Celebrate “VE Day” with Potato Pete
Authentic WWII Recipe:
Friday the 8th May is VE Day – Victory in Europe Day, and this year, 2015, marks the 70th anniversary of the end of war in Europe. The occasion will be commemorated with events across the UK, including the lighting of over 100 beacons and WWII style street parties. As regular readers will know, just over two years ago, I lived off WWII rations for a week, and you can see my week of ration book cookery (and recipes) at the bottom of my post today. Of all the ingredients I relied on the most when I lived off rations for a week were potatoes……so, when the Potato Girls (from the Potato Council) asked me to come up with a WWII potato recipe, either a a twist on an original WWII recipe or another original recipe of my choice from the 1940’s, I was delighted to accept the challenge in the spirit of the 70th anniversary celebrations and commemoration.
One of the characters that encouraged people to eat potatoes during the war, was Potato Pete; and, he (and his recipes) appear in many of my WWII cookbooks and recipes leaflets. potatoes weren’t just healthy, with research showing children get more Vitamin C, B1, B6, Folate, Iron, Magnesium and Potassium from potatoes than from the 5 super-foods; beetroot, bananas, nuts, broccoli and avocado combined, but they weren’t rationed and being home-grown, they saved the fleet, insofar as there was no need to ship them from overseas to Great Britain. As part of the Potato Council’s VE Day 70th anniversary commemoration, five 1940’s recipes have been brought up to date for the modern family to enjoy whilst celebrating their heritage; these comprise: Sole Otero, Scotch Hotpot, Potato Piglets, Oxford Potato Soup and the infamous Woolton Pie.
Now, I have already made Woolton Pie, and several other 1940’s potato recipes, so it was time to do some research for less well-known potato dishes that were on the healthy side too. I finally discovered the recipe I wanted to replicate in the Victory Cookbook by Marguerite Patten; this fabulous publication is a compilation of three of her wartime recipe books, “We’ll Eat Again”, “The Victory Cookbook” and the“Post-War Kitchen”. It’s a nostalgic cookbook covering war-time rationing, food and recipes and is a wonderful resource of period recipes, as well as facsimiles, cartoons and photos from the era. My recipe was featured in the “snacks and supper dishes” chapter and it intrigued me so much I had to make it. As eggs were heavily rationed during the war, so the recipe sets out to replicate them as mock eggs, in a rather brilliant way, as you can see from the photos, and at the same time make good use of the humble spud.
The salad is very impressive to look at and is VERY filling, as we found to our cost, with no bread needed to accompany it. It was fun to make and very tasty, with a selection of cooked potatoes and raw vegetables on the platter. A simple “salad cream” style dressing is made for the salad, and I worked out that each portion was about 300 calories per person, which is remarkably low for such a tasty and filling salad. The original recipe says it feeds 4 people, but I’d say that it would feed 5 to 6 people with ease. I URGE you all to try this recipe, it makes a wonderful family supper dish and will fox the children when they see the mock eggs! I have shared the recipe AT THE END OF THIS POST, as well as some step-by-step photos how to assemble the salad. Karen
*Commissioned work with the Potato Council*
Janice from Farmersgirl Kitchen also made a VE Day recipe and also shares a Pinterest Board with me, which is all about Ration Book Cookery, so make sure you check her and the board out too! And, if you fancy some delicious potato vareniki, then pop over to see Galina’s recipe, who also cooked for this VE challenge and has a wonderful family story to share.
Ration Book Cooking: