Sunday, July 18, 2010

I'm In Love

It's probably apparent to any regular readers of Rational Living that I really love to research and look at historic photographs and print. I mean, I really really love to do that. All those hours turning the dial on the microfilm machine at the State Historical Library looking through the 1943 newspapers? Heaven.
But with my new and improved employment my days off are now exactly the same days that the State Historical Library is closed. Panic!

So I bit the bullet and decided to try my luck with some 1940's books on eBay. Since I'd like to attempt more period-appropriate recipes during these last few months of rationing I started looking at auctions for cookbooks. Now, if there's anything I like just as much as researching it's reading cookbooks. Really. I read cookbooks like other people read novels. Trying to bypass all that bidding crap I went the "Buy It Now" route and purchased this little gem:

It's Your Share: How to prepare appetizing, healthful meals with foods available today, by that faux every woman's woman: Betty Crocker. This cooking booklet was published in 1943 and is a guide specifically addressing cooking during rationing! I love this little booklet - all 53 pages of recipes, tips and patriotism. It even has that pleasant musty old book smell (Why don't they make one of those pine tree car deodorizers in that scent? Think of all the librarians that would buy them!). Of course, our scanner went kaput last week so the images are less than stellar, but you'll have to trust me that this is a great find.

Ponder these inspirational words from the inside cover:

Hail to the women of America! You have taken up your heritage from the brave women of the past. Just as did the women of other wars, you have taken your positions as soldiers on the Home Front. You have been strengthening your country's defenses - as plane watchers - as flyers - as members of the armed forces - as producers, in war plants and homes - and in Red Cross and Civilian Defense activities. The efforts and accomplishments of women today are boundless.

But whatever else you do - you are, first and foremost, homemakers - women with the welfare of your families deepest in your hearts. Now you face a new and more difficult problem in the management of your homes. You must make a little do where there was an abundance before. In spite of sectional problems and shortages, you must prepare satisfying meals out of your share of what there is. You must heed the government request to increase the use of available foods, and save those that are scarce - and, at the same time, safeguard your family's nutrition. Never has there been such an opportunity, and a need, for what American women can contribute.
So, to you women behind the men, behind the guns, we offer this little book, with it's daily helps for wartime meal-planning and cooking. And we salute you all!

Oh, Betty. You salute me? Really, you shouldn't. And you shouldn't negate all my other "boundless" contributions in lieu of my role as homemaker. But I digress.

The booklet contains 226 recipes and while I don't plan to make all of them before the end of the rationing year, I think at least a good dozen will show up over the next few months.

I mean, with such an awesome resource and the personal support of Betty Crocker, how can I not be victorious?

--Rational Mama


  1. Yeah, love that old book smell!

  2. I am the same way with recipe books. Okay, it includes magazines too. Can't wait to hear about these new recipes :)

  3. Maybe doing all those recipes is the next project. Your own version of Julie and Julia.

  4. Missy - that would be waaay too many recipes to finish before the end of the rationing project!