Saturday, January 9, 2010

It's Saturday night, 1944...

Rations, day 2! I have to tell you that these recipes are extremely filling. This is the fourth meal I've had and I really feel like I could go out and do hard, physical labor for several hours without feeling hunger pangs. Try doing that with your Lean Cuisine meatloaf-ette.

Breakfast and lunch were the same as yesterday, no need to repost pictures. I have mixed feelings as to the fate of my lunch filling. I got two servings out of it before my husband decided he really liked it and ate the whole thing with crackers.

Now, on to dinner!

You'll notice that not only does dinner look pretty tasty, the picture is much clearer too. That's because I had someone else take it. Hubby has the iPhone with the much, MUCH better camera, so that's why today's offering looks so good.

Tonight's dinner was Kidney Bean Vegetable Loaf, recipe circa 1944, Health for Victory's Meal Planning Guide, and it wasn't bad at all! In fact it was very good, with lots of good old fashioned onion and tomato taste. If I had a gripe about it, it would be that it didn't set right and came out like hot, thick paste instead of a loaf. Next time I might put in more bread crumbs or let it sit in the oven a little longer. Here's the original recipe:

Kidney Bean Vegetable Loaf

2 c. cooked kidney beans
3/4 c. cooked, diced carrots
2 tbsp. chopped onion
3/4 c. diced celery
3/4 c. canned tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. dry bread crumbs
3/4 c. kidney bean stock

Chop or mash beans fine. Mix all ingredients thouroughly and pack into a greased loaf pan. Bake. Unmold on a hot platter. Mushroom or tomato sauce may be served over the loaf, if desired. Bake for 45 minutes in preheated 350* oven. Serves 6.

Yes it really does jump around like that, giving two bake orders. It's supposed to be served with Harvard beets, Golden salad made with oranges, raisins and french dressing, oatmeal bread, butter and baked custard for dessert. The Harvard beets would have been delicious with the meat lof but I didn't have beets of any kind, so leftover steamed carrots (the ones that went into the loaf) played stand in. Potatoes stood in for bread. Luckily I didn't make the custard because I'm stuffed. I would have been locked in an all-night staredown with it while I tried to convince myself to pack it down on top of such a big meal.

The tomato sauce is a favorite of mine. You can make it by mixing a half teaspoon of Worcestershire and a dash of hot sauce into a half cup of ketchup. Or of course, you can whip up your own.

Dieters and vegans will be happy to know that the only fat/animal products in this dish were the oil in the pan and the butter on the potatoes. Homefronters will be happy to know that it sucks up very few of your ration points.

See you tomorrow!

Friday, January 8, 2010

It's a Friday in 1944, and today I ate...

Today started out pretty well. I got up earlier than usual and had a cup of coffee and a slice of toast with peanut butter before I went out on my run. It was also before I remembered that I was supposed to be following rations today. Oops. It wasn't all that big a drop though, since part of this breakfast was supposed to include toast and jam, so I guess I can pretend that I ran out of jam and had to use peanut butter. I'm not at all sure about the scarcity of peanut butter during wartime, but then again, there IS a recipe for peanut butter and bacon sandwich filling in my ration cookbook. Not sure how hungry I'd have to be to try that one. There are just some things that only Elvis should eat. For everything else, there's me.

I'm going to call this my White Breakfast. That's oatmeal made with water and sprinkled with top milk and currants. You can't see it but there's also cinnamon and brown sugar in it. I think you all know a hard boiled egg when you see one, so I don't have much to describe there, and that was my second cup of coffee for the day. As teensy as this meal looks, it did the job of filling me up and giving me enough energy for several hours, so I can't complain. It was a beautiful day today, another sunny mid-70s California winter, and I decided to enjoy my breakfast outside at my bistro table, watching the neighborhood come to life, which is always a good way to spend the morning.

I started getting hungry again about 2 pm, and made it even worse by absent-mindedly flipping through old food magazines. So I went home to make lunch, when really what I wanted to do was swing by a fast food joint and eat my lunch on the way to my next errand, but I didn't. I'm so proud of myself.

The last time I got the hankering to make ration food I made a great little sandwich spread out of cheese, soybeans and salad dressing, which sounds disgusting but turned out REALLY well. So well that I was very eager to try the sandwich filling next to it in the same cookbook, a filling made from soybeans and carrots, which actually sounds like it would be tastier. I like soybeans, I like carrots, and with a little mayo thrown in it soulds like it might actually make a pretty good salad or something, so much better-sounding than soybeans and cheese. But alas, this filling was nowhere near as tasty as the other. I think it needs more salt or maybe a shot of salad dressing to tang it up abit. But rules are rules, and rationing is tight, so I can't waste it. I'm going to have to eat it, but it's not going to be on my list of things to make again. It's not SO bad, it's not disgusting, just boring. But next time I'm definitely going with the cheese and soybean spread, or maybe the bacon and cream cheese.

The apple was tasty, and the two cookies are Almond cookies. Strangely enough, you do get to eat cookies with this rationing business, just not a great many of them.

Now here's the weird thing: I'M NOT HUNGRY. I was going to make dinner, but I'm just not hungry enough to eat it, and it's 9 pm. I mean, just look at this stuff! This doesn't look ike it would be enough to sustain me for one meal if I lumped it all together, but it kept me going ALL DAY! Maybe this is a quirk, maybe this is just one of those days where you don't get hungry, as rare as those days are. So perhaps tomorrow I'll be hungrier since I skipped dinner tonight, I don't know. Tune in tomorrow!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

It's 1944! And rationing is tight.

I cleaned out my refrigerator a few days ago and was surprised (in a bad way) at all the food I had to throw out because I forgot it was in there. I forgot an artichoke! How did that happen, I love artichokes! So, I'm going to try an experiment. I'm going to try rations for a week. Since this is my first time I'm going to do lots of things wrong, I'll bet, but I went through my ration cookbooks and picked out recipes for breakfast lunch and dinner for a week. I stuck to things featuring ingredients I already have on hand, and I tried to make my grocery list very small. I'm working with what I have on hand. Leftovers from one night's dinner will go into the next day's lunch to stretch, and I'll try not to throw anything out. I am going to try to use it all.

I spent $58 dollars today on things I didn't have, like nuts and soybeans. If I run out of something else, like flour or sugar, I guess I'll just have to make do.

Tomorrow's breakfast will be oatmeal with dried fruit, coffee with milk and an egg. For lunch I'll try the carrot filling (seen on another post) on my sandwich, and for dinner I plan on making Kidney bean loaf. I'll make bread in the morning and hope it lasts through the week.

Wish me luck!