Rabbit Stew

During World War II with rationing in effect, prime meat products such as beef weren’t always readily available whereas rabbit was off-ration and was *ahem* fair game for cooks. In light of the times, one advertisement in Gourmet magazine quipped: “Although it isn’t our usual habit / This year we’re eating the Easter Rabbit.”

Rabbit Stew
Rabbit Stew

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole rabbit, cut into joints. Frozen rabbit is nowadays available in most supermarkets.
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1oz flour
  • salt & pepper
  • 1-2oz dripping
  • 2 bacon rashers, de-rinded & chopped (if available)
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced
  • 1 pint (600ml) water or stock
  • 1 cooking apple
  • fresh herbs (as available)

Method:

Put the rabbit to soak in cold water with the vinegar for 30 minutes
Remove and dry well. Omit this section if using prepared rabbit.
Mix the flour with the salt and pepper and coat the rabbit joints
Heat the dripping and add the bacon rinds. Then add the rabbit joints and cook steadily for about 10 minutes or until golden brown in colour and remove from the pan.
Add the bacon, onions and carrots and cook for 5 minutes then return the rabbit to the pan. Add the water or stock and the grated apple and stir as the liquid comes to the  boil and thickens slightly. Add the herbs and bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Quickly put dish into a very slow oven for 4-5 hours.
Serve with seasonal vegetables.

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Parsnip Pudding

Wartime Cookery
Wartime Cookery

Mash 2 medium-sized cooked cold parsnips with a tablespoon of cocoa. Add a pinch of bicarbonate of soda. Warm ½ pint of milk and sweeten with sugar or a sweetener. Add the milk to the parsnip mixture and mix together. Bake for 30 minutes at 190C, 375F, gas mark 5. Serves 4.”

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Macaroni and Bacon Dish

Ingredients: ½ oz of dripping or fat
2 oz leek or onion, peeled and chopped
2 oz bacon, chopped
1 pint vegetable stock, made by dissolving a vegetable stock cube in boiling water
6 oz macaroni
Salt and pepper

Method: Melt the dripping in a pan and fry the leek and bacon until lightly browned. Add the stock, bring to the boil, and add the macaroni and seasoning. Cook for 20 minutes or until the macaroni is tender and the water is absorbed. Garnish with watercress. Serves 4.

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Quick Vegetable Soup

Grow and Can your own
Grow and Can your own

Ingredients:
½ oz dripping
12 oz mixed vegetables, diced
1½ pints water or stock
Salt and pepper
Chopped parsley

Method: Melt the dripping in a saucepan, add the vegetables and cook gently in the fat for at least 5 minutes. Add the liquid and simmer slowly for 25 minutes. Season the soup, then rub through a sieve to make a purée. Reheat and serve sprinkled with chopped parsley. Serves 4.

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Carrot Fudge

Ingredients:
Carrots
Gelatine
Orange essence

Method:
Finely grate carrots and cook four tablespoons full in just enough water to cover for 10 minutes.
Add flavouring with orange essence, grated orange rind or orange squash/cordial.
Melt a leaf of gelatine and add to mixture.
Cook quickly for a few minutes stirring all the time.
Spoon into a flat dish.
Leave to set and then cut into cubes.

No Ices
No Ices
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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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