Showing posts from 2019

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…


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…