Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Last of the leftover posts

Wartime French Dressing
Grandma’s Wartime Kitchen Copyright 2000

1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon dry mustard
½ teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon celery salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ cup lemon juice or cider vinegar I used the lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated onion
½ cup melted chicken fat or vegetable oil guess which I used!

Stir together the paprika, mustard, sugar, celery salt, garlic powder, and pepper in a ½ pint jar with a tight-fitting lid. Add the lemon juice and onion; cover and shake. Add the chicken fat or oil; cover and shake until combined.

About ¾ cup

Many of the salad dressings I've made are all basically the same so there isn't much to say about this recipe. That's okay because I really wanted to talk about the book. It was from the library and I loved it.

The book is filled with wartime (WW II) recipes and discusses rationing and how Americans made do. Despite the war and rationing, the author concludes from her research and interviews that Americans really didn't feel deprived. This really wasn't long after the Depression, convenience foods did not exist, and Americans were still used to eating modest portions so I'm sure they adjusted well. Can you imagine how we would cope now? Back then, I bet an entire family could make a meal out of one of today's typical chain-restaurant entrées.

I learned a few surprising things from this book. For instance, soy was used as a protein during this time. Some of the recipes called for soy beans, some for soy flour. I knew soy wasn't new to the world, I'm just surprised that Americans were using those soy products in their homes back then.

Refined sugar was notoriously in short supply for home use but there was certainly no lack of sugar in other forms and from commercially prepared products, some more readily available than others. Molasses, corn syrup, brown sugar, marshmallows, sweetened condensed milk and other commercially-sweetened products were all used to replace sugar.

One blurb mentioned a mother sending a daughter a cooked chicken through the mail, salted to prevent spoilage. The daughter said it was delicious. We hesitate to eat raw eggs anymore, I can't imagine being brave enough to eat chicken that spent at least a couple of days going through the postal system. Although I probably shouldn't be suprised. My mom claims they would eat hard-boiled eggs that stayed out for weeks. Of course, she also claims that none of her children ever cried. The memory gets a bit fuzzy over the years.

I had more to say about this book but I had to return it to the library last weekend, before I finished this post.

I have no more posts in the queue, so it may get quiet around here. Maybe not, as I still have no clue what we're having for dinner the next two nights. But I have finalized my cookout menu! Well, I have a completed menu. I reserve the right to change my mind.

Question of the Day: How strict are you, when it comes to food safety?


MommyProf said...

I cook for Meals on Wheels (fragile, older people) so I am quite uptight about food safety there and pretty uptight at home, although I don't sanitize my counters every time I cook.

That chicken story gives me the willies!

ThursdayNext said...

My mother always instilled food safety into her children, so thanks to mom, I have an anal retentive complex when it comes to expiration dates and prepared foods. :)

Rebel In Ontario said...

I am pretty hard core when it comes to food safety...DH on the other hand couldn't care less! He gives me heck everytime he BBQ's, because he is a "wipe the plate and use it again" kind of guy and I'm always taking out a new plate to bring the food back in on! And I have a strick, four day fridge rule for leftovers...if it isn't eaten in four days max (I've been known to bump it up to three days) then out it goes. DH is always grumbling when he goes looking for something that I threw out two days before! Oh well, better safe than sick!

chris w. said...

I'm a stickler. Someone told me years ago that 90 percent of "stomach flu" cases were actually food borne illness. I can't take enough wet wipes and hand sanitizer when we go camping - not going to be one of those families trying to have a good time while someone is sick (seen it too often - cross contamination people!)