Saturday, December 27, 2008

Austerity Cooking

Christmas is over. Back to work.

One of the difficulties of writing a series is that while you're promoting your latest release, you're also working on the next book.  My January 2009 book hasn't even been officially launched, and I'm already half-way through with the next one.  The fifth book in this series is set right at the beginning of World War I in the U.S.  When America got into the war, the government issued a whole set of austerity rules, including ways to save certain food items such as flour, sugar, dairy, and meat.

So I'm researching the ways that women in that period changed and altered recipes in order to comply.  Some of them were amazingly inventive, and judging by the ones I've experimented with thus far, they were very tasty, as well.

One interesting recipe that my grandmother used even when I was a little girl (quite a bit after WWI, in case you're wondering) was for Vinegar pie.  I am convinced that you can make a delicious pie out of anything.  This is not the recipe I'm going to use in the book, but it is a very simple variation, if you're feeling brave and experimental.

Vinegar Pie:
1 egg
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 cup water

Beat together the egg, flour, and sugar, then add vinegar and water, stir in the cinnamon, pour into unbaked pie shell and bake at 350 for about an hour or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

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