Those who grew up during The Great Depression are often referred to as The Greatest Generation, and for good reason. The ingenuity, toughness, and resourcefulness exhibited are not so common nowadays. Yet is important for us to look back on what life was like back then in order to appreciate what we have. Some of us may have heard stories about the Depression from our parents or grand parents. If so, you may be familiar with these five concepts.
1. Getting Creative in the Kitchen
Like a lot of other things during the Depression, meat was considered a bit of a luxury. Since it was so expensive, crafty cooks began finding ingredients to substitute for meat, or recipes that didn’t call for meat at all. Beans became a primary source of proteins, and sardines became more popular due to their abundance and inexpensiveness. Other dishes, like Depression cake of the mayonnaise sandwich, became a staple in many homes.
2. Using and Enjoying Powdered Food
Dairy items such as milk, eggs, and cheese were somewhat of a luxury, even though they’re essential for a balanced diet. Sometimes a family might not have a way to keep perishables cool (such as a refrigerator or electricity in general), making powdered alternatives the perfect solution.
3. Reusing and Repurposing was a Necessity
Today, repurposing or “upcycling” old items is more of a trendy fab and a hobby than it is a necessity. During the Depression however, any time you could get multiple uses or purposes out of an item, you did. Nothing exemplifies this more than the Feedsack Dress. Instead of letting the perfectly good fabric that grain and flour would come in go to waste, crafty mothers would sew dresses out of them! In fact, companies began printing their feedsack fabrics in fun colors and patterns for this very reason.