The book is: Good Recipes for Hard Times by Louise Newton, Houghton Mifflin, 1975, 0395-20721-5.
I own shelves of old cookbooks, not surprisingly. I still look at new ones and buy them, right? But this book, along with a few others are my “backbone” books. If I didn’t have this book for any other reason, I would have it for the first paragraph:
“When times are really hard, it is all the more important to have your meals something everybody will look forward to. Three nice things happening every day will cheer up the grimmest of circumstances. I learned this for myself during exams when I was at school, where fortunately we had very good food. That this can be done with almost no money is apparent when you consider the delicious food eaten by the poorest people in areas that have a tradition of good cooking.”
Another reason I really like this book is that she walks you though designing an absolute, emergency, rock bottom budget, with nothing in the pantry. Most people just tell you beans and rice are cheap and give you a recipe. She talks about where to look for the nutrient info (although she uses a book and you’d probably use a website these days) and how to figure out what you might buy as a minimum.
She says, “…keeping in mind the price of various items, you would find that the best buy for your money is flour, considering both protein content and calories you get from it (energy). But wheat is an incomplete protein. Beans and cornmeal added to the flour will complete the proteins. Add milk and eggs as well. (She’s already discussed the fact that proteins are usually the most expensive part of a diet.)
Her emergency budget shopping, for a family of 4, with nothing in the pantry is:
20 lb flour, 2 dozen eggs, 10 lb cornmeal, 6 lb of rice, 6 lb beans, 7 lbs margarine, dried milk (to make 12 qt), 28 oz can baking powder, 1 lb coffee, 1 lb can of mackerel, 3 lbs onions, 1 lg pkg garlic heads, 1 lb carrots, 1 10 oz pkg spinach, 1 dozen oranges, 1 box salt, 1 can curry powder.
From this she makes 2 meals a day for 4 people.
I was talking about my back pantry being low a while back. It seems to me that having the goods above, in about 1/2 the quantity might be a good way to start restocking my pantry?
For us that would mean 10 lbs flour, 1 dozen eggs, 5 lb cornmeal, 3 lbs rice, 3 lbs beans, 3.5 lbs margarine, dried milk (to make 6 qt, 14 oz baking powder, 1/2 lb coffee, 1/2 lb can mackerel, 1/2 pkg garlic, 1/2 lb carrots, 5 oz pkg spinach, 6 oranges, 1/2 box salt, 1/2 can curry powder.
The flour, cornmeal, rice, beans, dried milk, baking powder, and salt are shelf stable, so that’s easy.
The margarine? I’d rather have butter, but 3.5 lbs is a lot and it is NOT shelf stable, unless you buy canned. DH doesn’t much like fish, so I’d substitute canned chicken. That leaves garlic, carrots, and spinach…
When I can, I’ll scan the cover and add it here.