Tag Archives: storecupboard ingredients

Joy of Soup

Red Winter Soup

One of the lovely things about the darker nights and colder weather is that home-made soup is on the menu more often.

Tonight we had Red Winter Soup which packed full of Vitamin C to help ward off colds.

In our local Co-op this morning I found four tins of Chestnut Puree in the bargain bucket for only 34p each so I bought them all for future use in Chestnut and Bacon Soup

Pea and Ham Soup

With root vegetables becoming seasonally cheaper, lovely lentil and vegetable soups can be recycled for days.
Make a huge pot and on Day 1 cook some chops or chicken pieces in it.  On Day 2 add some sausages and on Day 3 eat it on its own with good bread and a chunk of decent cheese.

Raid your local butcher or delicatessen and ask them for ham bones for hearty Pea and Ham Soup.

There are still patches of new nettles out there

And of course, let us not forget that Halloween is coming up.  Don’t just carve pumpkins, scoop out the flesh and use it for Pumpkin Soup.

And the beauty is that most soup can be made from Storecupboard Ingredients!   Put Soup into the ‘Search’ box for more souper recipes.


Filed under Food, Leftovers, Nutrition & Sensible Eating, Recipes, Seasonal, Storecupboard

Bread Pudding

Bread Pudding has been around since the 11th century and is an excellent way of using up stale bread.  Nowadays, shop bought bread doesn’t go stale in the same way as home-made bread, because of the preservatives, but crusts or loaf ends sometimes get left behind, so you can use those.  I had a bag of white rolls which Boy the Elder brought back from Scout camp.  We ate a couple, but we’re not really white bread people, so they went into the bowl with some seeded, wholemeal crusts which were on the turn.

I made this yesterday evening and we had it hot for pudding with cream and then we all had a slice, cold, for breakfast.  And very nourishing it was too; bread, milk, eggs, dried fruit and not too much sugar – that’ll stick ‘em to the ground.


1 x large mixing bowl
1 x grater
1 x pair of freshly washed hands
1 x oven-proof dish, about 8×10” – buttered

8oz / 240g bread
10oz / 300g dried fruit (I used raisins)
2 teaspoons mixed spice (pumpkin spice for the Colonies…)
½ pint / 300ml milk
1 large egg (or 2 bantam eggs)
3oz / 90g dark brown sugar
the grated zest of 1 orange OR lemon
3oz / 90g butter – melted
2 tablespoons demerara sugar*
a little nutmeg to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 160 / 3 / 325
Tear the bread into pieces and place in the large bowl with all the other ingredients except the butter and demerara sugar
Leave to soak for 20 minutes
Mash it all up together with your hands, squeezing and squelching until it’s well mixed
Add the melted butter and stir in well
Pour the mixture into the ovenproof dish
Sprinkle with the demerara sugar and a little nutmeg
Bake for 1 ½ hours, covering with foil for the last half hour to stop it browning too much
Cut into squares and serve hot or cold

* If you haven’t got Demerara sugar, mix 1 tablespoon of white and 1 tablespoon of dark brown sugar together


Filed under Food, Leftovers, Recipes, Storecupboard

Shortbread: If it’s good enough for Camilla Parker-Bowles…


Assorted Shortbread

In which the Wartime Housewife gives two recipes for Shortbread: one plain recipe with variations and one recipe using ground almonds.

Any of you who listen to The Archers will have heard about the appearance of Camilla Parker Bowles (Duchess of Cornwall and wife of Prince Charles) and the great Shortbread Debacle.  The Archers was accused earlier in the week of advertising Duchy Original Shortbread, but this was cleverly counteracted when Camilla visited Grey Gables and enjoyed their shortbread so much that she requested to meet the diffident chef, Ian.  Marvellous stuff.

Therefore, in honour of The Archers’ storyline, I am giving you not one, but two recipes for shortbread, which you can sample to see which one you like best. 

To ring the changes you can add other nice things to give a bit of variation.  I used 2oz/60g of chocolate drops to one batch and 2oz/60g dried chopped cranberries to another.  You could also use a tablespoon of finely grated orange rind, raisins, or other dried fruit.  Add these at the ‘binding into a thick paste’ stage.

The utensils and method are pretty much the same for both types.


1 x large mixing bowl
1 x greased baking tray OR
1 x 8” / 20cm shallow cake tin
1 x wire cooling rack
1 x rolling pin

8oz / 240g white self raising flour
a pinch of salt
3oz / 90g white granulated sugar
4oz / 120g butter
2floz / 60ml milk

Preheat the oven to  160 / 3 / 325
Sift the flour into a bowl with the salt
Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs
Stir in the sugar
Add the milk and mix with your hands until it forms a thick paste
Turn out onto the work surface and knead until smooth
Roll out to a thickness of ½”/ 1.25cm
Cut into desirable shapes or press into a cake tin
Bake for 15-20 minutes until just starting to get a bit of colour
Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the baking tray
When cool place on a wire rack to harden off


4oz / 120g plain flour
1oz / 30g ground almonds OR
1 oz / 30g rice flour
a pinch of salt
3oz / 90g butter
2oz / 60g castor sugar (plus a bit extra for sprinkling on top)

Preheat the oven to  160 / 3 / 325
Sift the flour into a bowl with the salt and sugar
Rub in the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs
Start to squash the mixture together with your hands until it forms a solid ball of dough
Press the mixture into the cake tin with your fingers, making sure it’s nice and even
Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes
Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes
Cut the shortbread into12 and sprinkle with sugar
Leave it in the tin until it has become complete cold and hard


Filed under Food

Ready for Anything

Last week I witnessed an active demonstration of what can be achieved when you have a well stocked storecupboard.

Sister the First, The Boys and I had convened at the house of Sister the Second in order to sign some documents regarding The Aged Parent and to hand over The Boys after their few days’ sojourn in London.  The husband of STS was also there as well as a house guest.  The time flew by and STS realised that she would have to give us lunch.  As she disappeared into the kitchen, the doorbell rang and The Father of My Children appeared at the door as he happened to be passing.  100 miles from home.  As you do.

Eight for spontaneous lunch then.  After an incredibly short period of time, and hardly any swearing, a large pot of pasta and a bowl of mixed salad appeared on the table.  The pasta contained:

1 bag of Pasta
2 x tins of tuna
1 x medium tin of sweetcorn
1 x medium tin of mushrooms
1 x medium tin of kidney beans
2 x tins of  chopped tomatoes
seasoning (garlic, Italian herbs, pepper)

She cooked the pasta as per instructions, and bunged all the other ingredients in a pan until they were hot.  The she mixed ‘em together.  Sister the First chopped the salad very neatly.

It was filling, tasty and wholesome. 
One is never caught out when one has a well stocked storecupboard.


Filed under Family and Friends, Food, Recipes, Storecupboard

Malted Cinnamon Cake with Ovaltine

I had two ideas for today’s post but have been completely thwarted because I don’t yet have Photoshop installed on my machine as my old version is not compatible with Windows 7. Curses.

Instead I will treat you to a very simple recipe for a cake made with Ovaltine.  We buy Ovaltine in sacks as it is our bedtime drink of choice, winter and summer alike so we always have it in.  This cake is lovely and is made using storecupboard ingredients.  I always use mock cream instead of buttercream as it is less sickly and you can find the recipe by clicking on the link below.  You will also find there a lovely recipe for a Banana & Walnut Slice.


2 x 1lb loaf tins
2 x mixing bowls
1 x electric mixer or a wooden spoon
1 x wire rack

4oz / 120g butter
4oz / 120g brown sugar
2 eggs
4oz / 120g self raising flour
2oz / 60g Ovaltine
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 quantity mock cream or buttercream
Icing sugar for dusting

Pre-heat the oven to 180/4/350
Grease and flour the loaf tins to prevent sticking
Cream butter & sugar together in a mixing bowl
Beat in the eggs, one at a time
Slowly add the flour, Ovaltine and cinnamon
Divide between the loaf tins, making an indentation in the top so that it rises flat
Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes until risen nicely
Turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely
When cool, sandwich together with the creamy filling of your choice
Dust with icing sugar


Filed under Food, Recipes, Storecupboard

A recipe for Shepherd’s or Cottage Pie

There are few people in the world who don’t like a nice Cottage or Shepherds’ Pie.  Except vegetarians of course, but even they can eat Quorn if they get the urge.  Incidentally, I apologise if this is stating the obvious, but a Shepherds’ Pie is made from minced lamb and Cottage Pie is made from minced beef.

The mantra of the Wartime Housewife is always “Eat less but eat better”.  Cheap mince is a horrid thing – full of gristle and fat with a nasty texture and I will always argue that it is better to eat a small amount of decent meat than to stuff yourself with water injected, intensively reared rubbish. There is also an argument that properly fed, slow produced meat fills you up more anyway, so you need less.

One can make a Cottage Pie go much further by loading it up with vegetables that can blend in quite discreetly, such as tinned chopped tomatoes, peas, carrots, chopped green beans, sweetcorn, chopped peppers, sliced mushrooms or even baked beans if you want a one-pot meal.  There fore, it can be made using storecupboard ingredients.  Hurrah!


1 x large ovenproof and hob-proof dish
1 x medium saucepan
1 x vegetable peeler
1 x potato masher
1 x chopping board and vegetable knife

1 large onion – chopped
a little oil for frying
1lb / 500g lean minced beef
¼  pint / 300ml good strong beef stock
1 tblspn mixed herbs
1 tspn paprika
1 dash Worcestershire Sauce or 1 tblspn Marmite/Bovril
1  tin chopped tomatoes
1 large carrot – thinly sliced or diced
4oz / 120g frozen peas
For the top
2 ½ lb / 1kg –ish potatoes for mashing – peeled and cut into smallish chunks
A knob of butter
A bit of grated cheese for the top if you fancy it

Pre-heat the oven to 180 / 350 / 4
Heat the oil in the large pan and fry the onion until soft and translucent
Add the mince and fry until browned
Add all the other ingredients (except the potatoes) and cook until the carrots are al dente
Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in the medium saucepan until soft enough to mash
Season to taste, add the butter and mash until soft and lump free
When the meat is cooked, pile the mash onto the top and rough it up with a fork
Sprinkle with the cheese if you wish
Bake in the oven for about half an hour or until the top is browning nicely
Serve with extra vegetables, baked beans or crispy salad


Filed under Ethics, Food, Recipes, Storecupboard

Bread & Butter Pudding and the art of Penitence

Now that there is a slight early morning nip in the air, our tummies are starting to think about winter food.  In colder weather we need more calories, but we can’t really justify them if we never get cold or move about enough.  So, turn down the central heating, put a jumper on, go for some brisk walks and then you can then enjoy bread and butter pudding (using storecupboard ingredients), toad in the hole, steak and kidney pudding and things with dumplings with a completely clear conscience.  (These recipes will appear in future posts).

Personally, I count anything with raisins in as health food because raisins are fruit and slow release energy.  I recently managed to persuade a friend of mine that chocolate was health food (after a wholly unexpected discussion about the value of confession and penitence) on the following grounds:

There is no need to repent of eating chocolate as it is health food.  Chocolate comes from a bean which is fruit, it’s packed full of iron and is a natural antidepressant.  Chocolate is the real Good News.  God /gods don’t get fat because they burn off all the calories moving in mysterious ways.  This is what you must aspire to – move about more and in a mysterious way, then you can eat as much chocolate as you like.  Chocolate is a gift (together with shoes and enthusiastic lovemaking*), therefore you have a duty to share it and, like any other gift, it’s up to the recipient what they do with it.

And I can sell sand to the Arabs. 



1 x medium casserole dish or similar
1 x measuring jug – 1 pint capacity or more
1 x chopping board
1 x whisk or a fork  used with vigour


8 slices of wholemeal bread – buttered (I like the bread with seeds best)
Butter for spreading on the bread 1-2oz / 30-60g give or take
4oz / 120g raisins
1 pint / 600ml milk
3 eggs
3oz / 90g white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 pinch nutmeg
1-2 tblspn dark brown sugar (according to taste) for sprinkling on the top


Pre-heat the oven to 180 / 360 / 4
Grease your casserole dish with a little butter
Cut each slice of buttered bread into 4 triangles and place a single layer in the dish (the bread should allow for about 3 layers so allow a third of raisins per layer)
Sprinkle a third of the  raisins on top of the bread
Do the same for the next 2 layers (use your common sense if the bread runs to more layers)
Whisk the milk, eggs, white sugar and vanilla together with a fork
Pour this mixture over the bread layers
Sprinkle the brown sugar on the top which will give it a lovely golden brown, crispy top
Sprinkle the nutmeg evenly over the top
Bake for about 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
Take it out of the oven and let it rest for a little while before serving to allow it to set nicely

Serve on its own or with custard, cream or vanilla ice-cream

                                                                           *  *  *
I would like now to apologise for there being no photograph.  When I put it on the table on Friday night, The Boys and our guest fell upon it like foxes on a chicken coup, by which time it was too late.  Next time we have it I will add a photo.  I also owe you a photograph of fish cakes, which may be on the menu for tomorrow’s dinner.

* not my original wording


Filed under Family and Friends, Food, Nutrition & Sensible Eating, Recipes, Storecupboard