From Modern Woman ("A Magazine Published By The Ice Industry," Volume 12 Number 6, 1941), Appetizing Casserole Cookery, by Norma Newton, is about wartime cooking. I've scanned the entire article, along with four of the vintage casserole recipes (Finnan Haddie Vegetable Pie, Steak Meat Pie, Garden Duet Casserole, and Tamale Pie), and posted it below. But I wanted to quote this part because I really like it (even if my kids would disagree!) and think that in these economic times, thinking about rationing is a good idea.
Casserole meals are easy to plan, prepare and serve, besides being easy on the budget -- and the disposition. If you are a woman who must do double duty in serving your family and your country (and who isn't now?) the well-planned casserole is a life saver. Ass a crisp salad and a desert and you've a decent dinner bound to please. You can have the meal ready in a flash if you will prepare it the night before, set it overnight in your ICE Refrigerator, then put it in a hot oven the minute you arrive home. When it is browning you can set the table and have a moment to relax, powder your nose and put on your best smile.The article continues from there to discuss not only using leftovers, the nutritional value of casseroles, and even hints at hiding vegetables "that might not otherwise be so welcome."
Moreover, casserole meals require little watching. They can have a dignified simplicity or a sublime sophistication. The food may be kept piping hot when the family is unpredictably late, or for the second helping always in demand. This delicious "hotness" is often missing when foods are served the orthodox way.
In fact, there are lots of good reasons for cooking and serving in casseroles, but surely the very best one is that a casserole, when skillfully used, keeps any family from suspecting ow little money is being spent on food. Left-overs, meat substitutes, or sale "specials" can look and taste positively regal when mixed with other ingredients in a delectable casserole combination.
"Left-overs!" -- food too precious to be wasted, but when seasoned with a dash of this, stretched by a cup of that -- presto! the "recalls" can go to the table proudly, without the family suspecting their origin.