World War Two had been going for two years and rations were tight in 1941. This led to many UK householders growing what vegetables they could. Small gardens were utilised, large ornamental flower gardens were given over to vegetables and many people began to grow produce on council allotments.
To this day many people still grow an assortment of flowers and vegetables on allotments in the UK. They are harder to come by these days but still available.
Housewives in the UK needed every bit of cooking ingenuity to create tasty, healthy meals out of the meager rations allowed in war-time. What is it they say about necessity being the Mother of Invention? It proved just that. New recipes were created and more than 60 years later some are being used once again.Finances are tight again and value for money is paramount. Forget expensive frozen ready meals an cook for good health and wealth instead. choose homemade meals for value and taste.
How to make a war time classic - Woolton Pie
The recipe then says wash and peel the potatoes and carrots cutting them into slices the thickness of a penny. This is an old penny though which has not been in circulation for many years. I would say slim slices are what they mean.
Dry the washed sliced vegetables in a clean tea towel. Heat a little chicken fat in a frying pan and add the vegetable slices.
Next treat the mushrooms as above. Finely chop the onion and leek. Add all of this to the frying pan. Mix together and add the seasoning above or your own choices if preferred. Make sure you only lightly fry the vegetables.
Lightly grease a pie dish and add the whole mixture to it. Place the bundle of herbs in the middle of the pie. Moisten with a little giblet stock. Most of us would never use the giblets of a chicken for stock these days and many purchased chickens have them already removed. You could use a store bought vegetable or chicken stock though. Allow the mixture to cool.
Bake in the oven for 11/2 hours. Check your oven guide for the best cooking times, for a vegetable bake of this kind.
Eat and enjoy!
Reading a free Blitz Edition commemorative newspaper proved to be an interesting read, in so many ways. It included a couple of recipes, which are as useful for the present day as they were during the War. They show how to make great dishes, with few ingredients. This is handy for days when money is tight.
They also tend to make dishes which are less rich. During the War rationing led to shortages of some food stuffs and ingredients. This means that the recipes are quite healthy. Even if you are watching your weight you may find the need to make a sweet dish, dessert or cake, so this eggless sponge cake recipe could be just the thing for you.
Note: Either flour works well, but you must take care to adjust the amount of baking powder used, to ensure your cake rises well.
For best results, sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl.
In a large mixing bowl place the margarine, sugar and golden syrup. Cream these together until the mixture is soft and light. The mixture should also be pale in colour.
Add a little flour and then a little liquid. A little at a time, will help keep the mixture smooth.
Continue until you have used all of the flour and liquid, and the mixture is smooth.
Divide this mixture between two 7 inch, lightly greased, baking tins.
Place just above the centre of a moderately hot oven. Check your oven's baking guidelines for exact baking times and oven temperatures.
When cooked turn both the cooked cakes onto a wire to cool.
When cooled, sandwich the cakes together with jam.
Of course, if you are making this eggless cake these days, there will be no restrictions on the ingredients. This means that you can add fruit and, or, cream, to the filling. Instead of margarine you may want to use a low fat margarine substitute. If you do make sure that it is one which is suitable for baking and cooking.
If you stick with this traditional World War Two recipe though you will find that it is a tasty sweet treat which is not too sweet nor sickly. So many modern cakes are overindulgent.
Note: An Eggless Sponge Cake is vegetarian and suitable for those with an egg allergy.