Saturday, January 16, 2021

Episode 16 - That Old Banana Magic


Bananas used in a variety of ways
Bananas in the Modern Manner, 1930

Welcome to the supplemental blog post for Episode 16 - That Old Banana Magic! Banana availability during WWII for Americans was a bit of a roller coaster. When they couldn't get fresh, other alternative products were available to them in the form of powdered, dried, and flaked bananas as well as banana flavoring. Due to American obsession with bananas starting in the 1920s-30s, they came up with all sorts of ways to include this nutritious fruit into their diet whether using it as a fruit, starch, or vegetable. 

Enjoy the interesting resources I found during my research!

To check out the Vintage Banana Tuesdays series I did on HISTORY: Preserved click the link HERE:


First up is the classic song "Yes! We Have No Bananas" by Sam Lanin, 1923.

Sheet music cover for
"Yes! We Have No Bananas", 1923
wikimedia commons

Next, here's a fun one you may not have heard before: "I've Never Seen a Straight Banana" by The Columbians, 1927.

And finally, a really quirky song: "I Like Bananas Because They Have No Bones" by Chris Yacich and Lorraine Milne, sung by George Elrick, 1936.


Banana Cart, NYC, 1902
wikimedia commons

Longshoreman transferring bananas
New York, New York
July 1937
wikimedia commons

Shop with Bananas
Missouri, 1906

Soda jerker flipping ice cream into malted milkshakes
(bananas in background)
Corpus Cristi, Texas, 1939
wikimedia commons


And here is an original, unopened tin of banana flakes from 1930s!

COOKBOOK FEATURE: to serve them

If you're feeling brave, give this recipe for Banana Chicken Salad a try! 😁



 I’ve Never Seen a Straight Banana by The Columbians, 1927


Yes! We Have No Bananas, 1923

Or if you prefer to hear it from The Muppets…


The Dark History of Bananas

Chiquita Banana commercial (1940s)


United Fruit Company 1940s Banana Production Film (A somewhat rosy view. Go to time stamp 10:06 to see how the banana plant grows)


1930s Iced Banana Cake



 British Mock Banana Recipe


Going Bananas: United Fruit Ripened in WWII


They Became Banana Boats (U.S. Naval Institute)


The Seldom Taught History of the Banana Wars (showing that things weren’t quite as rosy as newspapers made them out to be) (No citation of sources, so read with a grain of salt)



 Banana Cart, NYC 1902


Longshoreman transferring bananas, 1941-42,_New_York_-_Longshoremen._This_shows_the_prevailing_method_of_transferring_bananas_from_the_end_on_the..._-_NARA_-_518791.tif


Shop with bananas, Missouri 1906


Soda jerker flipping ice cream into malted milkshakes, Texas 1939,_Texas.jpg


Yes! We Have No Bananas sheet music cover!_We_Have_No_Bananas.png


Saturday, January 2, 2021

Episode 15 - Keeping Trim for Uncle Sam

Welcome to the supplemental post for Episode 15 - Keeping Trim for Uncle Sam! The pressure to look thin was around in 1940s America just as it is today, but sadly the ads and articles during WWII promoting weight loss were in many ways more harsh towards people who were overweight. 

Take for example this Ry-Krisp ad:

Fad diets and diet courses like this DuBarry ad sometimes put positive spins on weight loss with promises of how easy and fun it would be:

Cookbook Feature: Victory Meal Planner from 1942.

Here is one out of 12 days of the diet plan with S = Square, D = Diamond, C = Circle

Here is the infamous Adirondack Chowder that gave me so much trouble. No need to simmer it for a few hours. Just heat it until steaming and it's ready to eat!

And if you'd like to try pilot bread/crackers for yourself, this is what they look like!

I'd recommend switching out the almond extract for vanilla in this Almond Peach Cream. 

There was nothing wrong with this tasty dish: Spinach and Cheese Casserole!

Thanks for stopping by! Below are the resources I used in research for this episode.




 The 1940s Experiment (One woman lives off British wartime rationing with the goal of losing weight)


The Wartime Kitchen: Living Off Rations with Ration Book Cooking (British rations)


The DuBarry Success Course - By April Calahan, 22 April 2019

Fashion Institute of Technology from the State University of New York


Dressed: The History of Fashion Podcast

April Goes to Beauty School: the 1944 Du Barry Success Course


Before & After: The DuBarry Success Course


An article about Ida Jean Kain’s career


CPI - Current Price of Inflation - compare inflation between years


The WWII Diet That Saved Britain




Vogue. 15 May 1943. 

Ration Cook Book. Demetria M. Taylor, 1943.

 The Good Housekeeping Cook Book. Rhinehart & Company, 1944. 

The New American Cook Book. Lily Wallace, 1943.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Episode 14 - Victory: It's What's For Dinner! (or You Are What You Eat)


Wartime Meal Planning was no easy feat!
(Photo from The Modern Family Cook Book
by Meta Given, 1942)

I hope you enjoyed episode 14 all about Menu Planning in Wartime! There wasn't really any propaganda about menu planning, but cookbooks from that time provide a lot of interesting information. Following are the 3 case studies I used in the episode and all the other awesome stuff I talked about!

In the episode, I mention a math equation to translate 1940s food dollars into today's money. Here is my blog post all about it: Things Were So Cheap Back Then!... Or were they?

I also mention the Wartime Menu Challenge I completed in 2018. Click the link to check it out and to download the free pdf copies of the menus I used!

Case Study 1: The Modern Family Cook Book by Meta Given, 1942. This cookbook provided menus for the entire year for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. All the recipes are included in the second half of the book.

Menu example 

Case Study 2: Health-for-Victory Meal Planning Guide, December 1943 and Year 'Round Edition. These monthly booklets provided menus for a month for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and the lunch box. It also provided a market list and advance meal prep suggestions.

Case Study 3: Thrifty Cooking for Wartime by Alice B. Winn-Smith, 1942. This cookbook doesn't have a set menu plan, but instead provides basic recipes with a variety of "thrifty changes" to utilize what the cook had on hand or what could be found at the store despite shortages. It's a very unique perspective, especially considering that most wartime resources provide menu plans.

Cookbook Feature: A Guide to Wartime Cooking, published by the H. J. Heinz company, 1943. 
This cookbook is organized in a unique way: by work shift. It provides only menus with the accompanying recipes featuring Heinz products, of course. 

For this episode I made the Cheese Rice Loaf with Tomato Sauce and the Peanut Honey Apple Crisp. See the pictures below!

Cheese Rice Loaf

Cheese Rice Loaf with Tomato Sauce

Peanut Honey Apple Crisp

Peanut Honey Apple Crisp.

Story Highlight: "How America Lives" - The Roosevelts!
The November 1944 issue of Ladies Home Journal featured Pres. & Eleanor Roosevelt for their "How America Lives" series. The article offered some really interesting tidbits about their lives including how Mrs. Roosevelt plans their menus and how Pres. Roosevelt spends his $75,000 salary (hint: at least $50k of it goes to feeding his family, 23 staff members, guests, entertainment, clothing, and charity. Wow!)

The left column of this last page talks about Mrs. Roosevelt's menu planning:

Thanks for visiting! Below are the resources that I used for this podcast episode. 





Health-For-Victory Club Meal Planning Guide. Westinghouse, August 1943.


Ladies Home Journal. November 1944.


A Guide to Wartime Cooking. Meredith Moulton Redhead & Edith Elliott Swank. H. J. Heinz Company; Pittsburg, PA; 1943.


Health-for-Victory Meal Planning Guide. Westinghouse Corp. Year ‘Round Edition, 1944.


The Modern Family Cook Book. Meta Givens, 1942.


Thrifty Cooking for Wartime. Alice B. Winn-Smith, 1942.


The Alice Bradley Menu-Cook-Book. Alice Bradley, 1944.


U.S. Needs Us Strong - Eat the Basic 7 Every Day (pdf of entire pamphlet), 1944.,_eat_the_basic_7_every_day_-_national_wartime_food_guide_(IA_usneedsusstronge04unit).pdf&page=3

(Accessed 11-28-20)


Planning Meals for Industrial War Workers, 1943

(Accessed 11-28-20)


Nutrition Newsletter - Menus Under Rationing contest, 1943

(Accessed 11-28-20)


‘The Ladies’ Home Journal ‘How America Lives’ and the Limits of Cultural Diversity.  By Nancy Walker, 18 Aug 2010. (An interesting analysis about the How America Lives series in the lens of cultural diversity.)

(Accessed 11-28-20)


What is Kedegree?


Episode 16 - That Old Banana Magic

  Bananas used in a variety of ways Bananas in the Modern Manner , 1930 Welcome to the supplemental blog post for Episode 16 - That Old Bana...