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The photo is my son and myself. Now days you can get a photo made to look old like this one. This photo was taken when this was the new look.

Harry S Truman was president when I was born and world war II had ended. I grew up in a time when lunch was put in a brown paper bag and a sandwich was wrapped with wax paper. There was no such thing as pantyhose, we wore stockings that attached to the rubbery clippy things that attached to the girdle. Convenience stores were not common and when we took a trip we packed a picnic basket because many places did not have fast food. Highways had places to pull over and stop, some with picnic tables. Read more ....

Finding Calm Through Researching the Past Part One

January 17, 2022

Here we are, our third week in 1943.  I am so excited about the comments and emails and the interest in this study.  

Now in week three reading the local 1943 paper daily we are starting to get a good feel of this era and the happenings around town and it is starting to feel more like 1943.   I wish so much we could go to these places in the paper but many are no longer there or have been changed.

This year Charles and I are listening to radio only.  We have recordings of the old radio shows that we have purchased online over the years.   Last night we listened to Bing Crosby Armed Forces Broadcasts.  It was so nice...   The only electronic in our living room is a radio. 

When doing a study like this we start thinking many things, how did they do this or what did they wear?  It is cold here right now and I am wearing two layers to stay warm.  During 1943 winter underwear for women would have been called Union Suits.  Some older folks may still call them this but at least in our area they are known as thermal underwear or Long Johns.  

After researching further, I have discovered union suits for cold weather and for warmer weather.  It is all about what you feel you need to wear under your clothing, thermal or lighter cotton.

The news is telling us to practice rationing because it is going to be strict come March.  This meal was meatballs, macaroni and cheese and peas.   We used a recipe from our ration book to make the macaroni and cheese because cheese will be rationed.

1943 Creamy Macaroni and Cheese 

5 cups cooked Macaroni ( 1/2 lb. uncooked)

1/2 to 3/4 cup grated sharp cheese

2 cups Medium White Sauce

Place in alternate layers in grease 8x10 in. baking dish.  Season to taste. Bake 20 minutes in moderate oven 350 degrees makes six servings.

The way we make a white sauce is 4 tablespoons butter, 4 tablespoons plain flour, 2 cups of milk, salt and pepper.  

Keep stirring or whisking throughout making the sauce.

Melt the butter, add flour, salt and pepper over medium heat and stir or whisk while pouring the milk into this mixture.  Keep whisking so it does not stick to bottom of pan until thickened.  

Charles and I halved this recipe and it was very good.  The white sauce helps to reduce the amount of cheese in most mac and cheese dishes. 

During our radio show we noticed that the sponsor of the radio show was Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and the commercials kept saying Kraft Macaroni and cheese was point free.  Points have to do with rationing. 

The meat balls were made from 1/2 pound of ground beef.  There is no recipe for it just something that Charles came up with one day.  So I will type it out because they are very tasty.

1/2 pound makes 12 meatballs

3/4 cup chopped mushrooms 

1/4 chopped onion more like minced.

3 Tablespoons Mustard Dijon or yellow

Salt, Pepper to taste, Dash of garlic powder

Mix well and form into meatballs, Sautee in about one tablespoon oil in pan on medium heat.  Turn and roll around occasionally while cooking about 10 minutes. 

Our history study is part of our life now and our regular things to do still happen.  It was time to harvest or dig up turmeric and ginger because we are starting to get colder weather and this week will drop below freezing.

We did not plant out our turmeric or our ginger until later in the year because we just did not have time or energy but we still managed to have some to harvest. This above is turmeric.

I normally go around and dig a hole and bury some Ginger or turmeric just about anywhere there is space.

This is a nice ginger root we harvested and smaller ones and not all is a fail because I clean them up and then put them in a crock with newspaper and I will keep them on the bottom of the pantry floor until spring. We will use what we want off of them while waiting for spring.

This is some ginger I have been using and it started budding out.  The dryer the ginger gets the more it wants to bud out.  I will put this in a pot with some dirt and in the spring I will move it outside.

I do the same for Turmeric.  It cannot take the cold so before it gets below freezing I harvest.

I was cleaning the house and I noticed all of the dust on the bottom of this table.

This led to crawling all over the low areas while I was down there.  Dirt just keeps happening.

I did some mending early one morning. Charles snapped a picture because he knows I need pictures to do my blog. It was before daylight and I was trying to sneak in some mending time.

Before I go to bed at night, if there is laundry to dry due to weather, I will hang it inside to dry overnight.  

The first thing the next morning I will take it down and put it away.

There are a lot of things to do in the home before everyone is awake, this is being the keeper of the home.

I got in one more snuggle before I had to get dressed.

With what all is going on in this world today, I find calm in our history study.  It is something I can do something about.  It is teaching us to conserve even more and how to handle a crisis by making do.  I know less about what is going on in this real time because I have a new focus and this new focus is learning about our generations before us and what goes on in the home.  You will begin to see more of this as Charles and I have finished our fuel and gasoline rationing research.  We have not studied it nor tried to live with this fuel rationing before so it is difficult to share and it is taking us many hours of research to figure it out but we know a whole lot more than we did.  

One thing I am "getting" out of this is to NEVER think that this (Sept 1, 1939 - Sept 2, 1945 ) cannot happen today.  Learn it, understand it, practice it so we could get through something like this. 

I don't know if you can see that black and orange in the middle of this photo but that is a Baltimore Oriole bird at a feeder behind our plum tree.  It is rare for us to see one here and this is the second one we have seen in the last five years. 

Charles cut out the browned asparagus ferns so they can re-emerge in the spring.

I will close here because this is a two part post, the next post will be about news and diary reading.  

While you are waiting for that post, here is a link to something important during this time we are studying.  We are supposed to be making bandages!  The link below is a post I did in our study of 1944. I recently found more news from our local area that the volunteers had been making bandages since 1942.  The good part of this is, if you are doing this study with us by the end of the year you should have some new cotton washable bandages in your first aid cabinet.  If you are not doing the study but reading along this may be one part of the study you might want to do.

Click here to read my old post about making bandages.

Also, I made a video to go with this post but the video maker has a problem.  So I made another video and it still will not load.  I looked up to see what the problem could be and other people were complaining so it looks like I will not have one to post at this time.   But there is another post coming. :) Finding calm through researching part 2.

Grandma Donna

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