We’ll Eat Again by Marguerite Patten is a collection of wartime recipes including tips on preserving and ‘making do’, to save and use food wisely. The main meal types covered are soups, main meals, vegetable dishes, puddings, snacks and supper dishes, and cakes & baking. Each chapter begins with little nuggets of information (or dare I say; food for thought) from the wartime period. For example:
Cakes and baking
“We could all manage without cakes, biscuits and scones but these helped to makes meals more enjoyable. But the Ministry of Food used to remind us that it was important that all the family ate protective foods first before they enjoyed these home-made treats.”
What makes We’ll Eat Again so good?
- Even though this book explains how cooking was done during the Second World War, when times were tough and food was rationed, he recipes and tips can still be applied in today’s kitchen.
- The photos and illustrated adverts from the era add a certain charm to the book.
- The book includes recipes for American pin wheels, honeycomb toffee, cheese pancakes, eggless sponge pudding, and many more delicious fancies.
The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook is so much more than just recipes. From the introduction:
“Her book is more a memoir than a manual, an invitation to the reader to share the eccentric, eventful life she shared with Gertrude Stein.”
The original book was put together in 1953 when Alice was 75. Being on a strict diet due to an attack of pernicious jaundice, Alice could only write about food. She was an American living in Paris, associating with the likes of Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, Henri Matisse. Chapters such as “Little known French Dishes suitable for America and British Kitchens” “Food in French Homes” and “Food in the United States in 1934 and 1945” show how both France and America influenced her culinary creations.
- “One day when Picasso was to lunch with us…” in the chapter; Dishes for Artists, Alice describes how she cooked and prepared fish for Picasso. The method is more prose than recipe and includes a strange theory about cooking fish, which she had heard from her grandmother: “…fish, having lived in its life in water, once caught should have no further contact with the element in which it had been born and raised.”
- The book includes Recipes for liberation fruit cake, Ibiza soup, gourmet’s potatoes and most famously, hashish fudge (also known as Alice B. Toklas brownies). Alice writes: “Obtaining the cannabis may present certain difficulties…”
Now for my own recipe: simple cherry cake.
- 150g self-raising flour (I used wholemeal but white is even nicer)
- 3 medium eggs
- 150g sugar (brown works best)
- 150g butter
- 150g glace cherries (I use French glace cherries)
- 75g ground almonds