New Pamphlet Round Up #1!

We’re revving up for the new school year here at Virginia Tech, so it seems like a good time for pamphlet round up this week. There are always lots of new items to share, but we haven’t had a large collection pamphlets lately. It makes selection a little easier, though not by much. So many great recipes!

Selected Banana Recipes for Appetizing and Nutritious Dishes
Selected Banana Recipes for Appetizing and Nutritious Dishes, 1923

Selected Banana Recipes for Appetizing and Nutritious Dishes
Selected Banana Recipes for Appetizing and Nutritious Dishes, 1923

So, the thing about bananas is that they seem to have almost too many uses. Baked, fried, or sliced? Breads, pies, puddings, and salads? Okay! Pickled, hashed, or used as stuffing? Ummm, perhaps not this time.

Wartime Recipes That Taste Good (Sun-Maid Raisins)
Wartime Recipes That Taste Good (Sun-Maid Raisins), c.1941-1945

Wartime Recipes That Taste Good (Sun-Maid Raisins)
Wartime Recipes That Taste Good (Sun-Maid Raisins), c.1941-1945

From bananas to raisins, it’s a logical leap, right? The raisins in this pamphlet hit every course, from breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and snacks. The wartime nature of the publication, as any of our readers know, means we should be prepared for anything. Like using raisins as a filler in meat loaf or the creation of “Raisin Spaghetti Ring.”

Adventures in Herb Vinegars, 1944
Adventures in Herb Vinegars, 1944

Adventures in Herb Vinegars, 1944
Adventures in Herb Vinegars, 1944

“Adventure” isn’t generally a word one might use in conjunction with food. Well, unless you’re taking on the challenge of preparing certain mid-20th century dishes containing words like “surprise” or “piquant.” Flavored vinegars (and oils) are a great ingredient to cook with though. This adventure turns out a bit less frightening than expected, at least on the page. (No strange vinegary desserts in sight!)

Dressy Dishes from Your Victory Garden, 1945
Dressy Dishes from Your Victory Garden, 1945

 

Dressy Dishes from Your Victory Garden, 1945
Dressy Dishes from Your Victory Garden, 1945

(I promise, I didn’t actually intentionally select mostly World War II era items today! But they are so much fun!) We’ll finish up with a veggie-based booklet. You can do a great deal with vegetables, which isn’t surprising. (Much like bananas, apparently?) Recipes in this publication have them in jams, butters, pickles/slaws, salads, sweet and savory pies, and cakes, in addition to as main dishes. There are even potato doughnuts, stuffed and baked cucumbers, and chocolate potato cake!

So, if you’re feeling selective, victorious, adventurous, or dressy this weekend and looking for a recipe to try, you might just look back. Historical recipes aren’t just for reading and research. They might just be worth a nibble, too.

War and Peas: Cooking for “Victory!”

This week marks the first full week of classes at Virginia Tech. We have a number of groups visiting Special Collections and among the materials we’ve been highlighting in some sessions for graduate students are a couple of pamphlets about “Victory” eating/cooking, World War I, and World War II. Inspired by this, I went in search of a “Victory” publication to share and found one I haven’t seen before:

front cover, Victory Meat Extenders

Victory Meat Extenders was published during World War II. A publication by the National Livestock and Meat Board, distributed by Corkhill Fine Meat Products (Maryland), it’s part meat advertisement, part meat propaganda, part war propaganda. The majority of the booklet features recipes for various types of meats: beef, pork, veal, lamb, and variety (read: organ) meats. More on all that in a minute.

Before we get to the recipes, though, there are some other things to cover. The first two pages are focused on the purpose of extending proteins (more specifically, meats) in wartime. The next two pages consist of a handy guide for buying the quality meats you’ll still find in stores!

text introduction chart, "a guide in figuring your meat purchases"

If you’re a follower and/or reader of “What’s Cookin’ @Special Collections?!” the recipes shouldn’t surprise you all that much. The idea of rationing and extending food supplies for victory is nothing new here and the way to go about it, despite the range of publications, is still usually similar. You’ll see lots of added veggies and grains, use of less appealing/cheaper cuts, and a fair share of organ meats.

sample beef recipes sample pork recipes sample sausage recipes

The recipe names are worth a look, too. Some are straighforward (“Baked Meat Hash” or “Roast Veal Roll”), some are creative and inspiring (“Ladies Aid Salad” or “American Style Leg of Lamb Roast”), and some leave you wondering. “Meat Roly Poly,” “Monday Loaf,” and “Scotch Pancakes” may leave modern readers with more questions than say, a desire to cook said dishes. As for the organ meats, well, perhaps the less said the better. Fans of kidney, liver, tongue, and sweetbreads, I leave it to you to visit us and view for yourself.

The publication does leave us on a high note, including a series of suggestions for using/reusing bones, trimmings, and drippings for everything from gravy to frying to baking. You’ll also find a reminder to balance meals from all the food groups, and a pledge to retailers about supplying meat.

list of food groups

And then there’s the back cover. It features the obligatory, World War II-era reminder to “buy war bonds,” as well as an image of the Statue of Liberty. The best part, though? A poem, “The Pledge of the American Homemaker” by H. Howard Biggar which reads, in part:

I pledge the nation that my mission/Will be to practice good nutrition;/To plan those meals which every day/Yield energy for work and play/…With all the problems to be faced,/I’ll do my best to outlaw waste./I want to do my bit and more,/To help America win the war.”