Monday, 15 August 2011
Wartime cooking - bangers and mash
Our plan had been to have toad in the hole to see how people coped with different ingredients to those normally used. We were able to make the sausages but the batter was a disaster. Fortunately I tested the batter before using up our precious sausages. I used whole meal instead of plain white flour (which was not available for much of the war) and I used powdered egg (or rather, a modern day powdered substitute). If people made toad in the hole during the war, I'm at a loss as to how they made an edible meal. Instead, we decided to have bangers and mash.
We decided to opt to relive the diet of 1942, perhaps the most extreme of the war years when meat shortages in particular were attheir worst (though they got worse still in 1946-8.) So sausage meat was part of the meat ration (it was on rations 1942-4). We had to make sure the sausage meat stretched to cover a number of meals. To ensure we could do this we did what they did during the war - added additional ingredients. Most of the extra bulk came from bread crumbs - a great way to use up stale bread. Since most of our wheat continued to be imported, everyone was under immense pressure to avoid wasting bread. It may have been off the ration, but anyone caught feeding bread to ducks in the local park was liable to prosecution.
Also added into the sausage meat was one of our precious onions - again showing that having the allotment was a great bonus when it came to additional food and getting into our diet foods which were difficult to get at the shops. We also added a bit of lard though we had to ensure it was used sparingly as cooking fats were rationed. The final ingredient was soya flour. This is high in protein but had to be imported. As a food concentrate it took up only limited shipping space. It was an important addition to various foods. If you bought wartime sausages, (as opposed to sausage meat) they would almost certainly contain much more breadcrumbs than meat so soya flour was added to them to improve their protein content.
Once all the ingredients are mixed together, shape them into sausages and try them skinless (skins were difficult to get during the war).