The years from 1940 to 1950 were a terrible period for families struggling to keep alive during the ebb and flow of war. Rationing and shortages meant that housewives were forced to provide meals for their children from very little or almost nothing
By 1980 things had grown better – but then the ‘fast-food’ invasion arrived and traditional dishes, hand-made by mothers, began to disappear as ‘convenience’ became more important than ‘quality’.

Chocolate Layer Cake
• 3 oz fat (margarine)
• 1 tablespoon of golden syrup or treacle
• 8 oz plain flour
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 oz of cocoa powder
• 1 teaspoon of baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
• 2 oz sugar
• 1/2 pint of warm water
Method
1. Put fat and syrup into a pan and dissolve
2. Mix all dry ingredients in a basin and stir in melted fat and syrup, mix to a very soft consistency with warm water.
3. Pour into two greased sandwich tins and bake for 30 minutes in a medium oven. (about 180 C)
4. Remove and allow to partly cool in tin before turning out.
5. When cool sandwich them with mock whipped cream or chocolate spread.
Chocolate Spread
• 1 oz cocoa powder
• 1.5 tablespoons of fine sugar
• 1 dessertspoon of flour
• 1/2 cup milk
Method
1. Mix dry ingredients
2. Add milk gradually and bring to the boil
3. Beat until quite smooth
4. Use when cooled

Colcannon
• 2 cups mashed potato
• 2 leeks chopped
• 1 cup curly greens (cooked- I sauted the chopped leeks and chopped savoy cabbage[any cabbage or kale will do] together in a pan)
• ½oz margarine
• lots of salt and pepper!
Mix potatoes, greens and leeks (you can also use onion instead) and margarine well together, put in a flat baking tin or pie dish and bake until nicely browned.

Leek and Lentil Pie
• 2 small cups dried lentils
• 4 cups well seasoned stock
• 6 leeks
• Mashed potato
• Cornflour/starch
• Extra salt/pepper/dried herbs
• Dollop of margarine
Put the washed lentils and the leeks, washed and cut into small pieces, into a pan. Add the stock, cover tightly and cook on a slow heat until tender. Mix in a dollop of margarine and then some cornflour/starch to make a thick mixture. Put into a well-greased dish, leave to stand for 15 minutes and then cover with mashed potato. Bake to a golden brown.
Serves 6
Air Raid Apple Chutney
• 8 oz onions finely chopped
• 1/2 pint malt vinegar
• 2 lbs of peeled and chopped apples
• 1 teaspoon of pickling spices
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds (optional)
• 12 oz sugar
• 2-4 oz of dried fruit
Method
1. Put chopped onions in a pan with a little of the vinegar and simmer gently until soft
2. Add chopped apples, ginger, salt, mustard seeds and pickling spices in a muslin bag and some more vinegar to keep the mixture moist and stop burning
3. Stirring time to time, cook gently until soft
4. Add the sugar and the dried fruit, the rest of the vinegar and stir. Continue to cook gently until the mixture is quite soft and thickened
5. Remove the bag of pickling spices and add hot mixture into clean hot jars (I wash, rinse then heat in oven on medium for 30 minutes) and immediately screw on clean hot lids.
6. Leave to cool the store in larder for at least 1 week before trying. Matures after 14 days..
Makes 3 lb jars or 6 small jars

Vegetable Pie
Put some mixed cooked vegetables into a pie type dish and season well with lots of salt and pepper. Make a thick gravy with 1 oz of fat and 1 oz of cornflour/cornstarch and 1/2 pint of vegetable stock and seasoning. Pour this over the vegetables then place a thick crust of mashed potatoes over the top, sprinkle with cheese and bake on medium heat for about 30 minutes until the potato is browned.

 

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