The other night I watched a great BBC program called Regulation of the Wartime Kitchen. It was about how brave and resourceful people made themselves a happy Christmas celebration in the bunkers under London in the typical Dunkirk Spirit, while bombs exploded over their heads.
Food was scarce and mostly everything was rationed. Typically, a week would bring one egg, 4oz of margarine, 4 slices of bacon, 2 oz butter and tea, 1oz of cheese and 8oz of sugar per person. The rest was grown, raised, traded for or hunted.
Beef, pork, turkey or ham was in very short supply and the 1944 Christmas table featured stuffed and roasted rabbits, boiled carrots, carrot cake and carrot fudge (made with grated carrots and gelatin).
Rabbit…roasted rabbit, rabbit stew, rabbit pie, rabbit fill in the blank… was a good, nutritious and common food.
Old habits stick around and, I believe even as the war ended, rations continued for some years to come. The 1952 Good Housekeeping’s Basic Cookery cookbook here at West Cottage has several lovely recipes for rabbit including this one for rabbit pie.
Today I took some frozen shortcrust pastry, stewed steak, onions and peas. Rolled the crust out, wilted the onions in a bit of butter, added the peas and beef and made a no fuss steak and onion pie…and it was yummy.
I love old and vintage cook books. Also love vintage gardening books and those Victorian household lady’s books (mostly written by men…lol), charming old children’s books, car books…OK, let’s face it, almost all kinds of old books, but mostly the gardening books. Do you collect or love to read old books? Which ones?