WWII American food rationing, vintage cooking & recipes, museums, historical clothing, and history ramblings.
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Robinson Nature Center Updated
Back in March I wrote a blog post about "Building a Museum Exhibit - part 1". In it I talked about a super cool exhibit at the Robinson Nature Center, but I unfortunately didn't have very good pictures to draw from and couldn't find the ones I'd taken a few years ago. So, my kids and I went back and I took all new pictures and have updated the post to include my most recent observations. Their mill exhibit is absolutely fantastic and such a brilliant use of technology in a museum.
Heirloom "Winter Banana" apples by Jason Harris credit Today's post is a very old classic that generations have enjoyed on cold nights around the fire - Baked Apples! I love the simplicity of this dessert, especially with the added cream to soften the tart-sweetness of the apple. This particular recipe is from The Good Housekeeping Cook Book dated 1944. And while there's nothing specifically wartime related about the recipe, I felt the really telling thing was this list of "well-known apples" that's at the preface of the Fruits section. How many of those apple varieties do we see at the store now? How many do you recognize? It's amazing to think that all of these were considered well known in the 1940s and how bland and limited our selection is now! I believe all of these are considered heirlooms, and, excepting the Jonathan and McIntosh which you can sometimes find at the store, unless you grow them yourself or know a farm that does, yo
If ever there was a myth about history it would be this: Things were dirt cheap back then. Were they really? And this is where I rub my hands together and cackle with geeky glee. Just like we shouldn't judge our ancestors solely based on current standards and social norms, we shouldn't judge prices of yesteryear by today's dollar value. I'll give you some examples. (And don't worry. I'm not going to get super technical or get all crazy on the math, because Math is not my strongest subject. I'll fully admit I got my math-savvy husband to help me remember the equations I learned from my college economics class.) I was looking in one of my Health-for-Victory meal planning guide from 1943. They stated that if you followed their meal plan, you could expect to spend between $14 - $16 a week on groceries. You're probably thinking, WOW! I'd love to pay $14/week for groceries! But what's the value of 1943's $14 in our current year of 2
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'