Summer Banquet Hop


What’s in Mrs. Hales Receipts for the Millions 1857?

1205. Jumble. – Take one pound of loaf-sugar, pounded find; one pound and a quarter of flour; three-quarters of a pound of butter/four eggs, beaten light, and a little rose-water and spice; mix them well, and roll them in sugar.

Food in Historical Fiction

Welcome to Maria Grace’s Summer Banquet Hop where food is on the table. It sounds yummy, but sometimes when you write historical fiction you can encounter a food related topic that has a serious side. During WW II, many countries, including the United States, rationed food. In German-occupied countries in Europe, it was critical, a way for Germany to control the populations and make sure their soldiers and military personnel were fed.

Soldiers in villageMy unpublished novel, THE JOSSING AFFAIR (a finalist in the Chanticleer Book Review Contest) is set in Norway during WW II. After the invasion of Norway in April 1940, rationing began in full force by the fall. Families and individuals were issued ration cards for fuel, clothing and food. Already a heavy importer of food, Norwegians faced shortages that were especially hard in cities such as Oslo and Bergen. Only those in small isolated farming communities might be able to have decent food from their field and barns or hide their produce all together. As the war progressed, however, German soldiers became involved Document-2013-ButterKarte-01in overseeing the harvests, foods going to the some 245,000 soldiers stationed there. The fisheries were controlled too, as herring was used for glycerin in munitions.

Rationing and the Resistance

In May of 1944, orders were given for young men to sign up for a program, When they took to forests and 1125572_13475622769057_bigthumbmountains in protest, the Germans announced that individuals had to come and pick up their ration cards. Many of these young men faced starvation. Rationing and food is an important background to THE JOSSING AFFAIR. I enjoyed interviewing people who lived during this time.

And Now A Giveaway

Thanks for stopping by. If you make a comment down below, I’ll put you into a give away of my award winning novel, TREE SOLDIER, set in a CCC camp during the Great Depression in the USA. The novel is winner of 2012 EPIC ebook award and Grand Prize Winner for Chanticleer Book Reviews.  Everybody Reads, a community read for towns straddling the Snake River in Idaho and Washington, chose it for their 2013 read in November. BE SURE to leave your email so I can contact the winner. I’ll post it on my blog. You can read about food in a forestry camp here.

Join in the Fun

Don’t forget to hop over to the others in this hop sites and find out what they have to give away:

Hop Participants

  1. Random Bits of Fascination (Maria Grace)
  2. Pillings Writing Corner (David Pilling)
  3. Anna Belfrage
  4. Debra Brown
  5.  Lauren Gilbert
  6. Gillian Bagwell
  7. Julie K. Rose
  8. Donna Russo Morin
  9. Regina Jeffers
  10. Shauna Roberts
  11. Tinney S. Heath
  12. Grace Elliot
  13. Diane Scott Lewis
  14. Ginger Myrick
  15. Helen Hollick
  16. Heather Domin
  17. Margaret Skea
  18. Yves Fey
  19. JL Oakley
  20. Shannon Winslow
  21. Evangeline Holland
  22. Cora Lee
  23. Laura Purcell
  24. P. O. Dixon
  25. E.M. Powell
  26. Sharon Lathan
  27. Sally Smith O’Rourke
  28. Allison Bruning
  29. Violet Bedford
  30. Sue Millard
  31. Kim Rendfeld

22 thoughts on “Summer Banquet Hop

  1. I really enjoy your posts, Janet, including this one. You make it easy for readers to be engaged in history. (I also have a copy of Tree Soldier so no need to enter my name.)

  2. Like you, I enjoyed chatting with people (relatives mostly) about the WWII era for my memoir. Funny thing is that the women all shared similar stories of rationed nylons. Since the style was that the nylons had a seam up the back, the young women took turns drawing lines up the backs of each others legs with pencil. Pretty creative!

    • My parents had their tires stolen during the WW II. As they were rationed, my dad had to go to the Secretary of the Navy and get permission for new ones as he was doing “secret work”.

  3. A friend of mine, recently deceased, was a girl in Paris during WWII. She told a story I will never forget, about how her father took their dog away to sell “to a family that wanted a pet.” Her family, when it got meat, ate mystery meat, which as an adult my friend suspected had been other people’s pets.

    ShaunaRoberts [at] nasw [dot} org

    • That’s really awful. I was a student in France in the md-1960s in Vichy and Clermont-Ferrand. Some of the streets in Vichy were still rubble from fighting. My friend’s mother had so little to work with even then.

  4. Thank you for such an interesting post. I’ll certainly think about this the next time I look around my cupboards and fridge and think “there’s nothing to eat”. We take so much for granted, don’t we?

    missvioletbedford at

    • Thanks for the comment. One of the things people mentioned in the interviews I did for JOSSING was the rationing. Those out in the villages often had butter and eggs and potatoes, but cities like Oslo were very tight. In the spring of 1944 when thousands of young men went to the forests and mountains, the Germans changed the way people could get their ration cards. Now you had to come in person. The Norwegian resistance was very worried that the young men would starve.

  5. Fascinating! I’ve been hoping for a good novel in English about Norway in WWII, so looking forward to this. Also: super glad to see another novel set in Norway! Two’s a trend! 😀

    • Thanks for the comment. I’ve been pitching the novel so long and it’s been recognized in lit contests, but I’m thinking that I’ll self-publish it this winter. About time.

  6. After seeing a number of posts about elaborate and extravagant meals, this one is sobering and brings us back to a sometimes grim reality. I’d love to read your book!

  7. My first visit and love the name of your blog. We all could learn more about Norway during WWII. I remember rationing cards and my father had a job that was secret during the war and my mother and her friend (neighbor) worked in a war plant in Virginia. My father was in Oak Ridge, Tn. and they were working on the atom bomb…he could not say anything regarding work when he came home for a visit. He lived near work and came home occasionally. I would be hononoured to read your book.
    Thank you for the giveaway,

  8. My mother-in-law lived out in the country in Sweden when rationing was at its worst. Being young and strong, she was sent off to Stockholm carrying more than half a pig in her suitcase and on her body. The trick was to look unbothered, sort of swing the suitcase around as if it was light as a feather rather than crammed full of ham… Which she did – although the sausages wound round her waist did give her a rash. Nice post!

  9. The photo of the ration card you have on the blog is something most modern people have never seen. I have one of my parents’ ration cards still and remember their stories about rationing in the US during WWII. My father was one of the Boeing designers of the B-17, so between my mom’s stories about cooking during the time of rationing, what I learned after the war about what my father had been doing (top secret back then, of course), I almost feel like I lived then. But I am a Boomer, born well after the war. In Seattle, the Boeing plants where the B-17 was build were disguised from potential enemy aircraft reconnaissance by faking what looked from the air like streets, people walking around, houses, and entire neighborhoods.

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