Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Cooking for the Depression

Evidently, according to all the talking heads, we are supposed to be in the midst of the next
Great Depression. The brain trusts from the main stream media who are parroting and squaking this mantra are too young to remember any really tough economic times. Their idea of a a disater and economic hardship is when their cell phones don't have full coverage or their plasma HDTV goes on the fritz or ...God forbid...oh the humanity!!!.... they have to use dial up.

Most people who experienced the real Great Depression are either dead or had the good sense to just get on with getting on in life without constant whining. They had poverty, lack of food, lack of jobs, lack of housing. They also made do and gave up what little luxuries that they had.

We are not in a depression. Maybe a mild recession. The last prolonged economic downturn was in the 70's. Having lived through that time myself and having really enjoyed the Jimmy Carter economic plan (not), I think I can make some valid comparisons and offer some helpful cooking tips for surviving this small downturn in the economy.

Hard Times Cookbook, 1970 by Gloria Vollmayer is a funny cookbook based on a crashed stock market theme. "Dedicated to our former stockbroker" ...... Apropos, since I'm a stockbroker. I bought the book when I lived in San Francisco in 1970 for $1.50, now selling for about $12.00 in vintage book stores. Now THERE is inflation.

The Gold Standard
Curried Hard Boiled Eggs
  • 8 large eggs, hard boiled
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 3 tbs flour
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp beau monde seasoning
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 2 cups milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/ cup Swiss Cheese shredded
  • bacon crumbles
Melt butter over low heat and blend in the flour curry powder and wine. (make a roux basically). Thin the sauce with milk, gradually adding the beau monde, salt and pepper.
Place eggs (sliced in half) in lightly buttered casserole. Cover eggs with curry sauce. Sprink top with crip fired crumbled bacon and some shredded cheese. Bake in 350 oven 20 minutes until bubbling hot.
This casserole is excellent when serven over cooked spinach, aparagus or broccoli.
So, there you have it. Cheap, meatless and nutritious. I must confess, I have no idea what beau monde seasoning is.
In my version of creamed eggs, that I learned from my Grandmother who was an actual participant in the "Great Depression" I just used curry powder, dash of cayenne, salt and pepper. No cheese. Chop up the eggs and stir into the cream sauce and serve over toast or in those puff pastry cups. A green salad or fruit salad on the side and you have a complete meal. Great for a quick brunch dish.


sophie~chan said...

its seems im going to have to try this

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Enjoy, you won't be sorry.. Very yummy and nutrious for a brunch or late Sunday breakfast.

Ornithophobe said...

I just wandered over here to look through your recipes- fascinating stuff, I've copied out several to add to my box.

But on the subject of Beau Monde seasoning- I have a bottle of it in the kitchen right now, because mamau's beef stew calls for it. Basically, allspice, cinnamon, salt, mace, celery seed, nutmeg, bay leaves... ground to a powder. Spice Islands carries it for sale at the grocery, but you can mix your own, there are lots of recipes online.