How did grandma feed your mother or your great grandma Healthy eating and drinking.

Bonnie K.
By Bonnie K. Latest Reply 2012-08-15 00:03:48 -0500
Started 2012-08-11 23:25:54 -0500

I am so sick of additives and chemicals in my food that I want to go back to the old ways our grandmother and their mothers knew how to feed their famlies. Does anyone know where to get recipes for foods right off the farm or like old country living. Our drinks are loaded with caffiene which I cannot have do to allergies , or sugars and artificial this and that. Progress has not all been good. Maybe the way we process our foods is harming us. I need ideas I would welcome any and all information from recipes to things grandma used to say or do. Please anone out there email me your ideas, I am not trying to make a cookbook or anything, I just want to get healthy by doing it the old way. I did not have a mother or grandmother in my life and my sisters have been dying right and left. One is dying right now who is only 11 months older than I am and I am 64. I was thin my young life and when I hit 30 my weight and my life changed—Long story—- I was not raised with my siblings either but we all got heavy later in life. I lost my oldest sister , a half brother last year, and now my sister close in age to me, that leaves only one other sister left and she is 67 . I want to try to go back in time and figure out how I can help myself and maybe if it works spread the word to all of you there is a better way. I am willing to be the ginney pig here, I just have no family to get ideas from. Anyone willing to help me figure this out and send me information , Thank You ahead of time from the bottom of my heart.

Bonnie K

31 replies

Dev 2012-08-14 13:15:40 -0500 Report

I agree about the additives and everything but cooking and eating like grandma is not necessarily a good thing. That might have suited when they worked on the farms or even to do simple things like laundry was a lot of manual labor. Today when I am married to my desk and computer for better part of my work day I would not dare eat like my grandma.

(my grandma used a lot of oil and butter and clarified butter and when questioned about how much fat she was consuming she said it is good for the stomach to be all soft and nice from inside. lol)

I just make sure that I don't eat much of prepared frozen or microwavable food. try to cook from scratch as much as I can. The recipes I have are not written anywhere, just kind of absorbed watching this or that person.
For dishes I want to experiment with I google and then substitute or tweak some ingredients, experiment and see what works.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-08-13 20:04:21 -0500 Report

A good place to search for old cookbooks is a Goodwill or second hand store. Our library has a big book sale in December. I was shocked to learn they burn the ones they don't sell.

Nick1962 2012-08-13 18:47:11 -0500 Report

My grandmother only used recipes for sweets, other than that they were all passed down verbally. i don't think i could eat now the way my grandparents did - lots of heavy German meals - but i did simplify my diet like many here by eating very basic, whole foods like cooked meats and vegetables. No pre-prooessed food except for some deli meats. Like Carol and Joyce, I rarely crack a cookbook, and even then a recipe is just a suggestion to me. A steak, chop, piece of fish simply cooked with a side of veggies or a vegetable salad is usual fare for us on weekends, and because of our schedules, mainly salads during the weeK with some leftover protein (chicken, maybe a burger, etc).
Search used book stores for old church cookbooks, or if you get around, many tourist areas like the local mountains here in NC have several old local cookbooks.

Bonnie K.
Bonnie K. 2012-08-13 19:51:40 -0500 Report

Thanks for the reply I appreciate it very much. I have a brother in lay in NC so maybe he would do some foot work for me. I have a couple of salad recipe's and I don't mean noodle salad because that would be defeating in itself. I try to stay away from red meats if possible although I love a hamber with egg and onion mixed in. I eat allot of chicken , turkey. Since I am on Jenny Craig I eat what they give me but trust me I miss the good old hamburger.

Nick1962 2012-08-14 07:51:27 -0500 Report

Turkey burgers are always a hit with me, and we do a lot of bean salads too. Simple cuke and onion with dill or a very light cabbage slaw with with vinagarette and feta cheese is a favorite that I'm pretty sure fits on the Jenny Craig program.
I have an old history "cookbook" that details the lives of the mountain folks here in NC and many of their recipes. Lots of simple stews, roasted and smoked meats, and simple braised vegetables. If you don't get hung up on things like presentation and "proper" pairing of foods, sitting down to a mess of simple grilled chicken legs and roasted corn can be a very satisfying meal.

Bonnie K.
Bonnie K. 2012-08-14 10:21:46 -0500 Report

I like the way you think on cooking, do you do all the cooking or does your wife? I bet she loves you if you do. Most woman would. Lucky her

Nick1962 2012-08-14 11:04:57 -0500 Report

We split the responsibility. Our schedules don't let us eat together during the week, so we each take a weekend. This weekend I'm going to throw a mess of stuff on the grill, so Saturday night is "buffet" night - just fill a plate of whatever you're in the mood for, and the rest gets stored for leftovers for the following week.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-08-12 18:21:38 -0500 Report

Hi Bonnie, my mom was not one to use a recipe unless it was for cakes and cookies she didn't make often. I only use them if I am making something I am not too sure about. I think the best cookbooks are the ones the Amish have. They grow their own meats, veggies, and some dairy products. I have some Amish Cookbooks. You can go on line and find their recipes. I found one for funnel cake several years ago. Unfortunately, I can't have that as often as I would like to.

You can cook farm fresh veggies the same way you cook "fresh" produce from the supermarket. I cook fresh corn, lima beans, green beans, kale, collards and sweet potatoes all the time.

jayabee52 2012-08-12 03:30:11 -0500 Report

Howdy Bonnie.

I share your concern about foods and our food supply. I remember growing up on the farm and slaughtering our own beef, pork and chickens for meat, and growing our vegetables in the garden and mom putting them up. When I married and set up a household my wife and I continued the gardening traditon.

You might want to look for farmer's markets or food cooperatives for the veggies. Or if you have a piece of land you can grow your own, organically. We got a lot of produce from a small space by following the principles in books like "Square foot Gardening" ~

You can also learn how to pressure can your produce, and learn other ways of putting food up. If you can find it I would recommend the book "Stocking Up" by Rodale Press to learn how to preserve foods.

If you're not far from the Amish, you could contact them for a source of hormone free meat. You might have to buy your own animal and have a slaughterhouse butcher it for you. (you would of course need a large Deep freezer, or pay a locker to keep your meat.)

As far as recipes, are concerned, I would recommend a book which has Amish recipes in it like "Kumm Esse" (come, eat). (look for it in a used book store)

Also something which was popular during the 1970s "Recipes for a Small Planet" by Ellen Buchman Ewald ~

Those are a few ideas to get you started.

I am hoping that when I get a house (soon, hopefully) I'll be able to start back in doing something like that myself.


Bonnie K.
Bonnie K. 2012-08-13 19:54:05 -0500 Report

I hope you get a house real soon as getting back to gardening has it's own rewards. Thanks or all the good advice I appreciate it allot.

JSJB 2012-08-12 06:17:07 -0500 Report

Except for the meat part, I have fruit trees and a veggie garden that I'm thinking of expanding for next year. My wife says that the problem is the chemicals used on our food to kill the bugs is probably contributing to our health problems. After she read the article about pink slime, she found that COSCO is the only place around here that sells ground beef with out it. After cooking it you can tell the difference from the beef with pink slime. Thats how our parents and grand parents ate back in the day and most or 90% of our food was home grown and not imported.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-08-12 18:29:28 -0500 Report

JSJB that is how my parents and grandparents ate all the time. They slaughtered hogs and killed their own chickens and someone always had a garden going. They also canned tomatoes, corn, pickled beets, made jellies and jams and applesauce. My mom always canned something when we were kids.

My sister is a Certified Master Gardener and our community has leased a complete city block and it is an Urban Garden. Gardeners share seeds and veggies but they have to buy their own tools. Plots are free as long as a row is planted and given away. The city cleaned the land and delivered leaf mold. The stuff is weedy and it has debris in it but they raked it all out and grow beautiful veggies. They use natural bug sprays they make themselves and plant marigolds around the border. There is nothing like fresh home grown veggies.

A friend does container and raised bed gardening in her yard and on the roof of her house. She even plants winter veggies. We grew container peppers in our yard last summer and started some this year. Unfortunately, the only tree in the yard fell and destroyed everything. We did save the sage.

JSJB 2012-08-13 04:03:02 -0500 Report

I have a feeling that this is the future. I use an organic bug spray for my grapes but am running out. I got the formula from Gardening with Paul but he is no longer on the air. Visited his web site but couldn't find it. Never tried winter planting but will give it a try. I container planted peppers this year but had bad luck so back to original way. You said it, There is nothing like picking a tamato off the vine and making a salad with bush beans peppers and cucumbers also from the garden.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-08-13 11:18:01 -0500 Report

Sorry about your peppers. My sister plants what she refers to as Hell Row, nothing but hot peppers. We have neighbors who want them so she gives them away. I keep some of the tai hot peppers and crush them to add a tiny bit to soup or kale and collards. She didn't plant this year at the Urban Farm, she has a blown disc and two herniated disc in her back and an inflamed sciatic nerve. I am not a gardener, one bug or one worm and I am gone. We have been getting veggies from the farmers market.

Bonnie K.
Bonnie K. 2012-08-13 07:41:31 -0500 Report

Your so right, I think things were gtown better in our home gardens. I do not put chemicals on my garden, I like it all natural. I actually cannot take care of the garden my husband does but he has such a green thumb. I don't think he know it but really all he does is water and weed. My tomatoe plants were all of 6 feet by 6 feet tall and wide. We planted 5 different tomato plants and I like the yellow plum ones and then we planted one that are like the cherry tomatoes only they are orange and they are the sweetest and everone in the neighborhood loves them. The are called " Tomato Sun Sugar " Brand is by Chef Jeff's wonderful.

Bonnie K

JSJB 2012-08-13 15:27:59 -0500 Report

Tomatos were not that plentiful this year but we got enough. The yellow plum was ok along with the romas but the better boy didn't produce. The peppers are just starting to come out but the cantalopes are bloomin great. No watermellon yet. Plenty of cucumbers,and the plum tree over produced. Will do better next year with the fruits.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-08-13 11:20:43 -0500 Report

Bonnie, my aunt use to make Tomato Relish and it is delicious. We are trying to get her to send us the recipe. We are going to visit her and look for it. When I get it, I will send it too you. I don't eat tomatoes because of the acid in them. But the relish had no effect on me.

I use to go to my cousins garden in the evening on a hot day and pick a cucumber, slice it put it in vinegar and put in the fridge, they were a great snack on a hot summer day.

Bonnie K.
Bonnie K. 2012-08-13 20:02:21 -0500 Report

Eat the yellow or the orange tomatoes allot less acid in them you should not have issues with them. Try " Tomato Sun Sugar by Chef Jeff's they are orange in color and small like the cherry tomatoes but really good all the neighbors love them and want more of them, we have been sharing like crazy all of our tomatoes. My husband Bless his heart has had to take care of the whole garden but he is so good at it. Me I get to enjoy the benefits. I would love the recipe you mentioned if you get it thanks. I would be glad to share recipes with you too. or anyone reading this. Later have a great night. Bonnie K

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-08-13 20:06:01 -0500 Report

I will have to try one next time I go to the market to see if I like them. You can post recipes on the site. Have a great night.

Bonnie K.
Bonnie K. 2012-08-13 22:41:47 -0500 Report

Thanks I will have to give it a try and search them out. i was at a rummage sale in this huge outside building and the lady was selling cokbooks her daughter had paid to have made up i contained poetry and photoes she took and everything for $10.00 I don't know why I didn't buy it but I shold ave. Maybe if I get a chance to back up to Door Couunty with my son this week I will stop and see if she is still open and pick one up. I forgot to get one because the lady that was running the sale was 87 years old and she told me a couple of times she wasn't thinking right for some reason and I would have to tell her again what price she quoted me for things. I got alarmed and made her sit down and I ran to thecar and got some fresh fruit I had just purchased from a well known place up the road , blackberries and golden and grape plums and also I had some mandarine oranges in juice in the cooler and I brought her all of it and had her eat them to get her strength back. I figured she hadn't eaten since she said her friend was going to bring her something to eat later. She was so grateful and wanted me to take anything I wanted for free and I sai no thanks then it would not be a kindness I paid her. When she got better I left. Later have a great night.

Bonnie K

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-08-14 12:52:17 -0500 Report

Bonnie a lot of times an act of kindness will come back to you in ways you may never recognize. I have a cookbook that was printed in the 1800s. It was destroyed when we had roof leak. I managed to save some of it. If you have an Amish community near you, look in their markets for the cookbooks. They run around 15 dollars up but they have really great recipes and they are basic recipes. The thing is they render fat from the pigs they slaughter into lard so instead of using the lard you can use vegetable or canola oil and get the same effect. Cookbooks are great for getting recipe ideas that you can modify to your own taste.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-08-13 11:20:42 -0500 Report

Bonnie, my aunt use to make Tomato Relish and it is delicious. We are trying to get her to send us the recipe. We are going to visit her and look for it. When I get it, I will send it too you. I don't eat tomatoes because of the acid in them. But the relish had no effect on me.

I use to go to my cousins garden in the evening on a hot day and pick a cucumber, slice it put it in vinegar and put in the fridge, they were a great snack on a hot summer day.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-08-13 12:06:52 -0500 Report

Ok I will. We are waiting for the summer to end to visit. Way too much beach traffic going in her direction. A 90 minute drive takes nearly two hours.

JSJB 2012-08-12 06:07:03 -0500 Report

My wife says that back in the day we didn't have all the chemicals in our food and that is why there are so many people getting sick and it wasn't reported like it is now. We have our own small veggie garden and fruit trees, and she learned how to can some of the things we grow. As far as meat we choose very carefully on what we by and now she goes to COSCO for the ground beef because they are the only ones that do not use "pink slime" and you can tell the difference when you cook it. I'm thinking of expanding the garden and adding more items. Anything to eat healthy and sometimes I think my Grand daughter is right by being a vegitarian.

Caroltoo 2012-08-11 23:39:37 -0500 Report

I watched my mom cook from scratch. Don't really use recipes, but cook from things from the produce aisle, the meat and fish sections, and avoid almost all processed/boxed/bagged and/or precooked items. Started a little herb garden on my back lanai and am now experimenting with fresh herbs. It's not complicated, but you will probably make a few mistakes; I know I did, but it's been worth it.

Bonnie K.
Bonnie K. 2012-08-12 00:46:51 -0500 Report

I would love to know what you found out, I have been wanting to use Herbs and seasoning with foods but never knew what kinds to use. I only use things like lawreys seasoning for meats and garlic salt or onion salt and I know there must be more to foods than that. I usually eat turkey, chicken and lots of veggies and fruits. I am on Jenny Craig but I can have things like veggies, yogurts, cottage cheese I buy seperate and it is allowed on the program. I lost 50 lbs a couple of years ago on the program( no I am not promoting Jenny Craig) I just know it works I just need to get the right mind set for me to do it again. You see I got ill and had to have 4 major surgeries in the last two years and not only did it kill my stamina and made me feel weak but I couldn't exercise and I gained it all back and a few more. Now I am trying what worked for me before, if it doesn't work again well I will try somethng else but I want to make sure I have the know how to do it. Everytime I ask my in-laws I get oh a little of this and a little of that but no actual answers. When you didn't pick it up in your life all along- a little of this and a little of that means nothing to me. Thanks for the reply and if you have actual measure please share anything with me. Just tell me what it all means.

Bonnie K

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-08-13 11:34:55 -0500 Report

Bonnie look at this website

Sorry I can't figure out how to link them. Hope this helps.

I start out by adding a little till I get the flavor I want. I also made Emerils Creole seasoning which I use on pork. I am in Maryland and we have Old Bay Seasoning which is a seafood seasoning which is great for crab and shrimp and some fish. We even use it on chicken wings. Gives it a great flavor but you have to like it.

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