Mock Sausage

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With meat being rationed, many “mock meat” recipes were created to satisfy the desire for meat, but using ingredients that weren’t rationed.

This “mock sausage” recipe tastes quite good, and it can be made vegan


  • 1 cup quick rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning or use a mix of 1/2 teaspoon sage, 1/2 teaspoon thyme and a 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoons parsley flakes or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 eggs (remember eggs were rationed!) or 3 egg whites or 6 tablespoons bean water, as from cooking chickpeas
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 boullion cube or 2 teaspoons soy sauce


  1. In a medium bowl combine oats with eggs or bean water, poultry seasoning (or sage, thyme, rosemary), crushed fennel seeds, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, parsley flakes, salt, and pepper. Move aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add a bouillon cube or soy sauce. Remove from heat and move aside.
  3. Form oat mixture into 4 “sausage” patties. In a medium frying pan, heat 3 tablespoons oil or fat on medium heat and fry patties until golden; about 1-2 minutes on each side.
  4. Reduce heat and add hot stock. Allow the cooked patties to come to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cover and allow to cook for about 20 minutes
  5. Pour off the stock and save for gravy! Return frying pan to medium heat and add a little more oil or fat. Fry the patties a second time, again for a minute or two on each side until desired brownness. Remove from heat and serve with jacket potatoes or carrots for a wartime dinner.

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Potato Cutlets

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Scrub 1 1/2 pound potatoes and scrape 1/2 pound of carrots. Boil together until tender. When cooked, peel potatoes and mash with carrots. Add 3 tablespoons flour, 1 teaspoon chutney, and chopped parsley. Shape into cutlets and pan fry on both sides until brown in a very little fat. Save your water from the cooked vegetables for use in soup or stew!

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The Powerful Potato

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The common potato became a key ingredient and a staple of the average diet during Wartime in Britain. Potatoes were easy to grow and abundant in the United Kingdom. Potatoes were also filling and were marketed as an energy food. “Potatoes help to protect you from illness,” said a leaflet on potatoes issued by the Ministry of Food. “Potatoes give you warmth and energy. Potatoes are cheap and home-produced. So why stop at serving them once a day? Have them twice, or even three times — for breakfast, dinner and supper.

P’s for Protection Potatoes afford;
O’s for the Ounces of Energy stored;
T’s for the Tasty, and Vitamins rich in;
A’s for the Art to be learnt in the Kitchen.
T’s for Transport we need not demand;
O’s for old England’s Own Food from the Land;
E’s for the Energy eaten by you;
S’s for the Spuds which will carry us through!

Potatoes plants were found in every Victory Garden. Potatoes were even planted on the tops of Anderson shelters; garden pamphlets encouraged everyone to use any plot of land to which they had access; digging up flower gardens to using backyard plots and even window containers to grow vegetable and herb gardens. Leeks, turnips, cabbage, lettuce, and swedes were popular as seeds were initially and readily available and grew well in British soil.

14 Oct 1943, Finnamore Camp, Buckinghamshire, England, UK — The girls of Beal County School evacuated from Ilford to Finnamore Camp, Buckinghamshire, are helping farmers in the district to harvest their potatoes. The girls do two hours a day while the crop lasts. — Image by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS
Potato Pete
The Ministry of Food issued pamphlets with information on preparing and preserving food.

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Knitting on the Ration

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During the war in a Britain, knitting by hand reached its peak. Women, and a few men, were encouraged to contribute to the war effort by knitting. It was considered one’s duty to knit socks, hats, and other items for the troops serving throughout the Empire. The motto was: “England expects – knit your bit.”


Manufacturers gave away free knitting patterns and knitting wool was given to schools so that children could knit gloves, scarves, balaclava “helmets,” (a balaclava was a knitted covering designed to keep the neck and head warm, with just an opening for the face, and worn under a helmet) and knitted hats for the forces. Wool was also supplied to local WIs (Women’s Institutes of Great Britain), who made over 22 million knitted garments for the Red Cross (an average of 67 garments per member). Items knitted were sent to prisoners of war, as well as to troops overseas.

The warmth of the knitted garments also made them popular for those on the home front, who were faced with a shortage of heating fuel and needed to keep warm during wartime winters. In the face of wool rationing, knitters were encouraged to unravel old sweaters and other woolen garments to make new ones. Waste not, Want not!


Below are pattern instructions for the Balaclava helmet. Knit your own and stay warm!


The Balaclava Helmet
2 oz. of Jaeger “Super-Spun” (“,J.S.” Quality) Fingering, 4 -ply, (9d. per oz.), 1 pair of No. 10 Jaeger knitting needles, and 1 set of No. 11 Jaeger knitting needles with points at both ends.
Measurements Length, 16 inches.
15 stitches to 2 inches in width, and 15 rows to 2 inches in depth, measured over the garter-stitch.
K. = knit; p. = purl; sts. = stitches; tog. = together; inc. = increase or increasing; dec. = decrease or decreasing.
If you cast on with two needles work into the back of all cast on sts. to produce firm edges, but if you use the thumb method this is not necessary.
The front flap
Begin at the lower edge. Cast on 30 sts. using No. 10 needles and work in garter-st., inc. 1 st. at both ends of every row until there are 50 sts. on the needle. Continue without inc. until the work measures 6 inches from the beginning.
Next row – Cast on 8 sts., k. to end. Leave this work for the present and work the back flap in the same way. Now place the sts. of the back and front on to three No. 11 needles, then with the fourth needle work in k.2, p.2 rib until the work measures 9.5 inches from the beginning. Now place the centre 32 sts. of the front on to a spare needle. Change to No. 10 needles and garter-st. and continue on the remaining 84 sts. for 0.5 inch.

Next row – K.10, turn and work 2.5 inches on these sts. Cut the wool.
Next row – K.64, turn and work 2.5 inches on these sts. Cut the wool. Work on the remaining 10 sts. for 2.5 inches.
Next row – K. across all sts. Continue on these sts. for 2 inches. Now shape the top as follows: 1st row – K.53, k.2 tog., turn.
2nd row – K.24, k.2 tog. Rep. the 2nd row until all sts. are on one needle and 24 sts. remain. Now using No. 11 needles pick up and k.36 sts. down the left side of head, work in k.2, p.2 rib across the 32 sts. of the chin, pick up and k.36 sts. along the right side of the head, then rib the 24 sts. at the top of the head (128 sts.). Arrange these sts. on three needles and with the fourth needle work 2 inches in k.2, p.2 rib. Cast off in rib.

The ear flaps
Holding the work right side towards you, pick up and k.28 sts. along the front ear opening. Work 2 inches in garter-st. on these sts., then dec. 1 st. at both ends of every row until 12 sts. remain. Cast off. Press the work on the wrong side with a warm iron and damp cloth.



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Evansville in World War II

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Wartime in Evansville

Although this website is devoted to Britain in wartime, the war effort was global. Rationing and war production in the United States helped Britain fend off the Nazi war machine while providing a booming wartime economy in many cities like Evansville, Indiana. I highly recommend reading James L. MacLeod’s book, Evansville in World War II.

During World War II, the city of Evansville manufactured vast amounts of armaments that were vital to the Allied victory. The Evansville Ordnance Plant made 96 percent of all .45-caliber ammunition used in the war, while the Republic Aviation Plant produced more than 6,500 P-47 Thunderbolts—almost half of all P-47s built during the war. At its peak, the local shipyard employed upward of eighteen thousand men and women who forged 167 of the iconic Landing Ship Tank vessels. In this captivating and fast-paced account, University of Evansville historian James Lachlan MacLeod reveals the enormous influence these wartime industries had on the social, economic and cultural life of the city.-from The History Press/Arcadia Publishing website:


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Green Vegetables in Wartime

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Since vegetables were an important part of the wartime diet, the Ministry of Food issued the “Green Vegetables” leaflet on 18 June 1940. Since nothing went to waste, hints were included on preparing leaves and tops of vegetables.

How to Cook Green Vegetables

If you have a garden don’t cut youur vegetables until you actually need them. Much food value is lost if the are left in the rack to get stale. It is wrong to soak green or root vegetables for a long time before cooking, as this wastes valuable mineral salts and vitamins. Wash them thoroughly, and, if tight-hearted, soak in salted water for not more than ½ hour.

If the outside leaves are really too tough to serve, save them for soups and stews. These dark green outside leaves have more food value then the centre.

Green vegetables must be cooked as quickly as possible as slow cooking destroys much of the vitamin, so follow these rules:-

Shred them-that is, slice them with a knife. Shred cabbages, spring greens, turnip tops, nettles, Brussel tops, even Brussel sprouts if they are large. In short, shred any green vegetable except spinach which cooks so quickly that it does not need it. Divide cauliflowers into sprigs so that they will cook more quickly.
Never drown green vegetables. You need only just enough water to keep your pan from burning-usually a teacupful will do.
Bring the water to the boil, add a little salt and sprinkle the green into the boiling water. Less salt is needed than the old-fashioned way of cooking greens, because by this method you keep in nearly all the natural salts of the vegetables.
Cook with the lid on the pan. This is important because you are going to “steam boil” the greens, and if you let the steam escape the pan may go dry.
Boil briskly for 10-15 minutes. If you can spare the time, give the pan a shake or two during that time.
Drain off any liquid from the pan and save it for gravy or soup. If you can spare a teaspoon of margarine, add it to the vegetabbles and toss well before serving. Serve at once.
If you follow these suggestions you will find that the greens are quite cooked, but crisp and full of flavour.


Broccoli tops, turnip tops and beetroot tops, have good food value and are all excellent if cooked as described above.

Cabbage with Variations

All sorts of additions can be made to cabbage as described above. A few bacon rinds chopped small: a few teaspoons of vinager and a sprinkle of nutmeg, or perhaps a shake of caraway seeds, and you have something quite new and intriguing.

Cabbage with Horseradish Sauce

Shred 2 lbs of cabbage and cook as describe. Drain and use the liquid for the following sauce:

Melt 1 oz fat in a pan, stir in 1 oz flour and cook together for 2 or 3 minutes. Then add gradually 1 teacupful vegetable water and milk (half and half if possible) stirring all the time.

Put the cabbage in a heated dish, pour the sauce over it and serve.


Wash the spinach very throughly. Shake and put in a pan without water; sprinkle a little salt, put on the lid and cook gently until tender (about 10 minutes). Drain and serve or, if preferred, the spinach may be chopped, and a little margarine and pepper added.


When boiling fresh garden peas put a teaspoonful of sugar, if possible, and a little salt in the water as well as the mint, and be careful not to cook them too long or too fast, or they will come out of their skins. If you are cooking another vegetable, peas are delicious cooked in a steamer on the top. Sprinkle with a pince of salt and put a sprig of mint with them in the steamer. Save the water for soup and gravy.

Pea Pods

Pea pods provide a delicious dish if the clear-skinned, fleshy pods are used like this. Divide each pod into two. Hold one of the sections in your left hand, stalk end uppermost and inside towards you. Snap down about ½ inch of the pod of the stalk end towards you. Then, holding firmly, pull downwards, stripping the inside skin from the outer. With a little pratice, this is easy. Cook the fleshy outsides in very little salted water until tender (about 10 minutes), drain and serve.

Pea pods also make an excellent stock for soup.

French or Runner Beans

When young, cook whole with only the tops and tails removed. When older, the stringy vein which develops along the rib of the pod must be removed.

Most housewives like to slice the beans lengthwise. But it is a great saving in time to break them with the fingers into 2-in. lengths, and less flavour is lost this way.

Boil until tender in a very small amount of salted water. If you like your beans to glisten, add a teaspoonful of fat to the water.

Be sure to save the water. It is good as a drink by itself; or use it for gravy or soup

Broad Bean Tops and Broad Beans

The tops of broad beans, which gardeners always pick off, make a delightful dish if cooked as a green vegetable

When young, broad beans can be cooked, unshelled, in a little salted water, and eaten pod and all. Or the beans can be shelled and the pods sliced. The cooked sliced pods are very good as a hot vegetable or served coldd in a salad.

When the beans are older the pods are too tough to eat as a vegetable, but make good stock for soups.

Broad beans which have been allowed to mature in their pods may be stored for winter use. Make sure they are quite dry before packing in airtight tins. Soak and use as haricots.


Young nettles, cooked as described above are as delicious as spinach and a splendid spring tonic

Cauliflower Leaves and Stalks

When buying califlowers, always ask for the leaves as well as the flower, as the leaves make a dish by themselves if cooked as cabbage. The stalks, cooked until tender in a very little salted water and then drained, rolled in browned breadcrumbs and quickly fried in a very little hot fat or browned in the oven, have a nutty flavour and are a new dish to most people. They are also delicious greated raw in a salad.

Category: Recipes

Hay Box Cooking

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During wartime, saving fuel was very important. The amounts of various cooking fuels were limited, so other ways of cooking food and saving cooking fuels became necessary.

The hay box was one popular method. For today’s consumer, we could think of it as a non-electric Crock Pot©. The hay box was easy to use; a wartime cook had only to heat the food to boiling in a covered pot, and place the pot in a box that was lined, and then covered, with hay. The heat would stay around the pot due to the hay insulation and continue to cook the food throughout the day.

Hay boxes could be built of wood, or a hole could even be dug in the ground and lined with hay. More than one dish could be cooked at a time by stacking pots or bowls with the lid, and then placing another bowl (with the vegetable or side dish placed on top of the lid or plate covered meat) on top. Imagine, a whole meal being cooked in a hay box while the family was going about their day. Another method of rationing in wartime Britain!


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RECIPE-Potato Jane

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Why not stretch your cheese ration with Potato Jane?

  • 1½ lbs. Potatoes
  • 3 oz. Grated cheese (any kind)
  • 2 oz. Breadcrumbs
  • ½ Chopped leek or onion (if available)
  • 1 Sliced carrot
  • ½ – ¾ pint milk or water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Put a layer of sliced potatoes in a fireproof dish. Sprinkle with some of the leek, carrot, crumbs, cheese and seasoning. Fill the dish with alternate layers, finishing with a layer of mixed cheese and crumbs. Pour over the milk and bake in a moderate (350°F) oven for 45 minutes or steam for 1 hour. Serves four.


From the Ministry of Food leaflet #12

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Household Milk

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“Household Milk” was government-issued powdered skim milk distributed in Britain during World War II. Rationing of bottled fresh milk began in November 1941. Distribution of “Household Milk” began in December, 1941.

The dried milk came in a blue and white tin with red stripes and a printed label stating: “Specially packed for BRITISH MINISTRY OF FOOD” along with “Dried Machine Skimmed Milk. Not to be used for babies. Contents equivalent to four pints of skimmed milk. From the United States of America.”

household milkhousehold milk1*

A ration coupon was required and the dried milk cost about 9 pence. Each person was entitled to 1 canister of dried Household Milk every four weeks. In addition to powdered milk, each person was allowed 3 pints of fresh dairy milk a week, with amounts varying due to shortages. The allowance of fresh milk was more for expectant mothers, children, and those that were ill or had special needs.

Household Milk was not to be confused with National Dried Milk. National Dried Milk was dried “full-cream milk” that was intended for  babies.

dried milkdriedmilk

*photos from Imperial War Museum

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Potato Soup

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Potato Soup

  • 1½ lb potatoes.
  • 1 stick celery, a few spring onions, or a little leek.
  • 2 tablespoonfuls chopped parsley.
  • 1¾ pints of vegetable water (water remaining from cooked vegetables) or water.
  • 1 teacup (4 oz or US half cup) of milk or household milk (powdered skim milk         mixed with water).
  • Seasoning.

Method-Scrub and slice the potatoes and celery. Place in boiling salted water. Cook with the lid on until quite soft. Rub through a sieve or mash well with a wooden spoon. Add milk and re-heat, but do not re-boil. Sprinkle in coarsely chopped parsley just before serving.

From the Ministry of Food Cookery Leaflet #3


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