Cheese Dreams

Earlier today I talked about convenience food and how the busy 1940s housewife would really have appreciated some convenience in her life…
Convenience food was of course available prior to and during the war although some of it, like canned fish, was only available on a points system. In the UK you were allocated, in addition to your standard ration, 16 points a month which could be used to purchase goods like canned meat and fish and other cooking ingredients like dried fruit for cakes and split peas for casseroles and stews. 16 points didn’t get you much though. One can of fish used up all your 16 points…

Although some convenience food was available during the war years, availability was often very scarce due to the sinking of supply ships. However there were quick snack meals and lunches one could make occasionally when there wasn’t much time to make a substantial meal.

I read through one of my WWII cook books, Feeding the Nation by Marguerite Patten, for inspiration, and came across a snack meal often served to the ARP (Air Raid Precaution Service) volunteers during their busy nights on duty as night time fire watchers..

There is no reason to doubt that a snack like this would have been used at home for convenience too.

Cheese Dreams

  • Make a sandwich with two pieces of wholemeal (wholewheat) bread with margarine and a sprinkling of strong grated cheese
  • Add chutney if desired
  • Mix one egg with 2 tablespoons of milk (this is enough to coat 3 sandwiches made from 6 slices of bread)
  • Pour onto plate and place sandwich on plate and turn once and remove
  • Place into frying pan that has hot cooking fat in
  • Cook for a few minutes over a medium-high heat until golden brown and cheese inside has melted
  • Serve with some salad and a cuppa tea

PS: I am a Brit currently living in Nova Scotia, Canada. My 1940s experiment is mostly based on the rationing system used during WWII in the UK however during my research many things were similar in the UK to the US and Canada. I intend to incorporate some North American recipes as time moves on as well as provide more details on the differences in rationing back in blighty compared to here.

PPS: If you are interested in frugality, making ends meet, living on less and saving some pennies in your everyday life please pop on by to my other blog. Latest post is on what we spent, as a family of 4, for our frugal Christmas CLICK HERE

“This post is part of Twinkl’s VE Day Campaign, and is featured in their Best Wartime Recipes to Celebrate VE Day from Home post”

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15 thoughts on “Cheese Dreams

    • Thanks Kellie- it tasted nice but used up quarter of my cheese ration for the week even though I didn’t use much cheese! Nevertheless, as a naughty snack, it was very enjoyable…….yum!

      C xxx

  1. Cheese glorious cheese! The one food I really struggle to ration. But I’m determined to follow your lead.

    I made a batch of Meaty Gravy at the start of the week, then portioned it up in the fridge.

    !st meal- heated over steamed veges, including potatoes fresh from garden. Yum.

    2nd meal- layered in casserole with steamed spinach, topped with sliced potato, a little white sauce & 1/2 oz grated cheese. Cooked until taties cooked. It made a really filling meal & I appreciated the cheese so much more.

    Tonight I’m going to add sliced portobello mushrooms & a little vege soup powder & call it goulash; serve with rice.

    Also inspired by you to borrow more books om ww2 & rationing from the library, will share some recipes later. ( made a fruit loaf to make while casserols was in the oven)

    My body is still adjusting to not snacking, but I had a thin slice of fruit loaf & a small glass of milk for supper.

    Do you think people would have often gone out to a cafe for tea & a bun? Would it have cost points?

    I usually meet dd once a week for coffee for a treat.

    I live next door to a cafe called ‘Victory Garden’, they barter produce and preserves for coffee. Every Friday across the road in the park there is a community vege swap run on a similar principle.

    • Oh yes people did eat quite regularly from mobile canteens and cafes etc…. buns and the like were available except it was illegal to sell buns and cakes with icing on. No eating out didn’t cost you your points (as far as my research shows anyway) but purchasing food from stores to take away and use in the home did.

      How cool is it that you live next to a cafe called Victory Garden!!!!

      SNACKING- yep that is one of the hardest things I found too. BUT after a couple of weeks you adjust and end up eating 3 good meals a day and even a snack for supper with a glass of milk and feel very contented!

      Looking forward to hearing how you get on!! I am bring my recipe books to work today to plan tonights meal!

      C xx

  2. My mother once made ‘cheese dreams’ and they were divine! Much better than her ‘dry bread and salt water gravy’ which was salt water coloured with sugar burnt on a spoon and thickened with plain flour and poured over dry bread. And yes, it was as awful as it sounds.

    It was a frequent meal for Isabelle!

    • Ohhhhh yuk- that does NOT sound good! POOR YOU!! 🙂

      You know its the lack of cheese and eggs that I find hardest with the rationing. I didn’t realize I ate so much of these until they were limited…

  3. Cheese dreams take me back to my Girl Guide days in the fifties. Not long after the war my Mum was still using many of the recipes that you are using Carolyn.

    • OMG is that right!! I loved the cheese whirls… the ones made had hardly any cheese on as I had ran out but a little more cheese on them would have been good. Of course now (as I have turned vegan for the time being) I’d have to go without the cheese! At least there is still MARMITE!!!! xxxx

  4. I remembered the name of cheese dreams that my mum made but, I don’t remember her dipping them in egg. Perhaps it was the double gloucester cheese that made them so tasty. The classic toasted cheese sandwich(processed cheese slices used) here in Canada pales beside the “cheese dreams” of over ‘ome!


  5. I used to make these as a Girl Guide in the 80s although we didn’t dip them in egg, instead we had the buttered side of the slices of bread on the outside and put them in a hot frying pan but without any extra fat, yum!

  6. I made this today. Even though It actually costs MORE than the American way, I did it for a change-up. It is now my kids favourite version! I used what bread I had left, and some butter I had accidentially melted and couldn’t use otherwise. a couple slices of food bank cheese, and made some tomato soup with leftover tomato sauce and a dash of milk and water to stretch it. The kids said it was the best grilled cheese and soup they’d ever had!
    (American, you just put butter on the outside of the bread with cheese in the middle. flip and serve. No egg, nothing extra unless you like adding)

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