Tag Archives: Breakfast

WW2 Ration Cook-In Day 1: Breakfast

In case you missed my post yesterday, I’m taking a quick break from my lunch box series to host and participate in an Instagram challenge. Today’s theme is breakfast.

While I was looking through my WWII era cookbooks, I ran across a recipe that was almost exactly the same as a favorite breakfast recipe my dad made us when we were growing up in the ‘80s. My dad didn’t cook much, but this was something he made as an occasional treat for breakfast.

The recipe comes from the 1944 edition of The Good Housekeeping Cook Book. I was happy to see that they offered flavor variations, so I included those, too.

Cinnamon Toast

Spread 6 slices of white, whole wheat, or raisin bread with 2 tbsp butter, margarine, fat, or salad oil. Trim the crusts if desired. Blend 1 tsp cinnamon with 3 tbsp granulated sugar and sprinkle over the bread. Place in a moderate oven at 350 degrees F or in the broiler oven until the sugar melts. Cut into strips or triangles and serve warm. Brown sugar, honey, grated cheese, or a mixture of 1 tsp each of orange juice and grated orange rind and 1/2 c granulated sugar can be substituted for the cinnamon mixture.

Notes

I used white bread and butter. I used the broiler option, and I also added a little more cinnamon to the cinnamon mixture. My local store was out of oranges, so I had to skip the orange peel in the orange version. I decided I wanted to make some using the method my dad used when we were kids. He just buttered the bread and added the sugar and cinnamon separately before putting the bread in the broiler. Putting the sugar and cinnamon on separately does make a difference in the way the end result looks. It also tastes a little different when you make it that way. I think it’s because there ends up being quite a bit more cinnamon on each piece of toast. You can see the difference in the pictures below.

Results

Out of all of the recipes I’ve put on this blog, this one has been the favorite by far. I made 18 pieces of toast and they were devoured in just a few minutes. I do have a large family, but these sweet toast slices disappeared especially fast. I also enjoyed the nostalgia of running across the recipe and making it for my kids to enjoy like I did when I was little.

Each person had their favorite today, so there was no verdict as to which the best version was. Two people liked the honey version best. Several people loved the orange. My dad’s method of making the cinnamon sugar ones was a hit, as well. I was surprised at how much I liked the brown sugar toast. My personal favorites were the orange and, of course, my dad’s version. All were sweet and just the right combination of crisp crust and chewy middle. I highly recommend any of these. I would suggest adding some sausage and bacon, and perhaps an egg to round out the meal.

Please join my friends and I on Instagram to either follow along or cook with us as we work our way through the different themes. I’d love to see what you come up with. Remember to use #ww2rationcookin to share what you’ve made. I hope to see you there!

First Monday Menu: Hot Prem/Spam Sandwich and Orange Lily

World War II era magazine advertisers often used recipes featuring their products to entice housewives to buy their brands. I wanted to use a recipe from one of those magazine ads this month. I chose a hot sandwich made with canned meat that looked versatile, quick, and filling. Canned meats were popular because they were not rationed, they lasted a long time, and didn’t need refrigeration. They could also be eaten cold or hot, and they could be added to a variety of recipes. Since you can eat Spam and other meats straight out of the can, it was a handy food for soldiers, too.

This recipe is from a 1942 Prem ad. Prem is still being made, but I couldn’t find it anywhere near me. After some research, I found that Spam would make a good substitute. Does your grocery store have Prem? Have you tried it? I’m curious how it compares to Spam.

The other recipe in this menu is from the 1940 edition of The American Woman’s Cook Book. It is a drink that I think would be refreshing with any meal. Since this menu could also be a breakfast menu, I thought that the juice was a nice option.

Hot Prem/Spam Sandwich

2 eggs

2 tbsp milk

2 tbsp chopped celery

1/2 tbsp green pepper

1/4 tbsp grated onion

salt

pepper

canned meat like Prem or Spam

toast

Beat two eggs slightly. Add milk, celery, green pepper, and onion. Add salt and pepper. Scramble over low heat, stirring constantly. Pan fry 2 slices of Spam or Prem. Serve on slices of toast. Makes 1 sandwich.

Note: This recipe truly only makes one sandwich. It’s easy to increase amounts to make enough for more.

Orange Lily

1/2 cup white grape juice

2 tbsp orange juice

1 tsp sugar

Fill glass half full of shaved ice. Add juices and sugar. Fill with chilled water. The cookbook suggests serving with two straws poked through a thin slice of orange.

Results

I think a lot of people are a bit apprehensive about eating Spam. It honestly is not bad at all. This sandwich was very similar to eating eggs on toast with some sausage or bacon. I added hashbrowns as a side. The meal was very filling. This is a nice choice for breakfast or a quick lunch.

I can definitely see the appeal of canned meats to the home front housewife. When ration points were running low, canned meats could help stretch what a housewife had and could add flavor to meals when food supplies were limited. This meal is a good option for people in a hurry or on a budget, as well. It’s hearty and quick to get on the table.

The Orange Lily drink was delicious. I did have to tweak the recipe a bit for my family’s tastes, though. When you add water and ice, the drink becomes more water than juice. I made a big batch of it in a pitcher and didn’t add any water. We just added ice in the individual glasses and that made it perfect for us. I also found that ice cubes worked better than shaved ice. The shaved ice we tried melted immediately. I also recommend stirring the mixture occasionally so the sugar doesn’t gather at the bottom of your glass or pitcher.

Let me know if you try either of these recipes. Have a great week!

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