February 05, 2011

Kid's and Cooking Circa 1943

I'm busy trying to add more of my cookbooks to my database. There's always something about each book that catches my eye.

This one, A New Way Every Day to Enjoy Iron (1943, 24 pages) was published by Grandma's Old Fashioned Molasses. I thought the black and white photo of the children laid against the bright yellow color of the cover was interesting. There's something about the girl that looks a little unreal. The book definitely doesn't appear to be a high budget production. The cover looks stern and serious ...like medicine. Is that the message they meant to portray?

This booklet focuses on the nutritional value of molasses, particularly it's high natural iron content. The first four pages are devoted to all of the positive attributes of molasses, specifically, the Grandma's Molasses brand. Other brands, as you might guess, were supposedly inferior. I suppose the excerpt from a 1942 newspaper article, inside the front cover, explaining the dietary advantages of molasses, is shown to add credibility to their claims.

This paragraph from the front of the booklet is interesting. It could have been written yesterday, albeit for different reasons.

More and more homemakers today feel the need to know about the constituents of foods. They want to be sure that each element in a food contributes toward a well-balanced diet for their families. They wish to have information about the mineral content, the vitamins and the general food values present in every food. They realize that it is important to provide the total daily requirments of each essential element by having every member of the family eat one or more foods that contain it. Grandma's Kitchen supplies you with information abou the vital healthful elements of Grandma's Old Fashioned Molasses.
The booklet contains advice on "modernizing" your everyday recipes with the use of Grandma's Molasses instead of sugar. Two full pages are devoted to this subject. There are ninety-one recipes in all, with pancakes and waffles, a variety of spreads for sandwiches, baked goods, and a few main and side dishes.

The publishing date of 1943 places this advertising cookbook directly into the wartime cookbook category. Sugar had already been rationed and molasses made a good substitute, as it was more plentiful (it, too, later made the rationing lists). The newspaper excerpt, mentioned above, also alludes to the war: "In these days when healthful diets for all people are of the utmost significance to national defense, greater dependence would be placed upon natural foods than upon foods that are too highly processed or refined." One of the salad recipes is called "Defense Salad."

It's ironic to think that although we are now currently involved in a war and the interest in consuming more natural foods is extremely high, it's not because of national defense, but rather due to the trend of people wanting to move away from the chemicals and preservatives in processed foods on their own.

This page, containing one of the few color illustrations in the booklet, shows an attractive pair of children pulling taffy. The recipe for Lads and Lassies Taffy is given, along with some variations.

With all of the interest in teaching children to cook these days, I was pleased to find that this booklet also encouraged children's cooking. There are several pages that contain recipes at the bottom of the page that are labeled "A Recipe for a Very Young Cook." Those recipes are shown below.

This is sweet, French Toast for Daddy's Sunday morning breakfast:

Old Virginia Frosting, made with peanut butter and molasses:

This West Indies Milk shake sounds more like medicine to me:

Grandma's Peanut Butter Patties, a peanut butter cookie:

I'm pretty sure modern kids would have little interest in anything called Prune Whip (do they even know what a prune is?), but how did kids in the 1940's like it?

Grandma's Cream Cheese Spread - great for tea parties with dollies or friends:

Tutti Frutti Slices, a sort of non-baked cookie made with dried fruit--sounds healthy!

A basic Breakfast Muffins recipe:

Baked Bananas might be a little more healthy than ice cream and candy:

Quick Gingerbread, not as popular today as it was back then:

Colonial Custard, pudding that doesn't come in a plastic cup:


At 8:16 PM CST, Blogger ~~louise~~ said...

Cool book Kathy. I too am on a continuous database over-haul. I've stooped to filing my advertising booklets by month. (I kid you not) As a matter of fact, I considered sharing some Duff Molasses books and Grandma books for Molasses Bar Day on the 8th. No can do.

There's no denying the nutritional qualities in molasses, or prunes for that matter, I suppose neither are the "in" things in these times. Too bad...

Thanks for sharing, Kathy. It's always nice to drop by and see what you're doing...

Word verification: nonap:)

At 8:40 PM CST, Blogger T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I had to laugh at the idea of Grandma's molasses being used to "modernize" a recipe! That Colonial Custard sounds quite good.

At 5:57 AM CST, Blogger Kathy said...

Perhaps molasses will be making a comeback soon, since it's good for us.

At 11:49 AM CST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found a "Virginia Roberts" (like a Betty Crocker probably) Home Baking Institute, Occident Flour, pamphlet. It is a step by step method to make rolls. It was mailed to a person in Torringto, CT. Price was 25 cents. Nd date, but it came from Minneapolis, Minnesota. There is a drawing of a lady in black and white and there is a yellow background.
I can JUST see a date of 1943 on it. Wondering if it is worth anything?


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