December 21, 2018

World War I Era Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe and Present Tags

***Humble plea from the web mistress: This time period is my favorite time period to cook from. It's also the time period I have the most recipes for. It's also the time period that gets absolutely no readers. So if you could like, share on facebook, cook and let people know how much you like reading about and cooking recipes from the time period, I would be very appreciative.*** 

World War 1 Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

I was originally going to bake the peanut cookies from the Royal Baking Powder Company's Best War Time Recipes (1917) but ended up finding a fun article from 1914 in The Women's Magazine that gave ideas for a children's Christmas Party. It declared "Every child likes peanut-butter cookies," and how could I argue with that?

World War 1 Cookie Recipe

The article also described some Children's Christmas game ideas: Pin the hat on Santa, a similar game called "The Christmas Candle" where the kids would be blindfolded, spun around and would try to blow out a candle on a ledge in front of them in 6 blows. Another game had two children see who could throw more pieces of popcorn into a fake "stocking," and win a small prize tied into the toe of the stocking.

The article especially intrigued me because it was published in January, not December. Some people were still celebrating until January 5th, or the "12 Days of Christmas." In the 1700s, New Year's was the time of feastivities and Christmas was more of a solemn holiday. By the early 1900s, Christmas had its own festivities and traditions. I think this is a wonderful concept because I can't always see everyone on Christmas but 12 days is probably enough to meet up with everyone.. :) I was also entertained at the suggestion of ice cream in January, when everyone had the ice and temperatures to make it.   

The Women's Magazine also included the darling gift tags, which I've attached at the bottom in case anyone still has a few gifts they are wrapping and the recipe from Best War Time Recipes if anyone would like to try it. I might make those in the future to see how good the ration recipe compares to a recipe printed on the eve of war. 

World War 1 Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

The recipe was in paragraph form though and I thought I would break it down for beginning cooks.

WWI Era Peanut Butter Cookies


- 2 Cups Sugar
- 1 Cup Butter (2 Sticks)
- 2 Eggs
- 1 Cup Peanut Butter
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 tsp Lemon Extract
- 1 tsp Salt
- 3 tsp Baking Powder
- 5 Cups Flour
- 1 Cup Peanuts, chopped
- 1/4 Cup Boiling water
- Icing [Here's a basic Icing Recipe.]


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large size bowl, cream the butter, sugar and peanut butter and boiling water. Let cool (so you don't cook the egg) add the extracts and salt. In a separate bowl, sift the flour and baking powder. Mix flour mixture into liquid mixture until it forms a firm dough. Knead for a few minutes with your hands until it is well combined. Roll 1 inch balls out of the dough and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Once removed from the oven flatten them down with a fork. Remove from cookie sheet to a cooling rack. Once cooled, ice and top with chopped peanuts.

The cookies do not spread in the oven at all so don't worry too much about crowding them. If you want spoon drop the cookies onto the sheet, that would work too.

World War 1 Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

World War 1 Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

December 12, 2018

Civil War Era Orange Nuts Recipe

Civil War Era Cookie Recipe Orange Nuts 1865

The holidays are coming and that means acres of oranges will enter our homes to grace tables, bob in punches and add tang to cider.  Orange Nuts, hard biscuits with a strong citrus flavor are the perfect, Civil War Era thing to compliment gingerbread, cider or tea. They are also a great way to use up all of those otherwise wasted peels.

Orange Nuts are a variety of Ginger Nuts, a recipe still popular today. Click the link to see the ginger nuts recipe I made last Christmas!  This recipe was also printed in Godey's Lady's Book and Peterson's Magazine in 1865 and was still being published verbatim in 1883.

Civil War Era Orange Nuts Recipe

Civil War Era Cookie Recipe Orange Nuts 1865


- 1 1/2 Cups Flour
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 3 Eggs
- 2-4 Orange Peels, zested
- 2-4 Lemons Peels, zested


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix sugar and eggs in a large bowl and beat for 15 minutes. Add flour and zest and mix until fully combined. Add flour until your dough is stiff enough that it can be rolled in your hands without sticking. Roll into one inch balls. Place on baking sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes.

Civil War Era Cookie Recipe Orange Nuts 1865

I hope everyone has a safe holiday season! I'm going to try and blog all of the different things I bake this year and would love to hear and see pictures of what you are baking!

September 12, 2018

WWI / WWII Cucumber Stuffed Tomato Salad

WWI WWII recipe Salad

Today's post is brought to you by me being incredibly bored of everything I've been cooking lately, the recent tomato harvest, and me attempting on getting more veggies in my diet. Plus I'm crazy about tomato and mayo sandwiches with pepper on them so this seems fun and in the same taste palate. It was very hot out when I started cooking this but thanks to the hurricane it's now a bit too cold to want to eat salad. Sorry!

The fun thing about this recipe is that even though the name changed throughout the years, the recipe itself changed very little from WWI to WWII. The earlier versions of this recipe call for Cream Dressing instead of mayo, although mayo did exist at that time, and for the tomatoes to be served on a bed of lettuce instead of cups of lettuce. I included the Cream Dressing recipe below if you wanted to try it. 

WWI WWII recipe Salad

WWI / WWII Stuffed Tomato Salad

- 6 Tomatoes
- 2 Cucumbers
- Mayonaise
- 1 tsp Parsley
- Lettuce
-Salt and Pepper

Peel and cube cucumbers, place in bowl and mix in mayonnaise and chill in refrigerator. Scald and peel the tomatoes. Cut a bit off the top and remove the seeds with a spoon. Place tomatoes in lettuce cups, fill with the cucumber cubes top with a dollop of mayonnaise, then garnish with parsley. 

This ultimately gives you a way to plate a cute salad. If I was to make this again, I would probably leave the skins on the tomato for the texture and because it would make it easier to scrape out the insides. The lettuce cups would be easier to make with some toothpicks or if each wrapped tomato is served in individual salad bowls. If made in advanced it would be best to serve the dressing on the side as well.  

August 20, 2018

USS Ling Vandalized

Last weekend, vandals opened the hatches of The USS Ling, a WWII Balao class submarine in Hackensack, NJ with power tools and stole the memorial plaques honoring the men who died in the 52 submarines and lost during the war. I can't speak much to the battle that was going on with the sub, the attached museum and impending construction of luxury residential area but it hardly seems unrelated. Construction is set to start in September. As of now, she's sunk in the mud with 10 ft of water in her which can't be emptied until environmentalists give the okay. 

There's a lot I can say about this. The fact that national treasures can be destroyed in the night with no repercussions or mass public outrage is so disheartening. I know it's difficult for communities to spend money on historical sites when the communities need so many other things in the short term, but in the long term these sites are so important. WWII is becoming a vague memory as veterans die off and more current conflicts are in the spotlight. The Ling was used as a training vessel until the 1960s so you can still find people with memories of training on her. When we visited this weekend there were 5 or 6 people saying their goodbyes. 

USS Ling during sea trials, in 1945 

It would be amazing if you could donate at Restore the USS Ling. 

If you can't donate, it would be great if you could post about this on your Facebook or Twitter. 

July 24, 2018

WWII Blueberry Muffin Recipe

1940s WWII World War Two Recipe Blueberry Muffin

Back from the WWII, Berwick, PA event hosted by the Stuart Tank Memorial Association! Despite the rain, everyone had a great time. I brought these muffins to share and while they were a little dry when I made them, they ended up moist after a day of being under saran wrap. Saran wrap didn't hit the shelves until after the war but the plastic used for saran wrap was developed during the war to make ventilated insoles for combat boots. I think a tupperware container would have the same effect. The boys ate them up at the event.

This recipe is from The Good Housekeeping Cookbook (1942.) In accordance with the wartime shortages, this recipe has less butter and eggs than we're used to in modern times.

WWII Blueberry Muffin Recipe

- 2 Cups all-purpose Flour
- 3 tsp Baking powder
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 2 Tbs Sugar
- 1 Egg, beaten
- 1 Cup Milk (or 1/2 Cup of Evaporated Milk + 1/2 Cup Water)
- 4 Tbs Vegetable Oil or Melted Shortening
- Canned or Frozen Blueberries, well rinsed and drained

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Sift together dry ingredients. Slowly stir in the oil, milk, and eggs and mix until it has a lumpy appearance but no longer. Grease cupcake pan (I found it better to grease and flour it.)  Place 2 tablespoons of batter in each cup, cover with 1 tsp of blueberries and then top with 1 tablespoon of batter. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the tops are golden. Makes about 14 muffins.

May 24, 2018

WWI Era Graham Cracker Cake Recipe

Graham Cracker Cake WWI Recipe

Sorry for the lack of updates, it's been so busy! Lots of events coming up. Who will I be seeing at the Reading Airshow?

This was made as a birthday cake for WWI reenactor, Pavel[ @paveljay on Instagram,] who was more excited that the cake was a rectangle than that it was a WWI recipe.

The recipe is from American Cookery, the magazine of the Boston Cooking School, printed this recipe twice in differing formats. The defining characteristic of the cake is the graham cracker flour. Graham crackers were originally intended to be part of a vegetarian diet that minimized pleasure and stimulation in an attempt to live a more natural life. There's no trace of their early roots in this cake. It's tasty.   

 Although the version I started with suggested mocha icing, the other version suggested whipped cream icing and I thought that would taste amazing with the graham cracker and cherry.  I used an 8 x 4 inch bread pan an only think the 12 x 7 inch pan suggested would work if you wanted a very flat cake. I also added a layer of cherry filling on the inside.

The result was surprisingly delicious. The cake was very dense but moist and had a nice, light, honey, cinnamon flavor. The whipped cream topping was fluffy and complimented the graham cracker, cinnamon and cherry very well. This is one of the few recipes I've made that had multiple requests to make again. The magazine suggested to serve this with tea but punch would also compliment it well.
Graham Cracker Cake WWI Recipe
Graham Cracker Cake WWI Recipe
Graham Cracker Cake WWI Recipe

Graham Cracker Cake WWI Recipe

March 21, 2018

Civil War Era Snow Cream Recipe

Civil War Recipe Dessert Snow Cream 1850s 1860s

I'm enjoying my snow day off after that busy weekend at Military Through the Ages.

This is one of those recipes that sounds like it's "modern but marketed as Old Timey" but it is actually a historical recipe dating back at least to the 17th century.

I foolishly thought I was going to have to wait until next year to share this recipe but as we are now on Nor'easter number 4, I thought this recipe needed to be shared. It's a very easy, Philadelphian recipe. :D I've also included a WWI Era recipe to show how the recipe has stayed fairly consistent over the years.

Civil War Recipe Dessert Snow Cream 1850s 1860s

Snow Cream


- 1 Cup Heavy Cream (you can use milk it is just not as rich)
- 1/3 Cup of Powdered Sugar
- 4 Cups of Snow
- 1 tsp Lemon Extract or Vanilla Extract


Mix together cream, sugar and flavoring. Mix in fresh snow until it is as stiff as ice cream. Enjoy!

WW1 World War One Recipe Dessert Snow Cream 1915

There's not much to it. It would be something fun to do today with kids. I was hoping to post an update about Military Through the Ages but I still have photos to go through.

February 9, 2018

Fight the Gap Crud: WWII Era Chicken Noodle Soup

Everyone had a great weekend at the Fort Indiantown Gap Event!

But now it's here: The Gap Crud, The Barracks Plague, The Soldier's Sickness! Everyone is sick now. This post isn't going to be very in-depth because I'm typing from my bed, under a mound of crumpled tissues. I'm leaving it up to sleep and the science of Chicken Soup to fix this.

Chicken soup has been a staple in homes since chicken became a thing, although it wasn't until 1934 when Campbell's released their "Noodle with Chicken Soup" that Americans began buying and stocking their pantries with it. The 1930 and 40s were the start of being able to buy this previously homemade dish at the store, a luxury to anyone who has had to cook three meals a day from scratch.   
Although many people erroneously think a Campbell's Soup name mix-up on the radio in the 1930s is the origin of the name, the name "Chicken Noodle Soup" was in use at least since WWI. The mix-up did; however, prompt Campbell's to change the name of their soup to "Chicken Noodle,"  and it's a popular name for the dish today.
1947 Advertisement

Chicken Noodle Soup


- 4 Cups Chicken Broth
- 2 Carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 ribs of Celery. chopped
- 1 medium Onion, diced
- Handful of noodles (fresh or store bought, we're sick so I'm doing store bought.)
- Chopped parsley, optional
- Cooked shredded chicken, optional


In a large saucepan, boil the carrots, celery and onion in the chicken broth until tender. Add the noodles and chicken, serve with a garnish of parsley.

Some recipes recommended making broth using a whole chicken. If you used a chicken to make broth, it was likely only a few shreds would find their way into the soup, the boiled chicken would likely be served in other dishes to stretch it. Chicken soup is a great way to use the chicken bones though.

Some pics from the Fort Indiantown Gap Event:

I wish everyone a speedy recovery!

January 27, 2018

WWII Knit Cap : Easy Pattern

I was hoping to get this out before FIG because I hear it's supposed to snow! O.O  I also here there will be a fair amount of knitting going on next weekend. Hopefully I'll have a female pattern up by then. I have an easy and fun one in mind but I might have to post it after the event.

This pattern comes from the booklet Knit for Defense (1941) which encouraged women to knit for the troops. It advertised this cap as "A practical cap for winter wear in any branch of the Service." It suggested Chadwick's Red Heart Knitting Worsted, which you can still find on occasion on etsy, but Lion Brand Collection Pure Wool is very similar.   

This pattern is very easy but I had to frog it about 6 times because I couldn't keep focused. :D I've included some extra instructions if you also need a little help on the decreases.


GAUGE: 5½ sts make 1 inch; 7 rnds make 1 inch.

Cast on 108 sts on 3 needles (36 sts on each needle). Join, being careful not to twist stitches. Work 2 inches in ribbing of k 1, p 1. Now work in stockinette stitch (k each rnd) for 4 inches.

To Shape Crown: 1st rnd: * Sl 1 as if to knit, k 1, p.s.s.o., k 12, k 2 tog., k 2. Repeat from * around (96 sts remaining). 2nd and 3rd rnds: Knit around. 4th rnd: * Sl 1, k 1, p.s.s.o., k 10, k 2 tog., k 2. Repeat from * around (84 sts remaining). 5th and 6th rnds: Knit around. Continue decreasing 12 sts in this manner on every 3rd rnd, until 24 sts remain.

Break yarn, leaving an 8-inch end. Thread needle with this end and run through remaining sts. Draw up tight and fasten securely on wrong side. Turn back cuff.

To Shape Crown for the Pattern Unfortunate:

Round 1: * Sl 1 as if to knit, k 1, p.s.s.o., k 12, k 2 tog., k 2. Repeat from * around (96 sts remaining).
Round 2: Knit All
Round 3: Knit All
Round 4: * Sl 1 as if to knit, k 1, p.s.s.o., k 10, k 2 tog., k 2. Repeat from * around (84 sts remaining).
Round 5:Knit All
Round 6: Knit All
Round 7: * Sl 1 as if to knit, k 1, p.s.s.o., k 8, k 2 tog., k 2. Repeat from * around (72 sts remaining).
Round 8: Knit All
Round 9: Knit All
Round 10: * Sl 1 as if to knit, k 1, p.s.s.o., k 6, k 2 tog., k 2. Repeat from * around (60 sts remaining).
Round 11: Knit All
Round 12: Knit All
Round 13: * Sl 1 as if to knit, k 1, p.s.s.o., k 4, k 2 tog., k 2. Repeat from * around (48 sts remaining).
Round 14: Knit All
Round 15: Knit All
Round 16: * Sl 1 as if to knit, k 1, p.s.s.o., k 2, k 2 tog., k 2. Repeat from * around (36 sts remaining).
Round 17: Knit All
Round 18: Knit All
Round 19:* Sl 1 as if to knit, k 1, p.s.s.o., k 2 tog., k 2. Repeat from * around (24 sts remaining).

Break yarn, leaving an 8-inch end. Thread needle with this end and run through remaining sts. Draw up tight and fasten securely on wrong side. Turn back cuff.

Suggested Colors:

Khaki, Navy, Maroon, Lt. Oxford, Oxford Gray, Air Force Blue. 

I'll get a guy to model it at the next event but for now, I'm tooling around town like Lea Salonga in Les Miserables. Hope you enjoy! If you end up knitting this, I'd love to see a picture of the finished cap. 

January 19, 2018

WWII Boston Clam Chowder Recipe

WWII Clam Chowder Recipe Navy

This is a fairly standard, but tasty, clam chowder recipe, if you need to feed 100. The beauty of this recipe is that this recipe can be made entirely with preserved foods with minimal effort most of the time is just waiting for the potatoes to soften. It definitely does not contain tomatoes as that would be sacrilegious. I reduced the recipe down to 10 servings but it would likely feed 5 as a main coarse. You'd think I would have made this last week when the temperature was in the single digits but my first free day was today when it was a balmy 40 degrees out. :D Next time! 

WWII Clam Chowder Recipe Navy

This recipe is from a WWII Merchant Marine manual. The book emphasized presentation. "Soups are vastly improved in appearance by sprinkling chopped parsley or paprika on the surface before serving. Croutons are often served with soup." I thought it was a good idea and greatly improved the flavor. The recipe also indicates that you can make corn chowder instead of clam chowder by just exchanging one ingredient  but I also think this would be good with a little corn added.

Makes 10 Servings of 1 Cup


- 1/4 Cup Bacon, cubed
- 1/2 Cup Onion, Chopped
- 2 Medium sized Potatoes, cubed
- 2 1/2 teaspoons Salt
- 5 1/2 Cups Boiling Water
- 3 Cups Clams, chopped with juice
- 16 ounces (2 Cups) Evaporated Milk
- Pinch of Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Pepper
- 1/2 Cup sifted Flour


Chop bacon, onions, potatoes and clams. Fry bacon until crispy, add onions and fry until lightly browned. Drain fat and save for later. In a large pot, add water, 2 1/2 teaspoons of salt. Add onion mixture and potatoes, let simmer for an hour. Add clams, juice, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. In a small sauce pan, blend flour and bacon fat. Slowly add the flour mixture into the soup. Add evaporated milk, wait for the boil. Let simmer for one minute to thicken. Serve with some chopped parsley as a garnish.

Hope you and enjoy! Please share and if you make the recipe, please let me know how it was!

January 10, 2018

The Spectrum of Reenacting

Reenacting. It's not just one thing. 

One of the biggest complaints I hear in reenacting is about the "quality" of events. You'll hear one reenactor complaining that they hardly got to fire their guns, another complain that the whole event was nothing but a "shoot 'em up", and people like me that complain that they just didn't learn enough or see enough new things. The truth is that reenacting is a spectrum. There are many ways to reenact and ALL of these ways can have value. 

It has never been my hobby to pretend to be someone in the past; although, it has been my hobby to live like people in the past. I have always been firmly in the living history/experimental archaeology / history education segment of reenacting. It has allowed me to be a 3rd party observer in a lot of these arguments as I don't feel so strongly about any one type of popular event style, both of them typically lack what I'm into but I know that prior to attendance.    

You can't have a discussion about quality without a discussion of goals. Most reenactors will tell you that their goals are to educate the public and to honor the vets. (Although most reenactors are terrible at doing both of these things.) Reenactors need to be more realistic about their personal goals. Education and honor sound like great goals but are so often used as a mask for other more personal, and no less, acceptable goals.

Reenactors are frequently mad that an event did not meet their goals. They berate the event on social media and make fun of anyone who dared attend. It's pointless and detrimental to all parts of the hobby as people are stripped of any type of personal enjoyment. I do not think it is difficult for a reenactor to find events that fit their goals and am unsure of why so many still go to certain well known events and complain how there wasn't enough one thing or another then feel the need to complain about it. It is easy enough to find events that align with your personal goals or are at least in the same quadrant of the spectrum.     

Fun should be a goal no matter what type of reenacting you prefer. If education is your goal, be more serious about it. Don't just study history, study educational techniques. Join NAI or ALHFAM or any of the other educational associations out there that pertain to what you want to teach. Learn techniques from Eppley. If your goal is to experience the war as closely as possible, admit that is the only goal and attend events where others share this goal. This goal is not wrong or better than any other goal. There's no reason you can't just enjoy the hobby as it is without trying to make more out of what you want yourself or the spectators to experience.

In the end, it is important to me that more people are interested in history. We need an informed society so that better decisions can be made in the present. We need the average person to be interested in history so that museums, artifacts, and battlefields get saved for future generations. This is where reenactors/ events can really help people. A reenactment, no matter how farby can give visitors sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the past, if only a little. It makes the time period more personal and real to a spectator and therefore more interesting.

From the farbiest of farb events to costume parties to 1st person immersion, there is literally nothing that I will be upset with if it is getting people personally interested in history. (I do not mind if entertainment is misleading, I do mind if educational materials are misleading.) Be honest about what you're showing people and do your best to keep people interested in history.  

Reenacting. It's not all just one thing, but it can all be beneficial.     

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