During World War II, sugar was one of many commodities rationed by the federal government. Families were given coupons based on their household size. In 1942, the US Bureau of Home Economics issued “Recipes to Match Your Sugar Ration,” a 22-page bulletin. It had recipes and suggestions for preparing desserts that used little to no refined white sugar.

“Sugar rationing is here!”

“Sugar rationing is here!” the booklet’s introduction read. “It is going to mean more fruit desserts.”

“Baking and cooking of other desserts can be done with less sugar,” it continued. “The recipes in this bulletin will show you how.”

The pamphlet advocated the use of other sweeteners like maple, sorghum and corn syrup. Below is one recipe.

Dried Fruit Bread Pudding

1 quart milk

2 cups dry bread crumbs

¼ tsp. salt

2 tbsp. fat

1 cup dried fruit, cooked

Sugar or syrup to taste

3 eggs, beaten

Scald the milk, bread crumbs, salt and fat in a pan over hot water. Add the cooked dried fruit, sweetened to taste. Pour some of the hot mixture into the beaten egg and mix well. Add the remainder, pour into a greased baking dish, and set in a pan of hot water.

Bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees Fahrenheit) about one hour, or until the pudding is firm in the center. When the pudding is about half done, stir well so the fruit will be mixed all through it.


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When a sibling unexpectedly inherits his grandfather’s dairy farm, Will O’Shaughnessy turns to selling Fords in rural, pre-World War I southwestern Wisconsin.

A richly wistful epic tale of a bygone era....Readers will yearn for more. ~ Midwest Book Review

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