Let’s start with dessert, shall we?

If you’re over 50 and a native of New Zealand you’re bound to have heard of “the Rawleighs man”. These travelling salesmen went from door-ro-door selling Rawleigh’s products, every thing from Baking Powder to horse linament. Generally, they sold cheaper than stores and provided staples to many rural communities. Given the nature of the times we live in now I wondered what the Rawleigh’s books would have to say about cheap eats, and I found a whopper recipe for a depression-style pecan pie, which I thought I’d pass on.

By the way, Rawleigh Products was founded by W.T. Rawleigh in the late 1800s to create a line of products that possessed both strength and quality. Over 100 years later, W.T Rawleigh remained a leading manufacturer and distributor of salves, ointments, spices & extracts and much, much more products.

I think I may have offered up a pecan pie recipe earlier on this blog, but this time I wanted to try a recipe from one of the Rawleighs  cookbooks, just for the fun of it.

Rawleigh’s Pumpkin Pie

1 1/2 cups cooked pumpkin (canned pumpkin is already cooked)

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. Rawleigh’s Cinnamon

1 tsp. Rawleigh’s Ginger

1/8 tsp. Rawleigh’s Allspice

2 Tbs. molasses (optional)

3 eggs, slightly beaten

1 cup rich milk or thin cream (I used 1/2 & 1/2)

Unbaked pie shell

Mix pumpkin, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, all-spice and molasses. Add eggs with milk or cream and mix well. Pour into pie shell. Bake in oven, 425*, for 40-45 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean.

For Squash pie: Use cooked squash instead of pumpkin.

Next up is a main course to die for. This recipe is taken from the “Pennsylvania Dutch Cook Book” section of the Regional Cookbook, and features SAUSAGE!  Naturall, being depression-style fare, this  recipe is frugal friendly. Any kind of sausage will do – the fattier the better. If you buy right you ought to be able to provide a main meal  for six people for right around $5!

Meat and Cabbage
(Old Dutch Recipe)

1 pound sausage meat
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 egg, well beaten
1/3 cup uncooked rice
2 tablespoons fat
1 onion, sliced fine
1 1/3 cups tomato soup
1 teaspoon minced parsley
1/2 cup chopped celery
3 tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper
6 cabbage leaves

Season meat will with salt and pepper and add egg. Mix well. Mix in rice. Melt fat, add onion and cook for several minutes. Combine tomato soup and equal amount of water and add to onion. Add parsley, celery, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes. Wash cabbage leaves and boil until limp. Put 2 tablespoons of meat mixture in each leaf and roll tightly. Secure each roll with a toothpick. Place in a saucepan and pour sauce over rolls. Cover pan tightly and cook slowly for 3 hours. Serve very hot.

If there was anyone in my family that knew more than anyone else about Depression cooking it was my father’s mother, Lena. I loved my grandmother’s cooking, and admire the regularity of her weekly menu, which never varied. As far as I know, she own no cookbooks, and never wrote recipes down. She didn’t need to. She was a true orginal – a frontierwoman who could fry up a beefsteak as easi;y as re-shingle a roof.  My aunt learned to cook this dish from Grandma Marshall, which she descxibed as “a little bit of this and a little bit of that”.  After years of begging her, she finally imparted the recipe to me – on her deathbed.

In case you’re wondering, this was the Sunday meal. Grandma always put it into a slow oven before leaving for church. Two hours later, it was ready to be pulled out and enjoyed.

Add some green beans with almonds, a green salad (with ranch dressing), and a relish dish of green onions, radishes, olives, and pickles as side dishes to up-date it, and you’ve got an easy Sunday dinner.

Grandma Lena’s Chicken on Sunday
1 box Minute Rice
1 can celery soup
1 can mushroom soup
1/2 c. milk
1 envelope dry onion soup
1 frying chicken

Stoneking’s translation
1 box instant rice (one that serves about 6-8 servings)
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1 envelope dry onion soup (like Lipton’s or Knorr’s)
1 whole chicken, cut up or enough chicken parts for 8 people

Grease large baking pan, 8 x 13,” and sprinkle the contents of 1 box of Minute Rice over the bottom. Heat the celery and mushroom soups with the milk until well blended, then pour over the rice. Lay the pieces of chicken over the soup and sprinkle with the dry onion soup mix. Seal pan with foil and bake in a 325 degree oven for 2 hours.

About stonekingseminars

Poet, screenwriter, producer, mentor
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