A few weeks ago, my mother gave me a small pamphlet she had found in an old box when she was rummaging in a junk cupboard in her house. She assumes it was my Gran's. It is dated 1940 and was issued by the National Food Campaign, published by Lewis's in Manchester. It is essentially advice to the British consumer on how to save on fuel and food by cooking sensibly with the most readily available ingredients in order to help the War Effort.
I thanked her and later stuck it on one of my paperwork piles to read later and forgot about it. I've just come across it again. It's fascinating and is in incredibly good condition!
Some of the suggested tactics would raise a few eyebrows today. It advocates never throwing out the poaching water from vegetables. It suggests cooking all courses of a meal in the one pot in different layers. All fat from all meats should be reserved and used at a later time as cooking fat. Ingredients to consider using in cooking include cow heels, calf heads, sheep heads and any fresh bones.
Wow - it's hard to appreciate the sacrifices that were made barely seventy years ago for the greater good. I'm going to try some of the ideas included in the pamphlet. Tripe and Liver Hot-Pot sounds right up my street!
Anyone have anything similarly authentic from yesteryear?
I don't have anything of that type of stuff laying around. My grandmother was a pack rat but not of that type of thing. My grandfather(all of them) were all dead before I was ever born. Having a scattered family doesn't allow me access to things like this.
But, I do hope you enjoy it.
Nice, Gordon. I have some very old cookbooks around and really need to look at them again. Cooking in layers is interesting. Enjoy it.
I remember it vaguely because I was there! I was born in 1936 and lived in England until coming to Australia in 1951. All that was probably correct. However, I'd have been too young to be concerned with the detail.
However, I do know that whenever we could steal potatoes, onions or carrots from a farmers field, or apples and pears from some poor fruit grower there would be grumbles of "Oh, you naughty boys," whilst our Mum's tired eyes sparkled with joy. "Scrumping" they used to call it. Opportune stealing. It probably made quite a bit of difference as far as getting a fuller, healthier diet than proposed by the government.
Oh, and "Never leave any food on your plate." How different now in this land of plenty.
Hallo Gordon..I recently purchased an original wartime cookbook which includes all of the pamphlets that were written to advise the housewife on how to eek out her meagre rations..it is facinating and a real eye opener.
Very interesting and what an invaluable, and historic, treasure your mom gave you.
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