Frugal Recipes From Wartime Britain
self help article
by Colleen Moulding
Prosperity and financial wellbeing self help article:
These are some of the recipes my Grandmother used
to feed her husband and seven children during the
second world war in England.
There was little fruit, scarcely any sugar, few eggs and meat, butter and nearly all foods were rationed.
Families were encouraged to Dig For Victory,
grow as much food as possible themselves,
consequently many a flower garden found itself
turned over to potatoes, carrots and onions in
a desperate attempt to fill up the ever hungry
Women were told that food was their munition of war.
The Ministry Of Food and women’s magazines of the day
gave basic nutritional advice and suggested
substitutes such as mashed potato for flour, sour
milk for cheese, grated vegetables for fruit and
whipped margarine with vanilla instead of cream,
but the housewife of the 1940’s had to be very
creative with what little food they had queued
for with ration books in hand. Here are some of
the meals they cooked up.
This recipe was created by the Chef of the Savoy
hotel and named after Lord Woolton, head of the
Ministry Of Food.
1lb diced potatoes
1lb diced carrots
1lb diced swede
3 spring onions
1 teaspoon vegetable extract
1 tablespoon oatmeal
A little chopped parsley
Cook everything together with just enough water to
cover, stirring often to prevent it sticking to
the pan. Let the mixture cool.
Spoon into a pie dish, sprinkle with chopped parsley.
Cover with a crust of potatoes or wholemeal pastry.
Bake in a moderate oven until golden brown.
Serve hot with gravy.
Sausage and Sultana Casserole
1 large onion
1 sour apple
Pinch of mixed herbs
Chop up and fry the onion.
Fry the sausages.
Cover with stock.
Add sultanas, herbs, salt.
Place in oven and cook slowly for 35-40 minutes.
Finely grate carrots and cook four tablespoons
full in just enough water to cover for 10 minutes.
Add flavouring with orange essence, grated orange
rind or orange squash/cordial.
Melt a leaf of gelatine.
Add gelatine to mixture.
Cook quickly for a few minutes stirring all the
Spoon into a flat dish.
Leave to set.
Cut into cubes.
Vegetable Roll with Potato Pastry
Ingredients for pastry:
4oz mashed and sieved potato
1/2 teaspoon of salt
8oz plain flour
2 tablespoons of baking powder
Sieve dry ingredients together.
Rub fat into flour and gently mix in
Add just enough water to make a fairly dry
Ingredients for filling:
11/2 cups of any mixed boiled vegetables, diced
1 pint thick gravy
Salt and pepper
A little chopped parsley
Take 1/2lb of potato pastry and roll out
on a floured board.
Moisten the vegetable mixture with a little of
Spread vegetables on to pastry leaving 1 inch all
the way round.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Roll up and seal well at the edges so that gravy
cannot seep out.
Place on a well greased baking tin with the seal
Brush with milk.
Bake in a moderately hot oven for 35-45 minutes.
11/2lb self-raising flour
1 teacup sugar
1 breakfast cup syrup
1 breakfast cup of raisins with
1 breakfast cup of milk.
Pinch of salt.
Mix together the sugar, flour, salt and raisins.
Beat the egg and add it to the milk and syrup.
Mix all the ingredients together.
Bake in two
well greased loaf tins in a moderate oven for approx.
Slice thinly after a couple of days and serve
with butter or margarine.
Will keep for a month in a tin.
Sugarless Apple Dessert
Nuts or grated chocolate
Grate raw cooking apple.
Whip together with the condensed milk.
Add a little orange juice.
Arrange in dishes with nuts or grated
chocolate on top.
1lb small sausages
1/2 pint milk
1/2 oz custard powder
Salt and pepper
Mix together the custard powder and the flour
then mix with some of the milk to a smooth batter.
Beat well for five minutes, stir in the rest of
the milk. Season with salt and pepper and leave
to one side.
Fry the sausages, remove from pan and keep hot.
Pour off some of the fat and save, leaving enough
in the pan to fry the first pancake.
Brown the pancake lightly on both sides and roll
up with the sausage inside.
Add some of the saved fat to the frying pan and
add more batter for a second pancake.
Continue until all the batter is gone.
Serve very hot with fried tomatoes.
1 teaspoon sugar
21/2 ounces margarine
2 teaspoons honey
6oz self raising flour
1 level teaspoon cinnamon
Beat sugar and margarine until a soft cream
Sieve flour and cinnamon then add to mixture.
Mix with a wooden spoon until it binds together,
then knead with your fingers until you have a
Break off a piece of the dough and roll it between
your floured palms into a ball.
Place on to a lightly greased baking tray.
Repeat until you have used up all the dough, when
you should have about sixteen delicious honey cakes.
Bake til golden
Frugal Recipes From Wartime Britain compiled by Colleen Moulding
Colleen Moulding is a freelance writer from
England where she has had many features on
parenting, childcare, travel, the Internet and
many more subjects published in national
magazines and newspapers. She has also published
a variety of women’s and children’s fiction.
Her work frequently appears at many sites on the
Internet and at her own site for women and children
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