Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Making Soup

Today's picture shows a woman in a poor home making soup. The picture was taken in 1937 near Iron River, Michigan. I am not sure what the insignia on her sleeve represents.


  1. That's an old US Navy jumper she is wearing. I am not sure of the rank.

  2. What a short stove!

    The shirt looks like part of a Navy uniform to me, but I am no expert.

    Here is another soup recipe. It is for borscht. I got it from my husband's grandmother who was Russian.

    Brown some beef soup bones or a small chuck roast in a oven proof dutch oven until they are very brown. Remove excess fat.

    Fill pot with water add salt and a tablespoon or so of whole peppercorns according to taste. Add one or two whole bay leaves. Boil for a few hours adding water as needed.

    After you have a nice stock, remove the beef and bones and the bay leaves and peppercorns. The meat is used to make peroshki to be eaten with the soup. Peroshki are small meat-filled rolls, beloved by Russians.

    Skim any foam and fat off the top of the stock.

    Add the following:
    A couple of potatoes cut in chunks
    Three or four sliced carrots
    A chopped onion
    One or two diced red beets, or a fifteen ounce can, including juice. Sometimes I add two cans.

    Half a large head of sliced cabbage
    A couple of chopped tomatoes
    A fresh bay leaf or two
    Another tablespoon of peppercorns.

    Simmer until the vegetables are tender.

    Remove bay leaves before serving.

    The red color will be better preserved if you add the red beets close to the end of the cooking time.

    Serve with dollops of sour cream added to each individual bowl. Eat with peroshki.

    Watch out for peppercorns! They are hot when you bite them!

  3. I think it is a CHIEF MASTER AT ARMS for a naval petty officer

  4. first class Boatswains Mate

    1. You are correct. That was my dad's rank during WWII.

  5. My first thought was, "weren't most of these Navy uniforms made of wool?" Being that this lady seems very poor, she might have been wearing this hand me down shirt for warmth.

  6. The pullover is a wool Navy uniform with a boatswains mate designator indicating the rank of Chief Petty Officer. These things are not just warm, but hot. If her husband returned home or she obtained it from someone, she would have worn it because of the warmth. You can be soaking wet and still be warm with this thing on.

    The bar 'over the top of the three chevrons' is what constitutes a Chief designation. If it was just three chevrons, that is a first class petty officer, two are second class petty officer and one is a third class petty officer.

    1. I forgot to add, the crossed anchors is what designates the uniform is from a boatswainmate. This one I know. I am a Chief, my wife was a BM2 and my son is now a Corpsmen in the Navy.

  7. this woman is well off tho. She has a stove (albeit short.) seems to be set on gallon cans. she has a nice stack of fire wood. She is warm (navy pullover and cook stove) and she has nice pans! a wash pan on an orange crate, several nice big pans. At least one big cast iron skillet and a couple of calendars. I wish I could see the rest of her cabin. Do you imagine it was just one room?

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