Depression Era: Saving the Molasses

Missouri woman recalls how nothing was wasted during the depression era, not even spilled molasses

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I was born in 1929, the depression era, the baby girl in a family of seven brothers. I was the last, 'cause how in the world could they feed another mouth?

Our meat dishes were fish, squirrel and rabbit. Early on we didn't sacrifice our laying hens because we needed those for eggs.

A rooster was more apt to get in the pot. Sometimes he was old enough to be tough.

One year, to our great appreciation, we had a seven-gallon can of molasses, which might be a winter's supply and a valued food commodity. One of my brothers scampering up to get into the attic stepped on the lid of the molasses can. The lid slipped and down went his foot into the molasses.

Did we eat the valued molasses that winter? Of course. We lost very little molasses after the foot was removed.

Loraine Sands
Lockwood, Missouri


Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.