Welcome to Reviewsday! Get it? Like Tuesday except – oh never mind. 🙂 Today, I wanted to talk about one of my favorite cookbooks. Maybe talking about a cookbook sounds kind of boring, but this isn’t just a regular cookbook. It’s like a storybook and cookbook combined, and it’s an enjoyable read.
Let me introduce you to Clara Cannucciari. 🙂
This is a wonderful little cookbook called Clara’s Kitchen: Wisdom, Memories, and Recipes from the Great Depression. Clara and her family ate well during that time, mainly due to lots and lots of hard work. Her father had a very large garden, which helped quite a bit. Her mother was creative in the kitchen and stretched the little that they did have to make filling and nutritious meals for her family.
Clara’s family was Italian so many of her meals involve beans and pasta, two very inexpensive ingredients even at the time. They also ate lots of potatoes, which are relatively easy to grow.
I have actually tried a few of her recipes and they are tasty, frugal, and easy. You can’t go wrong there! I really like her bread recipe. However, if you make it, be prepared to freeze some of the loaves – it yields 6! But hey, if you’re making bread, just make a whole bunch and get it out of the way.
Besides her bread recipe, we tried The Poorman’s Meal. This uses potatoes, onions, tomato sauce and…hot dogs! It was pretty good. The recipe says it serves 4, but we found the serving sizes to be rather, um, small for our appetites that aren’t used to living in more meager times. In other words, have a couple of sides to supplement (maybe some bread).
A fun but kind of sad story she told was that she used to walk quite a ways to her job and would carry her knife with her, not for protection but to dig up dandelions for a salad! And yes, did you know you can eat dandelion leaves? I have never done it myself, but they are apparently quite nutritious!
Speaking of dandelions, check out this big guy I saw on my walk today. Whoa!
If you want to try dandelion leaves (You brave soul) just make sure you harvest them from an area untreated with weed killer or any other chemicals. That would make dandelion leaves very, very bad for you.
Sadly, she died a couple of years ago, after living to be 98 years old. Amazing! Her grandson set up the Great Depression YouTube cooking channel. You should really check it out. Many of the recipes she demonstrated are found in her cookbook.
If you get a copy of Clara’s cookbook, I would love to know what you think! Maybe try your hand at her Fried Dough recipe, or even the Stale Ham Sandwich! (no joke!)
I have linked to this book on Amazon. If you purchase it through the supplied link, I will receive a small amount from Amazon.