Welcome to “Cooking Through the Decades,” a 10-week journey through the 20th century, where you can let our revamped retro recipes take you back through history. Cook along with us for a chance to win cookbooks and an America’s Test Kitchen apron autographed by Bridget Lancaster.
SETTING THE SCENE: THE 1930S
The soup kitchen is full. The breadline winds around the corner. They are serving penny meals, three times a day. It is the Great Depression, and in the home, somewhere between the streets filled with Hoovervilles and the glossy pages of magazines that ignore the hard times entirely, families look inward for survival and success. Americans take comfort in their food – when they have it – and in each other; during the gathering of women’s clubs, small luxuries are found in dainty desserts. Dinner parties have been replaced by more modest afternoon teas. A new tradition is established of Sunday family dinners, which, even more than a reinforcement of family values, are a necessity. Food is cooked in one pot, over one burner, and the Clean Plate Club welcomes its first members into frugal eating.
THIS WEEK’S RECIPE: CHICKEN IN A POT
“A chicken in every pot” was the battle cry during Herbert Hoover’s 1928 presidential campaign. He promised prosperity and Americans were eager to believe. While Hoover himself did not actually utter those words (they were coined by a Republican campaign committee in a mass distributed ad), Democrats were quick to throw the slogan back into Herbert Hoover’s face as the Depression wore on through the 1930s. A heated exchange of blame and misappropriation ensued, not unlike the finger pointing and name-calling of today’s presidential campaigns. Meanwhile, if you had a chicken, you were lucky. If you didn’t, you were putting whatever you could get your hands on in a pot and calling it dinner. Dream of prosperity with this one pot chicken, and say Thank you, Herbert Hoover. This chicken is good.
THIS WEEK’S CHALLENGE
Cook like it’s 1933! Put a chicken in your pot, and count your blessings.
Make this frugal yet optimistic recipe and send us a picture of you with the dish (or if you’re shy, just the dish is ok too)! Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line “1933.” Be sure to include your name, mailing address, and blog or Twitter URL. Also, feel free to include a few lines about your experiences with this dish or decade.
Deadline: Tuesday, July 24 at 5 p.m. EST.
Two winning entries will will be featured on The Feed next Wednesday, and the lucky cooks will win a copy of Cook’s Country Best Lost Suppers and an America’s Test Kitchen apron signed by Bridget Lancaster.