Some of the most beloved recipes were born from the worst of times. Through the stock market crash in October of 1929, the Depression and World War II moms all over the world stood in food lines hoping there would be enough to put together and feed the family.
The current reality is that there are millions of people who have filed for bankruptcy and cannot make it financially right now. We’ve heard it said that something good always comes from something bad and that seems to apply here as we are home a lot more, our kids are home with us and our grocery store visits are limited. In the wake of all of this we’re seeing a great return to the recipes of the Great Depression and World War II eras. We’re stockpiling flour, sugar and yeast and vegetables with hearty shelf lives just as our recent ancestors did.
Baking has become the new cool thing to do in lockdown as millions of people rise to the challenge of trying old recipes anew.
Spend less money. Check.
Limit grocery store visits. Check
Reduce or eliminate added preservatives. Check
Keep long storage life ingredients on hand. Check
Take time to be nostalgic and reminisce. Check
Keep memories alive. Check
We’re getting creative in the kitchen finding new ways to use the same ingredients in several recipes. Here’s a look at what’s happening in some Covid-19 kitchens where classics from the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s are the new 2020 hits across the world.
Now, that’s creative! How does a mom bake cakes when eggs are so scarce it’s impossible to get your hands on some? Why, she subs mayonnaise, of course! Born out of the scarcity for fresh eggs, this weird-sounding recipe was a hit back in the 30’s and like many of the desserts and breads of days gone by, is enjoying new life during our current hard times. And the bonus? You only dirty one bowl.
This uncomplicated recipe with its super simple instructions reportedly originated in a Great Depression-era cookbook that was first published in the Five Roses Flour Cookbook in 1932. How bad can it be… peanut butter baked into bread? It’s a quick and easy bread enjoying a comeback in quarantine and people making it all agree that it’s a keeper.
A classic that boomers might remember being served when they were kids. Its popularity rose for being so easy to make during the Great Depression when milk, butter, and eggs were scarce but also because it’s such a winner.
Hang onto that bacon fat because you just never know when you’re going to be baking with it. This is the Depression-era oatmeal cookie recipe with bacon drippings instead of butter. Why? Well, not too many kitchens during the depression had the luxury of having a supply of both eggs and butter at the same time since both were extremely hard to get. What must a mom do who wants to treat her family to a dessert? She improvises.
And now for something super sweet and completely Quebecois. This is a French Canadian Depression Era classic that’s still enjoyed today in many homes. Pudding Chomeur is a dessert that deserves to travel far and wide for it’s warm and gooey sweetness.
During these difficult times that are putting a great strain on our financial and emotional wellbeing we can take inspiration from the elders who have lived through their own hard times. We have much to take from them; their creative and tenacious ways of turning basic ingredients into delectable desserts that live on. It must be true; home is where the heart is.
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