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Dr Carrot and Woolton Pie

The kids and I have been watching a great series called ‘Turn Back Time: The Family,’ and in particular the ‘Second World War’ episode.  The kids were amazed by some of the things the family’s had to go through, and my daughter in particular was interested in ‘Dr Carrot,’ one of the great propaganda machines of the war.


Carrots and potatoes were plentiful during the rationing of the 40s and people were encouraged to eat lots of them.  In this photo three young children make do with carrots on sticks, a healthier alternative to ice cream which was unavailable during the war.


Carrots went from being primary an animal feed to being used in a variety of human dishes – marmalade and jam, breads, cake, pies, toffee and juice or ‘Carrolade’, made up from the juices of carrots and Swede grated and squeezed through a piece of muslin. sounds delicious!

Lord Woolton was Britain’ s Minister of Food from April 1940s and was in charge of the campaign to encourage people to eat more vegetables. The Savoy Hotel created a special vegetable dish to aid this campain, and called it  ‘ Woolton Pie’ in the minister’s honor.This is the Official Woolton Pie Recipe as reported in ‘The Times’ on 26 April 1941.


Many people had their own interpretation of this recipe, but they always used carrots! Basically it is mixed vegetables, a sauce and a topping , which could be pastry or potatoes mashed or sliced.  My version used the ends of bok choi, broccoli and kale, as well as carrot and potato, and mashed potato topping.  For a richer meal you can make a white sauce to pour over the vegies before putting on the topping ( use a spoon spoon of butter and melt in pan, add two spoons of flour and whisk, slowly add in about a cup of milk and keep stirring). If you have any ends of cheese left over (from your rations!) you can grate this on top too.

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My kids actually loved this meal, and even had seconds!

Australian’s were also encouraged to eat carrots, as in this article from the Australian’s Women’s Weekly, July 1944.


As for potato peeling, make sure potatoes are scrubbed first, and then cook your peels in a hot oven for about 10 minutes, sprinkle with salt and herbs like rosemary. Yummy!

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For more information on Dr Carrot you can visit the Carrot Museum. Yes, there is one!


About thewartimewoman

I love history, fashion, art and design, especially of the 1930s to the 1960s. I am also a mother, wife, interior decorator & a treasure hunter who wishes she could drive a 1933 Delage. I studied Architecture at Melbourne university, briefly, and completed a Diploma of Art in Interior Design at the Melbourne College of Decoration in 1991. I have worked on an off as a decorator ever since, in between stints as a florist, balloon artist, having my five children and helping my husband in his law firm. in my spare time I love researching history, blogging and gardening.

6 responses »

  1. Wonderful post – thank you for recipe & ideas! Question: What are swedes? Not a familiar term in the States. Definitely inspiring for a weekend trial!

  2. I have a question for you about women and what they drank during WWII. You’ll see the discussion at my other blog: Before Morning Breaks. Could you email me? My address should show if you receive email notification of comments. Or you can send a note through the Lutheran Ladies Circle Blog. I write under a pen name. There’s a tab to contact me. As you know, there is a huge amount of information about women on the homefront, but I’m discovering a suspicious absence of info on what women drank. Many, many anecdotal stories that my research has gathered lets me know women got together and had a nip. I’m beginning to think it was something not talked about.
    I love your site. I’m a follower, now.


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