TT Thursday : 1942 pocket cookbook & sugar rationing ; my weight loss challenge week 39 & 40

TT Thursday : 1942 pocket cookbook & sugar rationing ; my weight loss challenge week 39 & 40

A blogging friend of mine sent me a 1942 cookbook, The Pocket Cook Book by Elizabeth Woody and members of the food staff of McCall’s Magazine (1943, fifth reprint edition). The instructions are very similar to modern recipes so it’s easy to follow.  What makes the book interesting is that it was printed during WWII and starts off “In order to cooperate with the government’s war effort, this book has been made in strict conformity with WPB regulations restricting the use of certain materials.” WPB is the War Production Board.  I wonder what book materials were restricted.

Due to the war effort, many things were in short supply.  It became patriotic to not be wasteful. Page 41 exhorts “Waste nothing! The promise to war against waste is part of our government’s Consumer’s Pledge. Be sure nothing wholesome or edible ever sees the inside of your garbage pail. (For hints on using leftovers, see page 27)

Office of Price Administration, 1943

One of the interesting things to me as I’ve cut down on sugar is their “Chapter Ten : Sugar Sparing Suggestions.”  While it says the chapter is for dieters and budgeteers, sugar was rationed during WWII. On May 5, 1942, each person received a ration book and a sugar stamp was good for 1 pound during a specified two-week period. Before they handed out the rations, the government asked families to report how much sugar they had to begin with and they removed stamps for each pound the family had.

What precipitated the sugar rationing was Japan took over the Philippines in early 1942. Turns out the Philippines was  major source of imported sugar. The rationing worked mostly but just because you had a sugar stamp, did not mean sugar was available.  The sugar shortage became acute during 1945 when the United States began supplying Europe with food, including sugar.  May 1, 1945 the limits were lowered by the government to 15 pounds per year for household use and 15 pounds for canning.

It’s not that families stopped craving the sweet stuff so this chapter has political as well as dietetic ramifications.  Molasses, light corn syrup and liquid honey had more availability so some of it is just substitution which doesn’t help the person cutting calories. I am including it all though as there are some cooks out there who might be interested in the substitutions. Here was their sugar-saving advice:

start of page 42 —— (fyi: “sirup” in the text was changed to the modern spelling of “syrup.” No other changes were made.)

For everyday

Sugar ration line. Office for Emergency Management. Office of War Information. National Archives.
  1. Add less sugar than usual to coffee, tea and other drinks, then stir thoroughly.
  2. Re-educate the family’s tastes by gradually cutting down on the amount of sugar served with raw fruits, and used in making puddings, custards, sauces, etc.
  3. Sweeten cooked fruits after cooking and serve them hot.
  4. Add a few grains of salt to cooked food with the sugar; salt intensifies sugar’s sweetness.
  5. Instead of sugar, served chopped dried apricots, prunes, raisins, peaches, etc. on cooked, ready-to-serve cereals or add them to the cereal while it cooks.
  6. Use the syrup from canned or glassed fruits in dessert sauces.
  7. Sweeten coffee wtih molasses, corn syrup, maple syrup or liquid honey. Sweeten tea with molasses, maple syrup or liquid honey.
  8. Serve molasses, corn syrup, or liquid honey on cooked or ready-to-serve cereals, pancakes, waffles, toast, French toast or biscuits.
  9. Sweeten fruits cooked without sugar with molasses, corn syrup, maple syrup or liquid honey.

For canning, preserving, and jelly-making

  1. Canning fruit without sugar. Fruits may be canned without sugar although such fruits will not have as good flavor, texture and form as fruits canned with sugar. If
    WWII poster, Stamp out Black Markets with your ration stamps, national archives
    WWWII poster. Office for Emergency Management. Office of War Information. National Archives.

    desired, sugarless canned fruits may be sweetened as they are served. Saccahrine should not be added to fruits before canning because a bitter taste will develop.  However, saccharine may be added before serving.  To can juicy fruits such as berries, cherries, peaches and plums, follow the regular directions for canning, substituting hot fruit juice for sugar syrup. (To prepare fruit juice, crush the ripe fruit, heat, strain, bring to boiling point). to can less juicy fruits such as apples and pears, follow the regular directions for canning, substituting boiling water for sugar syrup.

  2. Canning fruit with a minimum of sugar. Cook fruit in an open kettle to draw out the juice; pack hot into jars. Add only enough sugar syrup to give a slightly sweet flavor. Fill jars with hot fruit juice or boiling water. Process as usual.
  3. Canning fruit in light sugar syrup. Follow the regular directions for canning, using a sugar syrup prepared with 1/4 cup sugar to each cup water.
  4. Canning fruit juice without sugar. Fruit juice may be canned with little or no sugar. No sweetening is necessary if the juices of sweet and tart fruits are combined. Process the fruit juices at a simmering temperature to retin the natural flavor and color.
  5. Canning fruit in part sugar and part light corn syrup or liquid honey. For each cup of sugar called for in the recipe, use 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup liquid honey, or 2/3 cup sugar and 1/3 cup light corn syrup.
  6. Making jelly with part sugar and part light corn syrup. In recipes using liquid pectin, for 2 cups sugar called for in the recipe, substitute 2 cups light corn syrup. Do not substitute more than this amount of corn syrup. In recipes using powdered pectin, for each cup of sugar called for in the recipe use 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup light corn syrup.
  7. Making jams and preserves with part sugar and part light corn syrup. For each cup of sugar called for int he recipe, use 3/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup light corn syrup. Increase the cooking time slightly to evaporate the extra liquid.
  8. Making jams and preserves with part sugar and part liquid honey. For each cup of sugar called for in the recipe use 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup liquid honey. Increase the cooking time slightly to evaporate the extra liquid.

———– end page 44.

I hope you found that useful and interesting.


The Pocket Cook Book by Elizabeth Woody and members of the food staff of McCall’s Magazine (1943, fifth reprint edition).

Make It Do – Sugar Rationing in World War II, Sarah Sundin, author, January 31, 2011

Weight Loss Challenge Week 39 & 40

I am back to losing slowly albeit consistently. Yay!  I’ve lost 2.3 pounds in the last two weeks.  196.8 pounds. My lowest ever.  I’ve lost 55.3 pounds total. I feel like I am back on track.  However because I lost two months on a plateau, I am behind on my weight loss challenges.  I should have joined some more challenges while on the plateau but cash was low so had to let the opportunity pass. Such is life. I’m grateful for the weight I’m losing.  The money, while nice, was always secondary which is good as while I’m still ahead, I will probably just break even at the end of March and be winning again in May. I didn’t join any that will end in April.

Get Paid To Get Healthy! Up To $10,000 In Prizes For Hitting YOUR Weight Loss Goal! Sign Up Now Through 3/25/19 For A $50 Prize Boost!

(I am an affiliate for HealthyWage and may earn fees if you join through this link because I like them and studies prove people with a little financial incentive to lose weight have a significantly higher percentage of success. Worked for me.)

BICA had a bike repair/maintenance workshop for $20 so I took that to fix my bike’s flat.  Turns out it wasn’t a flat or I couldn’t find the hole.  Anyways I finally got to ride the bike I bought at Xmas time.  It makes a funny rattling sound in the back so I may have to take it back to BICA.  They will show you one on one how to fix your bike in return either for cash per hour or volunteer time.  It might be interesting to volunteer there because they also make things out of the leftover bike parts. I am very very happy I can ride my bike now.

Current challenges

name end date goal expected ontrack?
WeightLoss Takeoff 3/3 197.6 197.7 no
Shrinking Scales 3/6 193.5 194.1 no
New Year’s Slimdown 3/26 189.8 193.1 no
Get Lean in 2019 3/27 189.8 193.3 no
Motivation Masters Jackpot Challenge 5/1 192.4 201.1 yes
Healthy & Happy Jackpot Challenge 5/5 192.4 201.7 yes
Healthy Wager 6/4 187.1 204.0 yes

These are my past awarded challenges

My past HealthyWage challenges. (Net winnings doesn’t include Paypal charges to move the money into my bank)

name end date goal lost bet won net winnings
Shrinking Scales 3/6 193.5 $20/mo $0 $0
WeightLoss Takeoff 3/3 197.6 $20/mo $0 $0
Pound Droppers 2/27/19 197.6 11.5 lbs $20/mo $0 $0
Winter Winners 2/20/19 197.6 9.0 lbs $20/mo $0 $0
Scale Watcher 1/16/19 202.3 12.9 lbs $20/mo $103.05 $43.05
Healthier Holiday 1/6/19 202.3 12.9 lbs $20/mo $105.67 $45.67
Big Buck Losers 1/2/19 202.3 12.9 lbs $33.33/mo $155.25 $50.25
Falling Pounds 12/26/18 206.7 13.2 lbs $20/mo $111.86 $51.86
Big Losers 12/3/18 209.7 13.4 lbs $33.33/mo $143.25 $43.25
Poundshedders 12/3/18 209.7 13.4 lbs $20/mo $96.59 $36.59
Going for Goal 11/9/18 219.7 14 lbs $20/mo $92.94 $32.94
Slimming & Winning 8/27/18 237 15.1lbs $20/mo $151.40 $91.40
Totals 53.4 lbs $800 $960.01 $160.01

As I said earlier, I am an affiliate for HealthyWage. I am also an affiliate for Amazon: “We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.”



13 Replies to “TT Thursday : 1942 pocket cookbook & sugar rationing ; my weight loss challenge week 39 & 40”

  1. Interesting, my Mother used to talk about the ration books during WWII. Being a teenager then she was more concerned about the gasoline rationing than anything else.

    I love old stuff like what you found.

    1. If you do a post on something old, please add your link. Would love to see it. It’s very cool that your mom talked to you about that. I hadn’t realized they rationed gas because I didn’t see any posters or info on that — mostly the posters were concerned with food. Did you mom drive as a teenager?

    1. Glad you enjoyed the post. It’s a cool cookbook. I’m hanging in there. Thanks for the encouragement.

      1. Those world war II paperbacks are easily recognized as they have the edge of the pages painted red. After the war they carried on with the red pages perhaps just out of habit for a number of years.

        1. I used to see those red paperbooks in used bookstores when I was a teen but it’s rare to seem them now. They actually lasted a lot longer than modern paperbacks in the last couple of decades.

    1. That’s cool that you have a piece of both world history and family history. It would make a great post for Sabi Saturday too.

  2. My grandparents talked about rationing in their time. I’m not sure if rationing would work anymore. People would be rioting and acting like fools. It’s the way of things anymore.

    Way to go on your weight loss. That’s a lot of weight to lose.

    Have a fabulous day. ♥

    1. Yeah, rationing might be a tad tougher these days. I think it would have to depend on why and if people believed it. Back then people felt it was for a good cause and I think that made a bit difference.

      Thank you for the encoouragement!

      Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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