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 2015?
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't fi…
This week is another week of sandwich fillings! Like I said in last week's post, there are a lot of interesting sandwich fillings from America's 1940s wartime era. Sandwiches were an easy option for making for a lunchbox, but if you're anything like me it would be hard to come up with new sandwich ideas day in and day out. Housewives were encouraged to "not make lunchtime boring" and to change the sandwich filling every day to keep things interesting. Westinghouse published a great many sandwich filling recipes to help with this challenge.
Lunchtime, as all the meals of the day during wartime, was considered very important. In the 1944 Westinghouse Health-For-Victory Year 'Round Meal Planning Guide, they have a few paragraphs talking about the importance of lunchtime:
"Lunch is a mighty important meal... About one third of the day's intake of food can easily be taken care of at lunch, say the authorities. Workers need a good lunch to ward off …