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.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Going Without to Give Back

Well – I am back from the wedding. It was wonderful … and it gave me a chance to eat some more often rationed food. Ummmm – I drank all the coffee that I could get my hands on!

Rationing during the winter holidays was an interesting experience. I ended up not making my traditional cookies (sprits or holiday fruit cake). I did end up trying some new recipes. I made a sugarless and eggless spice cake. This cake was so good and due to molasses being the sweetener – it could easily be substituted for fruit cake (which costs too many ration points in butter, dried fruit, and rum). I also ended up eating a lot of lefsa … and yes … I used my coveted butter on this wonderful sweet snack. I discovered that it is great with honey or jam besides using my favorite sugar and cinnamon.

One thing that surprised me was looking at what I gave away as gifts. Due to not being able to buy many new things (that and I am paying back school loans) I went through what I had that I wanted to give away. I discovered that I had so many things that were still nice but I didn’t need or use. My whole Christmas gift giving was all repurposed or homemade. I did end up buying my dad a new shirt (for the wedding) and my mom a new Christmas plate… but my nieces got my old jewelry and nail polish I didn’t use, my sticker collection (some from the 80’s-so vintage:). I hand other items that were very nice but I didn’t need them… It was wonderful to slim down my own home – while not buying a lot for Christmas. I do have to say… I haven’t heard the verdict from my family to hear wither I am considered thrifty or cheap!

This December got me thinking a lot about how much I throw away or what I have. I am discovering that I do not need as much as I thought I did. I want to know what I could do with the extra money that I save from not buying as much… So here is my new year’s resolution. I have decided that I am going to stop buying coffee (It is on the edge of cheating on this rationing thing anyways) and the money that I save from that habit – I am going to give to a charity. This is one way this experiment can be used for the good of others – besides me.

WWII living is about going without so others can have – and that is what I want to do as well!