Blackcurrant Jam – Recipe No. 184

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

C xxxx

Blackcurrant Jam (makes 3 x 1 lb pots)

Ingredients

  • 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)

Method

  1. Put the 4 cups of frozen berries in a large thick-bottomed saucepan and put onto a medium heat.
  2. Stir until berries are defrosted and simmering gently (about 5 mins). Remove from heat.
  3. Mash with a potato masher a little so some of the berries burst to the consistency you like.
  4. Mix the sugar and pectin and add to the berry mix and stir until all mixed together.
  5. Add in the 1/2 squeezed lemon.
  6. Return to medium heat and keep stirring slowly adjusting the heat so as not to burn.
  7. 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.
  8. Once the correct temperature has been reached, keep stirring and give the mixture another minute.
  9. Remove from heat and stir again.
  10. Remove hot jars from oven (see above)
  11. Using a ladle and funnel, add the hot jam mixture to the hot jars and twist on the clean hot lids.
  12. Set aside, the jar will be hot and will take at least a few hours to cool.
  13. 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

>>CLICK HERE<<

LABELS: Re-usable and removable labels for jars and containers with chalk pen.

>>CLICK HERE<<

CANNING FUNNELS: 2 sizes, stainless steel for all jam/chutney/relish making.

>>CLICK HERE<<






7 Ration Book Recipes to Beat the Coronavirus Pandemic Panic Buying!

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!

Much love,

C xxxx

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!

Here is the stovetop recipe. Click here!

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..

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.

This recipe is super simple and quick. Click here!

Hunt Pie
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!

Mock Banana
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!

Click here for recipe and video!

SOME GREAT YOUTUBE CHANNELS & BLOGS BELOW!

Prepper Princess – Love this gal! She lives in the USA, an independent strong woman with lots of self-sufficiency skills working towards financial independence. Click here!

Homestead Tessie – She loves being as frugal and self-sufficient as possible with what she’s got and she loves creating daily videos! Click here!

Compost and Custard – I’ve known Naomi online for over 20 years. She has a passion for self-sufficiency and home schooling, nature, permaculture and wildlife. Click here!

Riverford Organic Farmers – loads of online recipes as well as supplying organic fresh veg via box. Click here!

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!

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…

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

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Victory Cookbook: Nostalgic Food and Facts from 1940 – 1954

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