A few weeks ago, we found a fascinating book in a Charity Shop. "Feeding the Nation", by Marguerite Patten, is full of recipes, reproductions of Government leaflets and loads of general information of how housewives managed to feed their families during World War II.
Rations were incredibly small, judged by today's full plates! Rations for one adult per week were:
Bacon and Ham 4 oz.
Meat to the value of 1s.2d (5p in today's money) The cheaper the meat you bought, the more you got! Sausages were almost unheard of.
Cheese 2 oz (sometimes it rose to 4 oz)
Margarine 4 oz
Cooking fat 2-4oz
Milk 2-3 pints Dried milk was available, i packet every 4 weeks.
Jam, marmalade 1 lb every 2 months
Tea 2 oz (leaf tea, teabags weren't invented!
Eggs 1 shell egg every week, if you were lucky. 1 packet dried egg every 4 weeks
Sweets (candy) 12 oz every month
No wonder recipes were "mock this", mock that"!
Most recipes for main meals - dinner or a hot supper, contained pitifully small amounts of meat!
We were all urged to grow our own vegetables. "Dig for Victory" was the cry, and hints, leaflets, radio programmes giving recipes told us how to make the most of what we could grow or get. "Potato Pete" was a favourite cartoon character!
How my mother managed to put a hot meal in frontg of us every day I do not know! But this was what we as children had - you ate it or went hungry! And we didn't know any different anyway.
There is one recipe I am determined to try! Mock Cream sounds rather like patisserie cream, and as I can't eat dairy cream, I shall try and make this, with soya milk, using real butter (I can eat that, its the lactose content!)
1/2 oz cornflour
1/4 pint milk
1 1/2 oz margarine (thats one and a half oz)
3 teaspoons sugar
few drops vanilla essence
Mix cornflour to a paste with a little milk, heat remainder and when boiling add to blended cornflour, stirring well. Return to saucepan, bring to boil and cook 3 minutes. Cream the margarine and sugar. Whisk in the cornflour mixture gradually. Add vanilla essence
I think you must have to let the cornflour mixture cool a bit before all the whisking goes on! I'll let you know.
I have a lot of old, pre-war cookery books, and they are a delight, and fun to read. Also "Home Doctoring" which sounds a bit horrendous in places.
Subject for another blog, I think!