The hardest part of rationing for me would be the cheese. It was rationed at 2 oz per adult, per week, as was butter. There are four in our house and I cannot imagine living with only 8 oz of cheese to work with. Here's how I made a side using only two ounces of cheese.
This is an au gratin recipe that was altered to conserve not only cheese, but milk and butter, too.
I peeled and sliced 4 large potatoes and layered them loosely in a glass dish. Then I added spices, which are your friend when your other ingredients are limited. This can be made to your taste. I used garlic salt, pepper, seasoning salt and a sprinkle of thyme. On top of that, two tbsp. butter, one person's rations for the week. Next time I might try it with one.
I measured the cheese because during war time, it would be too easy (at least for me) to go overboard on one dish and be left with not enough for the next. Two ounces wasn't as bad as I anticipated.
After topping with cheese, I baked at 325 for about 40 minutes. Here's what it looked like when it was finished.
I think I'll use a little less butter next time. There was plenty to coat the potatoes and some pooled in the bottom of the dish. My husband declared he liked it better than the box kind. He also suggested to add bacon bits and some scrambled eggs and it could be a filling breakfast. I was also thinking it could be a dinner meal if I doubled the potatoes and tossed in a can of tuna or some chopped chicken or ham.
Cooking during the war was a challenge, not only to make everything stretched and balanced, but to keep everyone fed and healthy. (Not to mention full.) This is extremely inexpensive to make today and can replace unhealthy convenience foods with less fuss than the box calls for. I'm excited to try some variations on this in the future.