Pease porridge hot

Finally — at long last — I understand why I grew up eating creamed peas.



Georgia Brooks

Finally — at long last — I understand why I grew up eating creamed peas.

I didn’t realize this was one of my life’s mysteries. In fact, I never thought about creamed peas at all.

And then, I read the book “A Square Meal” by Jane Ziegelman and Andrew Coe and all came clear. The subtitle of the book is A Culinary History of the Great Depression. During lean times, food was stretched by pouring a white sauce (two tablespoons of flour, two tablespoons of butter and one cup milk) over vegetables, cold meat, seafood, eggs and macaroni. It expanded limited quantities of food and disguised bland foods. Home economists called it the workhorse of the American kitchen.

My mother was a child of the Depression. By the time my mother served it to our family, she wasn’t stretching food; she was dressing peas from my father’s garden. He, too, was a Depression child and always grew a kitchen garden.

So what I was eating for supper was social history.

The book’s title is misleading. I was about one-third into the book before it got to the 1930s. Before that, it was a troubling history of how we in the United States have hated/helped our hungry citizens. The national attitude was set by the Puritans who brought with them England’s notion of poor houses as punishment.  

Then, as now, we want to help the deserving poor, but the question is: Who is deserving? Widows, orphans, the elderly and the ill, of course.  These are victims of bad luck. The rest of the poor might be morally corrupt beggars on the slippery slope to sloth. Gosh, once a guy finds the road to the free soup kitchen, he might never take the higher path to hard work and self-sufficiency. 

Sometimes, other factors are influential. In the South during the Depression, poor whites were given food assistance with no strings, but poor blacks had to do road work to earn their food.

The first breadlines in the nation were in New York in the early 1900s for “Bowery bums.” They were open only in the winter and only between midnight and 1 a.m. to make sure only the truly desperate and destitute showed up to get dry bread and coffee. Breadlines were listed in tourist guidebooks as entertainment.  

The breadlines spiked following the Financial Panic of 1907 and then again after 1918 when returning Doughboys raised unemployment. A decade later, Herbert Hoover ran for president with a boast that the nation was near “the final triumph over poverty.”

Oops. 

In 1929, the stock market crashed, followed by a series of droughts, crop failures, failed business and unemployment of unimaginable numbers. By January 1930, New York soup kitchens had sprung up across the city, operated by religious communities, political clubs, business associations, veterans’ groups, socialites and even crime bosses. 

The storm crested in March 1930 on fashionable Fifth Avenue. Hungry people five abreast lined around the block for the soup kitchen at the Church of the Transfiguration. Shoppers were startled, but merchants were so distraught they protested to city officials and the mayor threatened to have the church rector on grounds of creating a public disturbance.  

Hungry citizens? Frightened shoppers? Angry retailers? Hello Tulsa!

The villain of the book is President Hoover who ate caviar off of gold plates in the White House while blocking funds for federal relief. He favored self-help and local relief. Before him, Grover Cleveland refused drought aid to Texas farmers, saying “the people support the Government, the Government should not support the people.” 

Federal policy changed when Franklin Delano Roosevelt became president and said that providing victims with shelter, clothing and food was not charity, but social duty. From this tumbled new ideas of relief — food stamps and school lunches — and a new approach to how Americans eat — canning, casseroles and white sauce.

Not all has ended happily ever after. When it comes to our attitude about feeding our hungry, I think of the philosopher Friedrich Hegel who said, “The only thing we learn from history, is that we learn nothing from history.”

 


Editor’s Note: Connie Cronley is the former executive director of Iron Gate, a soup kitchen and grocery pantry located in downtown Tulsa. 

 

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May 2018

The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

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3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
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Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
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Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

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Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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A leading figure in both contemporary film and art, Apichatpong Weerasethakul (born 1970) has developed a singular, realist-surrealist style in which the portrayal of the everyday alongside...

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Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
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FlyingTee is fun for the whole family and on Sundays, kids eat free! *Limit one free meal from the kids’ menu with each purchase of an adult entrée. Not valid on brunches or holidays.

Cost: Free with purchase

Where:
FlyingTee
600 Riverwalk Terrace
Jenks, OK  74037
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Telephone: 918-528-7717
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It's a girl thing. Tulsa Metro Sound a cappella Show Chorus presents a Chocolate Remix. Come see what fun things we do weekly as we live, laugh and love our music. If you want to rekindle...

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Christ Church Episcopal
10901 South Yale Ave
Tulsa, OK
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A leading figure in both contemporary film and art, Apichatpong Weerasethakul (born 1970) has developed a singular, realist-surrealist style in which the portrayal of the everyday alongside...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

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Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

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Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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Website »

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The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
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Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
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 ORU offers a wide variety of summer camps from basketball camp to swimming camp for all ages. For a schedule and list of options visit ORUCES.com/camps.

Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
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Telephone: 918-495-6000
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The Oklahoma Aquarium hosts Scout Days to honor all youth organizations and their members (such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Camp Fire, 4-H, FFA, etc.). There are special activities offered from...

Cost: $7 per student (age 3 and over) and or; $10 per adult

Where:
Oklahoma Aquarium
300 Aquarium Drive
Jenks, OK  74037
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Telephone: 191-829-63474
Contact Name: Kara Lovell
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It's a girl thing. Tulsa Metro Sound a cappella Show Chorus presents a Chocolate Remix. Come see what fun things we do weekly as we live, laugh and love our music. If you want to rekindle...

Cost: 0.00

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Christ Church Episcopal
10901 South Yale Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Sponsor: Tulsa Metro Sound
Telephone: 918-352-6091
Contact Name: Candace C
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Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

A leading figure in both contemporary film and art, Apichatpong Weerasethakul (born 1970) has developed a singular, realist-surrealist style in which the portrayal of the everyday alongside...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

More information

 ORU offers a wide variety of summer camps from basketball camp to swimming camp for all ages. For a schedule and list of options visit ORUCES.com/camps.

Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »


Telephone: 918-495-6000
Website »

More information

It's a girl thing. Tulsa Metro Sound a cappella Show Chorus presents a Chocolate Remix. Come see what fun things we do weekly as we live, laugh and love our music. If you want to rekindle...

Cost: 0.00

Where:
Christ Church Episcopal
10901 South Yale Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Metro Sound
Telephone: 918-352-6091
Contact Name: Candace C
Website »

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Show More...
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A leading figure in both contemporary film and art, Apichatpong Weerasethakul (born 1970) has developed a singular, realist-surrealist style in which the portrayal of the everyday alongside...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

More information

Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

 ORU offers a wide variety of summer camps from basketball camp to swimming camp for all ages. For a schedule and list of options visit ORUCES.com/camps.

Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »


Telephone: 918-495-6000
Website »

More information

It's a girl thing. Tulsa Metro Sound a cappella Show Chorus presents a Chocolate Remix. Come see what fun things we do weekly as we live, laugh and love our music. If you want to rekindle...

Cost: 0.00

Where:
Christ Church Episcopal
10901 South Yale Ave
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Contact Name: Candace C
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Throughout the show, Tommy Terrific explores Armstrong's fascinating life and numerous accomplishments. This very interactive show is great educational entertainment for children of all...

Cost: Free

Where:
41st and Riverside
400 Civic Center
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: Tulsa Riverparks Authority
Telephone: 918-596-2008
Contact Name: Ryan Howell
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The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
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More information

Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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Website »

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Join the Imagination Station for stories and songs in the park. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair. Afterward, cool off in the splash pad. Sponsored by River Parks Authority and Friends of the...

Cost: free

Where:
41st and Riverside Plaza
4100 S. Riverside Dr.
Tulsa, OK
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Sponsor: Friends of the Helmerich Library
Telephone: 918-596-2001
Contact Name: Ryan Howell
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 ORU offers a wide variety of summer camps from basketball camp to swimming camp for all ages. For a schedule and list of options visit ORUCES.com/camps.

Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »


Telephone: 918-495-6000
Website »

More information

It's a girl thing. Tulsa Metro Sound a cappella Show Chorus presents a Chocolate Remix. Come see what fun things we do weekly as we live, laugh and love our music. If you want to rekindle...

Cost: 0.00

Where:
Christ Church Episcopal
10901 South Yale Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Metro Sound
Telephone: 918-352-6091
Contact Name: Candace C
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Cost: FREE

Where:
Invictus Healthcare System
9709 East 79th Street
Tulsa, OK  74133
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Sponsor: Invictus Healthcare System
Telephone: 918-994-4000
Contact Name: Taylor Martin
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A leading figure in both contemporary film and art, Apichatpong Weerasethakul (born 1970) has developed a singular, realist-surrealist style in which the portrayal of the everyday alongside...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

More information

Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

 ORU offers a wide variety of summer camps from basketball camp to swimming camp for all ages. For a schedule and list of options visit ORUCES.com/camps.

Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »


Telephone: 918-495-6000
Website »

More information

Break the rules of conventional museums at the third annual Please Touch the Art exhibit. Mark your calendars for the opening reception Friday, June 1 from 5 - 9 p.m., in conjunction with the Tulsa...

Cost: free and open to the public

Where:
McKeon Center for Creativity
910 S. Boston Ave.
TCC Metro Campus
Tulsa, OK  74119
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Sponsor: McKeon Center for Creativity
Telephone: 918-595-7339
Contact Name: Cindy Barton

More information

Crossing borders is central Consuelo J. Underwood’s artistic practice. In this exhibition inspired by land, politics, and spirit, Underwood speaks to her individual understanding of borders...

Cost: Free

Where:
108 Contemporary
108 E M.B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: 108 Contemporary
Telephone: 918-895-6302
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More information

It's a girl thing. Tulsa Metro Sound a cappella Show Chorus presents a Chocolate Remix. Come see what fun things we do weekly as we live, laugh and love our music. If you want to rekindle...

Cost: 0.00

Where:
Christ Church Episcopal
10901 South Yale Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Metro Sound
Telephone: 918-352-6091
Contact Name: Candace C
Website »

More information

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Come join us at the 2018 Take Me Fishing Day with Tess and Lacey from News on 6 at the Broken Arrow Events Park near NSU. This fun and family-friendly fishing event will have goodies for the first...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Broken Arrow Events Park
21101 East 101st Street
Broken Arrow , OK  74014
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More information

Make some great memories with your kids at the annual Take Me Fishing Event by Zebco on Saturday, June 2, 7AM - Noon. It's free, fun, and family-friendly. Located at 4 Tulsa area parks---...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mohawk, LaFortune, Veterans-Jenks, BA Events Park
Mohawk Park-East Side Pond; LaFortune Park-51st / Hudson St.; Veterans Park-Jenks; BA Events Park-21101 E. 101st St.
4 Tulsa Area Parks , OK
View map »


Sponsor: Zebco
Telephone: 1-800-494-3224
Website »

More information

Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

More information

A leading figure in both contemporary film and art, Apichatpong Weerasethakul (born 1970) has developed a singular, realist-surrealist style in which the portrayal of the everyday alongside...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

 ORU offers a wide variety of summer camps from basketball camp to swimming camp for all ages. For a schedule and list of options visit ORUCES.com/camps.

Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »


Telephone: 918-495-6000
Website »

More information

Listen to the stories from the borderlands as Underwood leads an artist talk about her inspirations, creations, and travels. As she shares the voices of her indigenous ancestors, she will discuss...

Cost: Free

Where:
108 Contemporary
108 E M.B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: 108 Contemporary
Website »

More information

Break the rules of conventional museums at the third annual Please Touch the Art exhibit. Mark your calendars for the opening reception Friday, June 1 from 5 - 9 p.m., in conjunction with the Tulsa...

Cost: free and open to the public

Where:
McKeon Center for Creativity
910 S. Boston Ave.
TCC Metro Campus
Tulsa, OK  74119
View map »


Sponsor: McKeon Center for Creativity
Telephone: 918-595-7339
Contact Name: Cindy Barton

More information

It's a girl thing. Tulsa Metro Sound a cappella Show Chorus presents a Chocolate Remix. Come see what fun things we do weekly as we live, laugh and love our music. If you want to rekindle...

Cost: 0.00

Where:
Christ Church Episcopal
10901 South Yale Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Metro Sound
Telephone: 918-352-6091
Contact Name: Candace C
Website »

More information

The Oklahoma Swing Syndicate (TOSS) hosts a Swing dance and lessons  The Oklahoma Swing Syndicate (TOSS) is the only UNESCO recognized dance organization in Oklahoma.  We are a 501c3...

Cost: $7

Where:
Community Center - South Minister Presby Church
3500 So Peoria
1/2 west of Peoria, on 35pl behind the church
Tulsa, OK  74102
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Sponsor: The Ok Swing Syndicate
Telephone: 918-450-691
Contact Name: Rita Robbins
Website »

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