Family meal. Bland and cheap. Which is good during times like these.
If your parents or Grandparents lived during the Great Depression, they probably didn’t talk about it that much. When the stock market crashed, my mother was six years old, living in an already dirt poor part of Pennsylvania so far up in the hills that “they had to pipe the sunshine in.” My dad was thirteen and was living in Cleveland, Ohio. What they did tell me was "times were tough."
I happened across this recipe perusing through the Internet. This was originally called “Hoover Stew,” pertaining to President Hoover, who oversaw the start of the Great Depression. This is a simple, cheap concoction that has bulk and meets most of the basic dietary needs for daily life.
Starting off with the tomatoes, which have multiple benefits all by themselves. If you’re looking to grow your own food, this is first on the list. Then you have a second vegetable, never a bad thing. The beans provide plant protein, the hot dogs provide the animal protein, both of which are essential for people. The pasta provides carbs for energy.
* = your choice or whatever is at hand.
1lb macaroni or any pasta.2 15oz cans stewed tomatoes1 15oz can beans (with the juice) *1 15oz can vegetables (with the juice) *1lb of pre-cooked cheap meat (hot dogs, sausage, etc.)
This will be bland. Add spices to taste, try spiced tomatoes, fry hot dogs before adding them, etc. I improve the taste on this by dicing an onion, then sautéing it with the meat and a heaping tablespoon (or two) of minced garlic. Throwing another tablespoon of garlic into the final mix helps as well.
Start with large pot. Cook pasta for half the specified time. Drain and set aside. In the now empty pot combine tomatoes, vegetable and beans. Include juice from cans. Mix well, then return pasta to pot and mix well. Add cut-up hot dogs and mix well. Add water if needed. Simmer 20-30 minutes until pasta is fully cooked. Serves 8+.