Sharing Stories
Food

Dilys

We had chickens and mum used to cook the potato peelings with the grain and she put them in a pressure cooker on the coke stove overnight to cook and the smell was awful. My grandfather used to shoot rabbits and my mother would skin them. That was smelly too, and when we ate the rabbit we would find bits of lead shot.


Valerie

We had whale meat and it was very nice. It was a meaty fish.


Jeff

We had horsemeat too.


Jeff

We used to have dripping. My mother used to blend the butter ration with the margarine so that it went further.


Jan

We had a big galvanised bucket with isinglass (which was a type of clear jelly) and we used to put the eggs in there and so we had eggs all the year round. They tasted a bit different but they were fine for cooking or scrambled.


Jeff

We used to get really good quality milk then with loads of lovely cream on top we kept it cool in a bucket of water and if it got warm we used to heat the milk to stop it going sour.


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Jan

We were all thin during the war and the diet was adequate but you didn't dare think about being hungry too much because there wasn't that much of it. My father had a quarter share in a pig, we had chickens and he dug up the lawn garden to grow food and we had two allotments so we managed.


Jeff

A friend of mine told me he kept pigs and he was presented with a big barrel full of rice which was unfit for human consumption. He was grateful because he had a job to find food for his pigs but it poured with rain that night and the next day he gave the rice to the pigs but it had turned to rice wine and all the pigs ran around quite mad.


Jan

Something similar happened to our pigs because we lived next to an orchard and the pigs ate the apples, some of which had fermented into a form of cider and the pigs went mad, the cat also got hold of some and it went bananas; up and down the trees.


Jeff

I used to make rice wine and it was very potent. My young nephews used to knock on my door and ask for a drink.


Mabel

When my niece was born my brother in law came to tell us at 11 o'clock at night and I went to bed but the men were celebrating and drinking the rice wine and when my brother in law left he got on his bike and fell over the garden wall. He didn't usually drink so it went straight to his head so I picked him up and put him back on his bike and off he went that was a good celebration.


Dilys

Lots of people made their own wine, my grandfather made dandelion wine, which was also very strong. He also gave his rabbits the dandelion leaves. The stain from the flowers came off on your hands.


Noel

My mother made wine from dandelion, elderberries, sloes, rose hips. We were always out picking.


Dilys

Some of my very old cookery books tell you how to make wine.


Jan

It was difficult to find enough food for the pigs and chickens because their food was rationed you could only get so much grain so you gathered everything you could, potato peelings, acorns and all food waste.


Jeff

I used to have to buy balancer meal for the chickens it was difficult to get. Sometimes it smelt of fish. This was because all sorts of food were mixed together to make the balancer, it was a wartime measure but the problem was when the chickens had eaten it their eggs tasted of fish.


Dilys

When I worked in London during the war there was a big black market. All sorts of things fell off the back of a lorry.


Jeff

When I was in India the army they couldn't keep up with our food so they dropped us K-packs of dry food. K-packs were American and the food was packed in wax boxes. You could then burn the box and it would burn for half an hour so you could make a cup of tea. British compo rations used to come in tins, the food was far better inside but you couldn't do much with the tins except carry water.


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Cliff

During rationing we used to go out with a ferret to catch rabbits. We would get 3 shillings for a rabbit and 3 pence for the skin.


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The group were looking at a magazine published in 1943 and discussing the contents.

Carole

Here are some recipes, potato and cheese savoury made with dried egg. We could use fresh egg and make it for the exhibition. Hints for the housewife, try this for a change creamy rice pudding made with evaporated milk which requires less gas when boiled rather than cooked wholly in the oven, bottled fruit or sausage meat. Sausage meat is often obtainable when sausages are not and may be divided into portions formed into flat round cakes or rolls, floured and fried. They may be served with or without gravy but some may like them with onion or apple sauce.


Cliff

Do you remember Red Letter it was a magazine that I used to go and pick up for my mother, there was Red Letter and Women's World.


Jeff

Is there anything about Soya links? These were wartime sausages.


Dilys

Every day I cut out a piece in my daily paper, which gives news of the 1940s and this morning's item was about the introduction of meat rationing which was 1/10d per week including children over 6 years, younger children got half that amount but warning that it might not always be possible to obtain the meat you would like. We managed to survive the war and cakes made with dried egg and liquid paraffin and other unmentionable recipes. Liquid paraffin was used instead of fat or oil.


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Pat

We collected rose hips for rose hip syrup.


Jeff

I used to take tea to drink in a sterilised milk bottle with a clip top and go out in the woods for the day. We used to dig up potatoes when the farmer wasn't about and light a fire and cook them.