Wartime Recipes 1942

These recipes are taken from Wartime Recipes first published in 1942 and written by Margaret Y. Brady.

Picture of book front cover1942

Acknowledgments

I should like to express my thanks to all the kind people who have given me recipes at different times, and also to express my indebtedness to authors of the numerous and varied cookery books and articles that I have read from time to time and from which I have derived help and ideas, as well as specific recipes, some of which I have altered to make them more suitable for my particular purpose. Some of the recipes have already appeared in Health For All.

I should like to thank specially Mrs. Loewenfeld for the recipe for rose-hip jam; Madame Nietlispach for suggestions for Vegetable and Fruit dishes; Edgar J. Saxon; Maud Baines; Mrs. T. J. Elliot; Miss Eleanour Sinclair Rohde, and Mrs. Milton Powell for their writings on food and cooking which have helped me to work out my own ideas.

Dedication

Since the right food is the only sure foundation of good health, and since good health and happiness are the inalienable birthright of children, this book is dedicated to all those mothers, who, in spite of present difficulties, give time and trouble to ensuring that their children shall have the best natural, unspoiled foods available.

Introduction

The ability to eat is one of the characteristics that distinguishes living things from dead things, and in his early stages of development man ate just those things he could find or catch ready to hand and, of course, all raw.

As civilisation has progressed, man's food has altered, until in recent times most of his food was so cooked, prepared, processed, refined and devitalised, that it was greatly lacking in certain essential constituents, with the result that man suffered, and is suffering, from entirely avoidable deficiency diseases, due to unrecognised malnutrition.

Acute shortages of vitamins are recognised as being responsible for deficiency diseases, such as scurvy, pellegra, beri-beri and rickets; but the fact that continuous slight shortages also produce milder diseases has not been so readily perceived.

People nowadays try to make up for diet deficiences by taking vitamin preparations, as well as mineral salt compounds to make good the parallel shortage of essential minerals. It is entirely doubtful if enough is yet known about what the essential shortages actually are so as to be able to make good these deficiencies, but if only unspoiled and properly cooked foods are eaten in balanced meals, including a daily raw salad, there need be no fear of any such deficiences, even in wartime, with the possible exception of vitamin D. For this vitamin sun and air bathing is the best additional source, though a reputable vitamin-D preparation may be desirable for children in the winter months.

The abolition of white flour is a sound step towards a healthier national diet, because good wholewheat bread contains essential mineral salts and vitamins sadly lacking in white bread.

Wartime Recipes

The recipes in this book are designed to provide the right sort of food, even under wartime restrictions. Every one should take an intelligent interest in his or her food, but particularly mothers, so as to ensure a healthy and happy nation, but this does not mean that one should become a crank. Correct food is the key to good health—physical, mental and spiritual but it should not be made into a sort of fetish, or an end in itself; neither should it be allowed to act as a barrier to normal social activities. With the rising national interest in correct diet, stimulated by the Ministry of Food, salads, vegetarian savouries and properly-cooked vegetables are no longer considered to be "cranky" foods. On days when unenlightened visitors come to tea, e.g., on Sundays, some modification of the regular meal is desirable.

Most people are content to regard the absence of specific ill-health as good health. Actually, good health, is a positive condition, and practically everyone could enjoy a degree of well-being and bounding vitality beyond their present conception, if only they wanted it badly enough and were prepared to work for it, realising that most ill- health is self-inflicted.

Correct diet is like the key to a garden; it is essential as a means of entering the garden, but it is not an end in itself. It opens the door to a fuller life, and, rightly used, will build better bodies, with greater abilities to live in, and create, the better world we hope to build out of the present chaos.

That grand pioneer of healthy eating, the late Dr. Bircher-Benner, advised everyone to have at least half their food raw if they want to avoid the varieties of ill-health man has managed to inflict on himself. With the present wartime shortages of fresh fruits and nuts, and owing to the fact that we are not caterpillars, it may not be quite possible to follow this advice at present, but we should all remember it for future reference and action.

More raw food also means less cooking, and therefore a saving of fuel.

It has been assumed in preparing the recipes in this book that people interested in a correct diet will not be content to depend on those vegetables that can be bought in shops, but will be making a real effort to grow their own, both because it is a national service, and because these are fresher and therefore more valuable. One may also secure a greater variety. For this reason, recipes containing onions, tomatoes and herbs, and other vegetables not readily bought in shops, have been included.

All other foods called for in the recipes are available at the time of writing, but some of them may not be available always.

Due solely to wartime conditions, the use of such items as white sugar and lemon substitute is recommended in certain of the recipes. No harm can accrue, however, by the occasional use of such things. It is the constant and excessive use of denatured and chemicalized foods that eventually causes trouble.

Margaret Y. Brady.