Monthly Archives: December 2015

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

Christmas 1940

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As the war raged on, Christmas in 1940 Britain took place in the middle of the Blitz. Between September and November 1940, the German Luftwaffe was relentless in their bombing of London;  the city had been bombed for 57 consecutive nights. The bombing raids showed no signs of relief as Christmas Day 1940 approached, so most Britons spent Christmas Eve in an air-raid shelter, either in their backyard Anderson shelter, under the Morrison table shelter in the dining room, or in the Underground.

By the end of 1940, 24,000 civilians had been killed in the Blitz and hundreds of thousands were now homeless. In November, German bombers had also obliterated Coventry and there had been destructive air raids on Manchester and Liverpool in the days leading up to the Christmas holidays. Not only was the British public mourning the loss of loved ones on the home front and in combat, but they were also praying for the 41,000 British soldiers captured on the European continent.

In order to avoid the German bombs being dropped on their cities, British families stayed positive even though it was necessary to seek safety in air-raid shelters, Underground stations, and other places of refuge. To enliven their Christmas spirit, folks decked out their temporary homes with makeshift holiday decorations. Smaller Christmas trees were in demand because of the lower height of the shelters.

Celebrating Christmas in the back yard Anderson shelter
A Morrison table shelter. In the day time a table cloth covered the cage. The photo shows sleeping in the Morrison shelter.

For many families, the most difficult part of a wartime Christmas would be spending the season apart from their loved ones. Most men were fighting abroad in the armed forces and some were being held as prisoners of war. Mothers, wives, and daughters might also be away in the services or carrying out important war work. Many children spent Christmas away from home as evacuees in the safety of the country, mostly with strangers that agreed to take them in for the duration. Christmas 1940 was far different than the “phony war” of winter 1939.

Spending Christmas in the Underground

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.

Homemade Wartime Christmas Ornaments

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Due to rationing during the war, many families made their own Christmas ornaments. Since there was a paper shortage, any scraps of paper, old Christmas cards, and brown paper were used to make ornaments and decorations. Here is a video from the Imperial War Museum for making Christmas ornaments from folded paper!