In her recollections Ms. Vanderbilt associates this recipe with her experiences of World War I. Mind you she was a mere child during that time period but, the rationing of wheat inspired the baking of this Oatmeal Bread. In her book she refers to this loaf as a "delicious wartime sacrifice loaf."
Just as I imagine what Amy and Andy must have been doing during the late 50's and early 60's as the cookbook is being created. I also imagine what life must have been like for Ms. Vanderbilt during the days of 1914. I can't imagine that she suffered too horribly during the war as she was from a somewhat affluent family. Unlike another female of this time period Marina Yurlova.
Marina Yurlova would likely have never had the luxury of smelling this delicious bread baking during World War I. For certain there were no molasses around as she crawled on her belly through the barbed wire. She must have laid awake dreaming of the warmth of a bed and water in which to bathe. She would be the true spirit of womanhood during this time period in which Ms Vanderbilt makes mention of wartime rations.
Although Andy Warhol was of Slovakian descent, I doubt he knew much of hunger or being exposed to freezing conditions as Marina Yurlova had known for many years. Mr. Warhol knew his own suffering when he was the victim of an attempted murder in 1968. Shot and severely wounded. He survived by the skin of his teeth. Warhol was also known to be a bit of hypochondriac and spent some of his childhood suffering from nervous system disorders.
What an awful bunch of dismal gloom. Should I frame these illustrations and call them Warhol art?
I didn't use the raisins called for in the above recipe. Mostly because I'm over dried fruit. I used chopped pecans instead. My Miss Aimee made that wrinkled nose face and said, "Is there raisins in here?" Oddly enough the mouth tastes raisins even though my loaf contained none. It is outstanding in flavor. I will bake this loaf again. Aimee and Mister loved the bread.
I wonder if the three Andy Warhol, Amy Vanderbilt, and Marina Yurlova ever crossed paths in life in any way shape or form.
If you are venturing about in the ice and cold of January, it's all too easy to complain of the dismal days. Open up your pantry door, most likely you have food. And Heat. Most of us have the above ingredient list in our pantries with exception of the molasses. You might have to put on your boots and slosh out and grab a bottle of Brer Rabbit. It will be worth the inconvenience. Warm up your world and beat the dismal blues of January with this simple rustic bread.
I'm thankful my daughter has never known firsthand the horror of war.
It's a little history lesson in our home. Teaching can extend out of the classroom into the kitchen with a little bit of imagination. Tonight we enjoyed this recipe for Oatmeal Bread and the story behind the triumphant survival of a young woman of history.