stylish only in emergencies

"Once during the last war {WW1} when rationing of sugar and butter had been in effect just long enough to throw all the earnest young housewives into a proper tizzy, my grandmother sat knitting and listening to a small excited group of them discuss with proper pride their various ways of making cake economically.  Each felt that her own discovery was the best, of course, and insisted that brown sugar or molasses-with-soda was much better than white, or that if you used enough spices you could substitute bacon fat for butter, or that eggs were quite unnecessary.

Finally my grandmother folded her knitting and then her hands...

"Your conversation is very entertaining indeed," she said with somewhat more than her ordinary dryness....It interests me especially, my dears, because after listening to it this afternoon, I see that ever since I was married, well over fifty years ago, I have been living on a war budget without realizing it!  I never knew before that using common sense in the kitchen was stylish only in emergencies."

 

from MFK Fisher's How To Cook a Wolf - a book I highly recommend. Not for its amazing recipes (food and nutrition have evolved a great deal since the early 1900's) but for its smack-you-in-the-head common sense kitchen wisdom - something nearly totally lost to many of us. Fisher is one of my favorite food writers and she has a very unique style - this book in particular has a tipsy quality that makes me laugh out loud - but she'll make you fall in love with food again and make you think about the incredible resources the intelligent cook has at her disposal.