Rationing and austerity hardly seem promising subjects for a book and the bleak days of food shortages during the Second World War might appear to be of little relevance to us today. Yet a lot of people look back on those days with considerable nostalgia, remembering how the coped with the meagre rations of meat, eggs, and butter and the total absence of many foods that we now take for granted.
Marguerite Patten is (was) one of Britain’s most famous cookery writers, with over 160 cookery books, many of them bestsellers, to her credit. During the Second World War, she worked for the Ministry of Food in East Anglia and London. She then took charge of the Ministry of Food Bureau at Harrods, Knightsbridge; her job was to help families prepare nutritious and appetising dishes with their weekly rations.