Meals of the Depression

Discussion in 'Survival of the Fittest' started by Motomom34, Oct 8, 2014.

  1. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Ever wonder what they ate during the depression? Here is a list that is clipped from another site. I have eaten some of what is listed below. Have you?

    Milk toast

    Chipped beef on toast

    Cucumber and mustard sandwiches

    Mayonnaise sandwiches

    Ketchup sandwiches

    Hot milk and rice



    Potato soup – water base, not milk

    Dandelion salad

    Lard sandwiches

    Bacon grease sandwiches

    Sugar sandwiches

    Hot dogs and baked beans

    Road kill

    One eyed Sam – piece of bread with an easy over egg in the center

    Oatmeal mixed with lard

    Fried potatoes and hot dogs

    Onion sandwich – slices of onion between bread

    Tomato gravy and biscuits

    Deep fried chicken skin

    Cornbread in milk

    Gravy and bread – as a main dish

    Toast with mashed potatoes on top with gravy

    Creamed corn on toast

    Corn mush with milk for breakfast, fried corn mush for dinner


    Rice in milk with some sugar


    Fried potato peel sandwiches

    Banana slices with powdered sugar and milk

    Boiled cabbage

    Hamburger mixed with oatmeal

    American cheese sandwich: ‘American’ cheese was invented because it was cheap to make, and didn’t require refrigeration that may or may not exist back then.

    Tomato gravy on rice

    Toast with milk gravy

    Water fried pancakes

    Chicken feet in broth

    Fried bologna

    Warm canned tomatoes with bread

    Butter and sugar sandwiches

    Fried potato and bread cubes

    Bean soup

    Runny eggs with grits

    Butter and grits with sugar and milk

    Baked apples

    Sliced boiled pork liver on buttered toast (slice liver with potato peeler)

    Corn meal mush

    Spaghetti with tomato juice and navy beans

    Whatever fish or game you could catch/hunt

    Tomato sandwiches

    Hard boiled eggs in white sauce over rice

    Spam and noodles with cream of mushroom soup

    Rag soup: spinach, broth and lots of macaroni

    Garbanzo beans fried in chicken fat or lard, salted, and eaten cold

    Popcorn with milk and sugar – ate it like cereal

    Could you stomach these Great Depression meals? - Survival Mom
    Sapper John likes this.
  2. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    When I wanted an after dinner snack/dessert my Mom always served up saltines in milk, a recipe from her Grandma.

    *eat fast because it gets soggy real quick.
  3. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    I ate several of those as a child in the 50's. My grandparents on my fathers side were preppers by design and frugal tendencies. They had one garden for the home, and one for sales at a roadside produce stand. They canned and had a cold cellar. This grandfather never touched alcohol. My grandparents on my mothers side had more children than they could support at times and farmed them out to relatives as indentured servants more or less. These were the older children in their teens. Some were pulled out of school to accomplish this. For some of them, it did not serve them well to advance their futures. These grandparents couldn't be said to be preppers as they barely eked by. The dominate male of the second group also abused alcohol as did several of his children later in life. Only one of those children still lives; an uncle 8 years my senior. I reflect on all this myself, maybe not often enough.
    chelloveck, KAS and Motomom34 like this.
  4. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    I have had a lot of those items on the list above. Growing up as a kid in the country, I suspect that does open a person's diet and meals available to them. We had a very large garden which we used with our daily meals, depending on what was ripe at the time. Mom was a heck of a cook and could make about anything, sometimes she even would whip out a cookbook to make something We canned all the excess produce or stored it in our root cellar for the long winter. We also had a couple pigs and a mess of rabbits at any given time. Dad bartered a lot with some of our local neighbors... a pig for a cow, rabbits for chicken/eggs... and so on, that was how we did it and it worked well for our community.

    Every year one of our main goals was to keep the two freezers full, with either the food we raised or traded for.... and then all the fish, elk, deer & antelope we could procure. Deer in our area was abundant and in a typical year we would take maybe 8 overall and maybe an elk or two on average. I lived about 300 yards off a major Rainbow Trout river, so fishing was just a way of life.

    The closest gas or grocery store for us was about 8 miles from the house, but it was a tiny one. The real stores were 25 miles away and in the winter that could be a long drive. I think now days, unless you are living in the country or have those roots, many of these ways of self sufficiency are being forgotten.
    KAS, Motomom34, kellory and 1 other person like this.
  5. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I will admit without shame that I love fried bologna. I grew up poor.

    @tacmotusn my step dad was farmed out as a child. He came from a big family and he lived in another town working on a farm for room and board. Few of his siblings had the same deal.
    Chuck T and tacmotusn like this.
  6. RouteClearance

    RouteClearance Monkey+++

  7. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    Sort of looks like my grocery list, are we having a depression?
  8. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Ate some of that stuff in Navy messes, shipboard and ashore. SoS was a fave.
    Motomom34, oldawg and tacmotusn like this.
  9. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    I am pretty sure she has a book or two out as well. Just tried to quickly lay hands on them, failed, but found these. "Stories and recipes of the great depression", by Rita Van Amber, volumes 1 thru 5, and "Possum Living", by Dolly Freed. These as well would serve you well to read or have in your Library
    chelloveck and Motomom34 like this.
  10. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    My mother, her older sister, and moms younger sister all were farmed out. Some of them at times not even to other relatives. I think my grandfather showed a distinct preference to the 4 male offspring, not that it did much of a positive influence on their lives. I could tell tales, but I love and respect my Uncle who still lives and will leave sleeping dog alone. My mother and her younger sister were free spirits and strong women. Crossing them was like messing with a mamma grizzly. The were unique and legendary in their own right.
    chelloveck and Motomom34 like this.
  11. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    I've eaten at least half of those listed, as well as many things not listed, like rattlesnake, frogs. Crayfish. My grandfather lived through it, and every meal was usually soup and bread. He grew to hate soup and bread, and once things improved, he swore off both, and never ate either one again. For me it was fried bologna sandwiches every morning for breakfast. To this day, the smell alone will chase me out of the house. (I can't stand it)
    Motomom34 and Yard Dart like this.
  12. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    I cooked some spam the other day for fun and the wife was "hesitant".... guess she never had it. She best get used to it if the SHTF.... I like it and have a pile of it somewhere... lol. :)
    Minuteman, Motomom34 and oldawg like this.
  13. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Momma has a recipe for Spam, that has a Honey Glaze... When we were "Young and Poor" it was a staple, at our house. Now that we are "OLD and Poor" it is fun to break out a can every once and a while, and relive our youth......
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  14. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    @BTPost maybe I should try glazing our Spam. I have it, don't really like it so I guess I need to get creative just in case I ever need to eat it.

    I notice from the list that they would put most anything on bread and call it a sandwich.

    BTW- roadkill? I do wonder how you determine if it is edible or not.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 8, 2014
  15. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    Fresh is the best criteria, but if it passes the smell test, can probably be cooked to a safe degree.
    Motomom34 likes this.
  16. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    If it doesn't cause you to BARF, it is edible......
    Motomom34 likes this.
  17. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Moto, you can get on a roadkill list with your sheriff's office, and a fresh hit deer will get you a phone call and free meat. I know several folks on that list.
    chelloveck, Hanzo and Motomom34 like this.
  18. RouteClearance

    RouteClearance Monkey+++

    This is a 21 year old news clip, Varney Is Really A Hillbilly, Says Road Kill Pretty Good - Orlando Sentinel but if fresh road kill is good enough for Jim Varney, well we only live once.
    Motomom34 likes this.
  19. NotSoSneaky

    NotSoSneaky former supporter

    Spam is good. Eaten it since I was a kid.
    I'll have the Spam, eggs, bacon and spam please.

    C'mon you knew someone was gonna post it. [tongue]

    Few people might admit this but when I was homeless in my youth I had to resort to eating road kill a couple times. A nice little beaver or woodchuck with a broken neck was a good find. If its not drawing files, its fresh. However if its squashed flat or swelled up pass it by. Anything found in the heat of the day I'd pass also.

    You'd be surprised at what you'll be willing to eat when you've had no food for a couple days.

    Make all the jokes you want about eating beaver, its actually pretty good.

    Nowadays I just trap me one every once in a while for dinner.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2014
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  20. KAS

    KAS Monkey++

    spam is every were in guam !!! on menues in resturans
    they serve it on sushi and any other way they can fix it and it sells like hot cakes!!!
    Motomom34 likes this.
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