Vintage Recipe: Cran-Ban

In the crazy midst of preparing for a very involved ration dinner for my challenge, I realized the dessert the menu suggested wasn't something I could make - I was totally out of flour which hasn't happened in a long time! Scrambling to figure something out, I turned to my 1940 Cape Cod's Famous Cranberry Recipes booklet.

I could wax poetical about this book all day! Just look at that color! And the recipes inside are some of the most interesting, innovative ones I've seen for a long time.

Well, finally one recipe caught my eye because I happened to have all the ingredients. Or at least I thought I did... 
Cranberry sauce, almonds, mashed banana, lemon rind - check! I didn't have whipping cream, but I did have a package of Dream Whip that I've had sitting around. That could work.  And I didn't think I had marshmallows. But I did have Korean marshmallows a friend gave me! Better yet they were in different colors and were swirly. Cool! 

I threw it all togethe…

Wartime Ration Menu: March Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinners

Well, a couple weeks have gone by and I've managed to try breakfast, lunch, & dinner menus!

Let's dive right in!

For breakfast this was the original menu:

Grapefruit Cooked Cereal Fluffy Omelet Whole Wheat Toast Coffee/Malted Milk
I kept it mostly the same with only a few changes due to what we had on hand:
Orange slices Cooked 10-grain cereal Fluffy Omelet Bread w/ a bit of butter Coffee substitute (Teaccino)
Yum! It was a nice breakfast, especially since it wasn't just cold cereal. To make the fluffy omelet, I didn't follow a recipe. I just added some milk to the scrambled eggs which makes it fluffy as it slowly cooks. And I sprinkled a bit of cheese on top. 

The lunch menu was quite lovely! We actually had it for a light supper. 
Cream of Mushroom Soup Berry Patch Salad Toasted Muffins Tea/Milk
I stuck to this menu, and used a recipe for the soup from one of my wartime cookbooks. It used a mixture of milk and evaporated milk. I used up some light …

Wartime Ration Menu: March Dinner - Corned Beef

I'm so thrilled with myself that I actually got it together to make this whole menu! When I said this was a menu challenge, I wasn't kidding. It's going to be a huge challenge for myself to actually follow a menu. Most of the time I wing it, which means that most of the time I'm figuring out last minute what we're going to have. Not always the best approach to dinner time. I'm hoping I'll be learning a lot throughout this challenge about how nice having a menu can be, not only for sanity's sake, but for the budget as well. 
The first day's dinner menu was supposed to be this: Corned Beef Mustard Sauce Diced Beets Green Cabbage Salad Cherry Upside-Down Cake Coffee/Malt-Cocoa
In all the menus I've read about in my resources, they say that adaptation of the menu is to be expected, but that if you are going to change the menu, make sure you replace like with like to maintain the nutritional elements. Because of this, I took a little liberty in adap…

Wartime Rationing Menu Challenge: MARCH

It's here!!! The Wartime Rationing Menu Challenge has finally arrived!
Are you as thrilled as I am? I've been working steadily on this project for two months - trying out test recipes, choosing menus for the next six months, typing everything up, formatting and getting it ready to share. It's been a lot of work, but I'm so excited to share these recipes with you all. It's been hard not to get cooking already!
So, are you ready?

First up, I want to put in a disclaimer. I'm starting this ration menu challenge, and I'm going to follow it the best I can, but I'm just like you - busy with life and all the little moments of chaos that come up when they're the least expected. This isn't a hardcore challenge. Remember that it's for fun, for learning about a cool era of historical cooking in America, and to get yourself into your kitchen trying out some new recipes! If you find some fabulous new favorites, even better.

A few little details:
1) I dec…

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 - 400ยบ 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 …