Rationing and Yankee Magazine

That’s right, we’ll be talking about World War II rationing and Yankee Magazine today. What do they have in common? Well, not much really. But I have lots of news to share about both.

Me giving the lecture

Last Sunday I gave my first lecture on World War II cooking and rationing at the Wright Museum of World War II history in Wolfeboro, NH. The talk was entitled, A Taste of the Homefront: World War II Cooking. If you’ve been reading my blog, you know I’ve been researching this talk for months.  And I’ve also been cooking various baked goods so people could sample food from the period.

There were almost 70 at the lecture. Many of them had experienced rationing and the War and were kind enough to share their stories. (Promise, next blog post I’m going to include some of the best stories). Everyone seemed to enjoy the talk and the food – even though some of the food was pretty awful.

The samples


Here’s what I served: Peanut Rock Cookies, Applesauce Muffins, Sugar Saving Brownies and Chocolate Crunch Candy. Just for the heck of it, Dan fried spam and cut it into small pieces for people to try (gee, there was plenty left over). And a friend of mine kindly offered to bake something. Since she’s gluten-intolerent,  I had her make a WWI wheatless recipe called Indian Loaf (a type of corn bread).

Not beautiful, but it is a V for Victory

The showstopper, however, was the Victory Cake. Shaped like a V for Victory, this was a moist orange flavored white cake that was quite good. Unlike all the previously mentioned items, the Victory Cake had one cup of sugar in it making it a special treat during the War. It also meant it was the best tasting.

All the other baked goods called for sweeteners such as honey (in the Peanut Rocks and the Brownies, or just a miniscule amount of sugar (the muffins) or no sugar at all (the candy). To me they all tasted just a bit “off.” But I’m sure during the War they must have tasted good to them.

Now on to Yankee Magazine. A few days ago I was surprised to get an email from one of their columnists, Edie Clark. She wants to feature me in their September/October issue in the “Best New England Cooks” column! I was floored and so excited.  Edie arrives tomorrow to interview me and watch me bake Aunt Lil’s famous Rich Coffee Cake. I feel very, very lucky.  Dan will be taking photos for me, so you can see how it goes.

2 Responses to “Rationing and Yankee Magazine”

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  1. Bev says:

    The cake sounds good!

    Looking forward to seeing photos of your interview!

  2. Vicki says:

    I am trying a sugar-free chocolate chip cookie recipe tomorrow – will let you know how it turns out! Have a wonderful interview tomorrow!

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