War Bread

From The Economical War-Time Cook Book, this recipe was designed to save white flour during World War I, substituting rye, wheat, and cornmeal instead. Although the United States never had official rationing during the first World War, Americans were still urged not to waste food, especially wheat, meats, fats, and sugar. Corn, “the food of the nation,” was promoted in particular as an economical alternative to flour.

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Sponge-Cake Pudding

Victorian cooks hated to waste food, and had all sorts of creative ways to use up leftovers. This super simple one-sentence recipe is an excellent way to use up leftover sponge cake (or, in my case, to use up a failed pound cake that didn’t rise properly. It’s not a failure if you can turn it into something else!). It works on the same principle as a custard-based bread pudding, just using cake instead of bread.

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Pistachio Cream

“Creams” were a popular 18th century dessert, similar to a custard or flummery. Nearly every 18th century cookbook I’ve seen contains at least a few recipes for different flavors of cream. This pistachio-flavored version comes from the cookbook of John Farley, who was the head cook at the London Tavern, a popular tavern and meeting place during the 18th and 19th centuries.

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Mrs. Macnab’s Scones

This recipe was collected by Scottish folklorist F. Marian McNeill and published in her 1929 book, The Scots Kitchen. She writes, “Mrs. Macnab was the wife of a farmer who lived near Ballater. Such was her reputation as a baker that King Frederick of Prussia and other distinguished guests at Balmoral used frequently to go over and have tea with her. It is not possible to impart Mrs. Macnab’s lightness of touch, nor the wine-like air of these regions, which doubtless contributed to her visitors’ enjoyment; but here, at least, is the recipe for her celebrated scones.”

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Broonie

Broonie is a traditional oatmeal gingerbread from the Orkney Islands in Scotland. This particular recipe comes from the folklorist F. Marian McNeill, who collected traditional recipes for her 1929 book The Scots Kitchen. Although she collected recipes from all over Scotland (I made another of her gingerbread recipes in this post), she was born and raised in Orkney, so broonie may have been familiar to her from her childhood.

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