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 Living with wartime rations – Day 3 and eating meat

 Living with wartime rations – Day 3 and eating meat

Monday…my least favourite day of the week. Miss Ten has band practice and needs to be at school by 8am, which is forty five minutes earlier than usual and sends us all into a spin. I managed to get up just in time to put on a pot of oats for breakfast (1 cup rolled oats and 3 cups water).  I usually soak the oats the night before, but hubby cleaned the kitchen as he was so impressed by last nights dinner, that I forgot. Miss ten of course hates porridge, and will usually eat weetbix, but as we were out I made her an old wartime standby – bread and milk. Both had one teaspoon on raw sugar on top, and Miss Ten really enjoyed her breakfast!

Porridge and bread with milk, great wartime breakfasts

I made the children leftover lamb sandwiches with sliced tomato and shredded beet root tops (the ducks ate the lettuce, which is a wartime no no, but they are transitioning for their old home still). They also got a carrot, an apple and a small blueberry cake ( from the freezer, as I haven’t baked this week).

We work from home, so usually eat lunch at home.  Today I made Scotch broth from the rest of the left over lamb (about a cup), the lamb bone, a cup of soup mix (barley and split peas) and a cup of vegie trimmings that I keep in the fridge and add to during the week – waste not want not!

Ministry of Food recipies for vegetable soups

I served it with some bread and dripping from last nights lamb, saving the butter ration, which is quite tasty but a different idea to get used to. It’s also surprisingly firm, and can sit on the kitchen bench without melting, unlike butter. My husband says its like eating a heart attack.

 

Scotch broth and bread & dripping for lunch

 
For afternoon tea, knowing the children would be starvingafter school, I made wholemeal pikelets, with a recipe from 1941 (19 July Australian Women’s Weekly). I doubled the recipe, except for the sugar and added a teaspoon of cinnamon.

   

pikelets served with 1 tbsn of maple syrup – seriously popular!

 
For dinner we had chicken livers with pasta (macaroni was eaten by wartime Australians and offal was not rationed). Well, when I say we, the kids refused to eat chicken livers, so had the rest of the scotch broth instead. I used the ‘Liver in Sauce Mexicana’ recipie from 1945, below, but used chicken livers instead of calves liver, as that’s all I could buy. 

Tips for ratiioning from 1945

Tips for ratiioning from 1945

 

Chicken Livers ala Mexicana with a green salad

 
My husband loves meat, and would eat it for every meal if possible, as I imagine would many men of the 1930s and 40s. I’m not so fussed – I was vegetarian for eight years and vegan for half of those. I only started eating meet when my first child was two and started demanding sausages at bar b ques (despite being told where that meat came from). 

In 1939 Australians still ate more meat than anyone else, according to an article in ‘The Longreach Leader’February 1939, beating even the Americans, with an average 226lbs a year ( or 102.5kg, an amount which did not include wild foods like rabbit and kangaroo).

 

Meat eating facts from the Longreach Leader, February 1939

Meat eating facts from the Longreach Leader, February 1939

 
According to the Business Insider Australia, in 2015″ Australia tops the list again, with each resident consuming on average nearly 100kg of meat a year — or around 250g a day.” So we are actually eating less meat than we did in 1939, prewar.

Unfortunately a report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows that many Australians are now consuming too much food that is high in fat and sugar and not enough vegetables or wholegrain cereals. Apparently Australians exceed the world average consumption of not only meat, but alcohol, sweeteners, milk and animal fats, while consumption of vegetables and cereal is below the world average – 90% of people aged 16 years and over are failing to eat the recommended five serves of vegetables each day.

 

the 14th biennial health report of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

the 14th biennial health report of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

 
There is a simple solution. Rationing! We are now eating less than 200gm of meat and animal fat a day, at least five serves of veg, 1/2 to 4 tablespoons of sugar/sweetners, at least five serves of whole grain cereals, 2 pieces of fruit or equivalent home made juice, lots of water, less tea and coffee, one or two eggs a day for all of us, less to no alcohol and 1 (adults) to 3 (kids) cups of milk. We don’t snack between meals (the kids are allowed fruit from the bowl), we even sit down for afternoon tea, and we don’t go out or get takeaways (we don’t do that often anyway).

If we lived closer to shops, rather than just the local conveniance store, I would try and be more like a wartime housewife and walk to the shops each day. Instead I have tried to get to the supermarket every second day after driving the kids to school (it’s 10km away) and buying fresh, using what I have grown in the garden or bartered with neighbours, and walking the dog morning and afternoon. I am cooking from scratch, which takes some time, but I don’t have to stand queuing for hours, which gives me time to actually go to work and have some time for blogging!

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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.

4 responses »

  1. I remember my Mum cooking from magazine clippings that look a lot like yours. She had them pasted into an old used diary. I also remember loving bread and dripping which was last resort just before pay day. How times have changed. It would be interesting to know whether the excessive sugar and fat consumption of the average Aussie is from manufactured goods. I’m of the opinion that far less sugar is eaten per week in home cooking…

    Reply

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