Sunday, August 15, 2010

Rationing - the Real Pauper's Kitchen

Woolton Pie
There have been many moments in history where people have simply had to make do. I watched a documentary about rationing during the second world war and some of the dishes the women managed to make out of practically nothing was awe inspiring.

The British Ministry of Food issued this advertisement

‘Because of the pail, the scraps were saved,
Because of the scraps, the pigs were saved,
Because of the pigs, the rations were saved,
Because of the rations, the ships were saved,
Because of the ships, the island was saved,
Because of the island, the Empire was saved,
And all because of the housewife's pail'

A typical week’s rations in 1943 Britain were

3 pints of milk
3 1/4lb meat
1 egg of 1 packet of dried eggs every 2 months
3-4 oz of cheese
4 oz bacon and ham
2 oz of tea
8 oz sugar
2 oz butter
2 oz cooking fat
+ 16 points a month of other rationed foods (usually tinned).

Luckily these weekly rations were stretched with the help of un-rationed extras like bread (bizarrely not rationed until after the war), cereal, potatoes, offal and fruit and vegetables.

I gave one of the most popular recipes of the time a go Woolton Pie and I was quite surprised at how tasty it actually was. This recipe was created by the Chef of the Savoy hotel and named after Lord Woolton, head of the Ministry Of Food.

Woolton Pie


450g diced potatoes
450g cauliflower
450g diced carrots
450g diced swede
3 spring onions
1 tsp vegetable extract
1 tblsp oatmeal
A little chopped parsley


1. Cook everything together with just enough water to cover, stirring often to prevent it sticking to the pan.
2. Let the mixture cool.
3. Spoon into a pie dish, sprinkle with chopped parsley.
4. Cover with a crust of potatoes or wholemeal pastry.
5. Bake in a moderate oven until golden brown.
6. Serve hot with gravy.

Serves : 4
Preparation : 10 mins
Cooking time : 30 mins

1 comment:

Di Overton said...

Ah those were the days. Will you make me a Woolton Pie in October please?


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