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My trucker budy loved to cook and hated truck stop food so he prepared almost all his meals in the sleeper. After I installed a decent working inverter system we bought him a George Forman grill which he loved. He had a Danby fridge like you se under a bar counter. He was always getting recipes from my wife.
My reasoning for starting this thread with that title was because the other thread was getting led astray. A single father with a teen age son was asking for help because he only had $95 left for groceries.
I don’t want this thread to become an inverse bragging list of ‘my poverty beats your poverty story’. Both my wife and I have had experience with stretching the grocery well beyond the normal limits most North Americans take for granted. Unless you grew up in post war reconstruction Europe you have no idea what rationing and such was like. Food was issued according to ration booklets and neither love or money could get you more except on the black market. Neither of my parents smoked so they traded cigarettes for eggs. My uncle owned a farm so occasionally we got salamis and smoked meat that never went through a store.
The point being this kind of existence created meal recipes which fed more people than you might imagine.
Your five years at Shoneys has little relevance to starvation recipes because American go to a restaurant to splurge not be miserly. Consequently the types of recipes offered in restaurants bears no recemblance to what I am talking about.
Try feeding a family of four dinner with 3 potatoes, two weiners and half an onion. Used to be my favourite meal when I was growing up.
Likewise how about a dinner using one pork chop, a couple of potatoes and half or maybe a whole onion? Again this could feed four not one person.I bet they never served a meal like that at Shoneys.
You will likely never see a cook book of recipes for really poor people for a couple of reasons. First off people with too little money do not have extra cash for a book. People who have enough money are not likely to want to eat such recipes so why would they buy a book on such recipes.
Over here in North America most people associate cheap food with mulligaan stew as cooked by the irish. The huge number of irish who emigrated after the potatoe famine helped spread this perception. Nothing wrong with it, but there are many more ways to use potatoes than in a stew.
My wifes ancestors were russian peasants and scottish emigrants. As punishment for misdeeds as a child she was sentenced to sit and watch her grandmother cook. Boy what an education! Borzh, kolbasa, and perogies not to mention cabbage rolls and Hablotchy(sp) Growing up on an off grid homestead everything was home made. Canned moose meat was the meat staaple not beef.
Butchering the milk cow for a steak was a silly thing to do because that stopped milk production.
When my wife moved out on her own she took a fishing rod and her hunting cat. she had rented a log cabin near a lake so she fished for food and every week the cat brought home a couple of grouse.
Point being she never learned to cook restaurant style but she sure can feed a crowd.