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Wartime Menu Challenge: August - Baked Bean Sandwich & Almond Jam Bars

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I'm so happy I was able to squeeze in a ration menu this week! This menu came from the lunchbox meals for taking to school. 
Here's the menu:
Baked Bean Sandwich Spiced Beets Sliced Peaches Almond Jam Bars Milk
I didn't have any beets, which was sad, because I would've loved to make spiced beets! I used some fresh peaches we had instead since they're in season anyway.

First of all, about the sandwich... I love baked beans on toast spread with butter (I use Bush's Baked Beans because they're my favorite), but I was wary of this sandwich for some reason. Let me tell you though, this sandwich was awesome!!! Like beans on toast, but with the softer bread texture. I made it by spreading the bread with butter first, mashed up a 1/2 cup or so of room-temp baked beans, and then spread it on. So good!

The Almond Jam Bars were interesting. They were more crumbly than I like, but were still yummy The almond comes from almond extract in the dough paired with cinnamon a…

Wartime Menu Challenge: August - Finale!

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I can't believe it's been six months already! The end of the challenge is finally here, and I've planned something special. I've pulled this month's menus from a ration cookbook from my collection that I haven't had the chance to explore yet. I've loved exploring the awesome variety of wartime recipes in this rare cookbook.

The menus feature lunch box ideas. I wanted to go back to this topic, because it's fun and there are so many great lunch ideas from wartime! The book has four different weeks of lunch box menus for four different job types - school, office, factory, and home - and I share them all! That's a lot of great ideas to help give your own lunch box a boost of 1940s wartime goodness.

Thanks again for following along! Please let me know if you try any of the recipes and how it went.

Keep checking back for more vintage recipes, challenges, and miscellaneous History adventures!

You can get the August menus HERE.

Wartime Menu Challenge: July - Griddlecakes

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Griddlecakes, or pancakes, are a pretty standard feature around our house. I like trying new versions of the recipe to find different textures and variations on this American classic. Some of my favorite ration recipes for griddlecakes include Cornmeal Griddlecakes and Oatmeal Griddlecakes.
The recipe in this menu for griddlecakes was a new variation for me in that it used a couple tablespoons of cornmeal.

But first, let me show the menu:

Applesauce or Apple Juice Griddlecakes and Corn Syrup or Poached Eggs on Toast Slab Bacon Milk, Coffee
We love having applesauce on top of our pancakes or French Toast, so the applesauce suggestion was perfect. I used real maple syrup and some bacon ends I had in the depths of my freezer that I'd forgotten about. The griddlecake recipe was a good one! The cornmeal added a subtle texture that I thought was nice. It was great to have a familiar and easy meal for dinner!

Wartime Menu Challenge: July - Butterscotch Toast

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I can't believe how long it's been since I've done some ration cooking. I've been going through withdrawals too, but when your kitchen is under renovation, there's not a whole lot you can do. Today's menu was something I fit into our regular dinnertime, even though this month's recipes focus on breakfast. I was thinking French Toast maybe, and knew one of the menus this month involved French Toast. Bingo! So here's the menu:

Chilled Orange Juice or Canned Tomato Juice French Toast or Butterscotch Toast Maple-Flavored Sirup (original spelling!) Crisp Bacon Strips (slab bacon) Milk, Coffee
This is what we actually ended up having due to not having some things on hand:
Grapefruit Juice Butterscotch Toast Egg Scramble  with Ground Beef, reconstituted dehydrated red & green peppers, and onions Milk
Having the protein in the meal was important to me, so I used some already cooked ground beef I had in the fridge, 7 of the bajillions of eggs laying around …

Wartime Menu Challenge: July's Menus are Here!

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Aah! The season of berries! 
Due to crazy kitchen renovations and the stress that comes with all of that, I managed just the one measly recipe from all of June's menus. SIGH. So, June was a bust. I did manage to can 15 quarts of cherry pie filling though... Go figure that! But it is cherry season, and once those cherries are picked, you kind of have to do something about them. haha!

Oh well, on to July. July is all about breakfast menus, so that should make things loads easier! Included is a bonus menu for a 4th of July dinner! Happy Birthday, America!

Download July's Menus Here

Wartime Menu Challenge: June - Cherry Cobbler

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I was finally able to try a recipe from June's menus!  Don't worry. We didn't have Cherry Cobbler for a meal. haha! I consider this quite an accomplishment among all the craziness that is home remodeling. Here was the whole menu:
Main Course Salad Cream of Wheat Rolls Cherry Cobbler
Sigh. It's not like this month's menus are even that intense, but since we're remodeling the kitchen which is where I spend most of my time, it's very hard for me to recover from the chaos. Not to mention that we had to take my Hoosier out so we could put in countertops and cupboards where the Hoosier used to sit. The Hoosier held all of my baking stuff and it's been a nightmare trying to hunt down just basic ingredients. Gratefully, we put stuff back in the new cupboards, so I can get started on baking again. But it won't be the same without my Hoosier. 😥 sniff.
Anyway, because it's cherry season, I knew I had to at least make this Cherry Cobbler! Cherry Cobbler is …

Crickets... and a Museum Trip!

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It's been a bit quiet around here, because I haven't been able to do ANY ration cooking. We've been in basics mode because we're remodeling our kitchen. My heart is crying right now from not being able to cook and bake like I want to! All this is temporary, I know, but it doesn't make it any easier. We're getting close to the end, and my husband is working so hard to get it all done. He's such a champ!!

Since the house is a little bit chaotic as a result of the work, I've been taking the kids out and about. We've been to the National Capital Radio and Television Museum when my husband's mom was in town, the Hagerstown City Park just the other day (which has oodles of ducks and geese as well as a swan with lovely waterways), and various parks and play dates. Oh, and we've been around looking at houses, since we're hoping to sell soon. Today, we looked at a lovely 1930s brick home smack in the middle of cropland. The views were gorgeous a…

Wartime Menu Challenge: It's Time for June's Menus!

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Wow, where did May go?? Because of construction in our kitchen, I didn't get as many of May's recipes made, which makes me sad. I think sandwich recipes are some of the most fun vintage recipes to try!

June's menus are a bit on the lighter side. They feature luncheon menus from The Alice Bradley Menu-Cook-Book from 1944. This cookbook doesn't even mention rationing even with its wartime publication date, but I do like how this cookbook is laid out and it keeps to the seasonal cooking.

The featured menu is for the June bride! That's a fun one. If you'd like to share these menus, and I hope you do, please share the link for this blog post. Thank you and enjoy!

Get June's Menus Here!

Wartime Menu Challenge: May - Lemon Molasses Cupcakes

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May didn't turn out like I expected. Midway through the month, my husband's mom flew in to lend a hand for two weeks, and we ripped out our kitchen! It's been needing it for a long time, and now that we're planning on selling our house we're finally getting around to it. Isn't that always the way? Sigh.
Well, packing up a kitchen to make way for the crowbar doesn't exactly make it easy to do any fancy cooking, or any cooking for that matter. This was really frustrating, but I guess it was to be expected. Last Sunday was a lull in the construction storm, so I took the opportunity to haul out my flour, spices, and muffin tins to make one last recipe from May's menus before June arrived. I am so glad I picked this recipe, because it is the bomb! 

 Lemon Molasses Cupcakes.
The wartime baking method comes into play with using only a 1/2 cup sugar and the other 1/2 cup sweetener coming from the molasses. They don't really scream "try me!" unles…

Wartime Menu Challenge: May - Mock Chicken Sandwich & Fluffernutter

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I was brave for this menu as I was serving it to a family member fresh off the airplane! She's such a good sport, though, and as it turns out, Mock Chicken Sandwich is pretty amazing! Phew!

Here's the menu:

Mock Chicken Sandwich Filling on Whole Wheat Bread Peanut-Bacon Sandwich Filling on Enriched White Bread (Peanut Butter & Marshmallow Fluff on Oatmeal Bread) Cottage Cheese Fresh or Stewed Fruit Gingersnaps Lemonade (Made the syrup, but haven't tried the lemonade out yet!)

To make the Mock Chicken Sandwich filling I bought pork ribs, something I never cooked before. I'm just not that adventurous with meat, I guess... Anyway, I cooked one of the ribs in the pan, the rest I pan seared and finished off in the oven slathered with BBQ sauce, which my family was a big fan of. :-) I'm just glad they turned out! 
The next day I ground up the plain pork rib meat with the carrots, celery and mixed in the mayo and salt. It's so simple, but wow, what a yummy sandwich…