Showing posts from August, 2015

1945 Banana Bread

I had some ripe bananas on hand and thought I'd try another ration recipe for Banana Bread. The one I picked out wasn't a ration recipe, per se, but it comes from my 1945 Better Homes & Gardens Cook Book that has a wartime insert. This recipe comes from the regular portion of the book, but I think it's ration recipe worthy. Except for the banana part. haha! Those were hard to come by during the war. This week I'm trying to go without white or brown sugar, so I substituted honey with an addition of a 1/4 tsp. of baking soda. I thought it was interesting that the recipe called for 1 cup of bran. I had oat bran on hand and used that. I also used 1 cup of whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup white. As it baked, it filled our house with amazing banana bread smells! The bread tasted wonderful - not too sweet and with a fantastic, large crumb. I liked the added texture from the bran. Yummy all around! I didn't add nuts. I'm not always a fan of that in quick br


I've been excited to post about this topic for awhile. I first learned about V-, or Victory, Mail while doing research for my book. It opened up a whole new aspect of homefront life I had never heard about before! V-Mail is so fascinating. It was a solution to a major problem - the weight and volume of thousands upon thousands of letters crisscrossing the ocean from soldiers and their families during the war. The British had come up with a solution: a method of photographing letters onto microfilm reels and shipping those instead of the actual letters. The result was drastically reduced weight and volume that the letters usually took up in cargo planes and ships. The United States adopted this same method in June 1942. In some instances, the V-Mail letters traveled faster than usual as is advertised in some poster ads. I found some V-Mail for sale on ebay and wasn't sure what to get, but I came across several lots of letters from the same woman from Lima, OH, who wa

V-J Day Commemoration

credit Today marks the surrender of the Japanese during WWII in 1945. As a family we went to a nice local WWII event at Rose Hill Manor in Frederick, MD. It was small, but it was the perfect size event for a laid back Saturday and the perfect way to commemorate such an important, historic day. 48 Stars & Stripes Foxhole with an air-cooled machine gun. These guys did a great job of explaining the details of the gun. This gentleman showed us how ground communications worked on the battlefield. This field phone actually worked and he let us use it. Very cool! A little paratrooper humor :-)  Everywhere we went, reenactors had little portable '40s radios playing period music. It made for a very nice atmosphere. The radios were all hooked up to some mp3 device or iPod of some kind. Period look on the outside, modern technology on the inside. So awesome. It makes me want to go out and find an old radio right now and rig one up myself! Soldier's Tent

Author Highlight - Nigel Tranter

I wanted to start doing highlights of those authors of historical fiction and historical non-fiction that I feel are exceptional and unique. So, starting off I wanted to introduce you to Nigel Tranter. I was first introduced to this wonderful Scottish author when I went on a study abroad to England and spent a lovely long weekend in Edinburgh, Scotland. I was lucky enough to discover the tiny Scottish Writers Museum down a little back alley. Unfortunately, Mr. Tranter had recently died. To honor him, the museum had a video running about his life with interviews from when he was alive. He talked about the books he wrote, his writing process, and how incredibly valuable Scottish history was to him. He was also very passionate about saving and preserving old Scottish castles for future posterity.  In half an hour I had discovered my first author hero.  What I loved most about Mr. Tranter was his method - he would go for long, long walks in the countryside. As he walked he&#

Meat Lockers & Capstone Courses

credit I've hit a tiny lull in the busyness to publish my book. We were out running errands today after picking blackberries and peaches, and I decided to stop at our local meat locker. After living in our town 3 years, I finally went in to check it out! Friday is a good day at our meat locker. Thursday is when they butcher the pigs, so on Friday, the case is stocked full of sausages, bacon, ribs, loins, and roasts. The great thing about meat lockers or local butchers is that they have the odd cuts of meat or organ meats that mainstream grocery stores don't usually have. Like suet. There are a few 18th century recipes I'd like to try that require suet, which is kidney fat, not lard, and it's very difficult to find. They had it at my local meat locker, though. Yay! You might be wondering what this has to do with anything. Well, meat lockers got me thinking about one of the capstone courses I took in college. My research was focused on frozen foods in the 1930s,

The Book Stuff Continues

I'm trying to get my book finished this month, if possible. At least most of it. Our homeschooling starts in a couple weeks, our homeschool co-op starts a bit after that (and I'm teaching a class about Heroes & Heroines of the Great War), and life inevitably ensues. I'm so excited that I finally nailed down the title of my book with the help of my awesome husband. And once I narrowed down my main character's challenges, I was finally able to pound out the book blurb for the back cover. It only took about 12 tries! Hopefully, I will be able to reveal my cover and book premise soon. No specific date yet, but September looks hopeful! So, stay tuned. Still have a list of blog posts to write about, so busy times ahead. Hooray!


We just got back from a family vacation to my home state of Indiana. It was a great time of visiting family, old friends, and visiting museums of course! Once we get settled and unpacked and caught up on cleaning, etc., I'm going to write up some posts about some of the awesome museum exhibits I saw. So, keep your eyes peeled! :-)