Hearty Corn Chowder, 1944

I’ve been wanting to make this chowder for a while. It’s from the December 1944 issue of Woman’s Home Companion. If you remember the hot wine recipe from a few weeks back, this recipe was in the same article. Christmas 1944 was over a long weekend, and Woman’s Home Companion was there to help the home front housewife schedule fitting meals for all three days.

Hearty Corn Chowder

  • 1/4 lb pork sausage meat
  • 2 tbsp onion, finely diced
  • 3 c milk
  • 2 c uncooked cubed potatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 1/4 c cream style corn

Break up sausage meat and sauté in kettle until crisp and crumbly. Remove pieces and reserve fat. Add onion to fat in kettle and cook about 10 minutes. Add milk, potatoes, and bay leaf. Cook and cover 20 minutes or until potatoes are done. Add salt, pepper, and corn. Before serving, add pieces of sausage meat. Serve hot. Makes 6 servings.


This creamy chowder was warm and filling. I’d make it again. It’s perfect for chilly winter evenings. The menu it was featured in also included paprika sprinkled buttered bread loaves, a Santa themed fruit salad, crackers, and a drum cake decorated with candy canes and gum drops. Talk about a festive meal!

The menu was for a Saturday night kitchen picnic. The accompanying article explained that many of the meals were designed to be eaten in the kitchen or on trays to save linen, silver, and table settings. The main picture for the article is the table spread for this meal. I love this image. It makes it easier to see what the kitchen picnic might look like. All of the dishes and utensils are set out for guests to grab what they need to feed themselves. This still looks like a great deal of dishes to me! I’m not sure how much work it actually saved the hostess.

Kitchen picnic was a new term for me. We ate this kind of meal growing up, but never called it a kitchen picnic. Are you familiar with the term? What did your kitchen picnics look like?

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