17-3. Ladies Lunch: Rationing comes to America

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Dressy Dishes from your Victory Garden was a wartime pamphlet published by Heatrola Range as its contribution to the war effort. Take a look out your window, it counseled, a Victory Garden is the way to deal with wartime rationing. Grow your own vegetables–they can be used in main dishes, salads, even desserts. It was patriotic to grow vegetables! And to preserve, can them (in bottles actually).

[I wonder now–did not look it up–if wartime rationing is what lead to the ubiquitous zucchini used in baking all kinds of sweet breads? Ditto carrot cake?]

Rationed were butter (margerine became the spread used), sugar, coffee, cheese, meat, fish and canned goods. Powdered milk, powdered eggs, instant coffee–all developed to use in feeding the troops became part of at-home diets.

A suggested main luncheon dish suitable for serving your bridge club from this cookbook, is a gelatin (Jell-O) ring mold of your choice that adds cottage cheese to the mixture for protein. When unmolded the center contains a salad of lettuce, watercress, radishes, peppers and tomato. 

Carrot pudding, or carrot raisin pie (basically custard with grated carrot, raisins added for nutrition) is an American version of a dessert the far-more rationed Brits endured. We’ll Eat Again was the name of their cookbook.  Unlike America, their rationing did not end at war’s end but lasted into the 50s as I remember.

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