We saw this recipe for Hoover Stew from The Wolfe Pit and I thought it might be amusing to make a pot of it. As chance would have it I had all of the ingredients on hand, including some plant-based hot dogs, since my husband has been eating plant-based for quite some time now.
Apparently Hoover Stew was one of many pot luck type of recipes, popular in the United States during the 1930’s, where the idea was to feed a family very cheaply. It was named after the American president, Herbert Hoover, who was in office when the Great Depression kicked off in 1929, which was a worldwide phenomenon.
I mentioned Hoover Stew to my mother and she said she had it and many variations like it under the common rubric of “Pot Luck Stew” where the ingredients were simply whatever was on hand. She said they called it “Mulligan Stew” if there was a lot of potatoes in it, which there commonly were since my grandparents grew potatoes commercially up until the mid-1980’s.
So it seems to me that this recipe for Hoover Stew is simply a base that can be varied greatly depending on what you have on hand. My mother said they most often had it with beef because hot dogs cost money while they had large quantities of beef because they raised cattle. I knew this because I ate much of this sort of thing growing up too, both because my mother had learned habits of frugality and because money was tight in our family, as it was for many, during the 1970’s.
I followed the recipe from The Wolfe Pit using the ingredients listed below, but you can add pretty much anything you think will work and omit anything you don’t like.
- 16 oz. box of Elbow Macaroni
- Two 15 oz. cans of diced or stewed tomatoes (with juice, if any)
- 15 oz. can of corn (with juice)
- 15 oz. can of cannellini beans (with juice)
- Eight hot dogs
- Optional: Bouillon to taste. I used Better Than Bouillon brand “Roasted Garlic Base.”
- Optional Wolfe Pit extra: Granulated garlic and onion to taste. Fresh would be good too, I bet.
- Salt and Pepper to Taste. I also used Italian seasoning. (The video presenter instead used tomatoes that came with spices.)
How to Cook (more or less following Wolfe Pit directions)
- Cook elbows for about half the time it says on the package. Drain but do not rinse.
- Add tomatoes, beans, and corn to pot you cooked the pasta in as well as whatever spices you want to use.
- Mix in pasta and hot dogs. The presenter just added them in cold, but I pan fried them first to give them some character.
- Add some water if needed. The idea here is to have the finished product resemble something like a stew but not so much water that it is like a soup. Also, you’ll want to have some liquid to help finish cooking the pasta.
- Simmer until heated throughout and pasta is done however you like it. (We like it al dente.)
We thought Hoover Stew wasn’t bad though I can see where it would be bland if one didn’t have some spices on hand. I might try making it again but instead of hot dogs using TVP. I think it would also be good with chicken, beef or pork and any kind of vegetables, such as say broccoli or cauliflower. Whatever you have sitting around, really. I’ve got the remains of a package of edamame that is just itching to go into a pot luck stew!
Sun, March 28th: Calories: 2596, Protein: 153 g.
Mon, March 29th
- Morning Walk: 2.98 miles.
- I spent much of the day doing yard work. I was tired enough that I decided to hold off on the weights until tomorrow. My hands were pretty warmed up though from all of the hacking, cutting, toting and hewing so I did some hand work.
- Captains of Crush Gripper (Trainer, 100 lbs.):
- (Set 1): Left = 6 mm x 2 + 3 reps, Right = Closed x 3 + 2 reps
- (Set 2): Left = 6 mm x 3 + 2 reps, Right = Closed x 2 + 3 reps
- (Set 3): Left = 6 mm x 2 + 3 reps, Right = Closed x 1 + 4 reps
- (Set 4): Left = 6 mm x 1 + 4 reps, Right = Closed x 0 + 5 reps
- Board Pronated Hand Holds (each hand): 1.75 lbs. x 4 sets x 30 seconds. The pronated grip works the thumb in an interesting way.
- I worked the Muay Thai “Jab” lesson and also did a set of 100 left jabs. Then I did the “Cross” lesson, which touches on the right cross punch. Afterward I worked on Taekwondo White Belt Drill #1. All of this comes from the globalmartialarts.university site.
Calories: 2088, Protein: 150 g.
Tues, March 30th
- I warmed up with some miscellaneous yard work and mowed the Lower Fifty. After that I did some more warm up work with the indian clubs and steel mace.
- Arnold Presses: 35 lbs. x 8 reps, 30 lbs. x 3 sets x 8 reps
- (Super Set) DB Lateral Raises: 15 lbs. x 4 sets x 8 reps + following exercises 10 lb. mace (ea. side):
- (Set One) Swing & Catch x 15 reps.
- (Set Two) Joust x 15 reps
- (Set Three) Grave Diggers x 15 reps
- (Set Four) Pike Push Ups x 10 reps
- I’m not satisfied with my form on these. I’ll have to do some research.
- Dead Bugs (2-ct): 36 reps + 64 reps (rest-pause as needed) = 100 reps
- I worked on some Muay Thai footwork and the left jab. I did some upper body stretching to end the workout and a little more stretching in the evening.
Calories: 2208, Protein: 120 g.
Wed, March 31st
Morning Walk: 2.29 miles. Calories: 2257, Protein: 162 g.
Thur, April 1st
Morning Walk: 2.9 miles.
I took an hour archery lesson in the early afternoon to see what I needed to work on after over a year of not shooting (except for last week) what with the range being closed and all. I had a lot of things I needed to address but I think we did make some progress.
The instructor let me stay and shoot by myself afterwards for about a half hour. I shot a somewhat harder target (though still not a particularly difficult one) than last time. I had some nice rounds and some pretty ugly ones too but I did have this one round where I did very well indeed. It was as if I had been touched by the breath of Artemis and was pulling a +3 bow and letting fly with +2 arrows. Now if I could just bottle that moment!
- Captains of Crush Gripper (Trainer, 100 lbs.):
- (Set 1): Left = 6 mm x 4 + 1 reps, Right = Closed x 0 + 5 reps
- (Set 2): Left = 6 mm x 4 + 1 reps, Right = 4 mm x 4 + 1 reps
- (Set 3): Left = 6 mm x 4 + 1 reps, Right = 4 mm x 4 + 1 reps
- (Set 4): Left = 6 mm x 4 + 1 reps, Right = 4 mm x 4 + 1 reps
- (Set 5): Left = 6 mm x 3 + 2 reps, Right = 4 mm x 4 + 1 reps
- (Set 6): Left = 4 mm x 2 + 3 reps, Right = 2 mm x 4 + 1 reps
- I did better than usual with my left hand but worse with my right. Although I didn’t feel fatigued after my archery session, I suspect my right hand was a little tired from all that shooting.
- Board Pronated Hand Holds (each hand): 1.75 lbs. x 4 sets x 30 seconds. (Thirty seconds rest between sets.)
- Did a little stretching in the evening.
Calories: 2252, Protein: 124 g.
Fri, April 2nd
Afternoon Walk: 4.76 miles. Calories: 2254, Protein: 142 g
Sat, April 3rd
Afternoon Walk: 5.25 miles. Calories: 2986, Protein: 153 g.
(I gained 0.2 lbs. this week. My total loss thus far is 30 lbs.)