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  • Hanna Rashidi, Intern & Guest Blogger

A Taste of Providence: World War I Recipe Test

Rhode Island Pendulum, East Greenwich, Rhode Island, December 20, 1917, p. 17, from Digital Archives of the East Greenwich Free Library,

Surrounded by the grandeur of Lippitt House’s dining room, it is easy to lose sight of some of the harsh realities of history. However, while the Lippitts may not have felt it as keenly as others in Rhode Island, difficult decisions about how and what to feed one’s family were unavoidable for many. In my research into dining culture at Lippitt House, I came across a series of recipes from World War I in the newspaper The Rhode Island Pendulum designed to avoid ingredients that were subject to shortages such as meat and fats.

In order to immerse myself in some of the experiences of the homefront during WWI, I set out to make one of these recipes—the lima bean soup to be exact. I was curious to see what I might learn about the cost of ingredients, the ease of finding them, and the time it took to make the food.