Historic Home Cooking Challenge

Historic Home Cooking Challenge - Archives Awareness Week 2020

Leddy Library's Archives & Special Collections invite you to celebrate Archives Awareness Week (April 6-12, 2020) by participating in the Historic Home Cooking Challenge.
Starting Monday, April 6, try your hand at cooking one of the daily historic recipes found below.
The Archives and Special Collections team carefully selected recipes using ingredients you probably already have at home from a historic, special edition cookbook released during the Second World War (1939-1945). The Victory Binding of the American Woman's Cook Book (1943), by Ruth Bertolzheimer, was a popular American cookbook that was also widely used in Windsor.

The use of the word ‘Victory’  in the book’s title was meant to boost morale on the home front  when citizens were weary but the war’s outcome was still highly uncertain. North Americans felt the impact of the war right in their kitchens, where some popular items were scarce and commodities like sugar and meat were officially rationed.
The Library has selected five recipes that capture this challenge for you to try at home.

The wartime rationing of sugar meant that many desserts of the 1940s are not as sweet as modern recipes; however, people would often save their sugar rations in order to make candy or cakes for special occasions. While there is nothing sweeter than victory, the only prize associated with the challenge is the reward of trying something new.
Share your Historic Home Cooking Challenge experience with Leddy Library online by uploading your recipe photos and videos to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, tagging @LeddyLibrary and using the hashtags #AAW220 #LLHHCC.


Monday, April 6:   Maple Nut Brittle; Peanut Brittle 

Nut Brittle Recipe
Pro Tips:

  • “Maple sugar” = maple syrup. You could also try substituting corn syrup or honey.
  • “Granulated sugar” = white sugar.
  • “Nut meats” = any kind of nuts you like, without their shells.

Tuesday, April 7:   Cucumber Sauté 

Cucumber Saute Recipe
Pro Tips:

  • Don’t have parsley or chives? Try substituting your favourite herb or spice.

Wednesday, April 8:   Halibut Creole

Halibut Creole Recipe
Pro Tip:

  • No halibut on hand? Substitute any cut and kind of whitefish, salmon, etc. No fish at all? Try it with chicken or tofu!

Thursday, April 9:   Baked Bean Roast

Baked Bean Roast Recipe
Pro Tip:

  • In wartime, fats were in high demand (used in munitions production), so this recipe doesn’t assume you have a specific kind available. Try using butter, margarine, vegetable oil, olive oil, shortening, lard… whatever you’ve got.

Friday, April 10:   Caramel or Burnt Sugar Cake

Caramel Cake Recipe

Pro Tips:

  • This recipe makes two round cakes which you can stack as a layer cake and garnish with your favourite icing or drizzle OR serve as a single layer shortcake, with fruit or ice cream.
  • You’ll end up with more burnt sugar syrup than you need – try using it in place of vanilla in some other baked good recipe, or as a drizzle to moisten your baked cake.

The Victory Binding of the American Woman's Cook Book