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The Food of WWII

Discussion in 'WWII Activities and Hobbies' started by Jack B, Jan 29, 2020.

  1. Jba45ww2

    Jba45ww2 Well-Known Member Patron  

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    I am looking for something to make out of the cookbook so I thought a quick simple vanilla cake. My 18 year old wanted to get involved so he found this Wedding Cake and when we talk about the ration of sugar being 2lbs and then the recipe calling for 2lbs I figure it is time to move on. I also was surprised how small of a cake it was??It must weigh a ton especially with the fruit and 5lbs of currants!

    It did have a interesting trick if you need to have the cake cooked early it says that you can "keep a few sound apples placed in the container where the cake is stored will help keep the cake moist if it must be kept long, but they must be watched carefully and replaced if they begin to show decay, or if they become shriveled". I have found a lot of trick over the years but that is the first time with apples!
    Wedding cake.JPG
     
  2. Jba45ww2

    Jba45ww2 Well-Known Member Patron  

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    My grandmother said she would have to trade with people for coffee and tobacco which probably was the two most popular. Both being addictive
     
  3. Jack B

    Jack B Active Member Patron  

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    I've got a recipe for a war-era chocolate cake that uses potatoes. I'm going to attempt that at some point.
     
  4. Jack B

    Jack B Active Member Patron  

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    From an April 1941 newspaper:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Jba45ww2

    Jba45ww2 Well-Known Member Patron  

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    An interesting article. So as far as protein there are no "meats" available? Seems like coffee is the number one issue no matter where you go. I also would assume that if Mr Wilson would dine say around 1944 he experience might be a little different. So out of curiosity I checked their menus and to my surprise the first thing that caught my eye was potato soup and about 4-5 fish entrees for lunch. They start talking about how in 1949 they started to find some type of interesting new sauce.
     
  6. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper

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    good stuff Jack. as always.
    great to see the Edmonton journal reference from 1945. was a delivery boy for the paper back in the day.
    fond memories of reading the newspaper , when they were relevant.
    im looking forward to a new show on history. think it starts sunday. called "eating history". the commercial looked good.
    also noticing utube has a lot of old ration packs from different countries being taste tested.
     
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  7. Jack B

    Jack B Active Member Patron  

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    Poppy, you gotta take one for the team and try a 1945 K-rat. Sorry...
     
  8. Jack B

    Jack B Active Member Patron  

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    My take here is that that particular day was a "meatless day". I believe that restaurants in several countries started having "meatless days".

    I recall reading a similar report from France where a restaurant in Paris could only offer fish, shellfish, duck, and chicken.....because it was a "meatless day". Sort of a first world version of hardship.

    Of course, that was in early 1940. Things had probably changed by '41.
     
  9. Jack B

    Jack B Active Member Patron  

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    I need to find a German potato salad recipe now.....
     
  10. Jba45ww2

    Jba45ww2 Well-Known Member Patron  

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    I had some strawberries starting to going very soft so not wanting to waste I decided on making some scones. Pretty basic recipe and also made a sour milk recipe. Not sure how common buttermilk would be in the US during the 1940's. I also baked in an oven at 375 for about 20 minutes. Super easy recipe that I then dusted with some 10x sugar.
    Recipe scones.jpg

    Raw 1.jpg

    Cut raw.jpg
    Finished.jpg
     
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  11. Jack B

    Jack B Active Member Patron  

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    Those look excellent, jba!
     
  12. Jba45ww2

    Jba45ww2 Well-Known Member Patron  

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    Thanks, pretty simple recipe and my 18 year old must have taken 4 before they had a chance to cool. I can see during the war a good item to make and serve. I ate one fore breakfast with a cup of coffee and I still was not that hungry for dinner
     
  13. Jack B

    Jack B Active Member Patron  

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    The last time I tried making scones......well....you know what a cow patty looks like?

    :rofl:
     
  14. Jack B

    Jack B Active Member Patron  

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    I agree. Nice simple food. Can be made with minimal ingredients in a fairly short time. And, scones can be cooked on a griddle or in a skillet the way Welsh Cakes are still made.
     
  15. Jba45ww2

    Jba45ww2 Well-Known Member Patron  

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    Jack, so true. My grandmother must have cooked 80% in heavy duty skillet. This recipe called for exactly that with extra butter. I think the "nice simple food" might be making a comeback especially with what is happening now. I have a local butcher who before this "pandemic" happened was really struggling to stay in business. Now he is swamped because people are just plane nuts and they just go in and buy. We have had a relationship for years and he takes care of me because of my background and I was there for him when people just walked by and said why spend 0.75 more for ground beef when I can do it all from Giant Foods. Now they go in and say what does that 80/20 mean on that ground beef. Funny how life spins and turns. ok I just got off my soap box. Sorry guys!
     
  16. Jack B

    Jack B Active Member Patron  

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    jba, your scone post got me thinking...

    I was poking around in some old newspapers, looking at scone recipes. In the Sydney Morning Herald I found an article from 1943 about a strike called by the Baker’s Union. They wanted some relief from long hours, went on strike, and the production of bread in Sydney came to a halt.

    The humble scone came to the rescue to feed the people!



    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    Sydney Morning Herald, 17 March 1943



    The article also refers to restaurants baking “Dampers”. A damper is an Australian specialty. It’s essentially a soda bread, a bit like Scottish ‘Bannock’. I believe the name refers to the bread’s ability to ‘dampen’ the appetite.


    [​IMG]

    Edel Wignell, A Bluey of Swaggies

    'Swagmen' were itinerant workers who tramped the country looking for odd jobs and living free. Soda breads like these are a camping staple, as every Boy Scout knows!

    But scones were also discussed in period newspapers of the time as well. Here are two articles, one from Boston and another from McComb, Mississippi, both run on 24 February 1942:


    [​IMG]

    McComb Daily Journal, 24 February 1942



    [​IMG]

    Boston Globe, 24 Feb 1942

    Interesting that one is made on a griddle (‘girdle’ in Scots) and the other baked.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2020
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  17. Jack B

    Jack B Active Member Patron  

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    Ran across this promotion in a Canadian newspaper today. We still have snow on the ground, but Spring is on the way. I'll be putting a few veggies and herbs in the ground and pots once the weather turns reliably warm.....

    [​IMG]
    Calgary Herald, 1943
     
  18. Jba45ww2

    Jba45ww2 Well-Known Member Patron  

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    Maybe that should be the second part to our WW2 cooking thread...A Victory Garden. Each year I do cucumbers, tomatoes and spices. I also have a raspberry bush that blooms every year but unfortunately produces maybe 12 berries. Hard to call that a Victory.
     
  19. Jack B

    Jack B Active Member Patron  

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    Heheheheh.

    I'm going to try for herbs, tomatoes, and beets this year. Last year was a great year for tomatoes. And Gooseberries.

    At some point I'll get some raspberry canes planted. Fortunately, the neighbors seem to end up with more raspberries than they can eat and we are the grateful recipients of their excess.
     
  20. Jack B

    Jack B Active Member Patron  

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    Mrs Jack requested an apple pie for today. We have a few apples left over, but they are starting to become a little ‘mealy’. She thought a pie would be a good way to use them up.

    Since jba covered apple pie in an earlier post, I thought I’d take a slightly different tack.

    The Apple Galette has been around in one guise or another for a long time. I’ve seen recipes in some cookbooks dating back to 1936, but I’m certain they’ve been made for much longer. ‘Galette’ is obviously a French word and the dish clearly comes from the French tradition.

    In France the name “Galette” may mean a wide range of dishes, usually flat, usually with a pastry crust. They can be savory buckwheat pancakes stuffed with egg or cheese or sweet dessert tarts made with fruit….or rhubarb. I’ve even seen a recipe for 'Galette Lyonnaise' which is essentially baked mashed potatoes. So, there is clearly room for interpretation.


    In the states, the ‘galette’ I’m most familiar with is something like a free-form fruit tart, baked on a flat tray, not in a pie dish or tart pan.

    In glancing through old WW2-era newspapers, I came across the recipe for ‘Galette’ dough and thought I’d give it a try. The pastry dough is a bit more complex than the dough Alice Waters or Jacques Pépin (Jacques Pépin Galette) use for their Galette pastry dough, but I wanted to stick with a verifiable WW2 recipe.

    Here’s one from 1941 (I found the exact same recipe, in the same paper, from 1945….it must have worked out during the war years.)


    [​IMG]
    Pittsburgh Press, 18 Jul 1941


    Instead of a ‘cake’ as above, I went for a more traditional ‘galette’ form, but the ingredients stayed the same.


    [​IMG]


    It looks a bit rustic to me. The recipe is WW2, but the results look something else....modern, rustic.

    But what do I know?

    I do know that this was very tasty: flaky pastry and the apples were soft, but still toothsome.


    Mrs Jack loved it and is willing to finish off the leftovers…..by herself. :D
     

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