Depression Era Cooking


16 Apr Depression Era Cooking

I found out about this video from fellow food writer, Roz Cummins, who found it on, 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?

No Comments
  • Roz
    Posted at 08:31h, 16 April Reply

    Hi. I found the story in the section of called “Broadsheet.” It is not from Slate. Thanks – Roz

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 08:40h, 16 April Reply

    Good catch Roz. How can I get the link right but the name wrong? Musn’t type blog posts late at night.

  • Elyse
    Posted at 17:17h, 18 April Reply

    Wow, Clara sounds frickin awesome. I’m totally impressed that she’s uploading videos. I’m with you: I can barely do anything technological.

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 22:24h, 19 April Reply

    Elyse, Clara is amazing. My father had a birthday on the weekend and a most guest has been born during the depression, so knew this cooking, which extended well past the end of World War II. Oh the things we take for granted!

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 20:25h, 20 April Reply

    my husbands mother used to make “creamed peas( canned!) on toast! can you imagine!!!!

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 20:40h, 20 April Reply

    Anonymous, unfortunately, I can imagine it. And I wish I couldn’t. However, I guess it’s a better alternative than hunger, which is something I have thankfully never known.

  • Amanda
    Posted at 02:58h, 04 August Reply

    Hi Christie, it’s a nice blog,…
    It seems we share same passion.
    Love for food has made me starting to cook and bake event build a culinary portal called Portal Kuliner. But what I love most is to meet and greet other people who share the same passion like you.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 17:34h, 09 August Reply

      Love of food keeps me going — especially when the spam bots hit! All the best with your culinary protal!

Post A Reply to Christie's Corner Cancel Reply

Subscribe to my newsletter.

It’s easy. It’s free. It’s informative.


Receive weekly tips, recipes and advanced notice of upcoming events.

Yes, please!