Category Archives: Recipes

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.

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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.

Tops

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.

Spinach

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.

Peas

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.

Nettles

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

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.

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From the Ministry of Food leaflet #12

Category: Recipes

RECIPE-Easter Biscuits (Cookies)

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Even in wartime, holidays had to be celebrated. Recipes were adapted due to wartime shortages so holidays would still be special times with traditional foods to share with friends and family.

Easter Biscuits

  • 6 oz.plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 level tablespoon dried egg, DRY
  • 1 ½ level teaspoons mixed spice (a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, & allspice, similar to US Pumpkin Pie Spice)
  • 2 oz. margarine and lard, mixed
  • 2 level tablespoons sugar
  • Cold water to mix
  • Method:
  • Mix flour, salt, egg, and spice. Rub in fat and add sugar. Mix to a stiff dough with cold water and roll out thinly. Cut into shapes and bake in a moderate oven (375°F) until crisp and golden brown. If liked a little chopped dried fruit may be added to this mixture [or used for decoration].
    From Easter “Food Facts Leaflet” from the Ministry of Food 
  • easterrabbit
Category: Recipes

RECIPE-Mock Goose

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With rationing and limited foods, “mock” recipes were very popular. Want goose for Christmas? Try this recipe for Mock Goose! Basically it’s a potato casserole and if not cooked long enough can be a little soupy. But, it’s Christmas. Pretend it’s meat!

Mock Goose

  1. 1 1/2 lbs potatoes, scrubbed and thinly sliced
  2. 2 apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  3. 1/2 tsp dried sage
  4. salt & pepper to taste
  5. 1 1/2 cups chicken stock (or water remaining from boiled vegetables), heated
  6. 1 tbl flour
  7. 4 oz grated (or shredded) cheese, divided

Place a layer of potatoes in a greased pie-dish, cover with apple slices and a little sage, season with salt and pepper, sprinkle on grated cheese. Repeat the layers, leaving the potatoes and cheese to cover. Pour in 1 cup of hot stock, cook in a moderate oven (350°F) for 45 minutes. Blend one tablespoonful of flour with remaining 1/2 cup of hot stock; pour into the dish and cook for another 30 minutes.

Original Recipe from ‘Christmas in War-Bound Britain’ adapted for today’s cooking.

Category: Christmas, Recipes

RECIPE-Eggless Christmas Cake

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Even with the Christmas holidays approaching, all families still had to deal with rationing. Few fresh eggs or dried eggs, limited amounts of butter and other fats, sugar, and chocolate, as well as just about everything that was so good, yet so bad (as in unhealthy) for a person, was on the ration. Here is an Eggless Christmas Cake that is easy to make and delicious. The carrots and milk provide the needed moisture.

Eggless Christmas Cake

4 oz  finely grated carrots
2 tablespoons golden syrup (or dark corn syrup)
3 oz sugar
4 oz margarine
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
vanilla essence (extract)
almond essence (extract)
4—6 oz dried fruit (cranberries, apricots, raisins)
12 oz self raising flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 small teacup (6 oz) milk, slightly warmed

Cook the grated carrots and syrup over a low heat for a
few minutes. Cream the sugar and margarine until light and
fluffy. Stir the baking soda into the carrots and syrup
mixture, then beat it into the sugar and margarine mixture,
treating it as if it were an egg. Add a half teaspoon each of
vanilla and almond extract, and stir in with the dried fruit.
Fold in the flour and cinnamon, and add the warmed milk
to. make a moist dough. Put the mixture into a greased cake
tin (or use a fluted tube pan such as a Bundt® pan). Smooth the top, and make a deep hole in the centre with a spoon if not using a tube pan, to stop the cake from rising too much during cooking. Put into a hot oven (gas Mark 7=425° F) then immediately turn down to a very low heat (gas Mark 2=300° F) and bake for 3 hours.

RECIPE-Royal Dressing

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With the rationing of oils and eggs, the luxury of “salad cream” or salad dressing soon became a rarity.

The Ministry of Food created recipes to help satisfy the craving for salad dressing.

 

Royal Dressing

  • 2 ounces of National Flour
  • ½ pint milk or vegetable water  (the water remaining from cooking or steaming vegetables, cooled)
  • 2 ounces of grated raw beetroot
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper & Sugar

With the national flour and milk or vegetable water make a sauce thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Beat in the beetroot, sugar, pepper and salt.

Use this dressing to serve with raw vegetable salads.

saladcream

Category: Recipes, Uncategorized

RECIPE- Wartime Yorkshire Pudding

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 Yorkshire Pudding

  • 1 egg (reconstituted=1 tablespoon dried egg mixed with 2 tablespoons water)
  • 2 ozs flour
  • 1/2 pint of milk
  • Salt
  • 1 knob dripping or fat (a “knob” is 2 to 3 tablespoons)

Method-Beat egg well. Mix the flour and salt. Make a hole in the centre and put the egg and sufficient milk to make a stiff mixture. Beat well, add the rest of the milk, put aside for one hour. Make the fat smoking hot in a baking tin and pour in the batter. Cook in a brisk oven for about 30 minutes. ( a “brisk” oven is about 400 degrees or hotter)

Note-To this foundation recipe diced cooked vegetables and chopped cooked meat can be added. The addition of fresh or dried fruit makes an attractive sweet dish. The same mixture, can be used for pancakes. Pour spoonfuls on to a piping hot greased pan or hotplate.

Category: Recipes, Uncategorized

RECIPE-Leek Pudding

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I made Leek Pudding for Sunday dinner and served it with baked fish and carrots. The pastry crust was very filling (with rationing, one wanted to fill up on crust during wartime!) and the leeks were moist and only seasoned with salt and pepper. I served the pudding with a nice brown gravy. The recipe is from “Food Facts for the Kitchen Front.”

Leek Pudding

You will need a 1 quart pudding basin ( I have a Mason Cash pudding basin). See link above.

A large pot of simmering water for steaming, and a lid. Place a heat proof saucer upside down in the bottom of the pot (the pudding basin will sit on the saucer).

Pastry Crust (Potato Suet Crust)

8 oz Self Rising flour
2 oz suet (I used Vegetable Light Suet-see link to order below)
2 oz raw potato, grated
Cold water for mixing

Filling 

2 large leeks- remove most of the dark green “tops,” trim the ends, cut length wise, rinse thoroughly, and cut into 1″ chunks; salt and pepper to taste

Weigh the flour,  suet, and the raw grated potato and put into a large mixing bowl; add enough cold water to make a stiff pastry dough; form into a ball. Take 2/3 of the pastry and roll out large enough to line the pudding basing- leave the rest for a “lid.” Fill the basin with cut leeks, seasoning each layer – roll out the remaining pastry to make a lid, damp the edges and seal the top to the crust in the basin. Cover with greaseproof paper (parchment or waxed paper rubbed with margarine or butter), use cotton string to tie it to the basin, and steam for 2 hours.

Here is my result:

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Category: Recipes, Uncategorized

RECIPE-Parsley Sauce

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Parsley Sauce

½ oz fat

½ pint milk or milk and stock

½ oz Cornflour (corn starch in the US)

2 tsp parsley

Salt & Pepper to taste

Melt the fat, add the cornflour and mix well. Add the milk, stir until boiling and boil 3 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and parsley. Serve with Mock Fish and cooked potatoes.

 

Category: Recipes, Uncategorized

RECIPE-Mock Fish

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Fish was hard to get as the war loomed on. Fishermen had joined the military and were off fighting the war; those that remained had to throw their nets close to shore, as bombing by the enemy was always a threat. The fish that were caught were sold and bought quickly by those that lived close to shore; those that lived inland rarely got fresh fish. So what to do in wartime? Make Mock Fish!

Mock Fish

1/2 pint of whole milk

2 oz ground rice

1 tsp chopped onion or leek

Margarine (or butter if your ration allows)

Anchovy paste or essence

1 egg, fresh or powdered (1 tbls powdered egg mixed with two tbls water)
Bring half a pint of milk to the boil, shower in two ounces of ground rice and add a teaspoonful of chopped onion or leek, a piece of margarine the size of a small walnut, and a seasoning of anchovy essence. Let this simmer gently for 20 minutes, then take the pan off the fire, and stir in a well-beaten egg. Mix well together, and the spread the mixture out on a flat dish: it should be about half an inch thick. When it is cold, cut it into pieces the size and shape of fish fillets, brush these with milk, roll them in breadcrumbs, and fry until golden-brown. Serve with parsley sauce.

Category: Recipes, Uncategorized