Back In Time For Dinner (1950s)

Regular readers of my blog will be aware I enjoy food almost as much as a enjoy parenting! Lucky for me household meal times blend the two. Another passion of mine is history, within the UK we have a lot of rich history and is often centered around our food. All these themes were explored by the BBC when they put a modern day family to live through all the decades since 1950. I enjoyed watching their journey so much that I suggested my Wife, Mum and Son (this was pre #CurlyWoo) give it ago. The answer was on the condition I did not make them dress for the era!

Ration books were used from 1940-1954 to control the countries food stock levels during WW2, after WW2 Rationing continued until the country stabilized.

So the rules were to produce a meal for dinner following the time theme. Using ONLY ingredients available at the time of the theme and ONLY using methods available (taking into account I have an electric oven!)


Through research I discovered that the key to cooking in the 50s was using primarily products produced in the UK. Often Products that were produced at home or close to. Post war meant that ration books were still being used. At the height of rationing Corned Beef was the cheapest meat and was often used to bulk up meat orders. I bought some Corned Beef from Sainsbury butchers (Sainsbury would have been around all be it a smaller version of the supermarkets we know today)

Dig For Victory was a campaign encoring families to grow there own veg during WW2

Another food used to bulk out food was potato, this in mind I decided to try and make a meat and potato pie. The hardest part of this was producing pastry with warm butter (as I was not able to use the fridge) To accompany the pie we had carrot and cabbage as this was home grown within UK. All the ingredients besides the meat butter and flour (Which was bought from Sainsbury) were bought at our local market.

For dessert we again went simple with bread and butter pudding. We again bought a loaf of bread from the market. Milk and Butter and cinnamon were from Sainsbury and eggs has been bought from a local farm.

Everyone including my 2 year old loved the food. I loved the simplicity of it and the fact that I had produced a meal and I knew exactly what had gone into it. This differs from a lot of the foods I feed my family everyday. We live in a world of processed foods, and convenience foods. I will be realistic, I do not have time to produce meals like this all the time. However it has made me a little more aware.

It was a great experience and the fact we did not dress for the era didn’t spoil it. The only other way we cheated was by not making my Wife Ashley do the cooking while I went down the pub! Give it a go qwith your family and let me know how you get on! (If you are male I will not be held accountable for telling your wife your off down the pub while she cooks and looks after kids!!!)

DIY Daddy Blog


  1. Firstly, those meals look absolutely delicious! We often forget that amazing dishes can be made with “simple” ingredients. Raising 5 kids that are probably going to eat me out of house and home, foods like potato and bread sure do fill their bellies! I should look into more recipes using these to bulk up the meal. Costs nowadays are astronomical! Such an interesting exercise! I’d love to see a recipe for that Pie! 🙂 #thatFridayLinky

  2. The food looks so yummy fantastic post Martin great read and very interesting Thanks for linking to the #THAT FRIDAY LINKY come back next week please

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