Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sandwich Spread

We've heard of guns and butter, but not mustard and butter. French's Mustard came up with a way to make butter (which was rationed) go further with this recipe:
*4 tbsp. of French's mustard
*1/2 cup of butter softened at room temperature
*Blend together, cover and keep in fridge as spread

Was it tasty? The man in the ad thought so. What about you?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Real Value

Somehow in our race to acquire more stuff we lost the insights the Greatest Generation possessed. They made do with out a lot of plastic from Big Box retail stores. Or flat screen TVs. Or video games. Were they less happy than we? WWII was hard to live through, with many inconveniences, but people enjoyed books, music, movies (they don't make them like that anymore) and each other. We like this poster, for it contains an essential truth. Conserving what you have and supporting other people, not buying things, is what's important.

Your Victory Garden: What Goes Where?

Successful gardening requires some thought. Luckily there are plenty of guides online.

Better Homes and Gardens has a planting guide for an heirloom vegetable garden. And it's free (but you have to register with them). Heirlooms are old-fashioned, delicious vegetables and fruits that our grandparents were likely to grow - before science turned a tomato into a tasteless red orb more suitable for shipping than eating. Back the attack on high-cost groceries and start planning your planting.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Kitchen Memories

The National World War II Museum, located in New Orleans, is collecting WWII recipes to preserve the memory of how we cooked and what we ate during the War that Changed the World. Talk to your grandparents, or dig up recipes yourself, try them and share your suggestions with us.

"Meatless Mondays"

Meat rationing came to America in 1942. Cooks scrambled to substitute and stretch their what meat they could find. The government promoted "meatless Mondays" and encouraged nutritious meals without rationed proteins. Today we can still learn from the Greatest Generation by substituting expensive meat with alternatives. The website Meatless Mondays has a selection of recipes. Get creative and save!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Savings Fight: Value Investing

Can you afford to save money? Can you afford not to? A simple trick is saving on a regular, timely basis - having the money deducted from your paycheck - to place in a bank account or to buy stock. The WWII poster at left, which encouraged workers to buy war bonds, shows how regular savings make a tidy nest egg. For stocks this is called "value investing." Here's an easy-to-understand primer on the subject.

Your Victory Garden: When do I Plant?

Spring's here. And if you want to save money a garden is a good place to start. During the War American families produced 40 percent of the nation's vegetables in their own backyards. We've posted tips on getting started. Here's a good guide from the American Gardening Association on when to plant your produce.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Your Victory Garden: Getting Started

The nation's oldest WWII Victory Garden is the Fenway Victory Garden in Boston. It's still going strong, the picture at left was taken during their produce contest last year. One of the reasons for its success is the sensible advice dispensed on the Fenway's website. Here's a page on tips to getting your own garden going. Though this guide's written for New England weather in mind, the knowledge is useful anywhere. Yes, you can!

Little Bits Mean Large Savings

Here are a few handy reminders on what to do with food scraps and leftovers. The advice works as well today as they did 60 years ago. The 'V' stamped on the pages is for Victory in the kitchen.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The New Victory Garden

Interest in Victory Gardens has never been higher, according to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. Here's an excellent primer on how to get started "growing your own."

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Interest in Interest

World War II savings bonds were a way for Americans to help fund the War and help themselves, too. With few new consumer goods being produced, many people saved their money, buying War Bonds to help finance the fight. US Savings Bonds are still offered by the government. Here's a calculator to figure out how much money you might make.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Piggy Butter

A reader of Pittsburgh's Post-Gazette remembers WWII and Depression-era sandwich recipes. While lard is no longer considered a healthy food, the point of Americans surviving and thriving without access to expensive gourmet grocery stores is well taken.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Cooking Up a Savings Plan

It's easy. Perhaps this poster will remind you, as it reminded those during the War Years, that using up your leftovers is not only wise, but a way to save your hard-earned cash. Epicurious has great suggestions for leftovers. This poster is from an enormous collection of WWII-era posters at Flickr.

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

This image from a WWII recycling drive in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is a reminder that our grandparents were no slouches when it came to reusing old cans, bottles, tires and trash. It saved them money and helped the war effort. As a reminder, some modern recycling tips and a thank you to the Ann Arbor District Library's Image Gallery.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

No-Sugar Cake

Sugar was rationed in the War, so cooks made do with less. In the modern world there's a focus on less refined, more natural cooking. Try this wartime recipe for Honey Cake.

There are more recipes here, too.


1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening (some butter can be used in place of some of the shortening)
1 cup honey
1 egg, well beaten
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup sour milk (1/2 cup milk mixed with 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar)
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350-degrees.

Cream shortening in bowl. Add honey and egg.

In bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add alternately with sour milk to shortening mixture. Add nuts.

Pour batter into greased and floured 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Smooth top of batter with spatula. Batter will be sticky. Bake in preheated oven 35 minutes or until done.

Recipe makes about 12 servings.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Forest For the Trees

Wood goes to War. Stay with this 1942 video clip from the US government and you'll see a range of wood products, including some hip-looking patio furniture, that were produced during the war and which even included silverware.

What's Up, Doc?

Carrots are on the menu. A wartime recipe awkwardly entitled "Carrot Fudge" may be worth a go. Try it and post your results.

Orange essence

Finely grate carrots and cook four tablespoons
Pour in just enough water to cover for 10 minutes.
Add flavoring with orange essence, grated orange rind or orange squash/cordial.
Melt a leaf of gelatin.
Add gelatin to mixture.
Cook quickly for a few minutes stirring all the time.
Spoon into a pan.
Leave to set
Cut into cubes

Thursday, March 19, 2009

How Green Was Our Valley?

It's hardly two minutes, and the narrator's voice is a little slow, but this You Tube clip reminds you of the "green" values on the Home Front in WWII. Reuse. Recycle. Conserve. What goes around . . .

Hitting the Snood Button

I'm not sure if they're back in fashion, perhaps someone can post, but here's a free knitting pattern for making a ladies' snood - or hair net - all the rage back in Tommy Dorsey's day.

Victory Gardens Now

Americans planted "Victory Gardens" in WWII to save food for the troops. You can fight today's Recession - saving money for yourself - the same way. Here's a news clip about gardening today.

Recipes for Victory

The National World War II Museum in New Orleans wants your Home Front Era recipes according to this article in the Philadelphia Inquirer. The museum is undergoing a major expansion with a new restaurant. Perhaps they'll use them.

Two Cooks and a Cabbage

We forget that Britain was fighting two years before us. Here, a 1941 clip from across the Pond on how to cook cabbage. Nutritious and still cheap today.