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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 October, 2003, 18:19 GMT 19:19 UK
A Forties menu...
The World War II diet was extremely healthy - rationing improved many people's diets instead of restricting them.

BBC News Online looks at some of the recipes people cooked then - and offers you the chance to recreate them today.

All recipes come from 'We'll Eat Again' by Marguerite Patten in association with the Imperial War Museum.

Cheese Soup

  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion or leek
  • 1.5oz margarine
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parlsey
  • Salt and pepper

METHOD: Add onion and margarine to milk and water, bring to the boil, cook for 15 minutes, stirring all the time.

Blend flour with a little milk, stir in and cook for a few minutes to thicken.

Add cheese and seasoning. Stir until the cheese is melted, but do not boil again. Add parsley and serve very hot.

Woolton pie

METHOD: Dice and cook around one pound of each of the following in salted water; potatoes, cauliflower, swedes, carrots. Strain, but keep three quarters of a pint of the vegetable water.

Arrange the vegetables in a large pie dish or casserole. Add a little vegetable extract and about 1oz of rolled oats or oatmeal to the vegetable liquid. Cook until thickened and pour over the vegetables; add three to four chopped spring onions.

Top with mashed potatoes and a little grated cheese and heat in the centre of a moderately hot oven until golden brown. Serve with brown gravy.

Eggless sponge

  • 6oz self-raising flour with 1 level teaspoon of baking powder OR 6oz plain flour with 3 level teaspoons of baking powder
  • 2.5oz margarine
  • 2oz sugar
  • 1 level tablespoon golden syrup
  • A quarter of a pint of milk, or milk and water
  • Jam for filling

METHOD: Sift the flour and baking powder. Cream the margarine, sugar and golden syrup until soft and light, add a little flour, then a little liquid.

Continue like this until a smooth mixture. Grease and flour two seven inch sandwich tins and divide the mixture between the two. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until firm to the touch, just above the centre of a moderately hot oven. Turn out and sandwich with jam.

Carrot sandwiches

Add two parts of grated raw carrot to one part of finely shredded white heart of cabbage and bind with chutney or sweet pickle. Salt and pepper to taste.


Bind some grated raw carrot with mustard sauce, flavoured with a dash of vinegar.


Cook diced carrot in curry sauce until tender enough to spread with a knife.

'We'll Eat Again' by Marguerite Patten in association with the Imperial War Museum is published by Hamlyn, price 7.99.

All recipes reproduced by kind permission of the author.

Have these recipes whetted your appetite? Let us know if we have tempted you to cook any wartime recipes - or brought back memories of meals from WWII.

Tell us using the form below.

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Disclaimer: The BBC may edit your comments and cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published.

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