Thursday, 22 February 2018

Living on Rations - Week Two - Day 10 - Mash ... and Mince Slices


Oops ... no picture of breakfast again!!
It was toast for both of us.

Straight after breakfast I put on a big pan of potatoes, I needed mash for what I was about to make. More mash to cover my now naked Woolton Pie leftovers and I also wanted some for a portion of potato pastry later in the week, so I thought why not make it all in one fell swoop and save time and washing up.

The beauty of 'living on rations' in 2018 rather than doing it for real as they did in 1940 is that I have a fridge and a freezer to make my life so much easier than it was then ... and I do realise this.


Here's a little little tip that I read about somewhere and tried out today just to see if it worked, when you get to the tail end of your unsliced loaf rather than just having a couple more slices and then a crust ...


... knock it over onto it's front and slice it that way.

It's so much easier to slice and you get lots of 'half' sized pieces of bread, ideal for sandwiches. 


I was actually using the end of the loaf to make some breadcrumbs for todays wartime recipe 'Mince Slices'.  I used the chopping blade on my Nutribullet to save myself some time, in the war years you would just have chopped it up finely or perhaps grated it.


The breadcrumbs once made were put into a plastic tub, so that once I had used what I needed for todays recipe I could pop the leftovers in the freezer for next time a recipe calls for breadcrumbs.


I used Tom Kerridge's method of cooking the mince, simply placing it in the oven for twenty minutes instead of browning in a frying pan with added fat or oil.  It really intensifies the flavour ... or so I've been told.  The dogs seem to appreciate the smells in the kitchen while it cooked anyway  ;-)


Nice and brown and half the weight ... but with no liquid left in the baking tray, so I guess that's why all the flavour is retained in the meat.


Once cooked the potatoes were drained (the cooking water was saved for soup making of course) and left to steam dry before being mashed. 

There was a whole hoo-ha on Facebook the other day as some bright spark on a frugal foods page said we'd all been cooking our potatoes for mash 'the wrong way' and she knew 'the right way'.  Her way ... well it was to cook the potatoes in milk and then add HUGE quantities of butter, no doubt this is very tasty but it's basically turning a day to day reasonably healthy vegetable into a calorie fest ... no wonder her children loved her mash and no wonder lots of children are getting bigger and heavier!!


Today's recipe was this.


Done in half quantities, with one half just as the recipe says to do it and the other half made with some of my cheese and finely chopped onion.  The 'loaves' were left to rest in the fridge for a few hours before being sliced and cooked.  The mix seems very crumbly at first but the natural moisture in the mashed potato eventually holds everything together.


Some of the mash once cooled was used to turn my now naked Woolton Pie ...


... into a potato topped version for later in the week.

I had thought the suet pastry top was too hard to still be tasty after being in the fridge overnight, so I chopped it up and gave it to the chickens ....much to Alan's horror.  'I would have eaten that' was the cry that went up when I admitted what I had done ... oops!!


And the last of the mash was weighed and then popped into the fridge for Potato pastry later in the week.


Lunch was sandwiches made with some sliced bread from the freezer, salad and a bit of Violife cheese for me and ham, cheese and salad for Alan.


Just before cooking the Mince and Cheese rolls, now lovely and chilled, were sliced up and laid out on a lined baking sheet.  The recipe says four to six helpings ...


... but we ate them all very comfortably, with cabbage and the rest of the mash, so much for it being saved for making pastry  ;-)

They were delicious, but I would say if you are following my 'cheesy' idea be careful which cheese you use, mine were very soft once cooked and if you made them with a soft cheddar or similar I think they would melt before they cooked.


Todays main recipe for our evening meal was taken from this book.


For reasons totally beyond my control I have three copies of this book, the one I am using with all my little scribbles in, and two spares. 

If you would like to have a copy for yourself I am going to give two of them away. 
This Giveaway is only open to anyone who has already commented on any of the posts since we started our 'Living on Rations' Challenge on 12th February.  

Leave a comment below if you are interested, I will post them out worldwide if necessary if your name is one of the two to be drawn out of the enamel pan.

Sue xx

41 comments:

  1. I would absolutely love a copy, should I be lucky enough to be drawn. What a lovely idea. Another lovely idea is slicing the end of the loaf the other way. I'll remember that, for sure, thanks.
    J x

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  2. Guess what.........I have a copy of that book ( just 1!)

    Does the facebook "frugal" person then chuck the milk when she strains the potatoes? What a daft idea

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    1. You do ... what a surprise. Haha 😉

      She sort of implied she left most of it in the pan and mashed it up, daft and most definitely not frugal in any sensed of the word.

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  3. Good idea to slice the end of the loaf the other way. The last couple of times we've had mince (once beef, the other turkey) I roasted it too, having also seen Tom Kerridge do it. And yes it has a much fuller flavour.

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    1. It does. I did it this morning and am really looking forward to the spag bol for dinner now. The hou7se smelled great too!
      J x

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  4. I think I have to steal this recipe please xox

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    1. Steal away ... it was never mine to start with 😉

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  5. Food looks lovely and yes . I would like a copy of the book!! I saw that mash post and thought how ridiculous it was :-)

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  6. Love the mince slice ideas, guessing it would work with soy mince? Must look for that book for my collection but have already bought Betty's wartime diary and Christmas on the home front since reading your rationing challenge blog entries. Also love the bread end slicing idea x

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    1. Yes, it should work fine with soy mince 😊

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  7. There's a chef over here on one of the cooking shows and he did an ad where he said something about why cook with water, it is so bland, use stock instead. Obviously trying to sell stock, but I thought this was a good idea, so now if I boil potatoes I always cook them in stock. That idea does make some sense to me, it adds in flavour. I do not believe milk is a good thing to cook potatoes in though!

    I like your mince slice recipe. We do a meatballs in muffin tin thing which is similar to this. Next time I might try topping them with a little potato and cheese, kind of like a mini cottage pie meatball.

    This recipe also reminds me of tuna patties from my childhood. I have not made those in a very long time, might have to take that recipe out for a spin.

    I am loving this thing you are doing, just so you know. :)

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    1. You could then use that water as a base for your next soup, couldn't you?
      J x

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    2. Definitely Joy, it would be criminal not to 😉

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  8. Im an avid reader of your blog and have been for over a year i just lurk not commenting but I love your living on a rations and keep my children updated (i home educate my daughter) so much so im considering having a go myself so thank you for inspiring me and my children

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  9. Good tip about the bread - but I won't be using it, the crust is my favourite part of a loaf and we never seem to have any left over! ;)

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  10. Oooh yes, I'd be interested in the book please if I'm lucky enough to be drawn out of your wartime hat (please tell me it's an upturned ARP warden's hat, I'd be disappointed if it's not LOL!). Am actually recording and then watching the repeat of 'Family at War' (Talking Pictures, Freeview 81 every afternoon). Not so sure how close to the idea of rationing they seem to be keeping, I can't remember on first watch in the early 70s if my mom commented on it, but they seem to be having continual pots of tea and cups of cocoa all the time! Still, fun to see some now very well known actors in what were obviously early roles for them.

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    1. Nope ... as it says in the post the names will be drawn from my 1930's enamel pan 😊

      Unfortunately we can't get the Talking Pictures channel, although it says it's available on Freesat, our dish does not pick it up ☹

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  11. I would love to enter the giveaway too please! My husband is the same about any (small) thing I might chuck away- 'I could have eaten that!' but when you spend hours in the kitchen cooking, cleaning etc you do what you have to do!

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  12. Yes please. I would love to enter your give away. I too try to use everything and gave no waste. I've loved reading your blogs and trying some of your recipes. We especially love your compost jelly.

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    1. We've still got a few jars of Compost Jelly made last year 😊

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  13. This the first I have heard of roasting ground meat before using. It sounds so right I can't believe that it isn't in more recipes. Thanks for this idea. I am going to try the loaf also but may use leftover lentils instead of all bread crumbs. Yes, I would love the book so please put my name in the enamel pan. I am so glad that I started commenting on your blog :-) I am more of a lurker usually.

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  14. thank you for the slicing of bread idea, am so grateful to see these recipes in a "modern" way and your little tweaks and ideas. I already have the book ( and more!) so hope someone wins and enjoys it. Keep up the good work so enjoying your rationing posts -Tam.

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  15. I would like to enter for the cookbook too. I have a vary hard time here in the United States finding books, let alone wartime cookbooks. I just picked up a book from the library called "Don't you know there's a War On". They had to dig it out of the main library archives. Its not a cookbook but I'm hoping it will give me more insights to what it was like. I just finished 1940 House dvd. Really good.

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  16. Could I be considered too please? I am loving this challenge and am really interested to see if you and/or Alan lose any weight doing it. I have lost 2 stone with Slimming World but would love to find a cheaper alternative. Perhaps war rations is the way to go? Tricia x

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  17. I would love to be put in the book draw please. I think the health aspects of this experiment will be very interesting. I've borrowed Eating for Victory from the library and the you can understand why they were healthy when you see the large quantities of vegetables they bulked their meals out with.

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  18. Since I would love to enter the draw, this is the right time to finally thank you for everything you posted about rationing. I live in the Netherlands and even though there was rationing here as well, there isn’t very much detailed information about it. I have become very interested in everything connected to rationing. I even watched the 1940s house.
    I love your blogs, thanks for sharing!

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  19. I'm allergic to raw potatoes so I can't peel them. But I can eat them cooked. The vitimultimins are in the layer just under the skin. If you boil the potatoes whole (in a small amount of water) they are easy to peel - and you get all the frugal potato with bonus vitamins!

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    1. Don't worry my peelings are never wasted. If we don't eat the potatoes with their skins on the peelings go into the soup pot.

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  20. Your new blog has me totally in thrall.
    It's making me even meaner with meat and cheese than before. I was really cross with myself today because I forget to wash the soil off the potatoes I was peeling. Result no peelings to freeze for the next lot of soup!
    I won't do that again.
    I would love to go into the draw for the book please. Sue

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  21. Could I enter your draw, please. I am fascinated by this whole rationing thing and can't wait to see if tripe or rabbit come into the equation when you are a bit further into the year.

    EH

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  22. Oh my goodness! How kind! I would love to win a book! Thanks for sharing. Everything looks so tasty, as always!

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  23. The comments to be included for the draw are now closed.

    The names of everyone who expressed a wish to be included in the draw have been. Anyone who commented on the Living on Rations posts for the first time, or commented yesterday on older posts will not be included.

    Thanks for taking part, the names of the two 'winners' will be published on Saturday morning.

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    1. I’m always going on about people not reading properly and that’s exactly what I did myself (commented for the first time), but I really do enjoy your blog. :)

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  24. Sue I'm sorry I don't knwo how to post comments in the right place - but how do you make your gravy? It looks so good!

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    1. Bisto granules and boiling water or vegetable water ... the granules are not very authentic 1940s but it works for me ;-)

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    2. That'll do me too :) Thanks, I think I need to make mine a lot thicker, it's very watery compared to yours.

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  25. I would love to win one of your books. My husband is very fussy, and doesn't like anything fancy, so a lot of these simple wartime recipes are ideal for him!

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    1. Sorry comments for this draw are now closed, but for a really good selection of wartime recipes you could go to The 1940s Experiment blog on my sidebar. Carolyn has a page with 170 wartime recipes and most of them are very simple foods.

      This is the page - https://the1940sexperiment.com/100-wartime-recipes/

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  26. I've been fascinated reading your posts on livingon rations.

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  27. I'd never thought of cooking mince in the oven before, tried it tonight for the mince for our cottage pie and it was brilliant. So tasty and so much easier than cooking it in the frypan. I really do learn so much from you. :)

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