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Living with wartime rationing – the after thoughts

So if you have followed our one week rationing journey you will have seen that we did pretty well eating on rations.  We didn’t starve, we ate healthy, and I actually lost about 1/2kg. It has inspired me to continue eating the wartime way.

But it was only for one week. I had a store of food in the fridge, freezer, and pantry, chickens in the backyard and some fruit and veg growing In the garden. What I didn’t have, as wartime women would have experienced, was the following – 

  • Blackouts and restrictions that went with that;
  • War work, different work to my normal routine that could have involved travelling a long way;
  • Shortages, such as paper, toilet paper, food, fuel and queuing;
  • An outside toilet;
  • Carrying a gas mask;
  • Extra child evacuees, to look after and feed;
  • Fear – of bombings, air raids, gas attack, invasion or death of a loved one.

 

1940ss tips to conquer fear

1940ss tips to conquer fear

  
What I did have that makes modern life so much easier –

  • A washing machine
  • Hot running water
  • An inside bathroom  and toilet
  • A fridge and freezer
  • An electric stove and oven
  • A car and fuel to run it
  • A husband at home
  • Children at home, who are (reasonably) safe
  • Easy communication with phone and email
  • Instant access to recipes and books online
  • Television
  • A coffee machine

What we did before delonghi

Now I don’t want to give up all of my mod cons, but I am happy to go back to wartime food. It was cheap, filling and basic, and it was healthy. Sometimes I felt I used too much fat, but there were no hidden fats in war time cooking – any fat we ate was honest , as was the sugar. I knew what was in every morsel. There were no suspect food additives that I couldn’t pronounce – my bread, unlike supermarket bread, or McDonalds bread, contained flour, yeast, oil, orange juice, salt and water, my roast potatoes just potatoes and dripping and my eggs were from my own wheat and bug fed chickens! And although we did eat some nitrates ( the suddenly newest baddest carcinogen) in our bacon, the amount of bacon we ate was small compared to the modern standard diet.

I now want to make even more from scratch. Like making butter from cream, yoghurt and cheese from milk and growing more of our own (pesticide free) vegetables. I spent the morning putting up a new fence for the poultry and extending my vegetable growing area, and in the cool of the afternoon I planted seedlings that I had grown.

The ducks and chooks in their new enclosure, under the coffeebush and mango tree

The ducks and chooks in their new enclosure, under the coffeebush and mango tree. The black hose comes from the washing machine and waters the bananas

 
Back in my 20s, prekids but wanting to make the planet better before having any, I was an Eco- greenie- vegetarian warrior. Somewhere over the last twenty years I’ve become a middle aged-too busy-have money can buy guzzler. That’s about to change! I hope you’ll follow the journey, as well as stay around for more history and wartime bits and pieces.

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Living with Wartime Rations – Day 7

We’ve reached the last day of our war ration experiment! 

I think it has really made us appreciate meat and dairy foods in particular. As we’ve seen, British wartime meat rations were much smaller than the Australian version, about 1/2lb a week compared to 2 1/2lb, and if we had been in the UK I definitely would have kept backyard rabbits and chickens, and been part of a pig club.

  
People in towns had kept backyard pigs for hundreds of years, but in the spirit of wartime ratioing, the government encouraged groups of people to form clubs, to buy, feed and look after pigs. The pigs were fed mostly with scraps from homes, cafés, bakeries, and anything edible that came to hand.  Clubs were also allowed to legally purchase small rations of feed or corn.

Pigs, and dairy goats, are definatley on my ‘one day” list!

After a bowl of rebated brown rice, with 1 teaspoon of sugar and coconut milk ( the girls used the last of our milk in lasts night pudding) I dropped the kids to school and popped into the supermarket for milk and cream. With my new wartime woman focused eyes, I also grabbed enough meat for seven meals, and some yoghurt –

Yhe benefit of supermarkets is the specials!

  
All for under $30!

 
My grandmothers would be proud! As a special treat I cooked my husband the lambs fry for lunch, (baked liver, from 1940, below) as the kids would have to be starving to eat it. I have only cooked it once before, and that put me off, but this recipe says to soak it in water for half an hour first, which does make it much more like normal meat and easier to deal with.

1940s recipes including baked liver

1940s recipes including baked liver

 
  
I let the bacon get a little too crispy, but I was baking bread at the same time. It was surprisingly good, and fantastic for under $2! The cats loved the raw and cooked liver too, so I will be buying more for pet food too.  I hope the kids enjoyed their tomato sandwiches today! 
Baked liver with bacon and apple. served with coleslaw and a slice of national loaf

Baked liver with bacon and apple. served with coleslaw and a slice of national loaf

 
Instead of another mince meal for dinner, I decided on fish, the traditional Friday food, and not rationed.Last time I used frozen white fish fillets they were tough, so it seemed sense to make a stew from them. I found this recipie for fish curry from another Ministry of Food Leaflet (about using leftovers). 
 
wartime ministry of food recipe for fish curry

wartime ministry of food recipe for fish curry

     
Not quite the type of curry we are used to but not bad, although the sultanas were something new in a curry for the kids. Instead of salad I added cabbage to the curry.

 

Wartime Fish curry with sultanas

Wartime Fish curry with sultanas

 
Let’s see how we did. Remember the rations for one week for one adult?

  • · Bacon & Ham 4 oz/113 grams 
  • · Meat to the value of 1 shilling and sixpence (around about 1/2 lb/227gm minced beef, in Australia it was 2 1/4 lb from January 1944 to 1948 and fish, rabbit, poultry and organ meat were not rationed)
  • · Butter 2 oz/ 57 grams (Australians got 1/2 lb from June 1943 to 1950)
  • · Cheese 2 oz/ 57 grams 
  • · Margarine 4 oz/113 grams 
  • · Cooking fat 4 oz/113 grams 
  • · Milk 3 pints/1.7 litres 
  • · Sugar 8 oz/227g (1 lb week in Australia from August 1942)
  • · Preserves/Jam 1 lb every 2 months/ one 230gm jar a month 
  • · Tea 2 oz// 57 grams (1/2 lb per 5 weeks in Australia from July 1942)
  • · Eggs 1 fresh egg per week 
  • · Sweets/Candy 12 oz/340g every 4 weeks 

For five of  us we used – 

  • Bacon – 5 rashers Sunday, 5 rashers Thursday, 2 today, total 12 oz UNDER!
  • Meat – 500gm kangaroo (unrationed),  2kg/4 lb lamb shoulder, 500gm/1 lb mince SLIGHTLY OVER FOR UK, UNDER FOR AUSTRALIA
  • Butter – 250gm/8oz UNDER but only because we ran out, would have used more
  • Cheese – under 1 1/2 cups grated from a block, and a few slices, about  250gm/9 oz UNDER
  • Margarine – we used olive oil, about 2 cups
  • Cooking fat – only dripping that we collected from the roast, and we still have a cup left
  • Milk – grownups about 1 glass a day and kids 2-3 cups each – would have used our full rations SAME
  • Sugar – Started with one 1kg bag and have 280 gm left so used 720gm/ 25 oz so far UNDER the 40oz allowed, although we did use about 100 ml of maple/golden syrup as well.
  • Preserves – used almost 1/3 a jar of Jan
  • Tea – about 10 teaspoons at 1 Gm per spoon UNDER but about 250 Gm coffee
  • Eggs – 6, and always in something not as a meal, and we have chooks laying two eggs a day EQUAL
  • Sweets – two one hundred Gm blocks 70% cocoa chocolate, And the kids had about 100gm starburst, so UNDER

To be honest we did have a bottle of wine and a few beers too, but I think we did pretty well. We certainly ate a lot more salad than usual, even the kids, and we used a lot less meat, butter and cheese than usual. 

I think with keeping our own ducks and chickens we could even keep our dog and cats fed, as they get mainly leftovers and unrationed meat. On the outbreak of war, 750,000 pets were slaughtered in Britain in one week, as a patriotic, and slightly misguided, action encouraged by the government. You can read more here.

Our Muscovy ducks enjoying their favourite food, lettuce

Our Muscovy ducks enjoying their favourite food

 
Thanks for joining us on our ratioing experiment. I hope it’s encouraged you to try some new, or old, foods and recipes, and to think a bit about being prepared. For what the future may bring.  I’ll share some more thoughts about what our experiment has meant, and how it’s changed us a little, soon.

Living on Wartime Rations – Day 6

  This ad is from 1940 –

Rice bubble ad from 1940

Rice bubble ad from 1940

Like any good mother whose daughter doesn’t want to eat her porridge, I succumbed to the advertising and bought rice bubbles.

The breakfast that entertains

 
Happier children you have not seen! They all had big bowlfuls, without sugar, and sang the jingle all through breakfast. We grownups still had our porridge though, and I saved a bowl for Mr Ten to have after school, as it stops him raiding the pantry and fridge (not that there is much to raid at present). The rest I added to my bread mix, which made the usual loaf.The bread was too warm to cut thinly, so we had tickly sliced open sandwiches with cucumber soaked in a little sugar and vinegar.

Cucumber sandwiches and fruit for lunch

 
While the oven was on I decided to make biscuits, with almost the last of the butter. What more fitting for this week than Anzacs?

the Miniistry of Food's recipe for  Anzac Biscuits

the Miniistry of Food’s recipe for Anzac Biscuits

 
This is the strangest Anzac biscuit recipie I have ever made – they really need more syrup, as they are crumbly and didn’t spread out in the oven.

 
I had three red peppers in the fridge that needed using, so I made peppers stuffed with rice and bacon for dinner. We have only used five rashers of our bacon so far, which is a third of our allowance for the week, so I used another five, and one Ionian and some herbs.  I also placed a slice of cheese on top, as we have used less than half our cheese allowance so far. 

Rice stffed red peppers, more popular than Woolton Oie!

 

As dinner was flour free, I thought we’d have “pudding.” The girls decided they would make it, instead of doing the dishes. They decided on a self saucing chocolate pudding, but Miss Ten got a little confused and mixed the sauce in. She also put cocoa and sugar in the cream be use it was past its use by and “tasted funny.” I explained there were no such things as use by dates during g the war, and many people didn’t have fridges – lots of things, including meat, would have tasted funny.

To be honest they used a modern recipe from Taste.com, but it did use almost wartime amounts, such as 1/2 cup sugar. Our butter ration is finished so they used oil, which we have been using instead of our margarine ration.  It was delicious.

Chocolate self saucing pudding

Chocolate self saucing pudding

 
I read today that our local mayor is in trouble as she delayed the (now one instead of the original two) minute silence at the Remembrance Day service while she gave a speech – by 26 minutes! It’s made the national news now..what do you think of her actions? I’m giving a whole week to rememberkng them, so I am a little cross!

Living with Wartime Rations – Day 4, Ministry of Food Guidelines & a cake 

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).

breakfast guidelines from the Ministry of Food

 
 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.

 

    Ministry of War Menu Plan and Method with timing

Ministry of War Menu Plan and Method with timing

 
 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. 

left overs and salad for lunch for two

 
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.  

fromthe Ministry of Food Leaflet on potatoes, this made 6 patties

  
Irish potato cakes make from left over roast potato

Irish potato cakes make from left over roast potato

 

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? 

the eggless, milkless,  butterless cake with lots of sugar

the eggless, milkless, butterless cake with lots of sugar

 
As two cups of sugar was all of our rations, I went with the Ministry of Food recipe. Quite yummy! 

ingredients for a plain wartime cake

ingredients for a plain wartime cake

 
 

Afternoon tea for the kids, homemade wartime cake, milk and fruit

 
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.
Mince  in the hole recipe from the Ministry of food

Mince in the hole recipe from the Ministry of food

 
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.

  
Not bad and quite filling – The kids loved it and we actually ate the whole thing! But no pudding.

 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!

Living on Wartime Rations – Day 2

Being a Sunday I decided to make something different for breakfast.  I found an easy recipe from 1943 – savoury breakfast patties.

recipes from 1943

recipes from 1943

The lemon tart recipe looks interesting too, I might try that one day.

 

ingredients for savoury breakfast patties, mixed batter & grated onion & cheese

  

breakfast patties served with a spoon of yoghurt, spring onions & a side of shredded lettuce

 

The patties were excellent – my husband loved them so much he said he would make them next time, as he saw how easy they were. The recipe served four (one daughter was away), and it used one weeks ration of egg and cheese for one person. Yoghurt was available in the early 40s, and could be delivered in 1/2 pint bottles. Some cookbooks books advised making your own yoghurt from the bought stuff, using part of the powdered milk ration.  As to the lettuce with breakfast, food ministry leaflets remind us that –


For lunch we had beetroot sandwiches. I did think about using grated beetroot but I had a can in the cupboard and used that instead. They were “interesting” according to Ms 14 and “yuck” from Master 10, but we grownups enjoyed them. We drank iced tea, made from yesterday’s leftover tea and the juice of one orange – refreshing and not too sweet.

  
For dinner I bought a shoulder of lamb on special (still $20, but hopefully it will be enough for sandwiches on Monday) and decided to slow roast it, as per the following wartime leaflet advice.

  

I sliced the fat on top in a criss cross pattern, like for Christmas ham, sprinkled on salt, pepper, dried oregano (I’m out of Rosemary, which I love), and a bit of red wine vinegar, covered it in foil and baked at 150 degrees Celsius, fan forced, for four hours. We ended up with just over three cups of dripping, and I used a little of that to roast the potatoes in.

 

Slow cooked shoulder of lamb just  about to be carved

Slow cooked shoulder of lamb just about to be carved

 
It did shrink a bit, as you can see the bones sticking out.  The potatoes were in for about an hour with the lamb getting warm (instead or parboiling) then I took the lamb out at 6pm and turned the oven up to 190 for half and hour and browned the Spuds. We just had some steamed broccoli, carrot and cabbage with it, and horseradish cream rather than sauce or gravy.

 

slow roasted shoulder of lamb and veg, wartime food

Looks boring but tasted fantastic!

 
The verdict? Lamb is our new favourite! Tender, moist and delicious., and super easy. The small shoulder fed six of us, with enough left over for the kids sandwiches for school tomorrow, and a pot of soup.

Passed the evening watching the fabulous ‘1940s House’ documentary/ reality show, which you can find Here.

Living on Wartime Rations – Day 1 & The National Loaf

    Yesterday was Saturday, the first day of our week of living on wartime rations. Given that the children are meant to be having around 7 slices of bread a day, we had toast for breakfast, from day old bread, with a little butter and plum jam that I made last Summer.  The children had one glass of milk each and hubby and I had a coffee with a spoon of cream.

    Day old national loaf, homemade plum jam and almost a weeks worth of butter for five

      

    Toasted national loaf, a smidge of butter and jam and coffee with 1 tbsn cream

     

    bean and grated carrot sandwiches – I love my ‘new’ vintage op shop cloth ($1)!

     
    We ate sandwiches
    with homemade bean paste and grated carrot for lunch with a glass or two of water each, followed by a small locally grown mango each.
    I usually bake a loaf of bread every second day – grain and wholemeal – so the kids are used to it for their school lunches. It won’t be a shock like it was to millions of white bread eating Britons when the mainly wholemeal National Loaf, was introduced. Bakers were banned from making any other type of bread except the national loaf, made with national flour, and many people hated it.  But being high in vitamin B, wholemeal flour was nessessary for people eating smaller amounts of meat and eggs.
     
    why eat wholemeal bread

    from The Australian Women’s Weely, November 1944

     
    Recipe: The National Loaf (makes 2 loaves)

    • 1 ½ lb national flour (wholemeal with 15% white or potato flour)
    • 1 ½ tbsp salt (this is a LOT but it helped to preserve it)
    • 1 ½ tbsp dried yeast
    • 1 dsp honey or treacle
    • 450 ml tepid water With 1/2 vitamin c tablet dissolved

    1) Mix together all the ingredients and knead for about 10 minutes until you have a soft dough. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave until dough has doubled in size (around 2 hours).

    2) Knock back the dough, give a short knead then cut into two equal pieces. Place in 1.5 litre loaf tins, allow to rise for a further 2 hours.

    2) pre-heat oven to 200°c then bake loaves for 30 min. To test the loaves turn them out of their tins and give the base a tap. if it sounds hollow they are ready. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

    (I often use the juice of half an orange in my mix instead of the vitamin C tablet, it helps the bread to rise and means less kneading, and provides the sweetness for the yeast instead of the honey. My mix is usually two cups wholemeal, one cup grains, 1/2 cup rye and 1/2 cup white and just a pich of salt which makes 1 loaf. I find a tablespoon of oils helps the bread keep and makes it softer. Sometimes I leave out the grains and do a different shape, like ciabatta, or rolls, just to mix it up a bit!)

     

    the wholemeal grain loaf, this one didn’t rise very much!

     
    We had an exciting afternoon tea – left over bread with jam, no butter, for the kids, who also had milk in their tea, and just black tea for us grownups. I have just been rewatching the first episode of ‘the 1940s house’ and have been inspired watching the ladies go without so the kids can have more! I am pretty sure my son sneaked a mandarin as well.

     

    the world’s most exciting afternoon tea

     
    Dinner was a stew – kangaroo. We don’t have rabbits here in Queensland, but kangaroos are plentiful, and although it has only recently hit our supermarket shelves, country people have been eating ‘roo’ for decades. My stew recipie is based on the brown stew guidelines below, from my new goto book (which you can find as an ebook on Amazon).

     

    my new go to book, Eating for Victory

     
     

    tips for good wartime stews

     
     I used 500gm kangaroo for the meat and added one clove of garlic and some dried oregano for flavour. The tomatoes were a gift from a neighbour and the veggies were scrubbed instead of peeled for less waste and more vitamins.

     

    Kangaroo stew ingredients, including 1 clove of garlic. Note the flour, I had just kneaded the bread and didn’t want to waste it!

     
      
    Being Saturday I did have one cocktail, but the rest of the night was water. We had a square of dark chocolate each and an after dinner coffee for the grownups.

    Not a bad first day, and I also op shopped, gardened, put up a new fence for the ducks and did laundry. And finally found my elusive tape measure and measured vintage tablecloths for the Etsy store. Yeh me!

    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.

    Image

    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.

    Image

    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.

    Image

    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.

    IMG_7036 IMG_7037

    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.

    Image

    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!

    IMG_7026 IMG_7027

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

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