Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Rabbit in the Larder.

The packed lunch theme continues for today, with advice from the wartime Ministry of Food in Britain. Rationing remained in force in Britain for years after WW II, and the Ministry continued to put out its weekly Food Facts leaflets until well into the 1950’s.

The Ministry was mindful that the constraints of rationing could only worsen the housewife’s daily challenge of avoiding ‘the same old sandwiches’ for lunch and picnics. To assist her to get around this problem, leaflet No. 516, of May 1950, addressed the issue with a feature on the use of rabbit. It began with the following hint:

“With summer just around the corner there’s and increasing demand for cold meals and picnic snacks. This is no problem if there’s a rabbit in the larder. Here are some picnic ways with rabbit, the frozen rabbit now in the shops – a welcome change from the same old sandwiches. The family will bless you for that extra trouble.”

The leaflet went on to give recipes for Devilled Rabbit, Rabbit Paste, Rabbit Loaf, and the following nice idea for a pasty – surely a nice treat to find in the lunchbox, whatever the era.

Rabbit and Potato Pasties.
Ingredients: Pastry using 6 to8 oz. flour; 8 oz. cooked rabbit, chopped; 4 oz. grated raw potato; 1 hard boiled egg, chopped; 1 tomato, skinned and chopped; salt and pepper to taste; 2 tablespoons of stock or milk.
Method: Divide the pastry into four and roll each piece into a circle about the size of a saucer. Mix all the other ingredients and divide the mixture between the pastry rounds. Damp the edges of the pastry and fold into pasty shapes. Bake in a hot oven 25-30 minutes.

Quotation for the Day.

Luncheon: as much food as one's hand can hold.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), from his dictionary (1755)

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