Sunday, November 11, 2012

Remembrance Day

We interrupt the Kitchen Queen Contest to ask that you take a few minutes out of your busy day for quiet contemplation no matter whether you call November 11th Remembrance Day, Veterans Day, or Armistice Day.

Thankfully, we Kitchen Queens do not have to endure the food rationing that was imposed upon citizens during the two world wars.



Everyone received a ration book full of coupons which allowed them to buy a limited amount of food.



Rationed items included meat, butter, sugar, tea, coffee, jam, biscuits, breakfast cereals, cheese, eggs, lard, milk, canned fruit, dried fruit and more.

Imagine having to substitute canned meats such as Spam in place of ham and other meats...


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Or using powdered eggs instead of fresh eggs...


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Or making do with carrots on sticks, an alternative to ice cream which was unavailable during World War Two...





Or doing without bananas which disappeared from shops in both WW1 and WW2...



Did you know that food rationing lasted for 14 years in Britain, from 1940 until 1954?

Housewives had to be endlessly creative.

A morning radio programme (The Kitchen Front) gave housewives recipes on how, for instance, to make a 'tasty' dessert out of potatoes, without flour, sugar or lard. One government tip was use liquid paraffin (a laxative) instead of lard in baking - the effects were devastating!

THIS is what the Kitchen Queen Contest might have looked like if we'd held it during WW2...




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[photo via]

42 comments:

  1. The best recipe of the contest so far!

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    1. JON: Don’t make me feed the nettle soup to you.

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  2. is there an infomaniac commemorative auto-trunk ribbon that i can purchase to proudly display on the rear of my isotta fraschini?

    there is no one that i don't support.

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    1. Too bad your support garments can’t say the same about you, Norma.

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  3. Replies
    1. I will punish myself by not wearing rubber gloves whilst I clean my nettles.

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    2. WALLY: Thank you for taking the initiative.

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  4. Replies
    1. UTE: “We will remember them.”

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  5. There should be such mandatory rationing for all of our wars, declared and otherwise. Perhaps there would be fewer of them.

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  6. "Grasp the nettle boldly" means to take on an unpleasant task. Like eating this soup.

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    1. Peenee's Potatoes Dauphinoise, it ain’t.

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  7. They were a lot fitter and healthier in those days as a result of rationing as we are now. BRING BACK RATIONING! I enjoy watching The Wartime Kitchen and Garden on Yesterday channel, Here is the lovely Ruth Mott showing us how to skin and joint a rabbit, see her hands, like shovels, you wouldn't want a smack in the gob by her.

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    1. What an interesting series, Mitzi! Although I could do without the rabbit bit.

      “It made a change from offal.”

      You’re right about the health aspects of rationing…

      “The rationing system was one of the great achievements of wartime Britain. Although everyone complained about it, it meant that no one starved and that food was shared fairly around amongst both rich and poor. It meant also that the population of Britain remained healthy throughout the war - in many ways healthier than it has been before or since.”

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    2. watch your backs.

      if there are any miserable republicans
      lurking about, they'll start screaming socialism.

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    3. Is it just me or is Ruth Mott really Robbie Coltrane in a pinny? Jx

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    4. NORMA: Perhaps I should install this on my sidebar to keep them away.

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    5. MJ: i like that.
      notice how she says love and not fuck.

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    6. I’ve added it to the sidebar, Norma.

      Underneath “HONK IF YOU LOVE COCK.”

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  8. I should not forget to have a look at a book I catalogued some days ago about Ersatzmittel for food. The rationing did work in Germany during WWI, but could not prevent hunger (notabely in the winter 16/17). But as early as 1915 they started to experiment with additional or replacement stuff for Futtermittel - what you give to animals, fodder? - and later with stuff for human consumption. The downside of rationing was a florishing Schwarzmarkt, black market, where for a pack of cigarettes anything was available.
    When the people looted the army warehouses at the end of WWII they found astonishing things like canned meat, noodles, chocolate and tabacco, and even one of the most sought after items of both wars - real coffee.
    Nettle soup and nettle salad taste very nice btw.
    Interesting idea by von LX, maybe there would be a few less wars if all the idiots that sent people out to die would have at least a little taste of it.


    May they rest in peace.

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    1. MAGO: Mistress MJ cannot get through the day without her morning cup of coffee.

      I can’t imagine having to RATION it.

      In fact, I can’t imagine how I would have survived wartime at all. How did people cope under such duress? It is truly a study in resilience.

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  9. Interesting fact - Marguerite Patten CBE (not yet - shamefully - a Dame), who almost single-handedly guided the British housewife in how to manage on rations during the war, is still alive at the grand old age of 97. Gawd bless ya, ma'am. Jx

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    1. JON: I’m reading about her on the link you included and it says that Marguerite Patten “enjoys giving after-dinner and after-lunch talks as well as addressing audiences at conferences and on passenger cruises.”

      And one of her recent topics?...

      Remembering Dried Egg and SPAM!

      And, astonishingly, she has written close on 170 cookery books dealing with a vast range of subjects!

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    2. She is a living marvel - and she still pops up on telly occasionally. Here's a lovely (and recent) tribute to her. Jx

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    3. Thank you, Jon! What an inspiration she’s been to so many.

      I enjoyed her response when asked about her feelings on celebrity TV chefs…

      “Most of them care only about their own glossy reputation. We weren’t important. It was the FOOD that was important.”

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    4. A barely-disguised slap across the face for Jamie-bloody-Oliver methinks... Jx

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    5. JON: Surprisingly NOT!

      She knows him personally and describes him as someone who cares, unlike many who are just in it for self glory.

      More on Marguerite...

      Apparently, one of her 170 cookbooks was entitled, "The Canadian Way To Perfect Cooking."

      I can't find any info about it online, though, and it's got me wondering about the content.

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    6. Apparently "despite the Canadianised title the index of 1350 recipes doesn't include one tourtiere or maple recipe." Jx

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    7. Sorry to be of no help: The Verbundkatalog Kanada at this point does not work together with the European tool (KVK, nowadays called KIT),the BL is actually in the process of moving to another cataloging system and the KVK needs to be adapted to this - the title is definitely not in a German library and sehr wahrscheinilich not in a European one.

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    8. JON & MAGO: What? No mention of poutine?

      Thanks to you researchers extraordinaire for your efforts.

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    9. I also wonder how she would react at the sight of poutine!

      Thanks Jon for introducing us to this very inspiring lady.

      BTW, has Mistress ever tried Beaver Pot Roast? A real Canadian delicacy! Maybe the recipe found its way in Margerite's book.

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    10. Mistress MJ is not a beaver eater, Huggy Jon.

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    11. How about raccoons... or skunks (must take off the musk glands first though)... or loons, or squirrels... I heard these are good too.

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    12. "Mistress MJ is not a beaver eater"

      Damn. Another fine fantasy ruined.

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  10. When my Grandmother passed, I found her old ration books from WWII.
    I still have them as a reminder.
    Potato pancakes are awesome and my FIL LOVES Nettle soup!

    Thank you to any bitches who have served .... your sacrifice can never be re-paid.
    xxx

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    1. BLAZNG SCARLET: Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit!

      Somebody who’s actually eaten nettle soup and lived to tell the tale!

      How lovely that you remember with your gran’s rations books.

      As for Bitches who’ve served, a tip of the hat to sailor boy Von LX.

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    2. VON LX: Proof that you’re not simply "Official Infomaniac Pillow Fluffer and Personal IT Consultant to Mistress MJ."

      Although that alone is enough for any Bitch.

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