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…


You might have noticed a little change... I've been wanting to spiff up my blog for awhile and finally got around to it. The layout hasn't changed at all, so you can find everything right where it was before. Just the look has been updated with a lovely pic of my vintage jar shelf in my kitchen. I just love the cheery colors and cool textures of vintage glass, don't you?

The Diary of Mrs. X: Installment 3

It's time for the next installment from Mrs. X's diary. I love all the little household things she mentions. Some worries and headaches never really change!

Sunday, January 28, 1945
C. worked in yard all day. I worked in house till 2 & then in veg. gardens till late. Saved more spinach, lettuce

Monday, January 29, 1945
Family wash.
Drain clogged up just as I finished.

Wednesday, January 31, 1945
Drizzled all day. Spoiled dry January record. Painted hand lotion bottle for Mary.
Took things to Nichols’.
Paid auto club for licenses.
G. S. meeting – Valentine’s.

Thursday, February 1, 1945
Cut spinach. [? Looks like Spanish, but that doesn’t make sense…]
Worked on G. S. finance records.
To Cheryl’s Brownie meeting.
Worked late on G. S. reports.
C. late – 1 a.m.

These are a lot of little entries but they say quite a bit! Working in their vegetable garden, troubles with the plumbing - again, paying for auto club licenses, and G.S. (meaning Girl Scouts) meetings. I think the painting of the hand …

History in the Kitchen - WWII: Day 3

Class - Day 3 of my homeschool co-op class focused on Sugar in wartime.

We talked about how long sugar was rationed (the longest out of anything else!) and why. We went into all the different sugar replacements that were available and suggested during the war. I thought it would be fun to explore sugar rationing by having the class try out different wartime drinks!

The first class tried-
Maple Cream Ginger Ale - 2 tsp. maple syrup, 1 Tbsp. heavy cream, fill the cup with ginger ale
Hot cocoa syrup with honey - 1 c. cocoa powder, 1 c. mild honey, salt, water, vanilla

The class really liked both drinks. The Maple Cream Ginger Ale was my personal favorite.

The second class tried- Florida Milkshake: orange juice, grapefruit juice, sugar, evaporated milk, ice Spiced Grape Punch: grape juice, water, sugar, lemon juice, cloves, & cinnamon
Most of the kids like both, though there were some that didn't like one or the other. I think the Florida Milkshake is the bomb. The Spiced Grape Pu…

The Diary of Mrs. X: Installment 2

I apologize for the long time between this post and the last one. After a discussion with my writer's group, I became concerned about some of the entries in the diary that are of a more sensitive nature regarding Mrs. X's complicated relationship with her husband. While those aspects of her life are interesting to see how wartime affected a family, because it's not my family and I don't know who they are, I don't feel comfortable posting those entries. I wouldn't want her rolling around in her grave because her private life had been plastered on the internet, and I wouldn't want to offend anyone either. So, for the sake of further privacy, I'm only going to post selections that I feel are appropriate to share - of which there is quite a bit, especially about Girl Scouts. I appreciate your understanding!

Tuesday, January 2, 1945 Back to school and to work! I went back to bed until 9:30! How I love that bed in the morning! Got Connie off at 5:30 – (tea in …

New Series: The Diary of Mrs. X

Welcome to my new series, The Diary of Mrs. X!
I feel very blessed to have come across the 1945 diary of a woman in an antique shop in Boulder City, NV. My initial flip-through was exciting and revealed mentions about the war, tidbits about her children Bev, Cheryl, and Jack, her husband Connie*, places in the Los Angeles area, and just little and big every day things. I was entranced immediately. What a wealth of information about an American woman living on the homefront during the last year of war! This wealth couldn’t go unshared, so I wanted to start this series of transcribing her diary so others could learn from this original source.
I’ll be sharing an entry once a week, but if the entries are particularly small, I’ll share more than one. Starting a new habit can be difficult, as we all know, so she didn’t write every day. There will be some large gaps in the dates, but I think that’s part of the allure of her diary. It reveals just how human and relatable she is.
I’m calling …

History In the Kitchen - WWII

I've started teaching a homeschool co-op class featuring wartime rationing called History in the Kitchen - WWII, and I thought it would be fun to write about what we're learning about in class. I've got 20 students spread across 2 classes, and it's been really fun!
Class 1 - I introduced what rationing was and why it was important during the war. We also talked about how American rationing differed from any other country's rationing and why.

We made Banana Boats and Maple Sugar Graham Crackers, both of which I've written about on here before. Both recipes got a thumbs up from all the kids (except for one who wasn't a fan of maple to begin with, but he did try it, so I was proud of him!)

Class 2 - We talked about Ration stamps, books, and tokens and I brought in some originals for them to pass around. We talked about how complicated it was to keep track of ration values and how they went about paying for food along with rationing.

We made a recipe I'd…

Museum Review: National Capital Radio & Television Museum

My kids and I went to a fun museum earlier this year. I'm a sucker for vintage technology, so The National Capital Radio & Television Museum was right up my alley. Its sister museum, the National Electronics Museum, is another one we visited for a separate field trip, but I'll be posting about it later.

The NCRTV Museum is in an old house which lends a cozy feel. I had my baby in a stroller with me, and right away I noticed accessibility issues. Half of the museum is upstairs with no elevator (it is an old house after all.) So when we went upstairs I had to hold him the whole time. He wasn't a happy camper, and neither was I for that matter! Ugh. It's definitely not a baby/toddler friendly place.

I hate to start off a review with a negative, but that's really the only one! The rest of the museum was absolutely fantastic. The day was downpour rainy, so we had the whole building to ourselves, which is how I like it!

I wanted to start off with the most fun aspect …