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Old Cookbooks more frugal?


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Necie and Quiltys, thanks for the links.

 

 

I looked them over and when at home will copy the areas. Some of these should definitely be in the cookbook.

 

Mimi thanks for the nudge. We needed to have these in there.

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Mimi, if I remember correctly this thread started out asking if old cookbooks made cooking more frugal. Then it took off on a tangent.

 

Therefore, the thought behind this part (one chapter) of the MrsS cookbook was to have recipes available that allow us to use the basic stuff in our pantries -- if available to us. Old cookbooks do have all sorts of recipes and I have not found them any more boring than the food I usually cook, just sometimes a little different. The main thing with really old cookbooks is that they don't use modern day packaged mixes.

 

If there is ever a time that the major utilities go out in an area due to nature (hurricanes or floods) or due to man, we will need basic supplies to live. There is no fancy cooking; I doubt that anyone was really doing any fancy cooking after Katrina in that area. Should a catastrophe occur, chances are that we will have one or two pans to cook in and whatever supplies we can grab or salvage. We may not even have a cooking fire and have to use canned goods -- commercial or home-- as they come out of the containers. If we have packaged mixes, and can use them, they will be gone in a hurry. We have a tendency to use the easiest and fastest first -- or the stuff that will spoil in a hurry -- like out of our fridge or freezer.

 

When and if food drops are made by the government or charitable agencies, they only put basic food items in the packages, rice being one of the main staples. I've seen mention of flour, milk powder, rice, (spam?) and beans depending on the area. I think that is dead boring but if I need to eat to survive, I'd eat it and try to add anything that I could scrounge -- dandelion greens, being one that I recognize on sight. We'd be raiding fruit trees and bushes, looking for root vegetables, berries or whatever we could find that we hope would not make us sick or kill us -- if things were so bad we could not get out or if no help was on the way. I live too far from a market to be able to get supplies -- if any were left in there by other scroungers

 

As has been mentioned on various forums in MrsS and other places, don't expect the government to come in right away and save us. It may take a few days/weeks/or longer.

 

That is why basic, scratch recipes are needed for reference. Also substitutions are necessary. What do we use when we don't have shortening or eggs; or any other perishable item? What has a nutritional value that can be substituted? This is what the aim of this section was to be.

 

I hope I have explained enough so anyone reading this does not think this was for 'normal' cooking, but an assist for WTSHTF survival techniques.

 

Thanks for letting me explain.

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What we are going to discover with the old old cookbooks back before even the 1940's is that those people ate VERY simple foods. They weren't cooking the types of foods that we are used to eating today. I would venture to say that we would find their food extremely boring. Maybe a better idea is to focus on making your own mixes from scratch to use. Like a basic pancake, bisquit, cream soup etc. made to use instead of boughten mixes.


Reading this thread, I went and looked at some of my old cookbooks. One is "Housekeeping in Old Virginia" 1879.
It's a reprint of the original. Thumbing through, it has some interesting recipes..at least to me.
There's recipes for everything from breads to desserts. (Then a section on the sick room,house cleaning, restoring old clothes, what to do about bugs,rats,ants,etc.) Need to read more of this book. Haven't looked at it in a long time. Everything is basic, of course.
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Also have one called Sophie Leavitt's Penny Pincher's Cookbook 1973. This one uses some canned foods and also

dried eggs. Tried some of these recipes and all I can say is Yuck!....except for a couple of them.

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I totally forgot until I read this thread that I inherited a REALLY old cookbook. Just checked, get this...Mrs. Owens Cookbook copyright 1882. It's original, 125 years old, the pages are brown and the edges are crumbling. Just flipping through I can tell there are some "bare bones" recipies. Count me in for any recipe posts.

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Belle requested a recipe for corn flakes, if anyone is still interested...

I use this recipe from the Dollar Stretcher website with all kinds of grains, I assume you could use corn if it was fine enough...

quote: I have been using the following recipe for flake cereal, the only problem I have is not letting the kids eat it all before breakfast.

Flake Cereal Recipe

# 2 Cups whole wheat flour

# 1tsp. salt

# 2C. water

# 1/2C brown sugar

Mix ingredients with a spoon until the consistency of thin paint. Pour onto a greased baking sheet. Tip the sheet to cover the surface with a film, pouring the excess back into the bowl. Bake 350 degrees about 15 min. until crisp and golden. Pull off sheet and let cool before breaking into flakes.

I have found if you use a non-stick cookie tray it works great. Just when you think you have poured off too much of the batter back into the tray is when to stop. I use these as garnishes on ice cream and also on scrambled eggs served to company, just don't make flakes just break into interesting designs.. -KN unquote

My hubby loves this. I haven't had any luck trying it with honey, it seems to grab the moisture back fast. Leah

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Great posts! I love cookbooks, but old ones especially. On the 14th we will celebrate 54 years of marriage and I have the cookbooks I received waaaay back then, but now I see they aren't old enough? Looking forward to recipes you all post. I too, believe we are headed for depression and possibly other bad things so keep most of my thoughts to myself if you know what I mean.

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Oh, Pansy! 54 years...and on Valentine's Day, too. Congratulations! That is wonderful. DH and I will celebrate our 30th this year. I am so happy for you.

 

I have a small collection of old housekeeping and cook books. My favorite was co-authored by Catherine Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe and published in 1869. There is a handwritten inscription in the front dated 1873 by a teacher who gave the book to a young lady for her regular attendance at school.

 

On a more modern note, I still have the BH&G cookbook that was in my hope chest when I married. I bought a new edition a couple years ago, and find that I keep passing it up for my trusted old one, even though the pages are stained and brittle from years of use!

 

What I really like about the pre-WWII books is the common theme about the importance of homemakers having a good attitude about thier home and cooking, and finding joy in a well run home.

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I recently bought a BH&G cookbook - an older friend of mine looked in it and told me it's a cookbook for idiots because it actually says how to boil an egg.

 

I picked up a reprint of the original Fannie Farmer 1896 cookbook for $8 at Half Price books. I keep an eye out for old cookbooks, but don't see too many of them.

 

 

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Belle requested a recipe for corn flakes, if anyone is still interested...

I use this recipe from the Dollar Stretcher website with all kinds of grains, I assume you could use corn if it was fine enough...

quote: I have been using the following recipe for flake cereal, the only problem I have is not letting the kids eat it all before breakfast.

Flake Cereal Recipe

# 2 Cups whole wheat flour

# 1tsp. salt

# 2C. water

# 1/2C brown sugar

Mix ingredients with a spoon until the consistency of thin paint. Pour onto a greased baking sheet. Tip the sheet to cover the surface with a film, pouring the excess back into the bowl. Bake 350 degrees about 15 min. until crisp and golden. Pull off sheet and let cool before breaking into flakes.

I have found if you use a non-stick cookie tray it works great. Just when you think you have poured off too much of the batter back into the tray is when to stop. I use these as garnishes on ice cream and also on scrambled eggs served to company, just don't make flakes just break into interesting designs.. -KN unquote

My hubby loves this. I haven't had any luck trying it with honey, it seems to grab the moisture back fast. Leah

 

 

Thank you so much, Leah! I'm going to try this this week.

 

Sorry I haven't thanked you before now. Fridays always take it out of me. For me, that is the day before the Sabbath (or preparation day). I cook all the meals for Friday AND Saturday, along with homeschooling for 6 hours, cleaning the house, doing whatever laundry there is, running all my errands, and grocery shopping. I really NEED a day of rest after all that! This recipe will make breakfast on the Sabbath much easier, since I can make it more than one day ahead of time.

 

Thanks, again!

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Let me know what you think, Belle. It can take a few times before you know what thickness you like.

People seem to be surprised that there is such a thing as homemade cereal flakes. Even the youngest around here likes them - I think because she can help crumble them...

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Sorry, Leah, I keep forgetting to post that I DID make them (I'm ill-mannered and was raised by wolves, what can I say?)

 

We made the first couple of pans too thin. The kids said they looked like fish food, but they tasted good. The next two pans were too thick, and took a long time to get crispy, but we ate them anyway. The rest of them were fine. I'm so glad to have this recipe! I might not make them often, but it's good to know I can, if I want to! Thank you!

 

I, also, tried making them with cornmeal and masa. The masa wasn't good at all, but it might make some dandy Fritos, if you salted them when they were done. The cornmeal was too course, like you thought it would be, but I am going to try it again, but put it into the blender first. The taste was good, just the texture wasn't quite right - sort of crumbly.

 

I made all of the different kinds on the same day, then mixed them for breakfast. It was kind of good (well, all except for the occasional taste of Fritos, but that was tolerable)

 

I'm thinking that it might be good to add a bit of ground nuts to the batter, too. Lots of possibilities. I'll have to experiment more.

 

Thanks, again, for the recipe! I love having options!

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  • 2 years later...

I thought I'd pop this thread back up, someone was asking about the flaked cereal recipe.

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Ok - forgive me if this has been covered somewhere, and forgive me if this seems really elementary-kindergardenish to those with a real black belt in frugality. I'm still wet behind the ears!

 

I'll throw my hat in the ring for the best frugal tip ever given to me (by my grandmother, no less). Use a pre-WW2 cookbook.

 

I'm sure this seems like common sense, but I had forgotten this until browsing in a used bookstore for some new cookbooks. Every one I picked up listed all sorts of convenience foods, strange ingredients, or they were all geared for some diet. I picked up a newer copy of the Red and White Better Homes and Garden Cookbook, and I remembered someone giving my grandmother one for Christmas. I also remember her donating it right after Christmas - her reasoning was what I've listed above.

 

I've been going back through OLD cookbooks, and I'm having much more success making a variety of dishes with minimal ingredients and more *regular* ingredients.

 

Since I've started really looking, I'm able to find tons of old and older cookbooks for next to nothing. Ok - you kind of have to ignore the recipes for boiled tripe and pickled ox tongue (or maybe not) but overall I'm doing better with these cookbooks than anything else out on the market.

 

Has anyone else used this idea, or am I nutso?

 

 

the older the better!!! try used bookstores online. they have some cheap and old ones. i have had good luck at antique stores, many do not really like 'ephemerals' as they call paper antiques and sell them cheap. of course, the second hand stores rock, too. All my best recipes come from really OLD cookbooks. I have also noticed the difference in magazines nowdays - they do not print what I call recipes.....more like 'assembly instructions' from premade and prepackaged (and expensive) goods... :lol:

 

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I used to collect old cookbooks. I had one put out by some Methodist ladies in Mobile in the 1870's. It had page after page of recipes for eggs and for oysters, which were probably really cheap then. I still keep an eye out for church cookbooks and fundraiser cookbooks, even if they are heavy on recipes with ingredients like half a tub of Cool-whip.

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Thanks for the bump !

 

Lori collects old coookbooks and sometime when we find one it has lots of 'loose' papers with recipes on them stuck inside the cookbook. Some are even handwritten (whick are the best) and you can always tell what recipe they liked the best because there would be smudges all over the recipe from all the times it was opened to that page when cooking.

 

 

 

I hate the new cookbooks and magazines that have like 20 ingreds. of stuff we don't have in the pantry and cost more money then it is worth to make. Then it takes 1 hour or more to make and cook it just to be a so-so meal. No thanks, give me good old tried and true recipes with just a few ingreds. and I am happy.

 

This week I am 'playing' with making things from scratch - like Italian dressing, mustard, meat rubs. Looking for others if you have anything special.

:AmishMichael2:

 

 

 

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Well I must confess I collect cookbooks---I counted them 2 years ago .

Are you ready I have 450 of them---I know I'm sick but I can't help myself.

 

After the count I have aquired about 20 to 30 more. Like for Christmas I got 9---people just give them to me.

But it is fun to look up things for people. And I love to just read them---I told you I was sick.-----

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Well I must confess I collect cookbooks---I counted them 2 years ago .

Are you ready I have 450 of them---I know I'm sick but I can't help myself.

 

After the count I have aquired about 20 to 30 more. Like for Christmas I got 9---people just give them to me.

But it is fun to look up things for people. And I love to just read them---I told you I was sick.-----

 

 

I told Lori how many you have................

 

 

and she said to tell you .......................

 

 

 

YOU WIN ! :faint3:

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  • 2 weeks later...
Now, if you happen to have the recipe for Corn Flakes...

 

I saw this and laughed...

Yesterday, I made homemade Rice Crispies- not treats, but the cereal, and as I was looking around the web, saw this video and decided corn flakes would NOT be next on my list! lol

 

Here's the link for rice crispies. THe video calls for Basamiti rice, but that is definitely not the right kind of rice. I used medium grain white rice and it worked alright. Also, I couldn't get it to pop in the oven, so I ended up deep frying it after it was very dry. It's popped the same way as popcorn, but you have to cook and dry it first to get the moisture it needs inside the kernel that is already in a piece of corn. I hope that makes sense.

 

http://www.wonderhowto.com/how-to/video/ho...-cereal-167948/

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Reiman publications used to have a magazine called "Taste of Home" that now has been put into cookbook anthologies. These recipes were from scratch and were good. Since then, they have put out a quick version magazine using mixes and convenience foods. But if you can get the original recipes from them, they were good. Most of the books are by years. They should be available and there should be no copyright problems if bought from the publisher. They also published a magazine about the depression era filled with stories and some recipes. i never subscribed and am sorry now that Ii did not. I'm not sure if this one is still being publshed or not. I asked for their "Country Woman" magazine for Christmas and the first issued finally arrived today. I'm looking forward to sitting down with it. Hope this helps you find more of the kind of recipes you are looking for if you don't have access to really old cook books. You might also try the Gooseberry Patch cookbooks. Some of the ones based on old favorites from our grandmothers days are from scratch too.

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I'll throw my hat in the ring for the best frugal tip ever given to me (by my grandmother, no less). Use a pre-WW2 cookbook.

 

Has anyone else used this idea, or am I nutso?

 

 

My most favorite cook book is a WWII Army field cook book. It has everything in it. The only thing is the recipes are all written for 100 people so I have to cut them way down. But they are still awesome recipes.

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Thanks for the bump !

 

Lori collects old coookbooks and sometime when we find one it has lots of 'loose' papers with recipes on them stuck inside the cookbook. Some are even handwritten (whick are the best) and you can always tell what recipe they liked the best because there would be smudges all over the recipe from all the times it was opened to that page when cooking.

 

 

 

I hate the new cookbooks and magazines that have like 20 ingreds. of stuff we don't have in the pantry and cost more money then it is worth to make. Then it takes 1 hour or more to make and cook it just to be a so-so meal. No thanks, give me good old tried and true recipes with just a few ingreds. and I am happy.

 

This week I am 'playing' with making things from scratch - like Italian dressing, mustard, meat rubs. Looking for others if you have anything special.

:AmishMichael2:

 

 

Not only do you not have it in your pantry but you usually have to go to a speciality store to find the darn thing. Give me the old basic recipes. Nothing wrong with them at all!!!

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