A goose egg with hens' eggs
[Couldn't find a picture of pig swill anywhere!]
However, as a result of being at a vegetarian school, my brother and I had vegetarian ration books. To begin with we were able to change these in the holidays so that we could get meat, but eventually the government discontinued the practice, and we had to manage. Our parents gallantly shared their tiny meat ration with us, but our veggie ration books gave us access to additional cheese and eggs, and more in the way of nuts and dried fruit than was available to eveybody. I remember too a delicious cashew nut butter known as Nutter, which made a really tasty spread. As most women had to do, unless they were prepared to buy on the black market, my mother became expert at contriving nourishing meals out of not very much.
A typical weekly ration for one - enough cholesterol there for a week for me nowadays, even without the black pudding which I don't fancy!
A rather posh neighbour of ours kept a Jersey cow on her lawn for a time, as her ‘contribution’ to the war. She kindly offered to leave out two glasses of rich creamy milk every day, in her lovely cool dairy, and my brother and I were expected to walk down the hill and back again to take advantage of this extra nourishment. I remember it being a rather boring obligation which we did not appreciate! However, it did not last long, as our neighbour was soon notified that all the product from her cow which was surplus to her own household’s needs, was expected to be handed over to the Milk Marketing Board for fair distribution – she was not supposed to give it away to friends!
I think the worst thing I suffered personally as a teenager, as a result of the war, was the clothes I sometimes had to wear made over from my mother’s by a local dressmaker. I could tell that they were not stylish and they embarrased me. Only a few years ago I was using up a set of dusters which my mother had bought with a view to turning them into some sort of garment. Thank goodness that project was never realised! Incidentally, I still have left one or two of the black satinised cotton curtains we used to black out our windows. Over the years these have been made up into a variety of fancy dress costumes for school plays and local amateur dramatics.
We all suffered as a family for a while, when we gave houseroom to my father’s sister from London, together with some other London relatives. This was extremely tough for my mother, with two other women in her kitchen, and she became very stressed and tearful. The other family lived in a different way from us, and I can remember our horror on one occasion when they had prepared a cauliflower cheese for our supper, and it had come to table absolutely full of aphis which had not been washed out before cooking. I am afraid we made a bad hand of having evacuees in the house, even family, and I feel a bit ashamed when I think of all those other families who had no choice about taking in strangers.