SEVENTY years on from the start of the Second World War, we find ourselves in the midst of an economic downturn. While the situation now cannot be compared to that of wartime rationing, many of us find ourselves tightening our belts and thinking more carefully about what goes into our shopping baskets.
‘The Thrifty Kitchen: Wartime Lessons for the Modern Cook’, a cookery book from older people’s charity Independent Age, is full of recipes that prove you can successfully apply the principles of wartime cookery to create dishes that will delight the modern palate.
Don’t fear: ‘The Thrifty Kitchen’ will not have you running out to stock up on dried egg or spam. You won’t find a recipe for sheep’s head stew or brain cakes (although you will find references to some authentic wartime fare, such as eggless batter and game pie without game).
Whether you are making the most of your vegetable patch or taking advantage of the cheaper cuts of meat, this cookbook will bring a little of the thrift, imagination and fun of the challenge of wartime cooking into the 21st century. It’s about cooking in a modern context, using modern ingredients, but applying the basic principles of the wartime cook: Shop sensibly and seasonally; experiment with cheaper cuts of meat; don’t be wasteful and make the most of leftovers.
The cookbook includes a broad range of seasonal recipes such as nettle soup, Elderflower cordial and blackberry and apple crumble; thrifty recipes for stews and delights like simple pork paté; and traditional treats such as marmalade pudding and lemon curd.
The recipes contained in ‘The Thrifty Kitchen’ have come from Independent Age beneficiaries, volunteers, supporters and friends. There are also contributions from celebrity chefs Darina Allen, Jane Fearnley-Whittingstall, Peter Gordon, Richard Guest, Mark Hix, Allegra McEvedy and Delia Smith.
The funds raised from the sale of The Thrifty Kitchen will go to Independent Age, a charity working to keep older people independent and out of poverty. It focuses on supporting people who are over 70, are in financial need, are lonely or isolated and who have made a sustained and significant contribution to society, particularly through voluntary work. It is supported by local teams of volunteers across the Ireland and the UK whose aim is to enable older people to stay in their own homes for as long as possible and lead active and fulfilled lives.
‘The Thrifty Kitchen’ will be published on September 28 by Independent Age.