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Old 09-08-2014, 09:10 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Addie View Post
Farming is not the easiest job in the world. And under war conditions is was even more difficult. Almost everyone is this country had Victory gardens. And for those that didn't could go to the Community gardens. They would take an empty lot where once a house or building stood and till it for farming. They were all over the city here. We may not have had a lot of meat, but we sure had plenty of vegetables. And some of them had greenhouses so there were veggies available for winter.
My grandfather, a WWI veteran, was a career employee of International Harvester in West Texas. During WWII, he worked as an undercover agent for the company, traveling the country, attempting to buy black market farm equipment from IH dealers. He found plenty to buy at a high price. He would pack old clothes in a tattered suit case and leave home, and his family would get post cards in his handwriting but with a stranger's name. Dangerous work, if you were discovered far from home in a town where violation was common. When he returned, he reported to headquarters. IH had the bad dealers appear for an event at corporate and terminated their dealerships on the spot.

He also talked about a local man who kept driving his Cadillac during the war. No one could figure how he could get the gas. One day, he opened the hood and showed the tiny tractor engine he had installed for the duration of the war.

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Old 09-08-2014, 09:33 PM   #22
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I love hearing stories of how people got by in the depression and during the war. My maternal great-grandmother owned a dairy. She also had laying hens. My father's family was comprised of farmers, so Dad said that he prayed to go to war like his brothers because he now had to do the weeding of four men.

I don't think rations in the USA were nearly as strict as those in the UK. Honestly, I'd totally be willing to take the challenge though to see if I could make it for a week or even for a few weeks. I would need a better understanding of the rules though. If in the UK, that minced beef would be bartered for beans in a heartbeat if bartering was allowed. I too love chocolate, but the 1 egg a week is what has me most fearful!

BTW, I love the caddie driver swapping out the engine. I definitely use more than three gallons of gas a week to go to and from work. Not sure how I would resolve that.

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Old 09-09-2014, 12:28 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Addie View Post
...I also remember my mother making toast and sprinkling a little sugar on it and telling me that was desert...
Since I'm a dozen years younger than you, I didn't grow up during the Depression. However, I consider Challah or any dense, barely sweet bread, toasted and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, as "dessert". Cranberry/pecan toast that way? Oh !

To this day I still have my Grandma's purse, complete with ration coupon books for food and liquor. I remember my Mom telling me Grandma would hang on to those liquor stamps until my Dad would be home on leave. She figured the only people who deserved to drink were the military people fighting for our freedom. God Bless Grandma and the U.S.A.!

By the way Addie, since rationing ended in 1946 when you were about 7 years old, I hope you were the baby of your family. Hate to think your Mom let you wander the beach clamming alone!
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Old 09-09-2014, 03:18 AM   #24
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i mentioned this thread to my mom tonight, and after several questions, she, in a quite embarrassed tone, said while she remembers it. she said everyone was constantly finding ways around the rations.

then she changed the subject.

i guess the greatest generation wants to keep it that way.
Life is so much simpler when you stop trying to explain yourself, and just do what works for you.
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Old 09-09-2014, 04:15 AM   #25
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Grandma's Wartime Kitchen...hhee, ...nothing.
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Old 09-09-2014, 07:20 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by menumaker View Post
This was a super series on BBCI hope this link works but if not, go to youtube and search; BBC Wartime farm episode 1, and take it from there. The Christmas episode was particularly interesting

wartime farm episode 1 - YouTube
I started watching it last night after seeing it here, fascinating! I didn't get through the first episode because I started watching too late and got sleepy, but I'll definitely keep watching.
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Old 09-09-2014, 11:16 AM   #27
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I found an interesting link that includes excerpts from Ration Cookbooks.

11 Awesome Pages from World War II Ration Cookbooks | Mental Floss

I don't remember my parents ever discussing food rationing, but during WW2 my dad was overseas in France with an infantry battalion, and my mom, although dating my dad, was living with her parents on their family farm. My parents were married two weeks after he returned home from the war.
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Old 09-09-2014, 11:55 AM   #28
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Thanks for the link Steve. I enjoyed that.

I remember my mum's old magazines that showed pattern layouts for cutting the fabric for ladies' clothes from old men's suits.
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Old 09-09-2014, 12:20 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
Thanks for the link Steve. I enjoyed that.

I remember my mum's old magazines that showed pattern layouts for cutting the fabric for ladies' clothes from old men's suits.
My mother must have learned how to do that from my grandma--my "coat of many colours" when I went to first grade was pink and black plaid that my mom made from one of her old coats. I can remember her laying the pieces from the original coat out on the floor and making my coat. I was so proud of that coat. She also made amazing Barbie doll coats from my dad's old suits. My grandma also made braided rugs. For years I had one of her rugs in my livingroom.
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Old 09-09-2014, 12:29 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Kathleen View Post
So I was cruising about the Internet like I often do and something caught my eye: A woman had engaged in an experiment to make do with what would have been her weekly food rations during WWII. She lives in the UK and so her weekly ration is as follows:

Bacon & Ham - 4 ounces
Meat to the value of 1 shilling and six pence (1/2 pound of minced beef)
Butter - 2 ounces
Cheese - 2 ounces
Margarine - 4 ounces
Cooking fat - 4 ounces
Milk - 3 pints
Sugar - 8 ounces
Preserves - 1 pound every 2 months
Tea - 2 ounces
Eggs - 1 fresh egg per week
Sweets/Candy - 12 ounces every four weeks

In addition, you got to spend an additional 16 points per four weeks which would get you a can of tinned fish, 2 pounds of dried fruit, or 8 pounds of dried peas.

I've not been able to find a definitive list of what one could claim in the states, but I've read it was roughly twice the UK rations. I do know that it was a pound of coffee per five weeks.

When I first started to read about the project, I was pretty sassy. "Oh, I could do that," I said with a flip of my hair....until I hit the egg and milk part. Then...sugar. I've also read that flour was sometimes scarce. Seafood and fish were not limited unless it was in a can.

So the lady who did the experiment lost a boat-load of weight, which was her goal, but I'm totally amazed that she stuck to her rations!

I also learned that rationing in the UK continued until well-past the war.

If that kind of thing returned, I believe that I could do it - but it would take some serious planning. I'd definitely have a victory garden and a backyard full of chickens!

Does anyone remember food rations during WWII or after?

The 16 points could get you what's on the above list but it would depend on whether supplies of those things (or whatever was supposed to be available that week) had arrived in the shops and how close to the front of the queue you were. Hence the photos of queues you see in books about Britain during WW2. Fish was "off the ration" but was often in short supply.

It's generally stated that people in Britain were much healthier during wartime rationing - the diet was lower in fats and sugar, and vegetables were promoted as fillers and sometimes substitutes for meat. Certainly families that had been very poor and badly fed in the 1930s and were better off during rationing due to higher employment of both men and women could afford more and better food than pre-war. There was great emphasis placed on food advice, recipes and avoidance of food waste on the radio, in newspapers and in magazines, both public and private gardens even in towns were converted to veg cultivation, and rabbits and chickens were kept by many families. "British Restaurants" were opened where a 3 course meal cost 9 pence and no rationing coupons were required. (The GB £ was worth about $4 at the time - it's roughly worth $1.50 now - and there were 240 pennies in the £ so you can do the maths if you are sufficiently interested. Suffice it to say that my mother earned £5 a week on munitions - good money at the time.) Factories and schools had canteens where meals were supplied without the need for coupons. My dad was in the army during the war and my mother worked in a munitions factory (women were called up for either the services or war work) and they both say that the inventive cook managed reasonably well with the rations

Yes, rationing continued until 1954 (I remember the fuss when it ended) because we owed so much to, among others, the USA (for "lend lease" assistance during the war) that production was aimed at paying our debts. Sweets and chocolate came off the ration in 1953 when I was 4 years old. Sweet rationing hadn't impact on me very much as Mum and Dad, my grandparents and my "maiden" aunts used to hand over their sweet coupons for my use. I remember the fuss in 1953 when everyone was raving about chocolate being available - I couldn't see what the fuss was all about. I still don't like chocolate very much!

Clothes rationing carried on after the war, too. Everyone, rich and poor alike had the same allotment and when the present Queen was married in 1947 it's reported that women all over Britain voluntarily sent in clothing coupons to help towards her wedding dress

BTW - If she was still alive Mum would say thank you to America for powdered egg. When she got home after a night shift her mother would make her a dried egg omelette and she said it was her favourite breakfast. Dried egg had a bad reputation for awfulness but mum said that if you made it up strictly according to instructions it made delicious omelettes.

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