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Category Archives: Stretching the fat ration

Onion gravy

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I know I usually post a vegetable dish, but I thought this week I might try a versatile gravy.  Onion gravy is quite common here in Britain and goes on everything from sausages to chicken.  I am not a big gravy fan, but this is more what I would catergorize as a nice sauce, rather than an American-style gravy.

Peel, halve and thinly slice two onions (doesn’t matter which kind, but you could also use shallots).  Put in a pan with a tiny splash of oil and a generous sprinkling of salt, cover, and saute over medium heat until soft.  Add in one tablespoon of butter, and it must be butter, and continue cooking the onions in the butter for a few minutes.  Then sprinkle in some brown sugar (between 1/2 t0 1 tsp, depending on your tastes) and a bit of cracked pepper.  Top with either 1 c of water and half of a GF buillion cube or 1 c of GF stock.  Bring to a boil and reduce by half.

Before serving, taste the gravy.  If it needs more salt, add in more salt or a splash of GF soy sauce, which will add more color.  If you want it a bit more tangy, add in a tiny splash of cider vinegar.  Serve warm, and any leftover can be used as a base for onion soup (or just thrown into the soup pot, if you’re not making onion soup in particular).


Something else to do with leftover coffee

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This is such an old kitchen trick that I feel that there’s little point to mention it, but I will anyway.  You can make an excellent icing with icing/confectioner’s sugar and cold coffee.  It depends on how big your cake is, but start with ¼ cup of icing/confectioner’s sugar and add 2 teaspoons of cold coffee.  Mix thoroughly and check the consistency.  If you want your icing thicker, then add more sugar.  If you want it thinner, then add a very small amount of coffee.  If you want more icing, then add more sugar and coffee.  The trick is to add as little liquid as possible, so that you aren’t constantly going back and forth between the sugar and coffee.

I use this icing mostly on brownies, but don’t let that stop you from using your imagination.  I think this would also make a good filling for sandwiched cookies or as icing on a sugar cookies.

What to do with cheese rind…

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Cheese was rationed during WWII, so those on the Kitchen Front made sure to get every last bit out of what they had. So what can you do with a cheese rind?

First, use a microplane grater to grate off every last smidgeon of cheese, being careful not to start grating the rind itself. Once you’ve gotten all the usable cheese off of the rind, you can store the rind to use in soups. Just drop it in to whatever soup you happen to be making, especially cream soups. It won’t make the soup cheesy, but will lend it a nice salted flavor. Remember to fish the rind out before serving, as it won’t actually melt.

Here is an MoF inspired recipe for making cheese spread from the leftover grated cheese:

For mild and medium cheeses, use 1:1 ratio of margarine to cheese (i.e. 1 tablespoon of cheese and 1 tablespoon of margarine). For strong cheeses, use a 2:1 ratio. Blend the margarine and cheese together with salt and pepper to taste. Depending on the cheese you are using, you can also add in things like garlic powder and dried parsley or oregano. You can also add in finely chopped leek or green onions, or even grated carrot, in a 1:1 ratio with the margarine. Spread on crackers and rice cakes for a snack or bread for sandwiches.

What to do with leftover coffee

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Okay, this is just a quick recipe to perk up your Friday. I got it straight out of a replica MoF “Making the Most of the Fat Ration”. I have had to tweak it a bit, most likely because our margarine is no longer made with whale oil (can you imagine?), but here it is.

Sweet Spread with leftover coffee

3-4 tsp cocoa powder

1 Tbl leftover cold coffee

1 tsp syrup (can be golden/corn syrup, honey, or Monin)

3 Tbl cold margarine


Make a smooth paste with the cocoa powder, coffee, and syrup. How thick your syrup is will affect how thick your paste is. In this case, thicker is better. Now beat the margarine a bit with a fork to warm it slightly and then beat the paste into the margarine until completely combined. If you do this out of order, the whole thing starts floating in cold coffee, so paste first. I have better results with honey, but Monin syrup has nice flavors. If it is not sweet enough for you, then add in some fine sugar or vanilla sugar. Adding in more syrup will probably make it soupy. This is slightly reminiscent of Nutella, and if you like dark chocolate, then this is a great spread for you.


And now you now what you can do with leftover coffee…