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.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Milk, milk everywhere – not a drop to drink!

This Monday- I got up and went to pour milk on my oatmeal. Much to my surprise – it came out in like old Elmer’s glue. It had soured! I had to decide what to do – throw it out… and not get milk again until Tuesday (my shopping day) or to use it to make some food. I looked at it … and it had not turned different colors – nor had it gotten fuzzy… So I decided to cook with it.

Looking through the 1944 “Good House Keeping” book – I discover that I could use it to make biscuits, bread, and doughnuts. Like any coffee respecting individual – I decided to make doughnuts.

The recipe didn’t call for to many rationed items… I did have to use ¾ cups of sugar and half of my Crisco rations… but I thought that was a fare exchange for a sweet treat. (A modern substitution that I did do is make them out of stone ground wheat… at least I could say they were kind of healthy).

I had to mix up the dough then let it chill for an hour… so I used that time to cook my meals for this week. (To make it fun- I put on “the Russians are coming, the Russians are coming!” and splurged on my beer rations… having a pint of Finnegan’s while I worked.) I had cooked a Turkey breast the week before... and had been eating turkey with a rice/plumb side dish. I had saved the drippings and the carcass (the bones). I put the carcass in my stew pot and made a nice turkey and egg noodle soup for this week. It is nice that this one turkey will feed me for three weeks. I also mixed up some biscuits (using the last of the sour milk) with soy flour to go with the soup.

Making the doughnuts was fun… I cooked them using the shallow oil method... to conserve my oil – and the recipe made 3 ½ dozens. They are the old fashion style – they are not covered in frosting or anything but the dough is slightly sweet and uses cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg to add flavor. They are just perfect for dunking in the thin rationed coffee.

Making these doughnuts helped me understand what a sacrifice woman made to make sure there were plenty of homemade doughnuts available for soldiers going off to war. Many women volunteered to make doughnuts and then hand them out to the men on trains as they traveled through their towns. Some women, in the Red Cross and the USSO, had doughnuts for soldiers who came in from the front lines… I can just imagine how the taste of those doughnuts would have brought the soldiers home, to their warm kitchen, just for a little while. How simple of a recipe... but how important it was.

I felt good at not wasting food – using all that I could. The doughnuts were a tasty treat at my workplace and I froze a few as well. I never knew that sour milk could taste so good!

Here you can see my weeks worth of food... I have turkey soup, soy sour milk biscuits, and blessed doughnuts!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Katie: You've got a new fan! I really enjoyed listening to you on MPR. Your experiences reminded me of what my own parents did -- saving grease, foil, string. I blogged about it here:

    Plus, living in Rochester, you're practically a neighbor! Will enjoy reading more of your blog. Susan