By 1941 the weekly ration for one person was:
1ounce of cheese
2ounces of butter
2ounces of margarine
2ounces of cooking fat
4ounces of bacon
2ounces of tea
8 ounces of sugar
1 pound of meat
Every month a family could have a tin of National Dried Milk, and a packet of dried egg(which, mixed with water, made 'scrambled egg' which looked, felt and tasted like rubber).
Under the points system, it was possible to obtain a pound of jam a month.
Fish, sausages and offal were not rationed, and recipes could include rook,crow or even sparrow pie.
I ate whalemeat for the first time, assured by my father that as it was not a fish it wouldn't taste fishy. It actually tasted like cod liver oil.
The War Cabinet produced a 'Basal Diet', which asserted that a citizen could survive on a daily diet of:
Three-fifths of a pint of milk
Plus small amounts of cheese,fish,sugar,eggs and/or meat.
It is perhaps no wonder that the recipes recommended by the Ministry did not always sound very appetising:
Calves-head Hash, Stuffed Ear, Pigs Cheek in Jelly, Thrush Pie, Hard Roe Butter....
And the least enjoyable of all were the Mock Dishes!
Here are a few....
FOUR FRUIT JAM
Wash & peel 4ozs.of cooked beetroot & carrot.
In half a pint of water dissolve 2 cubes of strawberry jelly and half a tablet of blackcurrant jelly.
Add the vegetable chunks & 3 tablespoons of fruit juice.
Leave to set and eat within 3 days.
Make a batter. Cut a tomato in two and put it into the batter.
Lift each half out with a spoon,keeping round side up,& put into hot fat.
The tomato shines through,looking like the yolk of an egg.
If cooked in bacon fat,you can almost imagine you have bacon as well (!!!!)
1 small ordinary teabun(stale will do) per person.
Fruit juice, or cooked fruit, or v.thin apple sauce.
Thin custard made with custard powder or potato flour and colouring.
Cut the buns across and put in a large flat dish.
Soak with hot fruit juice and pour a little thin custard over.
Decorate with fruit(if you have any).
Add 2ozs.ground rice to half a pint of boiling milk.
Add a teaspoon of leek and a large teaspoon of margarine,also half a cup of mashed potato.
Simmer for 25 minutes.
Remove from heat,add 1 teaspoon of egg powder,& mix well.
Spread out a quarter of an inch thick on a flat dish.
Divide into pieces like fish fillets.
Coat with milk and breadcrumbs & fry until brown.
I'm glad to say I never tried any of these recipes!