Characters: Alice, mentions of James & Cindy
Summary: Alice does not like rationing.
Notes: Canon. Something similar may appear in a future chapter, so can be considered a spoiler.
Word Count: 475
Alice groaned as she flipped through the family’s ration books. Even with the garden and the chickens to supplement their meals, it was becoming harder and harder for her to make meals for the family every day.
Coffee was restricted, so James was often a bear in the mornings, and he growled about not having enough sugar to make it as sweet as he wanted it. Luckily, fresh milk didn’t fall under the restrictions yet, and the farmer down the street was very willing and eager to sell to the wife of an army medic who had a little one at home. The chickens kept them in more eggs than they could count, but the cheese to make proper omelets cost valuable coupons so more often than not they were plain or with a pepper or two from the garden to give them more flavor.
The cheese rationing was the hardest for Alice to bear. Growing up on a farm, as small as it was, her mother had always made their own and it was a treat for Alice to eat the salted curds as her mother packed the molds with them. There was nothing more comforting in Alice’s opinion than a bowl of tomato soup and a sandwich made of nothing more than two slices of bread toasted with some cheese between them. But she had to restrict herself to it just once or twice a week, so that the cheese could be used for other things as well.
Dinner was often the hardest. As she and Cindy had grown up in greater poverty than James, it was easier for them to accept the restrictions place upon their meals. Beef tongue and chicken livers and game meats like venison became regulars on their plates, much to James’ despair. He swore daily that he’d give up a year’s pay for a decent steak dinner, but both women knew that it was all bluster. James, still employed at Sterling’s store, enforced the rationing rules to the letter, and he blatantly refused to take part in any black market trade of rationed items. As part of every war effort organization in town, he felt the need to set an example.
Alice sighed as she tried to figure out what she’d make for dinner that night. She went to the cupboard and pulled out one of the many jars of vegetables she and Cindy had spent days canning the week before. At least that was one thing they wouldn’t have to worry about. The Victory Garden had provided them with enough to see them through the winter, and between herself, Cindy, and the special wartime cookbook she’d ordered, thing would work out somehow. And someday, hopefully soon, rationing would be over, the boys would come home, and Alice would be able to eat all the cheese she wanted.