One of my favorite things, outside of cooking, is all things 1940s. I have been in love with that era for as long as I can remember. It probably has something to do with my grandfather. I adored him. When I was young, he used to tell tales of serving in the Army in the Philippines. Nothing horrible, mind you, just funny tales. Since then, I’ve fallen in love with the music of that time (I’m listening to Benny Goodman right now. Thank you, Pandora), as well as the clothes, movies, books, cars…you name it.
So, imagine my giddyness when I came across these goodies in an antique store. These Health For Victory booklets were produced by Home Economics Institute, Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Co., Mansfield, Ohio. My booklets are from 1943, July, November and December. I’ve not found any information as of yet on the internet about how many of these were produced or for how long. I imagine things like this were made all over the country. Produced during the height of the war, these little magazines were designed to help housewives make the best of what they had, what with the rationing and all. They reminded you to remember the other customers at the butcher shop, AND our boys. They asked that you save your fats. They told you to make sure and eat from one of the seven (!) food groups to get everything you need for energy, presumably so you could work in the Victory garden or run a scrap drive. In case you are wondering, the seven groups are: 1) green & yellow vegetables, 2) oranges, tomatoes, grapefruits & greens, 3) potatoes and other fruits & vegetables, 4) milk & milk products, 5) meat, poultry, fish & eggs, 6) bread, flour & cereals, 7) butter & fortified margarine. I’m not sure which group contains vitamin “Z”.
Naturally, they give you pointers on alternate forms of protein, being as meat was strictly rationed. Soybeans seemed to be their go-to protein. Soy, in various forms, appears all over these booklets. From soybeans to soya flour, it shows up everywhere. Desserts, main dishes, and beverages…nothing is off limits. Imagine Soya Cocoa?
I have to be honest, I’ve not tried any of the recipes out of these particular booklets, save for a kidney bean sandwich filling (which also happens to be similar to a tavern salad from New England). I really can’t get behind Jellied Chicken Salad or Soya Cream Soup. I mostly look at these magazine for the historic and humor value. Even Santa gets in on the act. Gotta love the illustrations. I bet some of the tips and ideas could come in quite handy, given our economic state.
Sorry the photography is horrible. I’m new at this and I use an old camera. Anyhow, here’s the bean salad sandwich filling for those of you daring enough to try it. Enjoy!
Red Kidney Bean Sandwich Filling
From Health For Victory Meal Planning Guide, December 1943
- 2 c. cooked beans, well drained and pressed through a colander (although you could leave them whole if making a side)
- 2 Tbsp pickle relish
- 1 tsp salt
- Paprika (to taste)
- 1 Tbsp mayonnaise
Mix well and spread on buttered bread-rye, whole wheat or soya. Makes 6 sandwiches.