Saturday, 11 April 2009

Depression Cooking Lessons

Yesterday in a very rambling post, I tacked on a link to the YouTube site of Depression Cooking with Clara. After watching the very first of her cooking lessons, I just had to try the easy and quick recipe she demonstrated, for pasta with peas. While she was showing her viewers how to prepare this filling and economical meal, I realized that it was the perfect thing to use up some leftovers I had: A lone potato out of its bag in the pantry, some onion chunks sitting in the fridge, and some very old frozen peas languishing in the freezer from when I had used them as a cold pack long ago. Clara added tomato sauce to her pasta dish, but I had visions of alfredo sauce on mine, and I have alfredo sauce powder as part of my food stores, so I was all set!

It turned out deliciously, and the pasta cooked with retained heat after I turned the burner off, just like she said it would. Clara commented that during the depression this was a common way to cook - turning off the gas flame, to conserve fuel and save money. During her cooking lessons, 91-year-old Clara talks about how things were for her and her family during the depression, and how they managed to stay healthy in tough times. Pasta and potatoes were a large part of their diet, and a home garden was essential. Very inspiring viewing, I must say.

Thanks Clara, lunch was very tasty!

11 comments:

sensiblevermonter said...

I totally just found her videos a few days ago too! I think I followed a blog through artbystrongheart and found them and wow! She's terrific! I'm going to have to try her "poor man's meal" because potatoes were just buy one 5lb bag get one free, I always have a ton of onions on hand, and my inlaws brought left us with a bunch of hotdogs! But I'm really happy to hear that you tried out a recipe and it was great! :) I think we all need to learn a little bit about simple cheap cooking. I actually have a number of cheap meals I learned from my mom that only require a few ingredients and typically, they are pantry staples or leftovers. Thanks a bunch for posting your success and yummy looking photo! :)

Heather @ SGF said...

Chile of Chile Chews talks often about turning the heat off to let it cook the rest of the way. She inspired me to try it and now I do it all the time. I don't know just how much energy it saves, but every little bit helps! And you're dinner looks super yummy!

Theresa said...

The poor man's meal does look quite tasty, sort of like something my mom made when I was a kid. I'm a vegetarian now so the hot dogs are out, but I could probably substitute some TVP...hmm....

Some of those simple and cheap meals were my favorite childhood flavors - you're right SV, it's time to rediscover these things!

Beany said...

I watched all her videos a few weeks back when I first heard about her too. I love her!

Her stuff does need to be veganized for me to try it, but that's not a challenge.

The meal you made looks like comfort food.

Chile said...

Yeah, I posted about Clara when I found her (through yet another blog), too. I always love putting together a meal with odds and ends from the fridge and pantry!

And, speaking of retained heat cooking, I put a partially baked pumpkin in a box and wrapped it with towels, blankets, and foil-backed insulation this morning to finish the cooking. Worked pretty well.

Theresa said...

Beany - it was a nice homey meal, that's for sure! Just as good for leftovers the next day, too. Of the three videos I've watched, two were vegetarian, and I can see how they could be veganized fairly easily - handy!

Heather - it does seem like a really good way to conserve energy and make things easier at the same time - not so much worry about burning things (which I am famous for!)

Chile - maybe that's why she sounded so familiar! The retained heat cooking makes a lot of sense and seems gentler some how than boiling the heck out of something.

matersum said...

Oooh, this looks wonderful! I'll have to try this out! One of the nicest things about finding new people is how they can inspire you to make changes in your own life! So thank you! :)

Theresa said...

Hello Matersum! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I am glad to have found you as well - and I wish you all the best at your Earth Day booth. I have purchased cloth menstrual pads from LunaPads previously, but it is nice to know of another Canadian option!

SoundHunter said...

oh, she's awesome, thanks for sharing this!

Theresa said...

Definitely awesome, SoundHunter - thanks for coming by and commenting. :)

Theresa said...

Ah, it's you WMM - I followed your link and then realized who you were - I like the new handle! :)