Tonight was an evening of leftovers, and struggling to not make them look like leftovers! Also, I’m trying to eke out our meat ration – one pound between the two of us for the week – over three meals.
Main course, cottage pie (mince topped with mashed potatoes, heated in the oven, then sprinkled with cheese and browned under the grill) with carrots and beetroot.
For pudding, the remains of the syrup cake I made the other day, with stewed apples and apple juice (liquid left over from stewing the apples) on top. My husband poked it with his spoon a few times, not too sure about the combination, but we both really enjoyed it.
I’m really interested in the war from a child’s point of view, so asked Anne some more questions about her schooldays. What was it like having to take her gas mask to school every day? Did they have air raid drills?
(Taking a gas mask to school was) a nuisance; it was on a string or tape over my shoulder. I never had a back satchel like many of the pupils; I always had to carry an attaché case – and over a mile to walk to get the school bus from Kippen to Balfron. But talking about the school bus: one day the bus didn’t arrive at 4 to take us home, and eventually we all started walking.
The two girls with me were all for getting to the front, but I encouraged them to hang back till we were the last of the crowd by quite a distance – I’d figured out that something would come up behind us to give us a lift! And so it turned out and we were able to wave to all the eager beavers ahead of us.
Air raid drills? Oh yes, quite a lot to begin with, but they gradually tailed off.
With it being the weekend, just food and photos tonight, no wartime memories from Anne or videos.
Starter: Cream of Parsnip soup. One pint of stock, one shredded parsnip, half a shredded leek, a little flour and milk to thicken, then milk to taste instead of ‘cream’. I was going to say there was no cream in wartime, but of course there was. I well remember cream at the top of the milk bottles delivered to our back doorstep in the morning growing up – even though that was a long time after the war ended, I hasten to add. It was always a rush to get to the bottles before the birds pecked open the silver tops.
Main Course: Lancashire Hotpot with boiled shredded cabbage. I boiled red and green cabbage together which resulted in the lilac appearance. Looked a bit odd, but taste fine. Especially with a splodge of butter.
Pudding: Ah, pudding. Our evening meal isn’t complete without dessert these days. I haven’t had a syrup pudding in for-e-ver – my mum used to make them all the time and they were wonderful – but having bought a jar of golden syrup at the beginning of the week with my ‘points’, tonight seemed the perfect time to give it a go. It involved making a simple cake mixture – flour, butter and sugar – which I mixed with a REAL egg rather than my powdered ration. You then steam the pudding in a bowl for an hour (I only used 1/2 the recipe so it was less time). My mum used to have this great metal bowl with a lid on it that locked everything in. Today I struggled to seal the bowl with some greaseproof paper and string. And I mean struggle. I finally gave up – this being the 21st century there had to be a better method – and used an oversized rubber band. (I can see you smiling already and giving me ‘that’ look, yes, that’s it, the same one my husband gave me about an hour ago when I told him what I’d done.)
Okay, okay, the band broke in the boiling water, breaking the seal and letting some water in. As a result, the pudding was a bit ‘heavy’… but, boy, it tasted good!
I wonder where you can buy those pudding bowls with lids these days…