Sunday, August 19, 2012

Recession-Era Cooking: Apple Crisp

This week I am focusing on a new Pinterest board I have created Depression/Recession Era Cooking.  I have a keen interest to reduce my grocery bill and I have taken too the cooking skills I have seen used by the women who have lived through tough times before.  There are many thrifty ideas that make a lot of sense.  I will turn first to my MIL who raised 7 children on a very thrifty budget.  She has a lot of great recipes that feed a crowd and are nutritious.    This is the one recipe that my husband requests the most, it is a very simple recipe for apple crisp.

4 cups apples, sliced thinly
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup margarine

Place apples in a greased 8 x 8-inch baking dish with cinnamon and water.  Mix flour, sugar, and margarine until crumbly and sprinkle on top of apples.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50minutes.  

Here is the finished product.  No complaints when anyone walks by the stove and steals a bite!  
This was Sunday's Lunch at my house, chicken noodle soup and apple crisp. 

I haven't shown off this Hoosier cupboard yet, it was my Great-grandmother's.  It lived through the Depression.   There is no natural light where we keep this cupboard so the pictures are a little harsh on it. 

Arriving in our grocery stores now is this year's crop of potatoes.  I have seen a 15# bag and a 50# bag of potatoes this week in the stores.  This 15 # bag I have was $4.50, that is 30 cents a pound and they are so filling.  My kids will not complain if I have a meatless meal and serve potatoes.  When you consider potatoes are 30 cents a pound and meat can be $ 3.99 a lb. on up, potatoes make a great main dish replacement.  
So, what did people in the Depression or a recession era do to save on their groceries and feed a family?  They ate frugally, often making meat a scarce thing on their table.  When our children were small (3 and 1 year old boys)  I could feed us on $75 a week.  We now have two teen boys and a 7 year-old and we are spending almost $250-300 a week!!  I have had it with the pricey food costs and this house is turning to a recession-era cooking plan.  I am going to start with a use less meat formula that I got from a thrifty website years ago.  
I am taking the formula and tweaking it a little:

Sunday: meat
Monday: casserole
Tuesday: pasta
Wednesday: meat with crock pot
Thursday: casserole 
Friday: fish, eggs, cheese, or potatoes
Saturday: soup & sandwiches

You can change these up to fit your schedule.   But, right away you can see where making a pasta dish or casserole can fill up the family and you can avoid the pricey cuts of meat.

So, I will be pinning my recipes from this onto my Depression/Recession Pinterest Board.
  There are a few resources on there already and I hope to have a lot more to add if you follow along.   If anyone would like to join the board just let me know.  The drought has been tough on our area and food costs can't help but rise, maybe, using this formula it might help save dollars on food .  
Cottage Style Link Party  at Lavender Garden Cottage
Sunday's Best Party  at My 1929 Charmer
Seasonal Sundays at The Tablescaper
Sunny Simple Sundays  at Sunny Simple Life
On the Menu Monday at Stonegable


Clara {Clover and Violet} said...

apple crisp was always a favorite with my children, and I have just learned how to make homemade chicken soup, yummy!

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I just followed a link to this post from another and it made me smile. For this is the third or fourth such post I've seen recently.

I was sharing with a blog friend how my daughter and her hubby have an excellent income but with five kids and higher prices, they have had to become very frugal again... just like the early years of marriage.

My husband had to take an early retirement due to illness so we've had to be frugal for a long time now.

"Following" your Depression pins now. :)

Susan Freeman said...

Food prices keep climbing and we all have to tighten our food budget. These simple recipes are some of my favorites! Thanks for sharing.

Susan and Bentley

Bernideen said...

This looks wonderful and some great ideas!

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Apple crisp has always been a favourite at our house and your weekly menu sounds like a great idea! Will be checking back to see your menu recipes. Have a wonderful week.


Pura Vida said...

Reminds me of my grandmother!

Unknown said...

I like this idea, thanks! I went over to Pinterest and am now following you there as well as your blog. I might just start to like cooking!

Unknown said...

sounds like a good menu plan. I know we grew up with seven siblings and money was not plenty! I dont know how families do it today either. I spend a lot a week and there is only two of us..I try not to waste food and try to get two nights out of one meal. That works pretty good for me..

Rosemary@villabarnes said...

I definitely have to try this one. I love simple filling meals.

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Wow, your meal with the soup and apple crisp looks so good and makes me want fall to come. Grocery prices are ridiculous and getting worse. I know my husband who grew up poor said many times they only had biscuits or cornbread and milk to eat.

Angie said...

Oh my that looks good!! It is almost apple season and soon they will be super cheap so this could be a very inexpensive dessert. I will bookmark it. We have been doing with less meat for about a year now and it gets so much easier after awhile. Lucky for us we love pasta and veggie stir-frys so that makes it easier to plan meals. The cost of food is just outrageous these days, isn't it?!

bj said...

Being of the olden age that I am, I learned a long time ago from my mother and mother in law how to make our food dollar stretch. I, too, have many recipes used back during the depression and I use them often. We try (for health reasons) not to have meat but about 3 times a week. Homemade soups, veggies, beans....these are all some of our favorite foods.

Frieda said...


Frieda said...

Thanks for these nice ideas about
how to do it easily for children
Have a nice day

Two Cottages And Tea said...

I make the same apple crisp. Hubby doesn't like the ones with oatmeal, so I always make it without. Your soup looks so good, think I'll make some for supper!

arkie said...

We had a lot of "depression type" recipes at our home growing up. Apple Crisp was one of those that was a favorite. Looking forward to more recipes like this one in the future! Thanks! said...

There is only the hubby and I at home now, but with the way the economy is going, I really try to save as much as possible. I love to cook and try new recipes.I was watching the Food network and one of the quy chefs-maybe Bobby Flay-don't remember said to roast leftover meat bones and then boil for a rich stock. I never had any bones, so after finishing a Wally World roasted chicken, I threw the whole thing in a pot with water-oh my gosh was that guy right! It made the richest best tasting broth-wonderful as a soup starter.Now that is a lot of mileage out of a five dollar chicken!LOL!

craftyles said...

The soup and apple crisp look so good. I love all the thrifty hints. Most of all I love your Hoosier. It's wonderful!

Highland Monkey's said...

This is what I will be making today with some crinkled apples my daughter gave me. In Scotland we call it apple crumble....yum.

Candy said...

I love this recipe, but haven't made it in years. After seeing your post, I think I'll make it for dinner one night this week.

Im really enjoying your frugal ideas too. My guy is trying to get his disability, after dealing with Parkinson's disease for 13 years now, so we've had to learn a new way to live ........... and SAVE.

Now following you from Please come visit me there.

Cathy @ My 1929 Charmer said...

A good idea, and prices will even be getting higher due to the drought this summer. I remember my Mom make this apple dessert and is simple yet good. I l love to cook so this will be a fun challenge! I am following you on Pinterest and will keep an eye on your board. Thanks for sharing your creative inspiration with Sunday’s Best – you helped make the party a success!

Kootenay Annie said...

This reminded my of my Mother. She used to make a pie crust, but then she would roll it out and make squares and put an apple mixture like you have made and fold it over on the diagonal put a tiny slit in the top and make little tartlets. She made them specially for my Dads lunch box, sometimes she would do the same thing but put a mixture of meat, gravey, and finely diced leftover vegtables in them and do them the same way in the oven. I never saw a recipe, she did this in the 1940's , probably learnt durring the depression. She said meat cut small in gravy served in a crust ( pie or baking powder buscuit) made the meat go much further and you just added a little more potatoes and vegetables { they would have been onion, carrots, rutabegas, celery} if you had extra mouths to feed). Also any left over pie crust was made into cinnamon pinwheels ... now that was a special treat for a good little girl ( not so little now!