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.
First 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.
When 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.This 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.This 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.
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.Even 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!
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.
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.
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)
Eggs 2 (this was supplemented with powdered eggs, and of course many kept chickens at this time)
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)
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) Here she is in the 1950’s.
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!