Food and Rationing

Vegetable Pie with Cheese and Oatmeal Crust

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Vegetable Pie with Cheese and Oatmeal Crust
1½ lbs. Cooked mixed vegetables.
½ Pint stock or water
2 oz. Oatmeal
6 oz. Flour
1 oz. Fat
2 oz. Cheese Pastry
Water to mix

Place cooked vegetables in a pie-dish with a little vegetable water. Season, rub fat into the flour then add the grated cheese, oatmeal and salt. Mix to a stiff dough with water. Roll out the pastry then cover the pie and bake in a moderate oven for 30 minutes.

Ingredients for a Wartime Vegetable Pie with Oatmeal Crust

I was excited to make this recipe for a few reasons. First of all, it has been a long time since I baked something. Long ago I used to make box cakes and I thought that making this pie would help me re-experience what it feels like to bake.  Another reason why I chose this recipe was because it consisted of cheese and I love almost anything with cheese. What also attracted me to this recipe in particular was the title; It said “vegetable pie” and to me that sounded appetizing.

When I laid out the ingredients on the table, specifically the mixed vegetables, my family members kept looking at me with a disgusted look and my sister said, “ew, that looks gross.” However, I tried to keep an open mind and hoped that it would come out at least decent.

Vegetables Placed in a Baking Pan

Mixing the Crisco, flour, cheese, oats, salt, and water

The Dough (Covering) Is Made

When I mixed all the ingredients (flour, cheese, oats) with water, I realized that it had gotten too watery. I only poured a small amount of the water that the recipe called for and yet the water was too much. The flour had become gooey. Then I realized that I had to add more flour to make the dough more thick and wholesome. I added a few handfuls of flour and the dough still seemed to be falling apart.


Flattening the Dough

This was easy and fun to do. I used my hand to make the edges round and even. However, when I tried to lift up the dough, the whole dough was stretching too much and was basically falling apart. Then I slowly and carefully took my time to lift it up.


Placing The Dough on Top of the Vegetables as the covering

This is how the dough looked after I picked it up. As you can see, it is not firm enough.


Spreading and Evening out the Covering

Anyway, I stretched out the dough and I thought that it now looked proper and ready to bake.


Baking the Pie in Oven

I still had high hopes that it would taste okay.

All Done! Finished Baking

The recipe said to bake it for 30 minutes. However, after 30 minutes, I checked the pie and the dough was still soft, so I decided to let it bake for longer. I put it back for another 10 minutes and when I took it out of the oven and felt it, it was still too soft. So I decided to let it bake for another 20 minutes and then I took it out of the oven. The dough looked almost the same way it looked before I baked it. The only difference is that it was now cooked. I broke off a piece of the cooked dough /covering and it actually tasted decent. It tasted like bread which I expected because it is flour. I could taste the salt and the cheese. The cheese in the dough made it taste all right. So I assumed because I was getting a good flavor, the whole pie must taste okay.


Dinner is Served. Ready to Eat

However, I was completely wrong. When I cut out a piece of the pie and tasted it as a whole with the vegetables, it tasted weird and gross. The covering actually tasted better than the vegetables. The vegetables tasted way too bland and in need of some serous spice or flavoring. I definitely could not have eaten any more than a small bite and no one in my house even bothered to touch it.

After this experience, I learned a lot about rationing. During the wartime in Britain, people did not have access to seasoning, cream, butter, flavor, or cheese as they were limited.  People had to eat very plain food which of course was not tasty. However, if I imagine myself to be very hungry and present during that time, I would appreciate a meal like this and it would taste much more appetizing than how it tastes now.



  1. You’ve done a very nice job documenting the cooking process step-by-step. I wonder if the extra cooking time needed for the dough to bake made the vegetables blander than they might have been otherwise. Although, it sounds like what this pie desperately needed was more salt and maybe a nice cream sauce. Too bad that would have taken up too much of the fat and milk allotment for the week. Good work!

    • Comment by post author

      Thank you, Professor Dinsman. I also think that the vegetables needed some sauce or cream. I do not think the extra cooking time made much of a difference causing it to taste blander than it should. The vegetables itself was way too plain and tasted raw. Something needed to be added to reduce the strong vegetable taste. In fact, I could not have finished one bite. I had to spit it out because it was so bad.

  2. Isamar Perez

    Did you find making the dough was hard? I admit I avoided making a crust for my pie!

    • Comment by post author

      Hi Isamar, the dough was not really hard to make because you just mix flour and water. However, the hardest part was being able to get it to be the right texture and actually knowing how much water to put. I added too much water and the dough got too soft. I thought that adding more flour would easily make it more thick and solid, but it still did not get as solid and wholesome as I expected. When I picked up the dough to cover the pie, the dough was falling all over the place and hanging down.

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