Friday, 8 January 2010

Currying (dis)favour

For the first time in the week I've been running this experiment I felt it today. The shortages, the two-hour cooking times with endless stirring, the damn potato with every bloody meal...

I'd already decided to do a classic British fruit curry tonight. For that, I wanted some spinach and some tomatoes. The shops could not provide - the spinach, wilted and old, was flown in from Portugal; the soft tomatoes were worse, with a choice of lorry from Spain or airfreight from Israel. This are not included in our ration, as they did not exist as an option in 1940. So no spinach and no tomato for my curry. (I'll use unrationed tomato juice, as I'm loathe to spend my points on tinned tomatoes).

But the shortages set my mind going. I want a pizza, my brain said. I want crisps. I want pasta in a thick tomato sauce with garlic bread and brushetta. I want to pierce some plastic film and shove something in the microwave or take something out of a box and throw it in the oven for 20 minutes. I want cheese and biscuits to finish, with butter and sliced tomatoes.

And that's after a week of pretty easy rations. I can only imagine what the people of 1945 felt, after 5 years of ever-diminishing supplies coupled to hard war work and fuel (therefore heat) shortages. No wonder that people trudged through life, as even after the war ended, the destruction of our economy became apparent and rations continued to contract; then came the winter of 1947, where even the sea froze.[Wikipedia] [Gallery] [Feature]

With that thought, I'll now make our potato-and-carrot curry and feel cheered at my lot.

1 comment:

RJ Graham said...

I learned something useful when making this curry. It was lovely, but I wanted to make it a bit "deeper" in flavour; I gambled and added a small tin of evaporated milk.

This turned out to be a stroked of genius. It gave the curry a lovely creamy flavour without dulling the other ingredients. I shall be quicker to use evap in meals in future: for making a cream of something soup, a small tin of evap would seem to do the job better than a pint of milk.