Housekeeping in War-time Britain

Advertisement from 1941 featuring a recipe for Potato Pastry

Queen Elizabeth, consort of George VI the King of the United Kingdom (and mother of Queen Elizabeth II), visited the Ministry of Food on the 30th May 1941, where she was met by Lord Woolton who showed her a demonstration of food cooking, food for use in English homes under rationing and the “Planning of Meat Rationing.”

During the visit, Her Majesty was given a demonstration of how potato pastry was made, and explained that no fat was used in the recipe.

The Hairy Bikers have a recipe for this potato pastry in their book, ‘The Hairy Bikers Go Veggie. Apart from being vegetarian it is also lower in calories – so a win-win in today’s world.

Housekeeping in War-Time


When H.M. the Queen visited the Ministry of Food to inspect a demonstration on “Planning the Meat Ration” dishes were shown for two weeks’ menus for a family of four.  In the first week the family had a Sunday joint which used up practically the while of their 4s ration.  for the rest of the week, dishes were shown, some using vegetables only, and some very small amounts of unrationed meat, bacon etc.

In the second week the meat ration was spread throughout the week.

Her Majesty also inspected the Test Kitchen at the Ministry.  she was shown the simple cooking utensils used, which are similar to those found in the average household.  At the time of the Queen’s visit, potato pastry was being made, and it was explained that no fat was used in this recipe.

Advertisement from 1941 featuring a recipe for Potato Pastry

Potato Pastry

8oz Hot Mashed Potato
4oz Self-Raising Flour
No fat
No liquid

  • Mash the boiled potatoes while hot, and as soon as they are coll enough for your fingers to bear, rub the flour into them.
  • Roll out at once.
  • If the pastry is being used for a savoury, as a pinch of chopped parsley.

Bromley & District Times, 4th July 1941 (page 2)

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