A few weeks ago Jeff jokingly made a reference to Trash Can Soup. Of course that got the kids attention and they had to know what it is and how it’s made.
So, what’s a homeschooling Mom and Dad to do, but make it into a history lesson and a fun experience.
Ingredients and Supplies: Onion, potato, carrot, hamburger meat, any spices you want, butter, empty tin can, and aluminum foil**
**the ingredients are only a suggestion during the Depression they used whatever they found, so change it up how you want
1. Use an empty can from vegetables or soup (Mine is left over from making spaghetti sauce). Cut up your supplies and put them in the can. Make sure to use a good supply of butter to keep the ingredients from sticking to the can, Jeff used about half a stick each and that was too much.
2. Then a quick lesson on how to make a fire, which the boys especially thought was fascinating.
3. While the fire and coals got hot enough to cook dinner, we went ahead and had desert first. S’MORES! Who doesn’t love s’mores?
4. Finally it was time to cook our trash can soup. Princess happily helped carry it out, and the boys got a bucket of water to be ready to put the fire out. Then we placed the cans near the fire. They cooked for about 20-30 minutes. Time will vary depending on your fire.
5. Afterwards we very carefully poured the water on the fire to make sure it was out. Safety first, especially now in a drought.
6. And then we happily ate it. It was quite popular, and Superman loves potatoes, so any meal with potatoes makes him happy.
I’m sure you’re wondering, how is this a history lesson?
Well, during the Great Depression food was scarce, there was also a drought that went through the Bread Box of America, so food production was down, not to mention people didn’t have as much money for food. Often times people would gather together and bring what they had. One person brought some potatoes, another brought some carrots, another might have some tomatoes. It would all get thrown together in a big can and cooked over a fire. Often times this was a can picked up from the trash and rinsed out. Hence the name “Trash Can Stew.”
Now of course, it’s a common camping food. You eat the soup from the can for one meal, and the next you cook inside of the can and eat your stew. Jeff regaled the kids with many stories of how he used to eat this while camping.