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The Economical Kitchen


  1. Cabbage - It's Good For You

    Cabbage is a low-cost vegetable, that tends to be under utilized in many homes.  For many it is just not a popular vegetable.  Yet, perhaps it should be.  There are a lot of health benefits to cabbage. As one reaseaCabbage and cabbage rollsrcher elaborates: 

    Cancer prevention tops all other areas of health research with regard to cabbage and its outstanding benefits. More than 475 studies have examined the role of this cruciferous vegetable in cancer prevention (and in some cases, cancer treatment). The uniqueness of cabbage in cancer prevention is due to the three different types of nutrient richness found in this widely enjoyed food. The three types are (1) antioxidant richness, (2) anti-inflammatory richness, and (3) richness in glucosinolates. (

    Depression era cooks loved its low cost, keeping qualities, and recipe versatility.  Many a home garden would feature cabbage as one of its most important vegetables.  The modern kitchen chef, too, can benefit from the advantages of using this under-appreciated vegetable.  After all, it really is a nutritious option, seems to last forever in the fridge, is probably one of the most frugal ways to make a meal, and can result in some incredibly delicious dishes.

    For Example:

    Stuffed Cabbage Leaves (Cabbage Rolls)

    • Cabbage
    • Minced pork
    • Rice
    • Salt (to taste)
    • Pepper (to taste)
    • Paprika (to taste)

    Cook cabbage and separate leaves, being careful not to tear the leaves.  Mix equal quantities of cooked minced pork and cooked rice together and season with salt, pepper and paprika.  Roll in a cabbage leaf like suasages.  Place one by one in baking dish, adding a little water when the dish is ready for the oven.  Cook in a slow oven about one hour. (Recipients of Emergency Relief - Montreal)

    Meat Doves (Cabbage Rolls)

    • Cabbage
    • Cooked meat (seasoned to taste)
    • Cooked rice
    • 1 egg
    • 1 onion
    • 1 tbsp. fat
    • 1/2 tin tomatoes

    Prepare filling of equal parts of well seasoned cooked meat and cooked rice (an egg may be used for the binding).  Wash cabbage leaves, one for each serving, let stand in boiling water for 5 minutes.  Drain and roll around 2 to 4 tbsp. of filling.  In a deep saucepan fry 1 onion sliced in 1 tbsp fat.  Place Doves on this.  Cook with 1/2 tin tomoatoes.  Cook slowly for one hour. (Manitoba Agricultural College)

    Scalloped Cabbage

    • 2 c. cooked cabbage
    • 2 tbsp. flour
    • 1/3 c. cheese
    • 2 tbsp. shortening
    • 1 c. milk
    • 1/4 tsp. mustard
    • Bread crumbs

    Make a white sauce of shortening, flour and milk.  Then add mustard and cheese.  Pour over the cooked cabbage.  Reheat, place in a baking dish, cover with bread crumbs and brown in oven. (Manitoba Agricultural College)
  2. Rice Pudding

    Rice Pudding

    1/3 cup rice
    4 cups water
    2 cups milk
    1/3 cup sugar
    1 egg

    Soak rice in water and cook until tender. Drain. Add milk, sugar and one well-beaten egg.  Turn into baking dish and finish in oven. (Recipients of Emergency Relief - Montreal)
  3. Easy-to-Make Rice Desserts

    Rice is one of those wonderful foods that, if a made a part of your food storage, with even a minimum of care can be stored for thirty years or more and still be found to be a usable food after that time.  As the folks at Provident Living put it, "While there is a decline in nutritional quality and taste over time, depending on the orginal quality of food and how it was processed, packaged and stored, studies show that even after being stored long-term, the food will help sustain life in an emergency." 

    Its high caloric value and versatility in use help to make rice a valuable part of just about any home storage program.  Use it as in a main dish, use it in a side dish, or even use it as a dessert.  As these recipes which follow show, rice can be a simple-to-use, inexpensive and healthy dessert ingredient.

    Rice Custard

    • 1 cup cooked rice (with or without raisins)
    • 1 pt milk
    • 1 tsp. vanilla
    • 2 eggs
    • salt
    • 1/4 cup milk
    • sugar or syrup to taste

    Scald milk and pour over lightly beaten eggs. Add sugar, salt, vanilla and cooked rice.  Place pudding dish in a pan of hot water and bake until custard is set. (Manitoba Agricultural College)

    Rice Pudding

    • 1/2 cup rice
    • 1/8 tsp salt
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • nutmeg
    • 2 cups milk

    Pour into buttered pudding dish, place in a pan of hot water and bake 3 or 4 hours in a slow oven.  Stir frequently until pudding is nearly cooked then brown slightly. (Macdonald Institute, Guelph, Ontario)

    Boiled Rice

    • 1 cup boiling water
    • 1/2 tsp salt - scant
    • 1/4 cup rice - scant

    Pick over and wash rice, add slowly to boiling salted water. Boil uncovered 5 minutes, cover, place over boiling water and cook without disturbing until soft. All water should be absorbed and the kernels quite separate.  Serve with milk and brown suugar, (Macdonald Institute, Guelph)
  4. The Economical Kitchen

    Having food storage is one thing.  Using it is another.  The same can be said of emergency preparedness.  Being prepared is good.  Knowing how to use what you have set aside in preparation is equally important.

    Impoverished Arkansas Teen cooking during the Great Depression - circa 1930 - from fineartarmerica.com"The Economical Kitchen" will, however, at least to begin with, concetrate on the food storage side of things.

    In fact, we at Storeitfoods.com are turning to the Great Depression for resource material.  Why the Great Depression?  Well, this was a time when, for a great many people, dollars were extremely hard to come by. Purchasing even the most basic of kitchen commodities might be considered a major expenditure for many families.  Buying table salt or a bag of flour was not done on a whim.  Pennies were saved, budgets were made, and such purchases were made only after careful consideration.

    Consequently, householders, when planning meals, attempted to provide nourishing, tasty dishes that could be made with a minimum amout of waste and using a minimum amount of ingredients.  Exotic spices, even if they might be available at the nearby "Piggly Wiggly"* or some other local grocery store, were passed over in favor of the more common.  Your own garden produce, carefully grown, was used fresh or stored for future use.  Home preserves were common.  Store bought canned goods, if you had funds enough to afford them, inexpensive though they were, were also basic in many recipes.  If the time comes when we have to place a great dependance upon our own food storage, then such simple, nourishing meals might be "just what the doctor ordered."

    It should be noted, though, that these recipes originated in a time when stoves themselves were often very basic.  Wood or coal burners were still common, with gas and electric ranges, not unknown, but more of a rarity.  It would not be unusual for temperature regulators or timers to be lacking.  That meant recipe providers did not bother much with cooking times, heat settings or other such guidelines.  You were expected to know what a "hot oven" meant and act accordingly.  Thus, today's home chef might have to resort to some experimenting, and may wish to make reference to past experience or more modern recipes that requited more elabourate preparations but were for similar dishes., and do include instructions for cooking times and oven temperatures.

    Piggly Wiggly has been bringing home the bacon for millions of American families since 1916.

    Main Courses

    To begin with, let us share with you a couple of rice based main courses:

    Italian Rice

    • 1 cup rice
    • 1/2 tin tomatoes
    • 1/2 cup cheese
    • 1 tsp salt

    ​Wash rice and boil in salted water.  Drain and add to the tomatoes.  Cook 10 minutes. Add grated cheese and heat till it melts.  Serve at once. (Manitoba Agricultural College)

    Spanish Rice
    • 1 c. rice
    • 1 small onion (chopped)
    • 1/2 tin tomatoes
    • 2 tbsp shortening
    • 1 c. left over meat

    ​Wash rice and boil in salted water.  Drain and add all of the other ingredients.  Cook about 10 minutes and serve at once. (Manitoba Agricultural College)

    Note: These two recipes and many of the others which may follow in future blog entries originated with a small publication, Menus and Budgets for Economy Buying and Cooking, published by the Canadian Welfare Council.

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