My sister sent me this article from Yahoo yesterday. The author suggests using cookbooks from the pre World War II or World War II era because they are simple, use basic ingredients and offer more information around baking/cooking. It occurred to me that last year my sister bought me cookbooks from an estate sale. I pulled them out of their dust spot to inspect them. I have three, one from 1933, 1942 and 1955. Everything the author states in the Yahoo article is true.
My favorite is the 1942 cookbook. Everything within the cookbook has tips around the war and how it changed family dynamics. The chapter on soups notes their popularity because women are working in the factories. There is an entire chapter on “Money Savers”. The first sentence “Patriotic homemakers are constantly on the lookout for ways to cut their food bills, because pennies saved on the household soon grow into dollars with which to buy bonds for Victory”. Can you imagine if you got an email from Kraft with that advice? So much of our instincts around food have changed into quick, easy and cheap. There is a movement to get back to fresh, local, in season ingredients. I was reminded of this when I logged into a “mom blog” to see what is going on in the coupon world. A recent post commented on the increasing rise of food prices. I agree, food costs are going up. What really struck me within the comments was how politically charged they comments were but in my opinion on the wrong way. We are not blaming corporations for putting in filler ingredients (like wood pulp) to lower their costs while decreasing package sizes and increase cost. We are blaming our government? It’s true that rising fuel costs has made the transportation of products more expensive and the plastic packing that most items come in now. It bothers me when people would rather complain than take active steps to change their way of thinking around food.
Buy bulk rice, oatmeal and other basic foods. Instead of buying a package of dough, make your own. Your costs may feel higher to begin with because it costs more to buy the five ingredients that go into making it, but over the life of those products you come out ahead. If we went back to the depression/World War II era of thinking about food, it would save you pennies. One of the money saving tips “Don’t overlook legumes-dried peas, beans, lentils, lima beans. Cook enough for two meals at a time, to save fuel”.
Did you know that sugar was one of the first foods rationed because it is used in the manufacturing of explosives?