A Lovely Recipe

This comes from the Evening Standard in 1945 (London). I would sooner go hungry.


1 pound of mixed root vegetables
1 1/2 ounces of dripping or lard
quarter pint of water
salt and pepper
quarter pound of sausage meat
3 dried eggs- reconstituted
Cut vegetables into small dice and fry until well browned.
Add water and season well.
Bring to the boil
Place in a pie dish
roll the sausage into small balls and place among vegetables.
Bake into moderate oven for 15 minutes.

Season eggs and beat. Pour over vegetables.
Return to the oven.
Bake for a further 15 minutes until the egg is set and brown.

Sounds like an omelet in a pie shape.

It’s basically a form of a quiche, made with what I presume are ingredients that were easy to find in wartime. Probably really isn’t all that bad.

Yeah, it doesn’t sound too bad. I’d use real eggs and some herbs, probably. I’ve never even heard of dried eggs. Otherwise it’s just sausage and eggs with roasted veggies, not monkey brain casserole.

Rationing. Have a google; you’ll be amazed at what British people had to live on. The options you mention in the OP (eating this or going hungry) were precisely the options people had. In 1945, they were the only options people had had for years, not to mention the fact that rationing went on for years after the war as well. Bizarrely, there are recipe books that people pay good money for now containing these recipes. And for Dr Cube’s information, dried eggs are filth.

My grandmother always claimed, but it always seemed kinda urban-legendy to me, that in wartime England, what they substituted for raspberry jam was made with carrots and food dye. So far, not so bad. The part that I found incredible was that she claimed they added in wood shavings to simulate the raspberry seeds!

Next to which, reconstituted egg pie doesn’t seem so bad.

They certainly used to make some kind of banana substitute using parsnips. Wouldn’t want to diss grandma, but I’m not too sure why they would need to substitute anything for raspberries. We grow them here.

I know, I don’t know what the deal was. She had some strong opinions; lived through the Blitz in London, got bombed out a couple of times, detested Churchill but thought the Royal family were the bee’s knees, and told stories about raspberry jam involving wood bits. Definitely could have been an urban legend, since it sounds like there was plenty of word-of-mouth news to go around!

One thing I do believe is that she was stunned when she moved to Tasmania in '50 or '51 and the women were pissing and moaning about how hard it was to think of three different ways to serve meat every day. Breakfast, a hot lunch, and dinner for their menfolk, and she with three children who’d been scraping by on tinned corned beef!

I think it sounds good, assuming real eggs. I might even try to make one. If I do, I’ll report back.

My Father apparently lied off them in the Pacific Theater in WWII. Said he would have killed for some of the spam the GIs in Europe complained of.

We had dried eggs when I was a kid when we went camping. Maybe my child’s palate was not sophisticated enough to dislike them, or maybe camping makes everything taste better; but I don’t mind them at all. (Of course it’s been eons since I’ve had any. It’s easier to get fresh eggs, and they do taste better.)

My mum’s family used to make their own jam in wartime from garden fruit, and basically anything that would work including marrow and ginger (big zucchinis) This would have gone to make the national loaf (hard brown bread that was all that was available) more palatable.

I’ve heard the raspberry jam pips story before in the context of bizarre jobs. Apparently womwn were employed to roll the little chips of wood between their fingers to make them more pip like. This was supposed to have been around 1900 however and the idea was actually to fool people with a substutute for raspberries which are one of the more expensive jam fruits.

My dad says that when he was in the Navy he, a non-drinker, would trade his combat ration of sauce to the cooks so that he’d get real eggs. He said that the cooks would make big batches of powdered eggs, and then throw a few real eggs in shells and all; the idea being that when someone bit into a shell they’d say, ‘At least we’re getting real eggs!’ (I’ve no idea if this happened, or if he was pulling my leg.)

For what it’s worth, I read a similar anecdote in Readers’ Digest, of all places, where a US Army mess cook crumbled egg shells into the dried egg mix for the same effect. This was more than twenty years ago.