Ration Recipes from WW1 and WW2

A collection of useful and practical WW1 and WW2 recipes in the hope that they may help you plan interesting meals during food shortages.

Using our food supplies to the best advantage will help to ‘win the war’ against adversity. We can avoid waste and keep ourselves fit. We need variety and a well-balanced diet. These recipes give you both, suggestions for a number of balanced meals for various seasons being included in these pages.

Many of the dishes are novel, the majority economical But because every household feels the need to celebrate now and then, even in wartime, a few party dishes have been included. Eggs and flour may be hard to get, but other festive foods are not, and some of the recipes show how workaday dishes may be transformed by party trimmings.

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war time cakes and scone recipes

War Time Cakes and Scones

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ration books

Meat Free Recipes from War Times

Cornish Leeky Pie 12 leeks 2 hard-boiled eggs 1 tablespoon margarine

During the First World War (1914 to 1918), queues for food in Britain had become a huge national issue so a ‘Ministry of Food’ was created to help with the food situation, and rationing was introduced. Rationing was needed to manage shortages and control civilian consumption which started with sugar in December 1917, then with meat and butter in February 1918. During this period food prices rose by 130%, and the ration coupons were often useless, as the food items just wasn’t there to meet even that coupon-issued demand.

Australians were never as short of food nor rationed as heavily as civilians in the United Kingdom. Rationing was also enforced by the use of coupons but was limited to clothing, tea, sugar, butter, and meat. From time to time, eggs and milk were also rationed under a system of priority for vulnerable groups during periods of shortage.

Britain would do better during the Second World War (1939 to 1945). The government was always able to honour all ration coupons, and food prices during the war rose by only 20%.

The British population emerged healthier than it had ever been before, and families had been educated in putting nutritional, frugal meals on their tables. In many ways, it was home economics and ‘Digging for Victory’ that would win the war.

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