The Wartime Kitchen and British Restaurants:
– Black Pudding Hot-Pot Recipe –
Day four of my living off wartime rations, and I am hankering after a little meat in my diet, curiously enough, as I am not a huge meat-eater normally. I still have my bacon and meat rations left, as well as my cheese and fat rations, but I am saving them for the weekend for some wartime baking and a tasty family Sunday lunch. My only concern at the moment is my tea ration, and I may have to cut back on my tea drinking in order to make the ration last the week. One bonus in the wartime kitchen was offal as it was not rationed; now, I am NOT a big lover of offal, an early bad experience with liver has put me off for life, but, I DO like black pudding, and yes, I DO know what the core ingredients are in this black sausage. It would have been very likely that at this time of the year, when Pig Clubs would be slaughtering their pigs in readiness for Christmas and the winter months, that some nice black pudding would become available and don’t forget I have eggs to barter with too! So, I was able to purchase some black pudding, only 8 ounces (225g) and I decided to make a hearty hot-pot with it, from a recipe by Marguerite Patten and The Victory Cookbook.
Whilst I chopped my carrots and peeled my potatoes, I remembered my mum and dad talking about their experiences at British Restaurants. British Restaurants were communal kitchens created during the Second World War, and were mainly set up to ensure communities and people who had run out of rationing coupons were still able to eat. However, in large towns and cities they became invaluable for office workers as well as all the home-front forces and volunteers, a communal canteen where people could go to for a three course hot meal that cost between 6d and 9d. (That’s 2 1/2 pence and about 4 pence in today’s money) The British Restaurants provided soup, a main course and a pudding, and although the quality may not have been there, as the volunteer cooks struggled to work with what was available, my mum and dad remember that you were very grateful for a hot meal, and three course at that. They were set up by the Ministry of Food and run by local committees on a non-profit making basis. Meals were purchased for a set maximum price of 9d, although I have discovered through some research that 6d could also buy you a meal. And, no-one could be served with a meal of more than one serving of meat, game, poultry, fish, eggs, or cheese.
I should imagine that the cooks who worked so hard to provide hot, nourishing meals at the hundreds of British Restaurants throughout the UK (by the mid-1941 over 200 of these restaurants existed in the London County Council area, although the Wartime Social Survey conducted in 1942-43 indicated they were more popular in London than in the rest of the country. In November 1942 there were 1,899 restaurants, in November 1943 there were 2,145 and in December 1944 there were 1,931), would have been very pleased to have a nice bit of fresh black pudding at their disposal, and as I discovered when I made this recipe, a little goes a long way.
The recipe suggests you serve this hot-pot with cooked beetroot and who was I to change the meal plan, so cooked beetroot was indeed served with this hearty luncheon dish, and it was a curiously comforting accompaniment, the earthiness of the beetroot complimenting the spiced black pudding hot-pot perfectly. This hot-pot serves four people and apart from the beetroot, nothing else is needed to supplement the dish as you have carrots, onions and potatoes in the casserole, making it a one-pot meal. For black pudding haters amongst you, I would replace the black pudding with normal bangers (sausages) if you could get hold of any, again, they weren’t on ration either. Anyway, here is my meal plan for day four:
Daily Meal Plan for Thursday 8th November:
Breakfast: Porridge with one cup of tea with milk
Lunch/Dinner: Black Pudding Hot-Pot with Cooked Beetroot
Tea: Bacon and Potato Cakes with Fried Bread in Dripping(Recipe to follow)
I used from my rations today: One rasher of bacon (3/4 oz – 18g); 1/2 oz tea (15g); 1/2 pint of milk (300ml) and 1 teaspoon margarine. So, here is what I have left for the week:
WW2 Rations 1940: Two Adults
Butter: 3 3/4 ozs (90g)
* Bacon or ham: 200g (8oz) – used one rasher 3/4 oz (20g) : 180g (7 1/4 oz) left
* Margarine: 6 1/2 ozs (160g) – used a little: 6 ozs (150g) left
Cooking fat/lard: 200g (8oz) Used 20zs (50g) – 60zs (150g) left
Sugar: 14 1/2 ozs (440g)
Meat: To the value of 2/4d – about 2lb (900g)
* Milk: 5 pints (3000mls) – used 1/2 pint (300mls): 4 1/2 pints (2700mls) left
Cheese: 8oz (200g)
Eggs: 2 fresh egg a week – NOT taking this ration up as I have my own chickens
* Tea: 2 0zs (50g) left – Used 1/2 oz (15g) – 2 ozs (50g) left
Jam: 900g (2lb) every two months. 120g (41/2 ozs) left
Dried eggs: 1 packet (12 eggs) every four weeks
Sweets & Chocolate: 700g (1lb 8oz) every four weeks
I hope you are enjoying my ration book cookery week – if you stop by daily to read how I am getting on, please do leave a comment, or maybe share some memories with me that you or your family have about WW2 rationing, or some recipe ideas! Tomorrow is all about fish and fish and chips during the war, and what I manage to make with just TWO small pieces of fresh fish for a family of four. Bye for now, see you tomorrow, Karen
NB: The recipe for the Black Pudding Hot-Pot is below.
Why not join Janice and Fiona in their Wartime Kitchens – click on the links below: