Monday, May 30, 2011

The Victory Cookbook

Memorial Day should be about more than firing up the grill or lounging around the lake. For our family, it always means a trip to cemeteries to place flowers on loved ones' graves. On the Moore side we make the trek from Greenlawn Cemetery in Pratt, to the Iuka Cemetery to Pleasant Plains and then to Macksville.

Our excursion for Randy's family includes stops at the Stafford Cemetery and the Peace Creek Cemetery just north of where we live. This year, it also included a stop at Elroy's Pizza in downtown Stafford. Good timing, Kathy!

Memorial Day is also a time to remember those who fought in our country's wars and served during peace time to keep our country free and safe.

When we were cleaning out my grandparents' house, I found an old cookbook. It was dated 1942 and was compiled by the Ladies of the W.S.C.S. of the Byers Methodist Church. (Women's Society of Christian Service was the precursor to today's United Methodist Women.) As I looked through the cookbook, I found recipes from both my grandmothers, as well as childhood neighbors.

The cookbook was produced during World War II. Children collected scrap metal. Families did without sugar and other staples. Women in some parts of the country had to go to work in factories and other jobs outside the home to fill the void left by men who were serving overseas.

In Victory Hints, found at the front of the cookbook, it says, in part:
Victory is more than just another word. It is a challenge to the ingenuity of womanhood. Victory means taking care of and making the most of what we have. It means saving time and strength as well as material things.
(I love the divider pages in the cookbook.)

Those are valuable ideas, even today.

A friend shared another cookbook published in 1943, also during World War II. In the preface of The Connecticut Cookbook, the writer included a section called Cooking in War Time:
Today, when sacrifice is demanded of us, we have learned the true value of each and every comfort. ... Meat and bread, vegetables and fruits, coffee and milk have become symbols. They are no longer merely the sustenance of physical being, but the strength of the will to win. It has been said many times and cannot be said too often, that this is a war to maintain spiritual ideals. It is a war of progress against savagery, of the power of right over the rule of evil.
During World War II, Americans were called upon to sacrifice.
Food used to be an accepted necessity instead of a luxury. We gave little or no thought to our good fortune in having enough to eat, just as we thought not at all of giving thanks for warm blankets on cold nights or enough fuel to keep from freezing.
Makes you think, doesn't it? Today, military personnel and their families are making a sacrifice, but the rest of us go on our merry way. We give little or no thought to our good fortune in having enough to eat, a roof over our heads and gasoline in our cars (albeit more expensive than we'd like!)

Today, take time to say a prayer for our active duty military men and women and a big thank you to the veterans who served us so well.

For more on this topic, head on over to Lovely Branches Ministries and check out my May Food for Thought blog. And while you're there, check out the other blogs on the Vine Press.

Happy Memorial Day to you and yours!


Want to make a patriotic treat to celebrate Memorial Day? Try these bar cookie recipes.

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