Wartime Food with Ayden and Isa
I enlisted my son Ayden, to help me make this pie. I will admit I improvised a bit due to time constraints and the fact I had no clue what I was doing. I am not one for baking and following recipes. I tend to eyeball everything and make up my own things while cooking. I found myself going back and forth, re-reading the recipes because I have the memory of an Alzheimer’s patient.
Isamar Perez and Ayden Medina. Ayden was briefed on WWII and showed a video on war, (don’t worry no blood or dead bodies). I had to explain to him that this is something children would have eaten during the war because food was hard to come by during the conflict.
3/4 – 1Lb Cooked mixed vegetables
3/4 pint cheese sauce
Method: Mix the vegetables and cheese sauce together, pour into a pie dish and sprinkle with browned breadcrumbs. Brown in a moderate oven or under the grill.
I purchased a pie crust because I have absolutely no idea how to make it, I figured since flour is a part of the ration I could make a sort of vegetable pot pie. I bought a pound of Velveeta cheese and melted it on the stove top. Then we mixed it into the vegetables along with the bread crumbs. The consistency of the mix was thick, very thick. It does not look appetizing. The smell was potent probably because I did not think to get shredded cheese and mix it into the vegetables, which would have been a lot easier, and hello, they did not have Velveeta back then.
We covered the pie with the remaining crust and popped it into the oven. For once my son Ayden said that the vegetables smelled good mixed with the cheese. Lets see if I can get him to have a bite. The irony with this recipe is that it is for children, although I think I got my measurements wrong because it says it is suitable for two children and this could easily serve at least four in my opinion. Hey I tried, math is not my strongest subject.
I put the pie into the oven at around 400 degrees for approximately 30 minutes, or until the crust was golden brown.
I took the pie out of the oven and let it cool before cutting into it, I will admit the smell of vegetables in cheese is not something I care to remember or will ever seek out again.
So I had to bribe Ayden to get him to have a bite. Hey, parenting is not easy.! Mini-M&M’s came in handy and they were only a dollar, so the verdict: “Mom!, It’s not so bad! Taste’s like cheese, but I don’t want any more”. In the end, I imagine many children preferred this dish to anything else made during WWII. Even though, I completely messed up the recipe the pie wasn’t bad. I only used what was required no added salt or pepper and I must admit……it was not that terrible, though I know it will just sit in my fridge, till ………..
Now let us proceed to dessert! Chocolate Oatmeal Pudding! Im excited about this one but I have a gut feeling it will not end well. The recipe is as follows:
4 oz. Oatmeal
1 Tablespoon sugar
I Dessertspoon cocoa
I Pint milk or milk and water
Soak the oats overnight in half the milk. Add the rest of the milk and cook slowly until soft. Add the cocoa and sugar and cook for 15-20 minutes. Add the vanilla, beat well. Pour into damped mould and leave until set. Turn out and serve cold.
I already foreshadow a few issues with this recipe, what is a damped mould? I have no idea. Do I set it in the fridge like a cheesecake? If not that is what I intend on doing. The directions during WWII are not very specific. I imagine many bad meals occurred because of this, but forward march!
I did not soak the oats overnight, I soaked them for about 8 to 9 hours in the morning because I failed to read the recipe before I bought my ingredients.
Eight hours later…….. I can finally put the oats to cook on the stove. I had to google what a dessertspoon was and to my surprise it is a soup spoon. So I used that to measure out the cocoa. The recipe does not say how long till the oats are soft so I waited until the mixture started to get hot before I added my dry ingredients.
I have to say I am so happy I can go down the block to the nearest supermarket and pick up a pack of pudding. Although the scent of the cocoa was delicious, I did not cherish the moments staring at my boiling oatmeal to make sure it did not burn. I do not envy any man or woman who made this dish during WWII. Not to mention that the “beat well” order left my arm sore and tired and it still does not look like something I would want to eat.
I have placed my pudding to set in my fridge and now I am calling it a night. What will the end result be? We will find out in the morning. To be continued……….
The Next Day
My mould has set and is ready for eating! Let me start off by saying that this pudding does not look good. You can see the oatmeal flakes congealed within the batter and it reminds me of a bowl of Cocoa Rice Krispies, after it has become soggy. The smell is strong, but it is not a cloying scent. Smells like regular chocolate. I will add that I rationed the vanilla flavouring, I used about a teaspoon because I figured an item like this would be cherished and used sparingly. I do not think this is going to taste good at all! One tablespoon of sugar is not enough to sweeten this dessert in my opinion. I am thinking about making my boyfriend try it first…..wicked right.
The End is Near:
I am no longer excited about this pudding. It slipped right out of the mould with this squishy and odd plopping sound that made me cringe and my stomach roll in distaste. I had to take a deep breath before biting into this gluttonous goo. It was horribly bland, it tasted just like plain oatmeal, none of the sugar hit my taste buds and the vanilla did not help at all. The texture was like grainy jello. It smelled good, but that is the only positive about this dessert.
I do not envy the people who had to make due with rations during WWII. The experience was invigorating and fun but that is as far as I would be willing to go with the Food and Rationing during WWII, made me appreciate the fact I can cook what I want, with whatever ingredients and make as much as I want.