So...I think I bought something on the black market.
Granted, it wasn't as controversial as cigarettes or booze, or even something more traditional to the WWII civilian black market (typically beef, sugar and coffee).
It was granola bars. You know, those kind that have two thin, crunchy granola wafers in each individual wrapping? I bought a box of those.
A few Saturdays ago I found myself at work without my lunch. The best option was a nearby grocery store, so I wandered the aisles looking for something to hit the spot. This small grocery store didn't have a salad bar, nor much of a deli to speak of. Rationing makes impulse purchases a little tricky, since things like prepackaged meals and most chips are not allowed. I looked and looked, with nothing catching my eye or my taste buds.
And then I saw them - their cheerful green box beckoning me hither, saying, "Go ahead, you haven't had a granola bar in over six months...live a little."
I pondered the implications. Technically, this type of prepackaged good was not available during the 1940s and so isn't really allowed during our rationing year. But, in the broad scheme of things they were a pretty basic option (as opposed to, say, highly processed Cheetos). And they sounded really, really good.
So I bought them. I had purchased a contraband item.
I guess I can somewhat rationalize (no pun intended) it by saying I traded some of our coffee rations for the granola bars. Coffee was a highly-desired commodity during WWII rationing and made frequent appearances on the black market.
Friends, we haven't actually bought coffee since the end of January. This means that, had we been purchasing coffee at our normal ration allowance with the idea of stockpiling it, we would have approximately 10 pounds of the stuff with which to make trades.
That's a whole lotta granola bars.
But I promise to not abuse this option, since there were serious implications (jail time, fines) for anyone caught trading on the black market.
Instead, let me know if you have a recipe for the type of granola bars I'm talking about - that way, we can have our snack and be legit.