Warning: this post deals with the cooking of offal (organ meats). If you get queasy at the idea, then this post is one to skip. See you next week!
Still with me, are you? Brave soul. So what are we looking at this week?
The Victory Binding of the American Woman’s Cook Book (Wartime Edition)
I have a special fondness for vintage and antique cookbooks and household management books. I inherited The Lily Wallace New American Cook Book from my grandmother, and I love how recipes and “household hints” give us a window into another era.
The American Woman’s Cook Book was published in 1942. It has those little thumb grooves to help you find what you’re looking for more easily.
Shall we take a look inside?
I like that they begin at the beginning — How to Buy Food.
They really push the milk consumption in this book, which was sponsored in part by The Carnation Milk Company, Land ‘O Lakes Creameries, and the National Dairy Council.
There are some very helpful meat cut charts in this book. I could probably sincerely use this book if I found myself with an unusual cut of meat and wasn’t sure what to do with it.
This would have been useful for people who like throwing (or attending) formal dinners.
A browse through the book revealed some interesting and helpful stuff. General menu plans, lessons in frugality, table settings, how to carve various roasts, breadmaking, and many recipes that would still be familiar today.
However, there are a few recipes that have fallen out of fashion.
One is headcheese. While I understand some people really love a headcheese sandwich with lettuce and pickled turnips, I don’t think most people are making it at home.
It seems people were much more comfortable with offal in 1942. Or maybe everyone was just really hungry and didn’t want to waste anything.
This roast actually looks really good. What I find amusing is that they put little paper feeties over the bones to hide them, during the same era that people were also eating brains.
Finally, I want to leave you with the biggest surprise I found reading this book.
At some point the U.S. Government had a reindeer breeding program.
I could have gone on much longer in this post, but I don’t know if you all would have stayed with me. I hope this was a fun overview of The Victory Binding of the American Woman’s Cook Book (Wartime Edition). See you soon!