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March 2009



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Mar. 14th, 2009



Brief Intro

Hi! I recently found this community through a search for "depression cooking". (Coincidentally, I realized that tahinaz is also in another community I *just* joined frugalliving.) I have been chatting with my fellow grad students that are suffering even more with the diminishing job opportunities, and I have come to appreciate the wisdom of my grandmother who lived through the Great Depression. I had a conversation over a cheap cup of coffee with a friend that we are pressured in the United States to live beyond our means by using credit card debt and other types of "fake money". Me, I would rather be conservative and 'safe' with my money. But, at the same time, I prioritize healthy food and avoiding processed foods. I don't always succeed, but I try my best to incorporate new recipes into my repertoire. Enough about me - it's great to be here!

My current favorite foodsCollapse )

Mar. 1st, 2009

Be weird


Homemade instant oatmeal mix

Here is a recipe for instant oatmeal mix. I made it the other day. It really saves on the cost of buying regular oatmeal packets.

Basic Mix:
10 Cups Quick Cooking Oats
1 Cup instant dry milk (non-dairy creamer works in a pinch)

1 Tbsp cinnamon
2-3 Cups Dried fruit (I used raisins)
1 Cup Loose brown sugar, do not pack down, and break up any clumps

Run about a three or four cups of the instant oats through the food processor to break up any lumps. Then mix everything together. When you want oatmeal in the morning, just scoop about 1/3 cup of it up and add hot water. It does seem to take longer to absorb the water than store bought instant oatmeal, though.

Feb. 28th, 2009



Thoughts and questions about cooking in hard times

Recession/depression cooking
I was thinking back to some of my great grandmother's depression recipes, recently. They were all made with things that must have been cheap, back then. Jiffy mix, cocoa powder, potatoes, ground beef, dehydrated peaches. (Those weren't found all in one recipes, of course. Those are just things she used a lot.) I would love to cook on a dime like she did. However, between this depression/recession and the Great Depression, certain ingredients she used have become expensive (the peaches and beef, for example.) I guess, then, we will have to re-invent depression cooking based on what is inexpensive now.

For example, imitation crab is super cheap, where I live. I mean, it may not be the healthiest or most authentic thing in the world, but I can buy three pounds of it for $5. I've been combining about a cup of it at a time with batter, cabbage and leftover veggies to make Japanese Okonomiyaki. That's a cheap meal. I've also been using seared low-fat bologna or hot dogs in biscuits and gravy (not healthy either, but neither is sausage.) When I use other meats, I've been decreasing the amount; using, for instance, half a pound instead of a full pound. I've been making my own bread and instant oatmeal, too, instead of buying them.

What other short cuts have you thought of to cut down on food costs?

On a related note, do you know anything about cooking with jerky? The 99 Cent store by me has overstock name brand jerky. What can I do with it, other than eat it straight? Can I put it in soups?

And what about imitation crab? Do you know of any crab recipes that go a long way and can be made on the cheap?