100 Years Ago: Wartime Cook Books, Victory Bread, Price of Fish, Men of 19 Can Enlist, Vincent Asselstine Seriously Ill

The Intelligencer July 9, 1918 (page 2)

“Food Board Flashes for Feminine Folk. Do you know that four new booklets which every Canadian woman should possess for herself have now made their bow to the public? Hundreds of so-called war-time cook books have come out during the last two or three years until women are a little bored with what other people are trying to tell them.

But these are different. They deal with bread-making, cooking of fish, the cooking of fruit and vegetables, and preserving and canning. They have attractive covers which are but the outward index to the authoritative and practical contents. In short, they are distinctive from any of the war-time cook books which have been issued in Canada, up-to-date and each is prepared by an expert.

A nominal five cent fee is being charged for each, on the principal that people value more highly what they have to pay for. Send to the Food Board, Ottawa, without delay for these books. Every woman should give them a place of honor in her home and follow their advice day by day in her kitchen.”

“Victory Bread for Canada. How many people realize what it means? For one thing, after this, no woman will be able to buy flour without at the same time buying a certain proportion of substitutes. In effect it means that no bread can now be made in Canada, either in the bake-shop or the home, without a specified percentage of substitutes.

For those who are doubtful about the use of substitutes and the proportions necessary to make bread, a special booklet containing bread recipes and dealing with all the substitutes available on the market, has been issued by the Canada Food Board. It can be obtained direct from any of the provincial committees at five cents a copy.

Let every woman watch out for the ‘Victory’ label on the loaves she buys. If it is not there then it is her duty to report the baker for he is breaking the law.”

The Intelligencer July 9, 1918 (page 2)

“Not Cheap Fish, but Fish Cheap! ‘Cheap fish or fish cheap!’ Sounds the same, doesn’t it? But there is a difference. In substituting fish for meat, Canadian housewives have become very discriminating. ‘Cheap fish’ sounds like it. It is invariably associated with cheap dress goods, cheap furniture and cheap other things. In fact it falls under the odium of cheapness as applied to mean and worthless articles.

The Canada Food Board in the early days of food conservation, made the pardonable mistake of advocating ‘cheap’ fish as a substitute for beef and pork. It hadn’t learned the psychology of the human and feminine mind with regards to the term and their efforts suffered a little in consequence.

The housewife who was offered ‘cheap’ cod, haddock, pullock, skate, whitefish or flatfish by the local fish dealer disliked the sound and passed these varieties by for the luxurious and expensive salmon and halibut. These fish, because of their high price must necessarily be much superior in quality and food value, she reasoned but at the same time registered a strong protest at the prices charged. …

Then someone—a woman probably—said to a Food Board official, ‘The women of Canada don’t want cheap fish. They want fish cheap!’ This terse remark opened up an entirely new point of view and the Board realized that its members would have to do some educational work, and explain.”

The Intelligencer July 9, 1918 (page 2)

“Boys of 19 Given Chance to Enlist. Men of the nineteen year of age class will be permitted to voluntarily enlist in any branch of the service open for recruits is the information contained in a report from Militia Headquarters. Permission is also given for men in category B to enlist as mechanics in the R. A. F. …  There is an opening for a large number of B men in forestry and similar battalions and it is possible that a call for them will be made very soon. The permission to enlist in the R. A. F. only holds good as long as the infantry do not require men.”

The Intelligencer July 9, 1918 (page 5)

“Seriously Ill in England. A telegram received from the Record Office to-day conveyed the news that Private Vincent Asselstine of this city, was seriously ill in England from an attack of pneumonia. Pte. Asselstine left Canada with the 59th Battalion, and was at the front for some time. On the 30th of October last he was severely wounded, since which time he has been in England. He was about to be invalided home when he was taken seriously ill.”

[Note: Private Vincent Asselstine died on July 10, 1918. He is commemorated on Page 361 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.]