Tuesday, May 15, 2012

World War One Wednesday

I love this book! While researching what life was like in America during World War One, I ran into several dead ends. There were lots of books written about the European battlefronts, the political figures, and the implications of the war, I had difficulty tracking down good source material for what the homefront looked like from 1917-1918 in the US. There were lots of resources for the homefront in Britain and France, but none for America that I could get my hands on easily.

Then the Minnesota Historical Society published Food Will Win The War by Rae Katherine Eighmey. The book is full of the history of the food rationing movement, stories, rationing posters, and recipes showing you how to substitute and stretch your food rations.

Fascinating stuff! I had no idea the lengths to which American Housewives went to feed their families under the rationing strictures. They gave up meat, wheat, fat, coffee, chocolate, and sugar. They prepared a lot of fish (blech!) and encouraged their children to fill up on milk and oatmeal.

Potatoes, a staple of many houses, were shipped to Europe by the shipload. One campaign by the war department had the slogan "Every Spud a Soldier" encouraging the American people to bypass their mashed potatoes and gravy and send the spuds to the troops instead.

Question for you: If the need for rationing came around again, what would you have the most difficult time giving up?


  1. Definitely chocolate! Heh. And cheese.

    That book sounds right up my alley!

  2. I will have to get my hands on that book!

    I would have a hard time giving up the sugar first, then meat because I can't stand fish!

  3. I would love that book. It's sooo me! I would have trouble giving up...everything. I'm so used to cooking with a stocked pantry. It would be really hard to improvise long-term!

  4. Like Jessica, I'd have a hard time giving up chocolate. I'd gladly give my ration of cheese. I'd have a hard time giving up a teaspoon of sugar in my tea, too.