Today’s post is quick, but very cool, at least to me. 😊 Below is a link to an article which highlights 20 actual pioneer recipes, which were used during their journey to begin a new life. You have everything from “mud apples” and “chuckwagon beans”, to “vinegar lemonade” and “dutch oven trout”. I hope you enjoy this little journey back in time.
Pioneer life was not easy and the daily chores of managing a house where more than a full time occupation.
Cooking was a major part of each day. Early settlers butchered their own meat and made corned beef, sausage, smoked and dried meats. Large gardens yielded produce for canning, pickling and other preserves. Root cellars stored potatoes, carrots, and onions. Milk was separated into cream for butter and baking and milk for drinking. Breads, cakes and pies were of course all baked at home from scratch from whatever was available…
One of my favorite things to do is look for vintage and old timey recipes. I decided to scour the internet for depression era recipes for today’s article. I thought it fitting since many items are scarce in grocery stores today. My grocery store is almost always out of flour. Eggs are a hit and miss. Sometimes they have a ton, sometimes none at all.
I always admired people who lived during the great depression. We can, by no means, compare ourselves to what they went through. With shanty towns, food lines and the dust bowl, things were much worse back then. We live in luxury by comparison. With that said, there are certain things that may be hard to get and we can learn a lot from their strength and creativity.
I tried to find recipes that had basic ingredients. Because they were cheaper, hot dogs were often used as the protein. I have included 2 such recipes here. Under normal circumstances, hot dogs wouldn’t be included as an ingredient on this site, but I wanted to include it for authenticity. Feel free to swap out the hot dogs in favor of a healthier meat or sausage. The main point is use what you’ve got on hand and get creative, as they did.
This one looks rather interesting. But, is a perfect fit for our theme today. If you have limited resources, this is a great recipe. The author of the recipe says: “This historic pie has been in our family for many generations and is always at all of the family get-togethers.“
This recipe is a wonderful way to fill some bellies and stretch just a few ingredients a long way. As the recipe author says: “Indulge in the comforts of old-fashioned cooking with this classic recipe for Old Timey Country Potato Soup. This easy potato soup recipe will give you something delicious and hearty to serve anytime you’re debating over what to put on the dinner table.”
These are very interesting and remind me of a similar cake recipe: water cake. From the author of the recipe: “In the 1930s, producers of a popular radio program called Jake and Lena invited listeners to write in for this recipe. My mother changed the name from Jake and Lena Cookies to Poor Man’s Cookies because they contained no eggs, milk or nuts. Despite the name, the cookies are rich in taste!”
If your grocery store is anything like mine, regular flour is a scarcity. If this is the case, and you have corn meal in your pantry, give this recipe a try. With only four ingredients, it couldn’t be easier!
At the time this lovely video was made, in 2009, Clara was 91 years old. In this video below, she shares a staple of life in the depression: poor man’s meal. I highly recommend watching the video. Clara shares some of her history as she makes the meal.
Before I really delve back into pioneer cooking, I decided to take a look back at what I’ve done so far. Today, I take a look back at some of the pioneer cookbook adventure articles I’ve written over that past couple of years. It is my ardent hope to, one day, make this a weekly feature. However, I fear that time is several months away. Here are links to 54 different pioneer and vintage recipes.
This article is by far my favorite to write. I love old timey recipes and attempting to prepare them. But, alas, I haven’t had time to devote to this favorite past time of mine.
I wanted to share a recipe with you anyway. This recipe is on my list of things to try from the cookbook pictured below. Over the past year, I’ve been trying different recipes from this book, with different degrees of success.
The recipes are difficult to decipher at times. Words and measurements are sometimes different. There are no cooking temperatures. For me, however, that is part of the fun. I love cooking. So, attempting recipes from the days of my great grandmother is awesome. For me, it doesn’t get any better.
The following recipe is traditional to England, and, never really caught on here in the states. Perhaps it’s the dried fruit, or the fact that it’s boiled, for 5 hours, rather than baked for an hour. I really don’t know. It does intrigue me, however. And, if I do attempt this over the holidays, I will certainly let you all know how it went.
English Plum Pudding
For this recipe, you’ll need a pudding mold, such as the one below: