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Sailboats, celery trunks, and cheese puffs – oh my!

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The National WWII Museum is excited to announce that we will be building a victory garden onsite at the Museum on September 23rd and 24th. Leading up to the garden build we will be providing you with stories and recipes from the victory gardens of the war years.

UPDATE: The National WWII Museum Victory Garden is now open and thriving.

One big wartime message in the 1940s was the importance of stretching your dollar – and your food. That’s a big reason why people planted victory gardens in the first place; if people could grow their own veggies, more could be sent to troops overseas. Victory gardens provided almost 40 percent of vegetables grown in the U.S. during the war! Combine that with rationing, and people were conscious of using every bit of food they bought or grew and not letting any go to waste. Of course, this led to some odd combinations, like cream cheese and carrot sandwiches and baked beans in applesauce. But in the spirit of ingenuity – especially in the difficult economic times we’re living in – we’ve featured some creative recipes for stretching your leftovers into some fun appetizers! All of these recipes were found in The Wartime Cook Book, published in 1942.

8 small dill pickles
8 slices salami
2 tablespoons cream cheese

Cut pickles lengthwise into halves and make a lengthwise slit in each pickle on cut side. Cut salami into shapes of sails and insert into slits. Flute the edges of sails with cream cheese pressed through a pastry tube.

Celery trunks
Fill matching stalks of celery with one of the following spreads, then press them together firmly and chill. Stand them upright to resemble tree trunks. (To make the spreads, simply mix all of the ingredients together.)

Carrot and peanut butter spread:
1 cup grated uncooked carrots
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon peanutbutter

Frankfurter spread:
4 cooked frankfurters, ground
2 tablespoons sweet relish
1 teaspoon mustard

Pecan and olive spread:
½ cup ground pecans
½ cup ground stuffed olives
4 drops lemon juice
1 tablespoon mayonnaise

Cheese puffs
6 slices of bread
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup grated cheese
1/3 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
1 egg, separated

Cut 2-inch rounds from bread and toast lightly on one side. Spread butter on untoasted side. Mix cheese, baking powder, salt, and beaten egg yolk; fold in stiffly beaten egg white. Spread thickly over buttered side of bread and place close together on cookie sheet. Place under pre-heated broiler until puffed and light brown.

For more great recipes that you can make from your fresh garden produce like sweet potato chips, broccoli balls and eggplant sticks, check out http://www.classroomvictorygarden.org/garden-recipes.html.

Read all of our blog posts related to rationing.

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