Author Archives for Shawna

April First Monday Menu: Stuffed Hamburgers

Today’s post will be a quick one. I wanted to make sure it went up while it was still officially Monday where I live. I chose a simple menu of stuffed hamburgers and cooked carrots. The hamburgers are from What Do We Eat Now?, a 1942 cookbook aimed at helping homemakers win the battle on the home front.

Results

These took longer to make than I thought they would. They had an interesting taste and texture. The centers were soft. You could taste the dressing—the flavor was distinct from the hamburger meat. It was nice and tasted slightly of onions. I had mine served without a bun, but other people in my family ate the burger on a sesame seed bun and said it was good. I don’t think I’ll make these again even though it was an interesting way to make hamburger patties. I preferred the cheeseburgers with carrots we had not long ago. The carrot cheeseburgers were also easier and quicker to make.

The only thing I had on the menu suggestion was carrots. We eat a lot of carrots at my house and we have several carrot dishes that we throw together without a recipe. This is one of them. If you are interested in the recipe, let me know and I’ll post it later this month.

Stay safe and have a great week!

WW2 Ration Cook-In: Ultimate Challenge of Choice

I enlisted my 18 year old daughter to help me on this one. I wanted to find something I had never made before, and I found this Pumpkin Alaska recipe in the 1941 Pies and Pastries. It’s another cookbook in the Culinary Arts Institute series.

We started this pie this morning and just tasted it a while ago. It’s about 9pm. It’s been a day full of pie, but more on that later. Here’s the recipe.

Results

Pumpkin Filling

I’ll start off by saying that this was pretty good. We popped the left over pumpkin filling into the freezer, then ate it spooned into bowls with whipped cream earlier in the day. I think I liked this better than the pie, actually. I liked the whipped cream and pie filling combo better than the meringue and filling, and I think I’d replace the meringue with whipped cream if I made this in the future.

The problem with this pie is that it never set enough to cut into slices. We had it in the freezer most of the day. The first time we tried to eat it was right after the broiler step in the recipe—exactly when it says to serve it. It was super runny and we decided to put it back in the freezer to see if we could get it to the point where it was solid enough to slice. It froze for hours and hours and still only set to the point it is in the final pictures. The slice in the photo below is the best one we were able to get out of the pie pan.

Final Result

I had so much fun doing this challenge. I want to thank my fellow hosts for including me. I enjoyed seeing what everyone made. It’s not too late to start! Head over to Instagram and use #ww2rationcookin so we can see what you make.

Please stay safe and I’ll see you Monday for April’s First Monday Menu!

WW2 Ration Cook-in: Victory Lunch Box

I took today’s Victory Lunch Box menu from The Good Housekeeping Cook Book. They have a section with lunch box menus, and today’s menu was created specifically for a business girl. Almost all of the cookbooks and other materials I have separate lunch box menus into categories. There are usually sections for hard workers, working girls, housewives, and school children. I’ll be writing about some of those differences when I finish up my lunch box series later this month.

I don’t have a lunch box to show how all the items would be packed, so I put them on a regular plate. This is the exact lunch box menu, though, and would have been packed in a thermos, paper cups, and waxed paper.

Menu

  • Corn Chowder
  • Cream Cheese and Olive Sandwiches
  • Fruit Salad
  • Saltines

I’m amazed at how much food is included in the menus. Almost all that I’ve seen have called for more than one sandwich. Sometimes the menu includes several sandwiches with different fillings on different breads. Sandwich fillings range from complex mixtures to plain butter.

Corn Chowder

  • 1 2”sq fat salt pork (we used bacon)
  • 1 lg onion, sliced
  • 2 lbs pared white potatoes (4 c diced)
  • 2 c boiling water
  • 1 12oz can whole grain corn
  • 4 c bottled milk, scalded OR 2 evaporated milk and 2 c water, scalded
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika

Cut salt pork into 1/2” cubes and brown well in large sauce pan. Add onion and cook tender. Add diced potatoes and water, cover and cook until potatoes are tender. Add corn, milk, and seasonings. Heat and serve. Serves 6 as a main dish.

Due to shortages at our small local grocery store, we had to use red potatoes instead of white, and we used the evaporated milk and water option listed above.

Results

This was a wonderful, filling meal. The corn chowder was warm and flavorful. I think it would be perfect in a thermos tucked into a fall or winter lunch box. It was very hearty with ingredients that complimented each other. With the addition of one or two sandwiches, this probably would have been too much for me to eat. The fruit salad I have shown in the photos is a favorite family concoction made with fruit and whipped cream.

There’s one themed day left in the WW2 Ration Cook-in challenge. It’s not too late to join us! Check out your other hosts over on Instagram. Use #ww2rationcookin so we can see what you make!

WW2 Ration Cook-In: Dessert

I made a variation of a cottage pudding recipe today. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the end result was much better than yesterday’s beverage.

I found cottage pudding in The American Woman’s Cook Book. There was also a blueberry variation, so I decided to use that recipe.

Results

Blueberry pudding ends up like a biscuity blueberry muffin. We ate them fresh out of the oven with some butter. They were a little drier than a traditional muffin, but the blueberries were juicy and made up for that. These cooked a lot faster in the oven than the recipe says, so watch them closely.

I used these for dessert, but they would be perfect at breakfast or for a snack. They were very easy to make.

There’s still time to join us on Instagram! We’d love to have you!

WW2 Ration Cook-in: Beverage

I’m splitting up the beverage and dessert today because this is grocery day and I need ingredients for my dessert. I’m hopeful that my local store will have what I need. I’ve heard rumors that they even have toilet paper!

Today’s recipe comes from the booklet 300 Tasty, Healthful Dairy Dishes published by the Culinary Arts Institute in 1940. I was looking for something different to try, so I thought I’d make this shake recipe. It’s not a shake like we know now. It’s more of a flavored milk drink with ginger ale.

Ginger Pear Shake

  • 1 8oz can pears
  • 1 qt milk
  • Ginger Ale

Press pears though sieve. Mix pulp and juice, add milk, and pour into tall glasses. Fill glasses with ginger ale.

Results

I’m disappointed in this drink. I love pears, so I was excited to try a drink with pears in it. The shake tasted like milk and ginger ale, and was a little too chunky for me. We tried with different amounts of ginger ale, and didn’t like any of them. We also tried without the ginger ale and it just tasted like milk. This is one recipe I don’t recommend. If you are looking for a period drink, there are several others on the blog that are delicious. Click the drink tab for more ideas.

Don’t forget to join us on Instagram! There’s still time to cook with us!

WW2 Ration Cook-in: Snacks

Cake is one of the best snacks, right? I chose this cake and frosting combination because it reminded me of the cakes we ate growing up. I have been pleasantly surprised to find that so many recipes are familiar to me from my childhood. That means that the recipes stood the test of time. People were still making them regularly 40 years later!

Today’s snack is from a 1944 cook booklet that was full of recipes using Royal brand baking powder. I’m including the full page with the recipe for both the frosting and the cake.

Results

The recipe says to make as a layer cake, but we made it as a sheet cake like shown in the picture. My three youngest daughters made the cake for me and did a fantastic job! The cake was extremely moist and the chocolate flavor was just right. The frosting tasted like caramel, just like the frosting I remembered from my childhood. If you make this, the frosting is a bit finicky. You might have to adjust the ingredients a bit to make it to your liking. I’d also double the frosting recipe to make sure there is enough for your cake. My entire family loved this cake and I’ll definitely make it again.

Don’t forget to follow along on Instagram, too. We’d love to have you cook along with us. It’s never to late to join!

WW2 Ration Cook-In: Dinner

Ida Bailey Allen wrote Double-Quick Cooking for Part-Time Homemakers in 1943 for women who found themselves both working at jobs outside of the home as well as being responsible for the running of her household. The book had recipes and meal ideas, but it also gave women tips on how to manage both aspects of their lives efficiently.

I decided to make a meal out of the “Double-Quick Sunday and Holiday Dinners” because it is, after all, Sunday today and my daily challenge is dinner. The chapter suggests that Sunday is a great day to make one of your family’s favorites. It goes on to stress that it’s just one of their favorites, though, because “nearly all of your energy belongs to your employer”. I’m going to include the other meal suggestions in a photo below.

Cheeseburgers

  • 1 lb chopped raw beef
  • 1/2 c each chopped celery and carrot
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 8 soft round rolls
  • American cheese

Mix the beef with the vegetables and seasonings. Shape into eight flat round cakes. Broil or pan fry until done. Split the rolls. On half of the rounds, put American cheese sliced thin. Toast under broiler until cheese melts. At the same time, toast the remaining halves of the rolls. Pour over any drippings left from cooking and put together sandwich fashion with the meat cakes.

Notes

Our grocery store was out of celery, so I just used carrots. We are having a hard time getting quality produce where we live. It’s very frustrating, but it’s only been a month, really, since we’ve had shortages here. I can’t imagine how awful it would have been to deal with rationing and shortages for years. It makes me think about the people who lived through the war years and how rationing shaped their everyday lives.

Results

I was really pleased with these. They were so much better than I expected them to be. Even my 2 and 5 year olds liked them. The carrots added a nice flavor. Usually I load my burgers up with vegetables and condiments, but no one added anything to these. They were perfect the way they were.

The meal was also quick to make, just like the cookbook suggested it would be. I followed the recommendation in the photo above and served the cheeseburgers with a fruit cup and cold drink. I will also note that carrots and other vegetables were often added to ground beef to stretch the meat so a pound of meat would go a long way. People were always on the lookout for ways to save ration points and this was a common one. Crackers were also used in place of the vegetables.

Please join us on Instagram as we keep going with the WW2 Ration Cook-in challenge. We’d love to have you! Use #ww2rationcookin so we can see what you create!

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