Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Homemade Mashed Potatoes with Hamburger Gravy, Corn on the Cob, and Honey Baked Apples

This meal was sooo delicious!
The mashed potatoes and gravy were favorites and the corn buttery and delicious.
Never before have I baked apples, but I will definitely try it again...oh my goodness it was a treat!
Again, during the Depression the mashed potatoes and gravy probably would have been a whole meal for some people.
I have definitely made this dinner larger, but if you freeze/can/preserve during the summer...items like corn are readily available and still make this a cheap meal.

Here is another interesting tidbit about farming during the Great Depression and how it affected the way people ate...{source HERE}

Farms in the 1930s were diversified, growing a variety of crops in the fields, vegetables in the garden and fruit in the orchard. Small farms usually raised chickens, eggs, hogs, and cattle, as well as keeping horses and mules for work, and sometimes sheep for wool and meat. Some farmers kept bees and harvested the honey. Women baked their own bread.
During the Depression, this self-sufficiency carried over into their social life. One-dish suppers and church potlucks were important ways to have fun and share food. On radio and in women's magazines, home economists taught women how to stretch their food budget with casseroles and meals like creamed chipped beef on toast or waffles. Chili, macaroni and cheese, soups, and creamed chicken on biscuits were popular meals.
In the 70 or more years since the Great Depression, a lot has changed on the farms of rural America. All of these changes have resulted in farms that usually specialize in only one main crop. Today, entire regions have become "monocultures." 

This really makes me think that during hard economic times, like we are going through now, gardening is such a great way to supplement your diet!

On to the recipes...

Homemade Mashed Potatoes with Hamburger Gravy
Recipe HERE.

Poor Man Meal: Homemade Mashed Potatoes with Hamburger Gravy 

Homemade Mashed Potatoes

Milk, cream or sour cream

Directions on how to make homemade mashed potatoes

Peel potatoes, you can leave a little of the peel on if you are using red potatoes. 
Cut potatoes in bite size pieces. Place in boiling water and cook until tender. 
Do not overcook or you will have soggy mashed potatoes. 
Just cook until a fork can be pierced through easily. Drain potatoes. 
Place potatoes in a bowl and mash with a potato masher. 
Add butter, salt and milk, cream or sour cream (please don't use leftover potato water yuck!). 
The proportions are what ever you like best. I like mine a little more buttery which makes them taste 
better with a little more butter. Normally I use milk and save the sour cream for special occasions. 
I rarely use cream because I don't notice much added flavor but the added calories are significant.

Note: If you mix your potatoes too much, they will start to get stiff and gluey,be careful to mash them and mix in the other ingredients just until done, no need to keep stirring!

Hamburger Gravy

What you need for 2 cups of gravy:

1/2 lb. hamburger
2 Tablespoons  flour
2 cups beef broth
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions on how to make your Hamburger Gravy
Brown hamburger. Add a little butter if needed (if there isn't at least 2 tablespoons fat left from hamburger). Add flour and stir until hamburger is coated. 
Add beef broth and stir until flour is all mixed in and broth starts to thicken. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over potatoes and add grated cheddar cheese on top.

*I doubled this recipe for our family of 6.
It was GREAT!

Corn on the Cob
I used our fresh, frozen corn on the cob and topped it with melted butter:).
If you are planting corn this year, click above for information on how to freeze it on the cob.
Click HERE for a tutorial on freezing whole kernel corn.

Honey Baked Apples
From: The Many Blessings Cookbook by Jane Watson Hoppings.

Oh dear...these apples were absolutely wonderful!!
I made a couple of changes to the recipe...
I sprinkled about 1 tsp. cinnamon and 1tsp. nutmeg on top and put a tiny pat of butter in the center of each apple. 
They took about 1 hour to bake:).
We skipped the sweet cream, but it would have made a delicious topping.

Have a great day!



Ngo Family Farm said...

Your depression era posts are so fascinating! Thanks for sharing all the tidbits and recipes.

Kim said...

Any tips on how to stretch food $ with 3 teenage boys is helpful. This meal sounds like it would be really good!

Gina said...

Yum. Good country cookin'. ;) I would love to have some of that corn right now. :)

Magickwyrds said...

Mmm...this sounds and looks so good- just like mom used to make! Thanks for sharing!

Sally said...

Good grief! That SO does not sound, this this mama, Depression eating! That sounds soooooo good! Maybe it's simply that the good prepared wasn't from a can or a box, but that the ingredients are assembled by hand. That, to me, makes it fit for a king!
Thank you for the inspiration! First thing this pregnant mama has WANTED to eat, LOL!

Bevy @ Treasured Up and Pondered said...

Mashed Potatoes and Hambuger Gravy were a regular at our house growing up. Although we made our gravy with milk. Basically like the sausage gravy.

I made this the other night. My hubby is from the south and so sausage gravy and biscuits is a dream come true for him - for dinner. When I told him it was hamburger gravy, that I made instead, he wasn't so sure about it. (I bet if I wouldn't hvae said anything he would've never have known it).

We always served our meal with either (sometimes thickened) green peas or green beans. Or a green salad consisting of iceburg lettuce and sliced hard boiled eggs with a homemade milk, mayo, vinegar and sugar dressing...add a sprinkle of paprika for color.

I guess I'm a direct recipiant of Depression meals - coming from my grandparents and I LOVE that is and was passed down to me in my own generation.

((Love you music, here on your blog))

Michele said...

Love these recipes! Thank you for taking the time to share, Julia!
Love the music relaxing! I may have to start spending my quiet time on your site...haha!

Snooks said...

This sounds and looks so good. My grandmother used to make baked apples. They were mouth watering good.

@ 3Beeze Homestead

Unknown said...

Hello, I love your recipes and all this information! I ordered a couple of the books listed on here and can't wait to get them to try out the recipes.

We live on a 14 acre farm with cows, horses, chickens, a lamb, 3 dogs and 2 cats! I garden every summer and can tons of veggies and fruits for a "rainy" day!
Thanks for this info. Cant' wait to try all the recipes.

Kaitlin@Homemaker Design said...

I love this series that you are posting!!! With my husband and I (prayerfully and hopefully) on the verge of owning our own little farm soon, these will be so good to make from our own little piece of land!!! Keep them coming!! :)

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