Depression Era Patriot: Frugal Recipes That Stretch A Budget (Ch. 4)



Hello fellow Americans,

So where are we? Oh yes, Chapter four. If you missed my previous chapters they can be read here, here, and here.

We have talked about the importance of starting a plan for food storage, the civic duty of activism, how to grow a garden to feed your families, and now I wish to explore with you how to feed your families good and nutritious recipes, but frugally.  This chapter is truly about what you may have to do in the most difficult times to stave off hunger and keep your family alive.

I have tried to prepare you for that rainy day ahead…

Well, I honestly believe the rainy day is right around the corner and time is very short now. As I have said in previous chapters I grew up in the Depression-era and know what it feels like to stand in long lines just for a loaf of bread. A staple around our home was a bowl of mashed crackers and a cup of milk leaving them swimming like cereal. Why do I keep informing you of this personal and painful memory? I need you to act now before events get the upper hand. I know what it feels like to be hungry -real hunger, and I would never wish that on any living soul.

One doesn’t have to hear or read about the Depression-era to witness the effects of starvation and malnutrition. One only needs to watch the news or read an article about some distant nation that has a significant portion of its population slowly starving to death. It is a horrible way to die and when you are deprived of basic nutrients and minerals your body and mind cannot learn, properly react, or grow healthy. Children and the Elderly are the most vulnerable but sustainable food intake is a crisis for all ages in many areas of the world presently. Do not lull yourself into the arrogant thinking it could never happen in the United States – it has happened several times before in America.

So before I get to the recipes allow me to nag a bit. Have you started picking up two flours’, sugars’, oatmeal’, and such when you weekly grocery shop to add to that food storage plan? Are you sealing your dry goods in air-tight containers and storing them in cool and dimly lit places? What have you planted? Did you start at least a container garden on your porch, patio, or balcony? What local, state, or federal politician have you contacted? Have you joined a political or community activist group? If the above questions are mostly or entirely answered with a no, we have a problem.

The April jobs report was dismal and inflation is rising at alarming rates. Biden is spending like a drunken sailor and  paying people not to work while expanding the welfare state. The requirements for  unemployment checks do not even require you prove your looking for work as they used to. This does not reach its logical conclusion and end well.


Crime rates are also skyrocketing:



There is Political instability across the globe and our domestic stability is on full view -decaying before our eyes. Last week significant infrastructure, one of our major gas pipelines, was hacked and threatened fuel supply to a large segment of our society resulting in  the Colonial Pipeline company paying millions in ransom  just to get back online. This hack is attributed to the Russian government’s influences. Do I have your attention? There is no more procrastination time available so roll up your sleeves and lay down some markers so you can have independent control over the safety and well-being of yourself and your family.

Food is life. Our bodies need proteins, fats, carbs, vitamins, water, and enzymes to function. Meat, eggs, fish, and dairy provide us protein to maintain and grow muscle and strength, and starchy carbohydrates provide us the fuel for energy. Vegetables give us essential vitamins and protein. It seems like a huge task to provide your nutrients rather than depend on a store-bought surplus but it is not. A few pots of spinach, turnips, broccoli, and potatoes will make a dramatic difference if hunger ever really arrives at your door. Find out where your nearest local cattle, chicken, pig farm is and inquire about buying whole sides of meat to store in the freezer. If you have a small side yard you can have chickens, goats, turkeys, even pigs. In the direst times raising rabbits and even hunting squirrels will provide a lifeline for you and your family. In later chapters, I intend to discuss how to dress( skin and clean ) your animals and how to prepare them. Raising chickens also provides eggs and goats provide milk.

Remember from chapter three about the differences between a Winter and Summer garden. A Summer garden has most of your tomato’s, bare roots vegetables, lettuce, and spinach. But the Winter garden is really my favorite as I love green collards, kale, acorn squash, and of course pumpkins. Remember pumpkins are versatile and can be used in soups and are great to season your food with if you don’t have any bacon or seasonings. Just take a 1″ cube of pumpkin and put it in with your beans or whatever you’re cooking and it gives it a really good flavor. A lot of the people in Puerto Rico use it for seasoning their food all the time I had a friend who’s from Puerto Rico and she wouldn’t cook any vegetables without putting a chunk of pumpkin in with them. Plus you can roast the seeds from the pumpkin or just let them dry out and save them for planting next year.

Remember to refer back to Chapter one for the medical kit and vitamin list. Begin now stocking up on Vitamin C, B12, D, K, and E and minerals like  calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, chloride, magnesium, iron, zinc, iodine, chromium, copper, fluoride, molybdenum, manganese, and selenium.

Don’t forget to be stocking up on laundry soap, dish soap, bath soap, disinfectants. bleach, and such. Paper products too.

Now I would like to share with you a few recipes to get started but I plan to add a few new ones at the end of each forthcoming chapter.


Depression Bread

This recipe calls for just three ingredients and my mom would make it all the time. It is not sweet but it is packed with carbs for fuel. If you think you are not a bread baker this recipe will prove you wrong. You can make 7 loaves of bread for about $2.50. That’s an awesome way to stretch your food budget!


  • 5 lb bag All- purpose flour
  • 5 TBS Yeast (I used Rapid-Rise yeast)
  • 6 Tsp Salt (optional, but I think it added flavor to the bread)
  • 6 cups warm water (more or less depending on your dough)


    1. Pour flour in a large bowl.
    2. Make a well in the center of the flour.
    3. Add yeast to well and then add enough of the water to the well to dissolve the yeast (you can use your hands).
    4. After yeast is dissolved start adding more water and mixing in flour until you form a dough.
    5. Knead dough in the bowl for a bit.  Let the dough rise in a warm place with a towel loosely covering the top.
    6. After it has risen double in size, punch down the dough and divide it up into 7 loaves.
    7. Shape the dough loaves and put in loaf pans.  If you do not have 7 pans, use a cookie sheet and the loaves will come out just as nice fine.
    8. Let the dough rise for 60 minutes or until doubled in size.
    9. Make slits in the top of the dough to make it look pretty.
    10. Bake at 350° until it gets brown on top, about 25 minutes (this will vary a bit based on your oven)

Grandma’s Chicken Soup

This is my beloved Grandmother’s recipe I have made from scratch, noodles too. But you can use store bought noodles. Takes about 30 minutes and yields 6 servings and costs $2.50 per serving.


  • 1 gallon chicken stock
  • 4 bone-in chicken breast halves
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water, or as needed
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch salt


  1. Bring chicken stock to a boil
  2. Cook chicken breasts at a boil until no longer pink in the center (15 to 20 minutes)
  3. Remove chicken, cool, and cut meat from bone
  4. Keep chicken stock at a low simmer.
  5. Return chicken to the simmering stock; add noodles.
  6. Season stock with black pepper and 1 pinch salt.
  7. Cook soup until noodles are cooked through, 15 to 25 minutes.

If making your own pasta here are steps: Mix flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt together using the dough hook attachment in the bowl of a stand mixer on Low; add eggs and water, 1 tablespoon at time, until dough holds together. Split dough in half. Roll 1 dough half on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut dough into noodles 2 to 3-inches long x 1/4-inch wide using a sharp knife dipped in flour or a fettuccine pasta cutter. Repeat with other dough half.

Stovetop Rice Custard

This sweet and creamy dish satisfies the sweet tooth and provides carbs for energy , the whole recipe costs only $4 to make.


  • ½ cup Calrose rice not rinsed or plain rice.
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon minced orange peel
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ nutmeg freshly grated grated (plus extra for garnish)


  • Combine rice, water, and salt in a medium pot. Cover, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook, covered, until water has been absorbed and rice is very soft, about 15 minutes.
  • While the rice cooks, whisk eggs, sugar, orange peel, vanilla extract, and nutmeg together in a large bowl until foamy and pale yellow.
  • Once rice is fully cooked and most of the water is absorbed, stir in the heavy cream. Return to a boil then reduce to a simmer.
  • Slowly pour a ladleful, about ½ cup, of the hot rice and cream into the egg mixture while constantly whisking. Repeat as needed until the egg mixture is close to the same temperature as the rice and add it to the pot.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly and making sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the pot, until the custard has thickened and coats the back of your spoon, about 15 minutes.
  • Transfer to a large bowl or eight 4-ounce ramekins and refrigerate for at least 8 hours before serving. Before serving top with a little extra freshly grated nutmeg.

Hungarian Cabbage and Noodles

This meal is very filling and can feed large families for less than $1 a serving.

  • 1 large head cabbage (cored and shredded)
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 8 ounces butter (2 sticks)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 pound medium Hungarian egg noodles (homemade or store-bought any kind of egg noodle, cooked)


  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. In a large skillet or Dutch Oven, sauté cabbage and onion in butter until golden brown and tender.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Mix with cooked egg noodles. Adjust seasonings and rewarm if necessary to serve piping hot.


Let this frugal cook show you how easy it can be done:

Until the next chapter, here, here, and here are some good resources for frugal meal planning and recipes. I hope you feel inspired to become prepared and more independent and strive for the best outcomes when difficulties arise.

Your friend and patriot,


 RWR original article syndication source.

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Written by Brenda


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  1. I feel like Brenda is personally walking me through this.
    I love these simple and practical ideas that can be critical to survival.
    And I agree: “act now before events get the upper hand. I know what it feels like to be hungry -real hunger, and I would never wish that on any living soul.”
    I’m going back to read up on the medical kit and vitamin list!

    • My wife thanks you for your comment, although she is blind, I read it to her & she has plans for more upcoming items related.

  2. Brenda is an important voice for Americans to hear. She represents a generation of experiences that must matter to future generations. And a as a matter of record- imparting wisdom is critical at this juncture if we all( all Americans) are to navigate the course ahead. Although she must have her husband translate her writing to get published related to her lost sight , she makes such an effort because she cares about her country and those in it. Aside from her common sense guidelines , this is what I come away with every time I read her -Brenda is a true patriot who cares so deeply about her countrymen and our future.. I am inspired by her personal story as well, for those who may not know, she shared in our Salute to Armed Forces day article that she had four sons serve. Yes, four! What an incredible sacrifice an testimony to her maternal gifts.
    The RWR is lucky to have such a voice and we look forward to her next installment of the Depression -era Patriot.

  3. I love all this information and the recipes. I could live on the Chicken soup and home made bread. The people that lived the great depression. They were prepared. We must learn from all this information. This can happen again.

  4. This is part four and I am getting psyched and prepared.
    Yes, we must expect a time where supermarket shelves will be empty.
    When I look at the world I feel fear and doubt of what lays ahead – but I can’t let that stop me.
    These articles encourage me to take the brave small steps to begin to take back some control.
    I am so looking forward to my first seeds sprouting!
    Now to work! 🌱

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