Wartime Recipes for Lockdown VE Day celebrations

A collection of vintage kitchenalia on a wooden table with a clothes maiden at the side full of vintage household fabrics.
Part of the exhibition in St. Peter’s in 2015

Please note that 1 tablespoon = 14 g  / ½ oz; 1 teaspoon = 3½ g / ⅛ oz.

The following information is from Marguerite Patten’s ‘The Victory Cookbook’ published in association with the Imperial War Museum 2004 :

“These are some of the sandwich fillings that could be made to celebrate VE and VJ days in 1945. Foods such as salmon would be canned and were purchased on the points system…
Jam and mock lemon curd wee favourite sweet fillings. Potted meat and fish were usual savoury ones. In addition there could be:
Mock banana sandwiches: cook parsnips until very soft; drain well then mash until very smooth with a few drops of banana essence and a little sugar.
Cheese and date spread: blend finely grated cheese and mix with chopped dates.
Cheese and carrot: blend equal quantities of grated raw carrot and grated cheese; moisten with a little milk or mayonnaise.
Egg sandwiches: scramble reconstituted or fresh eggs in a little margarine, cool, blend with mayonnaise and put on shredded lettuce or watercress.
Pilchard (or salmon) and cucumber: mix mashed pilchards/salmon and finely diced or grated cucumber, serve on lettuce or shredded cabbage heart. 
Salad sandwiches: mix sliced tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce and top with mayonnaise (recipe to follow)
Spiced beef: flake corned beef finely, mix with a little finely chopped mustard pickle and serve on shredded red or green cabbage.
WVS Special – Watercress & salmon: Blend the boned salmon from a small can with 1-2 tablespoons vinegar, 4oz(100g) chopped watercress, 6oz(175g) mashed potatoes, 4oz (100g) finely chopped leek and salt & pepper to taste.”
Good old spam sandwiches are perfectly acceptable too – particularly nice with pickled beetroot but watch the bread doesn’t go soggy.

Victory Scotch Eggs
prep time 20 mins
cooking time 40 mins
quantity: makes 8 halves
4 shell eggs
2oz (50g) cheese, grated
1 tablespoon Mayonnaise
1lb (450g) sausage meat
To coat:
little reconstituted dried egg or shell egg or milk
2oz (50g) crisp breadcrumbs
Boil the shell eggs for 10 mins, then shell and cut in halves across the eggs. Cool sufficiently to handle then carefully remove the egg yolks. Mash these in a basin, then add the cheese and mayonnaise. Spoon into the white cases and press the egg halves together firmly.
Divide the sausage meat into 4 portions, wrap around the eggs, seal the joins very firmly. Brush with a little egg or milk then coat with the breadcrumbs.
Preheat the oven to 190c (375f), gas mark 5. As the oven is heating put in a greased baking tray to become very hot. Put the scotch eggs on the hot tray and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. To serve, cut into halves or quarters. Garnish with lettuce.

Apple Fruit Cake
Prep time: 25 mins
Cooking time: 1¼ hours
Quantity: 1 x 8 inch (20cm) cake
12oz (350g) self-raising flour or plain flour sifted with 3 teaspoons baking powder
4oz(100g) margarine or cooking fat
4oz(100g) sugar
½ – 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8oz (225g) cooking apples, peeled, cored and diced, weight when prepared
3oz (75g) sultanas or raisins
1 reconstituted dried or fresh egg
milk as required
1oz (25g) brown sugar, for topping.
Preheat the oven to 180c(350f), gas mark 4. Grease and flour an 8 inch(20cm) cake tin.
Sift the flour, or flour and baking powder, into a mixing bowl, rub in the margarine or cooking fat, add the sugar, cinnamon, apples, sultanas or raisins and the egg. Mix very thoroughly, if necessary add a little milk but the mixture must be a sticky consistency, i.e. it should stand up in peaks when handled with a knife. 
Spoon the mixture into the cake tin, smooth flat on top and sprinkle over the brown sugar. Bake for 1¼ hours or until golden brown and firm; reduce heat slightly after 50 minutes if necessary. Cool  for 10 minutes in the tin then turn out onto a wire cooling rack.

Chocolate cake
2 oz margarine or cooking fat
2oz sugar
few drops vanilla essence
1 tablespoon warmed golden syrup
5oz self raising flour or plain flour with 2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1oz Bournville cocoa
2 eggs or 2 reconstituted dried eggs
Milk or milk and water to mix
Method: Cream together the margarine or cooking fat, sugar, vanilla essence and golden syrup. Sift the flour or flour and baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa. Add the eggs gradually to the creamed ingredients then the cocoa mixture and lastly enough milk or milk and water to make a soft consistency. Divide the mixture between two 7 inch greased and floured sandwich tins. Bake just above the centre of a moderate to moderately hot oven for 20-25 minutes or until firm to the touch. cool and sandwich together with jam. The cake can be topped with Glossy Chocolate Icing below:
Glossy Chocolate Icing: Mix together 2 teaspoons melted margarine, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon golden syrup and a few drops of vanilla essence.

Scotch Shortbread
Method: Melt 2oz margarine, add 4oz plain flour and 1oz sugar and mix well then knead with your fingers until the mixture binds together. Put on to an ungreased baking tin and press hard to form into a neat round about ½ inch in thickness. Mark into 6-8 sections; prick with a fork and bake in the centre of a moderate oven for 20 minutes.”

Recipes taken from ‘Eating for Victory’ – reproductions of official Second World War instruction leaflets:

“Cole slaw:
4 cups shredded cabbage heart
3 tablespoons chopped spring onions
8-10 tablespoons salad dressing (about ¼  pint)
Wash the cabbage and shred finely. Put into a basin and add chopped onion and salad dressing. Mix well and turn into a salad bowl to serve. Chopped chives may be used instead of onions, or the bowl can be rubbed with garlic before the cabbage is placed in it.

Creamy salad dressing:
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon dried egg, dry
1 teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ pint milk or vegetable water
1 oz margarine
4 tablespoons vinegar
Mix the flour, egg, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper. Mix to a smooth paste with a little of the milk or vegetable water. Boil remaining liquid, pour onto the blended flour, return to pan and bring to the boil. Boil five minutes stirring well. Remove from heat and add margarine. Mix well and add vinegar.

Sandwich fillings
Potted cheese:
1 level tablespoon flour
6 tablespoons water
2oz cheese, grated
1 oz margarine
 ½ level teaspoon salt
Pinch of pepper
Blend the flour with the water and bring to the boil, stirring all the time; boil gently for 5 minutes. Add the cheese, margarine and seasoning and mix well. allow to cool. If liked, a little tomato sauce or meat extract can be added to the mixture.

Sweet spread:
1 oz margarine
1 level dessertspoon syrup
1 tablespoon strong coffee
3 level dessertspoons cocoa
Mix well and spread on bread

1945 weekly ration of sausages, 4 rashers of bacon, lard, margarine, butter, jam, flour, tea and sweets.
One weeks food ration in 1945 – from St. Peter’s VE Day exhibition 2015

Suggestions for Grace before your VE Day picnic

Bless this food to our use,
 and us to thy service.
 Fill our hearts with grateful praise. Amen.
God is great, and God is good, 
And we thank him for our food; 
By his hand we all are fed; 
Give us, Lord, our daily bread.
 God, we thank you for this food. 
For rest and home and all things good. 
For wind and rain and sun above.
 But most of all for those we love.
 O Lord, we thank you for the gifts of your bounty which we enjoy at this table. 
As you have provided for us in the past, so may you sustain us throughout our lives.
 While we enjoy your gifts, may we never forget the needy and those in want. 
Bless us, O Lord, and these your gifts, which we are about to receive from your bounty. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
 Father, thank you for this wonderful food. 
Please bless those who have prepared this beautiful meal for us. 
We invite your Holy Spirit to be with us as we enjoy this precious time together.
 Lord, as we eat and drink may we celebrate the love and goodness you give us each day. Amen. 

Read more at: https://www.lords-prayer-words.com/prayers_before/prayer_before_dinner_meals.html