Got Store Bought Beans? Keep ‘Em to Yourself!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“Those families which were very rich or very foolish with their money ate canned beans and canned peaches and packaged bread and bakery cake; but they ate secretly, in their tents, for it would not have been good to eat such fine things openly.” From The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

This is not so much a recipe, since everything but the bread came out of a can, but a comment on the change in times and circumstances.  This meal cost under $4 (not including the Spam and the bread that I already had) and there is a full set of leftovers for lunch tomorrow.  Makes you wonder when it got cheaper to eat packaged and processed than fresh and homemade.  Do we have McDonald’s to thank for that?

Anyway, if you have to get your meal out of cans, you could do a lot worse than to throw beans and a few cubes of  leftover Spam onto some whole grain toast, and  add some peaches to the side.  (I didn’t eat that pie yet because the beans and Spam were so filling.  It’s chocolate eclair flavored, in case you were wondering.)

I still have 1/4 of the Spam can left and I’ve really run out of ideas for using it.  I don’t think it will keep much longer, and I doubt it will freeze well.  Given that I’m writing about the Great Depression and how to save money, I hate to think about throwing it away.  Maybe I’ll get up early tomorrow and make myself a real breakfast with the last of it (usually it’s just a coffee and I’m running out the door before I’ve even finished that).

You maybe could have cut corners on this one by buying a generic brand of beans other than B&M (we ate them all the time with hotdogs when we were kids, and I have to stay loyal).  Otherwise, I got the most generic peaches and the only “branded pie” the grocery in my neighborhood had to offer.  I was sort of hoping for those crescent shaped pies that were slathered over in a sugar glaze and came in a soft plastic wrapper, I don’t remember who makes them, but we ate those all the time as kids too.  That was exactly the picture that came into my mind as I was reading the passage about the Tractor Man and his “pie branded like an engine part.”  Can you even get those pies anymore?


Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Cheaper Cooking, Cooking and Reading, Food, Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck, Literature, Recipes, The Great Depression

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s