The source from yesterday, the Australian wartime book edited by Dr. Phyllis Cilento (The Truth and Daily Mirror Cookery Book, c1943) contains numerous ‘austerity’ dishes. In view of the economic doom and gloom, it may be as well to have a few of these up our community sleeves.
There are recipes for sugarless cakes and butterless biscuits and so on, but I am particularly attracted by the recipes that have ‘austerity’ in the title. No harm in advertising the fact to those who dine at your table that you are doing your bit.
Here is a complete austerity dinner for you:
Austerity Spiced Steak.
Take one pound of beef steak (cheap cut), and cut into squares about two inches; roll in a little sugar and nutmeg, then in flour, and put into a piedish. Mix one tablespoonful each of tomato and Worcester sauce, and one cup of cold water, and pour this over the meat; cover with a lid and bake in a moderate oven for two hours. Serve with mashed potatoes and vegetables.
Required: Potatoes, breadcrumbs, milk, butter, salt, water. Use half usual quantity of potatoes, cut into quarters, boil in a little salted water. When cooked, drain off water, but leave a little in the saucepan. Add breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon to every two medium-sized potatoes, mix with vegetable so that crumbs take up water. Let stand few minutes, add lump butter, and little warm milk. Mash thoroughly. Little chopped onion or parsley may be added if liked.
Austerity Ginger Pudding.
Required: ¼ lb butter or dripping, ½ cup sugar, 1 egg, 1 ½ cup treacle or golden syrup, 1 cup milk, 4 cups flour, 3 teasp ginger, 2 teasp spice, 1 teasp cinnamon, 1 teasp soda bicarb. Cream butter, sugar, add egg, beat well, add treacle, beat again. Sift all dry ingredients together add alternately with milk. Bake in a well buttered tin 1 ½ hours slow oven. Serve with sauce made from 1 tabsp syrup mixed with ½ pint hot water, thickened with a little blended arrowroot.
Quotation for the Day …
Frugality … It is not equivalent to parsimony, the latter being an excess of frugality and a fault. Frugality is always a virtue. Nor is it synonymous with thrift, in its proper sense; for thrift is the effect of frugality.
Webster's, 1st ed., 1828
Gosh, those austerity potatoes sound nasty. Why would bread crumbs be cheaper than the honest spud? But the Ginger pud looks completely normal with 1.5 cups of golden syrup positively luxurious. Was it produced locally?
Frugality is an imbued practice. Parsimony is a learned behavior. Thrift is a forced circumstance. Cheapness is a character defect.
I so enjoy your work!
Don't know if you have done the Ur-Austerity recipe lready--"stone soup"?
Start with a kettle of boiling water and a stone; add a community of hungry folks, each bringing a small bit o' something to "make it more savory" et voila--a yummy & nutritious stew!
Wiki it for basic story
Thanx, John ( who's brushing up on his Woodie Guthrie Dustbowl Ballads...)
I so enjoy your blog! You're truly an inspiration to all of us!
Don't know if you have already done the Ur-Austerity recipe --"stone soup"?
Start with a kettle of boiling water and a stone; add a community of hungry folks, each bringing a small bit o' something to "make it more savory" et there you go--a yummy & nutritious stew!
Wiki it for basic story
( who's brushing up on his Woodie Guthrie Dustbowl Ballads-"if you don't have the dough-re-mi, boys...")
steve - that is a very quotable quote/definition. I do hope it is an original from you? I'm going to use it as my quote of the day one day soon, so look out for it!
John - Thankyou, I am so glad you enjoy my stories - that is what keeps me going! I do love the stone soup story.
Catofstripes - I agree, very nasty. I suspect the rationale was to use up stale bread rather than to save potatoes. Golden syrup is a British/Aussie thing - a very mild caramelly syrup byproduct of sugar refining.
Be my guest. SB (Quotes R Us!)
John, I like "a lotta people ain't got no food on the table, but they gotta lotta forks and knives, and they gotta cut sumthin." - Woody PS: There's a good Bob Dylan version of this song on his very first album,
I'm completely with Cat on the icky austerity potatoes. It would make more sense, I think, if they did the potatoes on their own, and used the breadcrumbs, water, onions, and some sage to make a nice stuffing to have as another side dish.
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