NEWSBOYS' STRIKE: An Anniversary Celebration!

The story of the newsboys strike of 1899 is just a tiny event in the course of a tumultuous time in the labor history of America. Disney brought the story to light with the movie Newsies in 1992. Many American kids who grew up in the '90s have fond memories of the movie and could probably sing a few bars from at least one of the songs. There is a smaller group of more obsessed fans who watched the movie until they knew every word, every lyric, and possibly every dance... And most recently, a new generation of fans was created when Newsies hit Broadway in 2012. It always brings a smile to my face when I hear modern-day teens singing Newsies songs.

I can now fully admit that I was one of those crazy fans from the 90s that obsessed about the movie. But, you all know how much of a history nerd I am, right? I don't obsess about things in the same way. So when I was a nanny in NYC (Long Island to be exact), what do you think I did with my free Saturdays? Catch a Broadway musical? N…

The Diary of Mrs. X - Installment 5

Another installment from the lovely Mrs. X's diary.

Sunday, February 4, 1945 Sunny. MacArthur entered Manilla today!
Jeanette & Cheryl helped me transplant the strawberries.

Saturday, March 10, 1945 Griffith Park
Thursday, March 15, 1945 Demonstrated star maps to a small group at leaders’ meeting this morning. After I paid balance on the two sleeping bags & also bought two tennis racquets (@ $5) for the girls. Good light racquets for them to learn with. Wandered home, gathering wild flowers en route. Had Girl Scouts & Brownies from new school here for a get-together. Mrs. M- came & we took data. Served cider & cookies. Mother & Dad stopped in on their way to desert. They came up yesterday on business & to see the house B- & P- have bought in Brentwood. It sounds interesting. Brought us jars of fruit & jelly. C. didn’t get home till 12:30.

I love that she wrote about a big headline. The Girl Scout tidbits are fantastic!

History in the Kitchen - WWII: Day 9

Day 9 of the wartime cooking class focused on the wartime lunch box. This is one of my favorite food topics, so not only were we trying out a mini version of a war worker's lunch box, I was gearing the kids up for the final, ultimate challenge which you'll find out about next week!

So, we discussed how important nutrition was for keeping war workers healthy, happy, alert, and full of energy. I gave them some examples of sandwich fillings to mixed reactions and we dove straight in to making our own wartime lunch - Mock Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Corn Meal Cookies, and Orangeade to drink.

The Mock Chicken Salad is absolutely delicious! I've made it in the past, so I knew the recipe was a keeper. It uses cooked pork ground up with carrots and celery with mayo and Chow Chow (a sweet, tangy, mustard relish). A lot of the kids really liked it (I think a couple weren't fond of it), but some even asked for seconds!

The Orangeade was something I tried out with my family in …

History in the Kitchen - WWII: Day 8

For our eighth class of History in the Kitchen - WWII, we learned about the emphasis during the war on canning all the produce from your garden and how canned foods were rationed and more expensive due to the high demand for tin.

I wanted to focus on a fruit recipe this time, so we tried this recipe for Peach Griddle Cakes along with experimenting with two Mapleine Pancake Syrups and one Molasses Spread. The Peach Griddle Cakes were easy and straight-forward. I used canned peaches, which worked very well.

I  made two different Mapleine syrups - one using sugar and the other using corn syrup. The one using sugar was okay, but as soon as we tried the one using corn syrup, we were amazed. It tasted exactly like store bought pancake syrup! Surprisingly with just corn syrup, water, a bit of salt, and Mapleine, the syrup produced even had a bit of a nutty flavor. It was really good and used the most.

A few brave souls tried the Molasses Spread which is more of a watery syrup, but it wasn…

WWII Rationing Resources Tab

After a sweet email from a tutor about how their student was able to use my blog for her research paper and shared some of the resources she used, I decided to update and refresh my list of WWII Rationing resources! I've been able to add a lot more links, though I do need to work on my list of books. That's a daunting one, to be honest, because there's SO much out there. My personal collection is currently packed, so I can't reference those titles right now. A project for another day!
I definitely wanted to draw your attention to my new addition to my resource page focusing on learning about wartime rationing around the world. I think most people think of WWII rationing in terms of two places - the UK and the US. This is an incredibly narrow view of rationing during the war, and I didn't even think about it until I spoke with a lovely Japanese lady at a WWII event where I had a rationing display tell me about food rationing in Japan during the war. I had never eve…

The Diary of Mrs. X - Installment 4

I'm sorry it's been a terribly long while since I last posted about Mrs. X's diary. This entry is chock full of good stuff!

Friday, February 2, 1945 Pouring rain! Changed my mind a dozen times about going to conference. At last minute decided to leave my poor car in garage & walk to street car. A neighbor picked me up & took me to depot – I wore Cheryl’s rain cape & Connie’s rubber boots! Beige slacks & green umbrella. I was a sight – but was glad I went. It was [fine?]. The – G. S. licensed leaders’ conference was at Plummer Park in Hollywood. It is a lovely place & exceptionally fine buildings. There were at least 50 people there. I got some wonderful new ideas & saw many “old friends”. “Leo” Mrs. Pronty [?], asked if my Scouts would take over the “Scout’s Own” at Griffith Park Camp. Went to Sears looking for boots afterward. Later waited 1 hr. & 10 minutes for a bus that never came at [?] H depot. Took another streetcar & walked 7/8 mile. Bro…

History in the Kitchen - WWII: Day 7

Day 7 of the History in the Kitchen class we talked about the importance of veggies and how the government stressed the need to eat plenty of them to keep up your health and strength.
Because carrots were much used in British wartime rationing, I thought it would be fun to focus on America's take on carrots during the war. Enter the carrot recipes:

These are all recipes I've featured on the blog before -

Toasted Carrots

Grated Carrot Salad with French Dressing

Carrot Oatmeal Cookies

The recipes had mixed reviews. There were a few kids that detested carrots, so this day's recipes were a real challenge. The Toasted Carrots were by far the most bizarre, but the most surprising with a bit of a kick to them. I love the Grated Carrot Salad and serve it to my family every now and then. The Carrot Oatmeal Cookies are another favorite because they taste like mini carrot cake goodness!

It's enough to say that by the end we were all carroted out, but it was nice to explore some no…

History in the Kitchen - WWII: Day 6

For Day 6 of the wartime cooking co-op class we learned about Dairy & Fats. We talked about how including dairy in the wartime diet was advocated a lot for the nutrition. If a family member didn't like drinking it, there were many other ways of getting their milk in like puddings and ice creams, and even including the recipe we tried!
We also talked about the huge wartime contribution housewives had in saving their waste fats and selling to their local butcher. He in turn sold it to the munitions factories where the glycerin was extracted from the fat for explosives among many other useful wartime purposes. 
Because butter was one of the fats rationed, margarine was a popular substitute, so I chose a recipe that used both milk and margarine - Lemon Shortcakes!

These were absolutely delicious, and both of my classes enjoyed them immensely. I mean, just look at them. How could you not love eating that?? The lemon adds a delightful note to the shortcakes, and I even added a bit …

History in the Kitchen: WWII - Day 4

For Day 4 of the homeschool co-op class I'm teaching, we learned about the importance of meat in wartime and why it was so scarce.

We made the delicious Hot Ham Rolls, a variation of the Beef Biscuit Rolls I made before. It came from a sweet, tiny cookbook called 120 Wartime Meat Recipes. I really loved it, and so did most everyone in my class! It weirded a few of them out that it looked so much like cinnamon rolls when they came out of the oven and we smothered it in a white sauce. And it really does!

At home, I made it again for supper and made a cheese sauce by adding shredded cheddar cheese to the white sauce. It was a delicious variation!

History in the Kitchen: WWII - Day 5

I'm a bit behind on these posts about my wartime cooking class for homeschool co-op, but I'm getting tons written on the first draft for my second WWII book, so that's exciting! It's looking very promising for winning Camp NaNoWriMo
Ok, so for the 5th class we made two things - a main dish called Wiener Scallop and the infamous drink, Mint Tinkle, which I've posted about before on my blog. 
The Wiener Scallop recipe comes from an awesome wartime cookbook geared towards teenagers called Look Who's Cookin'

The Wiener Scallop consisted of scalloped potatoes and hot dogs with a milk sauce sprinkled with cheese. It was fairly good! The students liked it, which is always a good sign, and it was very easy to make.

And finally, Mint Tinkle! The first class got the full force of peppermint in their drinks and it was a bit much for all of us. It wasn't until lunch time that my son reminded me that we cut the mint in half. I felt so bad for my first class, bu…