|Sadie and her father on the Saturday Morning|
Last weekend the whole village of Woodhall Spa went back in time to the 1940’s. Now in its third year, it promised to be the best year yet.
What really made it so special was the participation of not just the people involved with the event but the visitors that enter into the spirit of it by dressing up. This has of course been helped enormously by the huge enthusiasm for all things vintage and yearning for nostalgia. The village has a long history with the military and Woodhall Spa provides a perfect setting and an authentic environment for the whole event.
It brings together the local business community too, we had great fun decorating our shop and I had been squirrelling 1940’s cookery books, posters and props away all year. I love the vintage scene and we have a thriving one in this area and of course this festival gives me the perfect opportunity to recreate some 1940’s recipes. It was hard to choose which one to put in for you as many were dishes of rationing necessity rather than being particularly appealing. I also didn’t think you would want to tackle anything with dried egg in, although it was a clever achievement in food technology it was particularly unpalatable.
Rationing in the Second World War was run by the Ministry of Food under the biochemist Sir Jack Drummond and the Minister, Lord Woolton. They applied the latest theories in nutrition to improve the nation’s diet. It was a feat of organisation and it was imperative that rationing was simplified and used for goods whose supply could be guaranteed. Another key element was the Dig for Victory campaign, which promoted an increase in agricultural production. Self sufficiency and home grown produce was hugely important. During 1943 and 1944 imports were less than half of that before the war and there was the ongoing threat of merchant ships being sunk by German submarines, in fact around 2,500 were lost during the war.
|Sadie's Son and Father|
The Ministry of Food were also responsible for teaching and educating people on how to make the most of their rations and the healthiest way to feed their families. The Ministry of Food leaflets are now very collectable and the style is very indicative of the period.
The recipe I have chosen is –
Steamed Pudding and Jam
Mixing Bowl, Sieve, Spoon, Pudding Basin (size is up to you), Measuring Jub, Tablespoon, greaseproof paper, foil, string, scissors, saucepan or roasting tin, something to grease you bowl with, scales.
- 6oz Self Raising Flour
- Pinch Salt
- 1 1/2 oz Margarine (Stork in a tub)
- 1 ½ oz Sugar
- Just over ¼ pint of milk and water mixed together
- 2 TBSP Jam
- Mix and Sieve together the flour and Salt
- Rub in the Margarine
- Mix in the Sugar
- Mix to a dropping consistency with the milk and water
- Grease your pudding basin
- Put a greased disc of greaseproof paper in the bottom of your bowl (it will make it easier to turn out)
- Put the jam at the bottom of your bowl on top of your greaseproof paper
- Put the pudding mixture on top, leave a good inch at the top of the bowl so there is room for your pudding to rise. Depending on the size of your bowl you may have enough to do two smaller puds.
- Put a cover of greaseproof paper and then a layer of foil over the top, but put a pleat in so there is room for a bit of expansion as your pudding will rise up like a cake. Tie your paper and foil around the rim of the bowl.
- Pop it in a saucepan with water coming at least half way up, make sure that the water isn’t so high as it can leak into your pudding and ruin it. Put the lid on your saucepan.
- Keep it on a gentle simmer and make sure it doesn’t boil dry, you may need to top the water up every now and again. You need to steam it for about 1 ½ to 2 hours. If you prefer you could do this in the oven, just put your bowl in a baking tin and pour water around to make a Bain Marie and steam it in the oven on a low heat, again keep an eye on the water. This is how it would have been done in the 40’s and you would have added a bit of salt and cooked your veg in the water around your pudding.
- When it is done, turn out carefully onto a plate and serve with custard.
Do you have a historic food recipe? Know any interesting historical foodie facts? Let us know and we'll publish it here! Email Loryn Good at firstname.lastname@example.org