Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Button Soup

Ever hear of King Midas?  He was famous back when kids still read the classics and stuff.  Everything King Midas touched turned to gold, hence the expression "the Midas touch".  I have what is surely some sort of opposite kind of touch -- everything electronic that I touch keels over and dies.  My kind of touch might come in handy if your kids had iPods that were out of control, or if you needed someone to police your own computer activity.  Call Sally.  She can control it for you!  

Anyway, my computer died, as you know.  We have had a few other electronic problems around here, the latest being that I was just going to post some photos of our Button Soup, and my dear husband's monitor would not turn on (shhh, don't tell him).  But it's on now.  And then I learned that my camera card reader doesn't work on this computer anyway.  So after this I will just use the library's computer, K?  If I break that one, no one will know.

Back in the Great Depression, prudent, thrifty homemakers figured out how to satisfy their loved ones' appetites with stuff people probably didn't normally eat.  Like dandelion greens.  I am pretty sure this recipe, or rather, non-recipe, was developed before they had to resort to dandelions, probably when the potato bin was just about empty.  My great-grandmother made this for her family, Grandmommy made it for hers, and my mom made it for us.  Now I make it for my kids.  Sometimes.

I have not seen a real recipe anywhere, and I don't know if there are other variations.  If Button Soup is familiar to you, I'd love to know your version and its history in your family!

Button Soup (With No Photos)

4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp salt
6 cups water
1 potato, peeled and diced
1/2 onion, chopped
2 T butter
3 eggs, lightly beaten

Make a dough from the salt, flour, and milk, adjusting quantities as needed to  knead and make it smooth. Divide the lump into four smaller pieces and set aside.  

Saute the onion in the butter in a large pot.  Add the water plus some salt to the pot, and bring to a boil.  Add the potato pieces.  

Now either cut or pinch off small pieces of dough from the large lump and drop them into the boiling water. Cook the "buttons" for about 10 minutes, or until done in the centers.  

Turn off the heat, and strain out about half of the buttons. If your soup is now too brothy, pour out a cup or whatever. Drain the buttons well.  Heat some oil in a very hot skillet, and carefully slide the drained buttons in.  Let them fry until nice and golden, then stir to turn them over and brown on the other side.  Pour in the beaten eggs and stir until the eggs are scrambled.  These are the "fries".  

Serve the fries separately from the soup.  They can be eaten alone (that's how I like them), or put back into the broth.  

There you go.  Stuff a family of four on one potato, half an onion, and a couple eggs.  This is definitely a carbo-loaded food and should probably not be eaten if you are diabetic or if you are wishing to lose weight.  In my case, both are perpetually true.

So why did I make this tonight??

Because.  It's very cheap.  :)

*    *    *    *    *

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land,
not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water,
but of hearing the words of the LORD:
And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east,
they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD,
and shall not find it.
Amos 8:11


  1. Sounds like comfort food to me! Ah...one of these days when this candida thing is licked.

    I grew up on a number of these 'budget-stretchers' and just loved them.

    Very fun. Thanks for sharing--even without the photos! :-)

  2. Depression foods are never low carb but they kept the family alive. That is a treasured recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I would be in the need to loose weight category, too. But this does sound really good. :-) I will pray that the Lord will bless you for your obedience in moving. :-)

  4. Anna was telling me (before your email) that you were having button soup...never heard of it until now. Sounds interesting. Too bad you don't have photos. It sounds a little putzy to make, but I'm sure it would make more sense once I tried it. I'll have to print this out and maybe try it when we are studying the Great Depression. (or the rate our nation is going, we may just be in another one soon). Growing up, potatoes was about all my mom had to eat during those tough times.

    I feel for your computer woes...my computer keeps locking up on me...nearly worthless!


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