Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Pasta, potatoes, parsnips... and hay

Yesterday's meal - an anachronistic pasta-in-sauce made to wartime standards - was lovely. But, despite eating my fill, I was hungry again after about an hour. I'm not used to this: the wartime bulking-out fills you and leaves you full.

So today I'm back on a wartime staple: baked potato with soured cream.

That'd be severely boring to blog about, but luckily I'm also making a soup for CJBS to have tomorrow (he's on late shifts for the next two weeks so he gets a packed lunch - sandwiches made from the leftover lamb today, with the bone going into the stock pot and thus meaning we had zero waste from the Sunday lunch).

The soup is a cream of parsnip. For the starting fat, I used two bacon rinds, chopped up. To this I added a finely-sliced small onion and let the two heat through. I added some flour to start the roux then used a quarter of a pint of milk (cream of, see?) to get the roux paste. Then I added two chopped parsnips and two chopped potatoes, all scrubbed but not peeled.

Then I added some of the meat stock to make the soup up to about three portions. I brought the whole lot to the boil, then, in a wartime measure of economy, took it off the gas and have left it covered; the parsnips and potato will cook in the liquid and cool enough to go into the blender (if I wasn't blending, I'd've grated the veg first and left the bacon rinds whole to fish out at the end).

I'll portion it off to go into the freezer - a non-wartime cheat - for CJBS to microwave at work for three evenings. The wartime equivalent of this was to warm a ceramic pot, fill it with soup, cover, then put it in a "hay box", a gas mask box full of hay. The soup would keep edibly, if not superbly, warm until he needed it. Of course, as a railwayman, CJBS would've been able to warm the soup on the coal fire in the waiting rooms (the railway in question was electrified in 1937, so there was never the option to heat it on the footplate, even if he had worked on the trains themselves).

Meanwhile, I'm off to have my baked potatoes and catch up with "Being Human" on the BBC iPlayer in peace.


angygraham said...

Was baked potato done in oven or microwave. Just checking to see if your not cheating.

RJ Graham said...

Oven! Not cheating (except for using the blender!)