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Showing posts from January, 2014

Project 52: Rationing - Week 4 - Raised Chocolate Cake

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This week was my husband's birthday, so I asked him if I could make his birthday cake from a rationing
 recipe and he agreed. I was really excited!

It was a little tricky finding just the right cake. Should I go with a British recipe like a sponge or should I try and find a classic American vanilla cake with chocolate frosting? With dried fruit or plain? And from which source would I find the recipe? In one of my books, a pamphlet, or magazine? In the end I settled on a unique recipe for Raised Chocolate Cakewith Sugarless Boiled Frostingfrom Grandma's Wartime Kitchen by Joanne Lamb Hayes which I've mentioned on here before. Her book has an index in the back, so since I was in a rush, her book was the easy choice!

This cake recipe is pretty standard except that it calls for yeast. I've never heard of a cake that called for yeast, so I was very intrigued.

I had two substitutions that I needed to make in the recipe. One is that it called for shortening. And second is tha…

Project 52: Rationing - Week 3 - Scotch Eggs

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For this week's ration recipe I thought I'd give the Brits a try. I love reading about the British homefront stories of WWII, and it's wonderful because there is so much to read about. I have very special and fond memories of going to do WWII research at the incredible Imperial War Museum in London and reading about British women during the war. If you're ever in London, that is a must-see place to visit!

My recipe for this week is an interesting one: Scotch Eggs. In a quick internet search I found that the term "Scotch Eggs" originated in Scotland, but the date of the actual creation of the dish is debatable. Scotch Eggs basically consist of a hard boiled egg coated in mince or sausage meat and bread crumbs then baked or fried. I thought it sounded delicious!

But we're talking about WWII here and so of course there's a catch. This recipe doesn't use fresh eggs, but dehydrated eggs. The British had to deal with rationed eggs and therefore the adv…

Project 52: Rationing - Week 2 - Maple Tapioca

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I realized last night that I hadn't tried out a rationing recipe for the week yet and quickly flipped through my books where I've marked all the recipes I'm interested in. I was craving something a little sweet after dinner, so finding the Maple Tapioca recipe got me excited!

I found this recipe in my newly acquired book Grandma's Wartime Kitchen by Joanne Lamb Hayes. Her book is full of interesting historical bits and recipes. The Beet Relish is awesome which a friend of mine had made and let me try. To be perfectly honest, the biggest reason I wanted to try this recipe, besides it being a yummy tapioca, was because of the truly American touch of maple syrup instead of white sugar. The end result doesn't taste very mapley, but it does a great job of giving the right amount of sweetness without being overpowering. Not to mention it saves on rationed sugar.

Another thing I liked about choosing this tapioca recipe is that Hayes mentions that "government nutritio…

Decision Made

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This past week I looked over my pattern for the cross-over Regency dress (from Sensibility.com) and there is no way that 2 1/2 yards will cut it. So, the choice was made for me. It's going to be the red roller-print fabric! I'm a little bummed, only because I originally picked out that print for a late 1700s dress - my first dress of that period - but since I'm not quite to the point of moving on to another time period right now, I'll just have to find something different later. *sigh* Besides, I don't even know if this print would be appropriate for the late 1700s. I need to do more research anyway.

......

Okay, so I went back to the Sensibility.com website and I'm realizing that the cross-over gown actually looks better suited to a silk, not cotton. Which now brings me back to square one, dang it! I think I'm going to get her original Regency gown pattern along with the neck supplement and make a dress with the higher neckline and with short sleeves and t…

Project 52: Rationing - Week 1 - Oatmeal Drop Cookies

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Last night was near zero degrees with a bitter wind blowing about the corners of our little farmhouse. How I wished for a wood burning stove! The next best thing, however, would be a small plate of warm cookies to go with my hot, herbal red chai dosed liberally with milk. And since the kids were in bed and my husband was on the computer doing research for some future home projects, I thought it would be the perfect time to dive right into my first week of rationing recipes.


Earlier yesterday, I was going through an awesome little American Victory Cook Book (courtesy of Lysol - 1942) that I acquired recently and picking out recipe candidates when a cookie recipe caught my eye - Oatmeal Drop Cookies. We've all had oatmeal cookies right? Well, this recipe was different. For one, at first glance, it looked to have little sugar in it, and secondly it called for molasses. I have never made an oatmeal cookie with molasses in it! So, that alone peaked my interest. This cookie was the per…

Project 52: RATIONING

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I wanted to dedicate this year to learning more about rationing during World War II and what American and British home cooks had to go through to put a meal on the table. I've always had this dream (albeit a bit on the crazy side) of trying to live for maybe a month on what would have been available with American WWII rations. Maybe it's not the most practical idea...

Obviously, I don't live in a world today where rationing is an issue, but I know I can learn a lot by cooking recipes used when rationing was a reality of life. There's nothing like experiencing it first hand instead of just reading about it in a book.

Recipes during the war came from all kinds of sources - newspapers, magazines, home product companies that published pamphlets that were half advertisement and half guides to cooking with rations, government publications, radio programs, and recipes created and adapted by the home cooks themselves. There definitely is no shortage of recipes to try if you k…

Sewing Projects?

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So, you may (or may not) have noticed that I've had a lack of sewing projects posted on here. Well, that's because I have not done a lick of sewing since I posted last about it (besides one gift). I tend to go through phases where I rotate through various interests of mine. The past few months have been dedicated to learning Korean, doing research on homeschooling stuff, and getting things organized for my WWII reading project. I scaled back on a lot of personal projects just for survival's sake while my husband was overseas for a few months. Now that he's been home for a few weeks and the holidays are over, I feel like I have some more breathing room. Whew!

I'm planning another project to share on here which I will post about separately. I'm pretty excited about it because it involves cooking and baking with a historical twist.

And when it comes to sewing - I cleaned up my sewing space and have three fabric selections out for my next early 1800s dress. I'm…