By peasant cooking I do not mean porridge gruel three times a day. I mean thoughtfully using ingredients to stretch meals. Many home cooks do this instinctually to feed the family.
I am certain that everyone has experienced sticker shock at the grocery store lately. Meat prices across the board have increased. Also fresh produce prices are crazy. My local stores still have mostly stocked shelves. What I have noticed during my grocery and sundries runs are the lack of choice in sizes of various items. While not a food product, I looked for the small three ounce bottle of contact lens solution that I use. Nope. Nothing. I had to buy the vastly more expensive 12 ounce bottle. That’s enough to last me a whole year. I suppose in the end I saved money. SIGH.
To continue my grocery odyssey. I was blessed with a very productive garden last year. My two deep freezers are stuffed with my own home grown produce. I do shop quick sales in the meat department so I have meat protein in the freezers. And I want to stretch that meat as far as I can. Several years ago I may have made individual steaks. Now I would forgo the steaks and grind up a couple sirloins to make a large pot of chili. Where I would have one meal for two people, now I have three, four or more meals per person depending on the amount of other ingredients. I use a grinder attachment for my KitchenAide mixer but I don’t always grind. I also cut meat into chunks or shred the meat after cooking it. It all adds to increase the amount of meat available to feed a crowd. Recently, my meals have been a great New England Clam Chowder and yesterday I made a wonderful spicy Taco Soup. I will post those recipes soon.
I have 160 acres that I call home. I forage, garden and keep chickens right now. Presently I do not hunt but if the SHTF I would to feed us. My chickens live out their natural lives. When they do not continue to lay eggs they just keep on pecking on my property.
Anyway three books on peasant cooking in my library are “Peasant Cooking of Many Lands” by Coralie Castle, “European Peasant Cookery” and “The Old World Kitchen” by Elizabeth Luard. I also learned peasant cooking from my mom and my Baba (grandmother) in the Northern Blue Mountains of the Northeast.