I had to return to ‘What’s Cookin’ (see previous History post) because quite simply, I just love this book. Last weekend, with my very own ‘Teen Ager’ home from boarding school, we set about recreating Trudie’s picnic, the story of which is detailed below.
Firstly we made these. OK, so cod and mashed potato might not be the surprise most of us would hope to find in our picnic turnover these days, but fish was not rationed during the war and was therefore highly valued as a source of protein. The pastry was made with margarine but this was by no means detrimental to its flavour. All in all, these tasted way better than expected (and I’m no fish-lover).
With a view to authenticity, powdered eggs were purchased to make these. However, I must shamefully admit that spoilt old 2019 me couldn’t go through with them. I do feel slightly disloyal to poor old Trudie though. If she had used fresh eggs rather than powdered, this recipe would have cleaned out both her and her mother’s ration for the entire week.
Delicious. Trudie was clearly trying to impress Mark by serving these – cakes would have been a real treat at the time, when fat and sugar were so strictly rationed. The recipe did state that a whopping 2oz (57g) of cocoa powder be used, which I feel must be a printing mistake, because whilst it was not rationed during WW2, it was certainly not as readily available as it had been before.
All in all, not a bad picnic at all, and you will be pleased to learn that by the end of the book Trudie’s efforts have well and truly paid off. Her wizard cooking skills lead her to win Mark’s admiration and she is soon displaying an Engagement ring! I don’t think Mark would be as impressed with the cooking skills of my Trudie. If he was lucky he’d get a bowl of cereal from her and be jolly grateful for that!