Back in 1941, it must have seemed like kind of a fun, festive addition to the traditional Thanksgiving table. No one suspected that in a very short time America would be drawn into the war that was already being fought in most of the world after being attacked.
With the country had been at war for a while and things were scarce. In 1942, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade was cancelled for the first time. Turkeys and all the trimmings were scarce and places at the table left empty by family members serving their country were filled with other members of the armed services invited to share a home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner. But while tables at home may not had had the kind of abundance they had in previous years, overseas the troops did have a full Thanksgiving dinner, no matter where they were. And with women off working in factories and munitions plants, often there was no one home to make the dinner.
But with things getting scarcer and scarcer amazingly enough, cranberries were still available, but now at a much higher price than the year before. And, of course, with war plants again staying open on Thanksgiving, many woman many women were either working or just didn't have the time or energy to make a Thanksgiving dinner.
By 1944, the food that make up a traditional Thanksgiving dinner were really
in short supply, with cranberries being the scarcest.
But, in1945 Americans were celebrating their first peaceful Thanksgiving and the cranberries were abundant, the turkeys were plump and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade was back.
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
2 two-inch sticks cinnamon
1 teaspoon whole cloves
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Grated rind of one lemon
4 cups fresh cranberries
Combine the sugar, water, spices, lemon juice and rind, and boil together
for five minutes. Add the cranberries and cook slowly, without stirring, till
all the skins pop open. Chill thoroughly before serving.
(Makes one quart)
During the war, the Red Cross did a lot to help not just servicemen and women, but also refugee children and their families, those left homeless from bombings and prisoners of war. Thanksgiving 2012 will be a difficult time for so many who lost everything in Hurricane Sandy. While you are giving thanks for your blessings, please remember those who are not so fortunate at the moment. If you feel like you want to help, you can text REDCROSS at 90999 to make a $10.00 donation to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief.
And I hope everyone has a happy, cranberry-filled Thanksgiving.
Weekend cooking is a weekly event hosted by Beth Fish Reads