Thursday, October 09, 2008

Depression Cooking

How's that ol' economy treating you? I thought right about now you all might find Depression Cooking with Clara inspiring. Clara is a charming 91-year-old great-grandmother who lived through the (first?) Great Depression. She demonstrates some of the meals that she and her family ate and tells stories of the times:



You might note that the cheap staples she uses in most meals -- pasta, potatoes, onions, etc. -- are vegan. In fact, except for the cheese sprinkled on at the end, this first meal is entirely vegan.

In other economic news, people are cooking at home more and packing more home-made meals to save money. Let's hear it for home cooking!

19 comments:

aimee said...

She completely adorable! What a hoot! I sure miss my grandma. She always made meals like that!

~M said...

She is super cute! I always cook my pasta the way she does: with the heat turned off! It's energy-efficient and results in a better pasta (for Tinkyada gluten-free brown rice pasta, at least).

Tara said...

Ahh, she's delightful! I just bought a second-hand thermos and a bunch of dried beans to save money on my lunches--hurray for cheap, healthy vegan food!

Heather J. Chin said...

Clara is so cute and sweet. I love the simplicity in this dish and her frank, calm and warm nature while cooking it. It's strange, but a welcome change, when hard times spurs a return to the basics.

Debra Phillips said...

She is so sweet. We could learn a lot from her.

Jenna Z said...

Oh, boy, I agree with aimee, it makes me miss both my grandmothers so much. It's both soothing and sad at the same time.

Mary said...

That's so funny - my family eats pasta and peas all the time! Our recipe is just peas - no onion or potato - but I think I might experiment...

Scuba Diva said...

I recall making a dish like this from a cookbook called "Modern Italian Cooking" or something; it was "Pasta, Potatoes, Pesto, and Peas." And that was before I was vegan.

Growing up, we had cottage cheese and noodles a lot (my family is Slavic) and I'm certain that was a Depression-era dish (but also a Russian revolution dish--those Slavs went through some hard times. You know the word "slave" comes from "Slav"--but I digress.)

katie said...

I wish she was my Grandma! I love it when people talk about how life was when they were younger. I wish I had someone to listen to their stories.

Bianca said...

Yea, even though the economy stuff sucks, I hope it teaches many Americans who rely on overpriced processed crap and fast food to cook at home again.

Liz said...

Reminds me of my grandma...I miss her! She was Italian, and the most resourceful cook I knew. She could stretch a meal a whole week. I learned a lot from her, including how to make many dishes from just a few ingredients. How wonderful. Thanks for posting!

Terra said...

This is pretty off topic, but I am looking for more books for teens with vegan or vegetarian characters I've only found two and I'd really like a story with a main character that is a boy. Anyone have any?

ktshadley said...

She's adorable! The meal didn't look to good, but, she's precious, reminds me of my grandma.

BlueBear said...

Ahhh reminds me of my grandma...She used to cook a lot.I mean a LOT.I miss her so much.Thx for posting,great blog.

Candie Beck

deirdre said...

Hi Jennifer,
This got me thinking. I wonder what people would suggest if asked about their most economical, vegan, delicious, family-friendly fare. It wouldn't need to even be "recipe" based --but rather ideas:
--lentils and rice
--veggie chili and cornbread
--?? fill in the blanks :)

emily said...

I found a vegan chocolate cake recipe that was used in the depression b/c they couldn't buy eggs and milk easily. It's one of the best vegan recipes I know!

Alli said...

A big money saver in our family is using frozen veggies!!

Single PAP said...

she is too cute! and i am totally going to try this recipe ~doctored up with some interesting spices :)

fit1 said...

She is absolutely adorable and obviously very knowledgeable. We are lucky to have her. She makes me miss my grandmother even more than usual. I hope she keeps cooking and making us all appreciate grandmothers more everyday.