Seven Lean Years

Recipes & Cooking Techniques

In August 1945, my father and mother were married, he thirty years old and just back from the European Theater, she twenty-two and living in California with her two older sisters. And together they rented a house in Bel-Air, California, where she made him pancakes for breakfast as one of the first things she cooked for him … the pancakes were thrown into the backyard where, Dad said, the chickens were still pecking at them when they left California nine months later for a farm in northern Indiana, a mile from where Dad was born and grew-up and close enough to his mother, my grandmother, that she could help Mom learn the basics of food preparation and preservation as practiced on an eighty acre, mostly subsistence farm.

Mom canned 500 quarts of tomatoes that first year on the farm … I think there was still a quart or two of them left when Dad packed everyone and everything up and moved us to Oregon when I was nine years old.  

Since 1945, the gender equality in the United States has moved wives into the public workplace and has filled supermarket shelves with time and labor saving foods to the degree that today a home-cooked meal comes from cardboard boxes, tin cans, and plastic frozen pouches—if not from a diet food plan that delivers a month’s worth of nutritionally balanced-meals to doorsteps as advertised on television.

The argument of this website is that a day will come when supermarket shelves are empty and supermarket doors are locked, and the person carrying a few extra pounds will be considered wealthy.

American and American-style prosperity originates in a transactional economy that is presently conducted in American dollars, but this transactional economy has a determinable origin; for most of recorded human history a dearth of money—not enough gold or silver or copper in circulation—prevented prosperity from developing. Land and the possession of land was wealth. Then came Spain bringing to the Old World the wealth of the New World, wealth stolen by force of arms and steel armor. But even ships filled with gold and silver didn’t bring to Europe enough currency for economic prosperity to do more than bud. Land was still needed and European colonization divided the world.

A little more than a century ago, American bankers met in secrecy to establish a debt [as opposed to asset] based currency. Finally, prosperity bloomed. For the amount of currency needed to grow prosperity as a tradable commodity was no longer based on assets possessed, but upon debt held. Even the poorest of the poor strived to hold as much of America’s debt as they could—and the more debt held, the better they ate; for a debt-based currency is counter-intuitive and works well until common workmen figure out that the money they earn is their loan to the Federal Government.

A debt-based economy only works until creditors realize they will never be repaid, what nearly happened in 2008. Social upheaval is then guaranteed. And social upheaval brings with it hunger even in a land filled with unprocessed cereal grains, wild greens and fruits. So whether God intervenes to end societies spawned by the Adversary or whether Western societies collapse from the burden of self-generated debt, there will be a period when every person will have to feed him or herself from what the person has on hand or has locally available.

The links from this page are to things Mom didn’t know but things Grandma knew late summer 1945.

Recipes & Cooking Techniques

Days of Unleavened Bread Recipes