During WWII that old saying ‘breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper’ was adhered to, at least according to the Ministry of Food leaflets ( and if you were a rich pauper).
What we call lunch was dinner in wartime Britain- the main meat meal, eaten at 1pm. The Ministry of Food leaflets gave not only menu ideas and recipes, but guidelines on how to have your meal ready by 1pm.
Dinners (lunches) and suppers (evening meal) both included ‘fillers’ at the end, usually either more bread or a ‘pudding.’
I don’t know how a woman would have time to make it all, and then wash up afterwards, let alone eat all that food! Breakfast for us is usually toast OR cereal, not both. Our children don’t get lunch provided at school, and just take a sandwich, or sometimes a thermos of soup. They tend to have another meal after school for afternoon tea – another sandwich or beans on toast, a glass of milk or cup of milky tea and some fruit. So I suppose this would count this as their high tea, and the evening meal would be their supper. It all actually sounds like a lot of food to me, but they are all meals you sit down to – there is no grazing. You actually realise you are eating a meal, and if you are full, then you don’t need the ‘filler’ at the end. This must be so much healthier!
Anyway, today we had the usual porridge for breakfast, with 1 teaspoon of sugar each. The kids get a cup of milk at breakfast and can use part of it on their porridge. Fussy Miss Ten had a bowl of yoghurt (she did vomit last night so I was kind).
For lunch at home we had the leftover scotch broth, blended, left over roo stew, and a salad.
We were out of bread, so I made the kids potato patties from the leftover roast potatoes from a couple of nights ago. I used a Ministry of Food recipe, but did add one egg, as I wanted them to stick together in their lunch boxes.
I made two loaves of ‘national loaf’ today, with 85% wholemeal flour and the juice of one orange for sweetness and to help rising. Seeing the oven was on, I thought I’d try my hand at a cake. Which recipe to use? This one from the Ministry of Food?
Or the exciting eggless, milk less and butter less recipie from the Weekly?
As two cups of sugar was all of our rations, I went with the Ministry of Food recipe. Quite yummy!
I tried hard to find a wartime recipe for mince and cabbage, ingredients I know were used at the time, and that I also use on a weekly basis in an Asian flavoured dish. I found a great recipe, from the Ministry of Food leaflet ‘Making the most of meat’, for ‘Mince in the hole,’ which uses mince but no cabbage, but would go well with coleslaw, or cabbage soup.
This recipe is for four people, which means one ounce, or 28 grams, of meat per person! I also found an article with some of the most bizarre wartime recipies I have come across. The mincemeat spaghetti cassolettes just looked like too much work – spiral the spaghetti, really? The savoury cabbage mould looked promising, but I’m all out of pigs cheek, same with rabbit, and I don’t have oysters for the cauliflower oyster flan or kidneys for the Spaghetti Supberb. Drat!
In the spirit of wartime cooking, I made the mince in the hole and coleslaw, rather than my usual easy stir fry. For five of us, I doubled the batter recipe, and actually used nearly 500gm of minced lamb, nearly 100gm each (less than half of Australia’s average daily amount), intending to leave three serves for the children’s lunches the next day. The batter is very runny but was firm after cooking for about 45 minutes.