It’s great being a prepper, stockpiling foods, and being ready for when SHTF, but who wants to use all their food supplies and reserves before even making it to that time of need?
Whether you are on a tight budget, or just wish to preserve your food supply and make it last long enough, learning cheap and easy-to-make meals will save you tons of resources and effort. Plus, they are easy to know by heart.
Here are some of the best recipes that were adopted in times of wars and crisis, although they lost their popularity and seem to have been forgotten nowadays when they should have not.
Salt Rising Bread
Despite its name, the salt-rising bread doesn’t taste salty nor it is leavened by salt. This recipe dates back to the 1750s in the United States and was the result of a necessity to find a risen bread in the absence of access to yeast.
Women would cultivate bacteria in their starter by leaving a mixture of boiled milk, cornmeal or wheat flour (and, sometimes, a sliced potato), sugar, and salt out overnight in a hot environment, resulting in microbes that create hydrogen, which serves as the leavening agent.
Related: Easy DIY French Bread Under 10 Minutes For 30 Cents
Over the years, with the appearance of commercial packaged bread that tastes better and does not consume as much time, this bread lost its popularity gradually until becoming rare to find.
Making this recipe can indeed take some time, from 16 hours to 48, but the ingredients are very simple and available in every household.
To make this fresh bread, you need ¼ cup of milk, 2 tbsp. yellow cornmeal, 1½ tbsp. granulated sugar, 1 cup water, 1 tbsp. salt, ½ tsp. baking soda, 4 cups all-purpose flour, and 4 tbsp. soft butter.
- In a large container, add cornmeal and 1 tbsp. sugar to your already scalded milk and mix well. Cover the container with plastic wrap and place it in a warm place. Let it rest for 7 to 12 hours or until it shows fermentation.
- In a different container, mix 1 cup of hot water, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp baking soda, and ½ tsp sugar. Add 1 ½ cups flour and mix everything well, then combine with the starter you made previously. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and keep it in a warm place. In about 3 hours, it should double in size.
- Stir in the soft butter, ½ tsp salt, and another 2 ½ cups flour. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes. Shape the dough into logs and place them in greased loaf pans. Cover the pans and put them in the same warm spot. In about 4 hours, the bread should rise two times the original size.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and bake the bread for 35 to 40 minutes.
Sugar Cream Pie
I thought I should at least mention one sweet recipe on my list and this one definitely deserves to be remembered.
From the desperation pies category. This was a very popular sweet in the early 1900s. It requires no refrigeration and is made with very simple non-seasonal ingredients, that every family has in their pantry.
⇒ 5 Ingenious Ways To Refrigerate Your Food Without Electricity
For this pie crust, you will need 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1 tsp. sugar, 1 stick of butter, and ice water.
For the pie filling you will need 1⁄3 cup all-purpose flour, ½ stick of butter, 1 cup milk, 1 cup heavy cream, 1 cup sugar, and 1 tsp vanilla extract.
- Melt your butter in a saucepan. While whisking, add flour, then milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and let it simmer until thickened. Strain the mixture and pour it onto your crust. Bake your pie for 25 minutes and serve when it has cooled down.
- Whisk together 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1 tsp. sugar, and ½ tsp. salt. Add 1 stick of butter and mix everything, then slowly add 2 tbs. of ice water. Keep mixing until the dough begins to hold together. If it’s too dry, you can add a little bit of water until it reaches the desired consistency.
- Roll out the dough piece until it’s about 4mm thick. Place it into a pie dish and trim the edges. Bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until the edges of the pastry begin to turn golden.
- In a large pan, melt ½ stick of butter. Whisk in 1⁄3 cup of all-purpose flour, without letting it darken. Add the milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla extract. At this point, you can also add cinnamon. Bring everything to a boil, then keep cooking at low heat until it thickens.
- Pour this mixture into the cooled crust and bake for another 25 minutes.
You may not have heard of it before, but it is a must-try. This traditional Britain dish first appeared during World War 2 when there were food restrictions and people had to do with what was available.
For this pie, you will need pie pastry, one onion, 6 potatoes, 2 leeks, 1 garlic clove, salt, thyme, cheddar cheese, and some butter.
Related: All Churned Up – Making Your Own Delicious Butter
- Start off by making your usual short crust pastry using flour, salt, butter, and cold water.
- In a frying pan, melt some butter and sauté the chopped onion over medium heat, until soft. Add the minced garlic and the sliced leeks and cook for a few more minutes. At this point, you can also add some soft cheese.
- In a large bowl, mix the cooked leeks and the boiled potatoes. Add salt, thyme, and any other spices to taste.
- Place your pie crust into a pie dish. Add the pie filling and sprinkle over some cheddar cheese. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes.
Okra And Tomatoes
For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, Okra is a plant with edible seeds, often cultivated in tropical and warm weather.
This vegetable is very high in vitamins such as vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Folate, and it also aids with digestion.
There are many ways to make it. One of the famous okra recipes is the classic southern dish ‘okra and tomato’, flavored with garlic, onions, and sometimes bacon. An easy and nutritious meal.
You will need 1 diced onion, 2 minced garlic cloves, 3 cups diced tomatoes, 2 cups of okra cut into ½-inch pieces, salt and pepper.
- In a large skillet, add some vegetable oil and sauté the onion and garlic for 5 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add the okra and mix everything, then cover with a lid and simmer for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
This recipe is not very popular everywhere because cultivating okra can be a little challenging depending on where you live, as it is a heat-loving plant, but it is still possible to grow it in colder soils with the help of a row cover or a black plastic covering to heat the soil.
Lord Woolton Pie
Another pie that was first made in the 1940s during World War 2. Lacking meat in those times, the filling of the original recipe only calls for vegetables, oats and a stock cube.
For the pastry, you will need 1 cup whole-wheat flour, ½ cup mashed potatoes, 6 tbsp. margarine or lard, 2 tsp. baking powder, salt, and water.
For the pie filling, you will need 1lb. cauliflower, 1 lb. parsnips, 1 lb. carrots, 1 lb. potatoes, one stock cube, 1 tbsp. rolled oats, and salt and pepper to taste. You can adjust the recipe by using any veggies that you have available.
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- For the pastry, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and margarine or lard. Then, mix the mashed potatoes and knead. If the dough is too dry, add a little water.
- Dice all the vegetables and place them in a big pot. Add water to reach ¾ of the way up to the vegetables and bring to a simmer. Then add the stock cube, rolled oats and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 20 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender and most of the water is absorbed.
- Please this mixture in a pie dish, then roll out the dough for the pie crust and place it on top. Bake the pie in the oven at 375 degrees F for about 30 minutes.
Another World War II meal. Spam fritters are cheap and contain 15% of a person’s daily needed protein, so they were pretty popular. In addition to that, they are very easy to make.
For this recipe, you will need Spam, 1 cup of all-purpose flour, ½ tsp. salt, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1 cup beer, and oil for frying.
- For the batter, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper and beer.
- Cut the Spam into thick slices. Dredge the slices in flour, then dip in the batter. Deep fry for about 3 minutes.
You can elevate the taste by adding extra ingredients such as cheese and Dijon mustard.
Hot Red Cross
This one is a rare recipe to be found, yet a really good one. It was first shared on November 1941 and was invented as a necessity during the Great Depression.
⇒ The ‘Superweed’ That Saved Large Communities During The Great Depression
This recipe is nutritious and fulfilling, and a big batch of it can last you months if stored right.
For this recipe, you will need rice, 2 cups finely diced cold meat, 2 cups tomato juice, 1 tbs. chili powder, 1 onion, 1 cup leftover gravy, and ¼ tsp. salt.
- In a cooking pot, cook the rice, drain it and keep it in a warm place until ready to serve.
- In a skillet, melt some butter and sauté the diced onion until soft. Add the meat, tomato juice, salt, chili powder, and gravy. Mix everything together and cook until the sauce thickens.
Plain Irish Stew
As its name indicates, it’s an Irish recipe that also goes back to the time of the Civil War. All you need to make this hot fulfilling stew is 1lb lamb, mutton, or even beef, 1 onion, 1 lb. potatoes and any other vegetables of your liking, ¼ cup tomato paste, 4 cups stock and salt and pepper to taste.
- Cut the meat into big chunks. In a pot, heat some olive oil, and cook the meat until brown on all sides and remove it from the pot. Work in batches if you need to.
- Add the diced onion to the pot and cook until translucent, then return the meat to the pot.
- Add potatoes, and any other vegetables of your liking. Some people like adding carrots, peas, and even leeks.
- Add the tomato paste, stock, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir together the ingredients, cover the pot and cook for about 2 hours, until the meat and vegetables are tender.
All these recipes have proven to be reliable in the toughest of times. With the economy on the verge of collapse, now is the perfect time you tried these recipes, that require simple and cheap ingredients.
So where are the recipes?
I’m am an Old Gramma and rarely need a recipe. Most women were cooking by the seat of their pants until Betty Crocker came along.
But… Was it good? My grandmothers were terrible cooks. The food always was overcooked and bland. My mom used recipes and was excellent until she stopped using the recipes. 😂
Steph… I have news for you. People who actually can’t cook need recipes.
People who actually CAN cook understand the nuances of ingredients and flavours. They understand what flavours combine well and which ones don’t. They understand their ingredients… Which order to put things together in, what things need to be warm, cold or room temperature before being added together. They know how to make vegetables sweat to lock in flavour. They can tell when something is done cooking just by looking at it or even just by smelling it. They understand how elevation can affect pastries, breads and cakes.
Some people are just not talented at these things… And some are atrocious at it – you can give them a simple, literally bombproof recipe and they will screw it up. I have seen people screw up Hamburger Helper.
There is actually quite a lot of science involved with cooking and food in general. Certain ingredients added together will give unexpected results.
Most of my family‘s favourites are things that I have just more or less “created“ out of things that I happened to have around. The tough thing about that is when they like it’s so well that they ask for it again… And you don’t recall what you did because you were just flying by the seat of your pants.
This article addresses the subject in what I would call “the old style”! Recipes like my grandmother left, written down in a little marble notebook. The name of the dish, underneath which she wrote a simple a list of ingredients. No measurements. No Instructions. She could cook anything, so she really didn’t even need to write anything down. She must have done it as a way to instruct my mother in the art of cooking, a most valuable skill set that lasts a life-time and, needs no instructions!
Lucky you, dear.🍀
Looks great, I have to adjust some items as I removed meats from my diet years ago.
Well, the stew recipe is very simple.I make it all the time.
2 pounds of stew meat — beef, pork or lamb
6 to 8 potatoes, depending on size
1 ear of corn
1 pkg of frozen peas
1 pkg of frozen green beans OR 1 big handful
2 cups of water
2 roasted green chiles
1/2 pkg of mushrooms
1 medium onion, sliced
1 pkg brown gravy mix
Prepare the veggies. Wash potatoes, carrots, slice corn off cob, slice onion, slice up green beans, cut up mushrooms, (etc). Put meat, water, the veggies into a 5 quart crock pot and turn on low for 8 to 12 hours. About 15 minutes before eating, make gravy and add to crock pot. Eat.
I make this in the morning before work and when I come home, supper is done. Any veggies are optional; add whatever you like and take away what you don’t. I love stew becuase you can customize it according to your tastes.
I hope this helps.
Good recipe JoAnn.
Maybe instead of us complaining about not being spoon fed every detail about an article, we can use the info as a steppingstone or idea to go and find the detailed info ourselves. I mean if we have to be spoon fed every detail and told what to do or we start complaining, what are you going to do when things go south and there’s no one to cry or complain to?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m just saying, how hard is it to google OLD FASHIONER SUGAR CREAM PIE and find a good simple recipe and post it on here, and be a contributor instead of a constant taker and complainer. I mean this article gave me some good ideas that I’m going to research for myself and what works for our group.
I just got this in my email today from a site I sub to.
Soda Bread Recipe
2 cups all-purpose flour ($0.27)
1/2 tsp baking soda ($0.01)
1/2 tsp salt ($0.06)
1 cup buttermilk* ($0.32)
1. Set a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat it to 450°F. Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until they are fully incorporated.
2. Form a well in the center of the flour mixture and fill the well with the buttermilk.
3. Use a fork to incorporate the flour into the buttermilk little by little until a thick batter forms. Use your hands to incorporate the final bits of flour and gently shape the batter into a dough. Do not overwork the dough.
4. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and gently shape it into a round 6 inches in diameter and about 1 1/2 inches thick.
5. Place the dough in a Dutch oven or cast iron skillet. Use a sharp knife to cut a large x into the top of the dough.
6. Bake for 10 minutes at 450°F. Then lower the oven temperature to 400°F and continue baking until the bread is golden brown and crusty on the outside, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool.
*If you don’t have buttermilk, simply take a cup of milk and add one tablespoon of vinegar to it to create your own buttermilk. I usually use distilled white, but any vinegar will do. You can also use citrus juice.
Traditionally, Irish soda bread is just four ingredients. But Irish Americans add currants or caraway seeds to the dough. You can also add a few teaspoons of citrus zest or your favorite fresh herbs. For a fun twist, try it with Everything Bagel seasoning. It’s truly a blank canvas, so don’t be scared to experiment with your favorite flavors.
Thank you, dear.🌹
Here is a retired, solitary, disabled, & elderly watercolor artist
(non motorist, even!) who has MORE than enough to struggle with – without being assigned to research
other people’s ideas of well known cooking recipes.🤦
Excellent recipe Joann! For folks who do not have a Crock Pot, but do have a Dutch Oven, this dish can still be made with just a few minor adjustments made to the preparation of the meat. The meat should be sprinkled with salt and pepper, and then dredged in flour. Once that is done, heat up some fat of your choice in your Dutch Oven, and brown the meat on all sides. Once that’s done, add your vegetables, the package mix and some water or just add beef stock making sure that you cover the meat. Then simply put the lid on the Dutch Oven and cook low and slow until everything is fork tender.
Bill, try it with yogurt, instead of milk niio
Giving recipes really isn’t the idea,it’s a matter of learning how to create a meal with little or nothing. When a famine hits you’re not going to be able to rely on recipes when you aren’t able to get the ingredients you need. The salt bread is teaching how to make a raised bread in the absence of yeast. You can easily make a flat bread in far less time and it keeps well also. I saw a depression recipe for a water pie. It’s time to educate yourselves and simple food preparation is best for strength. God bless us.
I am self-taught in the kitchen and never use a recipe for my staple foods, and rarely for anything more exotic unless there’s something specific and complex I want to play with. If I’m cooking a stew for example I have a look and see what I’ve got on hand and go from there. 90% of your everyday food is made with the same types of ingredients that you mix and match in different ways. It’s basically just trial-and-error and practice. And like all chefs know…taste, adjust, taste…rinse and repeat. I don’t think I’ve ever cooked the same thing identically twice, ever. I don’t measure, just add what I reckon is about right, taste and adjust. Even with breads, cakes and pastry, you just need an idea of the basic recipe and the rest is straightforward…how do you think people came up with these things in the first place…by improvising and having a go.
I was taught that once you have a recipe, it’s yours. niio
In the article – did you read it?
In the article, kid. Stay young! niio
They are in the article! I’m confused! 🙂
All the recipes were listed…perhaps you skimmed thru the article and did not notice.
They are written just below the titles.
8 Recipes That Shouldn’t Have Been Forgotten
Well…..where are the recipes?
I guess she forgot to add the amount of the ingredients.
It’s all in the articles.
Old Gramma, Dave King, Sandra plus everyone else wondering where the recipes are:
Did you even READ the article? The recipes are clearly there.
They are written just below the titles.
I missed them too, at first. In the article niio
“8 Recipes That Shouldn’t Have Been Forgotten” and you forgot to include any recipe in the entire article. A waste of time…
Not true…..you must have skimmed instead of reading the article.
“What we have here is a failure to communicate.”
Guess they really were forgotten!!
WTF is wrong with you people? The ingredients and how to put
each dish together is clearly explained.
As Clara asked July Johnson in Lonesome Dove.
“You can read can’t you”? “You ain’t stupid are ya”?
That is such a great movie, Lonesome Dove!
As is the sequel, Return to Lonesome Dove!
I never tire of watching it!
Tommy Lee Jones is great with Robert DuVall.
As is John Voight in the sequel…!!!
Mzz: I disliked the movie, but if voit is in the sequel…! I used to be a cowhand and never did I see the troubles they went thru. As for the mesquite thorn, geez. I get them all the time and you either cut it out (if in shallow) or soak in hot brine. niio
Better stupid than proud and rude, sir….👼
I found the recipes quickly and easily with a search. Just copy and paste, then add “recipe” to the search box.
What good is this recipe with no amounts. Could not find on internet
I suppose we’ll have to guess the measurements, since they weren’t included with the ingredients…
In the article I missed them, too at first read. niio
Chuck, I can’t imagine trying to make the bread without any idea of the proportions of the ingredients. That’s the recipe part that is missing. There would be lots of dismal failures trying to figure it out on one’s own.
I don’t see the quantity of each ingredient?which would of course be a huge waste😤
The amounts are up to you. If you cook, you should be easy to figure out how much you need. Accordingly your family. I can figure out real easy. Make it for the size of your family.
You taste, add, and season as you cook. For example, a little too salty, add a potato. That’s the way you can adjust a dish to your liking to suit your taste buds. You must however, measure when baking. Cooking is an art. Baking however is truly an exact science!
Do y’all mean to tell me you can’t look at a picture and a general list of ingredients and figure out how to make something to your liking…. WOW.
Thank you. If you can’t figure it out, you don’t cook very much. I make bread several times a week. I wouldn’t be able to tell you the amounts as it is by feel, not the measures.
And I cannot even drive a car, either
But everybody I pray for the living end the dead and
It IS entirely possible, that people like me matter to Holy God too🌹
Come on people! A quick Google search and I found fully written (with pictures) recipes for each item listed in the article. If you truly are “preppers,” why are you asking to be spoon-fed every bit of information about something as basic as a recipe search?
I mean, really…I’m 67 and even I can search for something on Google.
I am sure a quick google search and you shall find these recipes. When you do just make sure to write them down. So when the grid goes down you will have a back up hard copy.
Worth your while to search on your own for each of these recipes. I found several others that I’m keeping, and re-discovered British Pasties.
WOW! What’s with the anger?? Is it really that annoying that someone would want the actual recipe that states at least amount approximations of the ingredients. I think that’s the expectation when an article is titled “… recipes that shouldn’t have been forgotten”. I’ve been cooking and baking for nearly 60 years so I’m not a complete idiot in the kitchen, but I wouldn’t want to waste food by winging it as some of you suggest. Anyway, some of you seriously need to lighten up and take a few breaths. Life is short. Be nice.
Wonder what the one on the top right is? Looks like layered tomatoes and cheese…
It’s called making do with what you have and making it appealing. It is a Blessing to have meat and an abundance of vegetables, but many of us remember when this was not the case.
Laughing about these recipes, we had Okra(sliced up) and Tomatoes 2 nights ago. My better half adds shoe peg corn to hers and we serve it over rice. In October we will be married 51 years and during the summer when we can get fresh okra we will have okra, corn, tomatoes every couple of weeks. We always put up fresh okra during the summer to enjoy during the winter. We have been eating this all the years that we have been together. We both enjoy spiced up petite tomatoes served over rice as a side dish. Every Friday night is fish night, we broil or grill fish and serve it with a whole broiled spiced up tomato put into a dish of cheese grits. Yes, we live in the Deep South.
These RECIPES are upside down. If you need a recipe, you need a recipe with the amounts. But most people these days are used to readymade meals and need amounts or there will be more waste than food eaten.
Spam was almost unknown in the US when it got a real distribution boost during WW2 – it was called “sausage in a tube” when it hit the shores of Britain – Spam was initially one of the few food items that weren’t rationed >>> the housewives took a few cans home and began the recipe experimenting …
as the article says – Spam is a great source of daily protein sourcing and with creative cooking can be involved in a few meals a day ……
As a kid, fried, thinly sliced Spam and spaghetti in red sauce was a favorite at our house! its an easy quick meal to put on the table too.
We liked Spam but the Treat can gave you a larger amount so we had fried Treat.
i have to laugh. shortly after we were married my young bride ask my mum for some recipe. mum showed her how to make it and my wife was shocked. she said you can’t do that, you can’t cook without measuring. now she is doing the same. chuckling and smiling.
for all intents and purposes all a recipe is is simply a starting point from which you adjust to taste. (receipt for any super old timers here, or readers of old turn of the last century books)
cooking without a measured receipe comes from years of experience and practice. Not everyone has it, and younger folks need a place to start aquireing it.
Some folks need to chill and remember some of their more dismal results from winging it in the kitchen.
These comments are absolutely hilarious to me. Some of these reactions are pitiful and truly show the state of current affairs. By the time I was 8 years old (I’m only about to be 41 next month) I could make meals like these and more. My mother taught me a little. But, she worked 3 jobs and my dad was a drug dealing alcoholic pothead, so I was really on my own. Watch some cooking shows for crying out loud! A lot of shows give you a basic amount to start with, but you often have to adjust for your taste. Some of those recipes call for way too much salt or water. Then you have to add more flour or vegetables or whatever. What these comments actually show is who ACTUALLY cooks, and who can follow directions. Good luck when AllRecipes.com and Google are gone.
The salt-rising bread is interesting, though, at that point, you have all the ingredients (except a splash of vinegar) for soda bread, which is ready for the oven once it’s mixed and kneaded. I’ve done soda or beer bread several times over the last couple of years.
Hot Red Cross sounded like one of the common ways to make chili. Not my way, but it would work. Nothing forgotten here.
Irish Stew definitely is a norm for stew-making. Tomatoes and Okra is also pretty standard in the southern US, though taking a couple more steps for gumbo is probably more usual.
Spam fritters is definitely interesting and not something I would think of.
Lord Woolton Pie is essentially a vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie.
I agree that since the title said “recipe,” proportions should’ve been included, as that is standard for a recipe. However, as others have pointed out, you can find the full recipes on other sites. I’m just not sure that any of these have been forgotten, except maybe by the specific name.
Two recipes from my dads experience during the Great Depression were the Jam sandwich (two slices of bread jammed together and the lard sandwich ( a slice of bread with hog lard spread in it). My great grandfather (who lost two sons in the Civil War) was cooking fried potatoes in my grandfathers kitchen and because he had hemorrhoids my dad and his brothers called the dish Scratch Me Ass Potatoes. My mother ate a lot of Cake and Frosting (toast and white gravy) but at my dads house it was SH*T On A Shingle (toast and brown gravy). They also had bean sandwiches (cold congealed soup beans on bread). Back then every meal was Fast Food. Because every day was like a fast.
My father went through extended times of hunger during WW2 and then later in the displaced person’s camps. He learned to not be too particular. One of the things he did like was to take the bacon grease left in the pan and slather it on a slice of bread, like thick butter. He often had hamburger gravy over mashed potatoes. Minus the “s”, he called it ‘not.
When people were settling up their land in Wyoming around 1910, they had little money for food. When they also couldn’t afford to light a candle in the evening, they would only find out the next day what they really had eaten.
Ingredients are in the article! I missed them, too, first reading, but Try to copy and use search on the copy. The recipes are easy to read but not in cookbook format. no this:
For the pie filling you will need
1⁄3 cup all-purpose flour,
½ stick of butter,
1 cup milk,
1 cup heavy cream,
1 cup sugar, ]
1 tsp vanilla extract.
Two great cook books from the post war and depression eras are The Golden Wattle Cookbook and the CWA (Country Women’s Association) Cookbook.
Both have a plethora of old school recipes in them, based on what was long storage or seasonal foods. The GWCB came out around the same time as the CWA one, was the west’s version, the CWA one was initiated in the east. Both are brilliant resources for all sorts of nostalgic food, and use the foods any homesteader should be able to get their hands on at seasonal times of the year.
Sandgroper, One can never have too many books! I will take a look, and more than likely, add these two titles to my growing library when I can. Thank you very much for this information! They should both be an interesting read and a good go to source as well.
My mother was a superior cook. She darned sure didn’t learn from her mother. Her mother’s recipes were simple. If it couldn’t be boiled, it wasn’t cooked. My mother learned from all of the moms of her girlfriends. She grew up in a very culturally diverse neighborhood during the Great Depression and WWII and was skilled at Polish, German, Italian, Irish, French, and plain old solid American stuff. My father’s mom was also a superior cook. As a result ,all four of my sisters became great cooks as did my two brothers. One brother became a professional chef. I can muddle by and cook simple things fairly well, but I lucked out and married a Cuban gal who was also a superior cook. Not just Spanish stuff either. My mom taught her much more. Our two daughters and son are also good cooks. Recipes are not always used by anyone in my family except for maybe a new dish they’re learning to make.
During my lean times I often created a meal with what I had. Some not so good but beat being hungry. Leftovers would get added to in hope it might get better.
My kids had a few favorites ( usually the ones without red chili pepper)
Recipes are ok when trying to make the meal the same way as someone else. I have made pea soup many times trying to replicate my mothers. Getting close using bacon ends.
Another thing I want to try is my Godfather’s rubarb wine. He never gave up his recipe.
I found a reprint of the “Home Comfort Cook Book” from 1930 on Amazon. It has made from scratch recipes. It was the cookbook my 85 year old mom was taught to cook from and she had a copy that was falling apart. I got her a new reprint copy, as well as, a copy for all my brothers and sisters. The cost at the time of this purchase was about $10.00. The book originally was included with the purchase of a Home Comfort wood cook stove.