Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry takes place in rural Mississippi in the 1930s, during the Great Depression. The main family in the book, the Logans, are not well off, although they have more than many of their neighbors.
All of these facts contribute to the kinds of foods the family eats. All would have been inexpensive, simple, steeped in Southern culinary traditions, and, of course, homemade. Even things like butter are homemade—on page 52, we see Cassie, the main character, churning butter.
On the first page of the book, Cassie mentions that her little brother's school lunch consists of "cornbread and oil sausages."
Later on in the book, on page 73, several types of foods that Cassie's mother and grandmother canned are mentioned, including beef and "crowder peas." (Crowder peas are a legume that's similar to black-eyed peas.)
On page 98, Cassie wakes up and follows "the scent of frying ham and baking biscuits" into the kitchen.
We get a sense of what the family eats on a special occasion—Christmas Day—later in the book. This would have been a day when the family made special dishes that were more expensive and took longer to make. On page 110, Cassie lists these delicacies: sweet potato pie, egg-custard pies, rich buttered pound cakes—even a raccoon that Cassie's brother and uncle caught, which was baked in "onions, garlic, and fat orange-yellow yams."
Click here to read more about Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.