I had lots of vegetables to eat up today but as I don’t eat meat I felt that something filling was needed on my plate for dinner tonight. I had some coarse oatmeal in my pantry so when I found a wartime recipe for ‘oatmeal stuffing’ it was obvious to me that I had to make this and eat it instead of crisps or chocolate (two days this week I succumbed to the foods of the devil!).
Once again, this is a very simple and easy recipe to create although I will fore warn you that the cooked oatmeal will cling to the sides of your saucepan in such a way that you will find it rather tempting to just throw your pan in the bin rather than spend an hour scrubbing it afterwards. If you decide to let your saucepan live to see another day you might just have to leave it to soak overnight…
I think a little grated apple and some chopped sage would have been nice in this dish and will definitely make this again with these extra additions.
3 oz coarse oatmeal
2 oz breadcrumbs
1.5 tea cups of water
salt and pepper
1 finely chopped or grated onion
Teaspoon dried mixed herbs
Spoonful of margarine or dripping
- Simmer 3 oz coarse oatmeal and chopped onion in 1.5 teacups of water for 20 minutes
- Add 2 oz of breadcrumbs, margarine, mixed herbs, salt and pepper and mix well
- Set aside and cool slightly and place into a greased pie dish
- Cook in a hot oven for about 15 minutes until browned
So I hardly used any of my sugar ration this week and seeing that the elderberries were beginning to ripen in the garden and there were still some blackberries coming through, I thought it would be nice to make some jam. I don’t have a freezer and only a small fridge so whatever I pick I have to use quickly.
Only managing to pick 8oz of fruit it hardly seemed worth making the jam as in the end it made less than half a large jar full however it tastes really lovely and is nice and pippy! I love texture and pips in my jam and this was perfect for that.
Blackberry & Elderberry Jam
Equal amounts of Blackberries and Elderberries
3/4lb of sugar per 1lb of berries (I was only able to get 8oz of berries from my garden so just used 6oz of sugar)
Note: It will take about 1lb of fruit to fill a jam jar. Use a fork to strip the ripe elderberries off their stems.
– Place the berries in a large saucepan and bring slowly to the boil. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
– On a low heat add the sugar and constantly stir. Increase the temperature while stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
– Bring to the boil until the setting point is reached. This will take about 10-20 minutes. (mixture will thicken and a small amount dropped onto a plate will firm up when it cools)
– Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.
– Put in warmed sterilized jars and store ready for use.
Note: I sterilize jars by washing and rinsing jars and lids. I place the jars in a pre-heated oven (150 C) for about 10 minutes until hot. Meanwhile I place the lids into a saucepan with a little water in and bring it up to a hot temperature and turn off the heat. I then remove the hot jars, fill with jam, screw on the hot lids.
I’m picking wild blackberries in my garden every couple of days so today when I found a simple shortbread recipe in the ‘Eating for Victory’ book (a collection of reproduction WW2 instructional leaflets) I immediately decided the shortbread biscuits would need a blackberry on top to give them an extra a burst of flavour.
Let me tell you…the blackberries worked so well! It will take me a LOT of willpower to not devour all of them!
So the recipe is incredibly simple and I didn’t even use a rolling pin and a biscuit cutter.
3 oz plain white flour
2 oz margarine
1 oz sugar
10 fresh blackberries, rinsed and patted dry
Rub the margarine into the flour and sugar.
Knead into a dough without adding any water.
Roll out to about 1/8th inch and cut into biscuits (I simply tore off a walnut sized amount, rolled into a ball and flattened it in my palms and dented the middle once on the baking tray to place the blackberry).
Sprinkle with a little sugar.
Bake in a cool oven (about 150 c) until very pale golden brown around edges.
Makes 8-10 biscuits.
Here are some photos I snapped with my phone of the process..
Eggs were so scarce during WW2 that many recipes were modified to adapt to rationing. Many cake recipes were created that were perfectly acceptable without eggs and this chocolate sponge was one of them. I made it today, also using a wartime recipe for a chocolate filling which I used to sandwich the sponge together and glaze the top.
The filling is very much like dark chocolate and had I not been re-creating an authentic wartime recipe, some orange oil/essence and some orange zest would have really worked well in the filling and topping.
As it stood it was a nice, tasty, moist cake despite not having a big rise on it. For modern tastes it would be really nice served with cream or a raspberry coulis.
Eggless Chocolate Sponge with Dark Chocolate Filling
1/2 lb self raising flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
3 oz caster sugar
1 tablespoon syrup
14 tablespoons of hot water
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
3 oz margarine
* Mix the flour, salt. cocoa and sugar together.
* Dissolve the syrup in the water and add the bicarbonate of soda.
* Melt the margarine and mix all the ingredients together including the essence but do not beat the mixture which should be very soft.
* Divide the mixture between to well greased 8″ sandwich tins and bake in a moderately hot oven for 20 minutes.
* When cooled use jam or a chocolate or mock cream filling between the two layers.
1/2 oz margarine
2 oz cocoa
2 oz caster sugar
2 tablespoons of strong black coffee
Melt the margarine. Remove from the heat and add the cocoa and sugar. Beat in the coffee until the mixture becomes a good spreading consistency.
Two ounces of cheese and some sliced onions, sprinkled over the top, go a long way in adding flavour to this simple, tasty and comforting wartime dish. Don’t limit yourself to just potatoes though. Throw in any leftover root vegetables to add to the potatoes and it will be delicious! Today I added chopped carrot and turnip.
Cheese, Potato & Onion Pie
3 lbs of potatoes chopped (or make up to 3 lbs with any chopped root veg)
2 onions chopped in half and very thinly sliced
2 oz grated cheddar cheese
tablespoon of margarine or butter (or fat saved from bacon)
Thyme, salt and pepper
Scrub vegetables and scrape or peel if necessary.
Chop into smallish pieces (carrot needs longer to cook so if mixed with potatoes make sure the carrot pieces are smaller).
Simmer vegetables until tender in boiling water.
Meanwhile add sliced onion to a pan with a little butter/margarine/fat and saute gently until golden.
When potatoes/vegetables are cooked and tender drain well and then mash with a tablespoon of margarine/butter and lots of seasoning. At this stage you can add extras such as some garlic powder or some chopped sauted garlic to add extra flavour. Mix well and when you are happy with the flavour add to a pie dish.
Sprinkle over the top with some grated cheese and finally the sauted long onion slices spreading out evenly over the top.
Place in a pre-heated hot oven at 220 C until the top is golden. This will take about 20 minutes.
Serves 4 as a main dish with a few green vegetables on the side or 6 as part of a meal.
Simple. Quick. Frugal. Delicious. This wartime pudding is basically summer sunshine on a plate.
Using some nectarines from my ‘Riverford Organic Fruit and Veg Box’, freshly picked wild blackberries and two slices of bread, I was able to make a mouth-watering, sweet pudding in no time at all. I whisked up the double cream I had left from a week ago (during the war you would have had to make mock cream unless you had a cow!) and added a generous splodge to top it off. Let me tell you the combination of warm pudding and fresh cream was delightful. It made me smile…
Any fruit can be used but I always think the addition of berries to the dish adds so much taste and colour.
Baked Fruit Pie
2 lbs fruit, bottled or fresh
4 oz stale bread (about 4 slices)
3 tablespoons of milk or water
2 level tablespoons of sugar
(I used half of all the above measurements to make less pudding)
If using fresh fruit stew and sweeten to taste (I chopped my 4 nectarines and added the blackberries and once bubbling, stewed for about 5 minutes with about 3 teaspoons of sugar).
Put the fruit and juice in a pie dish.
Cut bread neatly into small cubes and place on top of the fruit.
Sprinkle the milk over the bread until damp.
Sprinkle the sugar over the top.
Bake in a hot oven for 20-30 minutes.
I took some photos of the process on my mobile phone including the best bit, tasting it!
I’ve been re-creating wartime recipes on and off for 15 years now but had yet to try this recipe out mostly because I hadn’t any faith in what the finished product would taste like. Surely the simple ingredients couldn’t lend themselves to anything that remotely resembled or tasted like black pudding?
The surprising outcome was a dish that was tasty and looked a little like black pudding from a distance (sliced and browned on the outside) and I wouldn’t be ashamed to serve this up on a plate for breakfast. I ate mine today with some roast kohlrabi (which arrived in my Riverford Organic box this week), carrots and sweetcorn.
Mock Black Pudding unwrapped and sliced, waiting to be fried…
Mock Black Pudding
Stew one cup of porridge oats or oatmeal in one pint of meat or vegetable broth (I used 3/4 of a pint)
Add salt, pepper and thyme stirring constantly until very thick. (I also added a teaspoon of marmite and some garlic salt)
Chop up one medium/large onion finely and brown in some butter or margarine. (I also grated in a little bit of beetroot for colour)
After about 10 minutes on low the mixture will become very thick. Remove from heat and give a final stir and set aside to cool down for a while.
Get some greaseproof baking paper and place mixture in the middle making an oblong shape.
Roll the mixture between the greaseproof paper nice and tight until it resembles a large sausage shape and twist the ends.
Place in fridge for a few hours or overnight until cool and firm.
Unroll from paper and slice off what you need.
Fry in a little fat until crisp and browned on the outside.