget" about 1/3lb of protein per person. When i make guiso or beef tips and rice, i go closer to 1/4, maybe a little less.



posted on Mar, 9 2017 @ 06:03 PM
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a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan
I agree with you on the fat. If you removed something from food, like fat, you have to replace it with something, and sugar is most often what they replace it with.

So what do you do when most meat is scarce?

What are good meat substitutes besides eggs, cheese, and beans?



posted on Mar, 11 2017 @ 05:10 PM
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a reply to: Meldionne1

I don't know why I never thought of that. I love those 2 things!



posted on Mar, 11 2017 @ 05:21 PM
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a reply to: NightSkyeB4Dawn

Nuts and seeds have some good plant proteins but are usually more expensive than eggs and dairy. Unless you are lucky enough to have your own source.

Have made some glorious meals with whatever fish could be caught
Even canned fish isnt bad if you dress it up a little.



posted on Mar, 11 2017 @ 05:54 PM
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a reply to: CantStandIt
Canned fish with a little Old Bay seasoning is very good.

Yes, nuts and fruits are quite expensive. My sister-in-law has 4 growing boys, so keeping the pantry full is a challenge for her and my brother, but they are meat eaters.

I rarely eat meat, it is usually fresh fruit and vegetables for me. Yet, when we shop together, she will have a shopping cart full of food, while I will have only about 3 bags of fruits and vegetables, and my bill, come check out time, is much higher than hers.

It is not cheap to eat healthily, but this thread is more about just filling that hole in your stomach when times get tough, then about healthy eating; though sometimes you can do both.



posted on Mar, 15 2017 @ 09:31 AM
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originally posted by: NightSkyeB4Dawn


What are good meat substitutes besides eggs, cheese, and beans?


Peanut butter. I keep several big jars in the back of my pantry. It will stay good in the back of a shelf or pantry or cupboard in the dark for a really long time, it's a good source of protein and it's something that everyone, even the pickiest child, will eat. I mean honestly, who in their right mind doesn't like peanut butter?

Needless to say that in order to keep PB affordable, I buy the off-brand/generic version. Choosey moms may choose Jiff, but smart and budget-conscious moms choose the off brand.



posted on Mar, 17 2017 @ 02:47 PM
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originally posted by: NightSkyeB4Dawn
What are good meat substitutes besides eggs, cheese, and beans?
a reply to: DustbowlDebutante

Peanut butter.

Beggars can't be choosers, they say.

I will have to retrain my taste buds. Even as a child I did not like peanut butter.

I guess if I am hungry enough it will taste like steak.

Thanks I will add a few jars of peanut butter to my pantry, just in case.



posted on Mar, 17 2017 @ 02:52 PM
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originally posted by: NightSkyeB4Dawn
a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan
I agree with you on the fat. If you removed something from food, like fat, you have to replace it with something, and sugar is most often what they replace it with.

So what do you do when most meat is scarce?

What are good meat substitutes besides eggs, cheese, and beans?


Bugs.

Scoff now. When you starve you'll be noodling in the soil for grubs just like its 1mil B.C. all over again.



posted on Mar, 17 2017 @ 03:36 PM
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a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan

Bugs. Scoff now. When you starve you'll be noodling in the soil for grubs just like its 1mil B.C. all over again.

I have already done that.

I remember when I was a young girl, helping my grandmother with the cooking, I came across weevils in the beans. I was going to throw away the bag, but my grandmother stopped me. She said I was throwing away good protein.

I never liked beans. Long before the incident. They are far too starchy for my taste, but I know that if times get tight, bugs will likely me on the menu. I hope that it doesn't get so bad that roaches and rats become a delicacy.



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