Marmite Biscuits

You can substitute Vegemite for Marmite if your a veggie and its a lot cheaper in the UK than Marmite! This recipe is from 1942.

I lb. wholewheat flour
1 dessertspoon Marmite
4ozs cooking fat
Little cold water

Put flour into cold basin. Rub in fat until it looks like fine breadcrumbs. Add water a little at a time to the dry ingredients to make a firm dough. When well mixed, turn on to a floured board. Roll out thin. Now spread over thinly with Marmite, fold over and roll out again.

Spread with more Marmite, fold over and roll out.
Cut into rounds or fingers, bake in moderate oven until crisp and brown.


Hungarian Potatoes

Potatoes were the mainstay of the British diet during the war. This is a dish best made with leftovers so nothing is wasted.

1lb cold cooked potatoes
3ozs grated cheese (or 2 hard-boiled eggs)
Cold cooked cauliflower
Bread crumbs
1 dessertspoon chopped parsley
1 gill sour milk
Celery salt

Slice potatoes. Place in well-buttered dish, cover with sour milk. Add a layer of grated cheese or sliced hard- boiled egg, and a little more milk, then add a layer of cauliflower. Continue in this way until the dish is full, at intervals sprinkling in the celery salt and parsley. The top layer should be potatoes sprinkled with breadcrumbs. Bake in moderate oven until brown.


Vegetable and Oatmeal Stew

On this day in 1942 US President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law a bill that lowered the minimum draft age from 21 to 18.

1oz cooking fat
1 small cup each of diced carrots, peas, leeks, runner beans*
2ozs rolled oats
1 pint strong vegetable stock

*Frozen vegetables are suitable although not available in wartime.


Melt fat in a deep saucepan, add oats and fry until golden brown, add stock and boil gently. Add vegetables, cover closely and cook gently in oven for 1½- 2 hours, adding more stock if necessary and a little seasoning if liked.


1942 Wartime Christmas Pudding

This recipe comes from a 1942 cookery book. The pudding is bulked out by the use of grated carrot, which should keep it moist.

1lb. wholewheat flour
4os sultanas
1lb brown breadcrumbs
Little nutmeg
4ozs butter
1 teaspoon lemon substitute*
½lb sugar
3 made-up eggs
I teaspoon spice
4ozs grated raw carrots
6ozs currants or chopped dates
3ozs mixed peel or stoned and chopped prunes

* Lemon substitute? Citrus fruit was in very short supply during the war and immediately after. What was imported was distributed to hospitals etc. White vinegar was used where small amounts are called for in a recipe or you could use a small amount of citric acid dissolved in some water.

Grate butter into flour, clean currants and pick over all fruit. Chop peel, put all dry ingredients and carrots into mixing bowl. Mix well, add well-beaten eggs and enough milk to moisten the whole. Put into well-greased basins, and cover with a cheesecloth tied around the rim.

Steam for eight or nine hours.


Uncooked Chocolate Cake

Uncooked Chocolate Cake (not as bad as it sounds)

Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Cake

2 oz margarine
2 oz sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup
2 oz cocoa powder
vanilla essence
6 oz crisp breadcrumbs
(To make the breadcrumbs, bake some stale pieces of
bread in the oven until crispy. Let the bread cool, and then
place it between two pieces of greaseproof paper, or a plastic bag, and
crush with a rolling pin.)
Put the margarine, sugar and golden syrup into a saucepan.
Heat gently until the margarine has melted, then remove
from heat. Stir in the cocoa powder, a few drops of vanilla
essence and the crisp breadcrumbs and mix well. Grease
a seven inch cake tin with margarine paper, then pour in
the mixture. Allow to stand for 4—5 hours, then turn out
carefully, nowadays is best done by leaving in a refrigerator for several hours.
For the icing, mix together 2 teaspoons of melted
margarine, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon
golden syrup and a few drops of vanilla essence or leave out the cocoa and use “hundreds and thousands”.


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.”