It’s September and all over the land students are leaving home to take up places at universities and colleges.
For some of them this will be the first time they have lived away from home.
The popularity of cooking and baking programmes on TV might lead us to believe that many of us actually spend time in the kitchen rather than watch others slaving over a hot stove from the comfort of a sofa.
Takeaways and microwaveable ready meals are one way to cope with mealtimes.
However there is another way.
Take a leaf out of some of our wartime recipe books.

Savoury Spread

These pages manage to combine interior design and a sandwich filling.

The Complete Guide to Home Cooking (52/53) Vegetables
Some basic vegetable preparation – though be warned, this same book does recommend 45 minutes for carrots
Ministry of Food, War Cookery Leaflet 11
Not sure where you would get dried egg nowadays. Try substituting the real thing!

Something for tea

One way to heat your soup!( Not recommended)


Potatoes on toast for breakfast!


Marmite might be more popular – then again, maybe not!

At one time every home had a dog eared and food stained recipe book full of handwritten or typed up shared recipes, newspaper and magazine cuttings. You could tell the popular dishes by the evidence of ingredients on the page. This book  is a mixture of typed and handwritten recipes and booklets, some produced by organisations like the Gas Board or the Ministry of Food. Food manufacturers such as Stork margarine or Bird’s Custard also published recipes featuring their product on every page.
They are particularly interesting because they reflect the World War Two era of rationing and ‘make do and mend’ attitude, where alternatives for some hard to buy ingredients had to be found. There’s also a lack of luxury about the food. The recipes are simple and uncomplicated. Fashions in French or Italian cooking were some years off. No pizzas or kebabs. No curry houses. The only pasta dish was macaroni cheese. No-one was cooking dinners to impress.
So these wartime recipes are ideal for someone wanting to learn to cook for themselves on a budget. Any student who can prepare a cheap and tasty meal for flatmates will never be short of friends!


Here’s an idea for Christmas presents too – a washbag made out of fabric remnants!