Blackberry Shortbread – Recipe No. 171


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.

Blackberry Shortbread

Ingredients
3 oz plain white flour
2 oz margarine
1 oz sugar
10 fresh blackberries, rinsed and patted dry

Method
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..


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Cheese, Potato & Onion Pie – Recipe No. 169


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

Ingredients

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

Method

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.


Wartime Christmas Cake – Ministry of Food – Recipe No. 156


So here is the first promised Wartime Christmas themed recipe for our ‘Wartime Christmas Countdown’ here on www.the1940sExperiment.com.

This is a recommended Christmas Cake recipe from the Ministry of Food in the mid 1940’s and the rationed ingredients make a very acceptable cake. My son works in Tesco’s so I was able to go shopping last night with him and get a 10% discount on my shopping! (he has a staff discount card!). Every little bit helps!

Wartime Christmas Cake – Ministry of Food

4 oz (115g) margarine
3 oz (85g) of soft brown sugar
1 lb dried mixed fruit
2 reconstituted dried eggs or 2 fresh eggs
3 level tablespoons of warmed treacle or golden syrup
8 oz (225g) of plain flour
pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of mixed spice
3 tablespoons of cold strained tea
(I also added a slug of dark rum!)

Method

Line a 7 inch (18cm) cake tin with greaseproof or parchment paper.
Pre-heat oven to 150 C (300 F), Gas Mark 2.
Cream the margarine and sugar.
Gradually add the beaten eggs then the syrup or the treacle.
Sift all the dry ingredients together then add to the creamed mixture and then add the fruit and tea. Add a slug of rum or rum essence if you wish.
Spoon into the cake tin and make a hollow in the centre so the cake will be flatter on top.
Bake for 2 to 2.5 hours or until the top is firm and the sides are slightly sinking away from the side of the tin. (You may need to cover top with foil half way through cooking).
Cool in the tin.
When cool remove from the tin and place in airtight container.

Over the coming weeks you can feed the cake with rum/whisky/sherry and nearer Christmas you can finally ice and decorate!

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Leek and Potato Soup – Recipe No. 154


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This easy and delicious recipe was taken from the WW2 ‘High Teas and Suppers’ Ministry of Food Leaflet No.7. I’ve just eaten two bowls of this with a slice of bread and butter and thoroughly enjoyed every single mouthful.

Leek and Potato Soup

4 medium sized leeks
1/2 oz of fat or dripping
3 medium sized potatoes sliced
1-2 pints of vegetable stock
4 tablespoons of dried household milk
Chopped parsley
Salt and Pepper.

Method

Cut the leeks in half long ways and after washing chop finely.
Melt the fat in a saucepan and gently fry the leeks without browning, keeping the lid on.
Add the potatoes and 3/4’s of the stock and cook until the potatoes are tender.
Mix the powdered milk to a smooth paste with the remaining stock and add to the soup.
Bring to the boil and sprinkle with chopped parsley just before serving.

Serves 4
Calories per bowl 200 cals.

My modifications: I’ve made this soup several times and usually make it with the following modifications which I feel not only fits in better with my daily diet but also I found by making these modifications the soup turned out even more delicious. Using alternatives to dairy below make the recipe suitable for vegans.

Parsley: I just don’t like parsley. Instead I use a teaspoon of dried mixed herbs when cooking.
Milk: I use wholebean soy milk on a daily basis so used 1/2 vegetable stock and 1/2 soy milk for the liquids used in the recipe.
Fat: Dairy free margarine
Potatoes: I always mash the cooked potatoes up and add them in to the soup. Sometimes the mash is a mixture of potato and carrot. I find this thickens the soup.

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Mince-in-the-Hole – Recipe No. 146


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Another recipe from ‘Eating for Victory’. I LOVE this book because it literally is a made out of the scans of ACTUAL Ministry of Food leaflets bound together in a hardback book.

This recipe is for ‘Mince-in-the-Hole’ and was a way to use up bits of leftover meats which were minced up and formed into balls, roasted in the baking pan then the batter was added and baked until cooked.

Being a veggie I used Quorn mince but had problems forming it into balls that would stick together even with the addition of some sticky tomato chutney and a little bit of margarine. Nevertheless I was able to mound the mixture up sufficiently in the baking pan to make a fairly good attempt at it. It tasted very nice and I ate two portions with peas, carrots and gravy!

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Rolled oat macaroons 92/100


Eight days and 8 recipes to go until the war is over! Final weigh-in day is October 1st and although I know I haven’t lost the hoped for 100 lb weight loss in one year without dieting, I know it’s still coming off slowly and I’m looking forward to seeing what the scales finally say..

The rolled oat macaroons were really tasty and I ate way to many of them yesterday. Sweet and crunchy…

They are very simple to make

Rolled oat macaroons

  • 3 oz margarine
  • 2 oz sugar
  • 4 oz self raising flour (or plain with 1 teaspoon of baking powder added)
  • 4 oz rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon almond essence
  • 2 dessertspoons of golden syrup (corn syrup or maple syrup would work too)…A dessertspoon (UK) is a tablespoon in N America

Method

  1. Cream together the margarine, sugar, syrup and almond essence together.
  2. Sift the flour (and baking powder) and add to the mixture with the rolled oats
  3. Mix thoroughly, if the mixture is too dry add a little milk just to bind the mixture together
  4. Roll into 12-16 balls and put on a greased baking tray or lay on parchment paper leaving some space for spreading
  5. Bake for 15-20 minute at 180C until golden brown
  6. Cool on baking tray before removing

Split pea soup


Dried peas were available through the points system during the rationing years… you could get quite a lot of split peas for your points every month (8 lbs) if you didn’t use your 16 points up for 2 lbs of dry fruit or just one can of meat/fish. Split peas have lots of fibre, protein and iron so were a very healthy and frugal food to have as part of your ration..

I had split pea soup as my main meal of the day and had two servings. I currently buy a whole bag of organic split peas for $2.49 and that is enough to feed 8 people with a large bowl each! The recipe below uses just half a bag.

I prefer my soups to be thick with texture but if you prefer to have yours thinner and smooth then just add a little extra water and when cooked, liquidize it.

Split pea soup

  • 8 oz (225g) of split green peas
  • 2 onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 parsnip or british turnip
  • 1 medium white potato
  • 1 pint (600 ml) of water
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste (I used 1 teaspoon sea salt)
  • sprig of mint or a little dried mint

Method

  1. Wash the split peas in cold water
  2. Cover with cold water and soak overnight or you can use straight away (they’ll just take longer to cook)
  3. Chop up the onions, parsnip, carrots finely and potato into 1/2 inch chunks and add to a pint of boiling water in a saucepan with the drained split peas
  4. Cook until the split peas are cooked (about 40 minutes over medium) in a covered saucepan, stirring now and again
  5. Serve as is with a sprig of mint or liquidize for a smooth soup

Serves 4