ATTENTION, Speedbo Soldiers, the war isn’t over yet!
We are half way through the month, fighting for writing time, trying to fulfill our calling, and getting our goals met.
But the enemy is upon us.
The fun is wearing off.
The family isn’t quite as respectful of our time as they were two weeks ago. Our children want an energizing snack before swim practice or youth group. A husband needs to be fed before his evening meeting. A phone call comes requesting help for a sick friend whose family needs sustenance. We are in that awful “sagging middle!” We are ready to surrender. But now is not the time to give up.
My goal this month is to finish a WWII manuscript I have been working on for too long. That might be why I am deep in battle analogies. My story is inspired by my pediatrician, a woman who believed in good health and nutrition and lived through far more harrowing ordeals than Speedbo prior to coming to America from Europe.
Many people on the home front during WWII held down jobs raised their families and grew vegetables in their victory gardens. They seem to put us to shame. But they also had help. I have been neck deep in WWII cookbooks, etiquette manuals, and government posters. I found tips for helping the war effort, making meals stretch, and not wasting time or resources. I found this wartime list in Grandma’s Wartime Kitchen: WWII and the Way We Cooked by Joanne Lamb Hayes and thought about how it might apply to us Speedbo soldiers today.
Rules for Wartime Eating (from Women in National Service, WWII):
1) Keep a list of the seven basic food groups in your kitchen and your purse. Follow it when you plan and when you buy. Speedbo-ers: Keep track of what you still have on hand as you go through the rest of the month. You won’t spend more time writing a grocery list than you are writing a scene.
2) Don’t plan on servingmeat, fish, poultry, eggs and cheese all on the same day. Speedbo-ers: Don’t overdo or spend too much time cooking full blown meals with meat as the entree. Salads and sandwiches count as a meal.
3) Start the day off right with breakfast that counts as a real meal. Speedbo-ers: Are you skimping on breakfast to get to the keyboard? Set out breakfast for the family the night before. Set up the coffee pot. But most importantly, EAT before you start your day.
4) Make a hearty soup, or cereal with fruit or milk, your main dish at lunch or supper twice a week. Speedbo-ers: Meals do not have to be big to be nutritious. Soup can be put on the stove while you write. Kids love breakfast for supper.
5) Don’t waste. Try foods new to you. Eat fresh foods first. Conserve canned supplies. Use bread crumbs in stuffing; bones in soup, remnants or meat and vegetables in stews. Cook potatoes in skins. Speedbo-ers: Don’t waste what you have. Save every bit of leftovers and have a “tapas night” with dabs of each dish on small plates, filled in by fruit and microwaved baked potato skins. The candlelight and exotic restaurant experience will overcome “aw, leftovers!”
I asked my dad if chocolate was scarce during WWII. He told me he worked at a general store. The owner kept candy under the counter and only brought it out for special customers. Chocolate bars were in K rations for soldiers because they provided quick energy. What if we had our writing chocolate rationed? Here is a recipe that helps you cope. This version of the microwave cake is great for low carb, gluten-free and allergy plagued folks like me. It has no flour, little sugar, and just one egg. Pretend it is WWII and you are dealing with rations.
One Minute Flourless Chocolate Cupcake:
2 Tablespoons cocoa
1 Tablespoon sweetener (you can add more but it is best to wean yourself off a lot of the sweet stuff)
¼ teaspoon baking soda
Mix first ingredients and then add baking soda, stirring well.Pour into greased ramekin or another 4 inch diameter Pyrex bowl. (I often skip the greasing and it works fine)
Microwave one minute or until baked.
Test with toothpick.
Turn over onto plate, top with fruit or powdered sugar or eat plain and remember the ration days.
Thanks so much for guesting on Yankee Belle Cafe, Julie! I didn't know chocolate was a ration food for soldiers! -- Virginia