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Living on Wartime Rations – day 5 & Remberance Day

smiling diggers on the kokada trail

How I like to remember our diggers – together sharing a yarn and a cuppa

The Australian Women’s Weekly is my main source of information about the way women lived during WWII. Sometimes there is propaganda, sometimes paid adverts, often interesting home decor, recipes and fashion ideas and then there are the letters of readers and advice columns. Sometimes there is just a small snippet of interest that catches my eye – something I have never heard of before, or something that makes me think in a differnt way.  The following are such articles, in reference to today, 11 November –

From August 1937 


The origin of the two minute silence on remembrance day

The origin of the two minute silence

Of course now it’s only one minute silence because two minutes was too long for us to stay quiet. I have always been confused about the difference between Armistice Day and Remembrance Day – no longer!

 peace or armistice after WWII? 

So today is our fifth day on wartime rations, and I think the kids are really getting into the swing of things. Miss Ten asked if she could have ‘national loaf’ for breakfast with milk again (while the rest of us had porridge, soaked overnight first this time which makes it cook quicker and go further).

The kids have even started calling the bread “Hitlers secret weapon,” which they think is hilarious. They also know the five favourite most used wartime ingredients – cabbage, wholemeal flour, oats, carrots and potatoes!

Ministry of food guidelines on cooking potatoes

Ministry of food guidelines on cooking potatoes

 I actually love potatoes, as they are so versitile. And you can grow them, which makes them easier To obtain than rice or pasta for most people in the UK and Australia.

If you can't grow them buy dirty potatoes and scrub them yourself- its cheaper and they don' t have wax on them

If you can’t grow them buy dirty potatoes and scrub them yourself- its cheaper and they don’ t have wax on them

Today’s lunch was prepared last night while dinner was cooking – baked potatoes. Scooped out and mixed with fried bacon (out first this week, and it smelt SO good) and some shredded cabbage, it’s in sandwhiches for the kids and back into the potato skins for us.

The bread didn’t rise much this time but saves me cutting sandwiches in half


Bacon and cabbage stuffed potatoes, with a precious slice of cheese

Bacon and cabbage stuffed potatoes, with a precious slice of cheese

Dinner tonight was one of the most famous war time dishes ever – Woolton Pie.  There are many recipies around, but this one from Wikipedia is great, you just use what you have.

“The recipe involved dicing and cooking potatoes (or parsnips), cauliflower, swede, carrots and, possibly, turnip. Rolled oats and chopped spring onions were added to the thickened vegetable water which was poured over the vegetables themselves. The dish was topped with potato pastry and grated cheese and served with vegetable gravy. The recipe could be adapted to reflect the availability and seasonality of ingredients.”

I used one onion, 2 stalks celery, 1/4 cabbage, 1/4 cauliflower, 3 carrots and 1/2 capsicum, and I added 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup red lentils, 1 tbsn Vegemite, some chopped sage and three cups of water for the filling.

My Woolton Pie ready for the oven

My Woolton Pie ready for the oven

The pastry top is left over mash, about 1 cup, 1 cup wholemeal flour, 1/2 cup dripping, sprinkled with about 1/2 cup grated cheese. 
Golden brown Woolton pie just out of the oven,  after about 1 hour

Golden brown Woolton pie just out of the oven, after about 1 hour

A serve of Woolton Pie and cucumber salad

A serve of Woolton Pie and cucumber salad

 Here are some more carrot ideas, from July 1944 – 
We also had a slice of bread and cheese, no butter, for supper.

So let’s remember. Let’s remember them, what they did, was they sacrificed, and what they had to eat!  


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.

2 responses »

  1. got me. I’ll try the Woolton pie. So informative and fun. Thanks for this series.


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