Cooking has evolved a lot in the last hundred or so years, and though a lot of us nowadays get new recipe ideas from Pinterest or the latest celeb cookbook, sometimes, it’s best to look to the past to find inspiration. In fact, one museum is featuring some recipes that originated more than 100 years ago and some have stood the test of time.
The National World War I Museum And Memorial is celebrating these recipes in an online exhibit called War Fare: From the Homefront to the Frontlines, as first reported on by Food & Wine. The exhibit features recipes from the 1918 cookbook Win The War In The Kitchen, which the U.S. government released to inspire people to follow rationing and conserve food.
You can find tons of recipes from the book online (including highlighted ones that are a bit easier to follow) for things like scalloped cabbage, bean and tomato stew, and a very delicious-looking cornbread. The cookbook also features messages about rationing and discouraging food waste, which its curators feel could come in handy given the current COVID-19 outbreak.
“While the COVID-19 and World War I/1918 flu pandemic are fundamentally different situations, they have both resulted in shortages of essential supplies, including food. The underlying message applicable to both situations is that rationing can absolutely make a difference—even on a small scale,” Lora Vogt, the museum’s curator of education, told Food & Wine.
The book may also serve as inspiration for baking substitutes and shelf-stable items that aren’t as commonly used today, Vogt said.
“Presently, we again have the collective opportunity to reduce usage of scarce items—both for the community at large and particularly for those on the frontline of this crisis,” she continued: “These recipes are a tool that can be used for that purpose. And, they provide some creative, pantry stable substitutes the modern cook may not consider.”
You can see the recipes here.