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Showing posts from July, 2014

The"Simple" Myth

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I've been beginning to suspect that looking back on earlier times and thinking of them as being "more simple" or "less complicated" is a human tendency handed down through generations. For some reason past pastures aren't necessarily greener, but they are more rosy.

It may seem easy to compare our present with the past, but while our perceptions make it seem like the past was more simple, that seeming simplicity came at a cost - less medical advances (that's a biggie!), reduced traveling opportunities, less food choices, less education, less technology in general, more complicated food preservation, less hygiene, less equality, etc. Now, you may think all of that is grand and you wouldn't mind stepping into that time period. Great for you! I'm with you on a few of those things, though I am really loving electricity! But let me let you in on a little not-so-secret secret: The past is dead, I'm afraid! There's no going back no matter how …

Project 52: Rationing - Week 29 - Tomato Aspic Salad

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Being that Superman's 75th Anniversary is this year, I couldn't resist showing you this amazing comic book cover featuring a victory garden. Isn't it smashing?! Haha! I can't tell you how much I love it! 
I've always been interested in reading about victory gardens during both of the world wars. What I love about it is that everyone everywhere, including children, was encouraged to grow a garden in whatever spare land was available - yards, empty lots, in community gardens, and at workplaces.

One of my favorite wartime photos is of a man plowing up Old Main Hill on the campus of what is now Utah State University (my alma mater) for a victory garden. (see right) During WWI, Utah State University - then called Utah Agricultural College - was a land grant-based college focused on agriculture and funded heavily by the government. The college was asked to do its part, so, Old Main Hill was plowed up to grow crops for the war effort. I find that extremely compelling. Esp…

Project 52: Rationing - Week 28 - Knox Gelatine Spread

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Don't you just love this pamphlet I found?! The heading is fabulous - "Don't let butter rationing scare you!" haha!

Considering how much butter was used in baking and for plain eating, it really is understandable that the idea of butter being rationed for the duration of a war could be a scary one. If you were only allowed so much butter per person per week, finding ways to make it stretch would be a relief to the stress of planning meals.

I found this week's ration recipe for Knox Gelatine Spread in a couple places - one was this original Knox Gelatine pamphlet featuring the spread recipe and various recipes in which you could use the spread. The other place was in Grandma's Wartime Kitchen by Joanne Lamb Hayes. According to Hayes, this gelatine spread was quite popular with housewives and was published a lot in women's magazines in the summer of 1943. I went and checked one of my Ladies Home Journal resources from June of 1943 and while I didn't fi…

Project 52: Rationing - Week 27 - Lemon Curd Without Eggs

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My son and I absolutely love lemon curd. It's pretty much an elevated lemon jelly but with butter and egg yolk; so creamy and rich, bright and delicious! We have lots of fun finding things to put it on like shortbread cookies, pancakes, in plain yogurt, etc. So, when I found this British ration recipe for Lemon Curd Without Eggs, you bet I was going to try it!

When I told my friend Lori about the recipe I'd chosen she made an interesting observation. She wondered how during the war the Brits could happen to have lemons lying about, which were not domestic, but not eggs, which were domestic. I don't have an answer to that one and it makes me wonder too! I really have no idea. It is possible that some people grew lemons in hot houses, but I can't imagine they would be that plentiful, unless they were somehow getting them in from Spain instead. Intriguing little mystery!

One of the ingredients is called "vegetable marrow". When I looked it up, vegetable marrow …

12 Little-Known Historical Dramas You Should Definitely Watch

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Some people seem to think that the historical drama film genre only includes films based on historical events and people, but in my opinion it also encompasses films made after books set in particular time periods, even if the characters and events are fictitious. If you haven't read the books that the films are based upon, you should! I always like to compare. When the film makers are true to the book it makes my enjoyment of the movie that much more.

I'm sure you've heard of a few of these, but I feel they either need a little reminder or need to be talked about more. I've put the country in which the films take place, not necessarily which country filmed them, though many of them do match up that way.

I asked my good friend, Mairi, for some input as she is an avid fan of historical dramas as much as I am and she's seen quite a few that I haven't!

12. Our Mutual Friend (England)
 I watched this one at Mairi's urging and I'm so glad I did. The story is…