Today I was going through my collection of cook books
and while reading through 2 specific books I noticed a big difference.
One was an Amish collection and the recipes feed A LOT.
I'm talking pot luck serving to feed a crowd but that's not surprising
as they tend to have large families to work their farms, etc.
The other was from the Farmers Wife collection (1893 - 1939) which feeds A LITTLE
... as in 4 people... maybe 6 at the most.
What struck me the most interesting was that in the Farmers Wife cookbook,
they cooked much the same as the Amish people did with wood stoves and not much space for refrigeration except a true ice box. My Mom grew up in a log house with a wood stove and I lurve to look at the old photos and see their garden planted in the background.
The Amish spend a great deal of time working their farms
throughout the day and burning off those calories!
In the 1930's... people simply ate smaller portions because food was being rationed.
They could still have meat but would have the choice of lesser grades of meat (chuck instead of sirloin). They also ate a lot of soup but that's not surprising when you look at old photos of soup lines.
And of course my favorite.... they ate bread! Bread is like manna from heaven!
I pondered that for awhile as I searched for Scalloped Potatoes with Ham
recipe. I could either make enough for dinner tonight
or enough to last us through several meals this week.
Hmmm.... lessoned learned!
Smaller portions mean less calories and less weight gain.
Think about it... 2 pieces of bacon, an egg, a piece of toast
probably have less calories and sugar than a bowl of cereal (ie... corn syrup)!
I lurve retro photographs and gravitate to a lot of them
with the Wife in the kitchen cooking something on the stove...
Most people back then ate a large Sunday Dinner with left overs during the week stretched with rice or oatmeal. Makes me think of Meatloaf and Chipped Beef on Toast with gravy! ha ha
The other thing I noticed was ladies did more canning with their surplus fruit and vegetables because convenience food hadn't arrived yet.
They also prepared a small dessert and it was eaten only a few times a week, if that!
Cake was popular (think pineapple upside down cake made in a skillet)
and cookies went a long way too.
Fast forward to the year 2011... this ChaCha Momma works full time and needs a few leftovers during the week, so I opted for the Amish recipe that made more.
It was a great time of reflection learning from history!