By the end of 1917 and into the early months of 1918, food shortages were becoming a major problem. What food that was available was more expensive. The Government introduced Food Controllers into communites to try and make fair the distribution of what food was available. This included having to register with a local grocer to ensure a supply of staple items like butter and sugar. Everyone was urged to grow more of their own food and to tighten their belts. The Shipley Times & Express published weekly hints and tips for its readers including regular recipes for wholesome but inexpensive dishes. Some of them are reproduced here.
Home Page Home Page Home Page
Recipes to help cope with food shortages
More on the Home Front More on the Home Front More on the Home Front
POTATO BUTTER According to the Ministry of Food, an excellent ‘potato butter,’ costing only about 5d per pound (or less if margarine is used), can easily be made in any household in accordance with the following recipe: Peel the potatoes and boil until they fall to pieces and become floury. Rub through a fine sieve into a large basin which has been previously warmed. To every 14 ounces of mashed potato added two ounces of butter or margarine and one teaspoonful of salt. Stir thoroughly with the back of a wood spoon until the whole is quite smooth. If the potato butter is to be kept for more than a few days, butter preservative of which there are several forms on the market, should be used. Potato butter will keep for a considerable time. It should be wrapped in grease-proof paper to prevent the surface becoming dry. 18-1-1918
HOME-MADE BAKING POWDER Baking powder can be made as follows: Mix well together one cupful of ground rice, seven tablespoonsful of bicarbonate of soda, five tablespoonsful each of tartaric acid and cream of tartar. Roll the mixture on a smooth slab with a rolling-pin and then pass four or five times through a fine hair sieve. It must be stored in an airtight tine in a dry cupboard. 18-1-1918
By A Anderson, Baildon As Shrovetide nears, the children begin to talk of pancakes and one hears again the favourite boast of how many they can eat. Should a fresh fall of snow happen around Shrovetide, very light and delicious pancakes may be made at little cost by beating in a couple of handfuls of the newly fallen snow to the flour and milk and pinch of salt. They can then be tossed up as lightly as if three or four eggs had been used. The snow should be incorporated just before frying; the flour, milk and salt being beaten two hours previously to get the best results. Should any mother with a big family able to get only one egg and, say, a gill of milk she can, by doubling the amount of flour and utilising snow, make sufficient batter to make pancakes for a big family.
In these days of shortage of fat, it is as well to know something about frying. For pancakes, less fat is used if the pan be made hot, then a little lard, dripping or nut oil is heated using barely sufficient to cover the pan bottom, and this being quite hot before the batter is poured into it. The thickness of the pancake is a matter of taste and of economy, for less fat is used if they are made thicker but everyone likes them crisp; and hot fat and quick serving is the secret of crispness. Pancakes are economical nowadays because the children enjoy them and do not require meat of fish on Shrove Tuesday. A vegetable soup and pancakes, well made, make a very satisfying and healthy meal for the family. An egg should be used if possible. It enhances the nutritive properties and orange or lemon juice should be served over pancakes. 1-2-1918
STEWED PIGEONS AND CABBAGE After drawing the pigeons halve them lengthwise and remove the back and breastbone. Season the inside and fold the skin underneath. For four or six birds shred a white-heart cabbage across finely, removing the core. Cover with boiling, salted water, boil for five minutes then drain well and season with salt and pepper. In a casserole or saucepan in good condition, melt two ounces of butter or margarine put in half the cabbage, arrange the pigeons compactly on top, sprinkle with seasoning and cover with cabbage. Cover closely and cook very gently for almost two hours. Brown a heaped tablespoonful of flour in a little butter, dilute to a fairly thick sauce with stock made from the bones, liver &c of the birds and serve separately. When the birds are not very old, the outer side of each folded half should be quickly browned in a little hot fat before placing them between the layers of cabbage. Plovers may replace pigeons, enclosing in each half, a little sausage meat or herb forcemeat. Or the cooked and chopped giblets of a larger bird may be mixed with suet and breadcrumbs and used as stuffing. 1-2-1918
RICE SNOWBALLS Pare and core six or eight apples and push into the holes from which the cores have been scooped out some sugar and two or three cloves. Boil about three-quarters of a pound of rice with some sugar and the flavouring of a lemon rind until quite tender. Roll this round the apples and tie up each one separately in a cloth. Boil for about an hour and serve with custard. 1-2-1918
A MEATLESS DISH A useful meatless dish can be made of cooked haricot beans, an onion, an ounce each of dripping and fine oatmeal, a pint of stock, some sliced carrots, turnip, parsnip, swede and potatoes. Melt the dripping, add the meal, then the stock. Place the vegetables and gravy in a jar, putting the potato on top. Cook in the oven one and a half to two hours and brown the potatoes. 18-1-1918
THE VALUE OF CHEWING A plate of oatmeal porridge contains a certain amount of food elements very useful to the growing child. If that plate of porridge is bolted, something under ten per cent of those food elements is digested and the rest is wasted. If each mouthful of that porridge is chewed slowly for from 15 to 20 seconds, some 80 per cent of the contained food elements is digested and made use of. In the same way, if a mouthful of bread is bolted after, say, three seconds’ chewing, about 90 per cent of its nutriment is wasted. If chewed carefully for 20 seconds, only ten per cent is lost. The same figures, with slight variations, apply to meats, vegetables and foods in general. In other words half or even a quarter of the amount one has been trained from infancy to bolt would, if eaten slowly and well chewed, stave off hunger and supply the body’s needs better than the larger amounts swallowed hastily. 22-2-1918
The following recipe is taken from the leaflets issued by the Cookery Department of the Ministry of Food, Grosvenor House, London, W1. Required: One rabbit, two ounces of dripping or margarine, one and a half ounces of flour, one onion, carrot, bunch of herbs, one pint of water, quarter of a pint of milk, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Soak and well wash the rabbit in warm, salted water. Cut into neat joints. Stew these gently in about one pint of water until the meat can be easily cut away from the bones. (Reserve the bones for making stock). Now put the meat back in the liquid and stew gently until tender; skim while cooking. Melt the fat in a pan, stir in the flour,
add the liquid in which the rabbit has been cooked and the milk to make one pint and cook slowly for five minutes. Season with salt, pepper and lemon- juice, strain over the rabbit, simmer slowly for half an hour. Arrange the rabbit on a hot dish. Strain the sauce over it and serve. Note – the sauce for a fricassee can be made richer by the addition of a yolk of an egg stirred into it a few minutes before serving. Care must be taken not to let the sauce boil after the egg has been added or it will curdle. The white of the egg should be used in soup or broth or else poached in a cup. Chicken can be fricasseed the same way. 25-2-1918
In spite of all our carefulness with the bread rations, there are always some bits of bread or crusts and crumbs left over. The usual way of using up stale bread has made most people hat the name of a bread pudding. In the old days, when there was plenty of cheap bread, often more money was spent turning these crusts into some form of appetising pudding than the bread was worth. Nowadays we cannot afford – if we can get – butter, eggs and dried fruit to make stale bread palatable. One of the articles of food which has not gone up
to an exorbitant price yet is cocoa and with the help of this a delicious pudding, which may be eaten either hot or cold, can be concocted out of stale bits of bread. Two tablespoonsful of cocoa are boiled in a pint of milk, or milk and water, and poured over the bits of bread, broken up in a bowl. Mash well A plate is put over the top and the soaking bread is allowed to stand for an hour. Then mash well with a fork till it is thick and creamy without lumps and add the following ingredients: two ounces – one ounce will do if fat
is short – of butter, margarine, suet or any other kind of fat except lard, two tablespoonsful of castor sugar, two ounces of any kind of dry fruit (if it can be obtained), and a squeeze of lemon or orange. Stir all well together and steam in a greased mould for one and a half to two hours. Served with little milk pudding or custard sauce it makes a delicious and nourishing pudding. The food value of such a pudding as this, as well as the flavour, is improved by th addition of an egg, dried or fresh. 1918-3-22