Dispensing Happiness

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.-Elsa Schiapirelli

That's me, the magical good cook.

Borrowing from my friend Dexygus, I've created my own food blog.

Read of my exploits in the kitchen! Salivate over the descriptions of fabulous desserts and savory meals I've concocted!

No, seriously...go ahead. It'll make my day.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Wartime Wednesdays: From the Victory Kitchen


I'm known for being a bit of a retro-gal. My 1950's kitchen (with original stove, sink and metal cabinets), movies, clothes...and yes, cooking.

I have a nice collection of older cookbooks, plus a hefty shelf of Gourmet magazines, going back to it's inception in 1941!

Adding to the 'retro' shelf, my father-in-law gave me a cookbook: enormous (just under 900 pages!), hard-bound, with which I immediately fell in love.

The Victory Binding of the American Woman's Cook Book: Wartime Edition with Victory Substitutes and Economical Recipes for Delicious Wartime Meals, Published for the Culinary Arts Institute, Copyright 1943.

It's such an amazing book, with ways to stretch your shopping dollars, suggestions for how much dairy, meat, vegetables, etc children and adults should consume, party planning, how to serve a dinner depending on the type, even the proper way to set a table!

And while there are recipes I positively would not touch (stuffed beef hearts, anyone?), the book is filled with all sorts of treasures. I just knew I wanted to try some.

So, what I've decided to do is prepare at least one recipe, and sometimes a full meal, from this book each week.

For the very first Wartime Wednesdays; I made Roast Beef, Horseradish Sauce, Popovers, Franconia Potatoes, Lettuce Wedges with French Dressing, and Dutch Apple Pie.

I only used gadgets available during the early 1940's for this, too.

While making the batter for the popovers, I got to use my very old eggbeater!

Oh, these things were so good...

The recipe called for wrapping the roast with bacon if it wasn't terribly fatty. Matt thought it was so decadent!

Franconia Potatoes were simply peeled potatoes, cooked under the roast, and flavored by the drippings.

Both the Horseradish Sauce and the French Dressing (not shown) were one hundred times better than anything found in a bottle today!

Here I go; attempting another pie.

And hey...look! It came out rather nicely. Unfortunately, Matt wasn't terribly crazy about the crust on this one. But, it's a start.

Oh, and when he'd taken that first bite of the roast, I asked Matt if it was good. In answer, he got up from his chair, hugged me and said "I love you".

I think that means 'yes'.

Tagged with: + + + + + + + + +

14 Thoughts for food:

At 1:50 AM, Blogger m3rni3 said...

awwwwwwwwwww .. dats so sweet of matt .. ;-)

At 12:29 PM, Blogger The Cookbook Junkie said...

Oh, I would love that book! Have you read Grandma's Wartime Kitchen? Your book sounds like it covers in detail what Grandma's Wartime Kitchen looks back on - the rationing, the stretching, substituting ingredients,etc.

At 3:31 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Funny, that's what he thought about me!

At 3:32 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

CJ; well, there is that copy for sale on eBay!

I don't think I have...but I've seen it in places like Betty's Attic.

Fortunately, I have enough authentically old volumes to keep me busy!

At 3:59 PM, Blogger barbie2be said...

yum! i love horseradish sauce! and popovers!

At 4:03 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

He was pretty much in heaven with this dinner, I have to tell ya!

At 6:19 PM, Anonymous veuveclicquot said...

yum. the roast beef looks excellent. That's definitely on my list 'to cook' - especially if a new man rolls into my life! :)

At 6:42 PM, Anonymous peabody said...

This looks so very comforting and yummy.

At 8:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oooo, sounds like a delicious meal! Popovers are one of my favorites. They're delicious and fun and easy to make.

At 11:21 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...



For us, the hardest part is finding a small enough cut of meat; Matt's the only one in our house eating it, so we really don't need a six or seven pound roast!

But, it's so easy, and he really liked it...

At 11:44 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...


Thank you! It does have a very homey, and comforting, feel to it, doesn't it?

At 11:54 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thanks, Natalia!

I'd never even tried popovers until I started making them for Matt a few years ago...but yes, they are so incredibly easy!

At 3:31 PM, Blogger Chris said...

That looks great! Bacon wrapped anything tastes great, doesn't it!

My Blog

At 6:51 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

You know, Chris, it's been so long since I've eaten it, I honestly can't remember!

But it smelled divine...


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