While unemployment virtually disappeared during the war, food and fuel prices went up in a seemingly endless spiral. Food prices alone rose 44 percent during the war years. At the end of the month, with most ration points spent and only a few pennies in the piggybank, what was the beleaguered homemaker to do? M. F. K. Fisher had one answer in her famous “Sludge” (p. 131), although most families shied away from anything so stark. But beans and nuts, inexpensive, unrationed, filling, and high in protein, could be made into something the family might eat…and then again, might not.
Soybean casseroles, nut burgers, and nut loaves—served with thick white sauce—were popular meat substitutes, at least in the pages of wartime cookbooks and magazines. Whether they were as popular at home as thick steaks and chops was another story. One hearty recipe that combined nuts and beans, cost very little in points or cash, used Victory Garden vegetables, and was served in a ring could be considered the archetypal patriotic main dish.
Red, White, and Blue Carrot-Nut Ring with Lima Beans
This is strangely good…if you like this sort of thing.
4 eggs, beaten until thick and lemon-colored
2 cups milk
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup slivered blanched almonds
5 cups grated carrots, steamed until tender
2 cups cooked seasoned baby lima beans, kept hot
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Mix the first six ingredients together. Stir in the almonds and carrots. Pour into a greased 9-inch ring mold set in a pan filled with water that comes halfway up the sides of the mold. Bake about 40 minutes. Unmold on a platter and fill the center with the limas. The lima beans may be tossed with a little butter—if there is any—or other compatible fat before being sent to the table.
Makes 4 servings