WW II Cookbooks
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Does anyone else here collect WWII cookbooks/cooking ephemera? Do you ever consult them?
(Xpost w/ cookbook collectors)
I had a great cookbook which was published during WWII, it had a special section on Victory gardening and cooking, as well as other measures around the house which could be taken to help the war effort. Unfortunately, it was lost in one of my moves. :(
Oh no! That is always such a weird loss when you lose stuff in transit. I wonder if it was the American Woman's Cookbook's Victory Edition, by any chance? I have one from 1942, listed in our library as The Victory Binding of the American Woman's Cook Book - Wartime Edition.
That sounds very familiar! It had a sort of bluish greenish cover, but mine was very old looking and well used.
The cover sounds familiar. The "victory edition" has a weird metallic wavy cover and typically poor "war grade" paper, but I have a 1930's edition that sounds like yours.
In mine, there were special blue pages inserted in the middle for the victory part.
LarsonLewisProject's entries reminded me that my response to her WWII inquiry is over on Cookbook Collectors group. Thanx everybody for making my day with all your posts. :)
My family has a WWII era Cook Book of the United States Navy, can't remember now what year (either 1940 or 1944). Was my grandfather's from his WWII days on an aircraft carrier. The recipes for gallons of vanilla pudding and pounds of hash give great insight into trying to feed a lot of people at sea in wartime.
#9 - Was your grandfather the cook? I think that is a wonderful treasure you have.
11ErstwhileEditor First Message
Hi, I just joined and am kind-of testing the waters. I collect cookbooks of many sorts. My most purposeful collecting is of old cookbooks. This was originally to be through 1936, but then I extended the date through the 1940s, because I found the WWII books and booklets to be so interesting.
My collection is SOOOOO disorganized. I am hoping this site will help me to organize it.
I have a cookbook from that era put out by the Watkins spice people(used to sell door-to-door.) It's inscribed "Mary Scott 1945"(my mother). So I assume that it's published around that time. I don't recall any adjustments made for wartime shortages or anything, though. One thing about old cookbooks is that they also have household hints, how to remove stains, etc. And Mrs. Beeton went into a lot of detail on managing servants, etc. I also have an old Wesson Oil cookbook from the forties or fifties. I have a World War I era cookbook that belonged to my grandmother put out by Ryzon baking powder. I think that baking powder was a fairly new idea and they were trying to promote it. It has pictures of famous hotels whose restaurants supposedly used Ryzon. Most have probably been torn down now. She had practically loved this cookbook to death, with things written in it, stapled to it, etc.
I also have a couple of cook booklets I picked up at a yard sale many years ago in Missoula. One is called The Story of Meats and the other Cakes Men Love. I haven't used any of the recipes from them. I have used recipes from my mother's old cookbooks, but not my grandmother's.
Cookbooks might be a thing I would grab if the house were burning.
I have Victory Binding of the American Woman's Cook Book Wartime Edition and Norge Binding of Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedic Cookbook from the WWII era. Both of these were acquired from family members. I've not used them to cook from but have spent considerable time reading them. The war effort was obviously a total community effort. The day to day sacrifice is something we can only look back and admire from the vantage point of the 21st Century dependence on prepared food and fast food restaurants.
I collect any cookbook before 1950. The recipes are more interesting and we like to try all the ones we can. They are really good when you try them.
I enjoyed "Eating for Victory," a 2007 reprint of British recipes distributed for use during the food rationing days of WWII. Here's that link:
Here's a link to a pre-WWII cookbook by that American treasure, MFK Fisher, once cited by Julia Child as America's finest food writer!
And here's a link to an Amazon list of 300+ books that turned up when I looked for titles on food rationing:
I managed to snag a box of old cookbooks for a couple dollars at an estate auction. Inside I found a small commercial-tie-in cookbook "winning the war presented by Lysol". Didn't have anything on victory gardens but plenty of recipes for liberty cabbage and the like. Unfortunately it's very worn and almost falling apart. Might be ready to scan in for posterity soon.
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