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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.