The war years
were difficult ones for the British people. The Germans set
up a blockade to stop vital food reaching the country.
the bravery of many seamen, the convoys did still manage to
get through but a huge effort was made to grow food in Britain
on every patch of land possible no matter how small.
sure of what food they would be able to obtain each week,
the British housewife had to improvise and it is to their
credit that the health of the nation actually improved during
the war years.
many others, as the letters show, became a mini farmer, planting
and harvesting crops of potatoes, onions, carrots, lettuce,
radish,cabbage, sprouts and anything which would grow in the
eggs, butter and most other essentials were strictly rationed.
Choice became a thing of the past.
As a boy
I remember only being able to get Wheat Flakes as a breakfast
cereal. It is interesting that for years after the war, these
almost disappeared off the market as people scrambled for
Shredded Wheat, Weetabix and Corn Flakes, products almost
entirely lost during the war.
imported from the USA, were another product widely used which
diappeared with the end of the war. Attempts to market dried
egg products since the end of the war have always failed.
Dried milk and dried potato powder have never been hugely
popular despite the quality improving.
became a substitute for real meat and for years after to war,
one of my favoroute foods consisted of 'Luncheon meat' served
up as batter covered fritters or just grilled in thick slices
served with chips. Genuine SPAM became an expensive luxury
compared with cheaper substitutes most from Denmark. I still
love corned beef fritters and tinned peaches with evaporated
were limited to locally made lemonade with Tizer and Vimto
being an occasional treat. After the war, a riot of new flavours
appeared with Dandelion and Burdock, Ice Cream Soda and various
other exotic flavours coming in and out of favour until eventually
we all fell under the spell of Coca Cola. I thnk Seven up
was the first 'American' brand I ever tasted.
my mother's recipes came from a copy of the BERO cookery book.
She was an excellent cook. Her chips have never been equalled