Friday, April 06, 2012

Good Friday 1941.

Today I want to give you another story from Nella Last, the housewife-diarist who so eloquently described the daily trials of the ordinary Briton in World War II.

Good Friday [1941].
…..I rested and read until lunch.  It was easily prepared, for I made the vegetable soup yesterday, and opened a wee tin of pilchards, heated them and served them on hot toast.   They were only 5 ½ d., and yet were a better meal than two cod cutlets costing at least 2s. I feel it would be better value if, instead of bulky, flabby cod and other white fish from America, the Government brought in only dried and tinned fish.  So much can be made up from a 1s. tin of salmon or tuna, and so little from the same value of white wet fish.  Besides there’s the “keeping” value too.
I packed up tea, greengage jam in a little brown pot, brown bread and butter, a little cheese and a piece of cake each, and we set off after lunch.  I have been longing and yet dreading to cut this particular cake for some time now.  I made it last June, when butter was more plentiful.  It was one of two: and one was for Christmas, and one to be shared between Cliff and my husband for their birthdays on 11 and 13 December.  I cut only one, made it do over Christmas and thought I’d cut the other at New Year.  With my ‘squirrel’s love’ of a little in reserve, I made do and kept putting off until it got to Easter! It’s a ‘perfect cake in perfect condition’, as my husband said.  I wrapped it in grease-proof paper – four separate wrappings – then tied it and put it in an air-tight tin.  I expect it’s the last good cake we will ever have –at least for years – and I do so love baking cakes and watching people enjoy them (I myself prefer bread and butter on the whole).

Greengage Jam.
Rub ripe gages through a hair sieve, and put them into a preserving pan; then, to a pound of pulp add a pound of sifted sugar; after which boil to a proper thickness, skim it clean, and put it into small pots.
The Art of Cookery Made Easy and Refined (1898), by John Mollard.

Previous Nella Stories are here, here, and here.

A previous Good Friday post on Hot Cross Buns, with a recipe from 1870, is here.

And another recipe using greengages is here.

Quotation for the Day.

Large, naked, raw carrots are acceptable as food only to those who live in hutches eagerly awaiting Easter.

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