Christmas Cheer 1948
Callington Heritage Centre

By: Callington Heritage Centre
Added: 04 December 2015

Rationing was still biting hard in Britain after WWII but one group of foods, preserves was taken off ration this year. These could be used as a substitute for some of the sugar in baking. The Ministry of Food was keen in 1948 to promote a fish called snoek. This came in cans and was barracuda from South Africa. It was available on a low points system but the British hated it and it soon disappeared from the shops. "Fresh" eggs were of poor quality and the Ministry decreed that any eggs bought on ration and found to be bad must be replaced. 

From The Ministry of Food - Food Fact No 331 we learn that Christmas food must be traditional. It must be the best we can provide above all it must be colourful! Here are kitchen tested recipes which take care of all three "musts". 

We will gloss over the seven inch Christmas cake recipe and the Christmas pudding recipe and give you the recipe for mincemeat. 

1/2 - 3/4lb mixed dried fruit, 1/4 lb apples or 2 oz dried apple rings, 3-4 oz sugar, 2-4oz suet or melted margarine, 2 tablespoons marmalade, 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 4-6 tablespoons rum, sherry, stout or ale. 1/2 teaspoon lemon essence, few drops of rum essence if stout or sherry is used. 

Method: Mince the fruit and apples or chop finely. Add the other ingredients and mix very thoroughly. Put into small jars and tie down securely. Store in a cool, dry place. If the larger quantites of fruit, sugar and fat are used this should keep for twelve months, but will not keep more than ten days with the smaller amounts.

Small children could help. Wielding a sharp knife to chop the dried fruit and with a grater they could grate the suet!


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