Reviewing Rations

Last week, I had a mild moment of panic when I realized how little meat the rations provided for the three of us. I tried some quick backing and filling. Since daughter gets 1/2 gallon of milk per week, I chose to take one of our monthly adult rations of 1/2 gallon milk as 8oz heavy cream and 8 oz sour cream, to give us more options. I hit my cookbooks and came up with recipes heavy on veggies and light on meat and dairy.

It  turns out that, except for meat and cheese, the ration amounts actually provide way more food than we can use, especially sugar. One pound of sugar per person per week is totally ridiculous. We don't use that much sugar in a month, much less in a week. I could understand needing some extra sugar if we had lots of fruit to preserve, but 3# per week is industrial-scale fruit preservation. We're VERY heavy tea drinkers, but the tea ration is more than even we can drink in a week. (Yes, we drink our tea without sugar, which is looked upon with deep suspicion in the South. I was raised in California. Don't judge me.) Also, 36 ounces (12 oz x 3 people) of oil per week is excessive. I might use that much in a month, but in a week?!? And 6 sticks of butter (24 oz) for three people for a week? I'd have trouble using half that amount, even if we were having bowls of buttered popcorn every night!

Obviously, I'm American, not British. But I have to ask: What in the world was British cuisine like during the war that the ration system needed to provide that much oil, sugar, butter, and tea?!?

To recap, our current ration, per person, per week, based on the highest amounts allowed by the British during the war, is:

Bacon or Ham              8 oz
Sugar                          16 oz
Tea /Coffee                   4 oz
Meat, including Fish  1# 3 oz
Cheese                           8 oz
Preserves                       1#/month
Butter                            8 oz
Cooking oil                 12 oz
Lard                              3 oz
Sweets/Candy             16 oz/month
Milk                             1/2 gallon for children under 18 per week; 1/2 gallon for Adults per month

(I'm leaving off the egg ration because we have chickens. We're getting so many eggs that we share a couple dozen each week with our neighbors. During the war, we could have made a decent amount of extra money selling our eggs on the black market.)

Based on last week's results, I'm revising the ration to the amounts the British were allowed as of April 1945:

Bacon or Ham             4 oz
Sugar                            8 oz
Tea/Coffee                   2 oz
Meat, including fish    1# 3 oz
Cheese                         2 oz
Preserves                     1#/month
Butter                           2 oz
Cooking oil                  4 oz
Lard                             2 oz
Sweets/Candy             12 oz/month
Milk                            1/2 gallon per week under 18, 1/2 gallon per month for adults
...plus the $25 dollars per person, per week, for everything else.

A pound-and-a-half (8 oz x 3 people) of sugar per week is better, but we still won't be able to use all of it. During WW2, I could have sold my extra sugar ration on the black market or traded it privately for some other hard-to-get items (meat, chocolate, cheese, chocolate, bacon, chocolate, soap,...chocolate.) Unfortunately, the wartime black market is no more, so I have to create my own.

I've decided that for each pound of sugar we don't use, every ration of oil or butter, and each dozen eggs we give to our neighbor, I'm going to allow us black market purchases of:
1 extra soap coupon OR
2 oz sweets/candy OR
2 oz of cheese OR
4 oz of meat OR
4 oz of bacon.
I'll keep a running total on here so I (and you) can keep track of my illicit activities.

Since I'm changing everything up, I'll post this week's shopping and menus tomorrow. [Addendum: Due to a perfect storm of a flat tire, rusted lugnuts, a sloped gravel parking area, and Danny working all weekend, the grocery shopping will be delayed until Monday. Tuesday at the latest. Maybe Wednesday. Cars suck.]

Monday's recipe will be my super adaptable, super easy (except for grating the carrots, but that is what children are for, right?) Carrot Cake recipe. It can be made into breakfast muffins (with the frosting on the inside) or into a cake (with the frosting on the outside), and is our go-to favorite for birthdays.

In honor of my (age redacted) birthday, have a fun, cake-filled weekend out there in Bloggerland!!!


deborah harvey said...

some of the oil allotment could be rubbed on lug nuts.

Catherine said...

Actually, one of the lug nuts got wedged/stuck in the only lug wrench we have that fits the truck lugs. AND the flat tire's leak is unpluggable, so we need a whole new tire. AND the rim of the spare (which mounts under the truck and has never been used)is a mass of rust, so it really isn't driveable until I replace the tire. AND I have no extra car to get the tire to the tire shop until next week since Danny has to work all weekend.

Sometimes I think cars are of the devil. And rationing doesn't help anything. Situations like these require chocolate.

Penny said...

Cars suck. Chocolate doesn't.

Catherine said...