Sunday, October 4, 2009

4 October 1955 “Wartime Images: can they still be valid Now? Proposed Shopping List for VICTORY WEEK”

I thought since we are discussing rationing and our proposed “Victory Week” I would share some great wartime posters. What I found interesting about these, is really what they suggest are perfect for today’s world of faulty economy and need to conserve and be GREEN.

rationing poster 2First off, this shows why rationing was a good idea and the fairness of the system during a time of shortage. I feel now as if this poster should be made to show the top A Wal-Mart large and ominous and little business being squeezed out and the bottom or resolution, a smaller wal-mart and other equal sized local business.

ration poster3When food is scarce, it is serious business, and I think this poster says it all. However, today, though we have plenty, why do we feel the need to waste it? The amount of food thrown away is criminal, not only in our own homes, but in chains and other restaurants. This is true for clothing as well.war relief 1This poster shows the horrors of it. When I see this and think of Old Navy and such stores today I want to cry. I worked for awhile when I was younger in a chain clothing store. We moved clothes so quickly from full priced to sales and then we had to destroy and throw them out when they didn’t sell in the alloted time. We could not save them and donate them, they literally had to be cut to shreds in the back room, stuffed in plastic bags and put into dumpsters. I know someone who works at J. Crew and at Forever 21 and all these chains do the same thing. Move in the product, mark it down in a week, second/third markdowns, then destroyed and tossed away. What does this say about our society? Sad.mend and make doThis could help us today as well. Even if you did buy a shirt for 5 dollars at old navy, you know what? if you mend it and not toss it out, or embellish it to give it a new look, you are still spending less money then buying more five dollar shirts! Maybe we could even do a ‘week of mending and no buying’ and see if we could dig out some clothes we don’t wear and see if we can repurpose them for ourselves so as not to buy any new and with any extra donate them.

 Rationing share the ride poster I think these two posters could be relevant today, perhaps not the Hitler imagery, but it drives the point home. Don’t waste when more than one person could ride with you. Save on gas, and wear and tear, so true today.poster 1Even the concept of ‘staying put’ for “Home Holidays” were popular due to the needs of the war. But, now in a recession time, why not make a local holiday? We always feel the need to get away and rush about and spend money. This poster is still very relevant, in fact we need to bring back more trains to ease the transportation burden away form the gas guzzling cars! Just in my own experience, having recently downsized to one car makes a world of difference. Now, when I have to go somewhere I really need to think about it and plan and not just ‘take off whenever’ and now my bike get’s used more!

 vitctory garden poster And, of course, the Victory Garden was serious business. It could literally stand between your family and starvation. The concept of giving up some of our lawn and flower garden space to actual food growing is ever important. I was happy to hear our new president, for the first time I think since Roosevelt the first, had a veg garden planted at the white house.

  Poster2 Even a poster like this could be used to help us in our fight to build community. If we could make it feel as it we are NEEDED, from Father to little sister, then we could make a community. The kids could learn that besides video games, there is a way to work together to make a better place in which to live, so when they meet with their friends to play video games they will have made a change in the physical world as well. Balance. I think video games and computers are not going anywhere, which is fine, but all things need to be balanced and there is enough time and room in this world for video games AND building and making a community, don’t you think? And if we felt a need or a push, as a Nation, to make our local communities, it would take off. I am sad to say, however, that many media outlets (tv for sure) do not want this. IF we learn to get along and make do and men and grow our own food and also know our neighbors then we might ban together and open local shops and if we know mr. jenkins down the road, or Sally up the street and they have a shop we will support them and be treated kindly for our effort. Does anyone think this could ever be?

If we could make our own new ‘1950’s’ that would be our second chance to get it right. We would not be living in the past, but looking to the past to take the chance post war America started and then got lost somewhere in the late 1960’s.

potato posterThis poster is a good hearld for our proposed ‘Victory Week’.

Now, for our Victory Week, I have been doing a little research. I was unable to find a typical American week of Rations for WWII, so if anyone has such a list, you could post it in the comments in this post.

What I did find, which is staggering, is a normal weeks ration for Britain during rationing. Vegetables were not rationed, but were nearly impossible to come by, so many grew and saved their own, thus the “Victory Garden”. Lawns and parks were given over to vegetables and farm animals were allowed in cities and small plots to aid in self-preservation.

Here is the list of what was allowed then.

Lard or Butter  4 oz. (that is only 1/2 a cup)

Sugar                  12oz.

Bacon                    4oz.

Eggs                        2  (this was supplemented with powdered    eggs, and of course many kept chickens at this time)

Meat                       6oz.

Tea                          2oz.

This was mind blowing for me and I am not going to recommend this, unless some people would like to try it. I would be willing to do it for a week if we wanted to try an actual WWII week. The above was for an entire week per person!  But, for this week, I think we could make a more manageable list for those of us who live in such a food rich world.

Here is my proposed weekly list, let me know if you think we should add or subtract etc. I think this list should be for two people as opposed to one and for every young child under 12 add 1/4 the amount and for every teen/adult extra add 1/2 the amount. No Chips or Candy bars (except chocolate exchange see below), Junk Food etc.

Bread    1 loaf  (purchased, you could choose to use your baking supplies to make the amount of bread you could for the week)

Meat       30 oz. (So basically that is 6 0z. of meat per day for 5 days and the other two days nothing, but divided how we see fit)

Butter/Lard  8 oz. (which is two sticks of 1/4 cup butter each, does this seem too much?)

oil   (corn, etc) 12 oz.

Bacon   1/2 package

Eggs         one dozen (unless you think we should make it less for more of a challenge? Although we would possibly have chickens)

Potatoes    5 lbs or about 14 full size (that is 2 per day used obviously how you want)

Milk              1/2 gallon

Canned fish/meat     2 cans

Canned Veg                 3 cans

Fruit (seasonal for your area) 5 pieces (ex five apples)

Snack    one bag of kernel popcorn

Fresh Veg  (seasonal for area) 5 pieces or exchange (ex 5 tomatoes or one bunch of carrots)

Flour   5lb. bag (this is an opportunity to make things with it, bread, desserts, gravies thicken soup etc)

Sugar 2 1/2 pounds (basically 1/2 of a 5 lb bag. Does this seem too much?)

Oatmeal (not sure size of smallest box, but that one)

Various baking ingredients you already have (baking powder etc if you don’t have then buy for the week in smallest size possible)

Chocolate    one sweet exchange  (this could be one normal sized candy bar or one 8 oz. bag of chocolate chips, make it one small item that you can either spread out, add to a dessert or hide in the closet and eat it behind hubbies back, whatever you choose but only ONE ladies)

Jam (what you have made or one 6oz jar)

Golden syrup (or you could use corn syrup) of Lyles Golden Syrup. I think 1/2 the can or 8 oz is more than a fair amount for the week for two. great in oatmeal or in cooking. Try some on that popcorn for a sweet treat. Those in the UK will know this product but it is not always available here in the U.S., but even my local Stop and Shop carries it and I use it. Here is what it looks like)lyles_golden_syrup

So, Meat with bones is always a good idea, as you can save the bone to boil for soup stock. I think there will be no ‘throw away leftovers’ as anything can be saved and added to next meal.

Here are a couple of authentic wartime recipes from Marguerite Patten, who was Britain’s authority on cooking. (Really the first celebrity chef, of course there was Mrs. Beeton before her)mp Here she is in the 1950’s.

Woolton Pie


1 lb each of diced potatoes, cauliflower, swedes and carrots;

Three or four spring onions;

One teaspoonful of vegetable extract;

1 oz of oatmeal or rolled oats.


Dice and cook the potatoes, cauliflower, swedes and carrots in boiling salted water.

Strain, but keep three-quarters of a pint of the vegetable water.

Arrange the vegetables in a large pie dish or casserole. Add the vegetable extract and the rolled oats or oatmeal to the vegetable liquid. Cook until thickened and pour over the vegetables.

Add three or four chopped spring onions.




6 oz self-raising flour with one level teaspoon of baking powder, or 6 oz plain flour with three level teaspoons of baking powder

2.5 oz margarine

2 oz sugar

1 level tablespoon golden syrup

A quarter of a pint of milk, or milk and water

Jam for filling


Sift the flour and baking powder. Cream the margarine, sugar and golden syrup until soft and light, add a little flour, then a little liquid.

Continue like this until it is a smooth mixture. Grease and flour two 7in sandwich tins and divide the mixture between the two. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until firm to touch, just above the centre of a moderately hot oven.

Turn out and sandwich with jam.

This is a great modern quote from Marguerite for cooking in today’s recession

“"The first lesson is: don't be defeated. Sit there as if you are planning a campaign. Have a look at what clever things you can do with the cheaper cuts of meat or offal. What about hearts? Have you had them? No? Well, that's because you're a modern person. But they're delicious. Stuff them with sage and onion and cook them very slowly so that they melt in your mouth. What about tender, young lamb's kidneys? Mmmmm. Wonderful!"

So, use that as a guide. I love Beef Liver and Kidneys and they are always inexpensive, as is the heart. Great sources of iron as well!

So, Let’s today in comments talk about my proposed weekly list. What am I missing? Should I reduce some things, increase? Let me know and we can revise and make it a set list. Then we can decide to start tomorrow, Monday, if you wish or we could put it off until the following week. Let me know. Let’s get to our VICTORY WEEK!


  1. Yay! Count me in!! Can I trade the bacon for lots more chocolate? Just kidding! I look forward to taking this project seriously.

    Working hard at

  2. Kris7-Great! Do you think it a good base? Should I had or subtract? I figure if someone is single doing it by themself they could cut it in half for the same affect. I hope others will let me know if we should adjust here or there.

  3. Of course I think the list is a bit on the skimpy side. But, isn't that what a 2009 housewife would say? We are so used to having it all right here right now--in abundance and cheap.

    This challenge is necessary to give us the confidence and skills we need for possible future lessening of resources. Bonuses are a healthier body and healthier pocketbook.

    Your blog and the thought behind it are appreciated by so many. Thanks.


  4. I had no idea that chain stores worked in such a fashion! They should at least be able to donate their unused clothing to thrift stores. How awful.

    I love that poster about reusing food. Much to my mom's dismay (we share a kitchen) I clutter up the freezer with all sorts of refuse (chicken bones, egg shells, onion skins, carrot peels) and turn the whole think into a broth. This old fashioned tradition was one of the most nourishing in human history, and the best source of calcium bar gnawing on bones. It should definitely be brought back into style!

  5. You may enjoy "84 Charring Cross Road" which is a great book and also a movie. It shows the rationing that went on after the war in Britain. Thank you for all the inspiration- my husband and I feel there is no common sense left in the world!

  6. I was thinking maybe we should officially start or VICTORY WEEK next Monday, so that we can have the week to fine tune the list and get as many people as we can to 'JOIN THE FIGHT' as it were. So, that would be the 12th of October. Let me know what you think.

  7. I have to laugh reading your list. That is nearly what I would buy for a typical weeks groceries (adjusted for 6 of us). I can normally feed my family for around $70 - $80 depending on if I am out of cetain things (like baby cereal). Then there are the additioanl expenses of TP, wipies, diapers, laundry soap, etc. I wish I could find a way to get rid of all of those. I have faith that I will someday get away from the diaper train.

    I don't know if I will join in on the Victory Week. I love the idea, but with one son who is autistic (and food sensitive) and another who is 4 (and food PICKY) I don't know if it will work. Good luck to the rest who are going to for sure. I do think it is a marvelous idea.

  8. 50sgal,

    I love the idea of having a week of mending. I have a couple pair of socks that I have been meaning to darn but haven’t. I had a pair or two for about 20-25 years before they wore out. Then, I tried to replace them, and within just a few wearings, the toes had holes. I determined that I would mend the new ones rather than spending more money just to have it happen again.

    I like the poster with half of a train engine. We, as an extended family, (well, really my dad made the decision), have decided to stay home for Thanksgiving to save on money. We have a tradition of going to a favorite mountain resort for a two-day stay. It is about $300 per family for these two days if not a bit more. It will be hard to break the tradition this year—we have reservations out 10 years—but it is most likely the right thing to do not only with the economy but for frugality’s sake.

    I have a question for those of you who shop your local healthfood stores and/or farmer’s markets. Though the Hutterite’s produce looked so good at our Farmer’s Market, I just cannot bring myself to pay their prices, i.e. $3.00 for a small bag of beans—maybe 10 oz or less—and $6.00 for a quart jar of pickled beans. Our healthfood store is also spendy. A local person sells kuchen there for $20 a pie! We have some friends from church who have a bread store. Their loaves, which are very good, are $5.00-$13.00 a loaf. Those are just a couple of examples, but not having a lot of income, I can’t afford to shop locally like I really would like to. What do you all find in your communities?

    I did make some yummy homemade tomato soup this evening from garden-fresh tomatoes that Hubby got from someone at work. Tomorrow, I’ll make garlic potatoes from the same source and may have left over enough for potato soup. As our garden didn’t really produce this year, these were a welcome addition to our pantry.

    As to the list, the butter does not seem like too much to me. Eggs—leave as is, as we probably had chickens during this era.

    So, this list is all we are allowed to buy for the week, correct—not including what we already have stocked?


    I make my own laundry soap, used wash cloths instead of wipes, and used cloth diapers with our oldest, so these may be some ways that you could save quite a bit of money.

  9. Zebu -

    I made some of my own laundry soap...first problem. Second batch, I wound up with a rash. Not sure why. The only thing I can think of is the first batch we used Fels-Naptha...the second I used Kirk's Castille because the store was out of Fels-Naptha. So, now I have a 3/4 full 5 gal. bucket of laundry soap I cannot really use. I am trying to use it up on things like rugs, towels, shop rags. Stuff I don't come into alot of contact with.

    I don't have the option of cloth diapers or wash clothes with this baby. He has SEVERE excema and I have to keep him as dry and clean as humanly possible. The up side is that he is 20 months old. He is just getting into learning to talk some, so once that improves so I feel he is able to tell me, I am going to start potty training him. I figure it will be in another 2-3 months.

  10. Zebu-it is a mixed bag here. While most often the local produce is more than my chain store, I am finding that again we have been trained to expect food so cheap. The prices food is available at box stores now when adjusted for inflation to 1955 would see very cheap. When you look at 1955 prices for food and adjust them forward, some of the produce locally is fairly normal. I think what is different today is we have been trained to want the lower prices and therefore get and eat more food. It is not a cooincidence that we are becoming a fatter nation. It is not just sitting and using the computer and playing video games but also diet. More, cheaper, fatter foods are available and boy do we gobble them up. One reason I wanted to do the VICTORY WEEK was to prove to myself and anyone else who cared to listen or try themselves, that the current AMOUNT of foods we use are actually greater than we need. If, say, those beans you saw cost 3.00 for 10 oz but you could 20 oz at the local box store, think about two things, 1)if you pay the same amount and end up with less, you will just need to think about how to use less and stretch it, it is hard but important when you think of 2)produce that is cheap at box stores comes from all over and isn't cheap when you consider how the whole system really robs our own country of using its growable land, support local farmers and merchants and increasingly puts dependence upon our need to import. I find it funny when I hear that people stock up on food just in case 'something happens' but the very act of 'stocking up' at the big box stores is only increasing our dependece on sources OUTSIDE of the country, so if they ever cut us off or such, we would be a nation witout our own growing and producing. So, I guess I am just beginning to see the big picture. Also, a 20 dollar homemade pie is probably very delicious as is a 5 dollar loaf of bread, but really YOU could make your own bread and pie MUCH cheaper and now all you have had to do is stock your pantry with baking goods that can make MANY things instead of endless packages of PRE made things, so you see how really, becoming more of a self independent homemaker helps not only you and your family, but the economy and eventual our whole country. The only way we will ever get an 'older version' of the USA back is to return production and farming to our own sizeable lands, stop turning fields that once provided food into condos and houses that just end up foreclosed on when the housing bubbile bursted etc. It can be harder to learn to use less food in order to still spend the same amount, but you can see what a positive affect it could have in the end. Just think if suddenly we all started doing this? The power would return to our own hands and not in the "Well I can't NOT shop at the big box stores" when really, why can't you? I hope this does not offend, but it is just what I have come to realize this year. Apron Revolution, the quiet resolve to become more self-sufficient and to get our country back to the people and away from the few big corporations. It is sad to me that we are becoming a Consumer Dictatorship.

  11. Lori-you could always decant your extra detergent and give it as gifts or just to friends with the recipe attached on a little card so you can 'pay the apron revolution forward', as it were. Others might not have the reaction and it won't go to waste and when people see how easy and cheap it is to make your own, they will too! Another step in the right direction and towards community as well! Just a thought. Wouldn't it be sad if the excema was a result of the chemicals in todays products such as disposable diapers. I am not saying to offend, only it does make one think. I don't have children so I NEVER give childhood advice, because I have not had to raise a child. However, having said that, I think if hubby and I ever do decide to have a child I would definitely raise it more 'sheltered'. While I would still want the child to attend a good prep school at high school age, I think I would homeschool up until then, just to foster independence, creativity and thinking away from any pop culture and over abundance of tv etc. So, really I would probably be a horrible mother in that I would sequester him to much. The most important job in the world, being a mother, isn't it?!

  12. Oh and yes, I think a week of mending, sewing is definitely in the cards for us. I like the idea of our working on projects 'together'.

  13. Just wanted to clarify something on your ration list. It's not like those were there only foods that people could buy, just the ones that were rationed. If memory serves fish was never rationed for example since it's a plentiful domestic product. Ration allowances changed a lot during the war and in the years afterwards too depending on what was available. I don't believe bread wasn't even rationed until after the war ended. There was also some leeway in that people got a few extra points (14 a week maybe?) to buy products of their choice. There was a lot of under the counter stuff going on too, butchers would keep extra meat under their counters for their favorite customers and of course there was also the black market. Kids got extra nutrition too because they were given milk and vitamins at school and they had higher allowances on things like eggs for home too.

    It wasn't like people were starving. Most Brits were far healthier during the war than they were before and have been since.

  14. Rhonda-wow, I didn't know that. My research told me that many people recall 'feeling hungy' often during the war. I know that they did ration bread for a while in uk and they had some sort of 'victory loaf' that was made with potatoe flour or something, I even remember in the 1940's house their having this bread and it being 'like cardboard'. The black market was certainly there and there are many posters against this as well. It's true that the rations amounts changed during the war and from what I have read and understood in the UK people were not starving to death, but were starving compared to their pre war high caloric diet. So, the restricted diet was most likely better for them as it would be for us today, that is why we are such a fat nation and also why the diet industry is such a great ongoing business. I know there were extra points to spend accordingly but sometimes there was nothing to spend it on. If you couldnt' grow your own vegetables, it was true they were not rationed, but boy were they expensive. It would be interesting, though, to suddenly switch to this sort of diet, because quite honestly, lower caloric diet is healther for you AND helps you shed unecessary pounds. It is amazing how the diet industry is like those little fish that feed off the sharks, the sharks being our big box stores selling us so much food, high in fat so cheaply. It is all a strange cycle.
    I am not sure how accurate the 1940s house BBC show was, but I do recall how frustrating it was for them to continually have various foods just NOT available but after awhile, it seems they just became used to it. Even the tobacco was rationed, as well as gas.

  15. I've never seen the reality show but I do recall watching a similar fictional series in elementary school during our project on WWII which I believe was also BBC and it was very well done and realistic. I discussed it with my grandparents at the time and their stories were very similar.

    One interesting point about food rationing is that restaurants did not have to contend with it. This meant that those with money could buy their full ration in stores for eating at home but still go out to eat at restaurants and such. There were rules like no serving meat and fish in the same meal but those with the discretionary income could go out to eat every day if those chose to. Of course sometimes the food wouldn't be available and they had as much difficulty as everyone else getting things like oranges that were extremely scarce but they weren't nearly as restricted as the common folk.

    I think the most interesting rationing to me was the clothing ration. Not only did you require ration books to buy clothes (reasonable in the beginning but down to enough for a dress, a pair of shoes, and some underwear each year by '45) but the styles themselves were restricted. Skirts could only be so long and so flared, trousers could not have turn ups, and the size of cuffs and collars were restricted to conserve material. I suspect that's part of the reason that so many 50s clothes have such luxuriously full skirts and bright colors. Clothes in war time were usually drab and uniform in appearance, mended till they fell apart and were used as rags, and handed down from child to child. Having a longer skirt with petticoats and a jacket with lapels must have seemed very extravagant to women after the war. Even getting a pair of stockings must have been a heady experience after those years of staining their legs with tea and drawing a 'seam' down the back!

  16. That is true about the fashions and even the sillohuette of the almost victorian ladies shape of full breast wasp waist and full hips was a sign of 1950s post war times. Women were back from their war jobs and back to being and LOOKING like women, sensual and even, child bearingly ready.
    I also forget to mention that rationing in the uk went on until 1954 which is amazing to me! Here in the usa, after the war we got right into that which became the opulance of this era, while rationing and high prices and struggle continued on in the uk.
    I have a great video I should post about when stockings were finally produced again. They were like gold and they even had a scene where they were throwing out free pairs to crowds of ladies and men alike (as I am sure they were a great intro to a date to have a pair of stockings to give!)
    It is all very interesting and I think important to understand the 40s to really get the 1950s.

  17. 50sgal-

    I thought about passing along the detergent, but to be honest, just haven't found the time. I wound up with company last week, my hubby was on vacation the week before, and I am only now getting my house recoved. And now my brother is visitig from MN this weekend. On top of all that, I woke up sick this morning with a head cold. UGH!

    As far as the excema thing. I don't think it is from the diapers. He has it mostly on his legs and arms (in the bends). As far as I can determine, I think it is something like he has overactive skin cells and they create this "rash" and it ITCHES. That is the problem, for he just digs at it umtil it bleeds. Thank GOD we can keep a certain cotizone/steroid cream on it and it keeps it mostly under control.

    I wondered if it is something environmental, and I found out most likely not. My mom said that two of her sisters and one brother had it bad. They lived in the sticks growing up, ate homegrown veggies and chickens, NEVER ate fast food, and my grandma made all of their clothing (which she washed in homemade soap.) As near as I can tell, it is something genetic (at least in his case).

    I also agree about the homeschooling. However, I am in a corner there. My oldest is the autistic one and he NEEDS the social interation of school. That is where he is "weak" bacause of the Aspergers symdrome (his type of autism). And when I mention homeschooling my others, he gets his feelings hurt cause he can't...and then his sister gets mad cause he can go to school (she is VERY social)...It is very frustrating.

    So, I allow them to go to school, however it is a VERY small one. Their entire classes ar oly about 85-90 kids per grade. I speak to their teachers weekly if not daily and know what is going on. I volunteer at the school as much as i can arrange for my mom to watch the two little ones, and pray hard about the rest.

    I do know that the "influence" from the other kids waned off considerably once we got rid of TV. The other kids talk about this or that, and my kids don't have a clue. It has also cut down on the "get me" syndrome. And the smart mouthy attitudes. Best decision we ever made. :)

    As far as rationing goes, I do know that in the US, it was also regional. My grandma lived in CA during the was are they could get all the fruit they wanted, it was certain veggies and meat they didn't get as much of.

  18. You would be a FABULOUS mother and with your dear supportive husband, your child would be so blessed to be in such a caring, deliberate family. I totally recommend homeschooling which was so delightful to do and my married children are wonderful, well-rounded, creative, intelligent, hardworking adults. :) (Other homeschooling children we know have seemed to 'turn out' nicely too.) :)

    What you say about the AMOUNT of food is true. My husband and I aren't overweight, eat very healthily but boy do we go through the food.

    Thanks for all your interesting comments. Linda.

  19. Lorie,

    I would agree with you on the laundry soap. Sorry to hear about your son’s eczema. It sounds from what you describe like psoriasis. You know better than me, but for the wipes, a washcloth and mild soap wouldn’t work? I always carried one in a Ziploc when we went out so had them on the go as well as at home. Good luck to you.

    On the no TV, good for you! I wish that my grandchildren wouldn’t watch it so much or at all. Their daddy is a movie guy to the core, and though he is a decent guy, those little people have seen everything there is to see on the TV, and it just makes me sad.


    I totally agree that we eat far more than needed. DD and I went on a week-long camping trip recently. To be frugal, we tented it. We also bought fruits, nuts, and other healthy snacks, which we ate almost exclusively. I felt so good by the end of the week, it was amazing. I also lost a couple of pounds. Just the other day, for lunch I went to Hardees (didn’t pack my own). Their burgers are way too big to eat, so I got their “small cheeseburger”. Interestingly enough, it is the same size that a normal burger was when I was growing up. One really doesn’t have to wonder why we are so fat as a nation.—

    As to our stocking up, it has been over many years and has really not been at box stores. I shopped our local stores and would buy different sales items each week. One other way we procured our food was from a man and woman who had hundreds of pounds of canned food. They were moving and couldn’t take it, so we got it at a good discount.

    On the pie and bread, that is exactly why I didn’t buy them; I can make them myself and for much cheaper. In this instance, then, it is between supporting my local grocer and making my own due to the cost over convenience. These are the times when it would be nice to have a bit more of a disposable income. If I didn’t have time due to work, I could still support our local (and healthy) stores.

    I’d like to see the stocking video.

  20. Zebu -

    I thought it was psoriasis(sp?) as well, but the dermo. said it is infant eczema. It aparently tend to be hereditary. The thing that scares me is that alot of kids who have it tend to develop asthema as they get older. I pray alot that wont happen.

    r.e. stockpiling -

    I had done some stocking up earler last year. To be honest I am VERY glad I did. After I lost my job and huby got his hours cut back, it really helped. I was thinking earlier...

    The roaring 20's were a period much like we have been going through. Massive technological advances, liberal views on morals and personal freedoms, spend spend spend, and live like there is no tomorrow. Keep up with the Joneses no matter what. They paid for that attitude during the depression, for many of them were unprepared for what was coming. If we would all (within REASON) have a decent pantry of food, we could get through bad times with out such severe consequences.

    Just a thought. I am sick, so I am "pondering", LOL.

    Also, as far as the pie and bread discussion. We have those types of places around here. They are to cater to the wealthy tourists we have flood the area each summer. I look forward to Labor Day every year because the traffic and the tourists GO HOME! Living near a beach can really stink sometimes.

  21. Lorie,

    That’s interesting on your little guy and what the derm. said. My dad has had psoriasis for years and also has psoriatic arthritis, my brother had bad eczema as a baby, and I have acne, as does my sister, that started in my teens and has never gone away. The skin issues are definitely familial. I pray that your little guy will not get the asthma.

    As to the food…I also know of more than one woman whose family benefited from food storage when their husband’s lost their jobs and didn’t get one for the better part of a year. I definitely believe in having one. Did any of you see the movie Blast from the Past with Brendan Frasier? His dad prepared for the bombing of the 1950s by building a shelter. Well, they all retreated to their shelter one night, during a house party, only to find out thirty years later that there never was a bomb! It was really interesting. I loved the clothes, the house furniture styles, and the store of food that the wife shopped at. The present day was a real shock to them and a disappointment to me as well after seeing the purity of the 50’s.

  22. Good morning, I wanted to clear up the food storage, I was not saying it was bad and in fact I look forward to filling my pantry and my quaint stonewalled outside-entranced root cellar, my point was when people fear some 'disaster' and the go to wal-mart or BJ's or whatever and just buy loads and loads, that is what they want us to do with a mix of fear and over need. I am certainly not against canning, sales here and there and gradually stocking up for a rainy day. My point was that there is a definite cycle that one has to remember that such things as Fox news and other large stores all tie back into a few major owners. When the media can exist to create fear that leads to overspending that is what I am mad at. It makes me feel sad and is often done with the idea that it is the voice for 'america' when in fact it is more the voice of propaganda and fear-mongering.
    Please, I forgive ladies, and am a bit jealous at your well stocked food stores. My point was wiht a system that might lead us to go to bj's and buy two years worth of some item to stash it away for some event, when really the worst even would be our being cut off from all the imports we continue to rely on and will continually increasingly rely if we support stores that only charge 'a little' for things but get everything from overseas. My whole latest thing is pay a little more or the same about get a little less, but learn to cook and live with the less and support local. That's all. And again, I am only expressing things I am coming to realize so I hope I never offend anyone. I was THE worst spender ever! That is why these revelations come so much more amazing to me in comparrison to how I once lived.
    concerning the movie blast from the past, I had forgot about that movie I saw it awhile ago and it was very cute. It was a great way to, through entertainment, show the stark contrast to what is old and new and that sometimes some of the old things are still needed, such as self-respect and common courtesy.

  23. 50sgal-

    Oh no! Please do not think you have offended or something. I was just discussing that there is a fine line between keeping a well stocked pantry, and the whole overspending thing.

    Within reason, I have always felt one should have about a weeks worth of preparable food on hand. Don't know why (other than I live on the shores of Lake Michigan and have been snowed in more times than I care to admit). Stocking up enough to supply a small church for a year is insane and buying into the paranoia that the media and the box stores encourage.

    I AVOID wal-mart like the plague. I shop either at my local market, which is owned by a man I know, or at Meijer's...which is a store similar to Wal-Mart, but is family owned in Michigan. They are growing so I don't even go there as much as I could.

    I WISH we still had a small family owned grocery nearby. We had one in my old town and I always shopped there. The people that owned it passed and their kids closed it down. Sad.

    We are running from week to week right now, but I am going to try and restock my pantry. I just don't like the idea of heading into winter without some things on hand. A little extra meat, some can goods, a few extra loaves of bread, some frozen veggies. Enough that if a major ice storm or snow storm hits...we will be ok until we dig out.

    Speaking of which, I have a question:

    How many of you have gas stoves and how many electric...and which do you prefer?

    I have an electric stove and I HATE IT!!!!!! I grew up cooking on gas and always had gas til we moved here 5 years ago. I find I have trouble keeping consistent temps with electric and I have just now gotten to where I can bake well again with this stupid oven. The other thing I loved about gas was you still could cook if the power was out (and have some type of heat)...power goes out now, we are SOL.

  24. Hi, I found your post on War Time Rationing very interesting and informative!I might be able to help you with some recipes if you are going to consider Ration Cooking as I am from the UK and I have numerous books that were printed for the UK during WW2. I also Volunteer at a WW2 museum where there is many different recipe books available.If you want any more information please feel free to e-mail me at for any more recipes! :D
    Rachel x

  25. Great!Thanks Rachel. Although this year has been about 1955, I have increasingly been researching the 40's as they would have played a major role in the making of me by 1955 and as my age now, I would have been a war bride most likely and am finding the 1950's to make more sense as I understand what came before, much as I am understanding the modern world much more due to 1955. I will definitely email you for such recipes and would you mind if I shared them with others here on the blog?

  26. This is a most interesting post and I love all the comments!

    Lorrie- I prefer a gas stove too. I can bake with electric but stovetop cooking with electric is just hard for me.

    Rachel- I'd love to see some of the recipes. You're so lucky to have that job at the museum.

    50'sgal- I have to thank you for bringing up this idea as it led to a conversation with my father, who was a boy during the war. I asked him what he remembered from the time and we talked for a while and I learned some things about his life I never knew. My dad and I talk a lot so I'm surprised there were stories from his childhood I'd never heard before. :)

    As for your questioning the list being too skimpy- I think that's the point. We've become so accustomed to excess anything less feels "skimpy". Your comments about the waste at Old Navy is disturbing. How sick to make more trash for landfills when there are those who are desperate for basic clothing. Just sick. I also didn't know that Fox news has the same owners as some big box store. Here in America we're supposed to believe the news because it's not censored like in other countries. Ha! And again, disturbing.


  27. 50sgal,

    No offense taken. :) Thanks for posting your views; I definitely see what you are saying there on "When the media can exist to create fear that leads to overspending" THAT, I disagree with.

    Gas stove all the way! When we replace ours, that’s what I’m going back to.

    As to the clothing being shredded, I worked at Estee Lauder years ago, and they got rid of a TON of outstocked makeup, I mean like a large garbage bag full. Over a couple of different nights, I took some home. Well the manager told me that that was not allowable. It all had to be thrown out. How ridiculous. What about those without?

  28. Ugh, I've heard of the merchandise destruction policy before & was totally disgusted. There is a long and detailed discussion of it here if anyone is interested (sorry, don't know how to make a link):
    It looks like some companies do take a more reasonable stance & donate things, but most places destroy and/or throw things out.
    I could be wrong about this in general or with regards to what exactly was being tossed in your case, but can't makeup go off after a while & grow nasty things? Maybe that's absolutely not true if it's never been opened. I don't know. At least I can see some health-related (or more realistically, lawsuit avoidance-related) reasoning behind throwing something out that could possibly be spoiled.
    I have a gas range & electric oven. I actually like this combo for a few reasons. I don't think there's any argument against a gas range being better than an electric range. It's easier to regulate the heat. I live in France right now, and most people don't have gas lines in their houses. You actually have to buy small bottles of cooking gas at the grocery store or some gas stations. You lug it home and hook it up to a regulator and hose leading to your range and/or oven. I think there are some fancy regulators now that will tell you how much gas you have left, but I don't have one. Because of this, I have run out of gas in the middle of cooking twice now (we're solving this by having a reserve bottle at home all the time now), and I was so thankful both times that my oven didn't rely on the gas so I could make _something_ to eat. Just like you said with a power outage & still having gas. With the combo, I'm still OK if there's a power outage or if I run out of gas. I guess having the electric option is less of a big deal if you aren't really in a situation where you're likely to run out of gas, but I haven't had problems working with in electric oven. I can deal with electric burners, but much prefer gas.

  29. I have to say I really hate electric ovens/stoves (cookers) and have one now that I am at the house. It is at least a good Jenn Air from the 70's so it has some nice options. The burners are removable and you can replace them with a gridle(which I leave on all the time great for pancakes, eggs, bacon etc) or an indoor grill with faux grate of 'coals' that heat and an actual grill top. This does make it nice and when I redo the kitchen (next year) there will be a gas stove then, but I think I am going to keep this stove as well. the dual electric/gas will be appreciated and with my increasing reliance on the stove/oven for our food, it is becoming an important tool. I have really begun to see how important the stove was to the homemaker and why in old adverts a lady being exscatic over a new one wasn't some anti-feminist portrayal of an empty-headed woman but in fact the joy at a bright resourceful woman realizing how much MORE she could do, more bread and preserves, canning, baking etc. So, I vote Gas if you can have only one and both if you can have it. I also feel it would be stupid to get rid of this stove just because I am doing over the kitchen. On every design show about redoing kitchens they tear it all out and trash it, how like our modern world, non?

  30. Oh, Evonne-what part of France are you living in? and also, concerning the sueing and makeup, that is another modern concept. there was once a time when people did not live in fear of being sued for doing someting they should have the responsibility for. Now, the ads for law officers specifically to go after every little thing. And don't get me started about drug companies selling their product on tv. How is that not pushing drugs! Sometimes I think they invent 'illnesses' just to sell their drug. I know the real diseases, but joint pain etc is most likely artheritis or not enough exercise, but here take more drugs. Oh, well, that can be another rant/post one day.

  31. zebu-do you mean you disagree that media can exist to breed fear which results in our overspending or that you don't like that they DO do it.
    It's funny, too, because 24 hour'news' shows need content everything is blown out of proportion and over the top and has lead greatly to our current fears that have many of us not allow our children to go out and be free and we wonder why they are stuck inside with video games. We are actually safer now than we have been in years and yet we suspect everyone of trying to hurt us, this leads to more fear and less desire to go out which stops us from meeting up and being a community who might realize, "hey, wait, if we all know our neighbors, then our kids are safe, hey if we can borrow a cup of sugar from the neighbor I wont have to run out and buy more now etc etc"

  32. Here's a fact which may interest you. The rationing which occured during the war made Britian healthier not beacuse they were consuming less saturated fat and more veg and so on, but becase rationing equalised the British diet. The pre war lower working class diet was quite poor and lacking in meat and dairy. My grandparents saw the war as a time of plenty compared to their depression era childhood, a time when their coal mining fathers were out of work. Britain wasn't battling obesity in the 1930s but the malnutrition of the labouring classes.

  33. Wow, Dulce, that is so interesting. I never thought of that! It is too bad that only in a time of war can the country seem to rally together. Why is it that during peace we cannot work on helping one another out instead of just ourselves? Well, perhpas as we Apron Revolutionaries begin to act in our own communities we could at least affect change in our own backyards, right?

  34. 50sgal,
    I live right across the border from Geneva, Switzerland on France's eastern edge. Nowhere glamorous or exciting like Paris, I'm afraid. We're in the country with fields of wheat & corn and lots of cows.
    Ah, the American litigiousness. I have a good story about that. I've just started taking a French class. On the first day, there were 5 of us: 4 Americans & 1 Dane. We learned to introduce ourselves over the course of that first class, and when we went around the table telling everyone our professions, it turned out one American was a retired lawyer & another American's spouse is currently a lawyer for a large, international organization in Switzerland. The French teacher, who has likely lived in France all of her life, was pretty surprised that the Swiss organization would need to employ lawyers. This was not a surprise to any of the students. The organization deals with lots of outside contracts for work done there, & they also deal with governments of several different countries, being international and all. The retired lawyer had worked for an American university, and this really surprised the teacher. Why would a university need a lawyer? Was it contractual issues too? At this point, the Americans just had to laugh at ourselves. The former lawyer explained that contractual disputes were certainly part of it, but there is also the part where visitors to campus might slip & fall or otherwise get hurt and then sue the university. She rolled her eyes at this part of her former job, then smiled and said, "I'm so happy to be here." The Dane said, "It's a very American thing." And all the Americans agreed.

  35. Evonne-it is sad that since teh 50's insurance co's, lawyers, and drug companies seem to be the new dictators

  36. 50sgal,

    No, I totally agree with you that the media can exist to breed fear. I could also go on a total rant party with you about the sue-happy nation and how it effects us, and the drug pushing on TV ALL THE TIME! You know that money talks there! This litigious society is making it get tighter and tigher at work as far as how hard you have to work on things/patients to not get sued. There isn't enough staff to stand by every patient all the time to make sure they don't fall, but the fact is that it happens--Well that's a huge liability then.

    And, Amen on your last comment to Evonne.

  37. I found this great site with loads of Dairy Free Holiday recipes. I recommended it to my sister who has an autistic child and she loves it. There is also a cool video on the bottom of the page where Rose Cole (founder) is making one of her recipes

  38. I found this great site with loads of Dairy Free Holiday recipes. I recommended it to my sister who has an autistic child and she loves it. There is also a cool video on the bottom of the page where Rose Cole (founder) is making one of her recipes

  39. After one of my kids was diagnosed with Autism I have been trying to avoid dairy. I came across this site Rose Cole is a godsend! Her recipes are so simple and affordable and best off DELICIOUS! Also, there is a really cool free video at the bottom of the page, which is really helpful showing her preparing one of her recipes. Happy Holidays!


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