The Social Experiment

This blog is about understanding and exploring what my Grandmothers experienced by living on the home front during World War II. I am going to be living, as best as I can, to the US rationing standards of 1945. This is a social experiment, not only to connect to my families past, but to explore new way to live environmentally and socially responsible. I hope to show, that by living as our grandparents did, we can reduce the amount of waste that our society throws out and live healthier and more simple lives.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Best Birthday Gift!!!

This year for my Birthday - My sister-in-law took my rationing to heart. I got a lovely roast for my Birthday! A true - 100% Beef (in the 40's often horse, goat, and other meats were sold on the black market) rump roast!

Tomorrow I am going to be making a wonderful Guinness Pot Roast! Um-mm - I have been so tired of chicken and I can not wait to eat lovely pot roast.

Ohh and having it swimming in Guinness doesn't hurt :)

Stay tuned for pictures and how it went.

(and for those wondering - it was a gift and I am NOT counting ration coupons for it!!!!)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I have discovered that I don't have enough points to have lots of different foods.

This week was also a challenge due to not having money for groceries - so it helped me be much more creative.

Having run out of bread - I decided to make my own. When rationing - you use up everything... even oatmeal that you are tired of :)

I had left over oatmeal from morning breakfasts in the fridge - so I used that in my bread. I used my basic bread recipe (water, flour, yeast, and sugar) and added 2 cups of cooked oatmeal, molasses (to save sugar), and some old rye flakes that I found in the pantry.

The bread dough was much more moist then I was use to- but what it created was a beautiful loaf of bread that is wonderful in the morning.

I am starting to understand the amount of work that women did to eat well during rationing. Working 9 hour days at the Hospital, I come home exhausted and still need make supper. I don't know how women did all the work and still take care of their family. To make this bread - I worked then came home, mixed up the bread, went to the gym while it rose, then baked it around 10 pm. I am sure the women were always multi-tasking to get everything done.

I do wonder how different woman's lives are now? Did they like the ability to work or did they wish to go back to what they knew?

Things to ponder as I go through this week.

Coming up... making carrot pie! Ummmmm.

The Wonder of Soy…

Over the last two weeks – my only meat source was a whole chicken that I cooked (and recooked) in every way possible. So I have been furious to find new recipes that have a source of protein.

What did I find?

Soy – in the form of Soy flour.

In every stretching recipe that I have found- especially around meat – the extra stretching ingredient is soy! I am happy to say that you can still find soy flour in the health food area of a grocery store and I love it!

The first recipe that I tried was “soy Rocks” which are a wonderful spice cookie with soy flour in them. They make great afternoon or coffee break snacks (if you haven’t used up your coffee rations!) And the wonderful thing about the cookies (besides only being 1 weight watcher point a piece) is that they hold you. There is protein in them and they really are filling! For the recipe look in the book “Grandma’s Wartime Kitchen.”

The next recipe was trying to find new ways to fix chicken – so I made homemade chicken pot pie with biscuits on top. Using a recipe from “the Good Housekeeping Cookbook (1942)” I made biscuits with soy for the top. Ohhhh … they were sooooo yummy and super filling!

Tonight – I had to have a break from chicken! And I used most of my rations to buy a pound of ground beef. I froze half of it – but made Soy Meat Patties from the Good housekeeping cook book. So far they smell delicious. They are a glorified meat loaf patty – but instead of using bread crumbs- there is 1/4th cup of soy flour, 1/4th cup milk, pepper, salt, onions, and chili powder. They are then fried in a Tablespoon of shortening. They smell wonderful.

The moral of this post is… do not discount the power of mixing extra proteins together. It helps stretch the amount of meat, and helps keep your tummy full and happy when there is not much to eat in the home!

By the way… the total of my groceries this week (due to keeping under my ration total) was $12.63. I was shocked! Rationing also helps you save money.

(That didn’t count the cabbage and vegetables I had at home – and I made my own bread this week – so next week ration pts. will be used to restock my flour)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Cooking chicken... all of the chicken!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Exploring New Recipes…

OK today I just have to brag – I have concurred homemade (no Meat) baked beans! I am working on sandwich filler that is made from a base of baked beans – so I started from scratch… due to having no more blue ration stamps for a can of them.

I found some beans (white spotted brown) on sale at the co-op store, soaked them all night, boiled them to death – then added some molasses (no need to waste sugar rations on this), unions, cyanine pepper, and some mustard. It tastes so good it could be sold as Bushes! I am excited to see how it turns out in the sandwich.

I am also cooking my chicken for the week. Reading the ‘good housekeeping ‘cookbook of 1942 – I am not wasting any part of this chicken. Along with cooking the chicken (I am cheating and using a oven bag due to not having a roster) I am also cooking the giblets, heart, and liver. To be honest I am not looking forwards to eating these… but I had to try. The cook book said to simmer them for 1-4 hours in sauce pan filled with a stalk of celery, onion, and enough water to cover everything. They have been simmering for 1 ½ hours and the neck is soft, but the heart is rock hard! (Maybe it is the gizzard?). I have to say it smells good – if anything, this will be the meat I will ground up and use to make a chicken spread for lunches this week… I will let you know how it goes!

I am trying to find a new recipe for each week – to try and stretch out food. Next week I may try to make imitation butter- we will have to see. So far I have no butter due to buying shortening instead. I will have to start saving up to get some.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Starting To Ration

Well this adventure has started.... and I am starting to understand what women went through when they had to learn and understand what rationing meant.

I started Thursday, September 1, and I plan to go all the way through to August 31. I knew that the rationing was going to start - so I ate my fill of my favorite candy ... I have to mention that I was finishing my ordination exams at the same time - so I blame it partly on stress!

Learning Points
On Thursday - I started my new Job at the Mayo hospitals - and like all good house wives who didn't have time to study the ration books - I packed a lunch of PB & J, carrots, a tomato from the garden, and some fruit. That worked great! On Friday - I sat down and made a menu of what I could pack for lunches and went shopping....

Each week I get 12 points (or 48 points for the whole month) to spend on canned or processed food. I didn't think this would be a problem... I would just buy frozen vegetables. I was very surprised that when I got home and counted up the points I used up on a bag of frozen peas and one bag of mixed vegetables - I had used up 22 points! frozen vegetables were cheaper on points then canned - but they were still 9 points a piece! (I also bought a box of raises for 4 points.

I don't know how single women were able to eat!!!

I also get 16 points a week (or 64 points each month) to spend on meat, butter, cheese, sugar and all types of oil. Due to having to set up home I bought shortening (5 points), cottage cheese (5pts), and a frozen chicken (my meat for the next two weeks). I have had a hard time finding the point value of the chicken but I did find this from a "cooking for victory" cook book,

"pultry contains practically the same nourishment as meat. It is likely to be plentiful, it has always been raised by women and is not easily shipped... Make soup stock from poultry feet or carcass of roast fowl. Combine poultry meat with vegetables, rice, hominy or noodles in scalloped dishes and stews."

Maby chickens were not considered meat? If anyone knows the answer to this I would love to know. I am counting the chicken as the end of my ration points for this week. To supplement my protein, I will be trying a recipe from a WWII cookbook that is a bean spread for sandwiches. I will let you know how it tastes.

Changing Thoughts
As I was making coffee, my heart skipped a beat to see the amount of beans that was used to make one pot. I have a pound of beans that need to last me 5 weeks! I am very conscious at how I now use the coffee.

I also realized that I used a lot of gas to drive to the grocery store. In one trip - I used up all my gas for the week! How did women do it? Today - I rode my bike today - and got caught in a downpour that killed my phone! Biking this week was not as helpful! There is a definite change of mind that happens when you know there is not a lot of resources for the week.

I will continue to keep you updated....