Times used to be hard. Yeah, I'm sure you're tired of hearing your parents or grandparents or even great-grandparents telling you about how tough a time they had growing up. Well, tough. They're right. Times used to be much harder.
In the Great Depression people often didn't have money for even the most basic foods. When World War II followed, they finally had the money but those foods were strictly rationed. Irony abounded.
Today the irony lies in the fact that we're surrounded by mountains of food and barrels full of money, but our bodies have betrayed us by saying, "no dairy for you."
Back in the old days, inventive chefs and mothers of all descriptions did what they could to make palatable substitutes for the foods that weren't available.
This tradition lives on in dairy-free -- or gluten-free or corn-free or meat-free or whatever -- recipes that strive to give you as close a version of the original as ingenuity can contrive.
Marcy Goldman at CountryLife.net has collected a bunch of these recipes at that link.
• Flour-Free Crisp Oatmeal Cookies
• Mock Chocolate Cheesecake
• Dairy Free Mock Banana Orange Cheesecake
• Mock Mousse (Frozen Rhubarb Fool)
• Vegetarian Lasagna
• Vegetarian Mock French Pate
• Vegetarian Chopped Liver
• Mock Lobster Salad or Poor Man's Lobster
• Mock Pecan Pie
Here's one just to whet your appetites.
Mock Chocolate Cheesecake
(Served right from the fridge, this tastes just like chocolate cheesecake.)
1 pound unsalted margarine*
1 cup sugar
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. strong coffee
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, pref. Swiss
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
8 large eggs
*Make sure margarine does not contain milk solids.
[*Most semi-sweet chocolate is lactose-free. True dairy-free varieties are available at most health food stores and even large supermarkets.]
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Lightly grease and dust a 9" springform pan with cocoa. Set aside.
In a saucepan, over very low heat (or using a double boiler) melt the butter, sugar, and coffee together, stirring to blend. Remove from stove and add chocolate, stirring to melt and incorporate.
Let cool to room temperature and add in eggs, using a whisk to blend. Pour into pan.
Bake 50-55 minutes until cake is done. (If cake rises too fast, lower oven to 325°F and cook a little longer, until set).
Chill well in refrigerator before unmolding.
Serve with pureed frozen raspberries (l 10 oz. package pureed with 2 tbsp. sugar in a food processor or blender).