Tuesday, August 07, 2007

So, What's New?

The soya bean is the richest, natural vegetable food known to man - and the dullest as it has little or no flavour. The bean curd is similar to Paneer in that it too has no flavour, but treated in the Indian way can make a very good curry.

Tofu Mayonnaise:
1 block tofu (approx 1lb/450g)
2 fl.oz (50ml) each olive oil and vinegar
1/2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp sea salt
Put the tofu into a blender and blitz until liquified, slowly add the oil, followed by the honey and vinegar. Taste, then -depending upon whether you want it tart or sweet, you could add a little more vinegar or honey. Do not heat or it will separate, but can be used as a topping for hot vegetables, once plated up.
Tip: When blitzing, add herbs and spices to give extra flavour. Dill for general use, tarragon for cold vegetables, a pinch of caraway seeds when making this mayo as a binder for coleslaw.

Home-made Tofu:
1 cup (8 fl.oz measure) soya flour
4 cups (32 fl.oz) water
4 tblsp lemon juice
Mix the flour with the water and leave it to soak for half an hour, giving it an occasional stir. Then bring the mixture to the boil, stirring all the time. The minute it boils, lower the heat and simmer for five minutes. Keep stirring. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice. Stir until the mixture begins to curdle. Allow it time to curdle thoroughly, then tip into a muslin lined seive, tie the ends and hang the bag up to drain (as you would when making curd cheese). When fully drained the tofu should be a compact white curd (with very little taste!). This can be preserved if placed under water and chilled. Will keep in the fridge for several days.

A final food for thought: I came across a feature dealing with wartime rations. So everyone out there, who wishes to cut down on their food bills , might like to try surviving for a week on the following:
The 1944 allowance per person, per week is as follows:
Bacon and ham - 4 oz (110g)
Sugar - 8 oz (225g)
Meat - 1 shilling and 2 pence worth (about 1lb/450g) mince or stewing meat
Cheese - 2 oz (50g)
Butter - 2 oz (50g)
Margarine - 4 oz (110g)
Cooking fat (lard) - 2 oz (50g)
Shell eggs - one per fortnight
Dried eggs - 1 pack per month
Milk - 2 1/2 pints.
There were a few other items, tea, flour, tea etc. but the above gives a very good idea of the very low amount of food a person had to live on. Perhaps worth costing it out at today's prices.
Vegetables were off ration, but hard to obtain unless you grew your own. Onions were worth more than their weight in gold. No fresh vegetables or fruits were imported. Some canned food was available on a points system. At the end of rationing it was said that the country was far healthier than ever before. So something good came of it.