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We would like to share a few wartime recipes with you which you may like to try out.  All of the recipes are from original 1940s books and I include the names of some books as reference.

The National Loaf

(Food Facts for the Kitchen Front)
The National Loaf was a firm staple in WW2. It used all of the wheat and was a dirty grey colour with a gritty texture, the shop bought National Loaf had added vitamins and minerals. This recipe is the home made version, called the Emergency Loaf, without the added vitamins.

Makes one 2 lb. loaf

1 lb. wholemeal bread flour
1 dessertspoon salt
2 teaspoons dried yeast
1 teaspoon honey or treacle
½ pint tepid water

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 damp tea towel, and leave until dough has doubled in size (around 1 hour).
Knock back the dough, give a short knead then place in an oiled loaf tin, allow to rise for a further 20-30 minutes.
Pre-heat oven to 200°C (400° F) then bake loaf for 40-50 mins. To test the loaf, turn it out of the tin and give the base a tap; if it sounds hollow, it is ready.
Allow to cool on a wire rack

Boiled Beef and Carrots

(Good Fare)
Small piece of fresh or salted beef (silverside in latter ase is preferred. 1 or 2 small onions. Parsley, thyme, bay leaf. Pepper, salt. Carrots

Carrots can be the chief vegetable of the meal.  Put meat in saucepan with tepid water to cover, bring to the boil, then add carrots and onions, sliced, also herbs and seasoning.

This homely dish can be made most attractive if garnished with halved gherkins and small mounds of well-drained cabbage molded in egg-cups or with unbroken Brussel sprouts.


(Food Facts for the Kitchen Front)
½ pig’s head or sheep’s head
Bouquet of herbs
½ lb shin of beef
3 cloves
2-3 peppercorns

Get the butcher to clean the head for you.  Soak it overnight. Steam the beef, herbs, peppercorns and cloves, cover then boil until the meat completely falls off the bones.  Remove the lid and boil until the liquid is reduced. Remove the bones. Mash up the meat and fat, adding a little stock to moisten. 
Press into moulds and leave to set.  Skim off the fat from the remaining liquid.  The liquid is good for soup.

Lord Woolton Pie

(Food Facts for the Kitchen Front)
1 lb. of diced root vegetables (whatever is in season such as potatoes, swede, carrots and cauliflower)
3 or 4 spring onions
1 teaspoon vegetable extract
1 tablespoon oatmeal

Cook together for 10 minutes with just enough water to cover.  Stir occasionally to stop from sticking.

(Food Facts for the Kitchen Front)
8 oz. sieved cooked potatoes
4 oz. flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 oz. cooking fat

Allow to cook and put into a pie dish, sprinkle with a little parsley and cover with potato pastry.

Potato Pastry

(Food Facts for the Kitchen Front)
Sieve the flour with the salt. Rub the fat into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the potato and mix to a dry dough (add a little water if necessary). Roll out and use for either sweet or savoury dishes.

Potato Floddies

(Food Facts for the Kitchen Front)
2 large Potato
Frying Fat

Scrub the potatoes then grate them into a bowl. Add sufficient flour to form a batter (no need to add liquid).  Heat a frying pan, add the frying fat and make it very hot. Drop the mixture into the pan and fry until brown then turn over and cook the other side.  Herbs or a dash of cayenne pepper can be added to give more flavour or can be served plain with jam for a sweet dish.

Eggless Mayonnaise

(Cooking in Wartime)
¾ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon mustard
1 small baked potato                     
1 teaspoon icing sugar
1 teaspoon salt                              
2 tablespoons vinegar

Peel and mash the potato.  Stir in mustard, icing sugar and salt.  Add half the vinegar.  Rub the mixture through a fine sieve.  Slowly stir in the olive oil and the remainder of the vinegar.  Use as required.

Mock Salad Dressing

(Cooking in Wartime)
¼ pint sour milk                           
1 teaspoon cornflour
½ teaspoon mustard                     
2 dessertspoons vinegar
½ teaspoon sugar                         
Salt and pepper

Mix the cornflour to a smooth paste with cold water.  Stir in milk. Bring to boil, stirring constantly.  Remove pan from stove. Leave till cool then stir in mustard mixed to a smooth paste with the vinegar and salt, sugar and pepper to taste.

Emergency Salad Cream

(Cooking in Wartime)
1 small tin condensed milk           
2 tablespoons salad oil
1 cup vinegar                                 
Pepper, salt and mustard

Turn milk into a basin.  Mix in vinegar and oil alternatively till all are used up.  Season to taste with pepper, salt and French or English mustard diluted with water. Good substitute for mayonnaise. 

Vinegar Cake

(War-time Recipes)
¾ lb. flour; ¼ lb. ground rice; 6oz. margarine or dripping; 6oz. sugar; ½ lb. sultanas or currants; 1 breakfastcup milk; 3 tablespoonfuls of vinegar in milk; spice and salt, 1 teaspoonful of bicarbonate of soda in milk when the cake is ready for mixing. Mix and bake in the usual way.

PLEASE NOTE, this is the original recipe, but I would advise increasing the milk to 3/4 of a pint and use full fat milk, otherwise it makes a rather dry, crumbly cake.

Wartime Mincemeat

Perfect for mince pies, so simple and very morish.

Mix together grated carrot, eating apples cut into small chunks, sultanas or mixed dried fruit, spices to taste (cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice) and put into a jar with lid.  Keep for about a week before using.

Eggless, Fatless, Walnut Cake

(Cooking in Wartime)
4 cups flour
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 good cup milk
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 good pinch of salt

Mix flour, sugar and chopped walnuts together. Add salt and baking powder, then the milk. It should be slightly wetter than an ordinary cake mixture. Leave to rise for 10 minutes. Bake in a greased cake tin in a slow oven till risen and brown.

Bread Pudding

This recipe came from my Grandmother who used it throughout the war.  Bread Pudding was a great filler and is absolutely delicious.  You will find very many similar recipes for it as every housewife put her own twist on it.

16oz Bread (preferably stale)
4oz Suet
12oz Sultanas
2oz Brown Sugar
Mixed Spice
2tbsp Golden Syrup
2 Eggs

Soak the bread in a little water until soft
Squeeze out as much of the water as possible (very important)
Mix all other ingredients with the bread thoroughly
Place in shallowish tray
Sprinkle with sugar
Cook in moderate oven for 1 ½ – 2 hours
Eat and enjoy.