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Life in 1943 confirmed with book’s recipes

This week's recipes include Russian soup (borscht), party chicken salad, live and celery sandwich spread, and tapioca pudding
From the Kitchen by Joyce Walter

In 1943 homemakers wore house dresses and aprons with which to keep their clothes free from flour and other kitchen spills.

Kitchens were spotless and meals were prepared for sit-down family enjoyment of the food prepared. And while the man of the house reclined with the newspaper or listened to the radio, other family members might be called on to help the woman of the house with the dishes.

A cookbook, Food For the Body, For the Soul, published in 1943, documents that “home is not just a place where we eat and sleep but is the endeared dwelling place where domestic love, rest, peace and shelter from evil are known and enjoyed.”

This week’s recipes come from this 1943 cookbook.

• • •

Russian Soup (Borscht)

1 bunch beets
1 cup tomatoes, fresh or canned
4 cups water
1 small onion
1/2 lb. breast of beef
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
4 eggs

Cook beets in boiling water and then remove skin. Let cool.

Pare beets and cut them into long strips. Strain tomatoes over beets, not letting any seeds through. Add water. Put in the onion. Add the meat that has been cut into small pieces. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Add lemon juice, sugar and salt and boil for 30 minutes more.

Beat the eggs with a pinch of salt. Add the hot borscht to the egg mixture, a little at a time, stirring well to prevent the eggs from separating. This will be more or less like a soft custard mixture. Serve only while hot.

• • •

Party Chicken Salad

1 1/2 cups cubed canned pineapple
3 ripe bananas, peeled and cubed
1 /2-2 cups diced chicken
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 tsp. salt

Mix pineapple with bananas to keep from discolouration. Add chicken, celery and salt and mix lightly. Dilute mayonnaise with pineapple juice or cream to desired consistency. Use dressing sparingly and mix lightly with the chicken mixture. Chill.

Serve on crisp greens and garnish with whole almonds or other chopped nuts.

• • •

Liver and Celery Sandwich Spread

1/2 cup cooked liver, ground fine
1/4 cup celery, chopped fine
1 tbsp. green pepper, cut fine
1 tbsp. onion juice or chopped onion
1 tbsp. chopped parsley
tomato juice

Blend all ingredients and moisten slightly with tomato juice. Makes 3-4 sandwiches.

• • •

Tapioca Pudding

2 cups milk
1 1/2 tbsps. minute tapioca
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Heat milk and tapioca in double boiler. Stir often. Beat eggs then mix eggs and sugar. Stir egg mixture slowly into tapioca. Cook and stir often until thick, about 15 minutes. Let cool then add vanilla. Serve while warm with milk or cream.

Joyce Walter can be reached at