Wartime Rations – Day Twenty

January 25th. Robert Burns Day.  Even eating wartime rations, there was no way I could let today pass without a nod to Scotland’s famous bard. But haggis?  Was it even available in wartime Scotland?  My grandparents were English and didn’t celebrate Burns Night, so Anne was unable to answer that question for me.

haggisSo I checked out vegetarian haggis recipes online and decided upon this one from The Guardian newspaper.  The recipe included mushrooms (available in the summer), red kidney beans (available on points) and a lemon (very – very – hard to come by and probably only afforded by the rich), so it was a bit of a wartime cheat. It definitely smelled and looked like haggis, but although it tasted great (my husband gave it 8/10) it didn’t taste like any haggis I’ve ever eaten before.


Staying on the Scottish theme, I decided to make some potato scones to go with our mid-morning cup of tea today. I haven’t made these since I was in Miss Lennie’s cookery class back in the day, but straight out the oven with butter melting on them… excellent.  And easy!

My husband’s work colleagues know he’s been eating wartime rations with me, so every morning he goes in to work he has to recount our meal from the previous evening. What they don’t quite believe is how cheap my weekly food shopping has been for the two of us over the past few weeks – around $60Cdn.  ($54.22US, $62.22Australian, 32.85British pounds.)

I’ve worked out next week’s menu and pulled together a shopping list. I’m heading to Safeway tomorrow morning, so will have an itemised bill to show you to prove (hopefully!) that you can eat really well and cheaply.


2 thoughts on “Wartime Rations – Day Twenty

  1. I’m only a little surprised by the shopping bill. My Mum who doesn’t talk about her childhood in the war at all. Did say, “You never saw any overweight people when there was rationing.”
    I’m not sure how true that is, but as its the only thing she ever shared about the war years I’m inclined to believe her.
    I’m very impressed by your commitment to this and that you managed to pull off Burns Night. Well done.

    • My Mum said that too, but I think it depended a lot on your social status and how much food you could access. If you depended solely on rations, then you wouldn’t be putting on weight. But Churchill had quite a belly on him (apparently he wasn’t rationed at all), and if you could afford it, you could eat out at least one meal a day to supplement your rations. But I still believe that in general, it was a much healthier diet than we eat now.

      Still, even though food was rationed, it didn’t mean it was always available, so I’m sure for kids growing up, there were a lot of times when they must have been hungry. Especially after the war when even bread was rationed!

      As for my commitment to it – I’m really enjoying it. It’s become a fun challenge trying to figure out what to make etc., and I’m finding that as I’m learning more, it’s making my admiration for those wartime wives and mothers sky rocket.

      And Burns Night… we have a big Burns Supper every year – usually in March – so after my vegetarian experiment, I won’t be missing out on the real thing! :o)

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