Monday, May 4, 2009

poverty party: soup course

When I was a kid, I don't recall ever seeing my mother use a cookbook, although I remember we had a few of them on a shelf in the back of the kitchen, like the "Mennonite Community Cookbook" (my mom, an Italian Catholic girl from the Bronx, apparently had eclectic tastes) and the old standby, "The NEW Fannie Farmer Cookbook" which I think was probably published in 1926. 

Some of the recipes in these old cookbooks sound really weird in modern times, but one thing many recipes published back in the 1920s through the 1950s had in common was thrift. Times were bleak and money was tight. It was both necessary and patriotic to stretch the food budget as far as possible to make ends meet.  

(click on photo to enlarge)

Here's a recipe from the Mennonites, called "Toast Flour Soup".  The ingredients called for are milk, fat and flour...Now I could make that one without going shopping, and you just can't get cheaper ingredients than milk, fat and flour, unless you're making Stone Soup.

But now that I think of it, Toast Flour Soup could be a great soup course to bring to Bossy's Poverty Party.

I dare anyone out there to make it. Send me a photo and I'll post it. Really! You don't even have to taste it! 

What's the weirdest and cheapest recipe you've ever encountered?


g said...

Wow, talk about poverty. yet on the other hand.....I bet it could taste pretty good. I bet it would taste even better with some diced onion, or even some onion or garlic powder sizzled up with the flour.

Onions make everything tastier, in my opinion. My "nothing in the house, no money in the pocket" recipe is something I read in a Marcella Hazan cookbook - spaghetti with carmelized onion sauce.

You take an onion (or two, if you're feeding a lot of people) and slice it thinly - I like cutting it in quarters and then slicing the quarters across the grain.

Then you put some olive oil in a pan, and turn the heat on low and sweat the onion slices down for about an hour, until they're golden brown. keep the heat really low - don't let them burn.

Then you take some white wine, maybe a half cup, and splash it into the pan and let it sizzle and reduce down a bit.

Toss with boiled spaghetti or linquine, chopped parsley, and maybe some grated parmesan - or maybe not, if you don't have it.

An onion, some cheap white wine, and if you're really extravagant, some parsley and parmesan.

cactus petunia said...

Mmm. I'm hungry already!

BOSSY said...

The thought of flour soup makes Bossy thirsty. Sputter cough.

Flowersbyfarha said...

ummm, around our house, Toast Flour Soup was known as "gravy"... as in "bisquits and..."

Which in current economic times (and for the non-dairy folks) would be made with water and not milk.

It's been awhile since I've made you really want a picture?