Friday, April 12, 2013

Do You Know Oatmeal?

I have occasionally given you bits and pieces from the British WW II Food Facts leaflets put out by the Ministry of Food, today I am going to give you some snippets from a WW I booklet published in 1917 by the U.S Dept. of Agriculture for the U.S Food Administration. The booklet is a composite of eight leaflets:

No. 1. Start the Day Right
No. 2. Do You Know Cornmeal?
No. 3. A Whole Dinner in One dish
No. 4. Chose Your Food Wisely.
No. 5. Make a Little Meat Go a Long Way.
No. 6. Do You Know Oatmeal.
No. 7. Food for Your Children
No. 8. Instead of Meat

Under the list of leaflets is the exhortation to:

KEEP THEM                          REFER TO THEM

It seems right to start this post with some advice on how to start the day right. Essentially this is to have a good breakfast with:

FRUIT                        CEREAL       MILK

These make a meal –
GOOD                        CHEAP

of foods the Government asks us to eat

I am not sure why this poster-type style was used, but I guess because it fitted with the many actual posters on food and other wartime issues.

Some brief suggestions on the use of fruit, cereal and milk followed (“Use bananas with dark skins. Bananas with greenish-yellow skins are hard to digest unless cooked.”) The ideas in the “Do You Know Oatmeal” leaflet naturally overlap with the breakfast suggestions, and as many of you love oatmeal posts (is it one of the universal Western comfort foods?) this is what I want to focus on today.  I have selected my top three recipes from the leaflet.

Do you know that oatmeal makes delicious puddings and other good things?

Of course, you know it is a good breakfast food, but it is even better fixed up for dinner or supper.
It makes

Excellent Puddings

Wholesome Bread and Cookies

An Appetizing Soup for a Cold Day

A Baked Dish for Dinner in Place of Meat

OATMEAL BETTY               or         BROWN PUDDING
2 cups cooked oatmeal.                                   2 cups cooked oatmeal
4 apples cut up small                           ½ cup molasses
½ cup raisins                                       ½ cup raisins
½ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Mix and bake for one half-hour. Serve hot or cold. Any dried or fresh fruits, dates, or ground peants may be used instead of apples. Either will serve five people.

Especially crisp and good as Well as cheap are


2 cups rolled oats.       1 ½ tablespoons fat.
¼ cup milk                  ¼  teaspoon soda.
¼  cup molasses          1 teaspoon salt.

Grind or crush the oats and mix with the other materials. Roll out in a thin sheet and cut in squares. Bake for 20 minutes in a moderate oven. Makes 3 dozen crackers.

Instead of meat, cook this appetizing dish for your family


2 cups cooked oatmeal.                       I teaspoon vinegar.
1 cup crushed peanuts             ¼ teaspoon pepper.
½ cup milk                              2 ½ teaspoons salt.

Mix together and bake in a greased pan 15 minutes. This is enough for five people.

The puddings look like a good way to use up leftover porridge, or to make a bigger quantity in the first place, to have some prepared for this dish (would save on fuel too.)

The most intriguing to me is the recipe for baked oatmeal and nuts. The title suggested a breakfast granola, but instead it is a sort of savoury peanut and oatmeal meat-substitute pudding. Not sure if I really like the sound of it, but on the other hand I recently had Ripe Banana Phili on Norfolk Island and loved it. Phili is a similar concept – take any starchy cereal (flour, in the case of the one I had) and add a mashed starchy ingredient (ripe or green bananas, sweet potato etc) and some milk and bake. The phili was served at ambient temperature, cut into squares, as an accompaniment to some fabulous fish, lots of salads, and some amazing coconut bread.


srhcb said...

My mother used to make an Oat Apple Betty. It was one of my dad's favorites I imagine she got the recipe from her Scottish mother-in-law.

The Old Foodie said...

Hi Steve, I used to make what we call an Apple Crumble - it had rolled oats in the topping. Now I must find that old favourite recipe.