1) Despite food being rationed during WW2, it didn’t mean rations were always available in the shops. If there were no eggs available one week, it didn’t mean that you got 2 the following week. However, for the purposes of this challenge, I’m going to assume that all my rations are available.
2) I’ve figured out our weekly ration allowance and am coming to grips with the point system. From our 16 points (each) for January, I’m going to allow ourselves one tin of peas and one tin of golden syrup.
3) I’m going to assume I have some basics already in my cupboards: 8 oz of lentils and 8 oz of sultanas left over from the previous month’s point allowance, plus some bisto, mayonnaise, dried ginger etc. Also, I’ve been told by a friend’s mother, who was a housewife during the war, that flour (wholemeal) and oatmeal were freely available off ration, so I will be making the most of them!
4) We’ll eat only fruit and vegetables in season in the UK during the war. For January, that means – beetroot, Brussel sprouts, cabbage (yuck!), cauliflower, kale (double yuck!!) leeks, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, red cabbage, turnips, carrots, apples and pears. Hmmm – no sign of onions in there, and I know there were long periods when they weren’t available during the war. As I’m not a gardener who would have Dug for Victory, how will recipes taste using leeks instead of onions? I guess I’m going to find out!
5) Factories, offices and schools provided un-rationed meals for workers and school children. In addition, a system of ‘British Restaurants’ was set up to provide a filling three-course meal to the general population for the modern equivalent of about 1.50GBP or $3. Statistics suggest that people ate out about 4 times a week during the war, which gave housewives a happy respite from struggling to come up with interesting meals on the ration. My husband is participating in this programme (for the first week, at least) so he will be able to eat lunch out on weekdays. If I go out for lunch, I will ensure I eat only wartime food – eg fish and chips – available at the British restaurants.
6) Wartime propaganda might have suggested that everyone was ‘in it together‘, but as is always the case, those people with money continued to eat better than most of the population. (When I ate wartime rations back in May, I referred to it as ‘Eating at The Savoy.) The only restriction in the high-class hotels was that meat could only be served for one course. So… as my husband and I have an office winter party coming up at the end of the month, we’ll be ‘Eating – and drinking – at The Savoy’ that night!
Tomorrow, I’ll provide a list of the references I’ve used for this challenge.
I’m very impressed with your commitment. There’s no way in the world I’m ever going to eat medieval food.
Oh, and I think the leeks will taste great. I’m surprised by the lack of onions, especially since they’re a root vegetable and keep forever.
Thanks, Maggie. It’s only for a month and I did it for a fortnight last May and it was fine. Like you, I’m not sure I could do Medieval Food. Did you see the Tudor Farm Christmas on TV? The peacock pie????? Ewwwww. Regarding the onions, they were imported before the war (as were tomatoes from The Channel Islands) so once they were invaded by the Germans, supplies were cut off. Took a couple of years to produce enough onions for the shops so they were very rare – unless you already grew them yourselves.