Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Episode 1: What Do We Eat Now?

Welcome to the resources post from the first episode of the Victory Kitchen Podcast! Enjoy images of the featured cookbook and recipes as well as some related images and videos from our discussion about WWII ration books. I wasn't able to find the video I wanted talking about the black market, but there are two other videos that are worth watching below!

Featured CookbookWhat Do We Eat Now? A Guide to War-time Housekeeping by Helen Robertson, Sarah MacLeod, and Frances Preston

Inside Flap Description: "Invaluable ammunition for the home front, this book is designed for the housewife who has taken to thinking these days of old Mother Hubbard and her cupboard, or Jack Sprat and his wife, who would be lucky to get fat or lean. Keeping the family well fed and the budget intact has become a problem of extreme difficulty. Besieged with admonitions to "Can Your Own," "Buy Wisely," "Waste Not," the average woman may well be confused.

Realizing this, the authors of What Do We Eat Now?, experts on home management, food and economy, have written a comprehensive and understandable book to help the harried war-time wife and mother. Here is the science of successful home management. The book includes many practical and economical recipes, together with chapters on War-time Management of Family Finances, Stretching the Food Dollar, Baking Day, the Meat Problem, Buying to Advantage, To Can or Not to Can, and How to Can. The reader will find suggestions for conserving rubber and other irreplaceable household equipment, and for controlling expenses. By using this wise and practical book, the housewife will be able to restore the tottering balance to her budget.

Book's Original Price: $2.50

Recipes: Sausage & Veg Loaf, Cherry-ade, Graham Cracker Cake

Safe Economics vs. False Economics
What Do We Eat Now?, 1942

Wartime Budgeting
What Do We Eat Now, 1942

Sausage & Veg Loaf

Sausage & Veg Loaf

from What Do We Eat Now?, 1942


from What Do We Eat Now?, 1942

Graham Cracker Cake with Jam

Graham Cracker Cake

from What Do We Eat Now?, 1942

"Rationing Means A Fair Share For All of Us"
wikipedia commons

"How to Shop With War Ration Book Two"
wikipedia commons

"Look For the Ration Point Values"
wikipedia commons

(Details about Ration Book 4)

Point Rationing of Foods

WWII Food & Meat Rationing

Further resources:

Eighmey, Rae Katherine. Food Will Win the War: Minnesota Crops, Cooks, and Conservation During World War I. Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2010.

Accessed 1/11/20

McLemore, Henry. “Predictions on Rationing of Food”. The Times. Hammond, Indiana. 4 Jan 1943. Accessed via

Life Magazine. 11 May 1942. Accessed 1/11/20.

Life Magazine. 8 Feb 1943.
Accessed 1/11/20. 

Rationing in the United States
Accessed 1/11/20

WWII Rationing on the U.S. Homefront
Accessed 1/11/20

Rationed Goods in the U.S.A. During the Second World War
Accessed 1/11/20

Take A Closer Look At Ration Books
Accessed 1/16/20

WWII Ration Books (print your own!)
Accessed 1/16/20

Guide to the World War II ration coupon collection, 1942-1946
Accessed 1/16/20


  1. I have been fascinated by wartime cooking for a long time as well. Mostly I have just studied the rationing of the UK, but lately I am getting more interested in the North American rationing. I noticed you had said early on in this first episode that you didn't think the US could pull off a rationing system now. Before the pandemic, I thought that we absolutely could if needed. But 18 months into this, I am convinced that it would be impossible. I am curious as to why you thought, pre-pandemic, that rationing wouldn't be possible anymore.

    1. Thanks for your thoughts. I apologize that I'm coming back to you so late! I suppose the reason I thought rationing wouldn't be possible is that Amercans don't really like being told what to do, plus our society's culture and way of thinking is so different that approaching food problems aren't the same as they were in wartime. The unity against a greater cause was a huge propaganda push for allowing rationing and to convince the people it was what was needed. Plus, they didn't want a repeat of the horrible rationing of WWI. We just don't have that same climate. So that's what was behind my thinking. During the pandemic, it was very eye-opening to see echoes of rationing, hoarding, and other parallels with wartime. We're still feeling the affects with shortages in many ways. I never thought I'd have the experience of getting this close to understanding wartime problems first hand, but it's been amazing to experience these things with an eye on the past to compare with our experience of today!


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