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WW2 Rations Meal Plan for this week

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

We are so lucky that we can go to the supermarket or order food online and have an abundance of food available should we wish to purchase it.  In war time strict rationing meant long queues, limited supplies and making the best of what you were allowed.

This week and next we will be attempting to live on WW2 rations, or as close as we can manage.  Thankfully fruit and vegetables were not rationed, neither was coffee, bread or flour.  All will be very helpful in getting us through the next couple of weeks.  We will be eating seasonal UK produce which means we will miss bananas, peppers, chillis, lemons, melons, mangoes, avocados, aubergines and other imported fruits and vegetables that we are usually able to obtain easily without thinking about seasonality and food miles.

Our meat ration has enabled me to purchase 1kg of beef mince and some lamb neck chops, I was also given some sausages which are not rationed in exchange for homemade jam.  I will try and stretch out the meat to as many meals as I can, hopefully using some next week too.  I have some beef and pork bones and chicken frames to make stock and soup from as well which were free from local butchers.  I will definitely be using the stock next week as well as the soup for lunches for me this week.

My daughters and husband will be having ham sandwiches for lunch with cherry tomatoes, cucumber sticks and a small baked treat, made from our rations.  Bubs and I will have leftover dinner for lunch or soup for me and steamed vegetables and scrambled egg for bubs, with some bread of course.

Snacks will be fruit, all the children will have a large glass or two of milk each day.  I will bake some scones and other treats as well using our rations and post the recipes later in the week.

Breakfast will be overnight porridge with grated apple and topped with homemade rhubarb compote or toast and jam from our ration.

Here are our first 5 dinners for the week, in no particular order:

Sort of Bubble and Squeak with Poached Eggs

500g new potatoes, scrubbed and halved
500g spring greens, shredded
6 rashes bacon, diced
4 spring onions, finely sliced
25g butter
6 eggs, poached or fried

Cook the potatoes in boiling water until tender.  Whilst the potatoes cook, put a frying pan over a moderate heat and add the bacon.  Cook the bacon until it begins to render it's fat and become slightly coloured, about 3 - 5 minutes.  Add the greens and spring onions, cook until greens have wilted and cooked through and the bacon is starting to turn slightly crisp.  Drain the potatoes, lightly mash, add the butter and season.  Stir the bacon and cabbage mixture through the potatoes.  Spoon onto plates then top with a cooked egg.  I'm serving ours with halved cherry tomatoes on the side.

Fish and Vegetable Traybake

700g new potatoes, scrubbed and halved
2 Tblsp oil
300g cherry tomatoes
300g asparagus, trimmed
3 handfuls green beans
5 fish fillets, approx 150g each

Preaheat your oven to 200C/180C Fan.

Put the potatoes into a large, deep roasting tin, drizzle over the oil and ensure the potatoes are evenly coated.  Season the potatoes then bake for 20 - 25 minutes.  Take the roasting tin out of the oven and turn over the potatoes before adding the tomatoes, asparagus and beans.  Place the fish on top of everything else and spread each fillet with a scraping of butter. Put the oven tray back into the oven and cook for about 10 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.  We'll be having steamed carrots and peas as well with this dinner.

Slow Cooked Meatballs

500g beef mince
1 or 2 handfuls uncooked long grain rice
1 handful chopped fresh herbs (parsley, chives, oregano, etc)
2 large onions, peeled and finely diced
3 large carrots, peeled and finely diced
500g homemade tomato and herb sauce
350ml beef stock or water

I usually turn my slow cooker on to high to warm up whilst I'm preparing the ingredients.  

Mix together the mince, rice and herbs. Roll tablespoonfuls of mixture into balls and set aside.  Put the prepared vegetables into the slow cooker with the tomato sauce.  Pour in the stock and mix until combined.  Put the meatballs into the slow cooker, don't push them down, put the lid on and cook the meatballs for 6–7 hours on low or 3–4 hours on high.  We'll serve ours with new potatoes, peas, beans and spinach.  

If you want to cook the meatballs in the oven instead, saute the vegetables until softened, add 600ml of beef stock instead of 350ml and cook in a covered dish in the oven for 60 - 90 minutes at 180C/160C Fan.

Cowboy Hotpot - enough for 2 nights

500g beef mince
1 onion, roughly diced
2 carrots, finely diced
3 sticks celery, finely diced
2 tins baked beans, I use reduced salt ones
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
6 tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
Grated cheese for serving

Heat a medium-sized saucepan. Add meat and stir until browned. Add onion, carrot and celery and keep stirring until softened.

Mix in the baked beans. Worcestershire sauce and tomatoes.  Simmer for 20 minutes then serve topped with a little grated cheese.  I'll serve ours with steamed spring greens and thick sliced bread one night and steamed greens and mashed potatoes the second night.


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