April 2012 Archives

Wartime Chocolate Cookies

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In 1943, sugar was one of the food items being rationed in the United States, but Americans were still clamoring for their post-dinner desserts. Enter Marion White and her book Sweets Without Sugar. In this book, White admonishes her readers to get over their lack of sugar and get creative with other sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, and corn syrup (some recipes even use marshmallows as a refined sugar substitute.) From reading the introduction, I get the sense that White was a no-nonsense kind of lady, and fitting with this image, the recipes included are very practical reworkings of popular desserts and sweets. Here for example is a cookie recipe:

Chocolate Drop Cookies

4 tablespoons shortening
2/3 cup maple syrup
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 squares melted chocolate
1 cup chopped nuts

Melt shortening, add maple syrup and beaten eggs. Sift flour, baking powder and salt and add, a little at a time. Stir in melted chocolate and mix thoroughly. Add chopped nuts. Drop by teaspoonful on buttered baking sheet and bake in hot oven (450 deg.) for about ten minutes.

If you are interested in reading more of Marion White's recipes or studying World War II nutrition, the entire book is freely available online via the Hathi Trust: http://hdl.handle.net/2027/uc1.31822031040645

Image courtesy of the U Media Archive: http://purl.umn.edu/76086

Hippopotamus Hamburger

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As an April Fool's joke, the British Library posted this story about the finding of a rare unicorn cook book. I have yet to find instructions for cooking mythical creatures in the Kirschner Collection (which is not to say that they don't exist), but we do have the Hippo Cook Book:
This book, published in 1969, is full of recipes from San Francisco's Hippopotomus Hamburger Restaurant. As you can see from the menu, this place was serious about creative hamburgers -- you'll find such recipes as The Cannibalburger (aka Steak Tartare), The Kyotoburger, and The Bourbonburger in the book. Also, nearly every page is accompanied by a cute, clever illustration from artist Wolo von Trutzschler, the restaurant's signature artist. Here is Wolo's take on The Stanfordburger: