Thursday, October 08, 2009

Fewer Breakfast Eggs.

Promoting the idea of going without wheat bread at breakfast, was, as we saw yesterday, quite a challenge for the food authorities in Britain during WW I. Imagine the difficulties when the egg shortage also become an issue. In The Times of December 1, 1915 there was a short article addressing just this issue under the heading Breakfast Fare: The Economical Use of Eggs.

“Mr. Iwan Kriens, the Duthch chef in charge of the kitchens at the Westminster Technical Institute, yestersay suggested a number of breakfast dishes. Cheese, shaved fine like cucumber and eaten on bread, a favourite breakfast dish in Holland, might, he said, be tried in this country, Cheddar being the best cheese for the purpose. ‘Eggs at 3d. each are prohibitive’ he went on, ‘but if they must be eaten, the same device might be used as in the case of bacon. Desire for both is greater than the need, and instead of eating two eggs, one would be sufficient by boiling it soft, emptying it from the shell, and eating it with breadfingers … A very satisfying egg omelette sufficient for two people can be made with two eggs with the addition of the soft part of a baked potato. Egg croquettes too are good, and used in this way one egg can by made to do the work of three.’

The chef suggested other non-egg savoury breakfast dishes: liver and bacon, or fish, or mushrooms fried with tomato and one slice of bacon, curried dishes, and home-made sausages (“every woman aught to have a sausage machine and make her own sausages”) He also gave a recipe for meat loaf (small, apparently individual sized), acknowledging that they were not a common dish in England.

Meat Loaves.
Meat loaves are rarely seen on English tables, but are excellent. This is the recipe. Take 4 oz cooked meat, 2 oz breadcrumbs, fresh or soaked and squeezed dry, one egg,1 oz fat, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and mix well together. Shape into rolls, place in a greased baking dish,sprinkle with breadcrumbs and fat, and bake in the oven.When done add a little gravy over the loaves.

Quotation for the Day.
You can trifle with your breakfast and seem to disdain your dinner if you are full to the brim with roasted eggs and potatoes and richly frothed new milk and oatcakes and buns and heather honey and clotted cream.
Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden.

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