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Food in the Great War
« on: February 03, 2007, 10:37:33 PM »
German Cooking in the World War--or... Making the Best of One?s Situation!
by Musketier Rolf Gaulke
2./IR 111
The meal presented here is typical of what industrious German soldiers can concoct behind the lines. It represents the soldiers? ability to scavenge food locally as well as the negative impact that the British blockade, the inefficient domestic rationing system (as demonstrated by the thriving black market), and several years of war are having on the nation?s food supply.

The meal includes: Kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes), Apfelsuppe (Apple Soup), Kriegskuchen (War Cake), Rosinenbrot (Raisin Bread), and Ersatz Kaffee (Ersatz coffee). The recipes and their sources are listed after the explanation below.

The scavenger portion of the meal is represented by the potato pancakes and apple soup. Potatoes and apples are both fairly easy to find behind the lines in the fall of the year. The typical soldier might need a little more ingenuity to find the other ingredients (boullion, eggs, etc.), but the combining of resources and ?trading? with supply depot workers and cooks can yield the necessary ingredients.

The war cake and raisin bread represent two types of food that are often shipped from home. The two provide an interesting contrast. The war cake, with its numerous ingredients, perhaps has greater appeal to the palate. However, as the war continues and rationing becames increasingly stringent in Germany, the Hausfrau certainly finds it easier to locate the ingredients for the raisin bread. Hence, the inclusion of both breads in this meal.
Ersatz coffee?essentially a mix of chicory, barley, and other grains and ingredients?completes this wonderful meal.

The Recipes and their Sources:
Warning: The conversion of dry ounces to wet ounces varies by product being measured. For example 1 pound of sifted flour, i.e. 16 dry ounces, approximates four cups, or 32 fluid ounces.
However, 1 pound of sugar, i.e. 16 dry ounces, approximates two cups, or 16 fluid ounces. When attempting to make these recipes, bakers should use a mini scale for measuring dry ounces and the standard measuring cups for measuring fluid ounces!

Kartoffelpuffer (Potato Pancakes)
  • 2 pounds of peeled potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 100 grams (3.5 dry oz.) potato flour
  • ? liter (about one cup) milk
  • 2 eggs
  • cooking fat
Place the grated potatoes in cold water. Pour the water off shortly before baking and drain by patting potatoes with a kitchen towel. Add the salt, flour, and egg yolk. Then, add the stiffened egg white. Using a spoon, make the thinnest possible cakes (average diameter 9 centimeters (3.5 inches)) in a pancake pan filled with hot oil. The pancakes should be turned and baked until crispy. [Back home] They would be eaten as soon as possible with salad (lettuce), asparagus, or topped with stewed or preserved fruit.
Source: Kockbuch der Koch- und HaushaltungsSchulen.
10. Auflage (10th Edition), 1925.[/color]

Apfelsuppe (Apple Soup)
  • 3 cups of applesauce sweetened
  • 2 boullion cubes
  • 3 cups of water
Boil and serve hot. Pear soup is made in the same way.
Source: Germany in War Time: What an American Girl Saw and Heard. Chicago, Open Court Publishing Company, 1917. (Note: This book provides typical recipes and Pension (boarding house) menus in Germany.)[/color]

Kriegskuchen (War Cake)
  • 1 pound sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ? liter (about one cup) milk
  • 2 table spoons cocoa
  • 150 grams (5.25 dry ounces) of nuts (finely chopped)
  • 40 grams (1.4 dry ounces) of citron
  • 40 grams (1.4 dry ounces) of orange peel
  • 120 grams (4.2 dry ounces) of sultanas (raisins)
  • 1 package of Dr. Oetkers baking powder (probably two teaspoons)
  • 1 pound of sifted flour

Beat the sugar and eggs until creamed. Then add the milk, cocoa, finally chopped nuts, citron, orange peal, sultanas, and the baking powder and shifted flour. This dough is placed in a bread loaf (Stollen) pan and baked for 1.25 hours on medium heat (probably 350 degrees Fahrenheit). (It can also be baked in a cake pan.) After cooling, cake can be cut in half and filled with marmalade.
Source: Kockbuch der Koch- und Haushaltungs Schulen.
10. Auflage (10th Edition), 1925.[/color]

Rosinenbrot (Rasin Bread)
  • ? cake (? packet) yeast
  • 1 cup potato flour
  • 2 tablespoons of raisins
  • 1 pound flour

Set sponge at night: To activate the yeast, dissolve ? packet of yeast in 1/8 cup of water that feels warm to the touch. (Be sure water is not too hot, or you will kill the yeast.) Allow to stand three to five minutes. Bubbles should appear on the surface. Then, beat in a cup of flour to make a smooth batter?the sponge. Cover and let rise in a warm place overnight (or until doubled in size.) Then mix in the other ingredients, toss the dough on a lightly floured board and knead until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a greased bowl and let rise again. When it has doubled in size, punch the dough down and form into a loaf. Bake for one hour at 350 degrees.
Source: Germany in War Time: What an American Girl Saw and Heard.[/color]

Ersatz Kaffee
Many U.S. health food and natural stores sell products which are produced from the same ingredients found in Germany?s Ersatz Kaffee?Chicory, Barley, and other grains and roots.

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Food in the Great War
« on: February 03, 2007, 10:37:33 PM »
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