As humans, we all share a fascination with food. Some of us are culinarily adventurous. Some prefer salty things, others have sweeter tastes, but all of us eat. And one interesting way to explore food is by looking at recipes from the past.
That’s exactly what Naval History and Heritage Command Public Affairs Specialist, Thomas Frezza, did during quarantine. Now, he’s mastered a number of historical recipes from the U.S. Navy’s old cookbook. And he took to the internet to share them. Among the classic dishes is a simple recipe for sugar cookies.
As far as baking goes, sugar cookies are about as easy as it gets. Apparently, that’s why it was such a favorite with Navy cooks who had to provide for entire ships at a time.
“From what I’ve heard from different culinary specialists within the Navy from that time period, the reason why they went with the soft sugar cookie recipe — and it’s also kind of the same reason I did — is because it’s really easy to kind of whip up a large batch and make,” Frezza told Fox News.
How Different is the Navy’s WWII Era Sugar Cookie Recipe?
The recipe itself will look familiar, as the ingredients are all pretty standard to this day. You’ve got your flour, eggs, sugar, milk, shortening, salt, vanilla, and baking powder. All ingredients are available at any grocery store.
The only peculiar thing, however, is the amount of nutmeg called for in the recipe. According to Thomas Frezza, it overpowers the cookie.
“The recipe itself uses nutmeg and nutmeg can be kind of powerful. I probably would switch it out for like cinnamon, or something,” Frezza said. “You know, just something that’s a little bit — a less powerful spice than nutmeg.”
If you want to make the recipe yourself, the exact measurements and techniques are included in Thomas’s video below. The procedure is pretty straightforward, but it always helps to see how something is done.
Keep Cooking Like A Sailor
If you don’t have much of a sweet tooth, however, there are plenty of other historical options to explore on the YouTube channel. Thomas Frezza cooks everything from fried chicken to salmon cakes. Some recipes hold up a little better than others, but hey, as long as the sailors were getting fed.
While Frezza always had the old cookbooks laying around, it wasn’t until the pandemic that he decided to explore them and share his adventures.
“…well, at the beginning, everybody was cooking at home and I figured, why not break out the cookbook and actually try some of these recipes and make some videos that we could share with the public and see what people thought and make it so that they could make these at home, as well,” he said.