In October 1943, there was a bumper crop of potatoes. The “Woman’s Day War Food Bulletin” in the front of the November 1943 issue of Woman’s Day suggested storing potatoes, whether from a Victory Garden or the store, in boxes or crates on the floor and protected from light to help them last longer.
Potatoes were “stretcher” foods. They could be added to many meals to make rationed ingredients stretch out and go farther. They were also versatile–you could eat them mashed, shredded, baked whole. The opportunities were endless. Even so, eating potatoes day after day could get tedious, and recognizing that, Woman’s Day offered several new recipes to try after they suggested that household menus should include more potatoes since there was a bumper crop that year. After all, using what was available was not just common sense, it was patriotic.
Since Victory Gardens have seen a resurgence this year, many of you might be harvesting potatoes about now. Here is one of the recipes that Woman’s Day suggested, sent in by Mrs. Carroll H. Bracy of Nashville, Tennessee. It calls for using left-over mashed potatoes and left-over cooked oatmeal, another economical idea. The recipe would have cost 11 cents in 1943.
Potato Oatmeal Patties for Lunch
- 3/4 c left-over mashed potatoes
- 3/4 c leftover cooked oatmeal
- 1 egg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 c finely diced cheese (We used shredded cheddar.)
- fat for frying
Combine ingredients. Shape into patties about 2 inches in diameter. Fry in a little hot fat until brown on both sides. Serves 3 to 4 people.
Note: We used left-over mashed potatoes, but when we make mashed potatoes, they are always garlic mashed potatoes. I highly recommend garlic mashed potatoes for this recipe for the flavor they add to the patties. We also just spooned the mixture into the pan and pressed them flat there instead of trying to make patties by hand. They fell apart too easily that way.
My husband made these patties to go with our root-beer glazed chicken tonight. He hadn’t been cooking long before he called me in to have a sample. They were delicious. Warm and just a little crispy, they were just the right size to eat with our hands while discussing what else would taste good with them. I think adding a little onion or maybe some diced peppers would add a little extra flavor and texture. He thought adding small pieces of bacon would make them just about perfect. I liked the cheese in the potato patties. They were so creamy and delicious with a perfectly browned outside. These are definitely being added to our every day recipes.
Did you plant a Victory Garden this year? What are you harvesting this fall? I’m going to test out some canning recipes this month, too, so stay tuned for that. Perhaps it will give you some new ideas for the vegetables you pick yourself, or for the ones you buy at the supermarket.