Monday, April 07, 2008

Preserving Food for VICTORY

If we think times are hard now that we have to pay extra for milk, eggs and butter. Now that flour has gone up in price from 1.29 for 5 pounds to 2.79 ...we might want to reconsider what we think of as hardship. Here is a book from WWII when there were actual food shortages and people dealt with it.

"Despite the wonderful mass production by the commercial canners, the smaller supplies that cannot get to market, when multiplied by the efforts of forty-five million women, will be a notable addition to the winter food supply and will release just that much more to feed staring nations and our own men bearing arms in the far corners of the world. The prices of canned goods are rapidly rising. Moreover, commercial canned foods may not be available next winter an you must feel your family. Even when the war is over, we must never again be as wasteful as we have been, as the devastated counties will still be underfed." By Anne Pierce 1942

How soon we forget. We take the abundance that we have now and throw it away. People who live in rural areas still can and preserve, but unless you are a real "foodie" in an urban area you are in a distinct minority. During WWII food was rationed and people established Victory Gardens in their communities or in their yards.

Meatless Menu from Sunset Kitchen Cabinet
Circa 1942

  • Garbanzos Espanol
  • Tomato Aspic Ring- Filled with Vegetable Salad
  • Hot French Bread
  • Olives and Pickles
  • Orange Pudding Cake (sans frosting)

Garbanzos Espanol

1 pound dried garbanzos

1 8 oz can tomato sauce

2 tbsp oil1 small onion sliced

1 clove garlic minced

few whole cloves

salt and pepper to taste

Wash and pick over garbanzos: put in a deep heavy kettle with 1 teaspoon of salt and lukewarm water to cover. Soak overnight. The next day add more water, if necessary, to cover garbanzos. Bring to a boil; skim off white foam; repeat 2 or 3 times or intil water is clear. Then add tomato sauce, oil and sesaonings. Cover and simmer gently for about 2 hours or until garbanzos are tender. Do not stir or disturb while cooking but watch to see whether more ater is needed to keep covered.

If the resulting sauce is thinner than you'd like it, drain it from the cooked garbanzos. Add a little smooth flour paste (allowing 1 tbsp flour for each cup of sauce) and simmer until thickened. For extra flavor, a sprinkling of herbs- basis, oreganok thyme or marjoram - can be added too. Then pour the sauce back over the beans and heat thoroughly before serving. Serves 8 generously.

In the 1930s to 40's anything with tomato sauce was considered "espanol". I would add some spice to this stew with about 1/8 tsp of red pepper flakes while cooking with the tomato sauce.

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