Author Archives for Shawna

First Monday Menu: 1943 Lunchtime Rationed Menu

One of the challenges during the war years was creating menus that were varied, healthy, and appealing. As time went on, more and more commonly eaten foods either became scarce or were subject to rationing. Women’s magazines, newspapers, and cookbooks frequently contained articles or chapters with information and tips for meal planning with changing food availability.

The early 1940s saw many specialized publications aimed at teaching women to can, plant a Victory garden, or care for specific appliances, for example. These ranged from small pamphlets to larger softcover books and booklets. Many of these not only included information about canning or refrigerator care, but also contained recipes, meal planning tips, and menus. These publications were distributed by appliance companies, energy companies, and so on to both promote their business and offer help to homemakers.

Today’s menu comes from one such booklet. It’s the ABC of Wartime Canning by Josephine Gibson. In the foreword, Gibson explains that she wanted to include recipes to help homemakers create meals regardless of what was rationed or scarce. The copy I have seems to be a sample copy showing where you could have your company information printed on the cover prior to distribution.

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This booklet is full of interesting information. I’ll write a post on it in the near future. Today’s menu comes from a page titled “A Week’s Point-Saving Menus for a Family of Four (at a Moderate Cost)”. I chose a lunch menu because I think sometimes lunches are more difficult to plan, especially when it needs to be quick, yet healthy, or when the entire family might not be home.

 

Lunch

Scrambled Egg Sandwiches

Baked Apples

Cocoa

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Addie from @sugaraddies was on hand to help me out again. We scrambled eggs with chopped red pepper and onion. The onion and pepper could have been store-bought or grown in a Victory Garden. Many people raised chickens, too, so the eggs might have been from home instead of the store. There were shortages of eggs at times, but they were never rationed in the United States.

We sliced a loaf of French-style bread, buttered the slices, and toasted them lightly in the oven.

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We used a baked apple recipe from The Good Housekeeping Cook Book as a starter.

Baked Apples

6 large firm red apples

1 c. granulated sugar

1 c. water

2 tbsp granulated sugar

cream

Core the apples, then pare them to about 1/3 of the way down from the top. Arrange in a baking dish. Boil the water and the 1 cup sugar together for 10 minutes and then pour this mixture over the apples. Bake at 350° until tender. Baste frequently. Cooking time depends on the apples. It might take up to an hour. Sprinkle 1 tsp of sugar over each apple.

Put the pan under the broiler and baste often. Watch them carefully until the sugar melts and the apples are a light brown. Serve hot or cold with plain or whipped cream. Corn syrup can replace half the sugar.

If desired, the apple peelings can be cooked with the sugar and water for 10 minutes to color the syrup. Remove after this step.

Baked Stuffed Apples

Using the above recipe, add a cooked prune, a cut-up pitted date, or raisins just before sprinkling with sugar and placing under the broiler.

We sliced our apples in half and scooped out the core. We added raisins and brown sugar when we sprinkled the sugar over each apple.

Results

With the addition of cocoa, this would make a filling lunch for a cool or rainy day. I like that this menu used several things that could have been grown at home or purchased without using ration points. It’s also a meal that would appeal to adults and children. Those baked apples are a delicious treat!

Notice that the recipe for the baked apples include a note that corn syrup could be substituted for half of the sugar in the recipe. This was to offer the housewife a way to stretch her precious sugar rations.

Summer Drinks: Cranberry Pineapple Ale

This cranberry pineapple drink hit the spot after a long hot day. It’s also a very pretty drink to serve in a clear glass pitcher. The weather was pleasant this evening and I took my glass onto the patio to enjoy outdoors.

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In my last post, I mentioned that the 1944 edition of The Good Housekeeping Cook Book had a terrific drink section. There was not just a varied selection of beverages, there were also helpful tips for the WWII home front housewife. Today’s drink was listed under fruit drinks, and there was a reminder that fruit drinks were a great way to get part of the daily two quarts of liquid suggested to maintain health in the 1940s.

Cookbooks from this time were interesting because they often needed to address kitchen appliances that were both very modern and more old-fashioned. A discussion about ice is a good example of this. In the mid-1930s, many people were switching to electric refrigerators that were finally more affordable than before. During WWII, factories stopped production of non-essential goods, but large numbers of people had electric refrigerators in their kitchens. The Good Housekeeping Cook Book includes advice to housewives with both electric and ice refrigeration since there were still too many families with ice refrigerators to leave that information out of the 1944 edition.

The home front housewife was also warned that warm weather and party seasons put a strain on a home’s ice supply. Thank goodness there were ice-making plants that could provide crystal clear ice in a variety of styles if the housewife was a smart planner and ordered ahead! This ice would come carefully delivered in a container and ready to use when needed.

A well-stocked cupboard insured the home front housewife could stir up a variety of refreshing beverages. Suggestions for canned or bottled items to keep in stock included fruit juices, tomato juice, vegetable juice, ginger ale, carbonated water, and colas. Fresh fruits like limes, lemons, and oranges were great to have on hand.

I find the idea of having a stocked drink cupboard appealing. None of the recipes I’m including on my blog are difficult or time-consuming to make, and they are much more fun than the beverages typically served in our home. All of my kids have enjoyed the new drinks this past week, My one-year-old loved today’s cranberry pineapple ale.

I love that this cookbook, even though it is filled with quaint advice, can also provide us with good ideas and tasty recipes 74 years later.

Cranberry Pineapple Ale

1 pint cranberry juice cocktail

2 1/4 c. pineapple juice

1 1/2 c. pale dry ginger ale

ice

Combine juices and ginger ale and serve over ice. Enjoy!

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Summer Drinks: Grape Rickey

The Good Housekeeping Cook Book has a wonderful drinks chapter. I think it’s my favorite out of all of the early 1940s cookbooks I own. It’s 21 pages of recipes ranging from hot chocolate to spiced fruit punch to chocolate banana milkshakes. In addition to the recipes, there are tips for making different types of beverages, including how to make the perfect pot of coffee and the perfect cup of tea. There are suggestions to help the drink maker extract juices from fruits to add to the recipes and helpful hints on how to deal with rationing and shortages.

I love this chapter so much that I’m going to add a few more drinks this week, then revisit it when the weather gets colder.

This Grape Rickey is another great summertime drink. It’s more tart than sweet and is incredibly refreshing. Since it is still over 100° here every day, drinks like this are a welcome addition to an afternoon snack.

Grape Rickey

4 c. grape juice

6 tbsp fresh lime juice

2 tbsp powdered sugar

3 1/1 c. carbonated water

ice

Combine the fruit juices and stir. Add the carbonated water. Our pitcher wasn’t large enough to add the ice directly to the mixture, so we added it to glasses. You could also add it to the pitcher before serving. It makes about 7 3/4 cups before the ice is added. This was enough to serve generous sized drinks to 6 people with enough for some of us to have refills.

If you are interested in more summer drinks, you might like a Ginger Cream or a Frosted Chocolate Soda.

 

 

Summer Drinks: Frosted Chocolate Soda

Today’s drink is a frothy, creamy frosted chocolate soda. You might experiment with the amount of chocolate syrup in this one. The recipe as it is makes a nice milk chocolate flavor. If you like your drinks more chocolatey, you could add a bit, or a lot, more syrup.

The recipe makes one tall glass of soda. You definitely need a tall glass so you can add all of the ingredients. This is a tasty alternative to a root beer float. The chocolate syrup from yesterday’s post works really well in this drink. In fact, its what the recipe actually calls for. I used ginger ale, but carbonated water can be used in its place.

This recipe is also from The Good Housekeeping Cook Book from 1944. When you’re done with this chocolate soda, you can check out another Summer Drink to help you stay cool.

Frosted Chocolate Soda

2 tbsp Chocolate Syrup

1/2 c. milk

vanilla ice cream

carbonated water or ginger ale

For each serving, beat together the chocolate syrup and milk. Pour this mixture over a scoop of vanilla ice cream in a tall glass. Fill the remaining space in the glass with carbonated water or ginger ale. Enjoy!

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Chocolate Syrup

Tomorrow’s drink calls for chocolate syrup. I thought it might be fun to make my own syrup with a recipe from 1944. It’s in The Good Housekeeping Cook Book in the drinks section, so it’s a recipe specifically for adding to beverages. The cookbook suggests using it for iced cocoa or chocolate, chocolate milk, shakes, and so on. The recipe makes quite a bit of syrup, so make sure you have a large enough storage container. The pictures here are of one small jar of syrup, but there was enough to fill several jars.

The resulting syrup was a little on the runny side, but it mixed smoothly into milk, and would probably be thick enough to use on ice cream. We tested the syrup in different amounts in milk, and it mixed well even when we made the milk extra chocolatey.

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The recipe does offer a couple options when it comes to ingredients. We used cocoa and did not use any corn syrup. I’d love to hear how you use this chocolate syrup.

Chocolate Syrup

1 c. cocoa OR 4 sq. (4 oz) unsweetened chocolate, cut in pieces

3 c. granulated sugar (corn syrup may be used as a substitute for half the sugar–add just before cooling)

1/4 tsp salt

2 c. cold water

3 tsp vanilla extract

Combine the cocoa or chocolate, the sugar, and salt in a small saucepan. Stir in the water and cook the mixture over low heat, stirring until it’s thickened and smooth. (The recipe says this will take about 5 minutes, but we cooked ours longer.) You can beat it with an egg beater if needed. Cool slightly, and then add the vanilla. Pour into a glass container and keep in the refrigerator.

 

Summer Drinks: Ginger Cream

Summer, where I live, is incredibly hot. We are always trying to find ways to cool off. I thought this week might be a great time to find cold drink recipes to try, especially ones that are different from our usual modern options.

Today’s drink is from the 1944 edition of The Good Housekeeping Cook Book. It sounded refreshing and new but ended up tasting quite a bit like an old favorite.

Ginger Cream

1 c. light cream

t tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp powdered sugar

pale dry ginger ale

ice

Mix the cream, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar together. Separate the resulting mixture equally between three tall glasses. Add ice. Fill the glass with ginger ale. Stir and serve.

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Results

The drink had a delightful amount of froth at the top. We thought this tasted just like the bottom of a root beer float.  You know–the very end that is made up of melted vanilla ice cream and a bit of root beer. It was delicious. One of our testers doesn’t like cream soda and wasn’t a huge fan of this because it reminded him of that drink.  Be aware of that if cream sodas aren’t your thing. Otherwise, this makes a refreshing drink on a hot afternoon. The recipe makes 3 three drinks.

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The Original Chocolate Chip Cookie: Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookies

Here they are! This is the original recipe for chocolate chip cookies. You can find the history of this recipe in my last blog post:  Ruth Wakefield’s Toll House Tried and True Recipes. 

I’m pretty sure this is the chocolate chip cookie recipe I grew up with. These cookies are the perfect blend of cookie, chocolate, and nuts. They are a wonderful warm gooey after school treat. They are the ultimate portable snack and are great in lunch boxes or for office parties. Even if you have a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, trying the original is a fun way to touch a little bit of history. Enjoy!

Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookies

1 c. butter

3/4 c. brown sugar

3/4 granulated sugar

2 eggs, beaten whole

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp hot water

2 1/4 c. flour

1 tsp salt

1 c. chopped nuts

2 bars (7 oz each) Nestlé semi-sweet chocolate cut into pea-size pieces

1 tsp vanilla

Cream the butter and add the brown sugar, sugar, and eggs. Dissolve the baking soda in the hot water and add to the mixture. Sift the flour and salt together and add to the batter. Add the chopped nuts, chocolate, and vanilla. Drop half teaspoons on a greased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes at 375°. Makes 100 cookies.

Thanks again to Addie at Sugar Addie’s.