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Home Front Friday: Cornmeal Muffins with Jam

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Home Front Friday is a regular series that highlights the can do spirit on the Home Front during World War II and illustrates how that spirit is still alive today!

These days, making cupcakes or muffins or really any sort of dish, is simple. You raid your pantry, take a trip to the grocery store, and compile all ingredients you need without having to worry about limitations placed on the amount of, for example, sugar or eggs or milk that you choose to buy. This was not the case during WWII.

Certain foods were limited during the war, especially those that were processed because they could easily be sent overseas to troops. Families received ration books, and in each ration book were stamps that correlated with a particular food item. Each food required a certain amount of stamps in order to purchase it. Once a person ran out of their stamps, they had to wait until the next month to receive a new ration book. With this system came great responsibility, and families not only found their creative sides in the kitchen, but also learned to balance out their meals.


The cookbook that we’ve been using to pull recipes for “foodie” Friday, The Victory Binding of the American Woman’s Cook Book: Wartime Edition, holds weekly calendars in the back that lay out example plans of what meals families could eat each of the days during the weeks.


Example of the weekly layout of what families could eat for their breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. At the bottom of the pages are substitute meal ideas in case a family was missing ingredients or didn’t have enough ration stamps for a particular meal.

This week’s “foodie” Friday recipe from the American Woman’s Cook Book is for cornmeal muffins with, or without, jam. This is served as a breakfast. In the above photo, it’s listed as a breakfast item for Wednesday. The recipe calls for sugar and an egg, both of which were rationed, but could have been purchased with your ration stamps. These can be served as breakfast for multiple days in a row since the recipe makes about 12. The muffins were a great dish because they lasted a while, so families could get a lot out of a recipe that didn’t call for too large of amounts from too many ingredients. It is simple, straightforward, and pleasing to the taste buds, so families on the Home Front ate this breakfast up and continuously participated in the fight for victory.



  • 1 cup of corn meal
  • 1 cup sifted flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 4 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 tablespoons of melted shortening

Step 1: Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit

Step 2: Sift the corn meal, flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder together.


Step 3: Beat the egg.

Step 4: Add the milk and melted shortening to the beaten egg.

Step 5: Mix together the dry ingredients with the egg mixture.


Step 6: Bake for 20-25 minutes.


IMG_2910 (1)



Taste tip: Spread some jelly on them for a touch of sweetness. Civilians on the Home Front made this breakfast their jam, no pun intended.

Posted by Camille Weber, Education Intern and Lauren Handley, Assistant Director of Education for Public Programs at The National WWII Museum.

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