I’ve been really craving potatoes today, especially a potato salad.
Curious as to what (during rationing in WW2) people slathered their spuds in, I delved into ‘Feeding the Nation’ by Marguerite Patten OBE. Heinz Salad Cream became a wartime favourite like any convenience food was often in limited supply so many of the ration book recipes called for making homemade dressings which tried to replicate salad cream or mayonnaise.
Quite frankly they were all quite bland but palatable nevertheless especially if a spoonful of salad cream was added to the mixture to give it a boost.
I used the below recipe for ‘Dutch Sauce’, I halved the quantities and still made enough sauce for a large potato salad for 3 or 4. I also added in a spoonful of salad cream afterwards and despite my best efforts at spicing it up in a way I thought might be authentic, it was still rather bland. The chopped spring onions, chopped chives sprinkled over the top and extra salt and pepper helped.
Boil lb. potatoes in their skins. Peel and cut into chunks (I left skins on). Add a little chopped onion (I used spring onion). While warm bind together with salad dressing. When cold, sprinkle with parsley (hate parsley so used chives from the garden instead).
Dutch Sauce (salad dressing – I halved these ingredients)
3 oz flour
1 pint of milk or fish stock (I used oat milk)
3 teaspoons dried mustard
1 egg (optional)
3 to 4 tablespoons of vinegar
salt and pepper
Blend the flour with a little of the milk or fish stock.
When smooth add the rest of the liquid and bring to the boil.
Cook for 2 or 3 minutes stirring all the time.
Mix the mustard, salt and pepper with the egg and add to the sauce.
Stir over a gentle heat but do not let the sauce boil again.
Add the vinegar. Stir well and serve (the egg in this recipe is optional)
You can use this sauce as mayonnaise if fish stock isn’t used.
I let the sauce cool down and the potatoes cool down so they were only slightly warm then mixed the potatoes with the sauce as well as the chopped spring onion and chopped chives over the top then refrigerated.
My mother certainly used to serve boiled new potatoes in plain white sauce, and we thought it was a great delicacy. But then I never cared for salad cream, and she wasn’t attempting to imitate the flavour.
In war-time, of course, they didn’t have the fat to spare for proper white sauce…
Gyn, that sound more like creamed potatoes. Creamed everything was popular in the US during the Depression and during the War to help stretch meals. My mom made creamed baby potatoes with peas a lot when I was a kid. It was pretty bland. I preferred creamed chipped beef or Spam served over a baked potato
I like to marinate my potato salad veggies in the dill vinegar from my home made or store bought pickles. I then add mayonnaise or sour cream, I have never tried the salad cream but it looks good – not the fish version.
Mint was widely grown. I think I would skip the fish stock and add mint to taste with the onion and add a some peas as you might with new potatoes.