Sunday, August 8, 2010

"Frugal Food Bible" review

I wanted to share with you a really awesome book that I found at the library today.  It is called, "Frugal Food Bible - Practical Advice for Feeding your Family During Hard Economic Times" by Better Days Books (ISBN 978-0-6152-1899-1).  If you can get this book through your library or book store, it is well worth time and effort!  I don't often recommend books, but this is one that I am planning to add to our home's personal library.
The front cover intrigued me when I saw it.  Pictures of ads from the days of the Depression and World War 2 were evident.  I was equally curious as I read on the cover that it contained advice "From Americans who survived and thrived in tougher times than these" and that the book contained "over 400 pages of classic frugal food recipes, household hints, money saving tips, backyard gardening guidance and more."
In scanning the table of contents, I learned that this gem of a book is actually 4 books combined into 1 publication.  The first section is the book, "The American Frugal Housewife" by Mrs. Lydia M. Child.  This publication was originally published in 1832.  The writings and values are ones common of that time, but are very important to us today.  Simple recipes using the basic larder stock are a blessing during times when grocery money is running low.  By incorporating many of these recipes to our regular meal routine, we can cut our food costs greatly.  Mrs. Childs includes information on topics such as simple remedies, how to make soap using wood ash lye, and how to clean/maintain your home in a more simple manner.
Section two contains, "Foods that Will Win the War and How to Cook Them" by C. Houston Goudiss.  First published in 1918, this publication contains great information on how to conserve your food resources.  It was written at a time when the nation was dealing with war and basic supplies were limited.  The frugality of these ideas and recipes can benefit us today as well as it did our Grandparents' generation.  There are recipes that show you how to make breads and other foods without wheat, sugarless recipes, and meatless meals.  One item that may interest you as well as maybe your children are the butcher charts that show where each cut of meat comes from.  For example, did you know that bacon comes from the belly area of a pig?  One feature in this section that caught my attention were the dinner menus.  These menus are hearty in their content but are a nice way to plan out your meals.  I will be trying some of these in the near future to see what ones we like.  It will be nice to have new meal ideas to add to our repertoire.
Section three is "Home Vegetable Gardening" by F.F. Rockwell, originally published in 1911.  It touts itself to be "a complete and practical guide to the planting and care of all vegetables, fruits, and berries worth growing for home use."  In the 1st part, a good basic instruction is given, complete with a planning chart to show how far apart to plant the rows of vegetables.  The 2nd portion teaches about vegetables, how to start from seed, when to plant, etc up to the harvest and storing of the vegetables.  Part 3 is about fruits and berries.  Much like the previous part on vegetables, this one gives great ideas on the planting, tending and harvesting of the fruits and berries.  There is also a calendar showing what to do each month to maintain and grow the fruits & berries.
The fourth and final section is "Cassell's Vegetarian Cookery - A Manual of Cheap and Wholesome Diet" by A.G. Payne, B.A., originally published in 1891 in England.  One of the purposes of this particular publication was to provide information and recipes not only for those who were vegetarian by choice, but the vast number of those who adopted the vegetarian diet out of necessity. This section is nearly all recipes sectioned similar to any good cookbook. 
Overall, the book is one of the best resources I have found recently to teach how to use basic ingredients found in most home larders and turn them into meals the family will enjoy.  The recipes are not as detailed as today's cookbooks are, but they are easy to understand.  There are some recipes with call for ingredients such as corn syrup, which today we may not choose to use.  There are substitutes today that can be used in the corn syrup's place.  The basic recipe would stay the same though, which is a great resource.
As I mentioned, I don't recommend many books, but this one is a keeper.  I will definitely be looking for it to purchase. 
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Valerie said...

I'll be looking for this book too! Thanks for posting this. I'm always on the lookout for books that will give further advice on how to live our life here...and make the most of what we have! :)

Linda said...

Thank you for that review - I looked at it on amazon and yes, I would like to have it in my book collection as well. It may be one of my next purchases.

Carrie said...

Thanks Paula...I'll look for it...

Darlene said...

Thank you so much for sharing this information. I am going to the library this afternoon and pray that they will have a copy of this. I am dealing with an obese child (and self) who only wants fast food (horrible)and we are very limited on income also. I hope to make some healther choices with these recipes also. I am hoping my son will be interested enough to participate in the cooking and therefore maybe eat the good things. I am trying to simplify our life and what better way to start than food. Thank you agian. Darlene in OKC

Darelene in OKC said...

My friend, I had you e-mail address in my computer that crashed at I will hope this information all fits in the comment box. I was at the library yesterday looking for the book you mentioned when I came across three books that might intrest you. The first I got is "Deceptively Delicious" by Jessica Seinfeld (Jerry's wife). It tells how to stir pureed fruits and veggies into almost EVERYTHING from squash in mac-n-cheese to cauliflower puree in scrambled eggs. I am certainly going to try it. The other two are about a gluten free and I beleive casein free diet that has been shown to aid children with autism. I had heard about these from t.v. with Jenny McCarthy whose son is autistic. One is "Kid Friendly ADHD and Autism Cookbook" by Pamela J. Coupart (I think, I cannot read my own writing where I jotted it down) the other is "The everything guide to cooking for children wtih autism" by Megan Har, M.S., R.D. (once again I hope the name is correct...I depend on typing far to much and my handwritting is suffering). Anyway, I hope maybe these will be of interest. The who autism diet idea is very interesting to me and I can see where it is beneficial. Thank you for sharing your life in blog with us. Take care and God Bless you.
Darlene in OKC

Peach said...

Hi! I found your blog by doing a Google search for "Frugal Food Bible" which I am very interested in reading.

Currently, it's for sale on Amazon for around $30, but that's a whole lot of money for a book - so I wanted to read some reviews before I made the purchase.

Also, some helpful FYI for you & your readers... none of my local libraries carry this book, so I asked if we could do an "interlibrary loan" - where your local library can borrow any book from any library in the US that carries it - and as of today, there are only 8 libraries in the US that carry this book!

So if you see it on sale for less than $30, snatch it up! :)

I just started following your blog, looking forward to reading more!

Have a wonderful day,