Saturday, August 28, 2010

Of Macaroni and Ramen


My apologies for the hiatus in posting. We're still on the rationing train, so to speak, but just very busy now that things are getting to crunch time regarding the houses. We're aiming to have our house officially listed on the market by September 10th, which means the next dozen or so days will be filled with lots of painting, floor installation, yard work and such.

In the meantime, I thought you might be interested to know about convenience foods available during rationing since, with all this home repair chaos, convenience foods could be very handy.

Basically, there aren't very many.

There are no frozen pizzas or lasagnas or much frozen anything beyond juice, fruit and vegetables. In true spirit of the rationing program I haven't even been buying those "steam in the bag" vegetables when I do by frozen vegetables.

There are no boxed muffins, granola bars, cereal bars nor boxed meals kits.

What we do have is macaroni and cheese. Kraft's iconic blue box dinner was a new and popular dining option during WWII rationing. Two boxes of macaroni and cheese only cost one red point, which means it was (and is) a very popular vegetarian meal.
Otherwise, the only other convenience food available during rationing were boxed cereals and canned and dehydrated soups. I've written before about cereals here. Canned soups were rationed, but dehydrated soups were not. If you look to the right side of the handy dandy chart you can see an ad for Aunt Jemima's Rich Pea Soup - a dehydrated soup that is proud of it's just-add-water-and-heat approach.

Apparently, the range of options available in the dehydrated soup section of the grocery store was a bit more expansive in the 1940s than today. Grocery store ads reference dried vegetable soups, chicken soups and various types of pureed pea and/or beans soups. Today the dehydrated soup section is smaller than a bread box.

Unless you count Ramen noodles as an option.

Even though Ramen noodles weren't available in the U.S. until the early 1970s we've allowed them during rationing to bring our dehydrated soup availability up to the WWII rationing level.

Historically accurate? No. Filling the void of missing authentic supplies? Yes.

So during these next few weeks when the house is torn up and no one feels like cooking, we will be eating lots of cereal, sandwiches, macaroni and cheese and Ramen.

What are your favorite convenience foods?

--Rational Mama


  1. Eggs. Scrambled, baked, fried, boiled. Eggs are so much easier than meat, and so filling. Cheap, too. And, these days, I am not the only one cooking them thoroughly!

  2. cheese tortillas. boca bugers. oh... and left overs!