Week 11

Summary of work due next week:

Complete Food and Art assignment and post your final work/images/videos on the blog with a title and description of the work.

We will discuss your finished projects in our final class, Tuesday April 6, 2021. And we will celebrate making it through the term together by sharing and discussing our final exercise, a PANDEMIC CAKE.

Final Exercise:

  • Complete a version of this recipe before our class meeting (you can do it the night before, or the same day):

An image promoting the rationing of food from the second world war in Canada, that accompanies a recipe for War Cake, or Poor Man’s Cake. See the article describing this historical moment, when things like butter, eggs and milk were rationed and hard to come by – but people still needed the comfort, pleasure and calories from cake. See the article here:http://activehistory.ca/2019/08/eating-history-canada-war-cake/

From Sophie Hicks:

“The lack of eggs, milk, and butter in this recipe is indicative of a conservational period that spanned from the early 1910s to the mid-1940s. World War I, the Great Depression, and World War II all put a similar strain on food, but had varying degrees of effect. Unlike the Depression years, the World Wars cast a shadow over Canada that affected every economic class. During the 1930s, middle and upper class that retained employment and cash flow were not required to make the drastic lifestyle changes necessary for the lower class. However, when Canada became involved in World War II, food conservation was no longer a result of financial means, but patriotic motives.

The prevalence of similarly conservational recipes conveys a broader importance than the cake alone.  It’s representative of a national sentiment in an era of uncertainty. As Ian Mosby said in “We are what we ate: Canada’s history in cuisines,” Canada War Cake was a “potent, if not slightly chewy, symbol of the mobilization of the entire home front for total war.”

See the recipe for War Cake from “This Week’s Best War-Time Recipes,” Windsor Daily Star, 14 March, 1942.


Everyone will make a quick cake – WITH WHATEVER YOU HAPPEN TO HAVE ON HAND IN YOUR KITCHEN. Use substitutions liberally or intentionally – make do – even if all you have are olives and relish, sugar and water. It might be something accidentally delicious, or awful, or something in between – but it will be a portrait of a moment, in this world, in this country, in your home, in your life. If you hate this assignment for whatever reason, solve it conceptually – and talk about it.

Post a snapshot and a description of your cake too – for the record. You may even include the recipe for others.

I will also be baking a pandemic cake for the occasion – a super easy one pot recipe. You mix all the ingredients right in the pan and stick it in the oven! Start it up at lunch time and eat cake together with us!

Use this recipe, or the original War Cake recipe above as a starting point to make your own PANDEMIC CAKE: