}); World Turn'd Upside Down: 2020

June 18, 2020

World War I Era Pickled Eggs from Chester, PA

The Kitchen Guide (Chester, PA) 1913

When all of this started, everyone looked at their pantries and came to me and said “Now we need some of those ration recipes!” I struggled to recommend anything. This is unprecedented. Some people couldn’t find bread, others yeast. Some people had plenty of fresh fruit and others nothing.
While I did find ration recipes that helped me, it was impossible to help everyone.

This isn’t like WWII, when you knew a lot of the variables. Hindsight is 20/20 and we know most people would appreciate recipes that contained less of rationed ingredients and more of substitutes. I haven’t been posting much. It seems silly and dangerous to make special food and grocery trips right now.

This is a recipe that you can make with stuff already likely in your house. The beets are not necessary and you can stretch this a lot further if you use the picked eggs to make egg salad sandwiches. Historically, pickling eggs was a way to preserve them for future use before refrigeration. Kept in a cold place, pickled eggs can last up to 4 months! I added a little bit of water to the vinegar to remove the sharpness. They had no way of knowing the acidity of their homemade vinegars and they were likely not as acidic as ours is today.

Pickled Eggs


- 6 Eggs, Hard boiled and peeled
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
- 24 Cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon Mustard
- 2 Cups Vinegar (2/3 Cups Water, 1 1/3 Cups Vinegar)
- Boiled Beet Slices, if wanted


Press 4 cloves into each egg, place in sterilized jar. In a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat, bring vinegar (and beets) to a boil and add the salt, pepper and boil for one minute. Carefully pour the vinegar mixture over the eggs and let cool. Cover and store in the fridge for at least two days before eating. 

April 17, 2020

Sandusky Sand Tarts: 100+ Year Old Recipe

Did you know that the Sandusky Sand Tart is the official dish of the Maritime Museum of Sandusky in Ohio? Neither do they. I'm at that point in the Covid-19 quarantine where I am creating signature dishes for historical sites and museums. This post was made possible by the Sandusky Library and Jeremy Angstadt who created and forwarded me the book scan. If you're local or out that way, be sure to give them a visit.

I chose this recipe because it was marked it the book, and I love getting recipe input from previous cooks. Sand Tarts were a popular turn of the century dish and are included in many Pennsylvania Dutch and Amish cookbooks.

The Sandusky House-Keeper (Sandusky, Ohio) 1888

Sandusky Sand Tarts


- 2 Cups Sugar
- 1 Cup Butter (2 Sticks)
- 3 Cups Flour
- 2 Eggs, reserving 1 egg white for brushing on top
- Cinnamon
- Sugar
- Blanched Almonds


In a mixing bowl, cream together room temperature butter and sugar. Add the eggs, reserving one egg white. Mix in the Flour. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to 1/8 of an inch thick. Cut into squares. Place sand tarts on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or grease. Brush the egg white and sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on the tops. Press an almond into the center.  Bake in a pre-heated oven at 300 degrees F for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.

I made half the recipe and it produced about 20 3.5 inch cookies. The tarts spread a little while cooking so be sure to give them space on the pan. It tastes like a crunchy snicker doodle and would be very good with tea. I'm generally not a fan of crunchy cookies but these have a good flavor and texture. Thanks for coming to visit! I'm getting so stir crazy stuck in the house.

April 15, 2020

Chester Jumbles a WWI - Depression Era Cookie Recipe

Things are going to look a little weird on my site for the foreseeable future. Due to the Covid-19 Quarantine, I am stuck in New York without my camera gear, and kitchen implements.

For those of you who don't know, I volunteer with the Chester Historical Preservation Committee and was very excited to find this book that was printed in Chester, Pennsylvania while I was on vacation in Massachusetts last year. Drive 4 and a half hours for some local history? Yes, Please.

What the heck is Chester, PA? It's the first European City in Pennsylvania. It's where William Penn actually landed. It's where the wounded were sent by rail after the Battle of Gettysburg. It was home of the Eddystone Rifle Plant, during WWI. It was a major shipbuilding site during WWI and II. It's where Martin Luther King Jr. went to school. It's really historic, you'll just have to trust me.

I was very excited to get to try some local recipes from this time period. This book, The Kitchen Guide, was originally published in 1913 in Philadelphia and had only 3 recipes with Chester in the Title. Sometime during the 1913 printing and the 1927 Chester printing, "Chester Jumbles" were added to the text. Jumbles are one of the earliest forms of cookies.

Chester Jumbles 


- 2 Cups Sugar
- 1 Cup Butter (2 Sticks)
- 1/2 Cup Flour
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 4 Eggs, beaten
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
- 1/2 Cups Shredded Coconut
- Almonds, sliced
- About 4-5 Cups of Flour


Cream the sugar and the room temperature, butter together until smooth. Add the vanilla, 1/2 cup of the flour, the salt and the 4 eggs and coconut. Add flour until the dough does not stick to your hands. Roll the dough out on a floured surface to 1/4 of an inch. Cut out with round or donut shaped cookie cutters and top with sliced almonds. Bake on a cookie sheet in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F for about 15 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet and let cool.

For whatever reason I did not think I was going to like these but they turned out very good. They're soft with a light coconut flavor and nice crunch from the almonds. I only made a half batched and it made about 14, 3 inch cookies. 

March 29, 2020

World War 2 Baked Cheese Dreams Recipe

***This post is for the WW2 Ration Cook-in (#wwiirationcookin on Instagram). We're stuck at home but that doesn't mean we aren't working! For the next 7 days we will be attempting a new ration recipe from World War 2.  Be sure to check out @victorykitchenpodcast, @history.in.the.kitchen, and @missfashionistageek on Instagram to see what they cook up this week.***

This is for day #3: Dinner. I've seen this exact recipe in a Pyrex cookbook from 1925 and in the Maritime Cookbook (1939.) It sounded pretty good.

My companion liked it and said they would eat it again. I was not at all into the texture of this. Baked Dreams or Vomit Sandwich?   It tasted like cheese flavored bread pudding with toast on top. There are two possibilities. 1. I wasn't supposed to use all 2 cups of the milk and just "coat the tops" of the sandwiches or 2. I didn't bake it long enough. It's also possible it's just supposed to taste like this. The world may never know.

I have seen other recipes for "cheese dreams" that are similar and just coat the bread and fry in a frying pan. I think that's more my preference.

The Maritime Cookbook (Montreal) 1939

World War 2 Baked Cheese Dreams Recipe 


- 8 slices of Bread
- 4 slices of Cheese
- 2 Cups Milk
- 2 Eggs, slightly beaten
- Butter (Margarine, lard, butter substitutes)
- 1/4 teaspoon Paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- Pinch Cayenne Pepper
- Pinch of Paprika


Butter the bread. Place 4 pieces in a buttered casserole dish. Place cheese on the slices of bread, sprinkle with paprika then top with the remaining bread slices. Scramble the eggs and mix with the paprika, salt and cayenne pepper and pour over the "sandwiches."Bake at 425 °F for around 45 minutes or until browned.

March 28, 2020

3 Ingredient, WW2 Egg Salad Sandwich Recipe

***This post is for the WW2 Ration Cook-in (#wwiirationcookin on Instagram). We're stuck at home but that doesn't mean we aren't working! For the next 7 days we will be attempting a new ration recipe from World War 2.  Be sure to check out @victorykitchenpodcast, @history.in.the.kitchen, and @missfashionistageek on Instagram to see what they cook up this week.***

Today's prompt was "Lunch." There's not too much to this recipe to the point I was considering not writing a post but thought this is one recipe that might help people scrambling to make meals without being about to restock their normal foodstuffs.

We had this with a little bit of black pepper on unbuttered wheat toast. It was very tasty and decided we would eat this under normal circumstances. Wheat bread was pushed during the war as more nutritious.

The Maritime Cookbook (Montreal) 1939
World War 2 Egg and Olive Sandwich


- 2 Eggs, Hard Boiled
- 12 Stuffed Olives
- Mayonnaise


Chop the hard boiled eggs and olives together. Add a spoonful of mayonnaise or enough to wet the mixture. Serve sandwiched between slices of buttered bread. 

March 27, 2020

World War 2 Ration Recipe Carrot Marmalade

This post is for the WW2 Ration Cook-in (#wwiirationcookin on Instagram). We're stuck at home but that doesn't mean we aren't working! For the next 7 days we will be attempting a new ration recipe from World War 2.  Be sure to check out @victorykitchenpodcast, @history.in.the.kitchen, and @missfashionistageek on Instagram to see what they cook up this week.

We're navigating the quarantine with a little help from our foremothers. Limitations are the theme today as we can't venture to the supermarkets right now and I am not with my (perfectly rationally sized) cookbook collection at the moment, so I have to make do with what's in the pantry. Today I will be using carrots to make marmalade!

Carrot marmalade became popular in WW1 as a substitution for orange marmalade. Similar recipes had a resurgence during WW2. During the war, carrots were one thing that were not in short supply. They were easy to grow at home, were a compact plant giving a large yield, and stored well.

It was during WW2 that the myth that carrots helped you see in the dark was spread by the British Ministry to hide the new on-board Airborne Interception Radar technology that helped the RAF locate bombers. The Ministry told newspapers that British Airmen ate a lot of carrots and could see better in the dark.

How to Eat Well Though Rationed (Canada) 1943

How to Eat Well Though Rationed (Canada) 1943

As suggested in wartime recipe books, we served the marmalade with cooked oatmeal, milk, and toast. 

Carrot Marmalade
1 lb. Carrots; 4 Lemons (6 if small), 4 lb. Sugar; 7 tumblers Water. Grate carrots and lemon rind. Squeeze lemon juice, and add water. Boil all together for 3/4 hour. Then add sugar, and boil for a further 20 to 30 minutes, or until set. - War Time Recipes, Ambrose Heath (1941)

The original recipe can be seen here at The World Carrot Museum.

WW2 Carrot Marmalade


1 Pound of Carrots, shredded
4 (or 6 small) Lemons, rinded and juiced
9 Cups white Sugar
6 Cups Water


In a large sauce pan on medium to high heat, add the shredded carrots, lemon rind, juice and water. Boil for 45 minutes or until the pieces are soft. Add the sugar and boil for 30 minutes or until it passes the wrinkle test.(A good sign is foamy bubbles.) Carefully, pour into your sanitized jars while hot to avoid sticking. Let cool with lids off.

March 15, 2020

Stuck at Home? Here are 10 History Resources to Check Out

If you like many others are stuck at home the next few weeks you might want to check out these free history resources. I tried to pick a varied selection but most of the sites have other resources you also might be interested in checking out. I hope everyone stays safe and uses this time to reset and do the things they haven't had time for.

Please remember that museums are struggling during the quarantine. If you are extra bored or motivated please consider contacting your legislators to include museums in the COVID-19 Relief to help museums survive through this tough time and be there for future generations.  

1.The Civil War and Reconstruction 

This is a Yale course taught by David W. Blight. This one is famous and still very good. There is a good reading list and 27,  hour long lectures.

This is also a Yale course. It contains 25, hour long sessions and covers the development modern Civil Rights movement.

3. Epidemics in Western Society Since 1600 

I don't have to mention why this one might be of interest. It contains 25, 1 hour lessons, ending at the SARS, Bird and Swine Flu epidemics.

4. The Holocaust - An Introduction (I): Nazi Germany: Ideology, The Jews and the World

This one is a timed course from Tel Aviv University. The current session starts on March 16, 2020. new sessions start frequently. There is free access to all course materials and an option to purchase a certificate.  

 A podcast by author and reenactor, Sarah Creviston Lee that covers WWII food rationing. There are only 4 episodes so far but this is a good 30 minute podcast if you are interested in foodways. 

A podcast by reenactor and independent historian, John Heckman. Lots of episodes on here. 

A course on the interpretation of images in history from the University of London on Coursera. The current session starts on March 16, 2020. new sessions start frequently. There is free access to all course materials and an option to purchase a certificate.  

9. Seeking Women’s Rights: Colonial Period to the Civil War

A course from Columbia University. There is a free audit option. 

10.PredictionX: John Snow and the Cholera Epidemic of 1854

This is a course from Harvard University. It is a one week course. There is free access or a paid certificate option. "In 1854, a cholera epidemic swept through the London neighborhood of Soho. In the course of about three weeks, over 600 people died. This incident was, tragically, not unusual in London or the rest of the 19th century world as a whole. The scourge of cholera seemed unstoppable and, even worse, unpredictable. But one doctor -- ignored by the scientific community at large -- set out to prove that he knew how cholera was spread."

Let me know what you will be doing the next few weeks. Have any other podcasts, books, videos etc. that you think people should check out? Leave a comment below. 

February 5, 2020

Who Decides What History to Tell and Who Gets to Tell It?

It's a rumor that I hate "Progressives." I have a deep respect for reenactors and their craft. I ogle over the small details people put into their impressions. I gush over the sewing projects. I squeal over their pictures. I have my own standards for myself, higher than some reenactor's standards and lower than other's. The standards I hold for myself are not the standards I hold for others.

Everyone is free to have their own standards but I am appalled at the people who take their standard as a reason to harass others. Yes, it is harassment. Yes, it's real harassment even if it's "just online."

Reenacting, is experiencing a common museum problem. Who decides what history to tell and who gets to tell it? For a long time, museums were by the wealthy, for the wealthy. Later, museums started to cater to the middle class and explored the lifestyle of the "common man." But something was still missing. Museums have started exploring untold history- history from the perspective of the previously unrepresented. How to represent all voices in a respectful and meaningful way is complex problem in many museums. Many are asking "How do we decolonize this?"

Who has the privilege of telling our history at events?

People who:  

- Have or can get weekends off from work/family duties.
- Can afford to work for free. 
- Have vehicles and gas money to get to and from events.
- Have money for expensive gear.
I'm not interested in anyone's opinions about what is "affordable" as that is highly individual. The truth is, we all know that handmade, bespoke garments are pricier than a lot of our regular clothes. Yes there are ways to make it cheaper if you have the good fortune to be able to sew and have the time and resources to do so.)
- Are physically capable. Reenacting is demanding, and many historical sites and event spaces are not designed to host a variety of needs.
I could dedicate a whole blog post just to this and might in the future. I have seen people harassed for their age, size, and physical limitations. I've seen people mocked for their walker, wheelchair, glasses, their inability to walk long distances or sleep on the ground etc.   
- Are accepted by peers. Antisocial behavior should not be accepted. Discrimination is not acceptable.

- Feel safe. 
You might laugh at this but I know people who stopped coming to events because they encountered harassment, physical/ sexual assault, and stalking. There are also many disenfranchised people who are bullied out of sharing their viewpoints or personal experiences.

There are many people who are excluded. How can high standards be bad? The higher the standards, the higher the barrier to entry for disenfranchised people. The higher the barriers to entry the better chance we will end up with an old fashioned, one perspective, "by the wealthy for the wealthy" display and that is a disservice to everyone.

I am not a proponent of "bad history" and believe me, I've seen a lot of bad history. I only ask that people live and let live on things that are not a safety issue or life and death matter. Your standards are your standards and their standards are theirs. Teach from your example. Be passionate about accessible history. Recognize the privilege you have to be able to tell history.

We should not be working to silence people, we should be working to help people better interpret history. We should be teaching others how to research. We should be talking more about what an interpretation is and what it isn't. We should be refining the other areas of our craft that go beyond the material.