Tuesday, January 13, 2009

WWI Cooking...A Real Adventure

While "googling" for a recipe recently, I ran across a collection of public domain cookbooks, including: More Recipes For Fifty by Frances Lowe Smith. My father recalled for me how, during the First World War, wheat was rationed, so that to buy 25 pounds of wheat flour, you also had to buy corn meal, rye, and some other grains. This cookbook was written to help schools, dining halls, boarding houses, and other establishments cooking for large groups (hence "recipes for fifty") use the "less desirable" grains. The recipes are interesting, although the quantities are a little impractical for my kitchen.

Preface From the very day of America's awakening to the need of conservation, the members of the School of Domestic Science have entered heartily and enthusiastically into each succeeding plan of the Administration for conserving the foods needed by our Allies....

Before the war, we were in a rut in our kitchens. We used wheat, meat, sugar, and fats thoughtlessly and monotonously. Now, happily, cooking is lifted out of this dull routine. It has become a real adventure.

On any new trail, however, we need a guide who has thoroughly explored the danger points and can guard us against them.

Repeated experiments with what, in the first days of the world struggle, we called "substitutes" have produced the recipes in this book. They make a reliable and complete collection of palatable dishes which are not only good in theory, but entirely satisfactory in practice. Boston, June, 1918.

I've tried a lot of recipes that are "good in theory," but produced meals that were a "real adventure." Still, it's good to get out of any ruts one may have in one's kitchen.

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