Thursday, March 10, 2011

WWII Rationing: Chocolate Cream

It is WWII! And you know what that means. Rationing. If you're in Britain, each person gets 1 fresh egg a week* OR one packet of dried eggs a month. Since a packet makes 12 eggs, the dry eggs may be a wiser choice. Furthermore, the Ministry of Food is here to give you helpful suggestions on how to use them!


I love custard.

Dry Egg Custard
2 T. dried eggs**
1 T. sugar
2 C. milk

Mix the dry ingredients together, taking care to get all the lumps out of the dried eggs at this stage. Press them through a fine sieve, if you have one, or rub the powder between the finger-tips till all the lumps have gone. Blend the dry mixture with a little of the milk to make a smooth cream. Boil the rest of the milk and pour slowly on the mixture, stirring well all the time. Then return to pan, and boil very gently for five minutes. It's important not to boil hard. Finally add the nutmeg.

You can use this custard recipe in a great variety of ways. It's excellent for a trifle, or for a fool made with whatever fruit is available. Or you can use it to make a lemon or orange "cream" by adding the grated rind of a lemon or orange and serving in individual glass dishes. Another idea is to add four level tablespoons of cocoa (and possibly a little more sugar) to the mixture; this make a lovely Chocolate Cream.

Verdict: I mixed the dry ingredients together, added cold milk, and whisked it all together until it was smooth before cooking. It worked fine. Since I was using sweet ground chocolate instead of unsweetened cocoa powder, I did not add more sugar. That would be unpatriotic.

It was really not good. Mainly because of the absurdly small amount of sugar. Seriously, 1 T. for 2 C. of milk? I would rather save up my sugar ration and use it at once on something good. It also tastes weirdly eggy. The non-chocolated version might be all right with a little vanilla and used as suggested in a fool***.

*Unless you are me. I get two.

**If you do not have access to a time machine, dried eggs are available at emergency supply stores and online. If you do have access to a time machine, it is best to trade fresh eggs for dried ones, so you do not drain the local resources and disrupt the economy. Shopkeepers will be confused; just tell them you're doing it for King and country.

***Fold together the custard and stewed or fresh fruit. My grandma makes a fantastic version from her dairy farming days in Alaska involving heavy cream, sugar, and lowbush cranberries. Oh man. I wish I had that instead.

Thanks to
The Midnight Watch


Nonna Beach said...

I'm with you...MORE sugar. Your Grandma's recipe sounds yummy !!!

After WWII, Great Britain still was rationing for a few years and Japan was rationing for over 7 years after the war.

Jana said...

I haven't heard a lot about rationing in Japan. I've never thought about it!

Diamond said...

Did you not add the flour? Would it have mattered if it was whole milk or reduced fat milk? I only have dried egg whites, so I guess I won't try this one.

Jana said...

Yes, I did. I don't think the fat content of the milk would make a difference.

Cream would probably be an improvement though. It usually is. :D

nali said...

Grandma's recipe was basically whipped cream with the lowbush cranberries mixed in. Who wouldn't like that?

JanetRudolph said...

I'll stick with real eggs, but I love the old recipes..especially historical ones. I occasionally post vintage ads and recipes on dyingforchocolate, and this would fit right in. Not sure how to make it better, but I've just read some of the comments. Great post!

Jana said...

Glad you liked it! You can use this post if you like, if you include a link.

Shay said...

I spent three months on an artillery regimental firex in the winter of 1982 (we were about 10 km from the North Korean DMZ).

Our battalion field mess served what was probably the most consistently bad food (even for the Marine Corps, which prides itself on its lousy chow) I have ever eaten, and included scrambled eggs, made with dried eggs, for breakfast every damn day. They have a texture that I just can't describe.

Jana said...

Lucky you! The military is indeed not known for their stellar cooking. Especially of eggs, I think, as evidenced by the non-popularity of the omelet MRE.

There is something not-quite-right about an omelet designed to be able to drop hundreds of feet from the air and be stored indefinitely with no loss of quality.