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.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My New Shirt

Today was  the first real time I was just ready to be done with this project!


Today I bought my first shirt that was new. 
       It is a lovely shirt.
              It is functional. 
                  It matches every one of my outfits. 
             It is comfortable. 
       It is a boring.
  It is a white t-shirt that I need for a Highland dance show.

What made me want to quit is that….
       It was on a 30% off clearance rack,
             Hanging next to its neighbor,
                                A beautiful violet dress
                                                That would be perfect to wear to work
                                                That would be great to Preach in
                                                That calls my name, saying “Katie… I was made for you!”
                                This violet dress is 50% off and a great price.
                It hugs a beautiful teal blouse.
                                This blouse is washable
                                                It matches all my suits.
                                                               It is 75% off and less then $10!
Why – when all the stores are getting rid of their summer clothes,
                Clothes that I needed all summer,
                Clothes that would have made my life easier,
                Clothes that finally I can afford
Why am I following this silly rationing – of one new shirt, one new pair of pants, one new dress.

I waited all year to buy my new shirt.
                I didn’t want to waste my one purchase,
                I wanted to make my purchase count
                I scoured racks of clothes at the thrift store so I could buy a shirt when I really needed it…
And now I have my new shirt
                My, no one has worn it but me, shirt
                Hurry my new shirt
                My white tee shirt

                                               I am tired of being rational.

Butter, Butter, Butter…… BUTTER!

When I started this year, I knew that butter was highly rationed.  From what I have been following… butter costs 16 points per pound (that is most of my meat/ dairy rations for the whole week).  So at the beginning of this experiment, I bought my pound of butter and got ready to sssttttrrrreeeeeeccchhh.

To preserve my stretched butter – I only kept one stick of butter in the fridge, and the rest stayed in the freezer.  I did not know how I would do in keeping butter.

Much to my surprise… I finally used up the last of my pound of butter this week when I made a peach pie to share with my workplace.  I cannot believe my pound of butter lasted almost a full year.

How can this be?

Well I will state- in my regular life… I was not a big butter eater.  I liked butter on hot toast or beagles and often I fried my eggs in butter.  I use butter in making sweet breads and other baking… but that is it.

As I started this project – I knew butter was special and I tended to only use it on very special occasions.  I served it when guests came over, and used a full quarter of my supply to make an English breakfast, complete with scones and lemon curd, for a work party.  I rarely used butter for my food (except squash – nothing tastes better then butter on fresh baked squash).

I did discover… I use oil and Crisco in everything else.  Oil and Crisco were rationed, but they only cost 5 points per pound/ quart.  Most baking, a person can cut the oil in half anyways and it still tastes great.  When stretching meat… most of what I at were hot dishes made of a mixture of vegetables and meat.  Rarely did I add any oil or such.  Even this Christmas, I did not have time to make butter Christmas cookies because I was sewing a wedding dress for my sister-in-law.  So no butter used.

After all this… I was shocked to realize that I had grabbed a handful of butter packets when I was at a restaurant.  I had 4 containers of butter… and I used every single one on one piece of bread!  I never eat butter on my bread unless it is toasted.  But no, I realized that I missed eating butter.  Ohhhh…. It tasted sooooo gooood!  I did not realize how much I missed butter – how wonder it tastes.  The subtle sweet cream and the slightly salty that blends so well with the taste of bread.  I have to say that after not eating butter for most of the year –I LOVE BUTTER and I have MISSED BUTTER! 

I would not have known this if I had not given it up for so long.