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Wartime recipes, substitutions and other related austerity hints

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Old Style MoneySaving
422 replies 61K views
PrimrosePrimrose Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Old Style MoneySaving
As a lot of users have valuable experience in this area I thought it might be a good idea and fun to create a specialist thread on this topic so we can be more creative if certain foods are unavailable or we just want to challenge ourselves to to be a little more creative.

Don,t let's restrict ourselves to recipes and foods. Am sure other domestic areas are ripe for examination.


So, starting with mock marizipan as ground almonds were unavailable in wartime:

Completely blitz cooked butter or haricot beans until they're a smooth paste. Add a generous drizzle of Almond essence, then spread quickly over your cake before it dries out. A small drop of olive oil or vegetable oil will loosen its consistency. It will probably dry very hard on the cake but should make a good base for any icing.
«13456743

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  • VfM4meplseVfM4meplse PPR
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    Come hither JackieO, and regale us with your wisdom :A
    Value-for-money-for-me-puhleeze!

    "No man is worth, crawling on the earth"- adapted from Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio

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  • PasturesNewPasturesNew Forumite
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    ... all those foods that allegedly "won't be available".... I never bought/ate them to start with.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User]
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    I suspect most of the wartime recipes would taste bland to the modern palate while in wartime with rationing everything that you could get hold of would have been used in some way or other to supplement your weekly food allowance.

    A friend in her mid 90s told me once that they had beans on toast often in the war years and I assumed that it was tinned baked beans in tomato sauce as part of lease lend from America until one day she told me that her mum grew runner beans in the garden and there were times when that was literally all they had to eat other than bread and that's what her beans on toast were, just plain boiled runners on slices of toast but as she said 'I wasn't going to complain or refuse to eat them because if I did I'd go hungry. Pickiness was just not an option so I ate up and shut up but I've never touched a runner bean since the war ended, I can't abide them'.
  • Robin9Robin9 Forumite
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    One of my father's favourites - Horse and rabbit pie - equal portions - take one horse and one rabbit ..............
    Never pay on an estimated bill
  • monnagranmonnagran Forumite
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    As I was born before the war I remember the way things were stretched all too well. The worst thing for me was my mother's 'extender,' a horrible concoction of melted margarine, cornflour and milk, A bit like a thick white sauce, which was left to set and spread on our bread instead of butter. I preferred my bread au naturel rather than eat that stuff.

    It's difficult for me to give examples of wartime living, because to me it was just the way things were.

    The best thing y ou can do is to lay your hand on one of the reprints of old recipe books....Like Marguerite Patten's books.
    They have all the information you could possibly need for cooking with the substitutions you can use for unobtainable items like sugar, butter, eggs, meat, etc.
    Pastry made with mashed potato was particularly successful I seem to remember.

    It's also a good idea to have something that will slow cook food that has been heated on the stove. We had an old wooden orange box filled with straw or hay that would continue cooking soup, a stew or milk pudding if we had to abandon it because of an air raid or if the gas pipe had been hit by a bomb. I think today there are commercial, modern versions of hay boxes.

    I am a bit tired and probably not making much sense. I will keep an eye on this thread and chip in with bits if I think they will be useful.

    JackieO will be along, I'm sure and will give you masses of useful information.
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  • ampersandampersand Forumite
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    I'm a kiwi, over 70, with an academic/broadcasting hinterland.
    Much prized in NZ still are copies of the Aunt Daisy cookbook, containing so much of what you refer to, Primrose.
    'Aunt Daisy', Mrs Barbara Basham, broadcast on national radio daily, starting with a bouncing 'Good MOR-ning, GOOD MOR-ning everybody....'
    The book was a tribute, via her daughter, and includes much haybox cookery, pukeko stew recipe, frugal household cleansers, survival recipes/techniques, extraordinary preserves, imaginative alternative recipes, everything useful in a recently colonial, newly post-War country(again), Maori hangi method+bush foods.....so much.
    https://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/object/1201317
    The other great staple is any and every Edmonds cookbook, still coming out most years.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmonds_Cookery_Book
    #
    All editions are worthwhile and are cherished elements of NZ heritage-)
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    Norman Kirk, NZLP- Prime Minister, 1972
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  • ampersandampersand Forumite
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    CAP[UK]for FREE EXPERT DEBT&BUDGET HELP:[URL="tel:01274760720"]01274 760720[/URL], freephone0800 328 0006
    'People don't want much. They want: "Someone to love, somewhere to live, somewhere to work and something to hope for."
    Norman Kirk, NZLP- Prime Minister, 1972
    ***JE SUIS CHARLIE***
    'It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere' François-Marie AROUET


  • Jojo_the_TightfistedJojo_the_Tightfisted Forumite
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    So that's why fruit cake was inedible in the 1970s - people were still using almond-flavoured grouting around the things.
    I could dream to wide extremes, I could do or die: I could yawn and be withdrawn and watch the world go by.
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  • VfM4meplseVfM4meplse PPR
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    So that's why fruit cake was inedible in the 1970s - people were still using almond-flavoured grouting around the things.
    That may well be, but what is indisputable is that the world's population only started to get unhealthily overweight from the 1980s!
    Value-for-money-for-me-puhleeze!

    "No man is worth, crawling on the earth"- adapted from Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio

    Hope is not a strategy :D...A child is for life, not just 18 years....Don't get me started on the NHS, because you won't win...I love chaz-ing!
  • martinthebanditmartinthebandit Forumite
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    VfM4meplse wrote: »
    That may well be, but what is indisputable is that the world's population only started to get unhealthily overweight from the 1980s!


    ....and yet average life expectancy kept increasing, https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=average+life+length&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-gb&client=safari#imgrc=eyWoD8zWBsoYNM:

    If you don't find joy in the snow,
    remember you'll have less joy in your life


    ...but still have the same amount of snow!
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