Sunday, January 24, 2016

War Time Menus

Here are two menus from Libelle No.1, 5 Jan. 1940.

First, a simple menu:

Sunday: Brown soup (no idea what it could be, may be a soup with brown beans?). Roast beef. Endive. Potatoes. Pear dessert.

Monday: Cold meat (apparently the leftovers from Sunday). Cauliflower. Potatoes. Rice pudding.

Tuesday: Cauliflower soup. Pork cutlets. Stewed leeks. Potatoes.

Wednesday: Ground meat. Cabbage. Potatoes. Chocolate vla.

Thursday: Split pea soup with bone (Google says it must be translated as a knuckle bone but I'm not sure. I think they really meant the sort bone one would use to make bouillon). French toast.

Friday: Vegetarian tomato soup (it was, after all, Friday). Shrimp ragout. Potatoes  in peel.

Saturday: Hutspot with brisket. Corn starch pudding.

The second one is for those more fortunate in life:

Sunday:  Vegetable soup. Beefsteak. Endive. Potatoes.

Monday: Pork chop. Savoy cabbage. Potatoes. Zwieback with berry juice.

Tuesday: Fried bacon. Himmel und Erde. Mini pancakes.

Wednesday: Ground meat. Cabbage. Potatoes. Chocolate vla. (yeah, it's exactly the same)

Thursday: Potato soup. Rice with currants.

Friday: Milk soup. Herring. Potatoes in peel.

Saturday: Sauerkraut dish.

I actually don't see that much difference between the two, and it's obvious that during the first war winter folks had to scrimp and save to feed their families. Yet many women were home!


  1. Housewife from FinlandJanuary 25, 2016 at 5:09 AM

    Maybe brown soup is just bouillon? It gets very brown if the bones are roasted.

    I wonder what people had for breakfast and lunch, if these were the dinners? As far as I know, here in Finland people had borridge in the morning and some potatoes and fish (herring in saltwater) for lunch etc. And bread, lots of bread.

    My mother was born right after the war and when she tells me how they ate in her childhood, I get very upset sometimes. We are so lucky to have so plenty of food, and even very high qualty food can be very reasonable with price.

  2. Housewife from FinlandJanuary 25, 2016 at 5:15 AM

    But then again, sometimes I think that maybe women were happier back then. Of course I do not mean during the war, but when people were more poor, the feeling of fullfillment when you managed to feed your family with very little money must have been so -well, I do not know, but they must have had a feeling of purpose, that we lack nowadays -or at least I do.

    Back then, being a good housekeeper really made difference. Well, I guess it still does. But one gets so easily confused, and goes to the "consumerist" mindset. I have started to re-program myself for getting pleasure from saving money, not from consuming. And getting pleasure from making delicious dinners from the cheapest possible (healthy) ingredients. Since I have the tendency to be snobbish and pamper myself with buying expensive food.

  3. I personally think it's brown beans soup because folks used to eat them a lot over here. Those are dinner menus, as for breakfast and lunch, they probably ate the same they do now: sandwiches, porridge, this sort of thing. The problem nowadays is we have too much choice so it could be difficult to choose:)Also, housekeeping was viewed more or less as a full time occupation, instead of a hobby.

    As for money saving, once you get accustomed to spending more or less freely it's darn difficult to save. I went back to budgeting and have trouble balancing my accounts.

  4. Housewife from FinlandJanuary 25, 2016 at 8:28 AM

    Yeah, I thought that since I am not in the workforce anymore, I wouldn't need Excel... Oh well. I decided to write down everything I buy. It is such I nuissance that it immediately limits my consuming. :)

  5. I've done a post on budgeting: