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Reintroducing Kitchen Memories

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A few years ago we asked people to send us their memories of food and eating during World War II.  We had some great responses, but we know there are more out there so we are asking you to help!  If you have memories of the kitchen from the war years, please send them to us.  We’d love your stories, recipes, and memories.  If you were born after World War II, this is a great opportunity to talk to those who did experience both good and bad meals during wartime.

Each Friday we will publish food stories on our blog.  Our goal is to produce a publication that will be available for free download on our website, so that all who are interested can read the stories and try the recipes we receive.  Please talk to the war generation, from veterans to kids on the home front, and share their stories with us.

Here’s an example of a great memory that Carl Jensen of Cotati, CA sent in:

“My mom and pop decided to raise rabbits for meat. Because of pop’s increased income at the shipyard, we could afford to rent a bigger house. It also had more land where we could keep some chickens for eggs and pop could build the rabbit cages. We got two pairs of male and female rabbits and we waited. And the rabbits did what rabbits do, and soon we had more than a half-dozen of the cuddly creatures. Finally, the time had come to kill and dress the rabbits as planned. Mom and I anxiously stayed in the house while pop took the axe and went out to the rabbit hutches. We waited. And we waited. Pop finally came back into the house. “I can’t do it,” he said. Mom and I yelled with happiness and we all trailed out to the backyard to watch the newly reprieved rabbits in their cages.”

To help us preserve these recollections, stories, and recipes, here are some questions to fire up your memories:


  • What do you remember about food rationing during the war?
  • Do you remember using substitutes for unavailable ingredients?
  • Did you or anyone you know shop on the “black market”?
  • Did you grow a Victory garden?
  • What about holiday meals?
  • What about working or eating in local restaurants?
  • What was your greatest food challenge during the war?
  • What was your favorite food during the war?
  • What was your least favorite?

Do you remember any unique recipes (triumphs or disasters) that came out of your Home Front kitchen?

Let’s talk about food!

Send your memories to kitchenmemories@nationalww2museum.org today.

Posted by Lauren Handley, Education Programs Coordinator

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