16 Apr Depression Era Cooking
I found out about this video from fellow food writer, Roz Cummins, who found it on Salon.com, who got it from Boing Boing who saw it on Clara’s website, which posted the video on YouTube. Apparently, everyone knows about Clara but me.
In case you and I have been living under adjacent rocks, Clara is 91 and shares her knowledge of depression era cooking through a series of videos. Let’s get this straight. She’s a nonagenarian and making cooking videos. I’m half her age and can barely upload a video, let alone star in one.
Clara matter-of-factly shares recipes, cooks on camera, recounts the hardships of the Depression and tells anecdotes about bootleggers stinking up the neighbourhood distilling homemade whisky in people’s garages. I was going to write, “I want to be this hip when I’m a senior,” but upon reflection will revise my wish to, “I want to be this hip now.”
While her recipe calls for tinned peas, an ingredient I loathe as much as carob, I have nothing but respect for Clara’s pragmatic approach to cooking. Sometimes we foodies get carried away with exotic ingredients or gourmet revisions of comfort food. Clara’s not trying to make something old new again, she’s just telling it like it was. If you have 6 1/2 minutes, check Clara out.
So, what do you think? Do you have family recipes from this era or stories to share?