Remembering Wartime Austerity

The sober commemoration of the outbreak of the First World War dwelt on all last year may still linger but as we look forwards to spring, Easter and new life, forgive us in looking forwards early to 8th May 2015 which will mark the 70th anniversary of VE Day, the unconditional surrender of the armed forces of Nazi Germany and the destruction of Hitler’s Third Reich.

And what has that to do with our veg boxes? Because we have cabbages in our box again. And they are a reminder of wartime rationing, where the work of dietitians Elsie Widdowson and Robert McCance, established that good health cold be supported by eating a very restricted wartime austerity diet of bread, cabbage and potatoes (and calcium supplements) – with little meat, dairy or calcium intake.

So try bubble and squeak (link has lots of helpful hints and suggestions from Nigel Slater), perfect to go with your weekend big brekkie fry-up or just ham and eggs. Or add bacon from the get-go for a wicked version. Or try Delia’s rosti-styled bubble and squeak with grated mature cheddar and serve with sausages or cold meats and pickles. It’s a classic British dish popular during World War II.

Or try out an Ethiopian cabbage and potato saute – it’s recommended by one of you – looks quite plain but tastes delicious.

Meanwhile some Perry Court farm news where it’s been busy with springtime closer by the day. They’ve had volunteers help get bio-dynamic preparations under way and the start of seed-sowing, with peppers and black and green kales being sown into trays plus some late winter pruning of the soft fruits and their surrounding environment.

Providing we have a good spring, the various coloured currants and gooseberries could all be beautiful fruits – we got some of these into our boxes last year and will hopefully see more of them this year. Cutting back the old and dead wood gives new shoots the room they need to push out. More light and air to the plants also help prevent disease and sweeten the fruits as they age. Dreaming of those early summer days and we are not even in spring yet!

For the rest of the vegetables in this week’s box, try searching on our webpage for past blogs!

This Week’s Bounty

Standard Box
* Charlotte Potatoes, Lancs
* Onions, Norfolk
* Yellow Carrots, Lancs
* Savoy Cabbage, Lancs
* Golden Beetroot, Lancs
Leeks, Lancs
Swiss Chard, Spain
Flower Sprouts, Suffolk
Small Box
Items starred (*) above

No-Potato Substitute
Parsnips, Lancs

Fruit Supplement
Clementines, Spain (standard only)
Apples, Kent

 

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