Wartime Rations – Day Fifteen

I’m now officially addicted to wartime ‘oatmeal’ soup –  although it should probably be called leek and carrot soup as the oatmeal is only added to thicken it. Anyway, I made a big pot at lunchtime and there was plenty left over for dinner this evening.

MacaroneFor dinner, macaroni and cheese – adding a rasher of bacon and half a fried onion for a bit of flavour – with red cabbage coleslaw on the side. Very tasty.

Then, instead of pudding, and given that I still have 1/2 a jar of golden syrup left, I decided to make a syrup loaf. You’ve got to know that I haven’t made a cake in years, so I wasn’t holding out much hope for it. Especially when I saw the recipe. I was under the impression you needed fat, eggs and sugar along with flour to make a good tasting sweet loaf… but apparently not.

The picture doesn’t do the loaf justice because it tasted really good. And easy! The recipe comes from ‘We’ll Eat Again’ – Marguerite Patten’s recipes from the war years reissued by the Imperial War Museum.


Cooking Time: 30 minutes.  Quantity: 1 loaf.

4 oz self-raising flour, or plain flour with 2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

pinch salt

2 tablespoons warmed golden syrup

1/4 pint milk or milk and water

METHOD: Sift flour or flour and baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Heat the syrup and milk or milk and water, pour over the flour and beat well. Pour into a well greased 1 lb loaf tin and bake in the centre of a moderately hot to hot oven (200C) for 30 minutes until firm.

anne2013Having talked about going to the cinema during the war last week, here are Anne’s memories of going dancing in wartime Glasgow.

Going dancing was the prime evening entertainment and Glasgow had lots of dance halls – the biggest one was the Green’s Playhouse in the city centre; Mary and Connie* used to go to the Plaza on the other side of town, but when it came to my day, I liked the smaller Astoria at Charing Cross even though it didn’t attract the big name bands. I loved dancing. I didn’t go to find a feller – I just wanted to dance, so kept my eyes open till I saw one dancing well, and when it came to a ‘Ladies’ Choice, there I was in front of him – didn’t matter what he looked like. Of course, we were doing real ballroom stuff – foxtrots, quicksteps etc and it was all very sedate. Hands had to stay where they ought to be – if they didn’t the MC (Master of Ceremonies) or one of his minions would have a word with you and if that didn’t work you were encouraged to leave. When the US Army moved in we were introduced to mild jitterbugging, and I enjoyed that too.

*Two of Anne’s sisters

Wartime Rations – Day Fourteen

I’m now at the half-way point and really starting to get into the flow of this. I’ll be honest, the first few days were a bit hard and I felt like I was depriving myself – mind you, it was just after the excesses of Christmas – but now I’m really enjoying it. This was supposed to be a history challenge, not a weight-loss diet, but amazingly, in spite of having three courses which include a pudding every night, I’ve lost 6 pounds in two weeks. I have more energy and I’m sleeping better. I wonder if it’s because all the food I’m eating now is fresh and made from scratch?  The only processed foods I’m currently consuming are bread, flour and sugar.

An interesting experiment in Britain nearly ten years ago, saw a group of schoolchildren being fed wartime rations while their classmates continued to eat 21st century meals. Eight weeks later, the ‘wartime’ children had grown in height, while the 21st century children had grown in width. The modern-day 9-year-old now weighs, on average, 17 lbs more than the 9-year-old of 70 years ago. Sober reading indeed.

baconAnyway, back to my rations.

With it being Sunday morning, I decided to forgo my regular porridge for some bacon and eggs. The bacon was great, but the eggs…  I only had powdered left so I scrambled them.  Not a great success. The only way I found them edible was to put them on toast and add a piece of bacon to every bite. From now on I’ll keep them for baking. But in the reading I’m doing, it sounds like children who grew up eating powdered eggs preferred them over the real thing for a long time after the war ended.

Roll on Week Three!