Sunday, May 23, 2010

Day 7: Crunchies & Rhubarb Bread Pie

We've made it through the week and I sincerely thank God that this caper is finally over. I hope that doesn't make me sound too spoiled, but I really am glad we can go back to regular eating. I love cooking from scratch and even cooking with very basic ingredients, including carrot. I could cook again with almost all of the ingredients I've used in the last week, but I'd use them a little differently. The lard no longer has a place in my fridge.

Tonight's dinner consisted of a plain, but tasty vegetable soup. It was my own creation, but very much in the ration book spirit. My approach was to use any vegetables I bought for this week but didn't use. Into a pot went diced onion, parsnip, swede, potato, carrot (!!!), beans, tomato, celery, peas and some herbs. I can no longer stand the taste of vegetable stock, so I stuck with salt and pepper for seasoning, and a little lemon juice and zest at the end. It worked really well and resulted in a warm, wholesome and satisfying dinner. I diverged slightly from ration book cooking and made some garlic bread (with margarine) to fill it out. Yum.

The two final authentic ration book recipes I have from the past week are for crunchies and rhubarb bread pudding. I made the crunchies at the beginning of the week. I tried one and they're very much like the old fashioned oatmeal biscuits I used to love. Tim certainly had no problem with them and polished off the lot. I will be making them again.

On the other hand, the rhubarb bread pudding wasn't a favourite. It's a version of a bread and butter pudding, except you don't use any butter. Also, you don't sweeten the rhubarb and that does make a difference as rhubarb can be quite tart. Because I used regular bread, I couldn't eat this one either (poor me) but Tim has been trying his best to work his way through it over the last couple of days. Not even the offer of hot, fresh custard has made it go down any easier so it sits in my fridge, unloved and uneaten.

100g margarine, lard or clarified dripping (I used margarine)
50g sugar
50g syrup (I used golden syrup)
100g medium oatmeal
1tsp baking powder
vanilla flavouring

Cream together the fat, sugar and syrup. Add flour, oatmeal, baking powder ad a few drops of vanilla. Knead until the mixture binds. (I then wrapped the dough in plastic and left it in the fridge for a couple of hours). Roll out about 5mm thick, cut into rounds or fingers. Bake in a moderate oven until golden brown for about 20 minutes. These biscuits keep well stored in air-tight tins.

Rhubarb bread pudding
225g stale bread
jam for spreading
6 sticks of rhubarb
150ml water
2tsp custard powder
275ml milk and water

Cut the bread into neat thick slices. Spread each one with jam. Cut the sticks of rhubarb into 25mm pieces and stew these in a pan with a little water until almost tender. Strain the fruit, retaining the liquid, and lay (half) the pieces in the bottom of a pie dish. Cover the fruit with a layer of bread and jam slices, add another layer of fruit, then another layer of bread. Pour the rhubarb liquid (which should still be hot) over the fruit and bread and leave to soak for 1/2 hour. Mix the custard powder smoothly with a little milk and make it up to 275ml with hot milk and water. Pour the uncooked custard into the pie dish and bake in a moderate oven for 20 minutes. Serve hot or cold.

Recipes from: Ration Book Cooking; Gill Corbishly; 2004

1 comment:

Bells said...

well done for getting through it! A tough gig but as a reader, I really enjoyed it!

ps my word verification is 'ended'. Quite fitting!