This collection of 1943 lunch Box recipes for war workers is some old fashioned frugal meals that helped curb hunger while working labor intensive war effort jobs.
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In 1943, times were different. Men were off to war and therefore it was women who were the ones running the households in their entirety. The men who were home were typically those who were unable to work. This meant that women had to make do with very little money. As such, lunch box meals to send to war workers (and their children to school) were different than what you would see now.
They made do with what they had. This included using basic pantry items to make the food seem a lot more exciting. Suddenly bacon-cheese sandwich spread was a thing. It used chopped p bacon with horse radish, Worcestershire sauce, and cream cheese. It was spread between two slices of bread and that was that. Kidney beans were also being placed onto sandwiches.
Peanut butter and jelly is what we think of now as a “bare bones” lunch. However, peanut butter was a premium ingredient. Eggs, however, were easy to obtain for cheap. This is when the women would get creative and make egg and celery salad sandwiches and even make deviled eggs and use those as a sandwich.
The reality is that meat was too expensive. It wasn’t something the average woman would be able to buy while her husband was away at war. This meant that she made do with whatever she had, and it also meant scraping by in order to keep her family fed.