Archive for Food Fighting

How To Make Ice Scream

I knew it was coming. After two weeks of Peanut Butter Prune Sandwiches for lunch, Brussel Sprouts for Christmas dinner and the total deal breaker – Pickled Beets, my husband uttered the phrase, “This WWII thing is getting old.” In other words, it was time to get out the big guns and make him a believer again.

For that, I turned to (cue the heavenly light descending from the clouds and angel chorus) Ice Cream. Forget about what you think is ice cream, the rock hard chunk of bland imitation frozen milk bought from a store in a cardboard or — gasp! — plastic bucket. We’re talking real ice cream. Ice. Cream.

The 250 Luscious Refrigerator Desserts  cookbook edited by Ruth Berolzheimer (the Boss of WWII food) was published in 1941 and had to have been state of the art in recipes, Lusciousconsidering freezers were still not a common home appliance. To make ice cream one would be using the “freezing tray” of their refrigerator. What I gather is that someone determined the coldest part of the refrigerator and insulated it in a way that dropped the temperature cold enough to semi-freeze some types of food.

Among the luscious refrigerator desserts in the booklet are many types of ice cream flavors: Banana Pecan, Honey, Butter Pecan, Chocolate, Caramel, Fruity, Chocolate Chip, Coffee Malted, Orange Pekoe Tea, Prune, Peach, Raisin, Raspberry, Eggnog, New York, Apricot, Cherry, Coffee, Coffee Rum, Maple Nut, Orange, Peppermint Stick, Pistachio and Strawberry. What a minute — Prune?

I went for the basic Vanilla recipe. I used no special equipment or rock salt or anything else that has stopped me from pulling off this feat in the past. I vaguely remember making ice cream out of snow in 4-H as a kid; what I remember most is the shaking, shaking, shaking part of it. This recipe requires no such effort.

Ready? Here it is:

2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup water

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup heavy cream

Blend milk, water and vanilla thoroughly, pour into freezing tray of refrigerator and freeze until ice crystals form around sides of pan. Whip cream until stiff enough to hold a soft peak, fold into milk mixture and freeze. When half frozen scrape mixture from sides and bottom of tray, beat until smooth but not melted and freeze until firm.

That’s it. And if that sounds easy enough, wait — I goofed up the recipe and made it even easier for you:

Blend the ingredients all together without reading that you were supposed to wait to add the milk. Beat it with a mixer hoping it will whip up. After three minutes of hoping and wishing, pour it into a plastic tray (like the skinny kind that comes with the refrigeratorRefrigerator Bin – they are narrow and you know they fit perfectly into the shape of your shelves). Leave it in the freezer for about thirty minutes while you walk the dog. Pull it out of the freezer and pour it into a bowl hoping you can still whip it up into soft peaks after it has chilled a bit. Become a little bit sad and worried about it turning out and just dump it back into the plastic tray and put it in the freezer. Wait three hours – or two hours if you’re like me and that’s all you can take. Scoop out and enjoy like you’ve never enjoyed ice cream before. For added assurance that my hubby would be okay another week into this project, I whipped up a Chocolate Sauce for topping from the Meal Planner I have been using all along.

Seriously, folks. If you’ve ever had Coldstone Ice Cream, this is IMG_20141229_193910603[1]even better.

Next up I will be making the Peppermint Stick flavor since wasting anything is not allowed in 1943 and those broken candy canes from Christmas have to be used somehow. All I will do is omit the vanilla and add the crushed candy cane after the ice cream takes its second beating.

So there you have it — how to make your husband chill on a WWII food project.


Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread.

The WWII Food Ration Project is now at two weeks. No one is starving, though we have had a couple of interesting meals and recipes that were on the slate according to the December 1943 “Health for Victory Club” guide that didn’t make it to the table. One of those is Blanc Mange…more on that another day.

I’d rather talk about what is working. Every now and then over the past few years I have tried to make bread. Homemade bread – and the smell of it – is a glorious thing! For a day. And by day two you have a brick. Case in point, the beautiful Rustic Bread I made in experimentation stage working up to the project.

Rustic Bread - Thunk!

Rustic Bread – Thunk!

After day two of Rustic Bread we were no longer able to get a knife through it. My husband went to the back yard to toss it to the wild ducks. As he tells it, the bread skipped off the bank of the creek, hit the frozen ice, make a THUNK that echoed through the entire subdivision, putting a hole in the ice and sunk to the bottom. “Did you use a rock in that bread?”

Bread and “fortified butter or margarine” appear on nearly every single meal plan. Every interview I conducted for this project reported moms making bread every day. Sure, they were probably using up the loaf before it could transform to a backyard ice barge, but for my family of two – it just wasn’t happening. The 1943 book gave a recipe for Soya Bread, made out of soybean flour. I can find soybean flour, the only problem is that a four-cup bag costs the price of three loaves of bread.


Easy Sandwich Bread – Yum!

As a long-time fan of America’s Test Kitchen on PBS and their accompanying magazine Cook’s Country and Cook’s Illustrated, I dug out the January/February 2014 issue with Easy Sandwich Bread. Advertised as “a tasty, even crumb and a tender crust,

requiring minimal kneading and no shaping, in less than 2 hours”, I tried it out. Cue the Hallelujah chorus angels. Not only did it require very little work (no bread machine, not even a stand mixer), it is now on day four and still edible. Day four!  That means I can use this as our daily bread but only need to bake it twice a week.

Now, if only butter wasn’t so heavily rationed.

Math is Hard.

I’m tardy on my weekly update post because I’ve been crunching numbers and cross-referencing several charts to try to understand how many shopping points I have left for the month of December.

In December 1943, every person (including children) was allowed 48 points per month of red stamps and blue stamps. Red stamps allowed meat. Blue stamps allowed canned and processed foods. Fresh fruits, vegetables, bread, flours, and milk did not cost points. They were viewed as necessary and if you could get your hands on them, as much as you could eat — by all means, eat. For my experiment, at this point, I am aware of seasonal selections and trying to avoid fresh fruits and ration-book-four-insidevegetables not from the U.S., but not ready to conquer the regional seasonal rules just yet.

Given the red and blue points, there were additional time frames to use each points as the month passed. For example, according to the upcoming January 2, 1944 chart I wilOPA-Ration-Stamp-Chartl only be able to use Green Stamps G, H, and J.  Right now I don’t know where the Green Stamps come in and I don’t know how long from January 2, 1944 to when I can redeem the mystery Green Stamps. …sigh…

Okay, back to my math homework. If I were not limited by which letter of the alphabet stamp I could use and just calculating what I have purchased in the last two weeks, I have 12 Red (meat) Points and 52 Blue (canned/processed) Points remaining.

A quick view of my refrigerator and freezer makes me think my husband and I will be well-fed through the rest of the month. I’m not too worried about the menu. But, I do admit that watching the sugar bowl shrink does cause anxiety. Hoarding is not allowed in the government rules; those who did not use up the previous week’s sugar ration were not supposed to get in line for the present week’s ration. I have become very aware of every tablespoon of sugar going into the recipes I’m making and there is a growing feeling of scarcity all the time. I have a theory that the feeling stayed with my grandparents’ generation for their lifetime when it came to anything that could – or should – be salvaged and saved.

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