If you're like me after the holidays, a person who routinely has trouble pushing herself away from the table**, you're feeling fat and broke. So I looked up some traditional Depression Era recipes, hearkening back to the days when everybody was skinny because they ate so much cabbage, noodles, beans, and potatoes (for some reason back in the '30s, carb consumption didn't lead to out-of-control weight gain). Most of these recipes are vaguely in the "stone soup
" family, where a minuscule dab of protein is stretched, via the judicious addition of breadcrumbs or other starchy carbs, to feed an entire village. (I noticed that even theNew York Times
has been printing recipes lately that any Depression-surviving mom would have been happy to serve her family, like this one forcabbage with lentils
Here's an original Depression recipe appropriately called Poor Man's Casserole:
1 small head cabbage
2 large potatoes
I large onion, diced
1 1/2 lbs hamburger
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 stick butter
1/2 tsp salt
dash of paprika
Cut cabbage into cubes, salt and pepper to taste, and cook until well done. Drain. Peel and quarter potatoes, salt and cook until well done. Drain potatoes and smash with butter, making sure they are on the dry side. Put hamburger in skillet with onions, salt and pepper, and cook until well done. Drain off all the fat and add cumin. Put cabbage in baking dish to level of about 3 inches. Put meat on top of cabbage. Put potatoes on top of meat. Sprinkle with paprika. Cook in 350 oven for 25 minutes. Makes 4 large servings. The author adds: "In a casserole you have your whole meal: meat, vegetable and starch."
From "Great Depression Recipes."
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.