Wartime Menu Challenge: Trial - Day 3

There's nothing fancy about the third menu I tried - Sauerkraut, "Wieners", O'Brien Potatoes, and a Shredded Carrot Salad with homemade French Dressing. Simple, American food. (Does French Dressing count as American? haha!) And it was awesome! This is one of my favorite menus so far. It was easy, and totally delicious. The dessert was a Dutch Pear Cake, which I wasn't able to make, but hope to soon.

The original menu wanted me to make a potato casserole, but I couldn't find the recipe for it in the cookbook, and I don't know what they meant by a casserole, so I found another potato recipe in the cookbook. O'Brien Potatoes consists of cooking cubed potatoes, green peppers, and onions in a skillet with some fat and letting it sit there without much stirring - kind of like hash browns. You season it with salt, pepper, and some parsley, and that's it. It was really good! My family requested it be served again in the future if that says anything.

Wartime Menu Challenge: The Trial - Day 2

Today, I tried a few more of the ration menu recipes. I was working off Monday's recipes even though it's Tuesday, because we were still eating leftovers from Sunday's menu recipe trial. It's looking like every 2-3 days is what will naturally flow for us and these menus. It just makes a lot of food, and even with using some of it for my husband's lunch, there's still enough for us to eat later! (I can't say that for the desserts, though. Those have disappeared pretty quickly!)
Breakfast was just whatever, but for lunch I had leftover Cream Cheese sandwich filling with chopped celery and it was nice and refreshing!

Pictured below is today's dinner. Here's what we had: Vegetable Meatloaf, Cole Slaw, Brown Bread + Butter, and I forgot to serve the Molded Cranberry Sauce! (though I did have some for lunch and we had some yesterday. I finally went out and bought the dang orange gelatin I forgot to get so I could make it Sunday!) Dessert was the wowsers A…

Wartime Menu Challenge 2018: The Trial - Day 1

Yesterday I ran a trial of a full day's menus from an original wartime menu. I got the menu from Westinghouse's Health for Victory Meal Planning Guide, January 1943 issue. One thing I noticed is that this menu is a lot of food and it's not for people on a diet! I'm currently doing Weight Watchers and the breakfast alone used up more than half my daily allowance. Yikes! Going forward, I'm going to have to do some adjusting with fats/sugars or eat much smaller portions.

Here's the menu I used for Sunday:

Breakfast: Canned fruit, ready-made cereal, milk, Raisin Bran Muffins.

Notes: This was, obviously, a very easy menu. It was pretty straightforward. Except for one thing. The Raisin Bran Muffins recipe had an odd baking temperature - 400º F with a 30 minute baking time! This is unheard of for muffins. My husband thought it might mean to bake the muffins from a cold start - preheating the oven as soon as you put the muffins in. This is the only thing that makes sens…

New Ration Challenge and a Ration Cookbook Collection

The time is finally here for another ration recipe challenge! Hooray! Ever since my last one ended in December 2014, I've been thinking of what kind of ration challenge I could set for myself next time. For three years I've been stewing over some ideas, and because March 2018 marks the 75th anniversary of full wartime food rationing starting for the United States, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to finally kick off the new challenge!

Last time I made and posted about one recipe every week for a year. This time, I'm going to be utilizing full menu plans from my collection of ration cookbooks. I'm doing a trial run this month and next to see how exactly I'm going to pull this off. Cooking from a week's worth of menus once each month? One day's menu (breakfast, lunch, dinner, & lunch box) each week? I might even do a combination of the two. We'll have to see...

I plan on making it so that everyone can cook along with me. I'll provide the…

Goals for 2018

Looking ahead to 2018 - just a few days away! I set some sewing goals last year, but I don't think I sewed anything! I was being pretty ambitious, but recovering from pregnancy & delivery, getting used to caring for a baby again, and doing everything else I was doing before really made it difficult to face the challenge of sewing. But now that baby is a year old and we've got things better figured out, I'm hoping that 2018 will be a happy sewing year! Here are this year's challenges from the Historical Sewing Monthly which you can read about in full here. I know I won't get to do all these challenges, but I'm quite excited about how inspiring they are.

January: Mend, Reshape, Refashion: I think I might squeeze in my WLA hat for this challenge that I remolded this past fall. Or make another one to sell. The WLA existed in WWI, so I think I might be able to pull it off for the challenge!

Feb: Under: I'm hoping to finally FINALLY make that custom Rev War c…

A Woman's Plight: Learning From Frustration

Notice: This post discusses women's menstruation and frustration. If that makes you uncomfortable, please take this as fair warning.

Today was going like every other day, post-holiday. On top of trying to catch up on cleaning, caring for the baby, and feeding everyone lunch, I had to make sure we were out of the door by 2 pm to get the kids to their music lessons. In my bustle to get us out the door on time, one of the kids mentioned that they'd heard someone knocking on the door. It wasn't until a few minutes later, baby in arms, that I opened the door and saw an unfamiliar work truck in our driveway with two men at work on our septic tank. We weren't expecting anyone doing work, so I went out onto the porch in the freezing cold to say hello and ask what they were doing.

One of the two men greeted me and said they were the company contracted to service our new septic tank, and said things didn't look good. He then proceeded to hold up a dirty tampon and said the …

Autumn Wartime: Week 13 - A Wartime Autumn Meal!

The last week for the Autumn Wartime Recipes & Food has arrived. It's a bittersweet occasion, I think, since autumn foods are some of the best out there. For the last post, I wanted to find some special recipes using up the bounty of autumn harvest vegetables. At this time of year, the cold cellar would still easily be yielding forth apples, carrots, onions, squash, and more. So, for the finale, I found these fun recipes to tempt your palate with a vintage meal*!

 To start, you can try these Hashed Brown Vegetables - the perfect way to use up leftover veg...

...or this simple, but filling Corn Chowder. I've been on the hunt for a 1940s corn chowder recipe. I'm excited to try this one!

For the main dish, you've got the choice of two different styles of non-meat loaf - V Loaf and Nut Vegetable Loaf. A friend of mine pointed out that these are just the 1940s versions of today's vegetarian meatloaf, which is a great point! Strangely, though, neither of them call fo…

Autumn Wartime: Week 12 - Cranberry Apple Ice

Today, for us in Maryland, it's a chilly 38º F. They're forecasting snow for tomorrow. Wouldn't that be great? It's been awhile since we've had snow at this time of year. My kids would be thrilled.

However, for those of you who live in warmer climates, this recipe for Cranberry Apple Ice is perfect for some refreshing festive cheer! I know that Christmas time usually goes hand in hand with roaring fires, sledding, and snowmen, but let's face it - the warmer climates associated with Christmas largely get ignored, because it's not the charming wintery Currier & Ives portrait we imagine with the season. So, you tropical/desert lovelies, this recipe is for you!

It comes from a cookbook called Victory Recipes. It doesn't have a specific publication date, but looking at the introduction talking about the "brand new problem - point rationing", I'd say it was published 1943. 😊

One week left in this year's Autumn Wartime Recipes & Food…

Autumn Wartime: Week 11 - Suppers for Cold Evenings

This week's post is for these cold evening supper menus from the very amusing Mrs. Appleyard's Kitchen published in 1942. It's hard to say this is a cookbook, even though there are recipes and an index at the back. It's more a fictional story about a woman called Mrs. Appleyard and all about her cooking skills, or lack thereof, with recipes sprinkled throughout. There's a lot of tongue in cheek humor and poking fun at the poor woman. 😁 Even though the page I include talks about cold summer evenings, the ideas translate very well no matter what the season!

I included a funny passage from the end of the book for your enjoyment.

Happy December, and here's to colder weather!

Autumn Wartime: Week 10 - Sweet Potato Souffle

This week's post is for Sweet Potato Souffle! It's from an fun article from the October 1943 issue of Farm Journal and Farmer's Wife magazine called "Ways to Use All That Food". This article makes reference to using the bounty of the autumn harvest. I could also apply to using up Thanksgiving leftovers. Using up Thanksgiving leftovers has probably been a thing since the beginning, and it will probably continue into the future! It's fun to see 1940s solutions.