Thursday, June 30, 2011

WWII Rationing: Stuffed Cabbage and A Sweet for the Children's Party

Dear readers, it is war time once more. As patriotic citizens, it is our duty to abide by rationing restrictions! Luckily, the Ministry of Food has provided us with nutritious, filling recipes using ingredients that make the best use of our ration books. To victory!

First up, Stuffed Cabbage!


Stuffed Cabbage
Cooking time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Quantity: 4 helpings

1 medium cabbage
8 oz sausagemeat
1 onion, grated
4 oz. soft breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
pinch mixed herbs
1 teaspoon Worcester sauce
salt and pepper

Method: Put the whole cabbage into boiling salted water and boil for 5 minutes. Remove; retain 1/2 teacup of the liquid and carefully fold back the leaves, which will by now have softened.

Mix all the stuffing ingredients together and put a little of the mixture between the leaves, folding them back as they are filled.

Put into a casserole, adding 1/2 teacup of the vegetable water and covering first with a well greased paper and then the lid. Bake for 1 hour in a moderate oven. To serve, open out the leaves again.

A Sweet for the Children's Party
Peel, core, and cut 1/2 lb. apples and simmer until tender in 1/2 teacup water. Sweeten with about 1 dessertspoon honey and flavour with cinnamon or ginger, whichever is liked. Whip the mixture until it is light and frothy. Add half a packet of tablet jelly--strawberry or raspberry is prettiest--and stir well, until it is thoroughly melted. When cool turn into a wet mould. Miniature meringues or ratafia biscuits make a simple decoration for this sweet.


Stuffed Cabbage: *quiet weeping*

So bad. So, so bad. It looked like some sort of squidgy sea creature. It tasted neither of sausage, nor of cabbage, but of flatulence. Robust, enthusiastic flatulence. Worst of all, after I choked down a few bites (for victory!), I noticed that we had cut the cabbage with a Henckels knife. Aughhhh! Sneaky Germans!

A Sweet for the Children's Party: It was okay! Just enough for the two of us. I can see this making for a party of sad, sad children, though. Of course, vitamins being the key to victory in this great war, I made sure not to waste the skins.

Take that, Hitler!


Courtesy of "We'll Eat Again: A collection of recipes from the war years", selected by Marguerite Patten


Kathleen said...

We'll eat again...but not until there is something besides cabbage.

Jana said...

Heh heh heh heh heh!

Nurse Heidi said...

Oh my gosh, I laughed out loud over this one! Flatulent make it sound so appetizing!

Jana said...

Just think of the poor starving children in Belgium, Heidi.

Jesse said...

Just found your blog via Steampunk Cookery. Very interesting!

I'm a bit surprised that the recipe in question has the filling tucked between the leaves like that. Most similar recipes call for hollowing out the center of the cabbage, and filling it with a mixture of shredded cabbage, meat, and breadcrumbs, etc. Do you suppose it was part of the effort to stretch the meat farther to do it this way?

Jana said...

Welcome! Yes, I believe it is to stretch the meat further. Vegetables aren't rationed, and cabbage was abundant. Sausage was rationed during some of the war, and whenever it wasn't rationed it was really hard to find. And mostly made of bread.

rengawk said...

Wow I had hopes for the cabbage, blegh!

Jana said...

Me, too. Me, too. :(

~~louise~~ said...

I would like to say I was surprised to see this recipe "maneuvered" in such a way but alas, I wasn't. Many of the war time cookbooks call for preparing the stuffed cabbage this way rather than the way we are more familiar with, hollowing out the middle or tearing off the leaves and rolling, but indeed, it was prepared this way as a meat stretcher. Now, many just include rice and sausage as a stuffing. Still a good stretcher...

Thanks for sharing, Jana. LOVE the apple skin "lipstick."

Jana said...

I am more familiar with the recipe which involves tearing off leaves and rolling. It is better than this.

Roger said...

I'm proud of you for striking a (belated) blow against fascism. Good work.

Jana said...

Thanks, dad! I try my best. If I only knew how to fight communism with cabbage, I would.

hippytea said...

I know this is an old post, but I think that sweet recipe should be better than that. Your apples are still in distinguishable slices, but the recipe says 'whip the mixture until it is light and frothy'. I know that seems an odd thing to do to sliced apples, but if you used Bramley cooking apples, they would disintegrate on cooking to a fluffy sauce which could be whipped like that, and mixed with jelly, could be a pretty good dessert, capable of being moulded into a shape.

I know that seems like arcane knowledge, but Bramleys are common in the UK, and even nowadays, most people here, if following a recipe that involves cooking an apple, will automatically use them. Because they are awesome.

Jana said...

That is good information! I have never even heard of Bramley apples.