Yesterday I talked about Hoovervilles, well today we’re going to talk about scrounging and living in a day to day life.
Supplies needed: vegetables, sausage or hamburger meat, butter, empty can, place to build a fire or a grill, spices, and space to hide them in
During that period people would scrounge and find whatever they could eat, and then they would cook it in a common pot. You might contribute a potato, carrots. Maybe you got a job for that and were able to add in some meat.
To simulate this we had the older kids hide all of the food needed to make our stew outside in the backyard. Carrots, potatoes, onions, sausage (in its container), spices. The kids happily ran all over trying to scrounge up what was needed for our food.
At the end of the day, everyone contributed what they’d brought back to the common pot. Of course some of the less-upstanding members would have stolen their contribution, but we were concentrating on the people who got it honestly.
I wrote more about how to make hobo stew (or trash can soup) earlier, so I won’t repeat all of the details here.
Then they’d all gather around the fire pit and light up a fire. Our attempt at a fire was rather unimpressive. Too many “helpers” trying to feed it, and poking and prodding it.
So we cooked it on the grill. It did make for a more even cooking experience, if much less authentic.
As we were taking this rendition out we got an object lesson in the difference between our cans and the cans in the 30s. You see that coating that is partially burned off? That is BPA, you know the stuff we freak out about it being in our water bottles. Well, it also lines most of the cans we store our food in.
It’s slightly disturbing to see that all burned off and to think of it in the food we had just cooked. I can’t quite decide on my general thoughts on the whole BPA thing, but I know if you’re doing a project like this take the time to find some cans that don’t have BPA. We don’t use a lot of canned goods, mainly soups and tomatos, but when we do it tends to be several cans for that meal.
So, I have some thinking to do on the whole matter……….
At some point in the near future I’ll share the movies we watched to get the flavor of the era. We had to mostly skip the 20s for movies because almost every movie we own is just not appropriate for my kids’ age. I also know of a few good books to read, which next time around my kids will almost be too old for.
Though, I do eagerly look forward to showing them Oscar. They’re just a hair young for some of the humor in that movie.
Other posts on this topic:
Depression Era Simulation for Kids (part 1 of this)
Phyllis at All Things Beautiful says
I didn’t know about the BPA in cans. I, too, will have to think about that. This is a wonderful demonstration of what it was like then. I love it! Did you do this a while ago, or is it that warm already in Texas? We still have freezing temps here…no T-shirts yet!
February 4 actually, so about 3 weeks ago. It’s been a really weird winter, with temperatures varying wildly from day to day. Yesterday it was almost 70 during the day, and a big storm literally BLEW in (gusting winds up to 50) and by last night the temperature was down to 30.
I think that day it was around 60.
Phyllis at All Things Beautiful says
I have given you a blog award…
Have a nice day!
maryanne @ mama smiles says
The BPA in cans really bothers me, but I still used canned food sometimes. I have been trying to move more towards glass jars and frozen foods for convenience.
Not that I know it and saw the actual results of it I want to figure out how and what to change. It’s just going to be a slight challenge as I figure out what.
This would be one of the rare times my family’s aversion to veggies is “good.”
That can looks seriously damaging to one’s health! I wonder if the cans in England are the same?
Great idea. Very concerning about the BPA, I didn’t know you found it in cans too:(
I was totally shocked when my friend showed us that and explained it. The first time we did this last summer, we used Hunts tomato cans, and those don’t have BPA, so I didn’t see it then.
I didn’t know about BPA in cans – this is rather disgusting. I have to start checking for that. But the rest of the post is rather fun – I can see that all ages enjoyed this simulation a lot!