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Showing posts from 2016

Goals for 2017

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I can't believe 2017 is just around the corner! I've had a lot on my plate with our baby in the NICU and Christmas, but now that the holidays are winding down, I've been thinking about my goals for my blog in the coming year.

One thing I'm determined to do more of is ration cooking! I've added quite a few more ration cookbooks to my collection, so I have a lot of material to play with - especially banana recipes. I'm not sure why, but I have this weird fascination with the banana recipes from the 30s and 40s - and surprisingly there are a lot! In fact, I just ordered a 1940s banana cookbook! Isn't that wild? haha! A whole cookbook dedicated to bananas. I've run across some banana recipe doozies in my other cookbooks, but one I'm definitely going to try is banana donuts. Why has this recipe disappeared in today's world? Banana Donuts seem totally logical to me!

So, anyway, I'm hoping to cook at least 2 new recipes a month and post about it. …

A Baby and A Dress

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I've mentioned on here that I was expecting a baby in February - well the little guy arrived 8 weeks early! There wasn't anything wrong with him, but my body had a hard time handling the pregnancy, so my doctor took him out. He's in the NICU now, and I'm extremely grateful for modern medicine and the incredible technology that makes it possible for tiny, preemie babies to thrive! We're counting down the days/weeks when we can bring him home. In the mean time, I'm slowly recovering and gradually easing back into life sans-pregnancy.

I've missed writing on my blog (and writing in general), so I thought I'd put up a post on something I've been wanting to write about for awhile. I have very few family heirlooms, but one special thing I do have is my maternal grandmother Lenore's 1930s bridesmaid dress from her sister's wedding. It's made from a lovely, light blue dotted Swiss cotton, and shows all the markings of being home made. It's a …

Historical Recipe: Candy Cane Cookies

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I have fond memories of making Candy Cane Cookies as a kid. But whenever I tried making them as an adult, they never worked out very well - until this year!


The recipe we made came from my mom's 1960s or 70s Betty Crocker cookbook which fell apart ages ago. Yes, it may be a stretch that I call these "historical", but since the recipe came out before I was born, I'm going with it. Luckily, you can easily find the recipe online still! Here's the link.

A few notes though. Once the dough is all mixed up, and before you add the red dye to half, if your dough looks more like soft chocolate chip cookie dough (i.e. drop cookie consistency), then you definitely need more flour - or it won't work no matter how long you chill it! We ended up having to add an entire 1 1/2 cups more flour until it had some more body to it. Then we chilled it over night.

Once the dough is chilled, you have to work quickly while handling it, because it warms up in your hands pretty fast. My…

Free Ebook Link

Starting today until December 10th, you can get my ebook, The War Between Us, for free on Amazon! Here's the link!

Book Giveaway!

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To celebrate the one year anniversary of publishing my WWII historical fiction book, The War Between Us, I'm giving away 3 signed copies of my book on Goodreads!

<-------- Check out the link to the left to enter the giveaway! <---------

And if you'd like to learn more about my book, just check out the "My Author Page" tab at the top. I work hard to keep this blog non-profit, and try not to advertise for personal monetary gain on here. If it's something I'm giving for free, then I think that's a different category. :-)

Also, next week, in honor of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, from December 6th - 10th, you can snag my e-book for free on Amazon. I'll post a link for that later.

I just really want to make it possible for people to be able to read my book, learn about the story of a lesser-known American minority during WWII, and to (hopefully!) enjoy a historical fiction to further instill that love of history! This was my way of honoring the sacr…

Ration Recipe: Squash Gems

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I've encountered several recipes for what are called "gems", which are essentially muffins. I haven't figured out why some are called muffins and others are called gems, but Squash Gems sounded quite delightful, so with squash season upon us, I thought I'd give them a try!

I decided to add some dried zante currants (mini raisins), because I like things in my muffins.

 It looks pretty tasty, doesn't it? Well, it was! It had a delicate flavor and was a nice addition to breakfast and as a snack.


As you can see, it's a pretty standard muffin recipe. I just love that they're called gems. It makes them seem more special somehow! 😉


Success!

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I'm so happy to have won NaNoWriMo! (National Novel Writer's Month) I wrote 56,000+ words by the 24th, and while my first draft isn't finished, it's got a great start. Hooray! 😁

I'm hoping to get back to posting more on here now that most of the craziness of writing is behind me. Holiday times is always full of such delicious food and recipes to try, and exploring war-time recipes is no exception.

I was thrilled to have found a recipe for Vanilla Wafers in my copy of The Boston Cooking School Cook Book! It's one of those modern things that you don't think of making yourself, because it's easy to just go buy them in the store. But, I've noticed that store-bought Vanilla Wafers have this weird waxy after taste that I don't like, so I'm excited to try out this vintage recipe for them.

Besides that, there are so many cookie and cake and pie recipes to try, I'll never catch up! haha!
But I did want to share a 1940s Berry Pie recipe that I t…

AWOL

After a month of solid posting, I'm going to be a bit scarce around my blog for a while. I'm attempting NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writer's Month), where I have to write a novel of at least 50,000 words by November 30th! I'm working on a new book (though old in concept), and am excited to get this last push of writing done before I have my baby. I miss writing and working on a book, so this will be a good goal. Wish me luck!

Day 31: Coca-Cola Halloween Party + a Bonus Recipe!

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Happy Halloween Everyone!
The last post in my series is this fantastic Coke ad from the November 1944 issue of the Ladies Home Journal. For wartime Halloween, parties over trick o' treating were really encouraged, and this is a great illustration of that. I really like the action in this picture and seeing all the teens' costumes - especially that weird ghost one with the pumpkin head! haha!
I also found an interesting article about Halloween in wartime that I thought you might enjoy: America in WWII - "A Wartime Halloween". Wartime affected Halloween traditions quite a bit!
And now for the bonus recipe!

My friend, Loris, loaned me her October 1941 issue of Woman's Home Companion, since she knew I was working on this project. The back of the magazine had this huge, amazing looking Pillsbury ad, and it immediately caught my eye. I thought it would be the perfect ending to my series along with the Coke ad.

Cranberry apple is a fantastic combination, but this recipe …

Day 30: High Jinks Gives a Halloween Party!

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Oh, boy! I've been holding onto this one to save it for near the end. I hunted down this October 1942 issue of Woman's Home Companion because of this very article. I've only found two articles so far specifically written about celebrating Halloween, so having this one is pretty exciting! I hope you enjoy it too!


This photo is so fun! I wonder how they got through that doorway with the gigantic spider web in the way? (Which is totally cool, by the way!) 
Click on the photos to enlarge the photos and read the article.


And as a bonus (yes, I'm cramming them in now!), is the last October Food Calendar I have. This one is from the October 1943 issue of Woman's Home Journal




Day 29: Apple-Peanut-Butter Crumble + Bonus Halloween Menus!

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For me, autumn wouldn't be the same without an apple crisp or crumble of some kind. But an Apple-Peanut-Butter-Crumble?! Wow! What an interesting, fun twist! Today's post comes from the November 1942 Ladies Home Journal. Give it a try!


I couldn't fit everything in I wanted to for this series, (just think of all the Thanksgiving stuff I'm neglecting!) so I'm doubling up near the end! 
The great thing about these menu cookbooks is that they have menus for a bunch of holidays, including some you wouldn't think needed its own menu like Washington's Birthday or Armistice Day! The Halloween ones are really fun, so here are a few menus from two different cookbooks. 
It's really neat that they include a "market order", so shopping is at-a-glance easy.  Isn't that Jack O'Lantern Cocktail fun?? What a great idea! This one comes from the Alice Bradley Menu-Cook-Book.   Both of these come from the Lily Wallace New American Cook Book. The numbers n…

Day 28: Halloween Party Cake

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Halloween is getting close and today's Spry ad for a Halloween Party Cake is a perfect wartime way to celebrate! This comes from the October 1942 Woman's Home Companion. The recipe for this cake calls for honey, which is always interesting when chocolate is concerned. The marshmallow frosting uses corn syrup. So, no sugar used at all, which would have saved on your sugar ration.

I love the artwork on this one too. Very festive!

They were still spelling Halloween the old-fashioned way. 
Some other holiday party suggestions:

 Here are the recipes for the cake and the marshmallow frosting. And check out the Halloween decorating tips!

Day 27: Fall Fruit Salad

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Today's post in the series sounds innocent enough, doesn't it? Well, think again!

I grew up on fruit salad that was a mixture of fresh fruit like bananas, apples, and oranges mixed with canned fruit like peaches, pears, and fruit cocktail. No whipped topping or sugar or anything else added. Just naked fruit marinating in their own juices. But then, as an adult, I realized that I'm pretty alone in what I deem "fruit salad!" Most fruit salads I run into at pot lucks have a whipped cream-base dressing of some kind to the point that it's hard to see the fruit. Sometimes there are even marshmallows and other things added. See, that seems strange to me. Sure, they taste good, but the fruit doesn't really shine.

Now, in comes this 1944 version of fruit salad from The Alice Bradley Menu-Cook-Book:


Apples and pears - great combo, but it's the Grape Cream Dressing that comes as a surprise! They liked to make a lot of dressings using mayo during this time period…

Day 26: Durkee's Oleomargarine Ad

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In celebration of the coming turkey times, I thought this autumn-themed ad for Durkee's Oleomargarine from the November 1944 Ladies Home Journal was a lot of fun for today's post. It almost makes you feel sorry for that poor turkey! (And I'm rather amused that Durkee rhymes with turkey. heehee!)

I know roasting is the main way to cook a turkey, and has been for a long time. Then there's the popular frying in peanut oil of the turkey, which my uncle does. My step-mom has made TurDucken a few times - a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken. I always miss those years, which makes me sad, because how yummy would that be?!

However, what I do, is something I took from my mom's no-fuss way: Crock Pot Turkey. I cook the salted and seasoned turkey in the oven with a baking bag, debone it, and refrigerate the meat juices and the meat separately. Thanksgiving morning, I remove the solidified fat from the juices and put the juices in the crock pot with the meat and…

Day 25: Sweet Potato Stuffing

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The season of stuffings and dressings is coming. Hooray! It's one of my favorite holiday foods. So, I was quite fascinated by today's post which is a surprisingly simple one - Sweet Potato Stuffing from The New American Cook Book, ca. 1942! (Stuffing is for stuffing the turkey, dressing is if you put it on the side.)

I grew up on Northern cornbread dressing, while my husband grew up on Stove Top, a classic American flavor of its own. So, when Thanksgiving time rolls around, I put both kinds on the table, because it just wouldn't be the same without each of our family's traditions. (Though, I found a delicious recipe that's similar in taste to Stove Top, but I can make it from scratch.) That makes for a lot of dressing!

I'm curious about this one though. Sweet potato as the base... which would make it a sweeter version I'm guessing? I like the option of adding ground sausage to the stuffing too. Maybe I try this one for Christmas! :-)


Day 24: Vegetable Cookies

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Only 7 days left in my series! Day 24 is this interesting recipe for Vegetable Cookies from The Alice Bradley Menu-Cook-Book, published in 1944. When I first saw the recipe title, I thought it would just have carrots or something. Nope! These are true vegetable cookies with tomato juice, grated carrot and cooked spinach! These would be really interesting to try, and I'm sure you could make other veggie substitutions depending on what your harvest has brought. Be warned if you try it though - this recipe makes 6 dozen cookies!


Day 23: October Food Calendar ca. 1942

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For today's post, here is another Woman's Home Companion October Food Calendar, this time from 1942! In this issue, we are definitely in the swing of wartime, though only sugar is rationed at this point, with coffee just around the corner in November. 
Don't you just love the photo of the USO girls with the soldiers out for a hayride?

A lot of the food suggestions are interesting, but Day 22/29 is a classic 1940s odd sandwich filling one - pineapple mixed with peanut butter and mayo. I grew up eating peanut butter and Miracle Whip sandwiches (yum!), so peanut butter and mayo isn't too big of a stretch for me. But adding the pineapple? I don't know... haha!

I took some close-ups so you could read the individual days. Sorry if some are still a little blurry.




 Here's a close-up of Halloween. Pretty classic food fun, I'd say! :-)