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A World War II Thanksgiving, 1943

November 21, 2008 | 11:01 am

Above, a World War II recipe for meatless mince pie.


"The larders are war-shorn, but let the heart be grateful for the gift of fertile lands, for the riches of the earth and the sea and the privilege to share our all-American feast. We give thanks for an abundance of grain.

"If we skimp today, for the less, 'Lord make us duly thankful.' "

The Times advises readers to be flexible in making substitutes because many items in the traditional Thanksgiving meal are scarce or unavailable. Turkeys are smaller in 1943, The Times says, because feed supplies are low. Many of the birds are being sent to soldiers overseas, so the home front has to make due with chicken, which isn't rationed, unlike red meat. And if you can't get a chicken, try pork shoulder.

Instead of butter, use margarine or chicken or bacon fat. Sage, most of it from Dalmatia, is unobtainable, so try using oregano in your dressing. Oysters are also scarce because the men who would have harvested them are at war.

"After the war, we can eat the oysters we can't get today," The Times says.