Welcome! Here you can find all my blog posts about food during the Great Depression. Most of these will be me cooking a recipe from Great Depression cookbooks, but I’ll also talk about shopping, food preservation, and other historic culinary topics.

Great Depression Cookbooks

More than any other culture on earth, [Americans] are cookbook cooks; we learn to make our meals not from any oral tradition, but from a text. The just-wed cook brings to the new household no carefully copied collection of the family’s cherished recipes, but a spanking new edition of “Fannie Farmer” or “The Joy of …

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French Peasant Soup

French cooking wasn’t really popular until the 1960s in America when chefs like Julia Child and Richard Olney made it accessible to a broad audience. There had been attempts before then, but Americans largely rejected French cuisine as fussy and overly complicated. This recipe was something of an unexpected find in a Depression era cookbook, …

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Cottage Pie (1930)

This post’s recipe comes from a 1930 community cookbook. What’s a community cookbook? The main feature of a community cookbooks is a variety of recipes contributed by members of group like a church, women’s organization, or a club. These are frequently sold for fundraising efforts. This particular cookbook was collected by the Woman’s [sic] Auxiliary …

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Hi, my name’s Andrew, and I’m an aspiring public historian who loves cultural history, and one of my favorite aspects of cultural history is food. I’m interested in American foodways, particularly during the Great Depression. So, what are foodways? Foodways are how people in a particular place acquire, prepare, and eat food. Food is a …

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Macaroni Enrico (1929)

My stomach was still unhappy with me the day after I ate my first Depression era dinner. A 1929 recipe, this simple dish predates the worst hardships of the Depression. I picked it, in part, because it’s similar to “Hoover stew” served in soup kitchens later in the 1930s. The most obvious difference between these …

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Mock Apple Pie

Happy Pi Day! At some point, this blog will include a post about the water pie in the title, but first, I’m going to be making some mock apple pie, which doesn’t have any apples in it. Instead, the filling is made with cream of tartar, lemon juice, cinnamon, butter, sugar, water, and butter crackers …

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