Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Frugal but Festive: WW II food ideas.

I do love the British Ministry of Food’s wartime Food Facts leaflets, and have featured many of them here over the years. Today I have for you leaflet No. 125, published in The Times, of December 23, 1942 (Ha! Without my intending it, this is an “On this Day” post!). I have not included the Christmas Day Pudding and Christmas Fruit Pies, as I have previously blogged many recipes from the era for these dishes.

It will take more than Hitler to stop the British housewife from setting a festive table at Christmas time. Yes, the food will be the same – rations, vegetables, grain foods – no Christmas specials; because ship-saving matters more than ever now we have done over to the offensive. But by dressing up the old favourites, by using little tricks of flavouring, garnishing and serving we can still put up a festive show. Stuffed flank of beef may take the place of turkey, and a little cold tea may be used to darken the complexion of Christmas cake or pudding, but we can still contrive a spread which will delight the children and warm the hearts of the grown-ups.

Scrub and slice 1 ½ lb of potatoes thinly, slice 2 apples, grate 4 oz. cheese. Place a layer of potatoes in a greased pie-dish, cover with apple and a little sage, season, sprinkle on grated cheese, repeat layers leaving potatoes and cheese to cover. Pour in ½ pint of stock, cook in a moderate oven for ¾ hour. Blend 1 tablespoon flour with ¼ pint stock, pour into dish and cook for another ¼ hour.

1.      Grated bar chocolate on freshly made biscuits gives the party touch.
2.      Baked apples stuffed with war-time mincemeat are a splendid surprise.
3.      Hot Cinnamon Toast for tea makes up for the shortage of cakes. Here is the way to make it.

Cinnamon Toast.
Take 1 tablespoonful margarine, 1 dessertspoonful of sugar, 1 teaspoonful of cinnamon. Cream all the ingredients together, spread on hot toast and grill for two minutes.

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