Day three and we're hanging in there with the ration book dinners. It's not that there isn't enough food; it's more that it's becoming clear that it's all fairly similar food. There's no doubt that it's low in fat, healthy and designed to fill people up by making the absolute most of what was available. It's not even particularly stodgy or lacking in taste. It's just that what was available was a lot of carrots and potatoes.
Tonight's dinner was slightly more involved than the last few days' efforts. This is because I had to make mashed potatoes in one pot, and grate and cook carrot in another pot. Then came the challenge of moulding the whole thing together to make it look sort of like a roll. Even more of a challenge was photographing it because like yesterday, it isn't the prettiest dish. Still we persevered and here's what you get when you mould mash potatoes around grated carrots and bake.
We also had potato scones. These aren't like the normal, light and fluffy scones you may know and love. You can probably tell that from the photo.
By mixing mashed potato and flour together, you get a fairly sticky dough that you roll and cut discs from, before frying them in dripping. First, they really don't cook very well in a frying pan because the dough is quite dense. Leave them in for too long and they burn. Leave them in too little and they're still raw and gluey inside. My solution was to brown them up in the pan and then throw them in the oven in a tin covered with tin foil. It helped because they cooked right through and were much lighter.
Verdict: Tonight's dinner only required slightly more effort than the last two nights but was still pretty quick and easy. I enjoyed the carrot roll and I could happily have this again as a side with with a roast and some tasty gravy, instead of the usual versions of mash. It's quite tasty and light in texture which was a big difference from the scones.
The scones I wouldn't do again. I found them heavy and not at all tasty and they were no substitute for regular scones or bread. (Or nothing!) I think the recipe book may have left out a few instructions, but I used common sense and they seemed to work out as intended.
Tim says: Not as yummy as last night and I really noticed the lack of meat. The same sort of vegetables are starting to get a bit tiring on day three. The scones aren't as good as normal scones. They're very stodgy. This food might be low in fat but it's energy dense food and can still be heavy.
Carrot roll ingredients:
2 large carrots
salt & pepper
1 tsp vegetable extract (I used half a large stock cube)
2 tsp fine oatmeal, toasted
cold cooked mashed potato
Grate the carrots coarsely and cook for ten minutes in a very little water. Season well and add the vegetable extract and toasted oatmeal. Boil for five minutes, stirring to thicken. Cool. At this stage the mixture will be quite stiff. Have some cold mashed potato ready, dust the pastry board with flour and roll out into an oblong shape. Place the carrot filling in the centre, then fold over and shape into a roll. (I just spooned out some potato and flattened it, arranged the carrot on top and folded the edges over, using extra potato to cover any gaps. I did this directly on a lined baking tray). Dot with a few shavings of fat and bake in a moderately hot oven until nicely browned. Serve well seasoned with brown gravy.
Potato scone ingredients:
225g mashed potato
225g flour (I used spelt)
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp dripping (I used lard)
Mix the potato, flour, salt and baking powder together with enough milk to make a stiff paste. Roll out about 5mm thick. (I just patted it into shape on a floured board, then used a cookie cutter to cut discs) Fry the first cake in a little dripping, the others will do without. (I fried in two batches.) Butter and serve hot, in a pile.
Recipes from: Ration Book Cookery, Gill Corbishley, 2004; pp34 & 38