Monday, 2 January 2012

Feeding the Nation by Marguerite Patten

I decided this morning that we have been to Tesco FAR too many times so far this holiday and that we were going to have a make-do lunch. With that in mind, we got Feeding the Nation by Marguerite Patten off the shelf. I have a more-extensive-collection-than-is-strictly-normal of historical cookbooks. If I had to pick a dream job, I'd be a food historian. Whenever I hear one on Radio 4, I feel the jealousy emanating towards the radio, and wonder precisely what happened in their career trajectory to land them there. Anyway, this book was in M&S for a fiver or so about 10 years ago, and I had to have it. I read it from cover to cover and absolutely loved it. It's a collection of recipes from WWII along with adverts and snippets of governmental leaflets, written by Marguerite Patten, who seems both dependable and trustworthy.

Anyway, I thought that if they picked a recipe from this book, they would both have a history lesson and a cheap lunch. We decided on potato scones, which was a good choice, since there were plenty of stages that the kids could do themselves . We even used dried milk, for authenticity, which the kids declared to "taste of rank". We enjoyed the baking process greatly. The scones themselves were fine, I think they benefitted from being fresh from the oven, and don't think they would have kept for long. Better still, we have mash left over for more the bubble and squeak austerity-tea I am planning tomorrow.

It's not a book kids would particularly want to read themselves, but Ava really enjoyed looking at the adverts and some of the old documents, and, with explanations, both kids learnt a lot from the book. It's out of print, but second hand copies are available on Amazon.

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