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And finally: a couple of good old adverts

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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
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
1. Mix dry ingredients
2. Add milk gradually and bring to the boil
3. Beat until quite smooth
4. Use when cooled

• 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
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.



The carrot is one of the most valuable of all our root vegetables and to-day we are apt to take them a little too much for granted and to forget how rich they are in protective elements. Among other good things they contain “carotene,” one of the important sources of Vitamin A which strengthens our resistance to infection. There is a certain amount of sugar in them, too, and this is useful for our war-time diet. As many a wise mother knows, the child who eats raw carrot freely is most unlikely to have a craving for sweets. Most children, fortunately, love raw carrot and below we have given some suggestions for introducing it into the daily diet. Adults may find it a little strange at first but it is such a real health food that it is well worth while persevering with it.

Some recipes for cooking carrots.
Raw Carrots
The carrots should be well washed, lightly scraped and grated. Children (and adults too for that matter) should have at least two tablespoonsful each day. It may be eaten in sandwiches and is often liked when put between bread spread with margarine and a little vegetable extract. Wholemeal bread goes particularly well with carrot. Here are two other sandwich suggestions.
1. Add two parts of grated raw carrot to one part of finely shredded white heart of cabbage, and bind with chutney or sweet pickle. Pepper and salt to taste.
2. Prepare and cut the carrot into small cubes, and cook in well blended curry sauce. When perfectly tender, the vegetable forms a substantial spread, yielding to the knife.
Raw carrot may also be served grated in a vegetable salad. Put it in heaps on fresh lettuce leaves, or with the finely shredded heart of a cabbage with chopped beetroot, chopped celery, grated apple and so on. Here are two useful salads.
A Quick Salad
An economical winter salad for four people can be made by mixing a teacupful of grated raw carrot with a teacupful of the finely shredded heart of a young cabbage and the contents of a tin of baked beans in tomato sauce.
Carrot Cap Salad
Cook two or three good sized potatoes in their skins. When tender, strain without drying off, to avoid making them floury. Slice and dice neatly; then dress in vinaigrette dressing (two parts of salad oil to one of vinegar, pepper and salt to taste) while they are still hot. Pile in a salad bowl lined with a few shredded lettuce leaves or watercress. Sprinkle with a little chopped chive or rings of spring onion, and pile high with grated carrot. To make a more substantial dish, add one or two boned sardines or fillets of smoked herring.
Steamed Carrots
Wash and scrape the carrots and if large cut into rings. Put them in the top of a steamer, sprinkle with a little salt and steam about 20 minutes. If liked, serve with parsley sauce.
Boiled Carrots
Prepare the carrots as above and boil in a very little salted water in a covered saucepan until tender. Use the liquid for gravy or soup, or thicken it with flour (1/2 oz. flour to 1/4-pint liquid) boil well and serve the carrots in it.
Braised Carrots
Prepare 1 Ib. carrots as above and put in a saucepan with l oz. fat and a few tablespoonfuls of salted water. Put on the lid and simmer until tender. Dish up the carrots and keep hot. Add a generous sprinkling of finely chopped parsley or the feathery tops of the carrots to the liquid in the pan, boil up, pour over the carrots and serve at once.
Carrots Baked Round the Joint
When cooking a joint, prepare carrots as above and put them in the baking tin round the joint. Cover with margarine paper until the last ten minutes.
Carrot Soup
1 Ib. carrots outside sticks and tops of a head of celery 1/2 oz. fine oatmeal a few bacon rinds or 1 oz. bacon fat pepper and salt and a pinch of nutmeg, if liked.
Scrape the carrots and cut into rings. Wash the celery and cut into inch lengths. Frizzle the bacon rinds or melt the fat in a saucepan, put in the carrots and celery and cook gently for about 5 minutes, shaking occasionally. Add 1 1/2 pints of water and simmer for 1 hour; then mash the vegetables to pulp with the blunt end of a rolling pin. Remove the bacon rinds and any stringy bits of celery. Blend the oatmeal with a little water and add to the soup. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, then season and serve with rusks, made by baking the ends of a loaf, or any left over bread, in the oven till quite crisp.
Carrots and Peas
Scrape and slice 1 Ib. of carrots. Boil in half a teacupful of salted water for about 10 minutes. Then put in a teacupful of shelled peas and a little chopped mint. Cover and boil until the peas are ready. Drain, saving the water for gravy or soup, and if possible, toss in teaspoonful of margarine before serving.
Carrots and Sprouts
Scrape and slice the carrots, prepare and slice the sprouts. Steam together until tender (about 15 minutes) sprinkling them with a little salt in the steamer. If possible, toss together with a teaspoonful of margarine before serving.
Carrots and Apples
This may sound an unusual combination but it is very good served with roast meat. Scrape and slice 1 Ib. of carrots; peel and quarter 1/2 Ib. apples. Put a teacupful of salted water in a saucepan, put in the carrots and lay the apples on top. Do not stir. Simmer until both are tender, then take out the apples with a spoon and arrange in the centre of a dish, with the carrots round them. Keep hot. Thicken the liquid in the pan with a teaspoonful of fine oatmeal, mixed to a smooth paste with a little water, add a teaspoonful of margarine if possible, and a pinch of mixed spice if liked. Boil for 5 minutes and then pour over the carrots and apples and serve.
Carrot Savoury
This is light, digestible and delicious for a meatless lunch or dinner. 1/4 Ib. carrots 1/2 teacupful of milk
1/2 oz. margarine pinch of nutmeg
1/2 oz. flour pepper and salt
Scrape, boil, drain and mash the carrots. Melt the margarine in a small pan, stir in the flour, cook together for a few minutes and then stir in the milk. Add the carrot puree, a pinch of nutmeg, pepper and salt to taste and pour into a well greased basin or mould. Steam for 3/4 of an hour.
The dish looks most attractive if the mixture is set in a border mould and the centre filled with cooked spinach or other green vegetables. In any case, tomatoes or a green vegetable should accompany it.
Carrot Croquettes
6 carrots 1 gill of milk
1 oz. margarine 1 oz. cornflour
seasoning to taste fat for frying
Cook the carrots in the usual waytill tender, drain and put through a sieve. Add seasoning to taste. Make a thick white sauce with the cornflour, margarine and milk, and then add the sieved carrot to it. Leave till cold, then shape into croquettes, roll in oatmeal and fry in hot, deep fat. Drain well and serve.
Curried Carrots and Chestnuts in Potato Border
2 Ibs. Carrots 1/2 oz. flour
1 Ib. chestnuts 1 apple peeled and sliced
1/4 oz curry powder 1 stick celery, chopped
1 oz. dripping 1/2 onion (if possible) peeled and sliced
1 pint stock or water 1 tablespoonful plum jam
a dash of vinegar
Scrape and slice the carrots. Nick the chestnuts, put into a pan of cold water, bring to the boil and, while still hot, remove the skins.
Melt the dripping in a pan, put in the apple, onion, celery and curry powder and fry them lightly. Then mix in the water and vinegar, stir well and add the carrots, chestnuts and plum jam. Cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Serve with a border of mashed potatoes.

How to store Carrots
The secret of storing carrots is in lifting them (pulling them up) in good condition. Lift them during dry weather, not later than the middle of October. Reject all blemished carrots and all damaged or forked roots. It is not necessary to clean them, but be careful to see they are quite dry.
You will need a dry shed for your storing, if possible with a stone or concrete floor, and some slightly moist sand. If you cannot get sand, earth taken from the top of the ground, shaken through a very fine sieve and slightly moistened, is the best substitute.
Lay alternate rows of carrots and sand (or earth) either on the ground, in pyramid shape, or in boxes. Cover your pyramid or box with sand (or earth). Put over it a layer of straw as a safeguard against frost. The carrots should be stored crown to tail in rows. Use the carrots as you require them, but take care that the remaining pile is always well covered. It is a wise plan to rebuild your pyramid at least once during the winter.

More WW2 Recipes

I have found that doing research into these different things that I do, I am always finding things out which I did not know. While looking at the food we ate during the war, I thought that our ration was not that good, but the Germans ( if this information is correct, and I have no reason to disbelieve) Had an harder time!


I was born and reared in Berlin and shortly after the war was over we had not very much to eat, e.g. three slices of bread a day, 50 grams of meat, 30 grams of noodles and 25 grams of sugar and margarine or butter per week and potatoes and vegetables only when we could get them.

So here are some more wartime recipes.

Pea puree pancakes
Cooking time 25 minutes
Quantity 4 helpings

Ingredients 1 lb peas (fresh, dried or tinned)
half a teaspoon sugar
dab of margarine
1 desertspoon chopped mint
salt and pepper
pancakes or fried croutons
2 oz grated cheeseCook the peas until tender. Add a little sugar to the water as this brings out the flavour of the peas. Drain and mash the peas and then mix in the margarine, mint and seasoning. When you’ve made the pancakes spread the puree between the two as though for a sandwich and serve with grated cheese. Alternatively you could serve the puree very hot in bowls like a soup adding croutons. The croutons are made by cutting bread into cubes and frying in very hot fat


Beetroot Pudding
Cooking time 35/40 minutes
Quantity 4 helpings

Ingredients 6 oz wheatmeal flour
half a teaspoon of baking powder
1 oz sugar
4 oz finely grated raw beetroot
half oz of margarine

Just the job to make your sugar ration go further! First mix flour and baking powder, rub in the margarine, then add sugar and grated beetroot.
Now mix all the ingredients to a soft cake consistency with 3 or 4 tablespoons of milk. Add a few drops of flavouring essence if you have it. Turn the mixture into a greased pie dish or tin and bake in a moderate oven for 35 minutes. This pudding tastes equally good hot or cold.

Nothing Fancy Wartime Loaf
* 600 ml (1 pint) of warm water
* 5 teaspoons of quick rise yeast
* couple pinches of sugar
* 2 lb of wholewheat (wholemeal) flour
* 1.5 teaspoons salt
* 1 tablespoon rolled oats (for top)
* drizzle of vegetable oil
Place flour in large bowl
Mix in all dry ingredients except the rolled oats
Drizzle in vegetable oil
Pour in warm water
Mix thoroughly
When dough comes together knead for 10 minutes until dough is silky
Place back in bowl and cover
Let dough rise somewhere warm until doubled in size
Knead dough briefly again
Place dough into 4 x 1/2 lb tins (or 2 x 1 lb tins) that have been floured
Brush top with a little water and sprinkle on some rolled oats
Leave to rise for around 20 minutes
PLace in oven at 180 0C for around 30-40 mins (depending on the size of the loaf)
Remove from oven
Cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting
PS Note that the original recipe called for old fashioned yeast but I replaced with quick rise yeast (it simply is very hard to get hold of those little squares of yeast that would have been used)


Apple Pudding
• 1 lb of apples
• 3 oz sugar
• 6 oz of self-raising flour (or plain flour with 1.5 teaspoons of baking powder added)
• pinch salt
• 1 level teaspoon of mixed spice (I’ve used cinnamon and a little nutmeg before)
• 1/2 oz margarine
• 1.5 teacups of milk and water
• 1/2 oz sugar
• 0.5 teaspoons of lemon essence
1. Sift the flour, salt and spice, rub in the 1/2 oz of margarine and then mix in the 1/2 oz of sugar.
2. Beat in half the liquid gradually
3. Beat thoroughly then add the rest of the liquid and lemon essence and beat again
4. Peel the apples and cut into small pieces and mix with 2.5 oz of sugar
5. Put in a greased casserole and pour the batter over (I used meatloaf pans)
6. Bake in a moderate oven for 45 minutes
Sprinkle with remaining sugar and serve hot with custard or jam sauce

Malted Loaf
• 12 oz plain flour (or malted grain flour)
• 1 tablespoon of malt extract (if just using plain flour)
• 1 oz margarine or butter
• large pinch salt
• Quick rise dried yeast
• 1/8th pint warm water or water/milk (add more if too dry)
1. Place flour, salt and malt extract into bowl and mix
2. Add in the margarine and rub in
3. Sprinkle in the quick rise dried yeast
4. Add in the water/milk and stir
5. Bring together into dough ball and knead for about 5 or 10 minutes until nice and silky
6. Place in a 2 lb tin
7. Place a clean damp tea towel over the top of the tin and place in warm place to rise
8. Once dough has risen to about an inch or more over the top of the tin remove tea towel
9. Leave for a further 10 minutes to rise further
10. Place in pre-heated oven at 200 C and cook for 30-40 minutes until golden brown
11. Remove and leave to cool in tin for 15 minutes before removing loaf and leaving to stand until cooled
12. Slice and serve


Wartime Loaf reipe

Here are a couple of wartime recipes (WW2) easy to make and not that bad to eat!

* 600 ml (1 pint) of warm water
* 5 teaspoons of quick rise yeast
* couple pinches of sugar
* 2 lb of wholewheat (wholemeal) flour
* 1.5 teaspoons salt
* 1 tablespoon rolled oats (for top)
* drizzle of vegetable oil
Place flour in large bowl
Mix in all dry ingredients except the rolled oats
Drizzle in vegetable oil
Pour in warm water
Mix thoroughly
When dough comes together knead for 10 minutes until dough is silky
Place back in bowl and cover
Let dough rise somewhere warm until doubled in size
Knead dough briefly again
Place dough into 4 x 1/2 lb tins (or 2 x 1 lb tins) that have been floured
Brush top with a little water and sprinkle on some rolled oats
Leave to rise for around 20 minutes
Place in oven at 180 0C for around 30-40 mins (depending on the size of the loaf)
Remove from oven
Cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting


Try this one also……………………..


Corned Beef was a popular part of the meat ration due to it’s availability. As it was already cooked it could be eaten cold or used in a variety of recipes.
You can serve corned beef up, hot or cold, several different ways..
Here is the recipe
Corned Beef Fritters
• 2 oz self raising flour or plain flour (I used wholemeal/wholewheat)
• pinch salt
• 1 egg (fresh or dried)
• dash of milk
• pinch of herbs (I used Thyme)
• 2 teaspoons grated onion
• 6 oz corned beef finely flaked
• a little dripping or margarine (or cooking oil)
Mix and blend the flour with the salt, beaten egg and dash of milk.
Beat until a smooth batter is achieved
Add corned beef, onions and herbs
Melt the dripping or fat in a frying pan
Drop in a spoonful of the mixture and press down to form a small patty (mixture should be enough to make 8)
Fry on either side until crisp and brown and serve with veggies or salad while warm.
Makes enough for 4 people