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 29 - A Wartime Thanksgiving

"Freedom From Want" by Norman Rockwell 6 March 1943 Happy Thanksgiving! Welcome to the supplemental material for the special holid...