A FREE 160 page book of wartime Ministry of Food leaflets.

I bought an electronic copy of ‘Eating for Victory’ from Amazon the other day for just 99p (even though I already have a treasured hard copy which I bought at Castle Museum in York). It’s been invaluable to have it with me to give me ideas when rummaging around in the kitchen wondering what to cook with leftovers or make things stretch further.

The book is essentially jammed full of ‘Ministry of Food’ recipe and instruction leaflets from WW2 in full colour, not only a fascinating piece of social history but so very useful too for now and in the future. I’ve included some snapshots so you can see more, I simply HIGHLY recommend it!

Since buying the book online (which I read via a free download Kindle app) I realised that actually I could have got this for free as Amazon are currently doing a 60 day FREE Kindle Unlimited promotion so yes, you get to read FREE books during lockdown and you can, of course, cancel at anytime. Needless to say I’ve signed up to that now having made a note to cancel before the end of June should my job situation not improve but for now, I’ll make the most of it!

Much love, stay safe, C xxxx

You can buy the 99p Kindle app version HERE ON AMAZON

OR You can sign-up for 60 days Kindle Unlimited and get it for FREE HERE

QUOTE:
How would you survive on wartime rations? Eating for Victory (subtitled Healthy Home Front Cooking on War Rations) makes for absolutely fascinating reading — and may answer the question as to what the reader might have made of these more straitened times.

The book reproduces official Second World War instruction leaflets (which have never before been published in book form) and demonstrates how millions of people in Britain endured food shortages during the hardships of WWII. With a perceptive foreword by Jill Norman, Eating for Victory shows that the government endeavoured to keep morale high by producing a host of the upbeat leaflets included here on such subjects as ‘using up stale crusts’ and ‘foods for fitness’ (the leaflets are most amusing in this area, showing how much thinking has changed over the years — the use of fats and lard looks very quaint in these more enlightened times). But what gives particular pleasure here is the verbatim reproduction of the original artwork and typefaces, which vividly conjures a lost era. To read this entertaining little book is like climbing into a time machine to take us back to the 1940s.” –Barry Forshaw

Download VE Day Activity Pack #BletchleyParkVEDay75

When Justine Jacob messaged me on the1940sExperiment Facebook Page HERE and shared with me that “Bletchley Park have created a VE Day celebration guidance pack on their website, with useful ideas from hairstyles to food,” I immediately went to check it out. I have to say it sounded exciting so I thought it would be brilliant to pass the information on although I’m sure you probably already know! If you didn’t (like me) you do now!

I think it would be wonderful to share some lockdown photos of us all dressed/baked/decorated up on May 8th commemorating the 75th Anniversary of Victory in Europe Day! Infact Bletchley Park are hoping people will do this too AND they have some fantastic VE Day packs to download!

QUOTE:
#BletchleyParkVEDay75

On Friday 8 May 2020 Bletchley Park will be marking the 75th anniversary of VE Day online with a digital ‘Nation’s Toast’ at 3pm, and a special recording of a VE Day speech by ‘Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill’.

There are many ways to join our celebrations and this celebration pack should give you a few ideas on how to celebrate with us at home. Remember to share your photos and videos of your activities and celebrations with us #BletchleyParkVEDay75 and find out how you can be part of our celebration film in the activity pack.

Don’t forget to revisit our website where you will find more activities and fascinating VE Day archive material in the run-up to VE Day 75.

#BuntingForBletchley

We need YOU to help us to create 1,945 metres of red, white and blue bunting to celebrate VE Day! We want you to adorn your houses and streets with bunting on the 8 May. Then, once the site is reopen to the public, we’re asking you to send us your bunting so we can create a real celebration atmosphere when we open.

Click here to download your #BuntingForBletchley template and how-to guide.

We can’t wait to see your VE Day creations at home! Make sure you share them with us on social media using #BletchleyParkVEDay75 or #BuntingforBletchley.

DOWNLOAD VE DAY ACTIVITY PACK HERE

CHECK OUT SOME GREAT VE DAY CELEBRATION RECIPES HERE

10 great 1940s ration book recipes to celebrate VE Day

With Victory in Europe Day (75th Anniversary) coming up on May 8th, 2020, I noticed that over the past few days I’ve had a lot of searches for ‘VE Day Party Recipes’ visiting my website. I thought maybe it would be helpful to perhaps pick 10 tasty (and occasionally bizarre) recipes that could be fun to make and taste and provide some authentic WW2 ration book recipe treats for those planning celebrations.

There is all sorts of fun below including vinegar cake, carrots in cookies, marmite filling, pink blancmange party cake and not forgetting parsnip sandwiches (OK mock banana), beetroot pudding and mock brains. Fun for all the family and frugal too!

Enjoy the experience! (don’t worry you WILL live!)

C xxxx

1. WW1 Ration Scones:  Let’s start with a sensible one for the adults! The basic recipe dates back from WW1 and you can add all sorts to add your own twist. I can highly recommend wild garlic, cheese and chives but as you’ll soon find out below, anything goes…

https://the1940sexperiment.com/2020/04/04/ww1-ration-scones-recipe-no-186/

2. Oaty Biscuits:  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. These delicious oaty biscuits are so easy and quick!

https://the1940sexperiment.com/2017/07/15/oaty-biscuits-recipe-no-163/

3. Pink Layer Party Cake: Firm, chalky, strange pink icing but 100% authentic wartime celebration cake using pink blancmange.

https://the1940sexperiment.com/2016/03/06/pink-layer-party-cake-recipe-no-149-mothers-day-tribute/

4. Jam Tarts: So quick, so easy, so yummy and no mock anything!

https://the1940sexperiment.com/2017/07/23/jam-tarts-recipe-no-166/

5. Cheese Whirls: How can you not like Marmite and cheese! They actually taste delicious (if you like Marmite!)

https://the1940sexperiment.com/2009/11/11/cheese-whirls/

6. Chocolate Layer cake: A squidgy, chocolatey cake with a simple wartime chocolate spread! No beetroot, no Marmite, promise!

https://the1940sexperiment.com/2013/09/25/chocolate-layer-cake-recipe-128/

7. Blackberry Shortbread: A simple shortbread recipe in the ‘Eating for Victory’ book (a collection of Ministry of Food wartime leaflets I can highly recommend) with a blackberry plonked on top! The kids will love adding these on!

https://the1940sexperiment.com/2017/08/13/blackberry-shortbread-recipe-no-171/

8. Vinegar Cake: YES this really does have vinegar in it! People put all sorts of strange ingredients in their wartime food. Surprisingly it works. This is delicious, crumbly, and rather nice with a thick custard over the top!

https://the1940sexperiment.com/2014/03/05/vinegar-cake-recipe-no-130/

9. Carrot Cookies: Carrots were the home fronts secret weapon. The Ministry of Food propaganda machine convinced children that carrots on sticks were just as tasty as ice-creams, that eating lots of carrots helped you ‘see in the dark’ during blackouts, and that Dr Carrot would make everything better.

https://the1940sexperiment.com/2012/02/05/carrot-cookies/

10. Mock Banana Sandwiches:  And finally because in fact, this may be quite a fun thing to put out on the table and observe people’s expressions as they chew.. Dare you!

https://the1940sexperiment.com/2016/02/28/mock-banana-recipe-no-148/

If you fancy savoury dishes or puddings why not check out 190 wartime recipes for delightful culinary experiences such as mock brains, mock black pudding and beetroot pudding! >>> Click here for 190 wartime recipes <<<

If you are interested in having a look at my recommended lists for wartime books, kitchen equipment and 1940s nostalgia and fashion on Amazon, click banner below!

 

Mock Brains – Recipe No. 191

Mock recipes were created during the war because people missed the ‘real thing’ during times of rationing. Forgive me for saying this but SERIOUSLY, were brains so popular before the war that people really missed eating them? It would appear so…

Someone had posted this recipe on a 1940s food group on Facebook. Once I had recovered from the image of ‘Anthony Hopkins’ as Hannibal Lecture exhibiting a ‘Flehmen Response’ to the thought of human flesh and fava beans with a nice Chianti, despite being a vegetarian, I HAD to try this weirdness. Thankfully the massacre of oats was the only heinous crime I was about to commit…

Let me tell you, these mock brains were TASTY (but only with lots of seasoning and browning in fat). I was impressed as much as I was with the ‘MOCK BLACK PUDDING’ so don’t be afraid of trying these. They are so cheap to make which isn’t a bad thing right now with no work and no jobs!  I greedily ate these ALL for my lunch with a salad. I’d even go as far as to say if you added some garlic and extra spices like hickory smoke and paprika, you could cook them in fat in smaller nugget shapes and once they had cooled slightly, enjoy them with a nice tomato sauce or dip as a treat. I’d go for it and quite easily forget this was actually porridge!

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of leftover porridge
  • 1 tablespoon of self-raising flour
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 egg
  • large pinch of thyme
  • salt and pepper

 

Method

Chop the onion very fine, mix into the porridge, add the flour and flavouring, bind together with the beaten egg, form into rissoles, roll in flour then fry in hot fat until brown.

 

My tips: Don’t skimp on the frying fat, this will help give it some flavour. Add lots of salt and pepper and herbs and spices you like.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blackcurrant & Bramley Apple Jam – Recipe No. 190

This jam was just lovely! I used the recipe from one of the Ministry of Foods ‘Jams and Jellies’ leaflets (see below) substituting elderberries for blackcurrants (as I had a couple of bags in my freezer). I have 3 jams on the go right now, plain blackcurrant, this blackcurrant and apple and a rhubarb, apple and berry (recipe coming soon). I’m particularly enjoying a teaspoonful in my morning porridge or a dollop on my fresh homemade bread 2 or 3 times a week.

I sterilise my jars for these jam recipes by washing the jars, rinsing in hot water and then placing the empty jars in a pre-heated oven at 150C for 20 minutes, removing them on the tray moments before ladling in the hot jam. The lids I rinse, place in a bowl, pour over very hot water from the kettle until the lids are submerged, and leave them there for several minutes before the jam is added to the jars.

Enjoy!

C xxxx

PS: There are useful jam making supplies on my Amazon shop HERE

 

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs Blackcurrants washed & drained (frozen berries are fine)
  • 1.5 lbs Bramley apples peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch sized chunks
  • 2.5 lbs Granulated sugar (maybe only 2lbs of sugar if using sweet apples)
  • 300 ml Water

Instructions

  1. Put the water and apple chunks in a preserving pan (or similar) and simmer gently, stirring slowly until soft (about 5-10 mins).
  2. Add the blackcurrants, bring to the boil and simmer, stirring slowly until soft (about 5-10 mins).
  3. Add the sugar and keep stirring to dissolve the crystals.
  4. Once dissolved boil rapidly for 10 mins stirring regularly.
  5. Take off the heat and test a large drop of jam on a chilled saucer and if it crinkles after a couple of mins it’s ready (alternatively use a jam/candy thermometer until it reaches 105C)
  6. If not boil for another 2 mins and repeat the test until ready.
  7. Remove excess scum with a slotted spoon.
  8. Ladle into sterilised jars. Makes several x 300 ml jars

Caveat: You can further process the jams after bottling (submerged in hot water and simmered for a further 15 minutes for a jars up to 500mls and 25 minutes up to 750 mls). This is often used to ensure a proper seal/vacuum once removed from the hot water. Although I usually further process with pickles etc I don’t always with high sugar jams as long as everything is clean and piping hot and the rims of the jar are absolutely clean when placing the lids on. Although botulism is quite rare these days you can’t be too clean and too careful so feel free to process further… xx

BOOK UPDATE: “The Pandemic Pantry cookbook is about half completed now. It is taking longer than I thought mostly because I’ve been using the nice weather to work in the garden to try and prepare for planting a victory garden. With no job and an uncertain future right now I HAD to put this first and make it a priority knowing that the nice weather wouldn’t be with us forever (we are forecast nearly two weeks of rain starting tomorrow). I feel that our food supply is important especially if prices rise over the coming months and hopefully, a garden of sorts will help my economic situation a little if times get tough…. hope you understand. I’ll be catching up with the book this week. Thanks for all the great recipes and messages. It’s been AMAZING!” C xxxx

Wartime Spiced Biscuits – Recipe No. 189

Dear all,

I found this recipe online from a woman who wrote that this was her Grandmother’s recipe she used during the war for a special treat. At the moment I’m finding most of my untried wartime recipes online as all my cookbooks remain up north under my sons’ bed at his flat. It may be a month or two before I’m able to collect them too due to our current pandemic restrictions.

These biscuits came out quite soft, almost scone-like but delicious nevertheless. Grated carrot (or grated lemon or orange rind) would have been nice to include too so I will bear that in mind next time!

BOOK UPDATE: “The Pandemic Pantry cookbook is about half completed now. It is taking longer than I thought mostly because I’ve been using the nice weather to work in the garden to try and prepare for planting a victory garden. With no job and an uncertain future right now I HAD to put this first and make it a priority knowing that the nice weather wouldn’t be with us forever (we are forecast nearly two weeks of rain starting tomorrow). I feel that our food supply is important especially if prices rise over the coming months and hopefully, a garden of sorts will help my economic situation a little if times get tough…. hope you understand. I’ll be catching up with the book this week. Thanks for all the great recipes and messages. It’s been AMAZING!” C xxxx

Ingredients

  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon mixed spice (I used 1/2 tsp)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1 dessertspoon dried egg
  • 180g margarine or butter
  • 4 tablespoons chopped sultanas plus raisins (I used mixed fruit instead.
  • 1 dessertspoon milk, or more if needed

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 C / Gas 5. Grease a baking tray or use baking paper.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the dried ingredients. Rub the margarine or butter into the mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the fruit and then the milk to form a dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and roll out to 1cm thickness.
  3. Cut into rounds using a fluted biscuit cutter. (I actually put dollops on the tray as the mixture was quite moist so this could be why mine was more cake like – see photos) Arrange on the baking tray.
  4. Bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven, cool and serve.

Makes around 15

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Lockdown Day 33: Victory Garden Progress

I’ve been so busy this week. But it’s not just taking advantage of the glorious weather to work on my victory garden, it has also been a coping mechanism that is helping with worry which is there hidden underneath the smiles and giggles. We all cope in different ways, whatever we do is probably the best thing for us! For me, it’s working my butt off and collapsing into bed knackered and not getting dragged into the relentless heated discussions on the Coronavirus in the media and on social channels (which I’m finding has a negative impact on my psyche). While I do spend a little time reading some scientific information and studying the effects the pandemic is having on our global supply chain including food security, I guess trying to make plans for an uncertain future is probably most at the forefront of my mind.

Today I turned a huge mound of dug up garden turf and cardboard into a no-dig bed under the back wall for potatoes. I hope to add in 10 plants there once my vege-grow topsoil arrives from Dandy’s. I don’t know if I mentioned but that area of the garden seems to be literally 4 inches of soil over a solid bed of stones and gravel.  I also now have enough space left for a second compost bin too (and it looks like I’ll need that!)

A couple of weeks ago I ordered two bundles of green willow from ‘Somerset Willow Growers’ to make wattle hurdles for the vegetable beds. First I made a couple of wigwam/obelisk type frames out of the willow which I will use for beans/peas/tomatoes so I will probably make a couple more too! I then started cutting some tree branches down to make garden stakes for the willow borders and then finally stripped the willow whips of all the extra little branches before weaving them in and out of the ground stakes. It’s very rustic looking but I love it. Have always wanted this medieval type of garden border. It takes such a long time to do though and I have three more beds that need these too!

Today I also put in 5 dwarf English Lavender bushes which are now looking down over the bottom victory garden. I hope they take and grow as it will be lovely to see more butterflies and bees. Yesterday we had all the trees cut down to head height between the neighbour and I as the tree branches were completely overhanging his garden and blocking out all the light. It means now that my garden is super sunny for veg growing. Tomorrow the overgrown flower borders have to be weeded as this is the area I’d like to grow some courgette and butternut squash.

My seedlings are growing slowly, the garlic is in and I’m chitting some seed potatoes. I still don’t know what to put in each of the small beds at the bottom of the garden but would love onions and probably carrots and maybe cauliflower. Luckily I have a little while to think about it as it might be a couple more weeks before the topsoil arrives. I put in some ‘Black Hollyhock’ seeds, ‘Blue Delphiniums’ and ‘Lupins’ into some trays so might plant those along the fence line between my neighbour and I when those come through and are big enough to transplant.

Finally, I feel like I’m beginning to get somewhere.

C xxx