Our 1914 Cookery Editor Kitty’s WW1 Kitchen


As we reach the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice, here in the “Friend” office we’re remembering those affected by World War One, at home and abroad.

As 1914 drew to a close, it was becoming clear that the war was unlikely to be over by Christmas, as everyone had hoped. Wounded troops were already making their way home from the Front, and needed nourishing food to aid recovery.

“Friend” Cookery Editor, Kitty, was mindful of the need to provide recipes to strengthen and cheer those who were convalescing. Here’s a recipe from 1916, the mid-point of the War.

To Strengthen And Cheer

Get a few sprays of carrageen or about ¼ oz., 1 pint of new milk, 1 teaspoonful sugar, ½ teaspoonful vanilla or lemon essence.

Soak the carrageen in tepid water for ten minutes, when it will resume its former snowy-white appearance. Pour off water, add the milk, seeing that it is perfectly fresh, as carrageen has the property of curdling milk if the least tainted. Bring to boiling point, simmer for one hour. Strain, sweeten to taste, and boil for two minutes. Add essence, then pour in mould. When cold serve with fresh or stewed or tinned fruit if desired. If you are anxious to economise, no essence, less sugar and half quantity of water will make a delicious blanc mange.

Lower Incomes

Conscious of food shortages, and with many households adjusting to lower incomes, Kitty tried to show “how to make the most appetising dishes with the smallest expenditure of money and materials”. As always, the “Friend” endeavoured to be a friend indeed to all our “Friends” in need, suggesting meat-free days and providing economical recipes. And we never forgot our dear ones on the Front line.

“My dear Housewives,” Kitty wrote. “There are few, if any, of us who have not someone near and dear to us who is fighting for our country’s cause and sharing the hardships of this awful war. I’m told there’s nothing cheers Tommy’s heart like receiving a hamper of home-made goodies. It comes as a welcome change to his everlasting bully beef, and shows that the loving hearts he left behind him are ever mindful of his comfort. The recipes I am giving this week are all dainties you could pack, so I hope you will try them when preparing your next hamper.”

Find out all about cooking with a hay box in the First World War years here

lucycrichton

Fiction Team’s Lucy is always on the look-out for the very best short stories, poems and pocket novels. As well as sourcing enjoyable content, she enjoys working with our established contributors, encouraging new talent, and celebrating 150 years of 'Friend' fiction!