This week a rather exciting parcel arrived on my doorstep from Octopus Publishing! If anyone was a fan of The Edwardian Farm series on the BBC, they will know that the latest is Wartime Farm, taking you through pre and wartime farming life. This wonderful parcel was the book to accompany the series.
Beautifully presented with lots of interesting photos, fact and recipes, the reader can learn all about farming in the war, the machinery and techniques, the Women’s Land Army and my favourite part…wartime recipes for food and Soapwort shampoo! There is a splendid section dedicated to country fashion, hairstyling (with instructions for Victory Rolls) and entertainment (You can learn the basic foxtrot with the footstep diagram!) and even about the wartime evacuees that descended on the countryside.
It always shocked me how much food was rationed in WWII, but to see it in pictures really does bring it home when you see the size of a piece of cheese or lard that had to last your family a week. There is a chapter on preserving and drying meat and fruit with some fantastic and at other times baffling recipes with step by step instructions.
I will definitely be trying the elderflower cordial recipe and possibly the Baked Potato Pudding (A pastry base with raspberry jam, topped off with mashed suede and potato which is baked in the oven). Im not too sure about the mock marmalade which uses crab apples, but the Soapwort shampoo certainly sounds interesting and Ruth Goodman said it was the best she had ever used and was now converted to it!
If you are looking for Christmas gifts or perhaps an interesting coffee table book for fans of the TV series, you can get this stunning hardback book from the publishers, Amazon or other book retailers.