}); World Turn'd Upside Down

November 13, 2019

WW1 Recipes to Help Rebuild France: Serbian Sarma

This recipe is from the book Allied Cookery (1916), a book written to raise funds to support World War 1 victims in France. It contains recipes from the allied nations. It was the work of Gertrude Clergue and her sister Grace Harrison who were born of a French father and American mother.  Clergue, was awarded the Medal of French Gratitude in 1920 fr her efforts. The funds would help rebuild farms and eventually the food supply in the war torn areas:

Unfortunately the list of calamities that have melted on France does not do not stop there: all the territory invaded by the German troops, from which they have been driven, which goes from the Marne to the Aisne, and that covered hundreds of prosperous villages in one of the regions the most fertile and richest in France, was ravaged by enemy troops. The owners of these thousands of farms - old men, women and children - have returned to their homes destroyed to raise their houses and have the land produced food they need. They lost everything: houses, furniture, clothes, animals, farm implements.

The book was reprinted in 1917 and 1936. I'm not an authority on Serbian cooking and I can't claim that this recipe is the most "authentic one." The book was published in mostly English and intended for American and Canadian audiences but looking at the recipes they do seem to match up on a basic level with foreign foods at the time. Some recipes use picked cabbage instead of relying on sauerkraut for the kick.

It is delicious and I can't wait to make this again. I walked in with the cabbage and my Grandma told me to bring down the extra because she would make stuffed cabbage. I said I was making stuffed cabbage and she was way more interested in having me do it. :)

WW1 Serbian Sarma


- 1 Head of Cabbage
- 1 Cup of Rice
- 2 Pounds of Ground Beef
- 2 Pounds of Ground Pork
- 5 Onions, chopped
- 4 Egg, beaten
- Sauerkraut
- Salt
- Pepper
- Spoonful of Flour
- Spoonful of Paprika
- Lard/ shortening


Boil a pot of water,remove from heat and carefully add your cabbage.  Fry your onions in a large frying pan in a spoonful of lard/shortening. (Remove one onion's worth to a separate bowl to use for the sauce.) Mix in the beef, pork, eggs, salt, pepper and uncooked rice until well combined. Set aside.

Carefully remove your cabbage from the water. Pat dry and remove the leaves.

Fill each cabbage leaf with two spoonfuls of filling and fold in the two sides and the top and bottom to form a little packet.

Fill the bottom of a deep casserole dish with some sauerkraut and the juice. Place the filled cabbage leaves in the dish, layering sauerkraut and cabbage leaves. Cover and bake for 45 minutes at 325.

Put the remaining onion into a frying pan on medium heat. Saute the onions in a spoonful of lard and add a spoonful of flour, a spoonful of paprika, and a cup of water. Cook until it thickens. Pour over the cabbage leaves and bake for another 15 minutes. Top with sour cream when serving, if desired.

***I used Impossible Burger meatless and Vegan Field Roast Frankfurters for this. I also halved the "meat" in the recipe, used vegetable shortening instead of lard and smoked paprika. You certainly could bake or cook it on the stove for the full two hours.***

Here's a video if you want to see the "pot" sarma is supposed to be baked in. I didn't have one so had to make do with a good ol' casserole dish.

Harrison, Grace Clergue, and Gertrude Clergue. Allied Cookery, British, French, Italian, Belgian, Russian. New York: G.P. Putnams Sons, 1916.

October 23, 2019

World War 2 Era Bismarck Tea Ring

"OH NO! That looks nothing like the picture!" Yes, that happens sometimes but everyone said to bring it to the event anyway. It wouldn't be right if I didn't share the failures as well as the successes. It tasted fine but wasn't as pretty as it could have been.

I kneaded the biscuit dough about 5 minutes before I realized it was only supposed to be for 30 seconds. The damage had been done. It was near impossible to roll it out to a nice 1/8 of an inch dough. No pretty swirly rolls for me. The flavour was there but the result turned out to be kind of blobby. It wouldn't have been in the spirit of World War II if I threw it out and started over. All that flour and butter!

I ended up making and using apple jelly instead of raspberry as I had apples browning in my fruit bowl and was trying to keep the costs down. It might not look as pretty as it should but it tasted good. It was less sweet than we're used to but that could be fixed by an extra sprinkle of sugar over the jelly before rolling.

World War 2 Era Bismarck Tea Ring


Biscuit Dough

- 2 Cups sifted Flour
-2 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 4 Tablespoons Butter or Shortening
- 3/4 Cups Milk

Mix flour, salt and baking powder and sift. Cut in the butter or shortening and add milk slowly until a dough is formed. Flour your hands and knead for 30 seconds or until all is combined. Roll out on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet until the dough is a rectangle about 1/8 of an inch thick.



-1/2 Cup Raspberry Jam



- 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Milk
- 2 Tablespoons Raspberry Jam


Preheat oven to 400° F. Spread a thin coat of raspberry jam on the dough. If you make it thick, it will slide out and make a mess. Starting at one long side of the dough, carefully roll it up until you have a log. Bend the two ends together to form a circle and cut 1 inch slices (leaving some dough to keep it in a ring). Twist each slice so the cut edges are facing up. Bake for 30 minutes on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Remove to a cake rack. Combine jam, sugar and milk to make a glaze. Drizzle glaze on the top with a spoon and serve warm.

A bunch of us looked at the original photo and aren't entirely convinced that the hole in the center wasn't cut out after it was baked. Some theorized it might have been baked in a bundt pan. My ring baked solid so I did what you're supposed to do when you cook a blob: covered it in gaze. I'd love to see what you end up with if you try it. If I make it again, I'll update with the results. This recipe is from 10 Steps to Perfect Baking (1937.)  

October 9, 2019

World War II Pumpkin Pie Recipe

WW2 Recipes Pumpkin Pie

I'm still a beginning pie baker and my grandma had no tips. She never learned to make crust and I've never been very good at it either. The 1940s baker could be economical and make pie crust from scratch but packaged pie crust mix was available. We may or may not have cheated.

This recipe is from Recipes for Good Eating (1944). The booklet suggested pre-making bulk crust mix and using as needed, as their recipe called for Crisco instead of butter and would not spoil in a container in the cupboard. The texture is less firm than modern pie but still has a good flavor.

Nearly 20 million Americans grew Victory Gardens to help with food shortages. The Us Department of Agriculture estimates that citizen growers  grew over 40% of the vegetables grown in the US at the time. I was going to make a victory garden on the pie but it ended up being a big pumpkin patch, which is okay because pumpkins are easy to grow and feed a lot of people.  The Victory Garden Handbook (1944) by the Pennsylvania State Council of Defense recommended them as a good source of Vitamin A, Thiamin, Calcium, Vitamin B and Iron. I recommend them because they are delicious.

WW2 Recipes Pumpkin Pie
Rosskam, Louise, photographer. Washington, D.C. Victory gardening in the Northwest section. District of Columbia United States Washington D.C. Washington D.C, 1943. May. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/2017853905/.

World War II Pumpkin Pie Recipe


- 1/2 Cup Sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Ginger
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon Cloves
- 1 1/2 Cups Pumpkin Puree(canned or homemade)
- 2 Eggs
- 1 1/2 Cups Hot Milk
- Pie Crust


Preheat your oven to 425°F.  Line your 9" pie pan with a crust.

In a mixing bowl, mix sugar, spices salt, pumpkin.

Beat the eggs and add them to the mix. Then stir in the hot milk.

Pour the mixture into your pie crust. Bake for 15 minutes

Reduce heat to 350 °F.  and bake for 30 minutes or until done in the middle. Let cool in the open oven for 15 minutes, then on a counter for 4 hours. Drizzle with chopped nuts and honey before serving.

I baked the crust decorations on parchment paper in a separate pans. Modern custards that use heavy cream can hold decorations during baking but I didn't want to risk it here as the batter was very thin before baking.

WW2 Recipes Pumpkin Pie

Wee used a 0 calorie sweetener for a second pie. Here are the nutrition facts if you want to do that.

WW2 Recipes Pumpkin Pie
If you make this pie, I would love to see photos!

October 2, 2019

WW2 Herbal Remedies Your Grandmother Knew (and a Few You Wish She Didn't)

Historical WWII ww2 medicines

The Old Herb Doctor is an advertising book published in 1941. The aim was to sell prepared tinctures but the book includes many herbal remedies submitted by readers all over the US. Food was not the only thing rationed during WWII. Medicines were being produced in bulk for use overseas, leaving people on the home front to make-do or find another way. This book likely sparked interest in those trying to fill the gap left open once some of the chemical medicines no longer available to the general public.

Herbal remedies from World War 2. Medicine was rationed. Women on the home front were learning to make do, find new ways or rediscover old ways to treat illnesses.

Herbal Remedy Excerpts from the book The Old Herb Doctor:

For Diarrhea -- Take Allspice and boil in water, take when cold 1/2 teaspoonful of the spice to half cupful of water. Writes Mrs. F.E., Munday, Tex.

For Cramps, bathe the feet in Wintergreen Leaves, with a handful of Common Salt, using water just as warm as the flesh will stand, but don't wipe the water off; just let it dry. This was given to me by an Indian Woman 86 years old and a wonderful woman. Writes N. W., Alma Center, Wis.

Cramps-- Here is a recipe for Cramps and ailments of the stomach, also for Colds when you can not sleep. I am sure anyone will find it useful. Two teaspoons of Catnip. Pour on 1 cup of boiling water, and let stand a few minutes. Then drink contents hot, sweetened with sugar to suit yourself, at bedtime. Writes Mr. W. D., Matawan, N.J.

Historical WWII ww2 medicines

Old-Fashioned Fruit Laxative --
1 pound Prunes, 1/2 pound Figs, and the same amount of Dates and an ounce of Senna Leaves. Remove pits from fruit and chop altogether, mold into bars or small sticks and dry. Dose--a piece the size of a hickory nut for an adult, less for a child. This formula will keep all winter. Writes Mrs. M.P., Cleveland Ohio.

Bull Nettle Cough Syrup- Take a large handful of the dried roots of Bull Nettle, put in a quart of water, boil down to a pint and strain. Add enough sugar and boil to a syrup. Take a tablespoon every hour until relieved. Dose--for children, 1 teaspoon every hour. Writes Miss T.R., Henryville, Tenn.

To Break Up a Cold-- Take 4 lemons and roast in oven until the juice comes through the skin, remove all the juice from them, and strain. Take 3 Tablespoonfuls of Horehound and steep in water, then strain and add enough water to make a thin syrup. When cold add the lemon juice and bottle. Writes Mrs. G. L. Pontiac Mich.
Historical WWII ww2 medicines

During the epidemic I contracted the Flu and could not obtain a doctor. I ordered a strong brew of Boneset tea, mixed with lemon juice and sugar, and in the meantine I wrapped up in a blanket, then drank it as hot as possible. Writes M.E.S., Englishtown, N.J.

Here is a recipe for colds, coughs and hoarseness. The following is soothing, and healing to most ordinary coughs and colds. One pint of boiling water, two ounces whole flaxseed and the juice of two lemons and sugar. Writes Mrs. A.B., Harper, Wash.

Coughs-- Take a double handful of Pine Needles to a quart of water, boil for 15 minutes, strain and add 1 1/2 cups of sugar, boil to a thin syrup. This is excellent for coughs: take 2 teaspoonfuls night and morning. Writes F. S., Mena Ark.

For Earache-- Pour hot Olive Oil in ear and in a short while the pain will have vanished. Writes M.K., boston, Mass.

My Recipe for Burns-- Use linseed Oil on burns of any kind. Have used it for years, and there will be no blister. Writes Mrs. M. B., Manchester, Tenn.

And a few you might want to pass on:

For Congested Bowels-- Warm half pint or very near that amount of the best Olive Oil. Put in a fountain syringe and inject to bowel. It is best to raise the person a little so the oil will stay in the bowel, but if the pack is low down it won't stay. This is a sure remedy that will do the work. It takes a few hours for the oil to soften the stools, but if it stays in the bowel it will. I relieved many a person with this. Writes L.W., Cold Springs, Mo. 

Take skunk oil, be sure it is genuine. Warm three or four drops and put in ear, let run down good and then put in cotton loose. I have never heard of a case where it did not stop the earache. Writes A. D. D., Sedalia, Mo. 

DISCLAIMER: All information contained in this site is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice or take the place of a doctor. Use at your own risk. For further research please check: Web MD. All of the excerpts above are quoted directly and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs of the webmistress.

September 25, 2019

Colonial Era Cold Remedy That Actually Works: 18th Century Elderberry Syrup

1700s Remedies Elderberry Syrup

It's the middle of September in 1774, your mother is sick and has sent you out to collect elderberries to make syrup. You know just where to find them as you have a favorite spot. You fill your basket and turn to leave but eye up a particularly nice stalk that you can hollow out later.

By the 1700s, Elderberry (Sambucus) was a well known plant. Herbal manuals from the 1600s include it, and it was a favorite plant among young boys for making, of all things, popguns. The berries were also used for making wine. Elderberry wine was a main ingredient in a remedy printed in The Family Physitian (1696) to help treat scurvy in the winter when "herbs are scarce." Elderberry wine and honey make a very simple cough suppressant if you didn't feel like making elderberry syrup.   

You could use sugar instead of honey in this but I prefered to have the extra antibacterial properties of honey. Elderberry is still being studied but there have been a lot of promising studies that support  the healing properties of elderberry in shortening the duration of cold and flu symptoms.

18th Century Herbal Remedy: Elderberry Syrup


- 1/4 Cup Elderberry Extract
- 3/4 Cup Honey
- 3 Cups of Water


- 2/3 of a cup of berries (fresh or frozen and defrosted)
- 3/4 Cup of Honey
- 3 Cups of Water

Optional Ingredients:

Ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.


Mix all ingredients together and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the mixture is reduced by half. Pour into a bottle and let cool. If you used whole berries, crush them with a spoon, and strain into a bottle, let cool before use.  Take a Tablespoonful by mouth 3 times a day or mix the syrup into tea. You can refrigerate the syrup for up to 3 months or freeze them into cubes and use as needed.

For those of you asking if you can just buy it ( I get it, you're sick) I have used and recommend this brand: Gaia Black Elderberry 

If you are planning on buying I would greatly appreciate if you would use the affiliate links above. It doesn't cost you any more but helps me keep the website running.

DISCLAIMER: All information contained in this site is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice or take the place of a doctor. Use at your own risk. For further research please check: Web MD.


Colonial Popguns 

If you've found your way to this page I'm assuming you're sick and since you're sick anyway I thought you might have fun passing the time reading about popguns. I have always been curious about what they would look like in the 18th century and how they would work. Making popguns has been a children's pastime for hundreds of years, only to be lost recently. The popguns in the 18th century likely looked and functioned something like this:

Be sure to watch this video of this gentleman having some fun with his homemade, elder popgun and apple chunks. Hope you feel better soon! Have you tried Elderberry Syrup? How did it work for you? Be sure to leave a comment with any elderberry tips you have.