Good Fare in War-time

Food Education Memo No. 3

Issued by the Board of Education, Published by H.M. Stationery Office 3d
Book cover

The previous pamphlets issued in this series offered suggestions for making full use of home-produced foods for family meals, in particular of salads and vegetables. The present pamphlet is intended to help in the choice of other foods particularly suitable for conserving health.

New problems of feeding will undoubtedly arise; familiar and useful foods may be scarce from time to time when it will most important for housewives to choose available foods which give the essentials of a satisfactory diet at a low cost, and to use a wide variety of these foods so as to avoid making too great a demand upon the stock of any particular commodity.

Salads and vegetables (both green and root) which are dealt with in Pamphlet No. 1, should be served regularly during the winter months as they give protection against colds and other ills then prevalent. Green vegetables, such as brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli, turnip tops, spinach and cabbage, and root vegetables, such as carrots, turnips, parsnips, leeks, beetroots, etc., should all be used in turn, but if the full value is to be conserved they must be steamed or cooked carefully in a very little water in a saucepan with a tightly-fitting lid. Potatoes are in good supply and may with advantage be used at least twice a day.


Amongst the recipes chosen a number of old favourites will be found which are specially adapted to war-time conditions in that they make the utmost use of home-grown foods with the minimum call upon those which come from overseas. Special value is attached to the protective, body-building and energy foods in all seasons and especially for obvious reasons in winter. Stress is therefore laid upon the use of soups and other dishes containing vegetables, herrings, tinned salmon, cheese and milk as well as meat, oatmeal and rolled oats, pulses, cereals, etc. Some of the dishes are selected for use in an emergency; they are quickly prepared with few utensils and require little attention while cooking. In some instances the dishes can be made overnight or in the less busy hours of the day and only need to be heated through before serving. To give piquancy and variety, many fresh flavourings have been suggested: grated orange and lemon rinds are especially valuable.

An example of a series of meals containing a wide variety of foods intended for the main meal of the day is included. The commodities suggested are not expensive, they are generally available and together give a large proportion of the day's requirements: other foods will, of course, be needed, but the choice of these is comparatively unimportant if care is exercised in cooking, as careless cooking detracts from the value of food. Suggestions are also made for packed meals which so many people are having to rely upon in these times of emergency; it is equally important that these should be nourishing and appetising.

The quantities given in the recipes are for four people, except in the case of joints. Reference should be made to Pamphlet No. 1, "Salads and Vegetables," for methods of cooking vegetables, for a variety of savoury vegetable dishes and for recipes for sauces.

Some Main Meals For The Day

  1. Hotch Potch and Suet Dumplings; Fruit Charlotte and Custard
  2. Rabbit Hot-Pot; Potatoes; Brussels Sprouts; Fruit Turnover and Milk
  3. Savoury Beans, Carrots; Fruit Mould and Sweet Sauce
  4. Baked Stuffed Herrings; Potatoes; Turnip Tops; Barley Fruit Pudding
  5. Potato, Leek and Cheese Pie; Cabbage; Eccles Roly Poly and Custard
  6. Farced Liver or Liver Hot-Pot; Carrots; Apple Cake and Sweet Sauce
  7. Braised Brisket with Green and Root Vegetables; Fruit Tart and Custard
  8. Savoury Oatmeal Pudding; Potatoes, Spinach; Chocolate Blancmange
  9. Stuffed Sheep's Hearts; Potatoes; Parsnips; Fruit Salad and Custard
  10. Tripe and Onions; Potatoes; Turnip Tops; Fig and Apple Pasty and Milk
  11. Salmon Savoury; Winter Salad; Chocolate Pudding and Sauce
  12. Vegetable Pie; Potatoes; Date or Fig Pudding and Custard


  1. Allow a slice of national wheat-meal bread per person for each meal
  2. For Recipes, see Index

Packed Meals

A good variety of food stuffs in correct proportions is equally important for packed as for ordinary meals, and the fact that the former must be carried demands ingenuity in planning and preparation. Picnic meals in the past have too often been dry and uninteresting, but the plain meat sandwich and jam tart have already given way to a variety of appetising savoury and sweet sandwiches, pies and moulds for which sustaining and health-giving foods are used. A selection of savoury sandwiches, pies and moulds with salad and/or fresh fruit, and a glass of milk makes an ideal, in fact, almost a perfect meal.

Hot soup thick with finely shredded vegetables, scraps of meat and grated cheese, etc., which can be carried in a Thermos flask will undoubtedly be a popular addition to carried meals in wintry weather. Portable pies, if made in patty tins or saucers, allow greater depth for a more generous helping of filling.

In fact, it is important that in the case of both sandwiches and pies a generous allowance of filling in proportion to bread or pastry should be given. Individual savoury and sweet moulds may be made in cartons, or in small metal moulds or tins of good quality and carried in these containers. Brown or wholemeal bread should be used freely for sandwiches, and some salad or fresh fruit should be included with every meal. Salads, e.g. lettuce, watercress, shredded celery, etc., keep fresh for small a long time if packed in a smaair-tight tin, or in a grease-proof paper immediately after cleansing.

For Savoury Pies, see pages 16 and 7.
Sandwich Fillings, see below.
Savoury Moulds, see pages 12 and 7.
Sweet Moulds, see pages 19 and 24.

Sandwich Fillings — Use National Wheatmeal Bread

  1. Watercress, lettuce, shredded celery or carrot, with hard-boiled egg, cheese or meat—flavoured with salad dressing, chutney or mustard
  2. Scraps of meat with finely chopped pickle mixed with mashed potatoes
  3. Slices of rabbit or brisket mould with mustard and grated carrot
  4. Mashed pulse with chutney, finely chopped pickles or herbs, or grated orange rind, or flaked sardine, mackerel or herring
  5. Fruit pulp, shredded celery, raisins, cheese or nuts
  6. Fruit pulp, chutney and scraps of meat or nuts
  7. Flaked sardines, tinned salmon, mackerel, fried or grilled herring or kipper with or without grated carrot or mashed pulse
  8. Scraps of chopped bacon and grated raw carrot
  9. Finely flaked fish with shredded raw green vegetable and chopped fresh herbs or pickle or curry powder
  10. Shredded radishes, watercress and fresh herbs moistened with salad dressing
  11. Grated carrot and cocoa


Soup can make a nourishing meal in itself, or at any rate a substantial part of a meal. It can be made with water, sliced or grated vegetables, peas, beans or lentils, the outside leaves of greens, scraps of meat or cheese and bacon rinds and bones. The flavour of soup is improved by frying the bones and a little leek or onion in the soup pan before adding the main ingredients, and by the addition of fresh herbs.

In the past, stock was considered an essential foundation to a good soup. The restricted space in modern kitchens and their equipment has led to changes in ways of cooking: quick methods are now usually adopted. Bones, which were previously boiled with vegetables for stock, are now generally added to the soup whilst cooking, and removed just before serving. Beef and mutton bones are used for brown or dark soups, veal bones for light soups, and bacon bones for the soups in which pulses are the principal ingredients.

General Proportions

Dried Vegetable Soup:¼ lb peas, beans or lentils to 1 quart water or pot liquor, 1 breakfastcup fresh vegetables, bones.
Fresh Vegetable Soup:1 lb vegetables to 1 quart water or pot liquor, bones.
Thickening: 1 oz flour, barley, or oatmeal to each quart of soup.
Fat:½-1 oz fat to 1 quart of soup.
Salt:1 tea-spoon salt to 1 quart of soup.

NOTE: — Bones chopped into small pieces, bacon and cheese rinds and giblets may be added to improve flavour; and scraps of meat to increase nourishment (4 table-sp. to 1 quart of soup).

Carrot Soup

  • 6 Carrots
  • Bacon or other bones
  • 2 or 3 sticks Celery (if available)
  • 1½ pints Water or Pot Liquor
  • 1 small Leek or Onion
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 oz Fat
  • 1 oz Flour
  • ½ pint Milk

Wash and slice or grate vegetables and fry without browning. Add the washed bones, water and seasoning, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, ½ to 1 hour according to the size of the vegetables. Do not overcook. Mix the flour smoothly with a little cold milk and add to the soup with remainder of the milk. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring all the time, and serve at once.


  1. To vary, use celery, potatoes, beetroot, turnips or swedes, potatoes and onions or leeks as the main vegetable. If potatoes are used beat smooth with the back of a wooden spoon before thickening
  2. Serve with baked or toasted bread

Hotch Potch

  • 1 lb Neck of Mutton or Bones and Scraps of Meat, Bacon and Cheese Rinds
  • 1 small Carrot and Turnip or Parsnip
  • 1 Leek or Onion
  • 1 small Cauliflower with Green (if available) or outside leaves of Cabbage or Lettuce
  • ¼ pint Fresh or 2 ozs Dried Peas
  • ¼ pint Broad or 2 ozs Haricot Beans
  • 1 quart Water or Pot Liquor
  • 1 tea-spoon Salt
  • ¼ tea-spoon Pepper
  • 1 table-spoon Barley
  • ½ tea-spoon Sugar
  • ½ tea-spoon Mint

Soak pulse overnight if used. Put meat and bones, bacon and cheese rinds into the cold water or pot liquor with the pulse (if used) and allow to boil steadily 1-1½ hours until tender. Prepare fresh vegetables, shred or grate finely and add to the soup with the salt, sugar and other seasonings. Continue to cook ½ to ¾ hour. Remove bones and rinds, reseason and serve very hot.

Lentil Soup

  • Bacon Rinds or 1 table-spoon Bacon scraps
  • 4 table-spoon Lentils
  • Bacon bones
  • 1 Breakfnesstcup scraps of Carrot, Turnip, and outside stick of Celery
  • 1½ pints Water or Pot Liquor
  • 1 table-spoon Flour
  • ½ tea-spoon Milk

Melt the fat, add the vegetables, grated or cut into small pieces, and the bacon bones: fry carefully without browning. Add the water or stock bring to boiling point and simmer gently until tender, about 45 minutes. Mash vegetables against the sides of the saucepan; remove the bacon bones and rinds. Mix the flour to a smooth thin paste with some of the milk. Add with the remainder of the milk to the soup; allow to boil for 5 minutes season carefully and serve with toast.

Oatmeal Soup

  • 1 quart Water or Pot Liquor
  • 1 Apple or 2 table-spoons Fruit Pulp if available
  • 2 table-spoons Medium oatmeal
  • 1 large Potato
  • 1 dessert-spoon Curry Powder
  • 1 large Carrot
  • ½ pint Milk
  • ½ Swede or 1 Turnip
  • Salt, Pepper
  • 2 table-spoons Parsley

Sprinkle the oatmeal into the boiling water or pot liquor and allow to boil for 5 minutes, stirring all the time. Add the salt, prepared fruit and vegetables (sliced or cut into small pieces) and the currypowder mixed with 2 table-spoons water. Allow to cook steadily for ¾ to 1 hour. When cooked, add the milk and pepper and reheat. Add the finely chopped parsley, stir well and serve very hot.

NOTE: — Add a bone or bacon rinds if available to improve flavour.

Potato Soup

  • 4-6 Potatoes
  • 1 table-spoon Rice
  • 1 small Onion or ½ Leek
  • Pepper and Salt
  • 2-3 sticks Celery
  • 1½ pints Water or Pot Liquor
  • 1 table-spoon chopped Parsley
  • ½ pint Milk

Prepare vegetables and cut into rough pieces. Put all the ingredients, except the milk, into a saucepan and cook steadily for about ¾ hour to 1 hour. Mash with a wooden spoon, add the milk: re-season if necessary, bring to the boiling point; serve very hot.


  1. Add one pennyworth of chopped bones if available, and remove before serving.
  2. To give variety use other vegetables in season, e.g. beetroot, parsnips, artichokes, leek, spinach, turnip, etc. Allow longer time for cooking.
  3. Flavourings for soup: bacon rinds and scraps of cheese.

Quick Vegetable Soup

  • 2 large Potatoes
  • 1½ pints boiling Pot Liquor
  • 2 Carrots
  • Seasoning
  • 1 small Onion
  • ½ pint Milk
  • 1 Turnip (small)
  • 1 tea-spoon Fat
  • 1 table-spoon chopped Parsley

Peel and slice or grate the vegetables, drop into 1½ pint of boiling pot liquor and cook for 30 minutes. Mash with a wooden spoon. Add ½ pint of hot milk, 1 tea-spoon fat and 1 table-spoon of chopped parsley. Serve very hot.

Sheep's Head Broth

  • 1 Sheep's Head
  • 1 Carrot
  • 2 quarts Water
  • 1 Turnip
  • 2 table-spoons Pearl Barley
  • Salt
  • 1 Leek or Onion (if available)
  • Chopped Parsley

Soak the head overnight if possible. Wash thoroughly, put into a pan with sufficient cold water to cover and bring to boiling point. Remove and throw away the water. Put the head into 2 quarts cold water with pearl barley; bring to boiling point and allow to simmer for 2 to 2½ hours. Add the prepared and sliced or grated vegetables 1 hour before serving. Remove the head; reseason broth, and serve very hot.

To serve the head, remove meat from the bones, skin and slice the tongue and chop the brain. Serve in the broth or separately with parsley sauce.