Saturday, November 20, 2010

WWI Rationing: Curried Rice with Corn and Cheese in Brown Sauce, Rye Rolls, and Wheatless, Eggless, Butterless, Milkless, Sugarless Cake

They said it'd be over by Christmas of 1914, and now, four years later, we can finally start looking forward with a peaceful Christmas. One of the Jensen boys was so pleased on Armistice day, he drove the car right through the town's celebratory bonfire! He was set to ship out on November 12.

72508_1535235473287_1606856019_1242050_7545804_n.jpg picture by seshet27

However, rationing is still in force. If we all pitch in and conserve meat, milk, butter, fat, eggs, and sugar, we can send more relief overseas.

With that in mind, let's look back through Foods That Will Win the War and How to Cook Them [1918].

To provide adequate supplies for the coming year is of absolutely vital importance to the conduct of the war, and without a very conscientious elimination of waste and very strict economy in our food consumption, we cannot hope to fulfill this primary duty.
WOODROW WILSON.

IMG_4704.jpg picture by seshet27

One pot meals need only fruit or simple dessert, and bread and butter to complete a well-balanced menu.

CURRIED RICE WITH CORN AND CHEESE IN BROWN SAUCE
½ cup rice
1 cup cheese
1 cup corn
1½ cup milk
¼ cup fat
¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon cayenne
Melt fat until brown. Add flour and seasonings. Heat until brown. Add milk gradually. When at boiling point add other ingredients. Place in baking dish and bake 45 minutes.


But I hear you thinking, wait! This rice and corn in sauce needs something. Hey, I know! Sauce!

IMG_4706.jpg picture by seshet27

It is claimed that the most serious food shortage in Germany is fat; that the civilian population is dying in large numbers because of the lack of it, and that Von Hindenburg's men will lose out on the basis of fat, rather than on the basis of munitions or military organization. Worst of all is the effect of fat shortage on the children of the nation. Leaders of thought all over Europe assert that even if Germany wins, Germany has lost, because it has sapped the strength of its coming generation.

[Liebe Deutschen,

Ich habe Deutschland sehr gern.

Mit besten Grüßen,
Jana]

BROWN SAUCE
¼ cup fat
⅓ cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon of cayenne
1½ cups brown stock, or
1½ cups water and 2 bouillon cubes
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Melt fat until brown. Add flour. Heat until brown. Add liquid gradually, letting come to boiling point each time before adding more liquid. When all is added, 1 teaspoon kitchen bouquet may be added if darker color is desired.


IMG_4694.jpg picture by seshet27

Waste in your kitchen means starvation in some other kitchen across the sea. Our Allies are asking for 450,000,000 bushels of wheat, and we are told that even then theirs will be a privation loaf. Crop shortage and unusual demand has left Canada and the United States, which are the largest sources of wheat, with but 300,000,000 bushels available for export. The deficit must be met by reducing consumption on this side the Atlantic. This can be done by eliminating waste and by making use of cereals and flours other than wheat in bread-making.

RYE ROLLS
4 cups rye flour
1½ teaspoons salt
6 teaspoons baking powder
1½ cups milk
2 tablespoons fat
1 cup chopped nuts
Mix dry ingredients thoroughly. Add milk, nuts and melted shortening. Knead. Shape into rolls. Put into greased pans. Let stand one-half hour. Bake in moderate oven 30 minutes.

IMG_4702.jpg picture by seshet27

One ounce of sugar less per person, per day, is all our Government asks of us to meet the world sugar shortage. One ounce of sugar equals two scant level tablespoonfuls and represents a saving that every man, woman and child should be able to make. Giving up soft drinks and the frosting on our cakes, the use of sugarless desserts and confections, careful measuring and thorough stirring of that which we place in our cups of tea and coffee, and the use of syrup, molasses or honey on our pancakes and fritters will more than effect this saving.

WHEATLESS, EGGLESS, BUTTERLESS, MILKLESS, SUGARLESS CAKE
1 cup corn syrup
2 cups water
2 cups raisins
2 tablespoons fat
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1½ cups fine cornmeal, 2 cups rye flour; or, 3½ cups whole wheat flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder, or, ½ teaspoon soda

Cook corn syrup, water, raisins, fat, salt and spices slowly 15 minutes. When cool, add flour, soda or baking powder, thoroughly blended. Bake in slow oven 1 hour. The longer this cake is kept, the better the texture and flavor. This recipe is sufficient to fill one medium-sized bread pan.


Verdict:

Curried Rice with Corn and Cheese... : First off, the name is a misnomer. I want you to scroll back and see if you can find the curry. I'll wait. ..... Did you find it? No, you didn't. The seasoning in this dish is salt and the tiniest, teeniest breath of cayenne pepper. That said, it's... good! I am a big fan of cheese sauce with things in it. The bottom got all crispy and delicious. It does not need the brown sauce. At all. If you're of the meat-free persuasion, you should give this a try. It is easy and super de duper cheap. You might want to omit the salt, cut down on the fat, and see about adding some herbs, though.

... in Brown Sauce: It's beef gravy! Really, really thick beef gravy with WAYYY more fat than needed. I used olive oil, as I didn't feel up to putting that much lard in... anything. I still have no idea why they would feel that rice and corn in cheese sauce required more sauce.

Rye Rolls: I used light rye flour. Light rye flour : dark rye flour :: white flour : whole wheat flour. These were very grim. Raw flour got stuck in the crevices of the pecans. They tasted of nothing. Absolutely nothing. Husband, however, found out that if one eats a bite with a bite of CRwCaC in BS, the dry tastelessness soaks up the excess sauce. I found that they go down well alongside their own volume in apricot jam. Husband's method is undoubtedly the most historically accurate.

Wheatless, Eggless, Butterless, Milkless, Sugarless Cake: The thing that immediately struck me about this cake was its sheer weight. It is a solid 2.5 lbs. It is like a raisined brick. In today's standards, I would in no way classify this as a cake. It is too solid, dry, and not sweet enough. As a bread, it is passable. In 1918 though, I know it'd be a big treat and I'd be happy to have it. Moreover, as solid as this sucker is, it's going to last for a looooooong time.

It is best toasted, then slathered with black-market butter and sprinkled with black market cinnamon sugar, with a side of guilt for our starving Allies.

Alternatively, we discovered the next day that it is fantastic made into bread pudding and drowning in warm custard.

9 comments:

Bethany said...

I was showing Emmaline your blog and telling her about how it works. I said, "Aunt Jana makes food from a long time ago." She said, "Oh like funny rolls that don't look like our rolls!"

Karenlibrarian said...

Wow, I'm glad I've never had to live through rationing -- that cake looks so dreary! And I agree, the idea of the sauce on the rice is ridiculous. The rice looks like a nice dish, though.

Jana said...

B- Unless, of course, one regularly puts nuts in one's rolls. ;D Weird.

Karen- It is reasonably nice. And easy!

Betsy said...

I think the brown sauce on the cheesy thing is there not because it needs sauce, but to compensate for the lack of meat. If you put brown sauce on it, it might pass for meat if you haven't had any in a long time. A really long time.

Jana said...

I suppose that could be it!

Nonna Beach said...

Wow, I am always amazed at your prowess in the kitchen and your Hubs loving support and adventurous nature. Very ambitious Time Travel Trip this time...I'm impressed by the foods you made and that darling photo of you while you were there !

BTW,Your last comment made me so hungry for my Nana's Bread Pudding...Yum !

P.S. Are you staying with us in the 21st Century for Thanksgiving or are you going into the past to cook your feast ?

Jana said...

Thanks! I try to keep my picture taking to the recent past. Go too far back, and the locals get skittish. And mob-y.

I did think about taking a trip for Thanksgiving, but Thanksgiving menus have mainly been the same since the first Thanksgiving, with the addition of a few things that non-time travelers can't get a hold of, like barrels of eels. Shucks.

Nonna Beach said...

As far as travel,you're right ( people in the past were so closed minded and scary...they'd string you up just on a rumor. I'd be skippin' that barrel of eels too )...

Hope you all have a wonderful, Happy Thanksgiving !

Hugs,
Nonna

Jana said...

We will, thank you! I hope your Thanksgiving is fantastic as well, full of much pie and no eels.