Tuesday, 2 October 2012
"A turnip for the books", or "I clearly couldn't think of an original turnip gag"
Well, my first week or so of rationing has been a bit of a flop. I've stuck to it religiously at home but with three evenings out last week I'm afraid I did end up eating dinner out far more than intended. Still, I'm sure folk in the 40s took time to get in the swing of things too. Ahem.
I'll post up a full update over the next few days but for now, I just wanted to share with you a few pics of tonight's dinner. Probably the most commonly mentioned wartime meal, Woolton Pie.
This isn't something I've been looking forward to trying, I must admit but, after buying a cheap "stew bag" of vegetables at Tesco (£1 - bargain) and having some pastry ready and waiting in the freezer I decided it was time to give it a whirl.
For those who haven't delved into the world of wartime cookery - Woolton Pie was named after the Minister of Food, Lord Woolton, and was promoted by the Ministry as an example of a satisfying meat free main meal. It is really just various vegetables cooked together with some vegetable extract and then topped with pastry and baked. Not very exciting. Not very exciting at all.
It seems my wartime predecessors felt the same way, with the pie being very unpopular after its introduction in 1941. In fact, Lord Woolton had to go to some lengths to "sell" this idea to the people; The Times commented:
"When Woolton pie was being forced on somewhat reluctant tables, Lord Woolton performed a valuable service by submitting to the flashlight camera at public luncheons while eating, with every sign of enjoyment, the dish named after him."
The official recipe is given below, though like all wartime recipes the exact ingredients were subject to availability. Mine was mainly carrots, potato, parsnip, turnip and a little onion. Also, as I had a nugget of last weeks cheese hanging about and a little on the turn milk, I made a tiny bit of cheese sauce in an effort to add a bit of flavour.
(image from http://www.carrotmuseum.co.uk, currently my favourite website, its bloody brilliant)
All in all, served with gravy, it was perfectly edible, if bland. Though my bloomin' turnips didn't cook. In the name of thrift I've fished the wee blighters out and am reboiling them for mashing with a little butter as a side dish. Yes, saintly I know.
I'm thoroughly stuffed, ready for bed and have enough of this....stuff to feed me for the rest of the week. I have a feeling that I will make this again, if not often. As it really is cheap on the pocket and filling for the belly.
I'm full of carbs and off for an early night now - toodle pip!