Skip to comments.The FReeper Foxhole Reviews Food Rationing on the Homefront during WWII - October 23rd, 2004
Posted on 10/22/2004 11:46:24 PM PDT by snippy_about_it
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World War II had a great impact on daily life in America. Among the many new realities of the time were air-raid drills in schoolrooms, scrap-metal and rubber drives, and rationing of food and other goods imposed by the Office of Price Administration.
American women, who had been called to duty in the workforce and possibly also had spouses overseas, grappled with another new hardship: grocery shopping with ration stamps. This was no easy task.
Shoppers received stamps of different colors for different types of foodsome good for thirty days, others valid a week at a time but could be held over until they expired the last week of the monthand point values of foods were subject to change, so planning at home often proved difficult.
Thankfully, shoppers were not without help. In 1943, the 128-page Coupon Cookery was published. Its author, Prudence Penny, counsels readers how to provide their families with sound nutrition plus appetite-appeal within the bounds of Uncle Sams allowance.
Prudence Pennys Coupon Cookery, front cover.
Murray & Gee, Publishers: Hollywood, CA, 1943.
An investment that will pay for itself many times over in money,
time, patience, nutrition value, and good meals! Museum Library.
The book, which sold for $1.50, contains a number of tongue-in-cheek illustrations featuring a perky-looking, apron-clad housewife, and patriotic poetry is peppered throughout. Its dedication begins, To the housewives of America/ those soldiers, tried and true/ who are struggling on the homefront/ to serve good meals to you! Good nutrition is presented as the ultimate patriotic statement, as is good cooking: U. S. needs US strong! Wars may come and go, but real, red-blooded American Homemakers will put up a struggle to preserve that cherished custom of Good Eating!
It may not be convenient
But we don't admit defeat
For in spite of War and Rationing
America must eat
It may take a deal of cunning
And a bit of laughter, too
To keep the meal-time pleasant
When the coupons are too few!
To cook Good Meals, In Spite of It All required a little magic. Coupon Cookery, p. 21.
In addition to advice on organizing and s-t-r-e-t-c-hing ration points, Ms. Pennys book includes tables for keeping track of different foods point values and hundreds of recipes designed to make the most of available ingredientsfor example, Pork Knuckles in Sour Cream, Liver Gems, and Hearty Lima Molds. In the chapter Prudent Tips and Penny Savers, readers are reminded that tough cuts of meat can be made more enjoyable by long, slow cooking, and learn how to substitute baking powder for eggs. Coffee, which was strictly rationed, could be stretched by being mixed with Soyfee, an unrationed coffee substitute. And through it all, of course, readers were urged to turn in cans for scrap metal.
The extreme economies suggested by this book may seem to some as antiquated as its bright, booster-ish turns of phrase and old-fashioned recipes. But those who lived through World War II witnessed a unique period in American historywhen civilians across thousands of miles were unified in their actions and struggles by a single purpose. Prudence Pennys book is an intriguing and irreplaceable symbol of that era.
Alyssa Shirley Morein
Uh oh, the B word. I usually give up and look over the top of my glasses (like a school marm). Hobbit Lass gets all worked up and tells me "That's creepy!"
Gas rationing was another biggie. One of the 'prefects' at the orphanage had his own 'system'. He would go into some bar and buy drinks and he had one of the kids siphon some gas out of cars outside. Those without such a 'system' scraped by. My future father-in-law put his 37 Chevy up on jacks for the duration. He was then unable to visit his wife's grave. Clothing was also a problem. My future wife used to go to NYC and stand in quite a line to buy 'nylons' or whatever.
Thanks for reminding people that war really made a difference in people's lives. People would say 'Don't you know there's a war on'. Rubber tires went to war as did the green color of Lucky Strike cigarettes. "Lucky Strike green has gone to war" was how they introduced white.
People don't want to hear this today but with the draft, war bonds and the nation's cooperation all our well-armed enemies were completely defeated less than 4 years after Pearl Harbor.
Most of my lot has bedrock 20 -24 inches down. To put the city sidewalkj in, the contractor had to jackhammer a 15' strech to get down far enough. Bedrock there was exposed until the lawn was put down.
Didn't I tell you my name is Jack?
LOL! Daffy Duck can kick Kerry's ass anyday.
One of the 'prefects' at the orphanage had his own 'system'. He would go into some bar and buy drinks and he had one of the kids siphon some gas out of cars outside.
I'd call that "scrounging" ;-)
I've been doing the librarian trickfor reading, lokking at hymnals, etc. for a year. It's gotten vey old.
As long as you don't want to dig deeper than 20 inches you're good to go. ;-)
I love the look Daffy is giving the doofus.
LOL. Next time you do that add a little sinister laugh.
i had an aunt who was a "Tessie" during WW2.
ALSO, believe it or not, i was a "COPTER" in the 1970s. (those of you who were "Tessies" KNOW what that means.)