I came across this scanned wartime cookbook again. All the pages were originally on their sides which made it difficult to read so I’ve managed to rotate every page to make them readable and thought you might like to download it as there are some great historical recipes, the delightful thing is there are handwritten notes on some of the pages.
Don’t you dare throw that stale bread ( or breadcrumbs ) away and join the CoronaVirus panic buying throngs who are now discarding all their rotting ‘fresh’ produce. Bread is one of the foods I’m seeing a lot of photos of in dustbins. SAVE IT NOW from the mouth of the hungry metal monster due to take it away on ‘bin-day’ by cooking some of these delicious wartime recipes (mostly puddings). They’ll keep in the fridge for days once baked, and in the freezer for months!
I’d like to apologise in advance for the ‘amazing photography’ from 10 years ago (British sarcasm) in several of the recipes below, it was in the early days of the blog which started in 2009, when I was flat broke and REALLY struggling. I think most of my photos were taken on an old flip video camera but I like to keep them to remember my journey and it’s various challenges.
Stay calm, stay safe, stay home,
Padded Pudding with Mock Cream: Watch the video above. The stale bread mixed with milk and cooked with jam looks like poo. I felt like Letita Cropley carrying out one of her great culinary experiments with strange ingredients. It actually tasted great! A good life lesson, don’t judge something or someone on how it/they look, chances are they will taste surprisingly delicious… just sayin’! Click here for recipe.
Plum Charlotte: Here’s a super-frugal wartime recipe made out of stale bread and fruit that’s going a little soft. As I had two of these things in my kitchen and I’m always finding ways to make ends meet, when I saw this recipe I knew it was just what I needed. Click here for recipe.
Bread and Butter Pudding: In Marguerite Patten’s “Victory Cookbook” there is always one pudding recipe that is an absolute ‘go-to’ when one needs comforting and one has spare eggs. All becomes good in the world when you take that first spoonful of sugary topped, eggy, bready, sultana sprinkled, nutmeggy deliciousness, especially if served with a little hot custard if you can overlook the fact that it looks like cockroaches are climbing all over my food in the photograph… Click here for recipe.
Duke Pudding: How can stale bread and grated old carrots possibly be decadent? Trust me they are when you make them into a wartime “Duke Pudding”… Seeing the rapidly drying bread on my countertop and the carrots beginning to get spotty in the fridge, it was time once again to turn nothing into something in true 1940s home-front style and create a truly delicious alternative comfort food, much needed today of all days. Excuse the photography, it was 8 years ago and I hadn’t a clue! Click here for recipe.
Danish Apple pudding: Possibly one of the WORST food photos I have taken in my life from 10 years ago. It’s blurred and I’m not sure what I took the photo with. It could have something other than a camera because I probably didn’t have one.. Don’t let the brown blurry blob put you off. I remember this pudding was fab! I need to re-create and re-photograph! Click here for recipe.
Bread and Apple Pudding:For pudding the request was for ‘bread pudding’ yet again. To avoid this wartime pudding permanently being referred to as “bread-pudding-yet-again” I turned to a large bowl of sorry looking apples for divine inspiration- after-all Sir Isaac Newton stared at apples for an awfully long time before being rewarded with an answer… Click here for recipe.
Bread and Prune Pudding: You know that can of stewed prunes that has been languishing in your larder for several years, that you don’t want to throw away because you have inherited your grandmother’s and possibly mother’s innate ability to have everything stored away for a ‘rainy day’, WELL, you are about to use it and it’s gonna taste pretty damn good! Click here for recipe.
Brown Betty: It was unusual to make bread pudding without raisins in, Brown Betty has none, no eggs or milk either which makes me think all bread puddings could indeed be made eggless. Instead, it has water, the juice, and zest of a lemon and a generous quantity of golden syrup, spices, two grated apples, a little sugar and of course LOTS of stale bread! Click here for recipe.
Bread Stuffing: And finally a recipe made from stale bread that isn’t a pudding and doesn’t look like a formless brown blob. Bread stuffing is so easy to make! This photo is from about 12 years ago, my pre-vegetarian days! Click here for recipe.
Just a quick update before I do some more digging in the garden. The 1940’s Experiment has several social media pages you may be interested in and find useful during these challenging times, especially my Pinterest page where you can find over 100 WW2 Ministry of Food leaflets, Cookbook snippets, and Propaganda posters!
I’ll leave the links with you below in case they may be of use to you!
This is such a simple wartime recipe for a small quantity of delicious, velvety, deep-purple, mouthwatering blackcurrant jam. You HAVE to try it and so crazy-easy to attempt for your first go at making jam!
Fresh blackcurrants are preferable but to make it even easier I made this small-batch from frozen fruit perfectly! (In fact DON’T WAIT for fresh berries to come into the shops. It might be wise to buy some bags of frozen berries. Our British fruit pickers (over 90%) come from Eastern Europe each year performing vital services to our fruit harvesting industry. With our current ‘Coronavirus Pandemic’ situation, our normal guaranteed and reliable agricultural workers from overseas may be restricted from their normal annual travel to the UK which could be devastating for UK farmers if they cannot recruit enough British workers.)
Next time I go shopping (trying to restrict it to a maximum of once or twice a week for fresh produce), I’ll certainly be buying myself a bag or two of more frozen berries while they are available.
I enjoyed two slices of bread I made yesterday slathered in this ‘juicy assed jam’ with a nice cuppa tea and I recommend you do exactly the same.
It will make you smile.
Take care, stay safe, stay home
Blackcurrant Jam (makes 3 x 1 lb pots)
4 cups of frozen berries
3 cups of sugar
1/2 lemon squeezed (not vital)
1 teaspoon of pectin (not vital but I always add to all jams I make)
Clean jam jars (rinse, heat in oven at 140C for 15 minutes)
Clean lids (rinse, place in a small bowl, cover with hot pre-boiled water until ready to seal jars)
Put the 4 cups of frozen berries in a large thick-bottomed saucepan and put onto a medium heat.
Stir until berries are defrosted and simmering gently (about 5 mins). Remove from heat.
Mash with a potato masher a little so some of the berries burst to the consistency you like.
Mix the sugar and pectin and add to the berry mix and stir until all mixed together.
Add in the 1/2 squeezed lemon.
Return to medium heat and keep stirring slowly adjusting the heat so as not to burn.
You need to bring the mixture to a rolling boil, stirring all the time and maintain this for about 10 minutes until the setting point has been reached (105 C or 220 F). If you don’t have a thermometer drop 1/2 teaspoon onto a cold plate and if after a minute it thickens and becomes fairly firm instead of liquid then it has reached the setting point.
Once the correct temperature has been reached, keep stirring and give the mixture another minute.
Remove from heat and stir again.
Remove hot jars from oven (see above)
Using a ladle and funnel, add the hot jam mixture to the hot jars and twist on the clean hot lids.
Set aside, the jar will be hot and will take at least a few hours to cool.
Jam is ready to use once it has totally cooled down and unopened will keep for a year or two.
People have asked me where I have been getting my cute jars and labels. The links are below:
JARS:24 jam/chutney jars with gingham printed lids
It’s been wonderfully sunny all week, quite cheery, almost radically in contrast to the surrealness of our current pandemic ‘lockdown’ in the UK.
I drove my car today to drop a care package off at my parent’s porch in the hope it’s one less trip they have to make in the big, bad world outside to pick up necessaries. It was Dad’s birthday. He knew I’d be popping by but I wouldn’t be going to chat from a distance or anything (we have our orders in the UK not too!) It was a quick drop off and run but Dad, always being cheeky, had left a builders tape measure at the doorway, extended out to measure the distance I was to stay away from the house, he’d had added an extra metre for safety! Even in the darkest of moment’s, there is always laughter…
Returning home shortly after I then spent a couple of hours in the garden. I’d been laying wet cardboard down on an overgrown flower bed in the hopes of creating a no-dig bed but with the economic turndown and the fact that I’ve now been 3 months without a job, I can’t justify buying in topsoil and compost so instead, I’ve decided to start digging over the bed. I’ll do an hour or two in the garden every day now while we have the weather and hope the shady bed, once completed, will be good enough for lots of kale.
The only sunny area of my garden is the bottom corner along the wall and this afternoon I watched many butterflies playing and bathing in the sun. There seemed to be insect frolics too as I watched both bees and butterflies squabbling in the air.
I grabbed my camera and took a photo of one butterfly that stopped for a moment, long enough for me to take a snap. Can anyone tell me what it is? My thought was it’s a Comma?
PS: What I’ve been up to today in photos… What have you been doing?
I’d like to thank several of you for sending through a number of amazing, nutritional, simple and frugal recipes for the ‘Pandemic Pantry Global Community Cookbook Project’. All recipes and messages will be added to the FREE online cookbook which everyone can download for free.
When Leanne Spencer sent this recipe for Lentil Sheperd’s Pie through by e-mail last night, noticing that I did indeed have brown lentils in a storage jar in my ‘prepper pantry’, I couldn’t resist in baking this today for my dinner.
It tasted WONDERFUL, inexpensive to make, packed with protein and fibre and VERY comforting. Much needed in current days..
Thank you Leanne!
Thank you for organising this.
This is the lentil version of a shepherd’s pie that I make regularly. My favourite thing about this recipe, is that it’s not prescriptive, you can use whichever veg you can get.
Lentil Shepherd’s Pie Makes 6 generous serves
4 cups cooked brown lentils, drained
1 tblsp oil
1-2 chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 cups any minced, grated or finely chopped vegetables (eg mushrooms, carrots, sweet potato, celery, eggplant/aubergine, zucchini/courgette, capsicum/peppers – just use what you have)
400g tin crushed tomatoes or a jar of tomato pasta sauce
1 tsp beef flavoured stock powder or a tsp of vegemite/marmite
2 tsp dry mixed herbs
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tblsp tomato paste
For the topping
3 large potatoes plus an equivalent amount of other suitable mashing veg (carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, turnip, parsnip, celeriac, cauliflower etc)
salt & pepper
butter and a little milk
– Peel the root veg and cut into large chunks. Simmer in salted water until just tender and then drain well. Add some pepper and butter and mash. If the mixture is dry add a little milk (this will depend on which veg you’ve used).
– Heat the oil in a large saucepan or stockpot and soften the onions. Add the minced vegetables, garlic and herbs and stir for a couple of minutes. Add the tomatoes, worchestershire sauce and stock powder and simmer for 30 minutes.
– Remove from the heat and add the lentils and tomato paste and stir through.
– Heat the oven to 180C.
– Pour the lentil mixture into a large rectangular casserole or roasting pan. Top with the mash and bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned.
I like this served with green veg such as beans or swiss chard.
Have you lost your job, your business or have limited food supplies?
**I’m reposting this article as I feel that during our current times of unreliable supplies and economic uncertainty due to the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, most of us will be having to really pull in our belts and ration our food, certainly try and make it stretch further.
Please take a look at the standard food rationing allowance (below) in Britain during WW2. It was created to ensure that EVERYONE had access to the same foods every week/month regardless of wealth. Rationing ENSURED that everyone got their basic needs. People supplemented their rations with other foods they could freely buy in shops (IF available, there was no guarantee and plenty of shortages)and people turned to growing lots of vegetables in their gardens and allotments to ensure health and fuller tummies.
Much love, C xxxx
Original post from 2017 below
A couple of my goals for 2018 are to save a substantial emergency money fund AND to lose a very achievable 60 lbs in weight. The two things that concern me right now are financial safety and health safety.
One area to save on expenses and stretch things further would, of course, be eating food that doesn’t cost so much but still is healthy. Following a ration book diet, although it sounds austere and boring, could be a perfectly doable way to save money and ensure your food supplies last longer in the short term, it’s certainly worth giving it a go for a month or two…
So out of curiosity I’ve broken down first the guaranteed weekly/monthly ration for an adult into how much each item would cost per person and in addition I’ve also added in the cost of extra staples that a person may typically purchase during the week/month such as bread, oats, pulses etc.
Here is what it roughly worked out as per person per week using today’s prices
2-3 pints milk (Dairy milk 75p- £1.10 Plant milk £1.50-2.00)
8 oz sugar (15p)
2 oz tea- about 25 tea bags (50p)
8 oz margarine/cooking fat (70p)
2 oz butter (45p)
2 oz cheese (40p)
1 egg (15p)
4 oz bacon/ham (40p)
Meat to the value of 1s 2d – could be mutton or small pack of sausages or sliced corned beef (£2)
Additionally, you were guaranteed to be able to buy one large jar of jam every two months (£1.50 every two months), 12 oz of sweets every month (£1.50) and were allocated 16 points every month to purchase other foods in shops if they were available (only rationed food was guaranteed).
Monthly 16 points example (I think I would spend my points on this)
Vegetables either bought or grown weekly (I’ve used Aldi’s prices using Super 6 where I can – I personally use a seasonal organic box delivery for my vegetables but want to show the cheapest way to eat on food rationing)
1 small swede (28p)
1 small bag potatoes (28p)
1 small bag carrots (19p)
1 small cabbage (50p)
1 small bag apples (£1.50)
A few onions or leeks (50p)
Using all the above as a rough example I can see that the monthly amount spent on all the above to feed 1 person for 1 month works out to be
£39.00 ( about $52 USD) for one month.
This unbelievably works out at less than £1.30 per day per person for breakfast, dinner, lunch and extra fruit.
What do you spend? Is it more or less than this? Please share!
Alaska Granny – The AlaskaGranny channel teaches how to become more resilient and resourceful. I like to use what I have to make what I need, and enjoy sharing tips and tricks to help others do the same. Click here!
Dear all, please find below a transcript of the announcement made at 8:30pm on 23rd March 2020 to the UK by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The coronavirus is the biggest threat this country has faced for decades – and this country is not alone.
All over the world we are seeing the devastating impact of this invisible killer And so tonight I want to update you on the latest steps we are taking to fight the disease and what you can do to help.
And I want to begin by reminding you why the UK has been taking the approach that we have.
Without a huge national effort to halt the growth of this virus, there will come a moment when no health service in the world could possibly cope; because there won’t be enough ventilators, enough intensive care beds, enough doctors and nurses.
And as we have seen elsewhere, in other countries that also have fantastic health care systems, that is the moment of real danger.
To put it simply, if too many people become seriously unwell at one time, the NHS will be unable to handle it – meaning more people are likely to die, not just from Coronavirus but from other illnesses as well.
So it’s vital to slow the spread of the disease.
Because that is the way we reduce the number of people needing hospital treatment at any one time, so we can protect the NHS’s ability to cope – and save more lives.
And that’s why we have been asking people to stay at home during this pandemic.
And though huge numbers are complying – and I thank you all – the time has now come for us all to do more.
From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction – you must stay at home.
Because the critical thing we must do is stop the disease spreading between households.
That is why people will only be allowed to leave their home for the following very limited purposes:
shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
one form of exercise a day – for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household;
any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and
travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.
That’s all – these are the only reasons you should leave your home.
You should not be meeting friends. If your friends ask you to meet, you should say No.
You should not be meeting family members who do not live in your home.
You should not be going shopping except for essentials like food and medicine — and you should do this as little as you can. And use food delivery services where you can.
If you don’t follow the rules the police will have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings.
To ensure compliance with the Government’s instruction to stay at home, we will immediately:
close all shops selling non-essential goods, including clothing and electronic stores and other premises including libraries, playgrounds and outdoor gyms, and places of worship;
we will stop all gatherings of more than two people in public – excluding people you live with;
we’ll stop all social events, including weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies, but excluding funerals.
parks will remain open for exercise but gatherings will be dispersed.
No Prime Minister wants to enact measures like this.
I know the damage that this disruption is doing and will do to people’s lives, to their businesses and to their jobs.
And that’s why we have produced a huge and unprecedented programme of support both for workers and for business.
And I can assure you that we will keep these restrictions under constant review. We will look again in three weeks, and relax them if the evidence shows we are able to.
But at present there are just no easy options. The way ahead is hard, and it is still true that many lives will sadly be lost.
And yet it is also true that there is a clear way through.
Day by day we are strengthening our amazing NHS with 7500 former clinicians now coming back to the service.
With the time you buy – by simply staying at home – we are increasing our stocks of equipment.
We are accelerating our search for treatments.
We are pioneering work on a vaccine.
And we are buying millions of testing kits that will enable us to turn the tide on this invisible killer.
I want to thank everyone who is working flat out to beat the virus.
Everyone from the supermarket staff to the transport workers to the carers to the nurses and doctors on the frontline.
But in this fight we can be in no doubt that each and every one of us is directly enlisted.
Each and every one of us is now obliged to join together.
To halt the spread of this disease.
To protect our NHS and to save many many thousands of lives.
And I know that as they have in the past so many times.
The people of this country will rise to that challenge.
And we will come through it stronger than ever.
We will beat the coronavirus and we will beat it together.
And therefore I urge you at this moment of national emergency to stay at home, protect our NHS and save lives.
With the worrying Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic affecting most countries globally, our everyday lives are taking a different path while our countries try and contain the spread of the virus to a more manageable level.
During this period of uncertainty and adjustment, with some businesses on lockdown, with some people being laid off from work and increasingly empty supermarket shelves, accessibility to services, food, and a safe economy are no longer guaranteed for our shorter-term future. Therefore it’s important we try and pull together, become practical and savvy, make the best of what we’ve got, use our ingenuity and exhibit compassion and kindness for those in need and always ‘keep calm and carry on’.
One way we can do this is through sharing our knowledge of feeding our families and feeding the nation on basic, simple but nutritional and inexpensive foods.
The Pandemic Pantry FREE online global community cookbook project.
Do you have simple recipes with simple ingredients that you’ve tried and tested? The ingredients should include more readily available food items during these uncertain times or food that is easily storable long term.
It would be amazing if we could all be useful in some way while we self-isolate. Let us ALL build a FREE ‘Pandemic Pantry’ PDF community cookbook that can be used by everyone? We need something positive to come out of this horrible time. I’d like to get this out ASAP so am looking to have it online and ready for anyone who wants to download it by mid-April. Each recipe that is submitted and used will include your name, county/state, and country after it PLUS a link to your blog/Instagram/website (and if you want to submit a small head a shoulders photo with it to be used in the recipe book please feel free). You are also welcome to leave a short 1 sentence message to everyone who reads the book…xxx
PLEASE submit your recipes, hints/tips ASAP to firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP. You can also leave it in the comments below but e-mailing with the SUBJECT LINE : PANDEMIC PANTRY SUBMISSION will allow me to see it easier.
As easy, quick, convenience foods are rapidly flying off our supermarket shelves at an extraordinary speed in recent days during the ‘Coronavirus Global Pandemic’, NOW is a good time to perhaps turn to simple foods from yesteryear to create nourishing meals for ourselves and loved ones with ingredients that still appear to be more readily available.
I’ve selected several of my re-created authentic wartime recipes below that fill tummies, are surprisingly delicious, and simple to make. Many of them use porridge oats, dried lentils, root vegetables, butter/margarine, basic fruit and flour. Add herbs, salt and spices to your own personal taste!
And if we at some stage, can’t get bananas, for a bit of fun I’ve included a video recipe to make yourself some ‘mock banana’ sandwiches out of parsnips.
Keep calm, keep your spirits up and let’s keep carrying on!
PS: Check out my links to some prepping and self-sufficiency websites and YouTube channels at the bottom of the page!
Apple and Rhubarb Crumble
It’s been forever since I’ve baked a proper British pudding and every spoonful that entered my mouth was accompanied by sounds of wanton desire that were slightly obscene. There is something wrong with a pudding if it’s consumer doesn’t groan a little…
Here is the authentic WW2 recipe. Enjoy and groan a little yourself… Click here!
Marrow and Lentil Stew
Just to clarify a question that has been popping up on Facebook and Instagram… a marrow in the UK is pretty much an overgrown courgette (zucchini) and not bone marrow (but I can understand the confusion there for sure!). You can use courgettes for this recipe too!
So far out of 1 marrow I have created 3 large portions of ‘Marrow Masala’ (not a 1940’s recipe), a ‘Courgette Cake’ (not a 1940’s recipe), 3 large jars of ‘Marrow Chutney’ and today a ‘Marrow and Lentil Stew’. The stew today was delicious!
Potato Salad with Dutch Sauce
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. Click here for the recipe..
I’m in love with this wartime cookie recipe. These oaty, sweet, buttery, wartime biscuits really make you appreciate a 15-minute break with a hot cuppa tea in some old vintage china.
So I have yet to find out why this pie is called ‘Hunt Pie’. The closest I have come is finding a business called ‘John Hunts’ which established itself in 1860 manufacturing pie-making equipment. Could this possibly be linked? Click here!
The Original Lord Woolton Pie
I’ve made a couple of versions of ‘Woolton Pie’ which you will find in my list of re-created recipes here BUT after much research I think now I’ve found the original recipe.
I love Lord Woolton Pie. Thing is I go bonkers for pastry and a generous serving of this comforting vegetable pie with a thick brown Bisto gravy made with the vegetable water, was exactly what I needed today. Click here!
Homity ‘Land Girl’ Pie
Here it is… the promised Homity Pie recipe! Let me tell you, it’s totally delicious, TOTALLY!
Homity Pie is an open-topped pie said to have first been made by Land-Girls during WW2 and supposed to have originated in the West Country.
It’s REALLY difficult finding the original recipe as there are so many bastardised versions hanging around on the internet, so after having researched for hours (yes I am a food nerd) and comparing recipes with rationing, the below recipe is likely the closest version to it’s origins taking into account the scarcity of eggs and onions. Click here!
Here it is… why not try it for fun. You have to laugh, hopefully we will still have our bananas and there will be no need to resort to parsnips!
Alaska Granny – The AlaskaGranny channel teaches how to become more resilient and resourceful. I like to use what I have to make what I need, and enjoy sharing tips and tricks to help others do the same. Click here!