Money Stretching Ideas from WWI

Recently I downloaded a free ebook, Foods That Will Win The War and How to Cook Them (1918). There are several places you can download this book.

Some of the suggestions are a little outdated since this was written in 1918, but surprisingly many of the principles mentioned can still be applied today to help each of us stretch our dollars.

Here is an excerpt which is helpful:

When we come to waste caused by careless preparation we may be reminded of the miracle of the loaves and fishes – how all the guests were fed and then twelve baskets were gathered up. Often after preparation that which is gathered up to be thrown away  is as large in quantity and as high in food value as the portions used.

640px-Cucumber_soupVegetables are wasted in preparation by too thick paring, the discarding of coarse leaves such as are found on lettuce, cabbage and cauliflower, discarding wilted parts which can be saved by soaking, throwing away tips and roots of celery and the roots and ends of spinach and dandelions. All these waste products can be cooked tender, rubbed through a sieve and used with stock for vegetable soup, or with skimmed milk for cream soup. Such products are being conserved by the enemy, even to the onion skin, which is ground into bread-making material.

Throwing away the water in which vegetables have been cooked wastes their characteristic and valuable element – the mineral salts. Cooking them so much that they become watery; under-cooking so that they are hard and indigestible; cooking more than is required for a meal; failing to use left-over potions promptly as an entree or for cream soups or scalloped dishes – all these things mean an appalling waste of valuable food material. Good food material is also lost when the water in which rice or macaroni or other starchy food has been boiled is poured down the kitchen sink. Such453px--Save_Food_for_World_Relief._That_crust_of_bread_you_wasted-_That_bit_of_meat_you_nibbled_and_left-_That_plate_of_left-_-_NARA_-_512529 water should be used for soup making.

Fruits are wasted by throwing away the cores and skins, which can be used for making sauces, jams and jellies, the latter being sweetened with corn syrup instead of sugar.

Rhubarb is wasted by removing the pink skin from young rhubarb, which should be retained to add flavor and color-attractiveness to the dish.

Raw food in quantity is frequently left in the mixing bowl, while by the use of a good flexible knife or spatula every particle can be saved. A large palette knife is as good in the kitchen as in the studio.

This book was not written to save money, but to save things that were needed for the war effort. Saving money was a side product of the book. I enjoyed reading it for its historical value as well as the hints for stretching your money.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Nancy Williams on August 30, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    How interesting and informative! I remember how careful my mother was not to waste food. She also recycled her wash water and dish water, often carrying it by the bucketful out to the plants in the garden or yard. We can learn a lot from past generations.


    • Hi, Nancy. I have recently heard of people in CA and other states doing the same thing your mother did with the water because of severe water restrictions in their state.


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