Monday, March 1, 2010

This Week's Scenarios and Menu (and No-Bake Cookies)

This week we had yet another mix of both favorable and limiting scenarios:

Beef - Victory Special! available for only 1/4 of the usual ration points
Salad Oils - Victory Special! available for only 1/4 of the usual ration points
Sugar - limited, only 1/2 the usual quantity available
Canned Vegetables - scarce, available for 1 1/2 the usual ration points

The beef Victory Special is nice, especially since my regular blood donation appointment is this Thursday and I could use the extra iron.

I used the salad oil Victory Special to purchase two pounds of olive oil.

We should be fine with only one pound of sugar this week since we have yet to run dry on that particular ration, so to speak.

The only canned vegetable in this week's menu is a can of corn that was actually left over from a previous week.

The biggest challenge for this week's menu was the sudden comatose state of the oven range. This menu was already planned and purchased when the range took a turn for the worse, so we were pretty much stuck with it. Here's what we have to work with:

Saturday: Hamburgers and (from scratch) potato fries
Sunday: Vegetarian lasagna and iceberg salad
Monday: Beef brisket and (canned) corn
Tuesday: Chicken and dumplings
Wednesday: Leftovers and Asian cabbage slaw
Thursday: Vegetable fried rice
Friday: Chicken enchiladas and black beans

Firstly, Saturday's fries were amazing. I did the entire peel, slice, soak in ice water, fry at 325 degrees, cool, fry at 375 degrees process and, although a lot of work, was totally worth it. Wonderfully delicious fries to rival anything available in a restaurant.

Normally, I would not be happy at all about an iceberg salad. I like my greens very, well, green and flavorful. Since the 1943 grocery store ads show that iceberg lettuce was occasionally available this time of year I decided to go for it. It was crunchy and a nice change of texture, but I learned that, as far as salads go, I might actually prefer a cabbage salad to an iceberg salad. Go figure.

I decided to "bake" the lasagna in the electric skillet by placing a metal trivet in the bottom and filling the skillet with water a little over half-way up the sides of the lasagna dish. Then I put the lid on and cranked the heat in the skillet for a while. The only drawback was that the top layer of cheese didn't get that golden, toasted appearance and taste. I'll reuse this method on Friday for the enchiladas if tomorrow's news from the appliance technician is not so good.

Otherwise, I was having a major cookie craving this evening and was quite disappointed to realize that you can't bake cookies if your oven is busted. And then I had a brilliant aha! moment: no bake cookies!

Here's the simple (and not very ration-friendly) recipe I used:

1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
4 TB cocoa
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tsp vanilla
3 to 3 1/2 cups oats (bland cereal like Cheerios or bran flakes work well, too)
  • Place all ingredients except the oats in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.
  • Boil hard for one minute and then pour into large bowl with the oats and mix well.
  • Drop by spoonfuls onto cookies sheets covered with wax paper.
  • Cool until set.
If you're like me you get so excited at the thought of no-bake cookies that you forget to add the milk. What you're left with doesn't quite gel like the recipe intends but it's still a wonderfully tasty mess!

Hope everyone has their favorite sweet treats available tonight!

--Rational Mama


  1. Well if you are looking for another french fry adventure, I can pass on that recipe for the McDonald's french fries. I think it takes all day or something.

    I keep threatening to tackle it one of these days just to say I did.

    I totally want to make no-bake cookies now. My sweet tooth has been acting up something fierce lately.

    Keeping my fingers crossed for good news from the repair person tomorrow.

  2. Have you read Michael Pollan's book, In Defense of Food? He says you should only eat French Fries as often as you are willing to make them. For him it is once a month. For might be once a year!

  3. That's a good point, Laura. I think I maybe make fries up to 3 times a year. But that's it!