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Golden era food.

Discussion in 'The Golden Era' started by Wild Root, Aug 6, 2005.

  1. Ever wonder what was a popular American dish during the 30’s and 40’s? What did most people eat and consume in these hard times in American history of the early 20th Century?

    My self I feel very old fashioned when I eat a nice sized NY cut stake, mashed potatoes and gravy with corn or peas on the side. A nice Green salad is always good to start off with.

    Biscuits and gravy was also very popular back then. I have often asked my grandfather what he enjoyed when he was young and milk toast came up. He also likes Cantaloupe with black pepper on it! I have tried this and it’s not bad at all.

    Most food today was being consumed back then just in different ways. Food today can be fresher then the goods back then seeing refrigeration rail cars were cooled by large blocks of ice and today, it’s a little more advanced. On the other side of the coin, people living in the farmlands really did eat rather well! Home made every thing was the way of life and I have had experienced farm home cooking! Chicken that was cleaned and prepared from their coupe that day, mashed potatoes from their garden with other cooked vegetables and cant forget the home made biscuits! I wish I could enjoy this every day but, well I don’t live on a farm so that kills that idea.

    I also feel that the soil was richer back then and most fruits and vegetables had more vitamins and minerals then the stuff you buy in the market today. Also beef and other poultry were fed whole grains to that of today’s tripe of processed animal byproducts. Talk about mad cow!

    For me there’s nothing better then a fresh home cooked meal with all the trimmings. Just so nice and refreshing.

    I have often thought about getting vintage cookbooks and going the whole way. Any one do this already and fallow the recipes precisely?

    Ok, I’ll just stop gabbing and let this thread start to grow!

    Comments and thoughts would be great!


  2. shamus

    shamus Suspended

    it's a nice thought, but it's not all roses.

    I grew up on a farm, not a 30's farm, but a 70's organic farm so it's very similar, we didn't even own a tractor we used draft horses.

    Having fresh chicken is great, as long as you don't mind chopping off it's head and plucking it.

    The vegetables are great too but they don't weed themselves.. hours in the hot sun.

    Steak is great, but have you ever butchered a cow?

    The soil is the same, it's only most of the vegetables you buy today are not organic. They're genetic and yes they're big, but not tasty like a heritage vegetable should be.

    My point is yes, I agree. I'd take farm food any day. But it's lot of work. My grandmother talks about getting up at 4 am on thanksgiving, and that gave her just enough time to have a nice meal for dinner.

    Package foods are nice, but you trade off on health. I grew up in the 70's eating organic before it was really common term. It's worth the extra.

    Now you can grow some organic better tasting food yourself on a small scale. Try a tomato plant or bean/peas. And if you're really up to it, raise a chicken or two. Get some eggs and maybe a nice meal.

    I won't even get into canning.. that's another thread.
  3. MudInYerEye

    MudInYerEye Practically Family

    After a very scientific study of the elder members of my esteemed family, it appears that macaroni and cheese was the overwhelmingly favored meal of the "duration."
  4. Everytime I think of Golden Era food, I think about that three stooges episode where the gang is at a very posh dinner party and they start eating their peas by sticking them to the mashed potatoes on their knives. :p

    I know that in my father's family back then that they had a black maid that took care of the kids and cooked dinner, she was known for her collard greens and cornbread in milk.
  5. I collect vintage cookbooks from the 1920s-40s and have used recipes from them pretty regularly (mostly desserts as I have a bit of a sweet tooth. ;) ) I have found the recipes to be pretty straightforward and simple, and everything I have made has turned out well. I always say, if the first two ingredients are butter and sugar, you know the recipe will turn out well!
  6. SOS was popular. Another name for creamed chipped beef on toast.
  7. We had an ice box back in the 40's, but we got fresh milk daily -- not from cows but from a milkman. It would be on our doorstep, along with cottage cheese and butter. Good stuff.

    During the Korean War I remember butter, or maybe it was margarine, that was white and in a bag, you had to squeeze the stuff. There was a little red "button" inside the bag filled with dye, and, when it broke, the red dye made the butter (?) turn yellow.

    We had steak but my mother fried it. She fried everything. I asked her recently why she did that and she said it was easier. I don't think there was a broiler on her stove. My grandparents had a wood burning stove, a big old black thing. My grandmother cooked the best fried chicken I've ever had.

    We ate Wonder Bread, canned peas, which I hated, canned beets, canned everything. It was years before I realized I actually like vegetables. And steak.

    Mother made pies, which were good. She made cookies; I like ginger snaps when I was a little kid. Mother did not really like to cook, which is probably why I don't have great memories of her stuff. I do remember pot roasts, liver and onions, which I liked, oddly enough. And mother's fried chicken, which we had every Sunday at an early dinner, or was it a late lunch? I liked her fried chicken, and also her chicken and dumplings. We got eggs off a farm nearby and occasionally father brought home a chicken, cut off its head, mother plucked it and we ate it. Father also hunted and we had rabbit, squirrel, pheasant, and duck. You had to eat the stuff gingerly or you could break your teeth on a b.b.

    I did not have a french fry until I was 14, pizza until I was 15, McDonalds until I was 16. We did have a few Reeds Ice Cream stores. I still like that soft ice cream dipped in chocolate. There were soda shops, tiny little cokes and pepsi's and, my favorite, grape soda.

    Some of it makes me nostalgic. Some of it doesn't.

  8. And it is still popular with my family, though we usually prefer biscuits.
  9. I think you mean Oleo, karol. My mother still uses that term even when buying butter!
  10. Yes, thanks, that was it!

    What was oleo, anyway? Was it like margarine?

    Weird stuff, but I loved getting a new package and squeezing it until it turned yellow.

  11. Yep, it was margarine. The food coloring was added to make it look more like butter--it was a marketing ploy.
  12. I believe because of law oleo "Margarine" wasn't permitted to be coloured as it would look like butter. Dairy farmers had a strong lobby.
  13. forgot to add, that is why coloring had to be added after.
  14. Angelicious

    Angelicious One of the Regulars

    I'm quite fortunate in living in a country where steak, mashed potato, peas, corn, etc., is an everyday meal, although processed and international foods are certainly available. Steak is a little expensive for my budget though...

    My family, living in Scotland & Wales during the Depression, War, and into the 50s & 60s, tell me that rationing in those areas continued for almost that entire period. There are foods my Stepfather still can't tolerate to this day, as a consequence. :p

    One wonderful asset to vintage cooking in NZ is the Edmonds Cookbook, which started in the early 30s as a gimmick by the Edmonds "Sure To Rise" Baking supplies company, and grew to be the best-selling cookbook, and one of the best-selling books overall, in NZ to date. My mother's one is from 1953 or so, while mine is only about as old as I am. They update it every few years.
  15. try this recipe

    My wife collects old cookbooks also.
    One of them recommends frying a pound of bacon in a pound of butter.
    But wait there's more, then you pour the drippings over your rice for flavor.
    When I think about that my mouth waters and my arteries clog.

    The Wolf
  16. MudInYerEye

    MudInYerEye Practically Family

    A dog at the ballpark is better than a steak at the Ritz.
  17. Listen Pal
    That was nothing compared to what a hard working man ate. In those days men did the work not machines, a man had to eat plenty to do the job. I think I know something about this. You have to go to the gym these days, but y ou will never know how hard work was.
  18. MudInYerEye

    MudInYerEye Practically Family

    You talkin' to me?
  19. I had to walk 10 miles to and from grade school, barefoot, in the snow, and it was uphill both ways. When I was 3 I worked in a coal mine.
  20. Hahahah, Bob, you're a funny guy.

    Yes, men and women worked harder in those days and there are plenty who still do today! Big meals were great for those who work it off! Today, most people don't need all those carbohydrates because they just sit in an office all day and such. One should eat accordingly to what they do for work.

    I have done some work on a farm for a little and it's very hard work! Very dirty and hard! I have total respect for farmers and farmer's families for all the hard work they do.

    I don't eat big meals very often because of the expense and also I don't need to.

    A good sandwich wrapped in wax paper with an orange and a bottle of coke is what I also enjoy. That's old fashioned! ;)


    PS. A dog at the ball park is very good, but not better then a well prepared steak. ;)

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