Rationing Recipes- Fruity Potato Cakes

Tasty wartime treats

Tasty wartime treats

I recently acquired a wartime recipes book so here is my first experiment on cooking from the 40’s. The first two things I tried, these potato cakes and some carrot cookies, both use veg to bulk out the standard ingredients and it really is surprising how far things go with just small amounts of sugar and marge.

These are fried or cooked on a hot plate or griddle and reminded me a lot of Welshcakes.

Makes 10-12

Ingredients:

Cakes

Ingredients ready to go

Ingredients ready to go

4 oz cooked potatoes (I found just over 5 oz will reduced to 4 when peeled and cooked)
2 oz self raising flour (or use plain and double the baking powder)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 oz sugar
1 oz margarine
1 tbsp marmalade
1 oz dried fruit

Topping

sugar
mixed spice

My resident historian using a more authentic mixing method than my Kenwood.

My resident historian using a more authentic mixing method than my Kenwood.

1. Mash the potatoes, or better still use a potato ricer to ensure no lumps (I thought this might be cheating but having just seen Mary Berry using her mother’s it is definitely authentic).

2. Cream the margarine, sugar and marmalade together. It might be easier to add the marmalade after so you can see the colour of the margarine to make sure it has gone pale and mixed in properly.

3. Mix in the flour, potato and dried fruit. The mixture should be quite stiff.

4. Flour your worksurface and shape into rounds. Add more flour if they’re too sticky to shape.

Ready to cook. Plenty of flour required to prevent sticking.

Ready to cook. Plenty of flour required to prevent sticking.

5. Grease a heavy frying pan/ solid electric hotplate or griddle. Heat for a few minutes- you will know if it’s ready when a pinch of flour will turn golden brown within a minute.

6. Add the cakes to the pan, cooking for 2 minutes on each side.

7. Lower the heat and cook for a further 5-6 minutes, keep turning to avoid burning.

Cooked on one side.

Cooked on one side.

8. Sprinkle with sugar and mixed spice. Can be eaten hot or cold but are best fresh out of the pan.

P1070677

hshf_img_potpete

To make up for the lack of a white Christmas…

Snowflakes; micro-photographic images from nature: A.Sigson: Rybinsk

Snowflakes; micro-photographic images from nature: A.Sigson: Rybinsk

These snowflakes photos were taken at the end of the 19th century by Russian photographer A. Sigson (1839-1907). His advanced photographic techniques won him several prizes at the time (including a gold medal at the Exposition Universelle of 1900 in Paris) and were widely used in the scientific community.

Of course these days there are much clearer photos available and with a bit of effort anyone can take their own (see the link below which uses a similar method to the ‘web-cam microscope’ that has been doing the rounds on the internet recently, a very good example of which is shown here) but I still prefer Sigson’s, there’s something about the clarity of capturing an object that normally disappears so quickly in a time long before digital photography.

Saying that, this guy is still very much worth checking out:

http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/172357-the-most-beautiful-snowflake-photos-youll-ever-see-captured-with-a-cheap-diy-camera

Alexey Kljatov, 18/12/13.

Alexey Kljatov, 18/12/13.

References:

The Russian contribution to snow science, S. Sokratov, ICE no.162.

Images:

Sigson image obtained from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f4/Photos_of_Snowflakes_01_%28Sigson%29.JPG

Kljatov image obtained from http://www.flickr.com/photos/chaoticmind75/11432202444/