Popeye joined the American Navy in 1941 and fought through until 1945. His uniform was shown in all white during his war service. His secret weapon was tinned spinach. Voiced by Jack Mercer, Popeye along with his girlfriend, the fickle Olive Oly and his nemesis Brutus was a favorite in the cinema and later on television.
Many assumed that spinach was chosen for its high iron content but it was actually for the Vitamin A that it was selected.
In memory of Popeye and friends here are some spinach recipes from the 1942 cookbook.
2lb. spinach (or perpetual spinach beet)
½oz nut fat
1 tablespoon wholewheat flour
Pick over spinach and wash thoroughly. If spinach or beet is used, the thick stalks and mid-rib are best removed. They can be cooked separately.
Put 1oz nut fat in bottom of pan, put spinach on top (add no water), tuck greaseproof paper closely down on top, put on lid and cook gently until tender, stirring occasionally (10-15 minutes).
Melt 1oz nut fat, stir in one tablespoon wholewheat flour and cook gently, then add stock from spinach, and boil up, gently stirring all the time. If there is not enough stock, a little milk should be added. Stir chopped spinach into sauce and serve on a hot dish immediately.
Spinach and Oatmeal
1 tablespoon Quick Quaker Oats
½oz cooking fat
Prepare spinach and chop up. Put fat in bottom of saucepan, then add spinach, sprinkling the oatmeal through it. Cover closely and cook gently for 20 minutes, stirring or shaking at intervals.