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A Melting Pot of Pioneer Recipes – What They Had To Do To Keep Their Families Alive

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A Melting Pot of Pioneer Recipes – What They Had To Do To Keep Their Families Alive

Pioneer women who had to decide what few precious things to carry across the plains surely made one choice in common—their own individual collection of “receipts,” as recipes were then called. For them, these were reminders of a security left behind and a hope for the abundance of the future. In the interim, they simply did what they had to do to keep their families alive.

Many early memories of pioneer food concerned the frugality with which the Saints lived: “We lived on cornbread and molasses for the first winter.” “We could not get enough flour for bread … so we could only make it into a thin gruel which we called killy.” “Many times … lunch was dry bread … dipped in water and sprinkled with salt.” “These times we had nothing to waste; we had to make things last as long as we could.” 

No doubt the “receipt” books were closed during these times, and efforts were given simply to finding food and making it go as far as possible.

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But slowly, even out of this deprivation, recipes grew. The pioneer women learned to use any small pieces of leftover meat and poultry with such vegetables as they might have on hand—carrots, potatoes, corn, turnips, onions—to make a pie smothered with Mormon gravy.

Thrift fritters were a combination of cold mashed potatoes and any other leftover vegetables and/or meat, onion for flavoring, a beaten egg, and seasonings, shaped into patties and browned well on both sides in hot drippings.

One Danish immigrant mother made “corn surprises” to brighten up the scanty diet of bread and molasses. To corn soup, made with ground dried corn, she added anything colorful or tasty that she could find: bits of parsley or wild greens, carrots, sweet peppers, chips of green string beans, chopped whites or yolks of hard-cooked eggs, or a little bit of rice.

While the first few companies of pioneers were comprised mostly of New Englanders, other states were sparsely represented, as were Canada, England, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, Scandinavia, Germany, and even Spain and Australia. Within the next five years thousands more from other European countries poured into Zion. And with them came their favorite national recipes.

By the time these immigrants arrived, the critical food shortages were somewhat alleviated, with most families having access to milk and cream, butter and cheese, beef, lamb, pork, chicken, eggs, flour ground from their own wheat harvest, molasses and honey, and a little later, sugar.

RELATED : The World Food Crisis: Recipes, Sources and Solutions

Undoubtedly recipes passed from hand to hand. Recipes for steamed Bostonbrown bread were probably exchanged for those for Oklahoma graham gems, while German Saints taught the Welsh how to make their spiced red cabbage and learned in return how to make Welsh currant bread. Truly, the cooking pot of the early pioneers was a melting pot for many kinds of cooking from many countries and ranged from the simplest and most humble of recipes to elaborate and elegant dishes from the kitchens of European kings.

 

READ MORE : http://www.prepperfortress.com/melting-pot-pioneer-recipeswhat-they-had-to-do-to-keep-their-families-alive/

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1 hour ago, PrepperFortress said:

Bad things that are anticipated to occur needs to be prepared for perfectly because they are inescapable, such as, global warming.

Now it's "climate change." 

Lt. Lockhart: [reading] ... we have a new directive from M.A.F. on this. In the future, in place of "search and destroy," substitute the phrase "sweep and clear." Got it?

Pvt. Joker: Got it. Very catchy.

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