Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Feeding Evacuated Children.

November 13 …

On September 1st 1939 in England the mass evacuation of children from the cities (which were expected to be bombed) to the relative safety of the countryside began. The experience was very varied – most must have been very homesick at first, some were ill-treated by their host ‘parents’, but some were happier and better fed than they had been in their real homes.

Country families who took evacuees were paid 8 shillings and sixpence a week for each child. On this day in 1939 The Times ran an article explaining just how two particular country mothers fed the children in their care.

“One, a Scottish woman who has five boys in her house (they range from 6 to 12) … says they have gained in weight and are always contended with their food. .. Being a Scot, their hostess naturally believes in porridge. This they have three times a week for breakfast, alternating with scrambled eggs.”

Her charges were lucky – they had three meals a day (breakfast, dinner, and high tea) with vegetables and apples from the garden, and hot milk at supper before an 8 o’clock bedtime. The Scottish mother gave her midday menus for the week:

SUNDAY: Roast shoulder of lamb or mutton, cabbage, potatoes. Baked apple dumplings.

MONDAY. Cold meat, potatoes and sprouts. Hot apple and custard (made with custard powder: a 4s. tin is the cheapest way of buying it.)

TUESDAY. Shepherd’s pie, carrots and turnips. Currant dumplings, sugar.

WEDNESDAY. Scotch broth, made with about 3 lb of boiling meat (flank of beef), barley, split peas, carrot, turnip and onion. Meat as a second course with potatoes. No sweet.

THURSDAY. Beef stew, 2 lb meat at 1s. a lb. with vegetables, potatoes. Rice pudding.

FRIDAY. Mince: 2 lb minced beef (Brown onions in dripping add meat, then thicken, add water and seasoning, and cook gently. Quaker oats may be added.) Tinned pineapple and custard.

SATURDAY. Use up rest of mince. There should be enough. Baked bread pudding (Soak bread all night, then work in a little margarine or dripping, few currants, sultanas, and chopped peel, nutmeg, spoonful of treacle if liked. Beat in an egga nd enough skim milk to make it fairly moist. Put in greased pie-dish and bake in slow oven for about 2 hors till brown. Turn out and sift sugar over top. This is good cold, as cake, or sliced, will reheat in oven.)

Naturally the newspaper included some recipes from the host mothers. First, “an economical pudding”.

Cocoa Pudding.
Mix 1 tablespoon patent cornflour with one of cocoa in a basin. Blend with a little cold milk. Heat up ¾ pint of milk; pour on to mixture in basin, mix well, return to pan, and stir till it boils. Let it cool, add 1 tablespoon castor sugar, or brown sugar, few drops vanilla, and yolk of an egg. Beatthe white stiffly to froth, fold in lightly. Pour mixture into buttered pie-dish and bake in a moderate oven for 25 minutes.

Exeter Stew.
Melt 1 oz. dripping in saucepan, brown in it 1 small sliced onion, then add 1 tablespoon of flour and allow it to brown. Pour on 1 pint water, add ½ lb lean beef cut in squares, 1 carrot and turnip diced, with pepper and salt, bring slowly to boil, then simmer for 2 hours. Skim from time to time.
Serve it with dumplings made as follows: chope finely 1 oz. suet , ad ½ teaspoon chopped parsley, ½ teaspoon chopped herbs (don’t overdo herbs for children), 3 tablespoons flour, pepper and salt. Divide into 8, then with floured fingers roll into small balls, dust them with flour, and cook for the last ½ hour in the stew.

Tomorrow’s Story …

Dumb fish.

Quotation for the Day ...

Onion skins very thin,Mild winter coming in.
Onion skins very tough,
Coming winter very rough.
Old English rhyme

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