Well, I was gonna say good morning, but it’s already afternoon. Oops! I have to confess, I was distracted by food. Friday is when I usually start planning my cooking for the next week, and I often do this by looking for new recipes online. Today was no different, and it distracted me when I should have been writing! But the nice thing is that several of my distractions might be interesting to y’all. So I’m gonna share.
First off, there’s a blog I found a while back, called “The 1940’s Experiment.” It seems this lovely lady name Carolyn Elkins, who is a bit of a foodie and a history buff, decided to try an experiment: live on WWII rations and recipes. She did two runs — one four months long and one year long — and blogged about the experience. Her blog is great: she describes the budget she worked with, listed each recipe, talked about how each one turned out and any tweaks she made, and, most importantly, talked about how the food tasted and how her family (including that most picky and touchy of in-home pets, the Angsty Teen) received each meal. It’s really fascinating reading. I’ve not yet tried the recipes myself yet, but it’s only a matter of time.
BTW: she apparently lost a bunch of weight on this experiment, well over 120 pounds. Everything I’ve read said the British ration diet was incredibly good for you, and apparently they weren’t wrong!
Next up, and on a similar vein, there’s this YouTube channel I stumbled across about year ago: Great Depression Cooking. Seems this little old lady named Clara Cannucciari, 98 years old and feisty as you please, did this online cooking show back in 2010, showing the recipes she and her family fixed during the Great Depression. I’ve watched all the videos on her channel and found them fascinating. She talks about why they fixed this food instead of that, talks about how they stretched their budgets and just generally how they made a little bit of food go a long long way.
My dad would have been about ten years younger than Clara, and he used to talk about the way they lived during the Depression. Clara is a city girl, and my dad was a country boy, so their experiences were very different, in some ways. Daddy grew up here on the farm in the darkest jungles of Appalachia (same farm I live on now!); by the standard of the day, they were pretty prosperous, having plenty of food and enough money that they could employ farm hands. They were a commercial chicken farm. I never saw my dad eat chicken. Seems they had chicken a LOT, and he never wanted to see a chicken on his dinner plate again; burned out in a big big way. He also never ate eggs; after growing up eating eggs still warm from the bird, store bought eggs tasted stale to him.
But, despite the difference in experience, Daddy’s and Clara’s experiences had similarities. The most obvious was the constant awareness: nothing must be wasted, “use it up and wear it out.” I heard that phrase my entire life, and the experience of the Great Depression is what taught it to them (okay, that’s always been the mindset of Appalachians, but you see where I’m coming from). Anyway, if you’re interested in the lives of people in the earlier days of Dieselpunk/Pulp, this cooking show might something to check out. She also has a blog and a cookbook.
Finally, and most oddly, I stumbled across this webpage earlier this week, and I’m still scratching my head. Apparently in some parts of the Steampunk community, there is something called “Tea Dueling,” and this webpage (part of a larger, though now defunct blog) describes it. Seems the whole duel is a contest to dunk a cookie/biscuit into tea for a prescribed amount of time, then eat it without dribbling on your clothes or losing part of the cookie into the tea. No. I’m not joking. There are even rules and referees (called a “Tiffin”)!
Honestly it sounds like a giggle. Check out this video, it’ll make you smile. If anybody has seen this or participated, please contact me, I’d love to hear more.
Okay, I think that’s it for me today. You know the drill: share, tweet, comment below, or email me at the addy listed on my About page. If you have a Fun Friday contribution to share, send it along, I’d love to see more. In the meantime, take care, enjoy your weekend, and I’ll see y’all on Monday!