Directions for Perfect Eggs... maybe!
Hey Kent ! Congrats on the new book. Here's one for future reference. When we lived in Chapel Hill NC our good friend Kimsey King was a former member of the U.S. Air Force. His job was to write instruction manuals for consolidated mess hall cooks. Complaints started coming in that the scrambled eggs tasted awful and somebody better do something.
Spam, Corn Beef and Pancakes!
Kent - I still like Spam. One camp I was in India in WWII had Spam for lunch and corn beef for supper or the other way around-corn beef for lunch and Spam for supper. I still like both because on a convoy via Ledo-Burma road to China we has K rations for breakfast and lunch and missed the Spam for supper.
A Chow Line Memory - Chow Line Memories are real stories from service men and women about the "Best Chow" and the "Worst Chow" served up during their service years. These stories are in the own words of the veteran and are an extention of the soon to be released book Bread and Bullets - The Meals of War by Kent Whitaker.
A Scrumptious Dinner
I guess my fondest memory of Army chow was the scrumptious dinner the Army served us on Thanksgiving Day, 1951, in Pusan, Korea. I had only arrived in Korea a few weeks earlier on TDY from our Tokyo Hq to serve as a radio script writer for the Korean Radio Network (Psywar). Our quonset hut base and our radio tower was located at the top of the hill overlooking the Pusan harbor.
Fresh Melons... overboard!
Kent - my father told of arriving in North Africa in 1943 after a long voyage from Chesapeake Bay with shipboard provisions. (Fried SPAM for breakfast every morning gave him a lifelong aversion to the product.)
Flapjacks and Beans!
Kent - I was 18 years old when we crossed the Pacific & Indian Ocean to Bombay-34 days. Breakfast was good except baked beans Tues and Friday and crammed in a compartment with 300 other GI. You know old cowboys when asked what for breakfast-"Flapjacks and beans with music to follow" same on a troopship with poor ventilation.
Off Limit Menu until Our Number Came Up!
Kent - I happened to be in the Pacific on my second tour of duty after African campaign and was stationed on Oahu training for the Iwo Invasion. We were an Air Corps outfit, with a C-47 assigned to us for general duties. We decided to eat better, so we contributed, according to rank, money to go to Hilo, on the big Island, and buy good cuts of meat for our chow hall. Somehow or another the word got around the Island, and we finally had to put our mess hall 'OFF Limits".
Hamburgers, World War Two and Richard Nixon all come together in the sauce covered time line of WWII.
I loved working on my new book Bullets and Bread - Feeding the Greats to the Grunts in World War Two. Hamburgers have been around for years. Let's just say that burgers are pretty dang popular todayâ€¦ and they were during WWII. This is one of those neat stories that filtered to me when I started asking questions about WWII Chow. As for Richard Nixon, well - he was the President of the United States. Forget everything you know about the former President. Forget the movies, the books, the crazy impressions of him on Saturday Night Live. Not the new SNL, but the old school version. You know, Wild and Crazy Guys, Cone Heads... That SNL.
I learned an amazing amount of cool military culinary things while working on my new book - The Meals of War - Feeding the Great to the Grunts in World War Two.
An amazing thing about the United States during World War Two is that some pretty common everyday things helped play a role in the Allied Victory. We've all heard about the conversion of plants making everything, from car to toasters and more, into facilities pushing thousands of tanks and planes off the production line.
The same is true for bullets, bombs, tents, pants, boots, boats, ships, aircraft carriers and candy.