Apple and Rhubarb Crumble – Recipe No. 177

Just the other day I was offered some rhubarb out of the boot of a work colleagues car.

For anyone that knows me, if it’s free I’ll make use of it and enjoy it even more knowing that it’s cost me nothing. It’s the mend and make-do philosophy innately ingrained in my psyche. In this case the immediate thought of mouth watering apple and rhubarb crumble with custard that entered my head as soon as my work colleague opened the boot of his car to display his mountain of rhubarb, absolutely solidified this transaction and if he had, at that moment changed his mind, there is no doubt that I would have grabbed an armful and made a run for it.

Today I made the crumble. I made a portion for everyone, I even made a small dish for my work colleague.

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…

Apple and Rhubarb Crumble

Filling:
1 lb rhubarb
1 lb tasty apples
2 tablespoons of golden syrup or 2 oz sugar

Topping:
7 oz plain flour
3 oz oats
3 oz margarine or butter
3 oz sugar for topping
1 oz of light brown sugar to sprinkle on top
pinch of salt

Method:
Wipe the rhubarb and cut into small pieces. Simmer in a saucepan with 1 tablespoon of water for about 10 minutes until cooked.
Slice the apples into small pieces. Simmer in a saucepan with 1 tablespoon of water for about 5 minutes until cooked.
Mix rhubarb and apple together when cooked and mix in the golden syrup or sugar.
Grease a pie tin and spoon in the mixture.
Place plain flour, pinch of salt, 3 oz sugar and 3 oz of butter or margarine (in small pieces) into a bowl together.
Rub between fingers to create a breadcrumb like mixture and spoon over the top of the stewed fruit thickly.
Sprinkle with the brown sugar.
Place in an oven at around 170 C for 20 minutes until golden brown.

Serves 6.
Serve with custard.

And as well as eating apple and rhubarb crumble for my dinner I also took some photographs from my garden this afternoon. I picked some of the herbs I grew last year and took photos of the most beautiful dragonfly (I’ve been told its a Migrant Hawker)…it was too beautiful not to share.

PS: It’s good to be back…

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Root Vegetable Mash – Recipe No. 165

It was quite common to mash up your leftover potatoes with other vegetables during the war. One example of this is ‘bubble and squeak’.

To use up the last few potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips and swedes that maybe past their best in the larder, they were often scrubbed clean and chopped up into small pieces and boiled together until soft then mashed up with margarine/butter and lots of salt and pepper. To make it even better the mash could be put into a pie dish and browned in an oven.

Through trial and error, for my personal taste I like to make my root vegetable mash with 50% potatoes and then whatever I have left cooked in with it. I really like a parsnip added to root vegetable mash as it gives it an extra flavour boost!

Root Vegetable Mash

Ingredients (I used quadruple the amount below)
Potatoes (2 medium per person)
Parsnip ( 1 medium per person)
Carrots (1 medium per person)
Butter/Margarine
Salt and Pepper
Extras: Some chopped and sauted garlic, fresh thyme and/or chives add a nice touch.

Method
Chop up the scrubbed vegetables and boil until soft in water.
Drain, add salt and pepper, add butter (or dairy free margarine if vegan) and a drop of milk (I use organic oat milk) and mash until you achieve the consistency you like.
Place mixture in large pie dish or two small ones.
Brown in oven.

Serves 4

Bare Cupboard Cake – Recipe No. 152

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I haven’t baked or consumed much in the way of sweet puddings or cake for ages. Infact I’m just not using any of my sugar ration and hardly any of my margarine or butter either. I’ve therefore got plenty in my cupboard to do some baking and this is what I’ve done on this bank holiday weekend!

As I am preferring to poach my one shell egg a week, my baking normally has to be egg free. When I came across this wartime recipe online it was perfect! No eggs!

This particular recipe is suitable for vegans too if you use a dairy free margarine or oil.

Was VERY pleased with the taste and consistency of this simple cake and greedily enjoyed a couple of generous slices with hot tea, using my pink vintage china of course!

Hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients

200g caster sugar
2 tablespoons margarine or oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
175g raisins, currants or sultanas
350ml water
250g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Method

Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Lightly grease one 7 or 8 inch cake tin.
In a saucepan over medium high heat combine: the sugar, margarine or oil, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground allspice, salt, raisins and water. Bring to the boil and continue to simmer on low for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 30 minutes.
Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda together. Add the flour mixture to the cooled raisin mixture. Stir until just combined. Tip mixture into prepared tin.
Bake at 180 C / Gas 4 for 30-40 minutes until skewer comes away clean from middle.

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Which WW2 recipe should you try?

playbuzz

Found this ‘PlayBuzz’ this morning that someone had made out of my blog… it’s kind of cool!

Which WW2 recipe should you try?

Mine came up with Sausage Stovies.

What did yours come up with?

http://www.playbuzz.com/amydqx10/which-ww2-british-recipe-should-you-try

Thanks whoever did that!

C xxx

Bread and Butter Pudding – Recipe No. 144

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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.

It’s so moreish that one simply finds it’s addictive charm and charisma extremely hard to fathom, due to it’s rather plain and dumpy exterior and the fact the main ingredient is stale bread. But as we all know, in real life, sometimes the less bling the more zing!

The cost to make this, about £1.50 (not including custard) which isn’t bad seeing it will feed 4-6!

Bread and Butter Pudding (from the Victory CookBook)

During VE Day country celebrations in 1945, the farmers wife may have decided to make a REAL Bread and Butter pudding using shell eggs which would have been a bit of an extravagance.

  • 4 large slices of bread
  • 2 oz butter
  • 3 oz sultanas
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 oz sugar
  • 1 pint milk

For the topping:
sprinkling of sugar
a little grated or ground nutmeg

(to veganize use a 1/4 cup of soft tofu, blended, per egg, use a nut or soy milk and dairy free margarine)

  1. Method
    Spread the top of the bread with the softened butter and then cut each slice of bread into 4 neat squares and place buttered side up into a 2 pint (1.2 litre) pie dish.
  2. Sprinkle the sultanas on top. Beat the eggs with the sugar. Warm the milk, pour over the beaten eggs and sugar and pour over the bread and butter. Leave to stand for 20-30 minutes until the bread is swollen.
  3. Preheat the oven to 150C (300F) Gas Mark 2. Sprinkle a dessertspoon of sugar over the top with the nutmeg and then bake for an hour until just firm. If you’d like a crisp top turn the heat up to 180C (350F) Gas Mark 4 for the last 10 minutes.

Serves 4-6

victorycookbook

Victory Cookbook: Nostalgic Food and Facts from 1940 – 1954

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A typical two day meal plan…

mealplan

Got a message a few days ago on Facebook

Hi Carolyn,
My name is C***** from Australia  and I have been following you on your website “1940’s Experiment”. I was just wondering what is your typical meal plan for the two days. I was thinking about doing what your doing too. It just sounds so much for better for you.
Thank you.
regards,
C*****

I am unorganized- I am sure the 1940’s housewife HAD to be very organized and would plan her meals out way in advance.. unfortunately, I don’t, so I do not have a typical two day meal plan as such but here is what I have eaten the past couple of days…

It may seem rather a lot, but I AM losing weight. I did read that for a 300 lb person to move around moderately throughout the day uses up 3000 calories so I guess I can eat more than say a 200 lb person and still lose weight.

The main thing I want to stress is that now I don’t pick at food in-between meals and I stick STRICTLY to my food ration- when I’ve used it up I do without..

So here is what I have eaten in the last two days and this is pretty typical..

BREAKFAST

2 slices of wholemeal (wholewheat) toast with margarine and marmalade or marmite

or large bowl of porridge oats (oatmeal) made with water, splash of milk and a little sugar or honey mixed in.

LUNCH

Oslo Meal- [Click here] + a piece of fruit

or I bring in to work with me a huge plate of steamed veggies such as broccoli, parsnips, potatoes, cabbage with a blob of butter on and seasoned. (sometimes with some meaty gravy [click here] over the top ) In addition to that I have a piece of fruit like an apple or a pear.

DINNER

By the time I get home and start cooking it’s between 6 and 7pm and by this time I am starving! I always eat a BIG meal.

Yesterday– Two large baked potatoes topped with a little bit of strong cheddar, generous serving of meaty gravy, a chunk of freshly baked wholemeal bread, a few spoonfuls of steamed carrots, big mound of steamed cabbage. For dessert I didn’t have anything cooked so had a pear.

Today– A big mound of mashed potato (a blob of marg and some thyme, salt & pepper for seasoning), served with large portions of cabbage and cauliflower and the remainder of the meaty gravy I made yesterday. For dessert I had two freshly baked Rock Buns [click here] and two steaming hot cups of tea!

SUPPER

I like to round off the day with a glass or two of milk- usually one small glass of cold milk and a cup of milky coffee. The amount I have depends on how much I have left to use!

Obviously my diet depends on what I have available or what recipes I have been re-creating. I quite often make veggies stews with beans and pulses in for extra protein..

Hope this helps!

C xx

PS: I am convinced that the diet industry has got it ALL wrong (actually that is an unfair generalization as things have really changed over the past 10 years)…BUT what I mean to say is

WE SHOULD ALL BE EATING MORE TO LOSE WEIGHT….seriously!

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