The 29th. In October 1929, the U.S. stock market crashed and the country plunged into what we call the Great Depression. During the Great Depression, countless jobs were lost, millions lost their income, and families went hungry. This was at a time when many still lived in their own homes, and if they didn’t, they had to start.
The situation has become so desperate that hungry people have made food from almost nothing. Canned food, flour and eggs from their own chickens were sometimes all that was available, if not nothing at all. Some ate only once a day and starved at night. Others ate the same food for days or weeks because it was all they had.
Although this happened over 90 years ago, today we are preparing for all kinds of disaster scenarios. We know, of course, that the famine of the depression era will occur again. Here are some recipes your parents or grandparents made from scratch during the Great Depression.
You don’t have to follow these recipes exactly, you just have to adapt to what you have.
On the subject: 50 tips from the Great Depression
Bread for depression
First, this bread is a huge loaf made from only 4 ingredients, all of which are already in your food supply.
Preserving homemade bread complements many of the dishes on this list.
- 5 pounds of flour
- 5 tablespoons yeast
- 6 teaspoons salt (optional if you have some)
- 6 cups hot water, more or less depending on the flour
Place the flour in a bowl or board and dig a pit in the flower mound.
Add the yeast, salt and hot water to the well and knead the mixture to obtain a dough.
Allow the dough to rise for 60 minutes or until doubled in volume.
Pour into the baking dish and make 3-4 cuts in the top of the dough with a knife.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, until the bread is golden brown.
Ground beef on toast
Second: Cut nice thick slices of the bread you just made to serve this depressed beef.
What you need.
- Beef shank 8 oz.
- 2 tablespoons butter or oil
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 4 glasses of milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sliced homemade bread to serve
- Add the jerky and oil to the skillet over medium heat. Cook until the meat is tender, about 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in the flour and bake for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the milk and bring to a boil. Let the sauce thicken for up to 5 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper, if necessary.
- Serve with homemade bread, toasted if desired.
This salad can be harvested in your own garden, just like it was in the 1930s.
As we know, dandelions are absolutely edible and delicious, just clean them well before eating them.
- 1 pound freshly picked dandelions, well peeled.
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice or vinegar
- 2 to 3 tablespoons oil
Go outside and pick the biggest and freshest dandelions you can find.
Then cover the dandelion completely with cold water and rinse 3-4 times.
Remove the darkest outer leaves from the root with a knife. Flush the toilet again.
After harvesting, you can slice the product or leave it whole, depending on your preference.
Place in a large bowl and season with vinegar and oil. Serve immediately.
Beans are cheap, plentiful, and nutritious.
They were quite common during the depression period and have recently seen a resurgence in the Covid 19 epidemic.
If you don’t use all the vegetables, you can easily omit them.
What you need.
- 1 bag of soaked dry beans, or 2 cans of beans
- One tomato, sliced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, cut into rings
- 2 tablespoons bacon
- Two-stemmed molasses
- A cup of water
- Soak the beans overnight if you are using dry beans, and pour the liquid.
- Prepare the vegetables by cutting them into pieces. Leave out any vegetables you don’t have on hand.
- Add the bacon to the pan and cook until the vegetables are tender.
- Add the beans, molasses and water. Cook with the lid on for 2 to 3 hours or until the beans are the desired consistency. Add water if necessary.
- Serve warm. The leftovers from this dish keep very well and can be eaten several days in a row.
That’s what it looks like: Get an unlimited amount of beans by growing this tree.
The ash cakes are named after them because the different kinds are baked in the hot white ashes of the campfire. There are only 3 ingredients, but it is full and has a good texture.
- 1 cup meat or water
- 2 tablespoons lard or fat
Mix the two ingredients in a bowl and leave overnight to moisten the cornmeal. Pat into a loaf pan and refrigerate or freeze and allow to harden.
The next day, cut into one-inch slices and bake in melted bacon. Serve warm and crisp.
Vacuum cleaner stew
This stew is an amalgamation of what you currently have on your reserve. This recipe is very easy to adapt to what you already have.
Letters of credence
- 1 can of noodles
- A glass of tomatoes
- 1 pack of hot dogs or 1 box of sausages or meat
- A can of corn, peas or beans.
- 2-4 glasses of water
Mix all ingredients in a saucepan until boiling.
Then simmer for 15-20 minutes until the pasta is tender.
If you have herbs, onions and garlic, that would be a good addition.
Otherwise, it’s also an excellent recipe.
Many of us now bury potatoes in our gardens to store them for the winter. This is a great way to use your late winter potato crop, but you can always use canned potatoes.
That’s what it looks like: To make potato chips that will keep for 5 years (without refrigeration).
- 4 large potatoes, peeled and sliced (or 2 boxes of potatoes)
- 2 cloves of garlic, cut into rings
- One carrot, sliced
- A box of meat, sausages or hot dogs (optional).
- 3 cups water or broth
- 3 glasses of milk
- All the herbs you have
- salt to taste
What to do
Slice all the potatoes, garlic and carrots. Add the meat, water and milk to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat, leaving the mixture on low.
Then cook for 30 minutes until all the vegetables are tender.
Add spices and salt if you wish. Serve warm.
And finally, our only dessert recipe dating back to the Great Depression. There’s not much comfort during a depression, but at least this rice pudding will lead to an undesirable situation.
What it takes.
- 1 cup of rice
- 2 glasses of milk
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 3 tablespoons honey, maple syrup or molasses
- Cinnamon brioche
- Mix all ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes.
- Season for another 5 minutes and cook for another 5 minutes until desired consistency is reached.
- Serve warm.
So we may need the prescriptions of our parents or grandparents from the Great Depression era sooner than we think because of the increasing instability caused by the government and the current pandemic.
Cooking with almost nothing is possible, as we learned in the 1930s and early 1940s. All of these recipes are easy to make with what you should already have in your root cellar and non-perishable foods. Use your judgment to add or omit ingredients that are right for you.
Finally, the next time the economy collapses, which may be sooner than we think, keep cooking with a few recipes to feed your family and keep your business going.
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How to dry beans and rice for a shelf life of over 20 years.
10 things to do before the coming Great Depression.
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