In any survival situation, the ability to cook creatively is a tremendous asset. Many cooks have adapted to times of scarcity, such as the Great Depression, by making the most of the few resources they had. This meant scavenging for wild edibles like acorns and dandelions, hunting rodents and other small game, or simply combining miscellaneous items to create a meal from odds and ends.

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The following video from the Townsends YouTube channel demonstrates one such unusual recipe for onion pie. At first mention, this may sound like a disgusting type of dessert, but it’s actually a savory entree that dates back to the 18th century. It contains equal quantities of four ingredients that were common even among poor colonist families: onions, potatoes, apples, and eggs.

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The video shows how each ingredient is prepared and thinly sliced — the first three ingredients are raw, while the eggs are hard-boiled. These items are added to a pie crust along with some salt, pepper, nutmeg, mace (another spice from the nutmeg plant), butter, and a splash of water. The pie is then covered with more crust, cooked in the oven, and served with optional mushroom ketchup.

This onion pie recipe may sound odd to the modern palate, especially if you’re not a fan of onions. But difficult times may call for creative cooking, and being able to think outside the box can keep your family fed and ensure no food goes to waste.

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