Some years, during the summer, the Ministry of Food was able to double the sugar rations to encourage home preserving. The Ministry of Food also advised people on how to cure and preserve meat. Pork or lamp chops could be preserved for up to six weeks by first cooking them, and then putting them in a crock completely covered with fat. Carrots were particularly promoted to the population, as there was no shortage of them, and they were deemed very healthy.
The Ministry of Food suggested Carrolade a homemade juice blend from mixed carrot and Swede juices , carrot jam, curried carrots, etc. The drawings were wire-photoed to London, courtesy of RCA. The characters were used in newspaper campaigns, recipe booklets, posters and flyers.
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The character acquired his own song, recorded by a woman named Betty Driver, later to become famous for portraying Betty Williams in Coronation Street, who in turn would become famous for her potato dish, Lancashire Hotpot. The Ministry recommended scrubbing potatoes clean instead of peeling them, as peeling caused wastage, however small. One of the most famous dishes invented during the war was Woolton Pie, for the purpose of promoting root vegetables in general.
It was created by Francois Latry , the chef at the Savoy Hotel in London, and named in honour of the Minister of Food himself. The pie consists of carrots, turnips, parsnips and potatoes simmered in an oatmeal stock, then turned into a baking dish, topped with a crust of dough, or mashed potato, and baked. Sadly, despite all the promotion that the recipe was launched with, the dish never really took off in popularity amongst the public. The Ministry of Food actually invented several food products, and legislated their production to substitute for other goods.
All were a success in terms of keeping the population healthy and fed. Sadly, not all were a success in terms of endearing themselves to the tastebuds of the population. White flour was banned for the most part for household use [Ed: it was still allowed commercially in the production of some biscuits, etc. While not quite wholewheat flour in order to be a bit of a compromise , it left all the bran in it.
It was greyish in colour. Some women in desperation would sieve it through their nylon stockings to get white flour; if you kept chickens, the bran sieved out could go to make a ration-free mash for the chickens. Bakers were obliged to use the National Flour to make only one type of bread, which was called the National Loaf. Fresh, fluid milk was limited, so the Ministry of Food created two different types of powdered milk. There was a National Butter made, to help replace the reduced butter supplies from New Zealand.
As well, there was a National Margarine: in fact two types, a standard and a special which was, in theory, of slightly better quality than the standard, though some people said even it tasted like melted candles. Some people would mix it with their butter ration for better taste at the table.
Ed: see separate entry on National Margarine.
A National Cheddar was made, and the production of any other cheese banned. It would take the British cheese industry decades to recover. See separate entry on British Cheeses. One packet of the powdered, dried egg was the equivalent of one dozen eggs. Meat, of course, did not escape rationing, and in fact, was the last thing to come off the ration list, in Offal and sausages were only rationed from to But offal was still scarce for the few that wanted it at any price , and the sausages had little meat in them, and much filler.
Meat pies were not rationed, though the meat in them was likely to be Spam. Spam from America was plentiful, and came to be seen as a godsend. Spam for meals would be fried in a frying pan, or battered and fried in oil with chips. Consequently, there were always very long queues outside fishmongers. At the same time, the Ministry of Food made whale meat available off-ration as well, and encouraged people to eat it, releasing recipes, etc. There was a National Butter and two types of National Margarine.
Before the war, a middle-class British household tended to put butter on the table, and reserve margarine for cooking purposes. But because the rations for the margarines were more generous than for the butter, margarine worked its way out of the kitchen and into the dining room. People were inventive in how they boosted the supply of proper butter at home. Fish and chips were not rationed. Consequently, fish and chips, which before the war had been seen as just a working-class food, made its way upward to become a food that all Britons ate.
Your local chippie could also sell you meat pies, as they were not rationed, either — though the meat in them was more likely to be Spam than anything else. A convoy of mobile canteens would move into bombed areas to feed residents and rescue workers for free, coordinated by the Ministry of Food. These mobile canteens were largely funded by donations from America. The Ministry expected rationed home food to be supplemented by meals at work and at school.
Before the war, only about , school meals a day were served; by the end of the war, school meals happened just about everywhere, feeding about 1,, children a day. The Ministry made it compulsory for any factory over a certain size to open a canteen to feed its workers. The number of factory canteens consequently went from 1, in to 18, in In July , restaurant restrictions started coming into effect. The first regulation was that in one meal you could not have both a meat and fish dish.
So a fish starter, and meat main course, was out. In June , two additional restaurant restrictions came into effect. The first was that no restaurant meal could have more than three courses. The second was that no restaurant could charge more than 5 shillings for a meal alcohol and coffee excluded.
This had the desired effect, of course, of causing restaurants to be more frugal in what they chose to offer, or serve smaller portions of it, so that they could still make a profit on the meal. Swanky places get around the quality barrier by adding a stiff cover charge, but the three courses are never exceeded. Coffee and drinks are extra. Europe: Where the Cupboard is Almost Bare. Rotary International: The Rotarian. September Page She gave the idea to Lord Woolton, whom she knew socially. He backed the idea, and asked her to get it started. Her plan was that once the Communal Centres were up and running, they would be turned over to locals in the area to run.
One opened in Newcastle on 6 October , with the Duchess of Northumberland and the Lord Mayor of Newcastle having lunch on the first day to help promote it. The restaurants were actually more like canteens. They were set up in church halls, town halls, school halls, etc, and run by Local Food Committees on a non-commercial basis.
They would usually have restricted hours of opening, operating just at main meal times such as noon to pm, etc. All meals were ration free. The only rule was that you could only have one serving of either meat, game, poultry, fish, eggs, or cheese. They were also relatively inexpensive. The set maximum price allowed was 9d, though even that would likely only have been charged in London where operating costs would be higher. The British Restaurants served basic foods such as sausage, mash, gravy, or minced beef with parsnips, greens and potatoes.
There was also pudding and custard. Some of the British Restaurants supplied packed meals for working people such as miners. The British restaurant in Chopwell in what is now Tyne and Wear County; previously Durham advertised the following food to go: meat pies, sausage rolls or spam sandwiches at 4d each; ham or bacon sandwich at 5d; teacakes with butter and jam on them, 3d. By November , there were 2, British Restaurants. Ed note: There was mention in at least one edition of the ration booklets that meat coupons were required to be used at restaurants.
It may be that that regulation was printed, but never brought into force:. The government was not simply concerned that people had basic quantities of basic foods: they also considered the overall population health as understood at the time to be vital to the war effort. Doctors regularly visited schools to check the nutrition and health status of children. Schools dosed students up weekly with Virol, a bone-marrow laxative tonic sweetened with malt, to keep them regular.
Children under five got cod liver oil; those under three got daily milk fluid or full-cream from dried , and orange juice as well. Though candies were rationed, cough drops were not — not many children, however, liked cough drops enough that they considered them to be considered an acceptable substitute for candy. Every national food product that the government created, and every suggested recipe released, was gone over with a fine tooth comb by dieticians, nutritionists and Home Economists.
Salt was unrationed, so it was used freely to try to give some interest to the monotony of the admittedly plain-tasting food. The result of these efforts was that, despite the deprivation, the British population actually ended the war tremendously fit and healthy: healthier than they had been before, or have been since.
Children in general were even taller and heavier than those before the war. Infant mortality rates went down; average age of death from natural causes increased, meaning civilians just plain lived longer. Interestingly, the war-time precaution of night-time blackouts caused the number of people killed by night-time road accidents to double over pre-war figures, even though there were fewer journeys by car owing to petrol rationing.
Kitchens in wartime Britain were much as they had been in the s before the war.
Most kitchens had gas stoves. Coal-burning boilers provided hot water for both kitchen use and heating the home through radiators. Hot water from the tap was used carefully, though, because the coal used to heat it was rationed. Most homes did not have refrigerators yet [Ed: nor were they common yet in North America], so canning was still a skill practised at home to preserve food, and there was a lot of shopping daily to pick up fresh produce.
Those people with relatives and friends abroad were fortunate, because food packages from them to help bolster or brighten kitchen pantries got through surprisingly often. Onions disappeared from the shelves of greengrocers early in the war. Onions became so rare that they would be prizes for raffles and contests.
In that same month, the Minister of Agriculture, Robert Hudson, no doubt hearing frustration from his own wife, announced the intention to increase domestic onion production by 15 times. By , the Minister announced that the onion shortage was in theory alleviated, though an American rotarian, reporting on a visit to London he had done in the second week of January puts this claim in doubt:.
Note that rationing continued in Britain for nine years after the end of the war. The reason given was to help free up food to feed the starving European populations. Women were angry that rationing had been kept up by Labour after the war. It was women, not men, who had to wait in lines to get into food stores, and then try to produce meals with what little they were able to get, while the men were getting extra off-ration meals at canteens at their workplaces from which women had been expelled, of course, after the war ; — October 3.
Tea rationing ends; — February 5: Sweet rationing ends; — September. Sugar rationing ends; — July 4: All remaining rationing is abolished. In hotels and restaurants, no less than in communal canteens, many people have tasted Lord Woolton pie and pronounced it good. Buehler's Butter Quarters. Buehler's Split Top Wheat Bread. Buehler's Jumbo White Bread. Our Family Spring Water 24 Pk. Bob Evans Mashed Potatoes, Original.
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Grade A. Pairs well with coleslaw dressing, bacon pieces and salted, roasted sunflower seeds. But did you know Costco also sells everything from freshly-baked cakes and diamond rings to balloon rides — and you can even get your eyes tested there?
Costco is the second biggest retailer in the world after Walmart, with branches throughout the world and 28 in the UK. And workers have also revealed the customer habits which really used to drive them insane, as the Liverpool Echo's Catherine Murphy reports. If you turn up from Monday to Friday, between 10am and 11am, you can bag a free tea or coffee and a slice of cake. The Birmingham Costco is on a dual carriageway which means you enter and exit going east on the A47 Heartlands Parkway. If you want to leave and go the other way into the city centre, you might think you are forced to go all the way to congested Bromford Lane Island to turn round.
Drive through the basement car park and you can get out on the Star City island. Costco has its own signature brand called Kirkland so is cheaper. The best bit is the items are often made by name brand companies, like Huggies and Grey Goose, for much less money. The store is pretty busy all day long but it is most congested at noon and 6pm every day and at the weekends. Most days, between 10am and 5pm there are demonstrations in store and free samples to be eaten — and you can eat as much as you want. There are also roadshows, pop-up travelling stores selling things like Krispy Kreme doughnuts which are there for just a week before moving on.
That is so popular that it even has its own Facebook page. Strictly speaking you are supposed to be a employed in sectors such as banking, legal, health, civil service, education, insurance, emergency services and so on. One of the best things about Costco is the free samples. However, according to one employee some customer do not like to wait. One worker said: "The ones who get angry because we have to wait for them to cook or are temporarily out do sort of act like savages.