The German Food Commission’s Wartime Kitchen Magic

woman selling ices in Germany

Spitting in public places; occupying all the benches in the parks, thus depriving old people of seats; playing your piano in an apartment after ten o’clock at night; handling fruit, poultry or game in market stalls; putting more people in an elevator than it can hold; employing a man until he is old and then throwing him out and giving his place to a younger man; baking cakes and pastry at home; selling or using cream; dancing during war – if as a Wilhelmine German you took a notion to do any these things, you risked incurring the wrath of the Reich, for it had ruled them strictly Verboten.

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Boarding-House Custard for Blitzed Britons

boarding house meal during the london blitz

Bombed out of a boarding room in Kensington and thus forced to take up residence in the sleepy suburban town of Thames Lockdon, Miss Roach – the thirty-nine year old beak-nosed  narrator of Patrick Hamilton’s 1947 novel The Slaves of Solitude – inhabits a small, pink room on the top floor of a tea house turned boarding house under conditions “of intense war, intense winter and intense blackout in the month of December.”

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A Recipe for Victory: Wartime Cornmeal Waffles

wartime propaganda for corn products

The year 1918 saw the the publication of the Twentieth Century Club War Time Cook Book, an elegant, informative tome filled with useful and tasteful economical recipes. The federal food administrator of Pennsylvania praised the book, deeming it instrumental in winning “the war that is being waged to guarantee the safety of American home” and in ensuring the “permanency of American institutions.” Though he cautions that “much more will be demanded before we can hope for victory, as much perhaps as has been demanded in England and France,” he assures readers that “there is no more important war activity in which women may engage than the careful conservation of our food supply which is altogether inadequate to the needs our own men and our allies at the fighting front.”

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