Depression Era Wisdom

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I thought some of you might find the following links interesting and/or helpful:

“My object in writing this little book is to show you how you may prepare and cook your daily food, so as to obtain from it the greatest amount of nourishment at the least possible expense; and thus, by skill and economy, add, at the same time, to your comfort and to your comparatively slender means. The Recipes which it contains will afford sufficient variety, from the simple every-day fare to more tasty dishes for the birthday, Christmas-day, or other festive occasions.”
Project Gutenberg – Plain Cookery for the Working Class.

“When she was a kid, for a treat Pat Box and her seven siblings got “water cocoa,” which is pretty much what it sounds like and nothing special today. But that was in the 1930s, when her father’s business was reselling bakers’ barrels to coopers, and the family would get first crack at them, scraping the wood for any traces of sugar or cocoa left behind.” Read the full article at LA Times – Food Lessons From the Great Depression. (HTP to Little Homestead in the City).

Great Depression Cooking – YouTube Videos Cooking with Clara

She’s so cute and its fun to listen to her reminisce. She has a couple of YouTube Videos.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


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  1. Karen says

    Boy. Does that bring back memories of what my grandma told me. They lived on lima beans. She told me “Honey, if I never see another lima bean in my life, it will be way too soon.” Her parents actually made her go live at their next door neighbor’s house because the woman was old and needed help. And so she did. For about 10 months. And 9 out of 10 meals was lima beans.
    Clara was cute. I love the old radio on the counter.
    Makes you appreciate all that we have, huh? Even though times are a little tough right now, we are no where near the hardships of the great depression.
    Thanks! Enjoyed that. Karen

  2. Tracey McBride says

    Hi Manuela. Great links, thank you so much. I really liked them both, and now I’m off to see if I can find more of Clara’s videos on Utube. She’s so healthy for her age. All that pasta with peas didn’t hurt her one bit :).
    Thanks again for taking the time and trouble to share (as you always so generously do).

  3. Vee ~ A Haven for Vee says

    Wow…cocoa water…sounds bleak. I’ll listen to the video, too, on my way out.

    Looks as if it’ll be more than cocoa water for you! Congrats!!

  4. Vee ~ A Haven for Vee says

    Clara is cute. This explains a few things…once I arrived home to find my kids eating what now I know is pasta and peas…minus the pasta…peas and potatoes boiled to a mush. Their dad explained that it was something his grandmother used to make. Oh yucky! I don’t know if I could eat it.

  5. Betty Jo says

    How interesting these are and inspiration for me. I’ll be cooking for one now, and on a very frugal budget. I’m off to check out the videos. xoxo

  6. glorv1 says

    That was definitely a great post Manuela. I’ve never seen you post like this and it was actually very entertaining and hey, bean, rice, and the simple things is what I go by. Thx for sharing. Have a great weekend.

  7. Jean says

    Nothing beats a clean kitchen! The monkey toile is adorable! I think you have a very healthy attitude toward your’job’ as a homemaker. Jean

  8. salmagundi says

    I love Clara! She reminds me of my grandmothers. I learned to make a meal out of nothing from them. I just bought groceries this a.m. and spent $207 – this will last us a whole month. My Mother-in-law, who is 95 and lived through the depression spends $300+ a month just for her. Go figure! I’m much more frugal than she is. Sally

  9. Glenda says

    No one cooks like the older generation. It reminds me of things my mother would cook.

    I’ll have to try some of these, they are so simple.


  10. Lyn says

    Hello Manuela! Thank you for the links. I always enjoy reading about the Great Depression as I think so many people during that time had so much wisdom and through their life lessons they can teach so much to all of us today.

    I have seen those You Tube videos and they are sweet. I wish that she would have done more and I’ve wondered how she is doing now.

    Have a lovely weekend. :)

  11. Kathleen Grace says

    We certainly have different ideas about food now than our grandparents did! I remember my grandfather telling me he and his brothers took lard sandwiches to school for lunch because that was all they had! There has to be some truth in the right way to eat somewhere between lard sandwiches and what we eat now:>)

  12. Emily says

    Thank you so much for all the wonderful comments and visiting my blog! I just LOVEEEEEEE your blog! I LOVE my Mackenzie-Childs! They are so fun!

    xoxo, Emily

  13. Mimi Sue says

    I just spent an hour watching her and a bunch of Italian grandmas cook. How fun. My grandpa called that dish cowboy potatos. Mimi

  14. Lady Katherine says

    I love listening to Clara, reminds me of the days my Grandmother and Mother would tell me of the old days. I bet they were in heaven to get cocoa water, in those days! Hubby says I keep to much! After, moving to the country, with city so far. You hang on to little pieces of thread, buttons, for never know when you are going to need them. I enjoyed watching this today. Thanks so much.

  15. Sue says

    I love listening to older people talk abot the depression era or how things were during the war…I talk to my father-in-law, who’s 87 about these things often. It amazes me the memory he has….Glad you finally found Nathan’s!! Sue.

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