Carrot Biscuits

Carrots - Help you see in the blackout
Carrots - Help you see in the blackout

At one point during the war there was a glut of carrots, and the Government let it be known that carotene, which is believed to help night vision, was largely responsible for the RAF’s increasing success in shooting down enemy bombers.
 
This is a food war. Every extra row of vegetables in allotments saves shipping… the battle on the kitchen front cannot be won without help from the kitchen garden. (Lord Woolton, Minister of Food, 1941)

People eagerly tucked in to carrots, believing this would help them to see more clearly in the blackout. This ruse not only reduced the surplus vegetables but also helped to mask the chief reason for the RAF’s success – the increasing power of radar and the secret introduction of an airborne version of the system.

Carrot Biscuits

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon margarine
2 tablespoons sugar + a little extra
A few drops vanilla flavouring
4 tablespoons grated raw carrot
6 tablespoons Self Raising flour (or plain flour + a half teaspoon of baking powder).

 Method: Cream the fat and sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat in the flavouring and carrot.
Fold in the flour.
Form mixture into about 12 or 15 small balls.
Place each ball on a baking tray and flatten.
Sprinkle with sugar and bake in a brisk oven for 20 minutes.


Carrot Lollipops
Carrot Lollipops
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Rose Hip Syrup

Rose Hips contain Vitamins E, A and D, and antioxidant flavonoids. Lets not forget the vitamin C content. It is very high indeed..in fact it is one of the richest plant sources of vitamin C. During the Second Wold War Rose Hips were collected by school children organised by the local Women’s Institute. The fact that the recipe calls for the boiling of the Rose hip liquid seems to overlook the fact that the Vitamin C content would have been destroyed by the high temperatures. Perhaps that was not well understood at the time. Never mind, it tasted jolly good!

Collecting Rose Hips
Collecting Rose Hips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rosehip Syrup was sold commercially in the UK after the war by a company called Delrosa. English children were paid 3d per lb for rosehips harvested in the autumn to be made into rosehip syrup by the company Delrosa in Wallsend (near Newcastle). For many years after the war, Delrosa brand Rose Hip Syrup was supplied along with Delrosa Orange for babies, through baby clinics throughout the UK. The product appears to have been discontinued here but is still available in America.  This website has a stock and will ship to the UK.

Rose Hip
Rose Hip


The directions given by the Ministry of Food during the war for 2 pounds (900gm) of hips.

Boil 3 pints (1.7 litres) of boiling water.
Mince hips in a course mincer (food processor) and put immediately into the boiling water.
Bring to boil and then place aside for 15 minutes.
Pour into a flannel or linen crash jelly bag and allow to drip until the bulk of the liquid has come through.
Return the residue to the saucepan, add 11/2 pints (852ml) of boiling water, stir and allow to stand for 10 minutes.
Pour back into the jelly bag and allow to drip.
To make sure all the sharp hairs are removed put back the first half cupful of liquid and allow to drip through again.

Put the mixed juice into a clean saucepan and boil down until the juice measures about 11/2 pints (852ml), then add 11/4 (560gm) of sugar and boil for a further 5 minutes.
Pour into hot sterile bottles and seal at once.

Hints: If corks are used these should have been boiled for hour just previously and after insertion coated with melted paraffin wax.

It is advisable to use small bottles as the syrup will not keep for more than a week or two once the bottle is opened.

Store in a dark cupboard.

Source: The Hedgerow Harvest, MoF, 1943.

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Woolton Pie

Lord Woolton
Lord Woolton

Woolton pie, at first known as Lord Woolton pie, was an variable dish of vegetables, created at the Savoy Hotel in London by its then Maitre Chef de Cuisine, Francis Latry. It was one of a number of recipes commended to the British public by the Ministry of Food during the Second World War to enable a nutritional diet to be maintained despite shortages and rationing of many types of food, especially meat.

It was named after Frederick Marquis, 1st Lord Woolton (1883–1964), who became Minister of Food in 1940.

Woolton Pie !
Woolton Pie !

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.

By all accounts it was not well recieved and was quickly forgotten after the end of the war.

Time for a revival?

Woolton Pie
Woolton Pie

Ingredients:
1lb diced potatoes
1lb cauliflower
1lb diced carrots
1lb diced swede
3 spring onions
1 teaspoon vegetable extract
1 tablespoon oatmeal
A little chopped parsleyCook

Method: Cook everything together with just enough water to cover, stirring often to prevent it sticking to the pan. Let the mixture cool. Spoon into a pie dish, sprinkle with chopped parsley.
Cover with a crust of potatoes or wholemeal pastry. Bake in a moderate oven until golden brown. Serve hot with gravy.

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Corned Beef and Oatmeal Pudding

This recipe was taken from “Food Facts from the Kitchen Front” a book of Wartime Recipes first published in 1941. The book had a foreword by Lord Woolton, the Minister of Food.
A reproduction of this book is available from Amazon.
 
Foof Facts from the Kitchen Front
Foof Facts from the Kitchen Front
 
 1 lb chopped corned beef
4 oz fine oatmeal
2 oz wheatmeal breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon powdered sage
1 oz dripping
2 tablespoons grated raw carrot
1/2 pint stock or vegetable water
pepper and salt
 
 Toast oatmeal lightly in the dripping, add the other ingredients, mix all together with the stock.
Turn into a greased basin, and boil or steam for 1 1/2 hours.
Serve with green vegetables.
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Planked SPAM ®

SPAM 1945
Planked SPAM - 1945

Right on the beam … Planked Spam

Score a whole Spam and rub with brown sugar. Surround it on the plank with tomato slices, capped with large mushrooms doused in butter. Bake 25 minutes in  hot oven, then ring with mashed potato and slip back into the oven for quick browning. Bring to the table, plank and all… and be greeted with cheers.

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SPAM ®

Introduced on July 5, 1937, the name “Spam” was chosen when the product, whose original name was far less memorable (Hormel Spiced Ham), began to lose market share. The name was chosen from multiple entries in a naming contest. A Hormel official once stated that the original meaning of the name Spam was “Shoulder of Pork and Ham”. According to writer Marguerite Patten in Spam –The Cookbook, the name was suggested by Kenneth Daigneau, an actor and the brother of a Hormel vice president, who was given a $100 prize for coming up with the name. At one time, the official explanation may have been that the name was a syllabic abbreviation of “Spiced Ham”. Many jocular acronyms have been devised, such as “Something Posing As Meat”, “Stuff, Pork and Ham” and “Spare Parts Animal Meat.”

SPAM
SPAM

Spam was imported into the United Kingdom during the war and remained a mainstay of the British diet for some time.  I can remember my mother serving “Spam Fritters” for dinner. for sometime I was led to believe that the name stood for Specially Processed American Meat, but perhaps not! 😕

A Spam advertisement on back cover of Time magazine on May 14, 1945. As of 2003, Spam is sold in 41 countries worldwide. The largest consumers of Spam are the United States, the United Kingdom and South Korea.

SPAM 1945
SPAM 1945
 

Spam again
Spam again
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Snoek (Snook)

Snoek
Snoek

During World War II when everything was scarce, food rationing was rife and cheap sources of protein were few and far between, somebody had the bright idea to catch cheap fish in South Africa, can it and ship it to England. Suffice to say it did not go down too well over here. The Web is full of war years recollections penned by people who remember this weird fish with the hugely amusing name arriving and being inedible. A large proportion of the tins that were imported remained firmly on shop shelves (despite optimistic suggestions from the Ministry of Food – like Snoek Piquante which seems to have become a kind of shorthand for everything unpalatable about food rationing!).

A tin of Snoek cost 1s 4d and towards the end of the war the unsold tins were relabelled as “Selected cuts of fish for cats and kittens” and sold for 10p!

Edited May 2015

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