As you may know, I am hip deep into writing an historic fiction work that is based on a true story. The working title is: Mending Helen’s Heart. Much of the story takes place in the 1940′s so naturally, I’ve been researching World War II facts, like what people ate and wore and that sort of thing.
Of course the food rationing was much worse in England than it was in the US, but we still had rationing of things like gasoline, sugar, coffee and many other items were just difficult to find.
I’m not trying to throw ice water on our Thanksgiving food fest plans this week, but it may give you pause to see what the adults lived on in the 1940′s. I was stunned. Of course, if they had a scrap of yard, they often raised chickens to supplement their meager rations. And rabbits or squirrels that ventured near them were captured and put into a stew.
If you are interested in reading more, this was a valuable site: http://cookit.e2bn.org/historycookbook/20-97-world-war-2-Food-facts.html
On another site, they showed the typical food for one WEEK for an adult in England during the food rationing:
A typical ration for one adult per week was:
Butter: 50g (2oz) Bacon and ham: 100g (4oz) Margarine: 100g (4oz)
Sugar: 225g (8oz). Meat: To the value of 1s.2d (one shilling and sixpence per week. That is about 6p today)
Milk: 3 pints (1800ml) occasionally dropping to 2 pints (1200ml).
Cheese: 2oz (50g) Eggs: 1 fresh egg a week. Tea: 50g (2oz).
Jam: 450g (1lb) every two months. Dried eggs 1 packet every four weeks. Sweets: 350g (12oz) every four weeks
No wonder they were so thin. The fashions of the day were also cut skimpy to save on fabric and even on buttons and other closures.
On Thanksgiving, wear your elastic-waisted pants and knit shirts. Enjoy the day. We have so much to be thankful for.